Learning Spanish – Aprendizaje de Español

Well I started another Spanish class today!

I am now in Basico 3, yes, I know you are all impressed, only one more level in Basico, then 3 levels of Intermediate, then Advanced – WOOOOOHOOOO!!
The classes are through UNAM which a University out of Mexico City. This tends to make the examples in the book interesting, as well as some of the pronunciations, as they relate to Mexico City and use the Nahuatl pronunciations rather than our Mayan pronunciations. Sort of like sending someone from Savannah Georgia up to Hoboken New Jersey. Sure the words are the same, it’s just tricky to figure them out.

I am also taking a Cooking Class through IMSS, which is Mexico’s Social Security branch. They offer a lot of classes to help the citizens with things like improving their health; cooking, physical fiteness, mental gymnastics, self-defense, etc. The thing for me about the cooking class isn’t the cooking, but that it is attended by mainly Mexicans, and therefore is entirely in Spanish. We foreigners are able to attend, we just don’t.

It’s just too dificult to live here and not be able to do simple things-today I asked a bus driver in what I know was correct Spanish, and I’m told I have a very good ‘local’ accent if he passed down calle 70 through calle 77. He kept looking at me like I was speaking Martian. In fact people in hearing range repeated exactly what I said back to him, he still didn’t get it, well maybe it wasn’t me after all.
So my quest to speak Spanish continues…


About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
This entry was posted in Everyday Stuff, learning Spanish. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Learning Spanish – Aprendizaje de Español

  1. delaney says:

    Hey Debi, Susan here from Spanish classes at UNAM. I´m seeing that you moved here in 2005, so you are about 2 years ahead of us. I admired your speaking abilites in class, and seriously, your are one of the only gringos I know who sounds like a local. Anyway, it gives me hope that maybe in a couple of more years I will be able to catch on also, as right now I seem to be in a grumpy slump, and able to read and write, but I can´t put everything together fast enough to talk in any meaningful way..fun blog!

  2. mcm says:

    Debi — I’m responding to a couple of questions in the comments…forgive me for treating your blog like “MI”…The address for UNAM-Merida is:Unidad Académica de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidadesde la UNAM en Mérida (UACSHUM)Calle 43 s/n X 44 y 46, Ex Sanatorio Rendón Peniche, Col. IndustrialTelephone: 01 (999)922-8446, 47 or 48Ext. 115I got that from the Yucatan Living article describing the Spanish language classes offered (link:http://www.yucatanliving.com/events/events-in-merida-july-9-16-2007.htm)The University on 60 that a couple commenters refered to is UADY (Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan) — the UNAM campus in Merida (Universidad nacional Autonoma de MExico) is relatively new to Merida — three years old, I think.

  3. roni says:

    I have looked at the UNAM link and have never been able to find anything about Merida on it. Like Jonna, I have been by the UNAM building on 60.I look forward to taking classes there someday.Are the IMSS cooking classes available only to IMSS members? Are there any men in your class.Say hi to Tom for us. I think of him sometimes when buying wine – we’ve been trying a lot of Spanish wines lately.

  4. Paul says:

    I think there is a lot to Bob’s explanation/analysis. Frazzling does not lead to listening. Neither does vigorously nodding your head in agreement even though you have no idea what was just said. (That’s something I often find myself doing. Another form of being frazzled, I think.)

  5. Jonna says:

    I wandered all around what I think was the UNAM campus, or one of them, on 60 last week and couldn’t find anything except a library. I really wanted to sign up for their classes this semester or quarter but I can’t find where to do it! I looked on that web site too and couldn’t even find the Merida campus. I think I’m retarded. I miss Merida Insider sooooo much.

  6. Calypso says:

    With all due respect to Mexican bus drivers aside, I find the less intelligent amongst us (those of us in Mexico) find it difficult to reason through an accent or incorrectly constructed sentence(s). It is much the same in the U.S. when people are speaking ‘broken’ English the listener must try and sort through the meaning versus the delivery – I think.

  7. Bob Mrotek says:

    Debi,I have experienced the same thing with people not seeming to understand me in both Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. My conclusion is that it is not deliberate on their part nor is there a problem with my (or your) speaking ability. They are just frazzled by the fact that a foreigner is trying to speak to them and it just puts them all out of wack. This happens more often than not when you confront a native who has never really dealt with a foreigner. They just don’t know what to do. They are, as it were, simply nonplussed.

  8. Steve Cotton says:

    Debi — Bus drivers. I have more trouble undertanding them and them understanding me than any other group of Spanish-speakers. Maybe it is some little game for self-amusement.

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