For a long time, I had this urge to study Spanish. But it is only recently that I made actual steps to start learning the language.
What is it about Spanish? Well, my first language, Tagalog, comprises of several Spanish words. I know how to count in Spanish even without taking Spanish lessons. From dining – cuchara, tenedor, vaso – to religious event and holidays – (Semana Santa, Todos los Santos) , Spanish words are used.
It’s no surprise because our country, the Philippines was colonized by Spain for over 300 years. But Filipinos never fully adapted the language. Only some areas that speak Chavacano are actively using Spanish, albeit not full, as Chavacano is considered to be broken Spanish.
Spanish used to be a compulsary course requirement for college students but this was removed from the curriculum. I think what happened was, there was no base for the use of it, as no media was used to sustain it – no newspaper, radio show or television show.
But it is a sad thing because Spanish is a big part of our cultural influence. I even found a website which promoted the use of Spanish to Filipinos, though unfortunately, the site is outdated. In one article on the site written by Gemma Cruz-Araneta, it said, “In my opinion, it is imperative that Filipinos should have at least a reading knowledge of Spanish, simply because most of the works of our heroes were written in that language. As we all know, a lot is lost in translation, so if we fail to read and understand these works in their original, we will never know how and why we are Filipinos, or what it really means to be a Filipino.” And I agree, because we should be able to read our heroes great works in their original form.
Recently, there are initiatives by the Philippine government to revive Spanish in the school curriculum, but only on selected areas. I read it in this article by Manila Bulletin: 2 Davao schools to teach Spanish.
It is also heartening that a Philippine publisher had a book published named “English-Filipino-Spanish Vocabulary”. I bought this book at a local bookstore for $1.00.
Some years back, I bought a Spanish beginners course on sale. Now that I have some free time, I thought of browsing it, but reading the book and listening to the accompanying CD was not as engaging as I expected it to be.
But the good thing is, I came across a blog entry by Tim Ferriss which gave tips on how to learn another language and I have been following some of his advice. He said to read materials of the language of your choice, on topics which YOU LIKE. For me, I thought of three topics (actually two): showbiz and photography. I searched the internet and found three sites to my liking: PEOPLE Magazine (Spanish edition), Noticias Glee Latino (Glee news – Latino), and PUNTO Magazine (a bilingual photography online magazine). So far, I am picking up words while trying to read the articles.
It also helps that our cable subscription has TV Espanol (TVE), so once in a while I watch shows on this channel. For radio, there’s a free Spanish radio station that streams their broadcast. This is Radio Nacional de España (RNE).
I’m still in the dark of where I can use Spanish in the future. Maybe when I go on a trip to Latin America or Spain, the answer will be clearer. But right now, the curiosity remains.
P.S. I hope my gal friends and fellow sabawdiaries bloggers – purplepoint and misscarlotta1924 – would join me on this Spanish learning expedition. We have discussed wanting to learn this language in the past. Join us, too, sherrymoon2011. 😉