When I was in middle school, we were required to take a little French and a little Spanish in 6th grade. By 7th grade, we were asked to choose either French or Spanish to focus on for the next 2 years till high school. Spanish did not come as easy for me as French. I absolutely loved French. I loved how beautiful it sounded, the culture and most of all, the fashion. It was a no-brainer.
I loved French so much that I started college with a major in French to be a French teacher. I had been to France twice by then and was hellbent to master it. This is until I realized my salary was going to be on par of what a doctor in Bangladesh is paid.
Fast forward 2 decades and my current job as a buyer requires daily, sometimes hourly, communication with 3 offices in Mexico. It’s not uncommon for me to get emails written in Spanish. Most aren’t for me but I would really like to know what’s going on just in case “this woman is a dumbass” is anywhere in the body.
That’s when I decided to bite the bullet, or at least the churro, and ask for Babbel for Christmas so I could learn Spanish for work. Plus as I get older, I need to find new ways to exercise my brain and I’ve read numerous articles that learning a second language after 40 can:
- Improve memory & concentration (this is good because I have the attention span of goldfish)
- Promote creativity and problem-solving skills
- Reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers
So basically it’s a win-win.
I like the way Babbel is set up. It doesn’t feel like I’m in a class with the usual, ‘sweet Jesus, when will this end’ thoughts. I hated school pretty much from age 5 till I was in my 6th year of college. I told you I hated school and I graduated by the skin of my teeth. Perhaps I would have done better if I had been diagnosed with moderate to severe ADD in my teens and not my 30s. Anyway, I also like that you don’t go into the first lesson where they just assume you know something and you feel like you’ve skipped an entire lesson. I’ve been in classes before and that’s a horrible feeling to already feel behind. I literally started with si, gracias and hola. I can do si, gracias and hola.
New Way of Learning Spanish
I was a ’90s kid and there was a consistent, familiar way teachers at the time taught languages. Maybe they still teach this way. Teachers would write the verb on the board and we would conjugate the verb. We would then write it (gen z’s, let me translate for you: we would type it on our Chromebook) in our notebooks, memorize it and be tested. A lot of it was very repetitive and that’s what is comfortable to me.
That’s not exactly how Babbel is teaching it. Well, they kind of are but I like all my verbs in one place, in a notebook so I can sit there and memorize. So I grabbed an empty notebook, filled it with paper and now, here are my notes. Please refer to this post about messy handwriting if you look at this and wonder if my Chihuahua took notes on my behalf. No ass holes, that’s my handwriting and it’s beautifully awful:
That’s Not What I Said!
I don’t know why but I feel stupid when learning a new language and reciting out loud the phrases. I feel like if I add too much of an accent, and it’s not the right accent, I’ll come off as a try-hard or as my children lovingly call me some time “extra”. It’s almost like I have to make sure I sound American when practicing as a form of humble respect for the language. Unfortunately, Babbel wasn’t having any of that. Below is what I was to repeat and what Babbel thought I said. Apparently the theme Sunday night was royalty of pop. Click on each one to enlarge.
Making Spanish My Bitch
There, I said it, my goal is to make Spanish my bitch. The more frustrating I find something, the more I want to conquer it at all costs. Tell me I can’t do something, I’ll work all that much harder to do it. I’m extremely competitive and this is just one more challenge. Want to give it a shot? Click the Babbel button below.*
*If you click on the link and sign up for a 6-month subscription, I do earn a commission. I plan on buying margaritas with this commission while practicing my Espanol. Gracias.