Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ecuador May 27, 2008

Ecuador May 27, 2008

Last day of school. I have mixed emotions about that. I think that if I stayed for a few more weeks I would have learned a lot more. Those of you who have studied a foreign language know what I am talking about. It has to do with momentum. Once you get up to speed it is much easier to continue than to stop for a while and then try to get back to where you were before.

The school has been great and the instruction and instructors are wonderful. Much better than Mexico or Guatemala for that matter.

I am taking Conversational Spanish this summer at Colorado Mountain College. That should be good also. Much of what I have learned in the past has been grammar. I can read written and understand spoken Spanish but my problem is and always has been speaking Spanish. I can get by but it takes a lot of practice.

My two roommates Diane and Katie speak Spanish much better than I do but I am their “go to” guy for grammar and vocabulary. I am more the student and they are more the practicier. (Is that a word?) Anyway, they practice their Spanish a lot while I spend hours and hours memorizing verbs and vocabulary words.

For everyone’s information there is only one Spanish language. There are not different Spanish languages in different parts of the world. What you do find is different pronunciation in different places. The word is the same but the way it sounds is different.

You find the purist Spanish in Spain but it is written the same way and used the same way. It just sounds different.

Is there more than one English language? No. Do different countries pronounce words differently. Yes.

I like to use the comparison between Alabama and Maine. They speak English in both places but it certainly sounds different. Most of us from Iowa and Colorado might find it difficult to understand either.

Different countries have different words in Spanish just the same as different states have different words. What does the term “Front Range” mean to someone from Mississippi? Where is “The Tunnel” for someone from Oregon? I think you get my point.

I have actually seen a map of spoken English dialects in America. It is fascinating to see a visual depiction of how people speak. I even have a book of how people in Iowa who live north of US Highway 30 speak differently than those who live south of US Highway 30. On one side the word is Creek and on the other side it is Crick.

Some of you might see this again as I just decided to turn this into an article for the paper.

I get into a big yellow taxi (Joni Mitchell) at around 3 pm tomorrow to go to the airport in Cuenca. My flight from Cuenca leaves at around 6:30 pm for Quito. I leave Quito on a Delta flight to Atlanta at around 10 pm. I will arrive in Atlanta on Thursday and change planes for Denver. I get into Denver around 10 am where my daughter Amy will pick me up. I left my car at her place in Aurora saving the now $160 that CME charges to go to the airport. Pretty soon no one will drive including CME. g

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