Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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First Spanish Lesson

Sister Mercsak was offering Spanish lessons starting in July so I thought I'd have a look and see.

I must say I was a bit disappointed. There didn't seem to be much structure or explanation and she rushed through various seemingly unrelated subjects. She also started off with the verb llamarse, which she called llamar and said meant heißen (i.e. "to be named"). This, of course, causes confusion when people wonder why one has to say yo me llamo rather than simply yo llamo.

She also tried to transfer the German four-case system (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative) to Spanish when she taught pronouns (e.g. yo, mi, a mi, me; tú, tu, a ti, te). And I think she's not quite sure in Spanish orthography, especially the placement of accents; there were a few weird things such as "articúlos" which she then "corrected" to "articulós", or "llamán" and "llamais".

All in all, I found it rather disappointing, even if it's free. Next to me was Sister Bruns, who knew no Spanish at all besides ¡Olé! and un poco; she was struggling to find out what the heck was going on as Sister Mercsak dashed from the alphabet to ser and estar (where she didn't explain the difference even when asked by another student, except briefly to say that estar is used when you're at a place) to pronouns, got sidetracked into an example with yo te lo doy a ti and the conjugation of dar, and so on.

On the whole, I felt some of the shortcomings were due to the typical problems of a native speaker attempting to explain his language when he doesn't have a firm grasp of the rules but just "speaks it"; part was just not-so-good presentation.

On the one hand, I'm not sure whether I want to come back next week; on the other hand, it whet my appetite a bit and I might consider taking a course in Spanish at the Volkshochschule (community college?).

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