Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm three months in now and am very proud to say that I think I've made my "language breakthrough." It happened this Monday after our wonderful four day weekend. I was in History Class. Normally, I can get the drift of what we're learning about because the teacher has a PowerPoint and it's really easy to make the connection between Spanish and English because they are written similarly. This class was different though, we were talking about Martin Luther and the break and the church and  I was understanding everything and taking notes of the teacher's lecture on my own. At first, I thought that I was able to do it just because I had the learned the material before and knew what I had to write down, but then I went to my next class and it was the same. I understood what the teacher was saying and could take notes without copying what my partner was writing down. I was stunned. Overnight,  I had apparently gone from being mas o menos bien at Spanish to super bien. 

Despite this improvement, the kids here are still mean to me. I can't get through a sentence without someone commenting on my accent. It's all in joke, but it gets old and I wish my accent didn't exsist. Unlike French, which has an obvious accent that you can try to do, I don't know what a Spanish accent it. It sounds so much like English I don't try to change my voice and anyway.  I just speak like I normally do, which is probably the root of the problem, but I don't know how else to fix it. If you have any ideas feel free to comment and let me know.

1 comment:

  1. HI Analisa,
    Jane Kendall here. Sorry I have been a slug in not writing to you.
    My mom majored in Spanish so she had me practicing the language t dinner from junior high school on....mostly the pronunciation. There is a softness to the way the sound of letters comes out of the mouth. I am trying to speak as I write and one exemple would be ronouncing the "d". Instead of a hard 'd', imagine your tongue touching the top of your palette more softly, and almost letting air pass across the top of the tongue. Instead of hard sounds,lighten up on the sounds you make. Relax your lips and loosen your jaw a little. I think English comes more out of the back of the throat and sounds more articulated.
    As an actress, let your self go, and listen to the music of the language. Listen to when they emphasize their words.DO they accent scertain words or sounds. Is there any different rhythm?
    If you are essentially reading Spanish just like English, you are missing the subtulty of the language. Pour on the accent like you would speaking English as a BRit, or whatever. DOn't be self conscious. Now that you really understand the language, let go , and listen to the music. Practice singing in Spanish. It may help with the accent.
    find one friend there who is Spanish-speaking and ask them to critique your words, and help you practice saying them better.Mimic everything you hear - exactly the way you hear it. Feel where your tongue goes in your mouth, etc.
    I know you are going to get this as well.
    Let me know how you do!