First thing’s first: if you’re struggling to roll your R’s, unsure why you can’t, or confused about when to use the different R sounds — click here to watch the video I just put up on YouTube this morning. I hope it helps!
Now on to today’s edition of Saturday Spanish:
One of my favorite things about Spanish is the number of words for “bus”.
Depending on where you are, you can hear bus, autobús, ómnibus, micro, colectivo, bondi, guagua, camioneta, camión, and a handful more.
It’s not limited to buses, either. Beans can be frijoles, judías, porotos, and habichuelas; t-shirts are camisetas, poleras, playeras, and remeras; and sidewalks are aceras, veredas, and banquetas.
Like English, Spanish has a huge geographical reach. Distance, isolation, immigration patterns, and culture blend to give it interesting quirks from place to place.
As a learner, you could look at this as a negative.
After all, this variation means…
- There’s more to learn
- What you learn doesn’t always work everywhere
- You may second guess your abilities when simple words change on you
But these changes are a great thing
If you’re curious, they provide endless rabbit holes to explore (like this, maybe my favorite page on all of Wikipedia).
But more importantly, it’s symbolic of the learning process as a whole:
You’re never done learning.
There will never be a day when you can stand up, dust off your hands and say, “all done”.
I’ve been learning Spanish for over half my life. I can communicate comfortably and effectively use Spanish the same way I use English.
But I’m not quite “there”, because “there” is a moving target. There’s always more to discover.
When you have this mindset, you stop looking ahead to the time when you “will have learned Spanish” and instead focus on enjoying and being curious about the process.
It might sound trite, but it helps.
You can either fear the many things there are to learn, or get curious about them.
So when you hear that in some places it’s not aguacate but palta, don’t throw up your hands and say, “I’ll never learn it all”…
…Instead, smile, and say, “I’ll never run out of things to learn!”. Then go read about why that difference exists.
Genuine curiosity and interest in the process are what will keep you chugging along, learning Spanish for the long run.