Sunday, June 11, 2006

No Habla Espanol, Desgraciadamente

When I lived in New York, I tried to teach myself Spanish by reading Che Guevara's Motorcycle Diaries in Spanish, comparing it paragraph by paragraph to the English translation with the aid of a Spanish-English dictionary. This was not the most useful exercise ever - but it did help me a tiny bit with reading comprehension.

Now, I am forced to learn Spanish, due to the awful ESPN and ABC coverage of World Cup soccer (it's not just me - this awfulness was also highlighted by my friend Sat). Univision is great - the game's over, and I'm watching the news in Spanish now.

My goal for the summer - for every hour of English TV I watch, I have to watch a half hour of Univision. This will both cut my amount of English TV viewing and expose me to more conversational Spanish.

Call it Spanish lessons for the broke student. It works. I learned German as a child much faster than I would have otherwise thanks to German language TV.

In today's US, Spanish is the second language, and I find it shameful that I don't speak it. After all, I speak both official Canadian languages - I'm linguistically discriminating against our neighbor to the south. Besides, it's somewhat hard to become a South America revolutionary if you don't speak Spanish...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are certain peculiar, not often used rules for which you will still get good use out of a simple grammar, such as "Schaum's Easy Outline."
Disgruntled Chemist said pretty much exactly the same thing about ABC/ESPN vs Telemundo & Galavision. Also, since I concur I would is I got Spanish-language TV, the exploitation of women on those channels is an amazingly effcient and highly stylized thing. You might not think that international men's futbol is a time to admire leotarded female culo but they put together (last I was able to watch, years ago) a kind of matrixy superheroine introduction sequence for the games. Lasers, satellites, jumping through obstacles at the last minute, and then at the last minute she turns into the Copa Mundial itself.
(Disgruntled Chemist also talked about a recent low hit by that portion of Americans who are deeply proud of being dumb and want you to join them: restricting science education in the name of the same Heimatsbuero that saved white New Orleans residents from the Zulu-like savagery of Katrina. That was a triumph of the old will, how they were able to take care of those white Louisianians.)

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiracy Fun
For those of you who use Microsoft Windows do the following:

1. Turn on the computer, well if you are here its allready on
2. Open up notepad (Start-->programs-->accessories-->notepad)
3. Type the following: bush hid the facts
4. Save the document
5. Close notepad
6. Open notepad
7. Freak out

posted by David (Austin Tx) at 12:53

"Bush hid the facts," once the notepad document is reopened, becomes
畢桳栠摩琠敨映捡獴, which Babel says is something like "Bi?? touches reflects picks."

2:37 PM  

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