Posted 07-01-2003 at 15:51:26
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Hello Lazy Al
We have to take one hour of english every day of our school life, from pre-school to college, regardless of grade or degree you're in. Some people are good in languages, others are not, or are not interested in learning another language.
Statistics show that only 31% of the PR population can speak fluid english. Although our official language is spanish, for some jobs we need to be able to communicate in english.
When the subject about learning another language is the issue of a conversation among friends, family or strangers gathered in a waiting room some will insist that english is more difficult to learn than spanish. I say spanish might be more difficult to learn. An example I can give now is my husband. He's dutch, living in "America" for two years now. He's very good learning a new language. He says it was easier for him to learn english and german than it is trying to learn spanish.
Spanish has a genre[pronoun] description before every noun, [he-she], el- ellos, ella-ellas, uno- unos, una-unas, etc. Now, parting from that premise one would need to learn first whether a noun is 'male or female'....:-). And this is where my husband is having some difficulties.
I was sort of good in english in my early days in school, or so I thought. Then, when I got married at 18 to an air force guy, and moved from PR to SC, there's where the shutt hits the fan...:-), so I tried to really learn english grammar because in school I was good in english just because I played by ear. My grammar wasn't good at all. Still is not. And now I'm trying to learn dutch, so go figure.
Nowadays, when I'm speaking in my native language I'm thinking in english. We speak english all day at home because my husband still can not speak spanish, and I can't speak dutch. So my spanish is getting sort of violated, so to speak:-)
Most of my readings are done in english. For this I'm been reprimanded by my leftists friends...:-), but I read our newspapers every day and also keep a novel or biography by a latin american writer on my nightstand and read a little bit every night.
At this point , Lazy Al, I believe I'm not very good a neither, english or spanish. But writing posts on the forums helps a lot because I use the diccionaries, most of the times:-)