Daily Archives: January 13, 2009

Hola! ¿Cómo estás?

Muy bien, gracias.

And that’s about as far as I can get in Spanish, leaving me pretty far out of the loop when I was visiting Colombia last month.  My two-year-old niece was saying words I couldn’t understand.  So, one of my many new year’s resolutions is to study Spanish this year.  Since it’s everything I can do to commit to a new year’s resolution, I don’t want to go too far and commit to an actual class yet.  So what am I going to do?

The first thing I’m going to do is borrow one of our downloadable audiobooks.  Overdrive has both Instant Immersion Spanish and Spanish on the Move, while Netlibrary offers eight Spanish instructional audiobooks published by Pimsleur, from beginning to advanced. I’m also going to borrow one of the phrasebooks, such as Latin American Spanish or At Home Abroad Spanish: Practical Phrases for Conversational Spanish, and make myself some flashcards and stickers to put around the house.  (I think knowing how to say “couch” (sofá) and “fridge” (refrigerador) will come in handy, don’t you?)  After a few weeks or months, I’m going to test myself by taking the practice SAT Spanish Test in the Testing & Education Resource Center, one of our research databases, and see how far I’ve gotten.

Of course, I’ll be using my Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh library card to access those items, but there are many free online sources that can help me learn Spanish as well.  One that my mom’s been using (believe me, she was with me in Colombia, and I couldn’t have gone shopping without her!) is Coffee Break Spanish.  They have a lesson library and a weekly podcast, so you can listen on an mp3 player.  Another site with free lessons is Live Mocha.  They use both visuals and sounds, as well as little quizes to test your progress.  I learned about Quia Spanish from our Tools & Research page for Spanish. It has all kinds of fun and slightly addictive games to practice with. I’m signing up for Spanish Word-a-Day, too.

So there you have it, a resolution for the non-committal.  Hasta luego!

-Kaarin

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