I had a Spanish lesson today, so I packed extra tofurkey sandwiches to eat on the way from office to class, and then, quite predictably, ate them all by four in the afternoon because I was hungry. Leaving the office today, bamboozled and tired from my ever-dripping nose, I took a train to Bugis rather than walk, in an attempt to preserve some energy for the class ahead.
Continue reading “More Spanish practices”
I had a Spanish lesson today, so after a sluggish run and a cappuccino, I went over to Bugis to stuff more words into my brain. Today’s lesson was on holidays and weather; being British, the intersection of Spanish, holidays and weather is two weeks in Alicante getting a terminal case of sunburn while eating Walkers crisps and drinking strong Dutch lager. What could be more European than that?
Continue reading “No hay mal tiempo, solo mama ropa”
There are two verbs that mean "to be" in Spanish: ser and estar. As described to me, one is essential and the other is contingent. That is, ser is for describing things that you always are: soy ingles, soy un hombre, and so on, whereas estar describes transient states of being: estoy cansado, estoy encima de la mesa, estoy loco por los bocanadas del cocoa. If that is the case, it poses problematic philosophical questions about the mutability of identity, gender and citizenship.
Continue reading “To be or not to be”
Tonight I had a Spanish lesson after work, to make up for the one I missed when I was in Hong Kong. It was quite a different dynamic to going to class on Saturdays; for a start, I was in an evil temper after work, and my mood wasn’t improved by getting lost on the way to the class, taking rather more trains than necessary to get to Bugis. After a day of thinking about things, I was worried that I wouldn’t have any brain power left for learning Spanish, but happily the part of my brain that is necessary for languages is quite separate from the part that handles databases and revenue optimization. So hooray for that.
Continue reading “Me gusta …”
Today we did conjugation of irregular verbs in our Spanish lesson, along with reflexive verbs. Reflexive verbs are things like llamarse, which in first person singular becomes me llamo (I am called); until today I hadn’t cottoned on to reflexive verbs having infinitives that weren’t things like ver or comer or salir; reflexive verbs all end with an “-arse”, possibly because they’re a pain in the backside to learn.
When I had this epiphany, I didn’t share it with the rest of my class.
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I was called across the office today to arbitrate a point of English. Somebody had received an email about a fairly monotonous task they’d been attempting, asking "did you have any joy with that?" I looked at the email. I looked back at the lady asking me about the email. I asked what was the problem.
Continue reading “Any joy with that?”