Spanish practices

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.

Although Spanish lacks some,of the mind bogglingly unhelpful complexity of English, they try to make up for it. With things like the helpful “1,2,3,6 rule”, which, as the name suggests, means you replace some vowels when conjugating infinitives, but only for first, second and third person singular and third person plural, and not for first or second person plural. Obviously.

I actually enjoy this sort of thing, more so than the last week, where we learnt relational adjectives, in order to say that something is behind/next to/on top of something else. That requires learning lots of things with no clear relation to one another, whereas when you’ve internalized some rather intimidating, but not particularly complicated, rules you can conjugate to your heart’s content.

As long as we’re dealing with the present tense, that is.

After that, I was exhausted. Before the class I’d visited my ophthalmologist for some more peering into my eyes, revealing nothing, then had an appalling (but very strong) coffee in the Botanic Gardens, and then been taken by a taxi driver to Sunshine Plaza, a stupidly named mall in a city that’s always sunny. It’s not like there’s a Rainfall Mall in London, is there? No, because that would be ridiculous. There’s a Rainforest Cafe, but that’s sensible, because there’s no tropical jungle in West Kensington to speak of.

Because of the coffee, or because of having stuff squirted in my eyes, or because I had forcibly expanded my mind with extra Spanish verbs, I felt dreadful this afternoon and had to go to bed, although fortunately Felicity felt the same way, so we both napped. My daughter hasn’t been learning many Spanish verbs (as far as we can tell) but she can now make farting noises with her mouth, which she greatly enjoys.

The other thing that I seem to find easy in Spanish is learning the names of animals. Probably because we keep pointing them out to Felicity. I don’t know that this is much of an advantage in long term language learning, but it’s a start to be able to distinguish perro from pata.


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