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One of my goals of building my better me is to learn Spanish and be conversational by the end of the year. I feel that not understanding Spanish has been a hindrance for me in Human Resources and especially being in California.  I’ve worked for companies where there has been a large Spanish speaking only population of employees.  I’ve had employees who have assisted in the Spanish interpretation when dealing with employees.

I’m now in a new role as a consultant and felt the need to finally learn.  It’s not that I haven’t tried in the past, but some of the tools were not the best.  Rosetta Stone gets you up understanding very quickly, but it’s not useful in the working world.  I will never use the words la taza verde (green cup) or le perro blanco (white dog).  I wanted to something that would allow me to speak more conversationally and not solely by the textbook.

I knew I needed something different and I decided to use Craigslist to assist me.  I signed up with a Spanish tutor from Guadalajara with my co-worker, Paul.  Ernesto teaches us on a weekly basis to speak more conversational Spanish that would apply to our jobs.

In the beginning, it was hard.  My pronunciation needed work.  I need to get better at it and my goal is the be somewhat conversational.  What I like about this way of learning is that it’s more one on one time.  We skype each week for an hour.  The information I’m learning is more relevant to what I would be saying.  

I started watching Spanish speaking show, Caso Cerrado, which is spoken in Spanish with English subtitles.  It’s like Judge Judy and Jerry Spring wrapped up into one.    It was super entertaining, but way beyond my comprehension.  Ernesto said it might be better to watch kids shows like Peppa the Pig in Spanish.  

I’m starting to see that my Spanish is improve, which is exciting.  I can read well, but I continue to work on pronunciation and listening skills.  I would recommend anyone to learn a new skill or language.  Learning keeps our brains active and it can be an enjoyable activity. I’m hoping all my hard work pays off and I can speak more fluently by year end.

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