Milestones In Language Immersion

There are very few truly concrete milestones I have encountered in my language immersion experience. However as time marches on speaking this language is getting easier. Whatever happened to those GAW people?

As this goes along I am continuing to take lessons, each new batch of strangers at the hostel meets a gringo more fluent in Spanish than the last did. By mid february the tables have turned and I have gone from the gringo overwhelmed by other English speaker's midling Spanish to being the gringo that overwhelms with midling Spanish.

  • Eventually on day 97 in the country I navigate a meeting at Migracciones. Error rate while conjugating verbs at speaking speed is still uncomfortably high, but once again luck and charm save the day.
  • Sometime over the past two weeks something just clicked. "Language exchange" type dates have started failing into strictly Spanish, and I have been able to reliably extract the right kinds of giggles out of Northern South American obligate Spanish speaking girls. The local sense of humor is still opaque, but in a country of immigrants that isn't a high priority at the moment. Not with the things the Peruanas will do for a gringo.

There is still a long way to go until mastery of the language. Or educated literacy. Still taking 5 hours of private lessons a week, but… contrary to the value of the lessons appears to be going up as there is more Spanish language in my head to support boluses of new material.

Sure, every now and then I lose all my vowels in one or both languages. Or a girl will ask me if I am married and I respond in the affirmative because I though she was asking if I was tired. That last one's happened quite a few times, but it is nice having enough language to playfully make the save.

2 thoughts on “Milestones In Language Immersion

  1. What balance would you recommend between active listening to fluent conversation of others, and making an ass of oneself by active participation long before you can conjucline in speaking time?

    (as you may remember, speaking without saying anything is one of my strong points)

    • Whatever arises naturally. When the ear tires trying to break the accent is a good time to say what you can.

      As far as spoken verb conjugations go, gesturing about with the hands is a big help as is the gerund.

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