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?
- After the first night's sleep you start getting people in a locale approriate manner
- Gradually the language starts building until after a couple weeks charisma and Trilema can sufficiently overcome the language barrier to allow dating the local equivalent of trailer trash
- A bunch of new vocabulary is acquired
- After a month and a half dates with the tedious sorts of girls interested in "language exchange" and occasionally good looking navigational hazards to the learning experience present themselves
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.