I am a woman of two countries. Since I wasn’t remotely acquainted with my other homeland until relatively recently, I am still learning the ropes. This includes my other language, Spanish.
I’m not a diligent student. I am busy. I have a really short attention span. I try to combat these drawbacks by surrounding myself with different materials. Multiple books, CDs, ebooks, an online program–just so I have a variety of things to switch between. While the books and online work is alright, I have to say that the language CDs fluctuate between mildly baffling and really fucking stupid.
The least offensive of the audio CDs was a standard Learn Spanish program. It started out normally enough, with helpful basic phrases and words. But not too far in, it started on describing houses. And then questions to ask when buying a house. I was left to wonder, who buys a house before the fourth disc?
Next up, I tried a discounted Learn and Drive sort of CD, two discs. It was, essentially, a musical. An awful musical. It included a soulful song about one’s wardrobe (“Look at the colors of my life, mira los colores de mi vida…”), a jaunty song in a restaurant (“A table for two, una mesa para dos…“) and the disembodied voice of a high school Spanish teacher, inexplicably stalking his former student. I will grant you that I learned some things, but I paid the price in ear blood.
My third stab at a CD for the car was a single disc that tried to cater to the college student on a trip to Spain. The two English speakers featured are a vacuous girl who probably sleeps with her high school cheerleader uniform and a Bill-and-Ted level intellect who probably sports a frosted faux hawk and Hollister. So this, I thought, is how douche bags learn Spanish.
I suspected, given that both the Spanish speakers on the CD had Spanish accents, that I was learning phrases that would work better in Spain than Argentina, and I later confirmed this with Hernán. I did learn some things from this CD, such as “Let’s go to a gay bar,” “Do you have condoms,” “Make love to me,” and “let’s be friends.” Hernán has requested that I unlearn the come ons.