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12:05 pm: Way back in January, I signed up for Duolingo, a free language-teaching app, to do some French revision. I have a French GSCE, 'C' grade, but calling it rusty would be to imply that any iron content was present in the first place. Even at the time, I have no idea how I passed.

So, revision. I ran into the same problems I faced before: spelling in French is about as complicated as English, without the benefit of learning it as a child; and the fucking gender. I have problems with gender in language, too.

I decided to give Spanish a go over the summer. I made pretty good progress, even if I do say so myself. The spelling is pretty regular (although stuff like the b/v distinction still sometimes gets me), and the even genders are a bit more sensible, because of -a -o endings at least provide a default rule you can learn exceptions to. (It helps that "el" and "la" are far more distinct than "le" and "la").

I have got pretty far! Level 11, with just a few more modules to go. The problem is, it's not really teaching me Spanish. It's teaching me how to pass Duolingo Spanish tests. I'm picking up a fair bit of Spanish along the way, but there are various unfortunate tricks that I've spotted (when you get presented with words to form a sentence, the first one is going to be the one with a capital letter, right). So I kind of stalled.

HOWEVER, it turns out there is a thing called "adult education" still, despite the government's best intentions. I signed up with a "Beginners B" Spanish course. It seems to be about the right level for me - I would have sailed through the absolute basics course - but I'm just not fluent enough to do much more. There have been a couple of gotchas. I need to learn my Spanish alphabet. And the numbers. Duolingo wasn't teaching the alphabet at all; and not teaching the numbers systemically.

Still, good fun, going to keep plugging away at it. Very weird to be in a classroom environment after so long. I swear I am not doing this just because I got into Community. Honest.

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Comments

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From:khalinche
Date:November 7th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
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If it helps, the b-v distinction in spelling is often difficult for native Spanish speakers too. I'd say it was among the most common errors in misspelt Spanish.
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From:abigailb
Date:November 7th, 2014 01:20 pm (UTC)
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Am I right in my understanding that there is no extant dialect of Spanish that makes that distinction in speech?
[User Picture]
From:khalinche
Date:November 7th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
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I don't know about that, I mean it's quite easy to tell the difference between bebida and vivida</a>, for example.
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From:squirmelia
Date:November 7th, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
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I went to Spanish classes when I lived in Oxford also. :) I think I went somewhere just off Cowley Road.
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From:abigailb
Date:November 7th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Same place! I wonder if we have the same teacher. Mine is Jesus, from Venezuela.
[User Picture]
From:squirmelia
Date:November 7th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Ah, I had a different teacher, called Kathy.

I didn't do Spanish classes for that long, as I mostly wanted to just know a bit for when I visited a friend in Spain.
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From:lokifan
Date:November 13th, 2014 10:06 am (UTC)
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Yay adult education! :D
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From:abigailb
Date:November 13th, 2014 10:11 am (UTC)
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Yay indeed!

So, I have a copy of the first WicDiv trade signed to you to drop off at some point, when would be good?
[User Picture]
From:lokifan
Date:November 13th, 2014 11:15 am (UTC)
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You're an utter star! :DDD

Ummmmmm idk. When are you next in London?
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:November 14th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
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Probably Tuesday, I have a Doctor Who pub quiz I want to go to...

Apparently I am the type of idiot who forgets that she has Spanish lessons on Tuesdays now.

I am definitely going to be in London next weekend - I have parties on the 21st and 22nd and am, oh my god, I am actually writing this, am shooting a short film on the 22nd.

I will probably be in London midweek at some point, if only because I am physically having difficulty keeping away.

Edited at 2014-11-14 01:01 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:lokifan
Date:November 14th, 2014 08:34 am (UTC)
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Srsly come back to London this is crazycakes.

ALSO SHORT FILM SO COOL! You will have to tell me about that :) And great, okay, I will get back to you re: 21st/22nd when I get my work schedule for next week. See you soon!
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:November 14th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
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I know, I am the worst at living in Oxford.

Cool, let me know...
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From:weegoddess
Date:November 19th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
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I have parties on the 21st and 22nd

aaand the 23rd? or possibly the 25th? ;-D
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