Josh Thompson     about     blog     projects

Learning Spanish: Conversation connectors

Article Table of Contents

I’m learning Spanish right now,  as I’ve mentioned. The bad news is I’ve been in some state of learning spanish for the better part of the last 15 years. My mom’s parents came here from Paraguay, and so she and her siblings are all native Spanish speakers, plus their spouses. Family get togethers are usually conducted in Spanish.

So, I’ve heard it and have passing familiarity with it, though never owned the process of improvement until a few months ago. I also tend to feel tremendous guilt and embarrassment that I don’t speak it well. So that’s caused me to steer well clear of it. (Why face what’s uncomfortable, amiright?)

Benny Lewis is my go-to inspiration for language learning. He argues that he has no special skill at language learning, but thanks to wise studyingspeaking the language as quickly as possible, being fearless about making mistakes, and a bunch of other things, he’s picked up seven or eight languages quite well. He has written so much about language learning.

If he can do it for ten languages, surely I can muddle my way through to comfort in one language. And if I can do that once, I can do it again with another language. Right?

So, for the last two weeks or so, I’ve been learning spanish via Shakira, using Anki SRS to master vocabulary and rules once I understand them. (I don’t spend much total time in Anki every day, but I can snag a few minutes here and there, or as a break from other projects/work, and rack up quite a lot of time spent effectively memorizing)

The newest addition to the toolkit: Conversation connectors #

Since I want to be able to speak the language, and not just have a collection of rules and vocab, I’ve been learning conversational connectors. I was inspired to do this after reading this post about a guy learning Czech, so I’ve added this list of conversational connectors to my Spanish vocab.

Already, I feel significantly more comfortable in Spanish. It’s going well.