Well, para decir verdad i am learning Spanish already as is. But now that an article in a Peruvian news paper (even if it’s only the Piura regional paper) about WindAid, with my picture in it, i really have to learn. You can use google to translate it for you, but as anybody that try’s to read my site based on google’s automatic translation through the transposh addin can tell you, it never comes out quite the same… Incidentally, this article was written in English, so the hebrew readers can check out how transposh does for English to Hebrew. But here is a link to the article translated with google translate anyway.
In my first trip to South America, i ended up in Ecuador in Jatun Sacha’s Bilsa reserve, with a bunch of English speaking international volunteers. The guides spoke Spanish of course, but there was always someone there to translate it for me, and so i never learned Spanish in the first month (I even remember quite vividly that in the first week, at every end of a talk, the guide would ask “priguntas?” and i would shy away with my eyes hoping that he doesn’t look at me, until one time he did, and directed the question to me, and I said “Yes!”, thinking he asked if all is understood… This was followed by a embarrassing silence, since i assumed “end of conversation” while the guy was waiting for a follow up. “priguntas” means “questions” btw…)
The second month I turned my attention to “Fundacion Humana Natura” and the quest for materials to build the wind turbine for their health center, the one which I started out of free time and my turbine haunted mind in the previous month, and so the crowd around me changed, and my spanish just had to improve! Nothings quite as frustrating as walking down Quito’s streets and stopping at computer shops, mumbling for old hard drives to reap for magnets, and have every single shop owner stare out you like you landed from out of space (which wouldn’t have been that different if i had spoken decent Spanish actually). so my Spanish improved, but other then counting nothing really stuck after the trip (nothing expect the starting phrase from “El Alchemisto” that i can say even now and it will probably be correct: cuando una persona desea realmente algo, el universo entra a conspirar, para se puede realizar su suenuo”. well, i was close! That’s what you get when you stay alone in a volunteer house on new year’s eve, every sane person gone to the beach, with nothing to occupy your dark evenings but Spanish books and a dictionary…)
So my current Peruvian experience, started with a bit of Spanish knowledge, but this time I took it more seriously. I actually started studying again in Israel (nothing like studying Spanish while your trying to get your thesis approved by two mentors…), but only in Peru, with mp3 lessons from friends (thanks Gabi and Guy!) and actively trying to understant wtf is being told, mi espanol es transformiendo – alfrente de mi ojas! (or something of that sort)