I´m glad that spanish speaking populations are so receptive to learners.
I mention this because for a while now, I´ve been teaching my daughter some nouns that relate to her life. She also knows her numbers 1-15 and her colors, plus claro y oscuro.
In the last few days while we´ve been out shopping, I´ve been mentioning spanish words to my daughter in public and she often says these things herself.
We´ve received lots of smiles from spanish speaking folks and very kind hellos and everything. It just reaffirms that I´m doing the right thing.
I applaud you for your efforts and can sympathize with you regarding you worries.
I agree with Joe. In my own experiences and with few exceptions, most Spanish speaking people that I have tried to engage in conversation have all been warm, receptive, patient and helpful.
It's funny (and a little bit sad) how our own insecurities and fears can often lead us towards false perceptions of what people are really like or how they might react to us.
When I was a boy, there was a puerto rican family across the way. Me and Ito (Junior) became quick and inseperable friends. I was accostumed to them speaking english when I was around. Well, the father comes home one day, in a mood, and goes on for five minutes in spanish. The mom goes, "Chris is here you should speak english" He says, "Chris is here all the darn time, he can learn spanish." I don't ever recall a word of english being spoken in my presence again. I didn't know what the heck was going on the half of the time. But word by word, stupid question after the other, they suffered me, and within 2 years, there I was. It just became natural to switch when I walked into the house. They were very gracious, probably the best people I've ever known.
I have to agree, Spanish speaking people are the best when it comes to encouraging others to learn their language. Without exception, where ever I go, it seems that they are so helpful and understanding when it comes to people learning their language.
A while back, when I was first learning, a waiter in Mexico learned of my interest in Spanish. Every time he returned to the table, he taught me three or four new words. I still remember them all to this day. But I especially remember the joy he had in teaching me.
Recently in another country, I asked a teen-aged boy how to say a particular word. Within minutes, there was a crowd of kids gathered around us as they wanted to know what other words I needed to learn. For about thirty minutes we went back and forth teaching each other new words. It was a great experience!
So to all of our native Spanish speaking friends...muchas gracias!!!
The way I view it is that every single native Spanish speaker is an expert in the subject of speaking Spanish - so who better to learn from than experts? Most experts (in any subject) want to share their knowledge of the subject.
This year, whilst on holiday in Spain, I tried extremely hard to speak only Spanish to anyone I met. I found the Spanish people to be extremely receptive to my efforts and more than willing to correct me or advise on pronunciation.
From calling out breathless greetings to people I met whilst out running, striking up a conversation with the chef in a restaurant where no-one spoke any English (and why should they?) to trying to haggle for bargains at the market - I felt good and I felt that I had done my bit to show that not everyone from the UK expects to be able to travel in Europe and make their point by speaking louder and slower in English.
Muchas gracias a todos por sus comentarios acerca de nosotros los hispanos.
Yo estaré, mientras pueda, en este foro ayudando a todos los que necesiten de nuestra ayuda. En este foro estamos vinculados varios hispanos, al igual que personas de otras nacionalidades con profundos conocimientos del Español, con grandes deseos de ayudarlos.
De nuevo, muchísimas gracias a todos por sus amables comentarios.
I have always found Spanish-speaking people very receptive and helpful, regardless of errors, to those who try to learn and speak their language. Mete la mano!
Quépasa - I love the way you phrase your thoughts - like the comment under Izanoni post. It lets me learn English which I didn't know.
that is wonderful! i am in a class for spanish. i've been taking it for 3 years and i have loved it ever since. i love how you speak to your daughter in spanish. it was an amazing thing if you are young and you can speak many different languages. very good!
I love these discussions - I always seem to come in hours behind - that's because we're so far ahead (time-wise only of course....)
I was fortunate enough to visit Costa Rica earlier this year for quite a few weeks - the trip was to improve my limited Spanish. Everyone I met, without exception, was thrilled that I was having-a-go at learning Spanish - and always tried to help. I certainly hope to return one day - or - perhaps to visit another Spanish-speaking country.
No how hard I try not to, I end up offending someone.
As the saying goes... "you can please some people some of the time, but you can't please all people all of the time."
At least the Spanish speakers like me.
I've only met one spanish speaker who wasn't so receptive to my spanish conversational attempts(to put it nicely). And also one "native american" who was quite irritated that I asked a question of her in spanish. I guess I was tired and thought I heard her speaking spanish, when in fact she wasn't and is not spanish at all..hehe, woops...
Hmm. that should ease my fears.
I have notice that while learning Spanish, everyone is very friendly and helpful. While learning Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic, a lot of times you have people treat you very rudely. I'm sorry, but Gaelic is a dying language, I would think they would be more helpful. Maybe that is why Spanish is number 2 in the world.