The First Time I Understood Spoken Spanish

The First Time I Understood Spoken Spanish


I want to tell all my classmates about the first time I understood Spoken Spanish. It was like a million years ago, but I remember it like it just happened yesterday. There was a Puerto Rican family across from us, and me and Ito (Manuel was his real name, but as you can image, he didn't much like it. He didn't wan't to be Puerto Rican, he wanted to be American like everyone else) where like constant...always together. Well, one day his father decided I didn't need to speak english in His House, so they never spoke english to me again. Trust me...it was traumatic. Anyway, I hung in there, mostly because I didn't like his father and he wasn't going to run me off by just speaking spanish! so I just listened. Ito was scared to death of the man (who now, as I am an old man, I realize was a very good man) and wouldn't dare to even think of crossing him, so he only spoke spanish to me too. So...one day comes, I go over to Ito's crib, we are sitting playing Pong (an old video game for all you younguns, black and white no less, with a little square "ball", the action consisting of ping pong on a black and white tv) and his mom and dad are speaking downstairs, and I Understand!!!!! I think to myself...oh, this will pass, as it usually did, but it didn't. I Understood!!! I was so proud. I ran downstairs and I told the old man...I Understand You! Funny thing...they always whispered after that....just like I was their very own son! wink

updated MAY 28, 2011
edited by ChamacoMalo
posted by ChamacoMalo

2 Answers


Man! Thank you so much for telling that story. Sometimes I tell myself I'll never get the speaking part. Spoken Spanish just seems to go by so fast, and sounds like a bunch of percussive instruments that all runs together. I really don't hear very well, and that's a further complication.

Sometimes even when I know what it says, I still miss it! It's so frustrating when I listen to the same thing over and over and over, knowing that it says "lo pusiste" and I can't hear the "lo".

Then I listen to the Spanish radio station and I can't even make out the phone numbers in the commercials. "Say what? Cinco cero dos....... something."

And yet I also know that I'm getting better and better. To think that you were once in about the same place helps my confidence a lot.

Encouragement is a really powerful force. We all need that, not only in learning Spanish, but for most everything else we do. Thank you fir giving that to me.

updated OCT 2, 2009
posted by Goyo

I like this story! My mom had a pong game on her TV, long before the Xbox and all the newer games became popular. I remember NOT understanding Spanish! The first class I took was 3 years ago. It met once a week for 2 hours. I did fine the first 4 classes. And then, it got very difficult. I remember the teacher standing in front of my desk, looking right at me, and saying things I just did not understand. I was supposed to answer her! Right! Well, I dropped out of that class and took a class for true beginners the next semester. I haven't stopped learning yet! I do understand spoken Spanish now, but I don't remember the first time. I enjoyed your story, Chamaco!

updated OCT 2, 2009
posted by Alicia-53
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