Hola! Feliz año nuevo! Hablo un poco el español! Me llamo Roberto!

Man, it has been a time since I have been able to make it over here! My work week is almost fifty hours and is not going down anytime soon.

As you can see, I have decided to learn Spanish. I had tried a few languages before, but the effort always languished for want of someone who spoke the language. I just didn’t know anyone who spoke German, and I didn’t know anyone who spoke Latin. Not saying it is impossible without that ingredient, but it certainly makes it harder. There are plenty of people at my work who do speak Spanish so I am opting to do that.

I went with the Ouino Spanish language program for several reasons. One, their price of $97 was not to be beat; two, the sheer mass of material they offer for that price; three, the holistic approach they use is above the other offering (and they usually at three to four times the price). You practice speaking in recorded drills where you speak into the microphone and train your ear to speak properly, each section has multiple tests that test understanding in listening, writing and reading. You have access to over 60 short stories with gradually increasing difficulty and length. There are listening drills where you listen to a short, medium or long sentence spoken at normal native speed and you try to arrange the words spoken in the correct order by dragging each word in the right sequence. There is the variation where you write out the spoken sentences.

The sheer number of modules is impressive. You can scroll for a minute to get to the bottom of the screen of offerings.

Also, when you buy the program you can have it on any device you own; so I use it on the laptop at home, my phone at work, my iPad in bed, etc.

I bought some reading material to work up to. The first one is a children’s book: Curious George (loved him as a kid) or Jorge el Curioso. Then maybe some easier mid adult books. I hope to work my way up to some Jorge Luis Borges – this time in his native tongue – and the Sagrada Biblia Catolica. After that, we shall see.

I am really impressed with this program so far. I do find the need to take notes the old fashioned way. The material still remains trapped in a computer and I am still more comfortable, ultimately, when I can refer to the written word.

If this goes successfully, I plan on tackling their Italian program next. And then I think I’ll see what I can do with a little more Latin.

Books on the read right now…

Lord of the World

The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: A Fulton Sheen Anthology

And, last, but certainly not least. We bought a house. The loan just came through yesterday. It is a beautiful old home built in 1931 and in very good condition. Being an old house it has enough projects to keep us busy without being a Money Pit.

Pictures to come after closing.

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