Monday, July 10, 2006

quiero ser villanas sexy . . .

i want to learn spanish, but i’m too lazy to sign up for a class. lucky for me, i recently discovered the solution on channel 12. i’ve decided that the best way to learn another language is to use the most advanced educational multimedia – namely, the telly. i’ve heard it said that many an immigrant’s kid learned english by watching MTV and the OC. so, i decided to conduct a little study of my own and learn spanish while watching the soaps on Univision, known as “telenovelas”. first of all, they love their soaps - there are about 500 different soap operas to choose from. my personal favorites are “mi vida eres tu” (you are my life) and “peregrine” (¿peregrinate?). fascinating stuff, i tell you. the best part is that i’m picking up spanish faster than expected. why, i have already learned a dozen new useful words after only one episode! since i studied the science of learning in college, i’ll give you my own scientific analysis of why this is such an effective tool for acquiring a new language.

first of all, i think it’s the combination of listening and watching dramatic elements unfold. even though i can only understand one word here and there, i totally understood Yolanda’s frantic gesturing toward Juan after she catches him kissing either her best friend (amiga) or sister (hermana) – i can’t keep the half-dressed, skanky girls on that show straight – on the balcony of the restauranté. the story is easy to comprende with each action packed scene showing lots of tears, fist fights and people tearing their clothes off. let me tell you, this is way better than the poor kids who are learning english by watching the pasty “days of our lives” characters who go around fully clothed, sneaking into the pool house and kissing their girlfriend’s/fiancés/wife’s amiga or hermana. en español they have way too much integrity for all that sneaking around – they do their shady business in full view of a suspicious friend or neighbor. here is some very useful vocabulary and conversational phrases i learned just today:

por favor: please

mi corazon: my heart

lo siento: i’m sorry

trabajo: work

mi amore: my love

no es de gravedad: it’s not serious

fuerza: coerce/force

cerdo: pig

démelo: give me

te amo: I love you

no tuve la culpa: it wasn’t my fault

saque su camisa: take off your shirt
(this was said a scandalous 3 times in one episode! to be fair, though, i think what was happening is that the two guys who kept taking off their shirts were trying to throw some bad guys off their trail so they wouldn’t be recognized leaving the disco)

¿Había algunos testigos?: were there any witnesses?

béseme duro los labios, tonto usted!: kiss me hard on the lips, you fool

go ahead and try watching just one telenovela – you won’t be able to stop once you start!