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habla espanol?

November 7, 2008

I had long ago resigned myself to the fact that I would never speak Spanish.

This statement is quite amusing when you consider that all I have done for the past four days is study Spanish.  For eight hours.  Every day.

I am working at Rosetta Stone as a Product Tester for a few weeks, and I would love to give you a glimpse into what a typical day for me looks like.  I have been waking up this week earlier than my body wants to, dragging myself through showers, finding lunch four hours before I get to eat it, and making my way through morning traffic.  Ha.  That’s a phrase I thought I would never utter.  I make it to the CMC parking lot a little before 8 AM, and join other Rosetta Stone employees as we trek to the building which will become our prison for the next eight or so hours.  Actually, in all seriousness, Rosetta Stone is a very cool place to work – and if I had a real job there I would probably be excited to go to work every day.  People wear jeans, sweatshirts, heels – the whole gambit.  I get all the free drinks I want (no, unfortunately not of the mixed variety).  I think it’s safe to assume that one is automatically cool if they work at Rosetta Stone.  It’s a very swank-y company.

I wind through the maze of the innards of the building to my “desk”, turn on my laptop, type in all my fancy usernames and passwords, “clock in” (I LOVE doing that), launch the software and I’m off to the races.  The first day was quite exhilarating.  There I was, actually learning Spanish.  Remembering and recalling vocabulary, rolling my R’s, getting a grasp of the grammar and sentence structure – it was great.  Needless to say the honeymoon period has worn off just a little.  I came very close to hitting my computer screen today.  Or wanting to hurt the device that makes the little dinging noise that sounds when you A) match the vocabulary word or sentence to the wrong picture, B) choose the wrong article to complete a sentence, C) say something wrong, D) not say the right thing soon enough, or E) forget to add a bloody little accent or tilde.  There is also the corresponding dinging noise that sounds when you do the right thing.  Which is very satisfying.

rosettastone-350

Red eggs are pretty.

The image to the left is a screen capture of a typical lesson.  You have to pick the right article to complete the sentence.  I do believe one would want to choose “Es rojo”.  You can probably figure out what all those words over there mean, even if you know nothing of Spanish.  Rojo = red.  Blancos = white.  Amarillo = yellow.  Verdes = green.  Not that the pictures give you any hints, or anything.

Since a lot of the software is created right here in Harrisonburg, a lot of the images are of familiar places and people.  The familiar people really wigs me out.  It’s just very strange to see faces I know in this internationally famous language software that people are using all over the world.  Very strange.

It is also very strange to be doing dishes at home and random Spanish words come into my head.  Words that don’t even make sense to what I’m doing or my context.  The word esposo kept running through my head tonight.  Last time I checked, I don’t have a spouse.

I am receiving such a high dosage of Spanish, there’s no way I can just go home and forget it all.  It’d be cool if I actually started thinking in Spanish.  I think maybe I should first learn how to communicate with someone who is not a voice through my headset or a series of dingings.

Sometimes when I bomb my little review sessions or hear just one too many dingings, I get really frustrated at myself and vent to Kelsey – “I suck at Spanish!”.  As she kindly reminded me today – “You have only been learning Spanish for four days, Bess”.  I guess maybe I should give myself just a little more grace.

These are words I love to say: amarillo, zapatos, abuela, boligrafos, leche, cocina, sabado and frio.  OH, and pelirojo.

This job also makes going to bed early very appealing.  Buenos noches!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jess permalink
    November 7, 2008 3:46 am

    I don’t even know what pelerojos means! I suck at Spanish! =)

    Bess, it’s exciting! This is fun…I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few weeks!

  2. Kelsey permalink
    November 7, 2008 9:48 pm

    Oh you are just too awesome 🙂 and i loved reading all about your days 🙂 and i love when you vent to me! (or rather, talk to me, but venting comes along with taht, so i will totally take it! 🙂 )

    i love you! buena suerte!

  3. arielinlaos permalink
    January 7, 2009 10:17 am

    you get paid to learn a language?! that’s awesome! i’m sure that the charm of it quicky wares off, as you said, but wow! i loved this little window into your life. more please!

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