Mi viaje a Costa Rica

Dan-H24 November 25, 2016, 4:14 pm
Nota a mis amigos: Esteben me preguntó para escribir de mi viaje a Costa Rica. He escribiendo sin ayuda, así que correciónes va a ser agredacido.

Yo pasaba un mes en Costa Rica recentamente. El primero tres semanas quedaba en Orosi, un pueblo de trece mil personas más o menos un hora y media de San Jose. 

Yo asistaba una escuela español se llama "Montaña Linda" tres horas por día, cinco días por semana. Encontré uno a uno con mi maestra cada día, y creí que ella era muy buena. Hablamos totalmente en español, estudiando gramatica entonces simplemente hablando. Todos los tardes tuve que hacer uno o dos horas de tarea.

Quedé con una familia en el pueblo; los padres, tres hijas, y una nieta. Nadie en la familia podrían hablar inglés, así que tenía que comunicar en español. Era bueno practicar para mi, pero frequentamente la familia hablaba demasiado rápido. Como más habitantes de Costa Rica, la familia era fanaticos de fútbol, y podríamos hablar de esa deporte, también El Serie Mundial...¡Viva Cachorros!

Yo disfrutaba comiendo con la familia, y me gusta la comida típica de Costa Rica como "casado" (arroz, frijoles, plátanos fritos, y carne, pollo, cerdo, o pescado) para cenar, y gallos pintos con huevos revueltos para desayunar. ¡Me gusta arroz y frijoles, pero estoy cansado de eso por ahora!

El pueblo es cerca de Volcán Turrialba, que ha estado erupcion desde el mayo. Más días pude ver la ceniza de mi habitación en la casa. ¡Muy impresionante!

Después tres semanas en Orosi y asistiendo la escuela, alquilaba un carro y viajando a Dominical en el Oceano Pacifico. Yo quedaba en una hacienda dentro en el bosque lluvia, donde ví colibris y otros pájaros, pecarís, coatis, y otros animales.

Entonces viajé en la costa donde ví cocodrilos en el Rio Tarcoles abajo una puente, hasta el pueblo de Santa Elena en el bosque nuboso. Me gustaba el bosque nuboso el mejor, porque de los orquideas, otros plantes, y caminar en los puentes colgantes por el toldo del bosque. 

En todo, creo que mi español ha mejorando porque el tiempo en Costa Rica, y yo tenía un gran aventura.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
ricardo-rich November 26, 2016, 3:18 am
Hola Dan,

¡Que buena oportunitad para ti! Suena muy útil  e interesante y también sin duda tu español ha mejorado. Mucho mejor que yo.  Si está bien  voy a decir que creo se dice: "Me" quedé con una familia y mi español  ha" mejorado" o mi español " está mejorando. "  Si estoy equivocado corrige mis errores  también Dan. ¿Tienes fotos de Costa Rica que puedes compartir con nosotros?

Saludos

Ricardo

 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Steven-W15 November 26, 2016, 8:25 am
¡Excelente, amigo! Tienes mucho coraje de escribir sin ayuda. Cuando tengo que expresarme por escrito (en cualquier idioma), siempre lo hizo en MS Word primero. Has llegado muy lejos. Sería interesante echar un vistazo a tus primeros mensajes en el foro para ver la diferencia.

Tu estancia en Costa Rica suena muy bien. Me gustaría hacer algo parecido pero más al sur: Ecuador, Chile… A mí no me gustan calor y humedad.

Claro que tienes fotos – ¡muéstranoslas!
 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Dan-H24 November 26, 2016, 2:04 pm
Ricardo: gracias por tu correcciones.  ¡Son agradecido muchos!

Esteben: me gustaría visitar otros paises en Sudamerica también, especialmente Machu Picchu y Tierra del Fuego. Pero no todo de Costa Rica es calor y húmedo. Orosi, por ejemplo, era cálido pero no muy húmedo. Es húmedo en Monteverde, pero no es muy calor porque del altura. Pero Dominical...muy calor y muy húmedo, ¡como una sauna!

He desarrollado película de mi viaje y ahora  estoy comenzando publicar fotos y cuentos de en mi sitio web aqui:

http://danhenderson.photo/blog

Hay sólo un foto y cuento allí en este momento, pero añadiré uno o dos más por semana.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
David K November 28, 2016, 5:04 am
Gracias por compartir esto con nosotros Dan. Aprender de las historias de la vida real de los compañeros es mucho más divertido que hacer ejercicios.

Ojalá más personas que utilizan los foros para practicar nuestros nuevos idiomas, Gracias de nuevo.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
KelllaurBailar November 28, 2016, 3:22 pm
Debe haber sido tan agradable hablar español todo el tiempo, y en un lugar tan hermoso! ¡Que increible! Gracias por compartir. 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
the-hefay December 15, 2016, 5:17 pm
Muy interesante!  Gracias por compartir tu viaje con nosotros.  Me parece que tengas un buen tiempo.  Viste crocodilos.  ¿Los comiste?  Cuando una persona menciona los crocodilos, siempre pienso en una canción lo que mi papá cantaría: Nunca sonríe a un crocodilo.  Bueno, eso no tuvo nada hacer con tu aventura.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
stepchook February 25, 2017, 11:03 am
Hi Dan-H24, if I may ask, how long have you been learning Spanish? Everyone has to start somewhere, I suppose, and in my case, I've been learning for precisely six days!

This time next year I'm going to look back and laugh at my poor understanding of the language. Maybe by then I'll be as fluent as you!
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Dan-H24 February 25, 2017, 11:28 am
Step: In March of 2013 I went to Cuba for the first time. Partway through the trip I decided I wanted to return, but more as a traveler than a tourist. So I began studying Rocket Spanish that year, which means I have been learning Spanish for about 3 1/2 years. 

The thing that I laugh at now is that when I started studying, my goal was to be fluent in a year! I can read and write pretty well because I can do those things at my own speed, I can listen to spoken Spanish and usually comprehend the gist of the message, and I can form and express my own thoughts. But where I still struggle is when trying to have a conversation with another person. It is so challenging to listen to the other person, decode the message, and then attempt to form my response in "real time...Read More
Step: In March of 2013 I went to Cuba for the first time. Partway through the trip I decided I wanted to return, but more as a traveler than a tourist. So I began studying Rocket Spanish that year, which means I have been learning Spanish for about 3 1/2 years. 

The thing that I laugh at now is that when I started studying, my goal was to be fluent in a year! I can read and write pretty well because I can do those things at my own speed, I can listen to spoken Spanish and usually comprehend the gist of the message, and I can form and express my own thoughts. But where I still struggle is when trying to have a conversation with another person. It is so challenging to listen to the other person, decode the message, and then attempt to form my response in "real time." But I work at it every day in the hope that I will get there someday.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
stepchook February 26, 2017, 2:37 am
3.5 years, wow! Interesting that you say you laugh at the fact that you thought you'd be fluent within a year. I watched a TEDx talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0)by Chris Lonsdale, who is a polyglot (speaks 20 languages), and he says it's possible for any adult to become fluent in six months.

Do you think that is overly ambitious?
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Steven-W15 February 26, 2017, 8:41 am
I became fluent in French in a bit under 6 months. I have been working at learning Spanish for longer than Dan (with similar aspirations/illusions). There is a huge difference between being totally immersed in a language and learning it part time. Plus I'm a lot older and stupider now.
 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
stepchook February 26, 2017, 9:23 am
I learned German  to a decent level of fluency in about nine months. This was through weekly classes which, in hindsight, was not regular enough.

Immersion - in my opinion - need not necessarily mean living in that particular country. I believe you can be equally immersed if you dedicate at least an hour every day in constructive practice. That includes listening to a radio channel in that language, watching a TV channel in that language and reading basic books in that language. You can even do things like switch your phone settings to that language.

I did this when I learned Croatian, although I stopped giving any attention to learning Croatian some years back and have since forgotten most of what I learned.

I'm determined to fast track my fluency in Spanish and have the added advantage of working with a native speaker, which should help tremendously...Read More
I learned German  to a decent level of fluency in about nine months. This was through weekly classes which, in hindsight, was not regular enough.

Immersion - in my opinion - need not necessarily mean living in that particular country. I believe you can be equally immersed if you dedicate at least an hour every day in constructive practice. That includes listening to a radio channel in that language, watching a TV channel in that language and reading basic books in that language. You can even do things like switch your phone settings to that language.

I did this when I learned Croatian, although I stopped giving any attention to learning Croatian some years back and have since forgotten most of what I learned.

I'm determined to fast track my fluency in Spanish and have the added advantage of working with a native speaker, which should help tremendously.

Let's hope I can do it!
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Dan-H24 February 26, 2017, 4:13 pm
I have watched the Chris Lonsdale talk a number of times. While I don't necessarily agree with him that you can learn a second language in 6 months using his tactics, I do like some of his ideas, especially comprehensible input and connecting words in your target language to images rather than their corresponding words in your native language.

I agree with the idea that "immersion per se does not work." Lonsdale does seem to contradict himself with his story about spending all night on the train communicating in Chinese by drawings and body language; he admits he was a "drowning man" but was learning to swim at least a little bit. I do think it would be quite inefficient to move to a place where all communication is done in a language foreign to you with absolutely no preparation...Read More
I have watched the Chris Lonsdale talk a number of times. While I don't necessarily agree with him that you can learn a second language in 6 months using his tactics, I do like some of his ideas, especially comprehensible input and connecting words in your target language to images rather than their corresponding words in your native language.

I agree with the idea that "immersion per se does not work." Lonsdale does seem to contradict himself with his story about spending all night on the train communicating in Chinese by drawings and body language; he admits he was a "drowning man" but was learning to swim at least a little bit. I do think it would be quite inefficient to move to a place where all communication is done in a language foreign to you with absolutely no preparation.

If I could go back 4 years and begin learning Spanish all over again, I think that I would intensively study a course such as this one for several months to get a basic grounding in how Spanish "works"...how it is similar to and different from English, and I would also learn the most frequently-used Spanish words (associating them with images rather than their English translations.) Then I would move to some place where all communication is done in Spanish for 6 months and I think I would be, if not fluent, at least comfortably conversant in Spanish.

I have to disagree that immersion can mean something other than living in a place where all communication is in your target language. I study every day, I listen to CNN en Español in my vehicle, I watch videos in Spanish, I talk to myself in Spanish, I do frequent Skype sessions with native Spanish speakers, and I inflict my Spanish on every waiter or other person I meet who I think speaks Spanish. But try as I might, I am still "overexposed" to English.

I contrast that with the month I spent in Costa Rica. I was in a small city where few residents spoke English, and those who did refused to use it with me since they knew I was there to learn Spanish. My host family spoke no English so it was on me to communicate with them in Spanish. All of the street signs, billboards, and signs in restaurants and stores were in Spanish.  TV and radio was in Spanish. That was immersion. 5 more months there and I believe I would have been fluent.

But these are just my experiences. Como mi amigo Esteben, soy viejo y estupido.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
KelllaurBailar February 26, 2017, 7:24 pm
"...and I inflict my Spanish on every waiter or other person I meet who I think speaks Spanish..."

Dan, I never thought of using the word "inflict" with the attempt to converse with someone in Spanish jajaja. I think I should probably 'inflict' people more often. 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
stepchook February 26, 2017, 10:45 pm
Dan, perhaps you're being overly self-critical? It sounds to me like you're pretty fluent in Spanish. Perhaps your goal is to be a native speaker, rather than "just" fluent?
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Dan-H24 February 27, 2017, 12:50 am
Laura: Sometimes when I am speaking to someone the right words just flow out in the right order, pronounced pretty well. Other times, well, have you ever lived in the north and your car starts to just go where it will go on an icy road and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it? Sometimes in the middle of a sentence I can just feel things starting to slide and at those times I feel I am abusing that beautiful language so badly.

Step: I don't think I will ever be confused for a native speaker. Fluent, maybe, but a fluent gringo at best. And that would be a good thing, in my opinion.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
KelllaurBailar February 27, 2017, 3:24 pm
Jaja Dan I've never lived up north, although my father used to have a job where travelling was the norm. He says it was like an ice skating rink but for cars :-0. My whole family consists of  full-blooded southerners (who strangely have no accents??) and we don't  travel where it's cold if we can help it! 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Dan-H24 February 27, 2017, 3:32 pm
Which is exactly why I live in the south now.

One of my favorite song lines is by The Indigo Girls: "when God made me born a Yankee he was teasin'" 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
KelllaurBailar February 27, 2017, 7:06 pm
Jajaja!!! As much as I love the look of a gigantic vintage fur coat, I'll make do with the tank tops!
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
the-hefay March 5, 2017, 9:05 pm
I have to agree with Dan's thoughts on immersion and here's my 2 cents.

When it comes to language learning, true immersion is drowning in the language.  There is no escape.  It covers and you can't breathe.  Your mind suffocates, not being able to communicate in either your native language or the one you are learning.  Then and only then do you learn to breathe the strange new air of that language that encompasses you.  You stutter, stammer, mispronounce, mis-speak, but slowly the tongue and mind work together and you find that even your thoughts are transformed by this strange new grammar and vocab.  Your desperation becomes awkwardness, which in-turn becomes fluency and that which tried to drown you is now your life.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
stepchook March 5, 2017, 11:13 pm
I suppose you're right. As the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention". In the case of the type of immersion that you describe, you simply have no choice but to forge on and learn to communicate.

I would love to experience that kind of immersion but circumstances just don't allow.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
Dan-H24 March 9, 2017, 11:18 am
Jeff, I love your metaphors of drowning in and "breathing the air of" your new language. I think all of us who have been in a place where we don't speak the native language and the "natives" don't speak ours can relate.

I often think of my frustration to comprehend what someone is saying to me in Spanish as some sort of a filter or curtain between us, preventing me from hearing what the person is saying. It has made me appreciate the frustration that immigrants who don't speak English must feel.
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
the-hefay March 9, 2017, 4:51 pm
A curtain or filter is also a good analogy.  As the language is learned, it becomes more transparent.  Every once in a while I'll say something that I think is very clear, but I'll just get blank looks from people.  Then I'll realize that what I was saying was more of an idiom in English and so the Spanish translation meant nothing to them and became more of a riddle or just plain nonsense.  Hence there was a "filter" that wouldn't let my idea pass through. 
Mi viaje a Costa Rica
yademas May 29, 2017, 4:47 pm
Dan-H24...this cracked me up.  
"Sometimes when I am speaking to someone the right words just flow out in the right order, pronounced pretty well. Other times, well, have you ever lived in the north and your car starts to just go where it will go on an icy road and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it? Sometimes in the middle of a sentence I can just feel things starting to slide and at those times I feel I am abusing that beautiful language so badly."

I swear, some days (like today) I feel like I have mouthful of marbles.  Thank goodness for the days where it comes out a little easier.  
Mi viaje a Costa Rica

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