Monday, January 27, 2014

Learning Spanish

Does this look like a  Zanahoria  to you?

It's just that I'm having such a hard time remembering that name.

Due to some revisions to our Core Curriculum, the two semester Freshman Comp course is now only one semester, and the MOD CIV course is gone, to be replaced by a Modernity course beginning in the Fall. That means I am only teaching one course this semester,  the "Women of Faith" course.

So I have some time.  So I am taking Spanish 102 with the students, sitting in on the 9AM class and doing all the homework, too. 

I took Spanish 101 this way in the Fall of 2008, and did pretty well. But then at the end of that semester, I was diagnosed with pretty serious cancer, and Spanish went out the window.
However, I did save all my home-made flash cards.

Now I have been cancer-free for almost five years, and am feeling pretty well, and have this time, so I am back at it with Spanish.  The challenge is remembering all I learned after a five year gap.

I do have an ear for language, and in my education have taken two years of Latin, two years of German,and five years of French...  but I am much older now, and learning Spanish is hard.

I am pretty good at reading it, but dredging up the vocabulary to speak it is another story. And conjugating those verbs!

But I am working on it.  I've also heard that this kind of work keeps the aging brain from shrivelling up. 

I remember some Spanish through phrases I've picked up     from songs.

First, the love songs:

Les Paul and Mary Ford  in the 50’s sang this one:

Now the hacienda's dark
The town is sleeping
Now the time has come to part
The time for weeping

Vaya con dios, my darling
Vaya con dios, my love

Now the village mission bells are softly ringing
If you listen with your heart
You'll hear them singing

Vaya con dios, my darling
Vaya con dios, my love

Wherever you may be, I'll be beside you
Although you're many million dreams away
Each night I'll say a pray'r
A pray'r to guide you
To hasten every lonely hour
Of every lonely day

Now the dawn is breaking through a gray tomorrow
But the memories we share are there to borrow

Vaya con dios, my darling
Vaya con dios, my love

and this one, which I heard Joan Baez sing:

            Spanish is the loving tongue,

Soft as springtime, light as spray
There was a man I learned it from
Living down Sonora way.
Now I don't look much like a lover
Yet I say his love words over
Late at night when I'm all alone
"Mi amor, mi corazon."

But in these years, I am more familiar with the Church songs that have Spanish verses or lines, like this one:


1. Tú has venido a la orilla,
no has buscado ni a sabios ni a ricos;
tan sólo quieres que yo te siga.

Señor, me has mirado a los ojos,
sonriendo has dicho mi nombre,
en la arena he dejado mi barca,
junto a ti buscaré otro mar.
 2. Tú sabes bien lo que tengo;
en mi barca no hay oro ni espadas,
Tan sólo redes y mi trabajo.

3. Tú necesitas mis manos,
mi cansancio que a otros descanse,
Amor que quiera seguir amando.

4. Tú, pescador de otros lagos,
ansia eterna de almas que esperan,
amigo bueno, que así me llamas.

1. Lord, you have come to the seashore,
neither searching for the rich nor the wise,
desiring only that I should follow.

O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.
 2. Lord, see my goods, my possessions;
in my boat you find no power, no wealth.
Will you accept, then, my nets and labor?

3. Lord, take my hands and direct them.
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost,
returning love for the love you gave me.

4. Lord, as I drift on the waters,
be the resting place of my restless heart,
my life's companion, my friend and refuge.

and this one:

Verse 1:
Al Señor de eternidad, Digo si Señor.
Al Señor que me escuscha, Digo si Señor.
Al Dios de los ofenidos, Digo si Señor.
Al Dios de justicia, Digo si Señor.
To the God who cannot die, I say "Yes," my Lord.
To the one who hears me cry, I say "Yes," my Lord.
To the God of the oppressed, I say "Yes," my Lord.
To the God of all justice, I say "Yes," my Lord.

Digo Si Señor
en tiempos malos y en tiempos buenos.

Digo Si Señor
a todo lo que hablas.
I say "Yes," my Lord,
in all the good times, through all the bad times.
I say "Yes," my Lord,
to every word you speak.

Verse 2
Soy un serviente del Señor, Digo si Señor.
y trabajo de los campos, Digo si Señor.
Soy un prisonero de sus Guerras, Digo si Señor.
Como un politico, inevitable, Digo si Señor.
I am a servant of the Lord, I say "Yes," my Lord.
I'm a worker in the fields, I say "Yes," my Lord.
I'm a prisoner of their wars, I say "Yes," my Lord.
Like a politician, inevitably, I say "Yes," my Lord.
Verse 3:
Para el sueño que tengo hoy, Digo si Señor.
Para curar todos que estan sufriendo, Digo si Señor.
Para amar a mis enemigos, Digo si Señor
Para tu paz en los gobiernos, Digo si Señor.
For the dream I have today, I say "Yes," my Lord.
To be a healer of all pain, I say "Yes," my Lord.
To come to love my enemies, I say "Yes," my Lord.
For your peace in all the world, I say "Yes," my Lord.

Verse 4.
Como Job santamente, Digo si Señor.
Como Maria completemente, Digo si Señor.
como David en una cancion, Digo si Señor.
como Israel que yo esperanza, Digo si Señor.
Like that of Job, unceasingly, I say "Yes," my Lord.
Like that of Maria, wholeheartedly, I say "Yes," my Lord.
Like that of David in a song, I say "Yes," my Lord.
Like Israel for you I long, I say "Yes," my Lord.

Composer: Donna Peña (1989)

That line,  Digo Si Senor  is one of those "ear worms" -  the melody stays long after I wish it wouldn't.

But it has helped me remember the present indicative of  "Say." 

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