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Going to Puerto Rico in August...but I feel like giving up

 

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  #11  
Old March 20, 2017, 11:44 AM
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If you can read Spanish pretty well, there is a good chance you will be able to hold conversations in Spanish in Puerto Rico. If there are a group of people speaking, and it is not directed to you, you may find it more difficult to understand. Anyway, that's the way it is for me. One-on-one conversations come fairly natural to me.
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  #12  
Old March 20, 2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelmit View Post
I must admit, I was hoping to see some success stories when it comes to fluency, I look at my lady who is only 25 and is completely fluent in both spanish and english, even knowing several more obscure words and idioms and phrases in english.
Being fluent and looking a fool are not mutually incompatible! I think that Angélica, for example, is a professional translator.

I'm not, but to my delight, I was recently told by a Spaniard that, listening to me translate in church, she thought I was Spanish for a couple of weeks and put my errors down to the pressure of translation - which in part is true. I have previously been asked whether I was Argentinian, but it's the first time anyone has mistaken me for a native speaker of their own dialect.

As for obscure words, in certain specialist areas I have a better vocabulary in Spanish than anyone I know, including my Spanish friends and colleagues.

My point is that you shouldn't expect perfection: after all, very few people speak their native language(s) perfectly (and you know you've made a lot of progress when you start picking up native speakers on their errors).
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  #13  
Old March 20, 2017, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
I think that Angélica, for example, is a professional translator.
I wish!
I have done some translations for work, but I'm always very insecure, as I don't have any professional training for that.
I never really worked with languages (they were only tools for my job) until rather recently, when I started teaching some English to Mexican students and Spanish to foreign students. It's more challenging than I had expected, but it's been a great experience.

@lordhelmit: Never be discouraged, it's all a matter of goodwill and dedication.
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Old March 21, 2017, 05:15 AM
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My point is that you shouldn't expect perfection: after all, very few people speak their native language(s) perfectly (and you know you've made a lot of progress when you start picking up native speakers on their errors).
Ages ago when speaking German, a German asked me "you're not German are you?". He could not identify where I was from, but he knew I was not native German because I made no grammatical mistakes, and was using the subjunctive mood correctly. That was the result of learning by reading, not communicating verbally with native speakers. The OP is in the best position imaginable to practice his Spanish, if he can't benefit from that, then it's a shame. An opportunity like that probably will not come his way again.
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