So I have officially started with Spanish learning
(Duolingo; I'm on as ysobelflp)
and am chugging my way through.
The first lesson does get a bit tedious, since you have only singular pronouns (I you he she you-formal) and three whole verbs (to-be, eat, drink) with the relevant simple present conjugations, and two articles (the a) and eight nouns (man woman boy girl apple bread water milk), and there are only so many variations you can have. "You are a boy. I am a woman. The girl drinks milk, the woman drinks water. The man eats an apple. You drink water." ...yeahhhh.
But still, starting small is good for, well, starting.
Though I do get some amusement out of the user comments, especially when it comes to gender. I have no problems with grammatical gender, but then again, I've taken German, and Latin, and Russian. (And, a very long time ago, French, and a longer time ago Spanish, and while I don't remember anything from those it still probably affected things.
And it seems somewhat reasonable to English speakers that hombre
, man, is grammatically male, and mujer
, woman, is grammatically female. But apparently it is vastly confusing that manzana
, apple, is grammatically feminine, and you get people commenting to the sentence El hombre come una manzana
, the man eats an apple, with things like
"But why isn't it *un* manzana
when it's a man doing the eating?"
and, one that sent me into gigglefits,
"So how do you say apple in a masculine way?"
I tried taking the German placement test that they have, just to see where I rank -- used to be semifluent at the end of high school and have decayed horribly -- and discovered three things. One, my comprehension is way higher than recall; I can translate German-English far more easily than English-German. Two, my pronunciation and aural comprehension haven't decayed nearly as much as my vocab and grammatical knowledge. And three, it is a bad idea to mix learning two different languages, because it confuses both.
This is not to say that learning multiple languages is impossible, even simultaneously.
So on my walk back today, I was going over the limited verb conjugation that I've been exposed to so far. Not for ser
, because that's irregular (still important though; soy eres es somos * son; in full conjugation there is sois where the * is, but apparently that's a difference between Spain Spanish, which uses vosotros for you-plural, and Latin America Spanish, which uses Ustedes and therefore takes the third-plural conjugation, and Duolingo is going with the Latin America version), but for the other two. Comer, eat, and beber, drink, though technically we haven't been introduced to infinitive.
So I start: yo como, tú comes, er/sie/es come...
(er/sie/es is of course *German* for he/she/it. The Spanish equivalent for third person singular is él/ella/Usted, he/she/you-formal.)
(como, comes, come, comemos, comen. bebo, bebes, bebe, bebemos, beben. Might shove coméis and bebéis in for verbal repetition since six feels more balanced than five. I'm not sure yet whether it helps or hinders that the 3pl form reminds me of German infinitives.)
is my new best friend \o/