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February 17th, 2006
As my second week of classes is coming to an end, I feel as though it’s time to reflect. Before classes had started, I had been feeling confident about my Spanish and wasn´t at all worried about understanding my professors. Well, apparently my confidence had been falsely built up by a supportive family and professors who are accustomed to dealing with non-native students, because understanding the Spanish spoken in my classes is a struggle.
For the most part, I can understand the general gist of what my professors are saying, but I lose a lot of the finer details. For example, I’m aware that I need to write a paper for my Ecodevelopment class on evolution next week, but I’m really not sure how long it has to be and whether or not we’re expected to cite a lot of sources. I also generally understand that while my professor seems to support evolution, a large majority of the students don’t, although I couldn’t understand their reasons. I know a lot of people here are Catholic, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear anyone cite the bible.
This brings me to my second point, which is that while I can generally get the gist of what the professors say, I can’t understand anything my fellow students say. If they stop and make a special effort for me, I can get it, but if not, I may as well be asleep. I’m not exactly sure why this is, maybe my professors use more educated language while the students rely more on slang. Maybe not. I know for sure no one taught me how to say, “cool,” “that sucks,” or even the seemingly simple, “stuff” in my university Spanish classes. Don’t even get me started on the up-to-the-minute slang. I’m generally limited to lame phrases such as, “How good,” or, “that’s bad,” “He’s not very nice, is he?” I do know that “mai” means, “dude.” Great! Now I can say, “Dude, that cabbie was not very courteous,” instead of the more accurate, “Dude, that guy was a frickin’ (BAD WORD EDITED), where does he get off saying stuff like that?!?” What I need to learn how to say is, “kiss my butt mai!”Filed under Christin Chitty, Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Study Abroad | Comments (2)