Spanish Boot Camp Time (Tiempo de Campamento de Entrenamiento Espanol)*

I recently applied for an entry-level job at a law firm. It was for an intake person and/or receptionist and they wanted someone proficient in Spanish. I can only swear to being at Upper Intermediate level, so I didn’t even get a look-in. I also once got an interview for a paralegal job where, again, they wanted someone proficient in Spanish.

So, I guess I’ve gotta get proficient in Spanish, and fast.

Can someone hook me up with a training montage?

I’ve basically given up on my other languages for the time being (which sucks because October and November were supposed to be Italian and I’m actually leaning towards Italian for my graduate school degree. But once I have a paralegal job, my income should grow faster than it is now, and that will (hopefully!) lead to more money for grad school.

So what am I doing? Finally knuckling down and reading El Ladron del Rayo (The Lightning Thief** in Spanish), both in hard copy and as an audiobook. I’m going to do this until I have finished both and then go on to the next book. This means that I’m going to listen to it several times by the time I finish the hard copy, I expect.

I’m also rewatching El Internado: Las Cumbres every night while I purge weak pokemon from Pokemon Go. El Internado is a TV show from Spain, so it’s in Castilian, which will broaden my ability to cope with accents and usages and things.

I’m also focusing on Duolingo Spanish, rather than Duolingo German/Italian/Chinese, etc.

And I literally just realized that I need to change my phone back from German to Spanish. Pffff.

Why am I doing these things this way? I remember reading something on language development that said that proficient speakers have a sense of what words are likely to be used when discussing a given topic. And so I need as much exposure to the language as it is used as I can to help me build up that sense.

Fortunately, I have a lot of patients who will allow me to practice my Spanish on them. And boy will I practice my Spanish on them.

My goal, of course, is proficiency, especially what is known as CEFR level C2, in which I will be able to have free conversation on advance topics. The law is an advanced topic.

This also means that I will need to find, somewhere, law books in Spanish, because “here’s a list of legal terms; memorize them” is not going to cut it.

This is especially true because rote memorization has never been my strong suit. I need to actually use the information. This is why I didn’t become really proficient in math until I started knitting. I was multiplying and dividing and calculating repeats and increases and recalculating patterns to use other yarn that the yarn that the pattern was designed for.

So I’m going to need to do that in Spanish. Eek. Wish me luck.

*1. My deepest apologies for the lack of tilde on the “n” there. I’m typing on my laptop and haven’t figured out how to get the foreign characters to come out yet.
2. Slightly less deep (but still pretty deep) apologies for the liberal use of Google Translate. This is why I need Spanish Boot Camp.

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