How time flies. Just about a year ago we have started learning a new language. That was before I have started my photography hobby. And it seems that I have been taking photos for ages. Getting things into rhythm does have its merits. Before I knew it, I have clocked in 80 hours of Spanish lessons; before I knew it, I have taken 15,038 photos using my dSLR camera. Who knows what I would become 12 years from the day I have got these things in rhythm? (I have this theory that all good hobbies take 12 years to mature into something decent.)
Onto what I termed as “Season 2” of our Spanish class, it gets a lot harder than the previous “season”. First, is the conjugation of verbs. The picture above illustrates the two verbs – to want and to come – in three tenses (present, past, and present perfect) for different persons (I, you, he, and etc.). The variation is mind blowing. The extensive irregularity across common verbs makes it harder for me to perform pattern memorization.
Besides conjugation of verbs, for this “season”, we have a whole bunch of nouns to memorize (and we have to be able to tell which one is masculine and which one is feminine), a whole bunch of adjectives to memorize (in both masculine and feminine forms), and on top of that, forming sentences and dialogues. At times, it seems like brutal memorization is the only feasible way to go, for me that is.
Over dinner, I have had some sharing of experience with Cynthia and her mother from Indonesia on how we learned Chinese in Hong Kong, during my time. There was much brutal memorization on Chinese characters, poems and ancient documents, idioms, and etc. I remember during examinations, we had to reproduce the entire poems and ancient documents accurately and strictly from our memories. Looking back, how did we do that? That was a lot of Chinese writings to memorize, word-by-word. But we did it just fine back then, most of us. And as a hobby, believe it or not, I chose to memorize extra pieces of poems that were not in scope. There is so much wisdom and value compass embedded inside these ancient works. It is hard to extract them if we don’t internalize them the hard way.
Back to our Spanish examination, it will be this coming Saturday. Wish us luck! I have just completed one round of revision and we have tomorrow evening and Saturday morning to do the round 2 and 3. If all go well, “Season 3” will begin next Tuesday. I suspect that the difficulty level will ramp up quite a bit. However, since the entire class is determined to move onto the next level, I guess I just have to see how far I can get.