Having spent more than three months now in this beautiful country, I am starting to feel a bit conscious about the fact that I should be speaking more Spanish. I think there is way too much English around and I feel my Spanish is definitely digressing from the goal I had of continued grammatical development and proliferation of my active vocabulary.
Hmm.. Sadly I know its all up to me and there is no short cut that can be taken to achieve this goal. I guess I should be reading more in Spanish and I should definitely have brought over my dictionary. I did not spend a single day without it during my first three months in Spain, while I didn’t even bring it with me to Costa Rica. Shameful, I know.
I have always enjoyed learning languages, being able to go to countries and speak their language. Languages are like keys that unlock society to you in a much more intimate way than just a tourist guide and your attempts to speak an ever louder English to people who just do not care if you get it or not. I might be a bit cynical with my comments above as many of the people we have met here have been very friendly and helpful. And considering the fairly high level of English that is spoken by many of the ticos, not knowing Spanish is not a massive issue.
The guilty conscience I am experiencing is completely due to personal reasons. I think its my “overzealous student” personality that kicks in, pushing me to improve myself further. But I guess its not all bad. I think it is just me, subconsciously aiming towards a Kaizen inspired philosophy of life by striving towards daily practices that focus upon continuous improvement, learning a language just being one of them.
But I really should make more of an effort for the next three months now. I think I will try to at least expand my vocabulary a bit with some “Palabras de Domingo”, “Sunday Words” or “fancy words” as I guess you could also call them. “Palabras de Domingo” are words that are used a bit more seldom, more elaborate, finer words worthy of Sunday use only. Kind of like Sunday Clothes, that you are only allowed to use during Sundays or special occasions in order to not wear them out.
I guess the problem with “Sunday Words” is that you might forget them if you do not use them or practice them, much like you might forget about that lovely dress in the back of your wardrobe simply because its been archived away under “Only to be used at Special Occasions”. Personally I think this is such a waste of beautiful words, not to mention lovely dresses and other pieces of clothing.
Over the next three months I think I will aim for adding more “Palabras de Domingo” to my everyday vocabulary. And to wear my Sunday dresses a bit more often.