Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Me Gusta Sopa

This latest exercise in Web 2.0 could be quite useful as a resource to offer people. I look forward to pointing it out to a patron when I work on the reference desk, and seeing them light up when they realize they don't have to wait for that large set of CDs or cassettes to brush up on the language they're learning. Well, at least if it's one of the six languages offered on Livemocha.

Do you like the way I combined the 2.0 lesson with a restaurant review? Of course my Spanish could not do the soup justice, so I hope the pictures will. The cool thing about Caffe Uno, it's possible to stroll out the door, get some food or coffee, and be back in the library in 2 or 3 minutes.

The original post:

I had a year of Spanish in high school from a sweet but untalented teacher. Then I had those few weeks of Library Spanish oh about 6 years ago. That actually worked out fairly well for me, because working as a clerk there are certain key phrases that get used a lot. Then I transferred to Hollywood, and there just weren't so many Spanish-speaking people to help and I lost the little bit I had. But I remembered "Me gusta sopa."

Perhaps I could catch a few minutes here, a few minutes there, with practice on LiveMocha. I was resistant to this 2.0 activity because I feel like I have so little time, and learning and retaining a language takes time. I am shy about practicing with people, or trying to use the language with native speakers. In high school I took two years of German, and the one year of Spanish. In college, two years of Ancient Greek, and two years of French for reading knowledge (not to try to speak). Now I can't remember the greek alphabet, except for alpha beta gamma delta epsilon. So, I've had exposure to several languages, but never competency in any but English, and I'm not all that competent at speaking English either. That's kind of like many things in my life...I dabble.

So, for this exercise in getting started with Livemocha I thought I'd do a Hollywood district restaurant review.

Me llamo Heidi. Quisiera utilizar español en el trabajo. Pero solamente un poco. Soy de Wisconsin. Vivo en Portland.

My name is Heidi. I would like to use Spanish for work. But only a little. I am from Wisconsin. I live in Portland, Oregon.

Me gusta sopa. Caffe Uno, la restaurante de café al lado de mi biblioteca (mi trabajo), sirve la buena sopa. El otro día yo comí una vegetariana sopa del gumbo muy buena.

I like soup. Caffe Uno, the coffee shop next to my library (my work), serves good soup. The other day I ate a very good vegetarian gumbo soup.

(I tried as much as I could to remember the Spanish before I used the translator.)

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