Aero: Tiffany Bane – Costa Rica 2016 – Learning the Language

Aero: Tiffany Bane - Costa Rica 2016 - Learning the Language

Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Being in a country where Spanish is the primary language was definitely a challenge. I had some previous knowledge of Spanish from high school but I had forgot a lot of it. Being immersed in the language, and with the people I felt like I learned more about the language then I did than I had before. I was learning how to interact with the people, and learning the words that I needed to know along the way.

Tiffany Bane

Tiffany Bane

My host family was helpful in learning some Spanish, when we didn’t know words within the home, they would tell us so that would know. This was helpful for when we were gone and had to order food, or interact with other people. The professors were always there to help us when we needed it. They also gave us some crash course Spanish lessons, like how to pronounce certain words that could be needed.

Being able to communicate on my own was pretty difficult. I didn’t always know the Spanish words for what I was trying to say, so I would have to try and use gestures to get my point across, although it wasn’t always easy. The easiest communication came in restaurants, we would try to pronounce our orders and if we did a terrible job and our waiter/ waitress had no idea what we were trying to say we would just point to the menu or the professors would help with the pronunciation. The professors would say the word and we would say it back so we would try and learn how to say it for perhaps the next time.

The community service we did at the girl’s home also helped with some of the language. The girls spoke some English and we didn’t speak a lot of Spanish so it was a lot of gestures, but the communication was actually pretty easy. The girls that I talked with one spoke pretty good English, and I helped her practice her English some more and she helped me with some Spanish, and I learned some pretty simple words that I could easily remember.

My progression of the language during the trip was very slow, and I only remember certain words. The words I remember the most are the one that we used when we were in the Zooave, or in restaurants. This could be because I like animals, and food is always a good thing to know in another language. Having some knowledge of Spanish is extremely beneficial for the future means being able to communicate with a wider network of people. This knowledge can be useful in any field of work, I would love to work within the medical field and all languages are useful in this field. Knowing the language is also useful because I would love to visit Costa Rica again someday.

Tiffany Bane
LEAF Contributor
ML@FLCC: Costa Rica 2016

Modern Languages @ FLCC: Costa Rica Study Abroad 2016