Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Four years ago when I wanted to learn how to swing dance, I took as many classes as I possibly could and went out dancing 3 to 4 times a week (that was when there were that many good venues). It took awhile, but eventually, I became so comfortable with the dance that I didn´t even have to think about what my feet were doing. (Recently, I tried to demonstrate a Lindy Whip to Kip and I actually had to think about how to break it down.) Anyway, the point is that I completely immersed myself in the swing dance scene to learn well and fast. In general, I believe that is the best way to gain fluency in anything, especially a language.

I´ve only been in Buenos Aires for less than 2 weeks, but because I´ve completely immersed myself in the culture and city, my Spanish has rapidly improved. I must admit that the first couple of days it was a bit difficult to understand everyone, mainly because of the Argentine accent: in Mexico and Spain, you would pronounce pollo as poyo, but here it´s pozho. After the first week, though, it definitely became much easier to understand what was being said to me. It´s still a struggle to speak, but it´s much easier than 2 weeks ago.

It also helps that I´ve been taking Spanish classes in Spanish for 4 hours everyday. My Spanish school here in Buenos Aires is considered one of the best (and expensive) in the city. I´m studying at the Daniela Wasser Spanish School in Palermo and I really like it. All of my teachers have been excellent (Pablo totally rocks!) and are very good at teaching Spanish with almost no English translation at all. I have to admit, I originally picked the school because I liked the Web site (I´m such a design nut) and it seemed like the most organized school I found. And from what I hear from the other students, I chose well. I guess I was very lucky.

The students here come from all over the world...there are students of all ages from the US, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, etc. And each one of them has an interesting story. I´ve been out to dinner with a few of them, and I always enjoy listening to their travelling anecdotes. Most of them are here for a few months, which makes me a little jealous because their Spanish is totally going to rock by the end of their stay.

When I get home, I´m actually going to continue my studies as much as I possibly can, because I don´t want to lose my momentum. Same thing with´s been so nice to be able to study and practice everyday and I want to find the right teacher in Los Angeles that won´t ruin everything I´ve learned here. I suppose Spanish and tango are just more passions to add to my ever growing pile.

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