Niall Doherty Practices Spanish

21 August 2011

While editing a guest post for my personal finance blog, I found this seven-minute video from Niall Doherty. In this clip, Doherty, who has been learning Spanish for 3-1/2 months, carries on a casual conversation with two friends he’s made in Spain.

I like this exchange for several reasons. First, it’s subtitled. Second, this shows Doherty’s Spanish skills at 3-1/2 months, about six weeks ahead of where I am today. (I can see my skills being similar to Doherty’s in a few weeks.) Third, I like to see the effort he makes, the mistakes he makes, and how he’s able to converse anyhow. He’s unfazed. That’s awesome. It takes me a l-o-n-g time to compose sentences in Spanish, which makes conversations awkward. It takes Doherty a while too. I love watching him search for the right word. It’s not just me!

Tomorrow, Aly (my tutor) and I are going to break free of our coffee shop confines and go for a walk. I hope to converse entirely in Spanish. I think my strengths and shortcomings (especially with regards to vocabulary) will become clear very quickly. It’ll be fun!

Meanwhile, I’ve begun to rough out an itinerary for my October trip. I had intended to spend most of my time in Ecuador, with side trips to Peru (for Machu Picchu) and the Galapagos, but after doing some reading, I’m really, really drawn to the area around Cusco, Peru. I found a $35/night lodge that offers wi-fi. The price is good, the location great, and I could see myself holing up there for an entire month.

We’ll see.

For now, I’ll leave you with another video from Doherty: How to fit everything you own into a 42-liter backpack. (My pack is a 46-liter pack from REI.)

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