As an American living in Mexico these past few years, I’ve been working on my Spanish in a variety of ways. In fact, I have become fascinated by how people acquire second languages and have made a study of the subject.
One of the things that helps us to acquire proficiency in another language is to immerse ourselves in that language in a variety of ways — I often recommend listening to music that has words or watching DVDs of soap operas or films.
I’ve had a lot of fun, and picked up some Spanish, by reading. I’m always reading something in English; usually there are several books by my bedside table.
One day, I was in a mall in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. I had finished my shopping and was waiting for the people I had come with. I wandered into a small bookstore and started browsing. I didn’t think I could read most of the books there without frustration, but as I picked up first one, then another, I saw that I could get the general idea at least.
I ended up buying one called “El leon, la bruja, y el armario.” (They must not capitalize titles in Spanish, as that’s how it was on the book cover.) Sound familiar? It was a translation of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” a novel I had read before. Click to read more >>>