No Spain no Gain

17 Dec

Hello fellow aux’s, I hope the transition from the States to Mallorca is going well. Believe me, I’ve got piles of horror stories from my first month here. I think one reason why had to be my shoddy Spanish skills. Por suerte, there are myriad resources available to us to help improve our linguistic abilities, and best of all they’re free of charge!

1) Couchsurfing.org language exchange: This takes place every Wednesday beginning at 8:00 p.m. in the basement of Bar Mari-Lin (http://tinyurl.com/mari-lin). This meeting is hosted by a super sweet woman named Irene Rapado, and is very open and casual. Here you’ll find natives of English, Spanish, Catalan, French, German, and possibly other languages who are looking to mejorar their competency. Grabbing a drink has never been so productive.

2) Livemocha.com: If Couchsurfing meetings just don’t fit into your hectic twelve-hour-work-week, here’s a way you can study on your own terms. This is a website I discovered a few years ago and have been using ever since. The page is more or less a combination of facebook and the language software of Rosetta Stone. The basic idea is associating sounds with images rather than solely doing translations. What’s more, after studying you can apply your knowledge directly by chatting, speaking, or webcaming it up with other members of the Livemocha community.

3) Literature: Even though it may seem like a daunting task attempting to read a text in a foreign tounge, the amount of vocabulary and frases hechas that you’ll learn is tremendous. What’s more there happens to be a phenomenal library near the museum of contemporary art (Es Baluard) called C’an Sales (Plaça Porta Santa Catalina, 24, 07012 Palma, Mallorca). With five floors of literature in Spanish, English, Catalan, a fairly massive collection of music and film, and a helpful staff, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. There’s another smaller library on Via Roma called Biblioteca Lluis Alemany (Via de Roma, 1, 07012 Palma, Mallorca) I go to when I can’t check out things at C’an Sales due to tardiness. Its selection isn’t as comprehensive but I’ve without a doubt found loads of great reading material there. So, grab a book and spend some quality time with wordreference.com 😉

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