Learning Spanish

Nora with flashcards

Nora and I

We are both about the same level of Spanish LOL. I might be more at a 5yo speaking; but I understand loads. Nora will swap in and out of English and Spanish. It’s amazing to see how she interacts in Barcelona. The other day, I was making lunches in the kitchen, and she was playing with her plate of food. With the little fork, she pretended it was a little person, with a little squeky voice, said: ‘Hola Papa, como estan?‘. It was too cute. And today when our doorman asked her the same, she responded in English “I’m doing bien!“. The occasional “Si si” or “Adios! Gracias!” really tugs on the heart strings.

The Picture

Nora starts school full-time tomorrow. She attended Montessori back home, but only for a part time slot (it was all that was available). She learned so much, so fast going to that school. Now in Spain, she knows she will be going this week and has been asking for it. This is her with her backpack, studying Spanish flashcards. She wasn’t talking much when she started school a year ago; to the point where they wanted her assessed for slow development. I recognize myself; dyslexic, ADD, and now, a touch of the ASD. So, I wasn’t worried about it, of course there are signs but the Montessori way was exactly what would have helped me, and it helped her tremendously. Overnight- she became a talkative personality.

The Saying

I have no idea where I picked this up from :thinking: it must have been a movie. It was probably something silly like a Rocky. But the gist goes: ‘On my sons’ 12th birthday, I will buy him a pony, and have him lift that pony over his head everyday so when he turns 18, he will be able to lift a horse!‘.

It’s fun, it’s silly, but it also makes me think about Nora going to a tri-lingual expat Montessori school. She is going to speed by my Spanish level rapido if I do not practice every day. Nora and Dada

I Started an App

Like most of what I do on my computer; I needed a script to learn something my way. I mention I use Obsidian to keep notes and even have a folder to quickly update and write to this blog. Meet spanishDon, a shell script I have prepared to augment google translate CLI. I set up aliases for basic functionality: es "Text to translate in English to Spanish" and en "The text to translate Spanish to English". I have found the most productive things I write locally are tiny bits of useful and discrete functions that do little on their own, but I can quickly chain together. This is where I already had some local utils for searching a FS using ack and evaluating the results. I have updated SD to first search my Obsidian notebook for if I have already translated the string or parts of the string passed. If it’s not found, I create a .md note for the translation, and echo the details into it. If it is found, CLI tries to egg me on; saying I should know the answer.


I want to task Ai with reading my custom dictionary, and create contextual conversations and excercises based on what type of entries I have. Think about it like Doulingo conversations, but instead of “where is the library?” it’s more meaningful conversations to my day to day needs; like, Diego, I recieved an email our package was delivered yesterday, do you have it? (Real use case that just happened).

I will also embed a counter on pages so I can include stats on how often I have hit a word. The more hits a word has, the more I should know it! This will lead to report cards and quizes.

Last, I want to fix piping all of this through saysay $(es "do you have my package") sounds like a 90s text to speech phonetically having a meltdown… Any recommendations?

Hasta pronto!

Family Expatting Language Study
Published on 2023-10-04, last updated on 2023-10-04