I hope that I did not miss seeing you at the Winter Texan Expo. Those of you who stopped by the Go...With Jo! and needed a French speaker were pleasantly surprised to be able to speak French to my volunteer helper. Thank goodness he has even volunteered to be a coordinator on some of the tours. If you know a fellow Canadian or a French speaker who wants to learn more about the Rio Grande Valley, just call the office to learn which trips might be given in French. Just remember no office employee speaks French. I wish we did.
English? Spanish? We can help you in those languages. And what a blessing it is to be able to communicate in just two languages. It would be wonderful to speak more languages. You don't have to speak and understand the language of the country you are visiting but it helps. In the Rio Grande Valley, you will hear both languages being spoken and sometimes the speaker will jump from one to the other even in the midst of the same sentence. That means your mind has to shift gears in the middle of the conversation. That is quite a challenge.
Many of the RV/MH Parks have special classes teaching Spanish for non-Spanish speakers. Teachers of Spanish can be found in almost all the bigger cities in the Valley. Certainly, if you learn a different language, you will understand all the better the culture of that country. Just remember - "mas cerveza" does not qualify you as a Spanish speaker. That's more beer for those who do not speak Spanish.
Probably the most important words that a beginner can learn are "thank you" and "please". For the most part, those who grew up speaking Spanish are much more polite than those of us who grew up speaking English. So why not start with those two words "gracias" and "por favor."
Now the next thing - or maybe the first thing would be to learn how vowels are spoken. A little rhyme is often used with a beginning class. It goes like this - a,e,i,o,u el burro sabe masque tu". The "a" is almost always pronounced like "ah", the "e" like "eh", the "o" is a big round "oh" and "u" somewhat like a long “u” - like in the word who.
Now what did that little rhyme just say when translated to English "the jack ass knows more than you." Maybe to say it more nicely - "the donkey knows more than you."
Now, truthfully, I have never thought that I had a good ear for learning a foreign language. Even the words to the most popular American songs were always hard for me to hear, repeat and learn. So, I know if I can learn Spanish, then so can you. Why not take some classes or get a beginner’s book in the Spanish language. The syllables will be divided just about the same way as they were when you were in elementary school. For example, casa meaning house would be divided ca and then sa. If the house is white, then you would have casa blanca. Divided into syllables it would be ca sa blan ca.
Spanish is probably one of the easiest languages to learn. I just wish I could speak French.