Interview with a Spanish teacher, Senora Woodward
1. How long has the Spanish language been spoken?
Spanish is several hundred years old. It evolved from Latin, which was spoken by the Roman Empire. (That’s why it’s called a Romance Language.)
2. When did you start speaking Spanish?
Funny story—I took my first Spanish class in middle school and didn’t like it at all! When I got to high school, I decided to give it another try and am so glad I did. I loved my high school Spanish teacher. She really encouraged me! When I got to college I had a different teacher, and I REALLY loved her. She introduced me to missions in Spanish-speaking countries which changed my life and the way I look at the world.
3. Could you tell us some words in Spanish? Then tell us what they mean in English?
There are lots of words in Spanish that are so close to English that I wouldn’t even have to tell you what they mean! These words are called cognates (cognados in Spanish).
Here are some that are not so easy:
Lots of times Americans think that you can just put an “o” at the end of a word to make it Spanish. Sometimes that works (for example, teléfono), but other times it doesn’t (pencil-o). Also it’s easy for us to forget that adjectives come after the noun in Spanish. We have to say el gato grande if we want to say “the big cat”.
5. Which language was harder to learn, English or Spanish?
Well, it was easier for me to learn English because that’s what I learned when I was a baby. If you ask someone who is learning English as a Second Language, they’ll tell you that Spanish is much easier.
6. Is Spanish a challenging language to learn?
I think that Spanish is pretty easy to learn. English can be pretty tricky because there are lots of exceptions to the rules, but Spanish usually follows the rules. Homonyms (to, too, and two) are also difficult. Homonyms don’t exist in Spanish because each letter only makes one sound, so spelling is a piece of cake. That isn’t true in English!
There are 29 letters in the Spanish alphabet. In Spain they mostly eat rice. The capital of Spain is Madrid.