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'F' as in Frank

Old dogs can learn new tricks

It's pretty slow going, but I'm doing some language learning these days.

Through our church work we've gotten to know some people who speak Spanish only. So I've been wanting to learn Spanish, but didn't have the bucks to take a class or for the immersion programs that are around.

Joni and I leaned Hungarian when we were in Budapest, but that was with classes at an intensive four-hour a day university program.

With time and especially funds lacking to take a full-fledged Spanish course, I searched the web at home one night last week and found a site that provides 11 free lessons on-line that includes audio instruction and repetition.

So far I have learned - with help from a cheat sheet I keep with me - to tell time, the days of the week and some greetings beyond a simple hello.

I didn't know any of that before and I'm looking forward to using the little Spanish I know the next time I see our Spanish-speaking friends from church.

From experience with Hungarian and now with Spanish I know practice is the key, going over and over what I've learned and adding a bit more each day.

Of course, the on-line program is a teaser to get you to buy the complete program of something like 200 lessons. Near as I can tell the price comes out to about 80 cents a lesson, so it is tempting to look into getting the complete set.

Until then, I'll continue practicing on-line at home and try to speak what I know here and there, including at the newspaper as my co-workers in the front office patiently correct my Spanish.

There's a phrase that says you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but this old dog is plugging away trying to learn a new language.

So, for now, hasta luego!

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