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Sunday, January 02, 2011

¿Habla Español?

I've blogged before about how I pick up the way my characters speak, that I end up with words that I rarely (or never) used myself...until they came. I've also blogged about how I end up acquiring some of my characters' interests--for a while anyway. Yes, I'm definitely influenced by them and I'm aware of it. Which kind of leads me to my problem.

I want to learn to speak Spanish.

I did some research and found a computer-based program that comes highly recommended. They have a trial lesson up and I ran through that and I did learn. Not perfectly, but I wasn't going as carefully as I would if I was really doing the class.

My problem? I have a hero and heroine who are both fluent in Spanish. What if I'm only interested in learning the language because of their influence? I've had a bunch of interests crop up in the past that waned rapidly after that particular character left.

On the one hand, learning some Spanish would definitely help with this book. I wouldn't be able to use much of the language because I couldn't assume most of my readers would be familiar with it, but I could drop little bits in. At the very least, it would give me a flavor for how people are speaking even if I never went far enough to get good at it.

On the other hand, this program isn't cheap. If I buy units 1 through 5, it's a little over $500. That is a lot of money. I thought about only getting unit 1 and then buying the others if my interest remains, but to buy the first segment on its own costs nearly $180 and unit 2 is well over $200 bought alone. The next bundle is 3, 4 and 5 together. So I do want to continue, I'll be paying considerably more than if I'd bought the full bundle.

So this is my dilemma--do I try to learn Spanish for real? And if I do, do I assume I'd go beyond the first unit? Or is this another character-induced interest that will wane after I finish the proposal for this hero and heroine?

It makes me crazy! I wouldn't mind (too much) spending the money if I really did have an interest in learning Spanish. I believe that education is an awesome thing and that all of us should continue learning long after school is over. However, if this is because of my h/h and I lose interest, I know myself well enough to understand that I'll quit doing the lessons, especially when each one takes over 2 hours and time is so tight for me as it stands.

Now I just need to figure out who is interested in Spanish. Is it me or is it my characters? Sigh.