I’m just starting to learn Spanish. I like the sound of it. And I like the poetry and pathos of the contents page of my Teach Yourself Spanish book. It’s a whole romance of its own. But an odd choice of issues to learn to talk about in another language. It’s not supposed to be a book about adult relationships, surely. But this, just the contents page, this is a whole affair.
Saying someone’s name. Seeking clarification and help.
Asking people where they live and saying where you live. Asking for and giving telephone numbers.
Asking for a room in a hotel. Asking where something can be done.
Asking and saying how far away something is.
Ordering food and drinks. Saying what you prefer.
Saying what clothes you want, finding out how much things cost.
Changing money, giving your address.
Talking about yourself, describing your house and your neighbourhood, making comparisons.
Saying what your occupation is, how long you’ve been doing something.
Saying how often you do certain things.
Asking people what they like. Saying what you are going to do. Asking to speak to someone on the phone.
Talking about past events. Saying how long ago something took place. Talking about the weather.
Era muy pequena. Asking and giving reasons. Saying what someone was like.
Saying how you used to spend your time.
Ha sido una equivocacion. Passing on a message. Saying what you have done.
Expressing supposition and certainty. Expressing conditions.
Me encantaria. Making suggestions. Accepting and declining an invitation.
Le sirvo un poco mas? Expressing gratitude and pleasure.
Siga todo recto. Giving instructions.
Me duele la cabeza. Explaining what is wrong with you.
Saying what sort of person you are looking for. Expressing hope with regard to others. Expressing doubt.
I promise I haven’t made-up one single word of this. There’s an intriguing switch between the eternally youthful Leslie Phillips optimism at the beginning of the relationship to the jaded, je-ne-regrette-rien moue of the boulevardier by the end, if you’ll pardon my French.
So pausing only to say “I say, ding dong,’ I’d better get started.