Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Benjamin Shoemaker, Apr 10, 2018.
Por nada !
Exactly. A "navaja" is a folding knive and "cuchillo" is a fixed-blade knife. Is a pleasure to help you. Ask whenever you want.
I am using several different ways to learn Spanish. I found this today while looking for "how to make your on corn tortilla". I can pick out a few words right now.
Duo lingo, watching westerns with Spanish sub-titles, books, you tube videos in Spanish. Thinking about a taking a class or two in person. I also work with a guy who lived in Mexico.
Does your co-worker still speak the language regularly?
Learning another language is always good. But it has nothing to do with bushcraft. You don't have to justify wanting to do something by how it fits in to bushcraft, or any other activity for that matter. Do it for no other reason than self improvement.
Yeah. He regularly travels back home.
Since you can't up and move to a Spanish speaking country, you should spend as much time with him as possible and only speak Spanish. Immersion is the best way to learn a language.
I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but, unless you plan on doing your bushcrafting in mexico, learning spanish has no bearing whatsoever.
And, as far as everyone being so giddy about learning spanish, to better communicate with the spanish speaking people they meet, wouldn't it be to THEIR advantage to learn to speak english? You know, the language of the country they live in.
I'm a little tired of being told that I, my children, my grandchildren should learn a second language just because there are some people who don't feel that it's necessary to bother to learn the language of their HOST country.
If I moved to, lets say, France, sooner, or later, I'd be expected to learn French. And, I think that would be only right.
So, why should it be any different here? And, don't give me the song and dance about the United States being " the great cultural melting pot", either.
When my grandparents came here, from Germany, they learned english, because it was the accepted from of communication, in their new home.
Why should it be any different, today?
I agree with your point 100%. As yours did so did mine. In fact my great-great-great-great-grandfather changed the spelling of our name from the German way to the English way. I am mainly wanting to learn Spanish because the authentic Mexican food is awesome and sure beats the hell out of the tex-mex crap you get at the resturants here. So learning Spanish and learnong how they cook I could make my own authentic food. I am also doing it for career benefits as well but mostly for the food. Lol I was just seeing what people would come up with for bushcrafting.
I wasn't trying to justify, more along the lines of could it apply. Thanks
Oh, and because my great grandmother was from Spain is another reason why i want to learn it.
S. Decker...Yeah, if you don't want to do something like learn a language or feel like you are being pressured to do something that goes against your grain then feel free to opt out and start your own thread about whatever interest you have in learning a skill or doing something that stretches your skills that some of us would want to hear about. Not sure why your feathers are fluffed about this thread....nobody needs you to agree with the benefits of the idea of learning to use Spanish.
I couldn't agree more with this. I've found this especially handy on construction jobsites. The most useful phrase you can learn in Spanish: ¿cómo se dice en español? (How do you say it in Spanish?) In my experience, when you display a genuine interest in learning their language, they will eagerly assist you.
The next most important Spanish phrase: "donde esta el bano, por favor" (Where's the bathroom, please?) Very helpful after learning: "dos cervezas fria por favor" (Two cold beers please)
It should be different today because we have moved past the intolerant and monolithic acculturation processes that dominated societies when your grandparents came here. We as a country and a world should celebrate and appreciate our differences, rather than strive to erase them, especially in the face of the titanic cultural steamroller that is the internet and its attendant homogenization. If immigrants want to adapt 100%, by all means, go to it, but if you want to live in the United States and preserve something of your home culture, go to it as well. I expect your grandparents acculturated themselves so completely to avoid looking different, as well as because English was the accepted form of communication.
Frankly, I agree with you that you should learn or at least respect the customs of your host country, whatever it may be. (However, that attitude is a luxury afforded to those with the time and energy to pursue it.) I do not press my personal beliefs on others, though, and I am happy to accommodate people however I can, as the Lord intended us to. But I disagree that learning Spanish has no bearing on bushcraft. Most of my taxonomic knowledge comes directly or indirectly from having learned Spanish (and Italian, and French); the binomial classification system and its variegated Latinizations are much more easily accessible to one who has studied Romance languages. (A lot of trees, plants and animals have Latinate names that are cognates or approximate cognates to Spanish or Italian, and I'm guessing French, though I don't have the authority to claim it; for example, I intrinsically know what Acer nigrum means, as opposed to what it describes.) Bushcraft is not gear and knives and ferro rods, bushcraft is problem-solving, and process development, and surmounting the challenges that everyday life will throw at us.
Language learning helps tremendously with this. Your children and grandchildren aren't being told to learn a second language to communicate with those pesky immigrants, they're being taught a second language because that actively improves the way their brains work. This is relatively firm neuroscience, not conjecture.
George Washington Sears took 'farina' into the woods with him. What the heck is farina? I know the Spanish word 'harina', though, and I know there was a general phonetic shift between 'f' and 'h' in Latinate languages in the 17th century, so I know that 'farina' is an old word for flour. I just learned more about Sears' life through Spanish, and moreover through context I learned a little tidbit about the state of American culture when he was alive. 'Hormiga' is Spanish for ant; there's that 'h' again, so 'formiga' probably relates to something ant-y: they're in family Formicidae, because they're full of formic acid, which is an incredibly bitter chemical. I know another connection in the world, now.
Learning Spanish has taught me there there are many ways to approach problems and find solutions, as struggling to express very specific words or ideas teaches you to be flexible when approaching challenges - a very bushcrafty concept. Learning to adapt to a different environment, in which you might be the alien, teaches you a lot about yourself and your capabilities - again, at the heart of bushcraft. I had a two-hour conversation with a blacksmith and his wife in a little town in the middle of nowhere in Sardegna one time (Italian, not Spanish), and I learned a ton about his process. The way he described working, and the mental parameters he put on his work and how he went about it - how he approached the color of tempering, or heating rams' horns to cut them for handles, for instance - were completely different than anyone I've ever heard describe smithing in English. As a result of using a different language, his brain was working through channels that weren't available to me. What about that - exploring other avenues and options for problem-solving and appreciating how other people accomplish the mundane tasks of life - doesn't pertain to bushcraft?
That's worth approaching, and worth exploring, and it certainly relates to the subject matter of this forum. And I will caution you, as someone who has worked in Spanish for years, a surprising number of those ignorant non-English-speakers speak very good English; they just recognize a waste of time when they see one.
Also, with a deep knowledge of Spanish, you can understand the ClutteredWife when she is "feeled with rage" (usually at me).
Actually, my situation is similar to that described by @Bitterroot Native above. I was doing ecological research in a Rainforest field station in Central America at the time and put in most of my free hours studying Spanish by reading the local newspaper (with a dictionary in hand) and various books in Spanish that other researchers had left around the station. One day when a lovely young woman came to visit a friend of hers at the station, I had learned enough Spanish to conduct introductory wooing. After that I had plenty of motivation to deepen my knowledge (as well as participate in communication that transcends spoken language).
As to whether knowing Spanish will help in bushcrafting, here's a point to bear in mind: There are rural communities in the South West of the U.S. that have been Spanish speaking since long before there was a United States of America. Many of these people were driven out when Anglos flooded in from the East (especially those who had fertile or otherwise valuable land), but in places they remain to this day. I make this point because often when people speak of Latinos in the U.S. they are thinking of recent immigrants, who might come from thousands of miles away. In contrast, the people I am speaking have lived locally for centuries, so if you're camping in that country, I can't think who would know more about the local environment than they do. It's probably very worthwhile and interesting to be able to chat with them.
Being able to speak Spanish has enriched my life. A second language opens doors to opportunities. I've gotten jobs, raises, and promotions because I speak Spanish. As a contractor, I've been able to land jobs because I could communicate with Spanish speaking clients. In forty some odd years of work, mostly in construction trades, I've yet to run into anyone who didn't feel it necessary to learn English. Not all were Spanish, a few were Italian and Portuguese. Most were eager to learn and grateful to those who would help. IME, the idea that people come to this Great Nation not wanting to speak our language is baseless. It is no different today than it was in our Grand Parents day; folks come to America to build a better life and they learn English to facilitate that goal, just like our Grand Parents.
Take a look at the roster, er casualty list of Custer's command ( I was on the field crew of the last major archaeological survey that plotted shell casings, found a missing trooper and clarified what really happened.) Virtually his entire command were first generation immigrants. The northern plains were so heavily populated with Swedish illegal immigrants the native Lakota and Cheyanne spoke Swedish as a second language for some time, NOT ENGLISH. Using language as a measure of inclusion is defacto exclusion. My great grandmother taught me Irish Gaelic because 'we still have to confuse the Sassanach.' The word 'babble' comes from the Old Testament story of the tower and Yahweh scattering the peoples via that exclusion. The historical antecedent were Jews visiting ancient and cosmopolitan Babylon and encountering a multi lingual society using various languages for business, or government alongside numerous dialects. You want to see prejudice? speak Romanian ( the forgotten romance language) with your Jewish Aunt, Shoa survivor in Fairfax and some Yiddish speaker questions her Judaism. My neighbor Juan and Anicelli do not understand Chicano culture, explain they are old Mexico and worry my two god daughters will grow up Chicanas, but happy they are Americans. I must refrain from telling them they WILL be American Chicanas and think their parents worries as silly as my great grandmother's. Well, almost. I was working a job with a Guatamalan supervisor. He was interested in my California family history and I explained my ancestor was a San Patricio who escaped the fall of Mexico City and slipped back into the US. Mexican kid working the line next to us, refused to learn one word of English, told our heffe I was a liar when translated. Heffe was embarrassed BRIEFLY as I told our fervent believer in the Reconquista off in the filthiest Mexican Spanish patois possible. then I said I would only speak the first language of the land and mumbled brief yes or no's in Chumash and got him really PO'ed.
David Alloway, the late author of Desert Survival Skills and survival instructor in the Chihuahuan desert (including the Big Bend region of Texas), mentions in his book how he has learned a lot from neighbors south of the Rio Grande. It is likely they were speaking Spanish.
On a non-bushcraft note, my meager Spanish has been very useful working in healthcare in the field.
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