Taking up Spanish (“me parece que puedo hablar español”)

Firstly, I would like to clarify the title, for those of you who don’t do Spanish. The sentence says: “It seems that I can speak spanish”.

A week ago, I went on examinations.ie to get my hands on some past Portuguese papers. After downloading a few of them, I started getting curious about what exams for other subjects are like, so I decided to check them out. I saw a bunch of options that I would never take up, and I was just about to go back to getting my past Portuguese papers when I saw the possibility to pick Spanish. So I opened up the page for the Spanish Leaving Cert Paper 2009, and after downloading it, I started to go over it.

To say that I was astonished would be an understatement.

I was able to pick up most Spanish vocabulary quite easily, given the fact that it is somewhat similar to Portuguese, and the standard of Spanish necessary for the Leaving Cert is the same as the standard of French. Immediately, a thought formed in my head: Were I to take up Spanish for my Leaving Cert, I would have even more chances of maximizing my points. An A1 in French, Spanish and Portuguese would be 300 easy points. Of course, that is assuming that I’ll be able to get an A1 in the three exams. Despite how easy they might seem to me, life has its ways of ruining fun for people, and I might not do well in them.

That said, Spanish has a listening exam, which leads me to believe that it must have an aural exam as well. So I have 4 months left to learn how to write and speak spanish properly, seen as I seem to be able to read and understand spanish, but I have no experience in actually writing it or using it. And that’s in addition to the 7 other subjects I am already doing. It’s going to be tough, but the rewards will be great if I manage to master it until the Leaving Cert.

So I took up Spanish, yesterday, and now I’m just waiting for the mocks to come, so I can see just how well I actually do, as opposed to how well I think I do. This also is the end of my period of laziness. I’ve been studying quite a bit lately, solving past papers. They give me the ability to review the whole course for a subject in only three hours, which seems like a very good way to use my time and to revise everything.

I’m curious, by the way. Did anyone here sign up for any additional subjects after starting fifth year (or even as late as me)?

20 thoughts on “Taking up Spanish (“me parece que puedo hablar español”)”

  1. Wow. Fair play to you Bruno, I don’t think I could handle another subject, least of all a language. If you’re close to fluent though go for it… you sure it won’t be to the detriment of others? I know someone who took up Business this year. Stupidly insane, lot of pressure imo.

    To anyone out there reading this that isn’t originally from Ireland, you should be getting a slip of paper to confirm your exams, the one that Valerie blogged about a few days ago. There are so many languages on the Leaving Cert., including Polish, so check it out! Could be a very handy couple of points!!


    There’s actually no Polish listed.. but I was sure I saw it on that slip of paper! Portuguese isn’t there either but sure Bruno just mentioned it..sure anyway if you’re eligible you can look it up 🙂 Good luck Bruno!!

  2. Any EU language is available to students in Ireland, thankfully 🙂 It won’t be in detriment of the others because I don’t study for language subjects. Mostly because I don’t know how to 😛 What I often do is start getting involved with people who speak the language. That’s how I learnt English. Back in Portugal, I spent most of time on english websites, english forums, and about half of my contacts were english speaking. What can I say? It works. Works for French too, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for Spanish. It’s not really studying, but it’s using the language in real life situations, which works even better. 🙂 Thanks, MisterX.

    1. I listen to Rammstein for German… but I don’t think I’d be able decipher the lyrics even if they were in English.

    2. We’re all living in America, America, it’s wunderbar!

      And that’s about the extent of my German/Rammestein knowledge.

  3. I didn’t sign up for any different ones, though I did consider taking up Music outside of school as I thought that I wouldnt’t be able to take up Music and Art together. Fortunately for me (and the students of the Biology/Home Ec classes, my other possible choices) the Art teacher decided that he wanted Art classes split up this year.

    I’d love to be able to speak a few languages fluently! I always wish I was born in the Gaeltacht or something so I could yammer away in Irish. 🙂

    1. So you’re doing Art and Music at the same time? Fair played to you, Valerie! It’s quite a bit of work, for both subjects!

      I wonder if you’d be as good at English, had you been born in the Gaeltacht. 😛

    2. It is a bit of work, but then again I enjoy both of the subjects so it doesn’t really feel like work, always a plus 🙂

      Oh who knows…though I certainly could do with some extra Irish knowledge right now, as I have my Irish Paper 2 mock tomorrow – it’s notoriously horrible.

    3. Ah, that’s the good thing of enjoying something :]

      Oh, really? Did your Paper 1 not go well? :

  4. ya sabes mucho espanol bruno? I dont think its the hardest of the languages… Hpat dammnnn, like at the end of this month, puta madre!

    1. It’s not the hardest of languages, no. It’s even easier for me for being Portuguese. They are nuestros hermanos 😛 I assume you’re in medicine, then?

    2. Yeah zzz… it’s going to suck… how’s the Spanish “study” going then Bruno?? 😛

  5. spanish studyin is goin prettty good. Pres startin wed, we ll have a week off in between so thats pretty sweet. Also im alsmost finished my dcg project which is a relief. I jst wanna get pres and hpat outta the way… Si, me gustaria aprender portugues el ano proximo.

  6. Woah, that’s lucky, zzz, that sounds good! Our mocks start on the 22nd, which means I still have quite a bit of time left. The fact that zzz replied to your comment, MisterX, makes me curious as to whether the comment was directed at me or not 😛 ‘cos I thought it was until now 😛 Spanish study hasn’t even started! I’m gonna be going over a few past exams and see how I would answer, and try to use a combination Google Search + Translate to verify my answers, but other than that, there’s nothing much I can do until the mocks. The mocks will tell me if I was wrong in taking up spanish or not 😛

  7. Do it! I started teaching myself Italian in I think 4th year, and did the odd evening class and just basically enjoyed learning it. It was always a vague plan to do it for the LC but I didn’t think I’d actually manage it. Ignored Italian for pretty much all of 5th year and almost half of 6th year (while still vaguely planning on taking the exam) and then was like, fuck it, why not! My Mum kept saying it was pointless and there was no way I could expect to do well having done essentially no study… *But* I got a few grinds before the orals and a few more after that, watched a whole load of Italian films, did a bit of study (which I actually enjoyed as I love languages) aaaand… Got an A2 in higher in the LC 🙂 I was super happy (90 points, I’d almost taught myself and, best of all, I proved my mother wrong :P).
    So definitely, definitely go for it! I think I found Italian so easy because it’s so like French, which I was always fairly good at – so if Portuguese is your main language *and* you do French then I think it would almost be a waste not to give Spanish a go.

    1. Oh wow, now THAT is impressive 🙂 I assume you did well in French as well, then? 😛 It’s incredible that you did so well in Italian, to be honest, with so little time to study it, and with you being Irish. Not trying to discriminate, but it’d be much harder for you than it would for me, since English is so different from latin-based languages. Hence why I am impressed 😛

      I was thinking of Italian as well to be honest, just to push my luck, but I don’t know much Italian, and I think it’d be ridiculous to take on five different languages (including English) for my Leaving Cert. 😛

      By the way, thanks Roisin, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who does this kinda thing 😛

    2. Thank you : ) I was very pleased with my A. I got an A2 in French too, which was almost disapointing seeing as I’d been studying it for much longer (but I reckon French is marked quite hard… there were no other As in higher level in my year :O And some of my friends were really good at it).

      I think I basically just took to Italian. I liked it, it made sense, and it didn’t take me long to learn any of the grammar points (like say the imperfect, or which verbs use ‘essere’ not ‘avere’ in the past) because that’s all almost the exact same as French. Vocab too, although it ‘sounds’ different, is basically (a lot of the time) putting an Italian spin on a French word!

      So – do Spanish! And if you’re good at French, sure do Italian too! You can never know too many languages 😀

  8. Hey thats amaising…
    Im doing my spanish Leaving cert this year and i can speak Portugese fluently and but i cant right it… i wouldnt chance doing it for my leaving cert… 😀 so fair play to you…

    Would you be able to tell me where i can get handy honours exampapers for spanish on the net!?!

    My email addres is [email protected] so if anyonw knows will they please contact me…


  9. ok thanks!!! and im also doing portugese and you seem to be doing that to… What does that course consist of?! because ive asked my school and they said that the papers have changed… and as i am the only one sitting spanish and portugese they dont really know anything about the 2 subjects either…

    Do i have to know any books for either… I know the spanish has a literal section but thats optional does the portugese have any literal section?!?!

    😀 😛

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