Rosetta Stone. My Spanish lifeline, yet also my biggest hurdle.
For the uninitiated, part of the FSO training regimen involves necessary language training. So the government (thanks, taxpayers!) provides intensive language courses that essentially become the forever-studying-for-overseas' (FSO’s) fulltime job.
Kindly enough, the government (thanks again, taxpayers!) also opens the door to us, eagers-for-mastering (EFMs) a foreign language, if space permits. Of course, the other qualification is if the family’s economic situation permits.
But as I have to work 40-hour weeks to pay the bills, the government (really, taxpayers, you are outdoing yourselves!) provides an online version of the Rosetta Stone for spouses unable to give up their jobs and attend classes.
In the early going, I was a big fan. I still remain relatively impressed with the program, but it suffers from a huge drawback. No English. I hope I’m not giving away too many secrets, but the program works by using images and matching the images to the Spanish words. Up until my specific gripe, which is coming shortly, I’ve actually preferred this method because the pictures are more memorable than an English translation.
But the problem arises when the lessons get more complex, and they are trying to describe a verb that doesn’t really provide an action. The first encounter was the verb tener, “to have.” After a few images, I was able to piece that one together, but how do you illustrated someone having something?
Now, I’m only up to the second chapter, and I’ve reached a sticking point. The offending sentence: Yo quiero a mi padre. And several variations with third person subjects like: El nino quiere a su perro. And then the corresponding pictures show either a person hugging his/her father or a boy hugging his dog, etc.
As we all remember from Taco Bell commercials, when a chihuahua says “Yo quiero Taco Bell,” it means it wants Taco Bell. But we’ve never heard that dog utter “Yo quiero a Taco Bell.” What does that “a” mean? How does it affect the verb, querer?
The best of I’ve gathered is that it means “love,” but heaven forbid Rosetta Stone from providing a glossary of terms to address any confusion for their images’ inadequacies. So if anyone speaks Spanish, could you please help me with this translation?