The Land of Flamenco Beckons




Wouldn’t you like to sing along with Rlcky Martin rather than just sway to the beats of Maria? And be able to make sense of Enrique’s Bailamos le quiero mi amigo? Or then not look dumb­founded the next time your girl­friend tells you ‘hasta … vista.’ Well, the only solution to this is a lesson or two in Spanish. Learning the lingo has many advantages. It will not just make you familiar with the language but also give you an insight into the country’s rich culture and customs.

After hearing the foot tapping Spanish music and being fasci­nated by the country’s colourful dances, Preeti Khantu decided to learn the language, she says. “The language is so melodious that simply hearing and speak­ing it is music to the ears.” With Spanish music invading every discotheque in town, learning the language becomes impera­tive if you want to hum along the lyrics.

Knowledge about the lan­guage equips you with not only vocabulary and grammar, but gives you a peek of the flamboy­ant Spanish culture. Language learning courses not only teach you how to conjugate the ar, er verbs, but familiarises you with the lifestyle, customs and tradi­tions of the Spaniards. Dlya Patel, who has been learning Spanish since the past two years had no trouble mingling with the native people during her one month stay in the flamenco country. “I never once felt like a fish out of water while rubbing shoulders with the Spaniards, thanks to the expo­sure I got through books, maga­zines and cassettes on Spain, during my Spanish classes”, she reminisces.

Besides the song, dance and cultural aspect of learning Spanish, the language has acquired an educational aspect too, especially for Indian students. Spanish is the second most popular spoken lingo in the US of A. Thus, Indian students who flock In herds toLibertyLandfor higher education are at a advantage if they speak Spanish. This was the reason why Vikram Singh, who is on his way toBoston, took up a three month crash course In Spanish.

The most illuminating and bright facet of learning Spanish Is its commercial importance. The language is spoken not only in Spainand Mexicobut also Republic Dominican Romania and of course, the Latin American countries like Chileand Argentina. With about half the world’s population communi­cating in this sing-song lingo, most business transactions require Spanish speaking people.  According to Dinesh Govindani, Spanish teacher at the Studies Centres of Foreign Languages (SCOFL). “There are immense opportunities for those learning Spanish because late­ly, the business ties between India -and South America are strengthening. The demand for Indians who are fluent in Spanish has increased threefold. Business houses are willing to shell out a large amount of green for those who can successfully negotiate and conduct their business activities in Spanish.” Vijay Gadkari whose company has tremendous dealings with Latin American countries went back to the classroom days, so that he could pick up the lan­guage and improve his under­standing of the business. And of course, it is cheaper to pay for lessons In Spanish than be duped by some good looking South American tycoon.

Interpretation and transla­tion offer an all time welcome for those with expert knowledge of Spanish. Translators earn between one to five rupees a word while interpreters are paid on an assignment or time basis.

Another upcoming domain which requires fluent Spanish is the movie making business. Nope, don’t worry Bollywood’s David Dhawan Is not planning to make an AMIGO NO 1 or VIDA SIDHA. But it wouldn’t be such a bad idea though he could have Govinda and Karisma Kapoor doing the tango with Amrish Puri playing the pirated black eyed, villain. But this would definitely be over estimating Dhawan’s capa­bilities. What Bollywood is actually doing is dubbing the Indian flicks In Spanish, so that they can be viewed internation­ally. The reason for the success of Indian films In Spain is due to the similarity in both coun­tries’ cultural and family val­ues. So, all you eager Spanish learning students keep a watch, who knows when you might Just get picked up for dubbing Madhuri in Hum Apke Haln Kaun.

With India’s backwaters, deserts and beaches acquiring renown throughout the world, a huge number of foreign tourists are visiting our country. The destination of most Spanish speaking tourists is the land of snake charmers, elephants and tigers. Hemendra Pujari, a trav­el agent in Rajasthan has espe­cially taken a year off to come to Mumbal and learn Spanish. According to him, “As the num­ber of Spanish tourists visiting Rajasthan for all its palaces, beauty and splendour is rising, the demand for Spanish con­versing guides is mounting. So, once I have learned this lan­guage, I can easily attract more tourists to my agency.”

Angel Esteban del Campo, Professor of Spanish literature at theUniversityofGranadaafter seeing the immense inter­est among Indians to learn his mother tongue is negotiating with the Spanish government to introduce advance levels of Spanish education and exams. Hopefully, we can expect more scholarships too.

So, the next time you catch Maria or Bailamos on any of the music channels, make sure you not only shake a leg but sing along too.

Here are some of the places that offer courses In Spanish:

Studies Centre Of Foreign Languages (SCOFL): 6114098 / 6172562

British Institution: 2870755 / 2870756

Institute of Hotel Cargo and Tourism Management (IHCTM): 2853081/2070059

Sejal Gupta

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