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Welcome to Vol. 18 of the Spanish Online Newsletter! Spanish lessons with audio links, as well as Spanish speaking cities and more. As many of you know I've been extremely busy this week finishing up the production of the Learn Spanish Verbs Fast! audio program (for those who pre-ordered it, I estimate shipping out the first copies this Saturday...) Producing an audio book is a lot of fun but also a lot of work! I hope to find the time to write more grammar lessons for the weekly newsletter when I get back from vacation the week after next. In the meantime I thought you all might enjoy a short email written by Spanish student Keith Linn, who was kind enough to share some of his experiences with me.

Immersion Experience in Costa Rica - by Keith Linn

Well, I'm back from Costa Rica and needless to say it was wonderful. The phrases that I've practiced were well understood by the locals, but when they would reply, I was lost. I'm 47 years old and they say that it is muy difícil for people to learn a language once they get out of their teens. My sister actually used to teach Spanish...and she said that the brain is like soft plastic with regards to learning a language up to about 13 years of age, but that the plastic hardens with age and it's hard for the brain to absorb the necessary skills to learn and speak another language. This only discourages me slightly, but I can see the truth in it. I would [like to] move to Costa Rica and then I know I'd learn how to speak the language, but that's just a dream. I'll keep hacking away at it and hopefully someday there will some type of break through. I have to now start working on my verbs. I've spent too much time on learning phrases.

Something interesting: In Costa Rica they never say "de nada" for you're welcome, they say "con mucho gusto." Also unique to Costa Rica if one of the locals would say "Hola" to another local they would likely reply "Tuanis" which kinda just means a lot of good things. It was hard for them to explain to me just what exactly it means. One of the waiters at a restaurant explained how it evolved from different words... The also might reply "Pura vida" to "Hola" which is something they have on their T-shirts that they sell to tourists, and they do use it colloquially as well as Tuanis.

Learn the fun way: The Complete Musical Spanish buy the complete tutorial on CDs and book from Musical Spanish

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Travel Spot of the Week

visit Costa Rica and practice your Spanish!

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Travelers rave about Costa Rica - and ecotourists flock to the rainforests, jungles, and volcanos. They have a pleasant sing-song accent that makes their brand of Spanish identifiably "Costa Rican". For pictures of Arenal, click here. For archaelogical information about Arenal, click here. For the history of the activity the Arenal volcano, click here.

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© Spanish Online, 2003 Newsletter Volume 18, 5/17/03