I have been learning a ton of new vocabulary in class and around the city of Alicante simply by picking up on new words! One of my classes here is focused on colloquial language, which is a tough task in Spanish because there are so many words that are regularly used. In trying to learn all of these new words, I have found that picking and choosing my favorites to use is most effective to add them to my vocabulary. In addition, I have talked to many local people in Spain about the colloquial language, and all of them have said that it is very common. Bad words or foul language here are used in everyday life by all ages, including my host mother and host sister, who both regularly use swear words. In Spanish, these words do not have nearly the same meaning, because they are used so frequently, even though they often translate into words that are much worse in English. Regardless of gender or age, swear words are used in everyday language, and is considered normal in most situations besides formal business settings.
This new experience of understanding the colloquial language has been one of the most exciting experiences of my time here, because it has opened up the entire manner of speaking that I was not picking up on before learning these words. Now that I am learning, I hear these words used all the time, and it has become second nature to pick up on and understand these phrases. Overall, I was taken aback at first at some of the words that were used, because they would be considered intense in English, but once I understood the cultural significance, it did not bother me as much, and I am able to use them as well. I really enjoy learning this bit of language because it also directly impacts my understanding of the culture here, and has been a great experience so far.