It has been about 20 hours since the launch of our new magazine www.lacasarojas.com and I have to tell you the initial response has exceeded my expectations. We have had more than 2500 visitors to la casa rojas already! And folks are not just visiting….they are reading!!!! Yeah!
Our writers are the absolute best and they deserve all the attention they are receiving. The subjects they choose to write about are fascinating and things one wouldn´t learn save for from a native of the country. They offer not just information, but a perspective. And as in all perspectives there resides an emotional and psychological signficance that once again, we as “extranjeros” wouldn’t key into.
Please, if you haven´t stopped by yet….DO IT! You have until Saturday the 14th to take a look without your credit card….and though the price for this magazine is far far less than it is worth, ($15.00 every 3 months – uh huh, that works out to $5.00 a month!!!!), right now you don´t even have to pay that pittance.
There is nothing that compares to knowledge gained through years of living……and that hard earned and priceless credential is the very heart and soul of la casa rojas. Oh sure, our writers all have disguished careers in their own right, they are talented and accomplished people, every single one of them …. but an impressive resume is not what I was looking for as I looked for writers …. I was seeking people that loved their country and culture and wanted others to know what they knew, I was looking for people who were intuitive, insightful, reflective, sharp observers with the ability to impart clearly what it is that they see and think and hear and taste and feel. These people cannot be trained to do what they do … this is an innate ability that a few have to simultaneously be ‘in’ ones life and ‘outside’ of it just enough to identify it’s nuances and report on them. And to be able to report on them in a way that is accessible to anyone! A good story teller is worth their weight in platinum.
Here’s my take on learning Spanish. You have to absorb the culture! There is just no way to assimilate a new language aparte from the culture! Period!
That is why I wanted to create this magazine. I wanted Spanish language enthusiasts to have Spanish available to them, as it is ‘felt’ and ‘used’ by it’s native speakers. Listen, I did not learn Spanish in classes, I tried three times at three different schools and bombed each and every one. What you have before you in this magazine, is the way I learned. I read and listened every single day and spoke every chance I had. And with the help of my dictionary and Luis giving me mini lessons on how a particular construction worked or what a particular expression meant – that is, (when I couldn´t figure it out by it´s context), I learned.
But what I wanted badly and couldn´t find is what I am offering you all here in la casa rojas ; native Spanish speakers talking from their own experience, about their life and observations of ’el día cotitiano’ in their country. And I certainly couldn´t find audio files of their articles!
So, armed with really interesting and authentic written and audio material from a vast gathering of people from many countries, accompanied by linguistic comentary from Luis AND the opportunity for you to write to each author and ask your specific questions - well, man!, you have gold in your hands.
Now one more thing…. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by the fact that the articles are in Spanish and written at ‘educated adult’ levels. You can do this. Print them out, download the audio files, use the dictionary we´ve include on the site or even the full text translation tool and work them. The information and the authors are captivating enough that you will NOT glaze over as you begin, piece by piece, to internalize the language from the place it originates - the CULTURE. Yes, it does take work. Every worthwhile endeavor does. But it can be done and you can do it!
Okay! Now come on in to nuestra casa, la casa rojas! www.lacasarojas.com Bienvenidos, Joan
WAIT, WAIT, WAIT…..I wanted to emphasize another really important point….we want this magazine to be a community….a real community of interacting people. Write to these authors, comment, ask questions…these are real people writing to YOU … they want to hear from your and they are happy to answer your questions….you can write in English or German or Chinese….that is the point of having the translator available…..just write and join our community. We are doing something really special here! - Un abrazo, Joan