How will I know (if I can speak Spanish)?

Yo hipsters,

I mentioned last week that I consider Toxic by Britney Spears to be a perfect pop song.

I’m currently working on an eight-hour bio-pic of Whitney Houston called I Will Always Love You but I Wanna Dance with Somebody Who Loves Me and I was amazed to discover that the original lyrics to How Will I Know? were;

How will I know if I can speak Spanish?

I talk to strangers but no one understands me.

They look at me just like I’m a freak.

How could I know the “h”s are silent?

No wonder Janet Jackson passed on that song.

But it occurred to me that in order to see if my experiment of learning Spanish by using Anki to memorize a phrasebook is successful, I need some form of external, unbiased, standardized testing.

And there are such tests.  They’re called the Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE – Diplomas of Spanish as foreign language).


It turns out that there will be an exam on November 22, about a week after I’m due to finish memorizing my phrasebook.

At this stage, I’m considering sitting for the B1-level diploma.

The B1-level test accredits language users’ capacity to:[9]

  • Understand the main ideas of clear texts, in standard language, if they involve well-known topics related to work, studies or leisure.
  • Handle most of the situations in a trip
  • Produce simple texts about common topics or interested subject matters.
  • Describe experiences, events, wishes and hopes, as well as briefly justify opinions or explain plans.

I will reassess whether this is an achievable goal closer to the exam date.

Progress Report

I successfully learned another 70 phrases this week, which brings my total to 280.

I didn’t learn any on Sunday, but made up for it by learning 20 phrases on Monday.

As a reward for reading this post all the way to the end, why not treat yourself to Whitney’s perfect pop song (with the revised lyrics)?