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“Emigrando” by Silvia Alasino

On this occasion I would like to share with you some news that makes me very happy. Finally Silvia Alasino’s latest novel titled “Emigrando” has been published.



This is Silvia’s second published novel. This writer, who I have the pleasure of knowing well, previously released  “El Círculo”, a very sweet story you can buy here: https://www.amazon.es/El-C%C3%ADrculo-Silvia-Alasino/dp/8415377401 or in other bookstores.

Since I had the pleasure of writing the introduction of the work, I will include it so that you can see for yourself what this little jewel is about.

  • Link to get the book: https://www.amazon.es/Emigrando-Silvia-Alasino-ebook/dp/B01KHN0WHA

And here is my review:

I have received with pride and joy the task of writing the introduction for this wonderful little novel by Silvia Alasino, whose writing I have been very pleased to follow over the last few years. As always Silvia conveys her optimism and spirit, full of joy, for her rising number of followers.

However, this book shows her coming from a slightly different perspective. In fact, this novel is itself very different of what you can generally find in other literary works, whose genres are well defined and tend to be limited by political correctness and established canons. We could say we have in our hands an adventure novel, but “Emigrando” is much more than this, since it goes beyond traditional boundaries and breaks the established norms.

The protagonist of this story is Oira, a man as unconventional as he is endearing. The eccentricity of his way of being has not merely come about by chance, but is the logical result of a tough and isolating education which kept him apart from social relationships and other influences. That is the reason why his view of the world is so pure and original, since he lacks referents and outside interferences.

We could think that a person living in isolation, but with the security of what he knows and without having to fight excessively to earn a living, could end adapted to society  and  lead an existence a little monotonous, but bearable, as many other people in this world. However, those circumstances that keep Oira captive and oppressed are reinforced by destiny up to a point that this person, who was never allowed to reach maturity, decides to change his life dramatically and breaks with all that had previously formed his little universe. This is how this existential and self-discovering trip begins and the protagonist must face life, humanity, danger, fear and the unpredictable, and all of these with a sole and unchangeable aim, which is nothing more than to find what always had been denied him: the love of his peers.

This is how we find Oira who, despite having lived all his life under the control or the protection of those who surrounded him, now must face a harsh and savage environment without either money or passport, and no other guide than his own motivation. Moreover his mind, which developed in a closed environment, remained in the same state as a child, which offered him the special ability to see the world from a different and revealing point of view – and the greatness of this book is based on that.

Along this initiatory journey Oira, who is not a teenager, but a grown man, will find a number of individuals who, considered through the prism of a good part of normal society, might seem dangerous, offensive or inexplicable. But his view is free of prejudices and constraints, so he can find the good in whoever he finds along his way and allows himself to have no more guide than his intuition; and, in the way he treats others, the author finds a way of bringing up unparalleled and silenced topics such as abuse towards men, among many others. I only want to reveal that, with such exceptional events and an unpredictable character, the story occasionally turns into black humor, which intensifies our enjoyment and provokes intense feelings.

The attitude of the author when she faces these polemical questions is of a simple narrator, without involving herself in judgements, assessments or moral lessons of any kind. The only thing necessary for the reader is to enjoy the protagonist’s misadventures; thus, they are likely asking to themselves this question: how would we see society or the rest of humanity if we hadn’t been programmed with so many filters?

In the end, having such innovative ideas, we can consider this book a very atypical and modern novel whose reading won’t leave anyone indifferent. Have a good trip!

It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Don’t think twice about it and buy the book on Amazon. It is also very affordable.



The Truth: Speaking a New Language Takes a Lot of Time


We are tired of seeing it everywhere. A lot of sites on the internet, as well as gurus, books and methods, state without hesitation that they can get learners to speak a language fluently in such a ridiculous periods of time as three, six months or a year. In view of this, I can say without doubt that we are in front of a commercial strategy and we shouldn’t trust it much, because the truth is that:

Learning a new language is a slow process and we have to pass through some phases

Once again we have to go back to the beginning, to that epoch when we were children and learnt our mother tongue with total effectiveness. From the moment of the birth, a child is completely exposed to the language of his surroundings; however, they don’t say their first word till one year passes. Moreover, those first attempts are still very far from the true command of a language which, much we may resent it, takes some years.

That is because before we are ready to talk, we must go through an assimilation phase in which the language is slowly integrating in our mind, so that, the first step of the process is comprehension. To speak a language, it is necessary to understand it and once we have achieved it, the rest comes naturally. In fact, children start talking on their own and they do it exclusively when they feel ready for it, regardless of their parents’ wishes.

That is why I don’t recommend starting to talk for the first year

What is more, I don’t even recommend it till we feel ready for it, regardless of the time it takes, just to keep the great enemy of the learning languages process away: pressure. In fact, a lot of people fall prey to frustration and abandon their studies because they don’t see fast results, and that’s why we need to be clear how things work, accept it, understand it and set long term realistic goals, even if they take some years. With this in mind, we are certain to be successful.

So, the next time you think about the process, keep in your mind the image of the children, the best learners of the world. If they need five or six years to speak fluently a language, and that being immersed in it, imagine how much time it can take for the rest. But I also have to say that to speak a language we don’t need to be perfect and, of course, it is perfectly appropriate to jump to it in spite of our failures. Even children do it at the beginning. Knowing this, we can always shorten the timeframe.

Before all of this, we can get inside the conversations, if possible with the guide of a tutor, but knowing what we are likely to achieve and with the right expectations. I mean, if we are realistic, an adult with less than an intermediate level can have talks such as “mi favorite color is blue” or “hello, mi name is John and I work as a teacher”. While this is not bad, we have to admit that basic levels are not suitable to keep an entertaining conversation between adult people, which can lead us to boredom or what is worse, to feel frustrated for not being able to have a normal conversation. That’s why I say again:

Speaking well takes a lot of time, so it is better to release the pressure and start doing it when we feel ready and comfortable. 

Lately I have noticed that a lot of people with beginner or basic levels are looking for Skype pals to practice and this leads inevitably to failure. Unfortunately, when those students realize that are unable to develop a conversation, they think they have to give up, and this can cause them to abandon learning definitively, which is even worse.

We don’t learn because we talk. On the contrary, speaking is the consequence of having learned.

Nevertheless, in reference to this topic, there are still some appreciations to make:

  • Not all the languages are the same. If we choose a language of the same linguistic root as the one we talk, the process will be obviously faster.
  • Not everybody is the same, each one has their own pace and there are some who fell comfortable earlier. That’s one we have to consider individually which the best time is for us.
  • There are personal facts that make us different, which means that while some individuals may need a good background to start talking, other ones aren’t worried about making mistakes and prefer to start practicing.

To summarize, we could say that, as in other facets of life, people would like to know how to obtain fast and miraculous formulas, but these rarely exist. The good news is that with patient and will, we can get it, so forward!