So you have finally had enough of the rain and rate race, your off to sunny Spain..
Well dont you need to learn some Spanish and what is the best way to learn?
Its only a few hours away by plane but the culture and language is very different so if you dont speak or understand what they are saying wont you struggle there?
Well yes and no…
Yes you can live in Spain without ever speaking Spanish and there are many Brits who do just this. If you go to british populated areas then you will find loads of shops and bars all English run all speaking English and you may never need to Learn any Spanish at all.
There is only 1 problem with this.. You are never really going to experience the best of spanish life here. I understand that some just want sun and their English grub and a pint, thats cool. But your going to be missing out on so much Spain has to offer.
When i first moved here over 17 years ago now there were 2 older couples that i worked for renovating their homes here. Both British retired and living in the same street.
The first couple were not interested in learning Spanish as they said they were to old and members of a local british club that met up every few days for drinks and went out for meals normally in british run places. This couple visited their other British friends who lived near by and had a pretty good life just socialising with their British friends.
The second couple around the same ages also retired didnt want to stay around the british as much and wanted to experience all they could spanish. They had a young local Spanish girl come to their house 2 afternoons a week to help them learn spanish.
Now heres what i noticed.
About 2 years down the line i had to go to the second couples house for a small job in the kitchen. They had a guy there that was spanish who they met at a local spanish walking club who wanted to learn English. We all spoke in Spanish at first and i was amazed at this couples spanish. it was really good.
They told me that they were booked to go on a coach trip for the weekend that next week to sevilla with a Spanish group all spanish no brits.
They had already been on a similar trip to cordoba and loved being with the spanisn groups. They told me that they booked these trips almost every month. it improved their Spanish and they had met some lovely new Spanish friends. They seemed so happy and excited about their new life in Spain they seemed like they were young again.
Then a funny thing.. They told me that their friends down the street, couple 1 asked them to help last week as their spanish neighbour had a tree that was growing over their wall and wanted to ask him about cutting it back. apparently they had tried but the neighbour was not very happy about it.
It turned out that after this 2nd couple spoke to the neighbour he thought they were asking if they could cut it back and he said that they could but they wanted him to do it. Here in Spain if your trees over hang a neighbours property you can cut them back and pass over the cuttings to them.
Anyway a simple task like this really got to the first couple and they were getting very stressed about it but just 2 mins with couple 2 it was all sorted.
This is just one stupid example of why you need to learn spanish here to help make your life less stress full.
So what is the Best way to learn Spanish.
Well what ever works for you.
Personally i couldn’t get on with lessons in a class. It seemed so slow and i did what this couple did, i got out and joined several local clubs that were all Spanish. i joined a walking club as they did, a rock climbing club and a salsa dancing club all spanish. It was hard for me at first and i felt a bit stupid but as the weeks went by i made many new friends and my spanish improved a lot.
I ended up marrying a spanish girl i met at one of these clubs so now my Spanish is pretty good. Turns out an expensive way to learn Spanish…lol.
There are loads of free apps now that you can download and these are great to get started. Personally i found some borring after a while but theres always new ones and hundreds to download so thats what i did.
Also some if you pay for the upgraded app are even better and have daily reminders to push you and your spanish vocabulary.
Classes are great for some but it takes time. Getting out and mixing with Spanish only really does push you on faster as you are practising what you learn even if its hard at first. The local Spanish dont make fun or judge you ever and will help you as they like the fact that you are trying.
How are you learning and what do you recommend members try post below.