Living in Spain and learning Spanish

Living in Spain I have a vested interest in learning Spanish, and you’d think the need would override the desire, after all, most Spaniards only speak a little English. In fact I want to learn Spanish, because I love living here, and I love spanish culture, and I love Spanish music, I’m even getting used to flamenco and copla.

Of course living in Spain there are still some things I don’t like, bullfighting doesn’t thrill me, copla doesn’t excite me, and some traditional Spanish foods don’t agree with me. Yet despite these dislikes, Spain remains one of the most exciting countries I’ve ever lived in.

Learning Spanish is difficult, especially for those of us who come from the English speaking world where very few of us ever learn anything more than the most basic grammar. Unfortunately Spanish grammar is very different from English, which makes Spanish a difficult language for an adult second language learner to grasp.

I’m lucky that living in Ronda exposes me to a city full of Spanish natives, and luckier still to know a few people who are polyglots and can communicate with me in my own language when I struggle to use Spanish. I keep telling them I want to learn Spanish, and now I have a regular meeting with some native Spaniard friends where we talk only Spanish. I is really helping a lot.

Apart from grammar, my vocabulary isn’t strong, so today I’m going to buy a pad of post it notes, then write the Spanish word for everything in the house, well, at least for the most common things that come up in conversation, and then I’ll attach these to the items. Hopefully this will give me a visual cue every time I look at things, perhaps that will be enough to build some basic vocabulary.

There is a very important lesson here though, despite the difficulty, if you want to learn Spanish it can be done, I just wish more foreigners living in Spain would make an effort. My Spanish friends are all great people, so genuine, so down to earth, and so welcoming.

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