Is Spanish Hard to Learn? Progress Reports

Is Spanish hard to learn? That’s what I’m trying to find out as I work towards reaching fluency in the language. Here you can watch each my bi-weekly video reports that chart my progress and my adventures in Spain and beyond.

Week 0: The goal and first impressions

Coming at you directly from my hostel after my first few days immersed in the region of Extremadura, Spain. Here I outline my goal and talk about my general mood after arriving in the country.

Week 0-2: Getting to know Caceres

Outlining how I’m going to study Spanish over the next two weeks and showing you what I know and have learned so far. Includes a little tour of some of my favourite places in the city of Caceres.

Week 2-4: Is Spanish hard to learn? Chatting with a friend to suggest “no!”

A chat with my local friend Juan in the old quarter of Caceres and highlighting how simply talking to strangers can boost your Spanish or language learning skills no end.

Week 4-6: Andalucian beaches make for perfect practice spots

Taking to the beach in Matalascanas, Andalucia, to talk Spanish and enjoy the lovely sun as winter hits to the north. Watch as we almost get destroyed by a wave.

Week 6-8: In the flow

Chatting away in my apartment room to show you how I can speak when I’m in the flow of Spanish and don’t have anyone else to carry the weight of the conversation.

Week 8-10: Friends together

Holding a conversation with my flat mate and his friend and discussing each of their future plans in and out of Spain.

Week 10-12: Direct from Madrid

Enjoying my time exploring Madrid and getting to know its streets and its people.

Week 12-14: Christmas in London

Wearing my lovely Christmas jumper and talking shit about trees.

Week 14-16: Dizzying Heights

Maintaining a conversation (or, in reality, interview) with Dani at the highest point in Granada.

Week 16-18: Las Barras

Chatting to a native of Granada in one of their famous tapas bars.

Week 18-20: Bonus – First Impressions of Granada

Going lone-ranger style around the streets of Granada filling you in on what’s what.

Week 18-20: Two Guiris

Discussing with Erica, an American living and working in Granada, life in Spain and how best to learn the language.

Week 20-22: La Plaza Nueva

Chatting with Lola from Badajoz and living in Spain and meeting people to practice the language with.

Week 22-24: Oum Khalsoum

Talking where’s hot in Catalonia and Andalusia with Molly of Molly’s Playground, a fluent expat who’s been living in Spain for the past 14 years.

Week 24-26: In the Hotseat

Interviewed in Spanish to test my comprehension skills with Juliana, a native Spanish and German tutor in Granada.

 

53 Responses to Is Spanish Hard to Learn? Progress Reports

  1. Michael Lovan December 18, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    i love these videos. i went in for one and wound up watching all seven of them. great work. definitely inspiring.

    • Will December 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

      Cheers mate! No doubt we’re going to make big waves too!

  2. Fernando December 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Hi there!

    This is awesome! I really look up to you for doing what you’re doing, mate. I wish I had done something like that when I was younger, I mean, traveling to a foreign country and learning the language. So impressing.
    And also, as a Spaniard, I can see your progress throughout the videos.
    You’ve done a great job. Keep it up!
    Looking forward to watching more.
    All the best.

    • Will December 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      @Fernando Thanks Fernando! You’re never too young mate. But thanks for the pep talk and encouragement, hopefully I’ll get closer to my fluency dreams in the New Year!

      • Fernando December 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

        So cool!
        just let me offer a helping hand with Spanish if you think you need it.
        best wishes and happy new year!

  3. Travis January 27, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    Awesome! Very impressed! What I wouldn’t kill for an immersion opportunity!

    • Will January 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

      @Travis thanks mate! Why not give it a try! The whole point of the site is to encourage people so that they see it needn’t be too difficult!

  4. Ryan February 2, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    Hey Will- Really awesome progress you made here. I’m impressed, man. Keep it up and tell us all how you did it… ;)

    • Will February 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      @Ryan Thanks a lot for the support mate, hope to catch you out in Medellin soon!

  5. María February 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Hello Will!
    I saw your blog by chance and I want to tell you that you’re doing a great job sharing your experiences.
    I want to encourage everyone to study Spanish if you feel like to, I would like to have an oportunity as yours Will XD my city is quite small.
    Don’t give up and keep on practicing ^_^
    I also give my support if anyone has any doubt or question about Spanish.
    Best regards!

    • Will February 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

      Hey thanks Maria!

      Really appreciate the encouragement now that I’m half way through! It’s been a rocky ride for sure, but I’m very proud of how far I’ve come thus far. Let’s see where I end up!

  6. Cristhian March 12, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Te felicito por tu progreso, falta un poco de fluidez, solo eso. Nuevamente, felicitaciones.

  7. Haroldrocks March 29, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Si es muy difícil el español porque tiene muchos significados una sola palabra por ejemplo:
    Casa se dice casa pero cuando es caza se pronuncia igual pero sigue siendo esa palabra de pende en que oración la este charlando por ejemplo:
    yo vivo en una casa pero cuando dice
    yo estoy cazando un pez cambia el significado de la pronunciación de caza y casa haci suene igual
    pero cunado ya se aprende bien el español es fácil hacer preguntas, oraciones ETC… en el español hay tildes y la letra “Ñ”
    pero hay que tener buena pronunciación y buen hablado por que no es lo mismo
    yo ser que yo soy como en ingles es diferente:
    I am o I’m pero en el español es yo soy no yo ser
    Ok es lo que querían que aprendieran para tener cuidado en el español
    xD los que hablan español me entenderan…..

  8. Siobhan C April 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    gracias for the videos soy estudiante de espanol por una anos pero hablo un poco .
    no puedo creer la rapidez con que han aprendido el idioma! un fuente de

    inspiracion! pero tengo 54 anos de edad por lo que podria llevarme un poco mas!

  9. AkiraSabine June 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Congrats, I personally think you’re progressing very well! Keep it up! I also admire your courage on putting the videos of your practices up to share with everybody! i wonder why the determination to Spanish fluency? I’m just surviving with basics learnt from BBC website – Spanish Steps and Mi Vida Loca series. Nevertheless, great job!

  10. Bob Williams November 1, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Hola Will, just checking out your site as my wife and I are seriously thinking about moving to Spain, and trying to suss out ways to make a living there.
    Also I am an admirer of a watercolour artist Santos Naranjo who paints around
    Caceres ( heard of him? ) My hobbies include watercolour painting, fly fishing, guitar, so any advice appreciated. Thanks.

    Bob.

  11. Victoria @ My Daily Cuppa November 16, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    Hi Will,

    I was looking for an FAQ page as I am sure you have already been asked the following questions time and time again but I couldn’t find the answers.

    I am about to embark on another Spanish course here in London town but I am saving up for an Immersion course in the country itself.

    I hope you do not mind me asking:

    How much Spanish did you know before you landed in Caceres?

    How many hours per week did you take courses? 20 hrs seems like the standard. Is this what you did?

    What type of a budget would be reasonable for a 2 week course, accomodation and, well, living?

    Do you think a 2 week course is beneficial or would it be better to save longer and go for the 4 weeks of lessons?

    Did you meet many females doing the same sort of immersion course as you?

    What were the positives and negatives about taking on this challenge?

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer.

    Happy Travels! :)
    Victoria @ My Daily Cuppa recently posted..Choosing a Spanish Language CourseMy Profile

  12. Jon Stein March 4, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Hola Will,

    have just watched your ‘in the flow’ video and am impressed by your honesty and openness in sharing your experience of learning Spanish. I’ve been coming to Spain each winter for nearly ten years and have also made a great effort to learn the language. For me it’s been the key in getting beneath the surface of the culture and really tasting the magic of Spain.

    I hope you do get to South America! I think I shall probably keep returning to my beloved Andalucia for the time being. I am writing a book which will probably be based in Sevilla and include medieval themes – if you’re interested to know more about my travels and adventures, why not check out my blog at:

    http://www.jonstein.co.uk

    gracias otra vez amigo por tu trabajo mas valiente!
    un abrazo de
    Jon

  13. KONSTANTINOS July 24, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    My first attempt to learn Spanish was in 1996 (4 months), the second in 1998 (4 months) and finally the third one since last November till now. I have a love/hate relationship with Spanish. After so many years it has evolved to a real Vendetta (Revenge contract). It will be either me or it. One morning I get up and I practice Spanish all day but after a few days I do not want to hear about it. This language is very deceiving. It is very easy to read and write since it is a phonetic language, especially for me being Greek and having the same pronunciation. BUT it gets really HARD from intermediate level and above. Plus, I do not like Spanish music or movies at all. After all, maybe it would be wiser to quit trying. Spanish makes me so miserable, it is the ultimate deadend.

  14. greenminimalism July 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    This is a really great post, highlighting THE best way to learn Spanish: immersion! Linguist Kato Lomb said that the main thing that holds people back is fear – like a denominator dividing your skill, and I got the sense that you completely conquered fear in your travels. Confidence is everything.

    Really inspirational, and I’m also excited by the fact that you achieved it by leaving your 9-5 job, which is what I’ve done too. My new lifestyle is much more stress free and I have more freedom. I recommend that more people do it!
    greenminimalism recently posted..How To Learn a Language Fast – Which Foreign Language Should I Learn?My Profile

    • Sp0rtygaaaaal November 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      Hey, well done with the Spanish. Your site has really inspired me.. I just want to ask, Did you know any Spanish at all before you arrived in Spain? I’m looking into maybe moving myself, and as I can only say Hello, how are you in Spanish, It’s quite worrying. I’m. very impressed with how fast you’ve picked it up. Well done.

  15. John Smith January 30, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    Why are you speaking English to them when you’ve had intensive Spanish immersion for more than 6 months?

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