Spanish Speaking Success and Failures: Trials and Tribulations Experienced from Finally Becoming Fluent

Roughly five years ago I left my job working at travel-focused start-up GapDaemon.com, packed up my life in London and came, rather spontaneously and naively, to Spain. What can I say? I was relatively young (twenty-five) and was driven by a bloody-minded desire to not be monolingual and have some level of mastery over a tongue I was not born with. Spanish was the choice. Stemming from reasons between the language’s relative similarity to English, its widespread use and well, convenience.

Embarking on that adventure, I remember thinking at the time that I’d be done in two years tops. That I’d get somewhere near high-level command of the language if I knuckled down and immersed myself neatly for a solid twenty-four months.

I even started a blog about it, which chronicled my early learning processes and progress, as well as informed (and, dare I say it) entertained people along the way.

Little did I know however that between blogging, trying to stay afloat in a foreign country and learning a language, I would struggle a fair deal and constantly ask myself if it was worth the aforementioned sacrifices. Looking back, almost five years later, I can say definitely yes. It was all worth it. And I’d do it all over again.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t do a lot of things differently however. And that’s exactly the theme of this piece.

So after studying at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas and passing the examinations at the end of the Avanzado 1 (advanced 1) class earlier this month – and being able to officially say I speak Spanish pretty well (Not C2 DELE level well, but well enough that I’d consider myself fluent in terms of being able to talk to anyone about anything, read and write at a high level and work competently in the language if need be), what have I learned from this near-five year journey?

Strap in. This is going to places you’d perhaps never expect.

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My Spanish Lovers: Friendly Spanish

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My Spanish Lovers is back again and this week we talk to Friendly Spanish, a school operating out of London teaching Brits like me a thing or two about Spanish language and culture. Here’s what they have to say, including interesting information about why it’s always worth investing in learning Spanish.

Hi Friendly Spanish! Thanks so much for joining us here at My Spanish Lovers. For those who don’t know, could you tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you offer people looking to learn Spanish?

¡Hola a todos!

Friendly Spanish is a Spanish language school in London for professionals, with over 12 years’ experience of teaching. We provide top quality, face-to-face and on-line Spanish classes. Continue Reading →

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Web Working in Spain: 3 Tools I Can’t Live Without

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Hola a todos! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and had anything noteworthy to say about what’s been happening in my life and what I’ve been up to. A lot of you will recognise I left Spain for a while, others might not be privy to that fact. Either way, I’m back.

Madrid is where I’m working out of right now. And although I’ve got a few pokers in the fire, turning tricks (in a semi-ethical way), learning Spanish is still high up there on the ol’ agenda. You’ve come so far in a language you might as well get something to show for it eh? Well, that’s my reckoning anyway, as I’m hoping to finally sit down and do the DELE like I should have a long time ago, when we were both cats, and you hated me a little less for not selling out.

But still, you’re probably wondering how I’m going to make this work again, given the fact I don’t have a job in a school or have the charm required for fronting an English class (unlike my spirited friend Anton)? Well, that’s where ‘web working’ comes in. A vague description I give to people when I simply can’t be bothered to tell them I do bits of copywriting, design, domain flipping, web advertising, SEO and other stuff that means you barely get out or socialise.

So this is a post that kind of talks about that. Or at least the things you need if you want to make some cash doing things like that. If that’s what you want to do. That is of course without preaching THAT this is any more noble than THAT labour profession you currently do now. THAT’s all. Continue Reading →

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Ronaldo and Bebeto – A Deadly Duo Fondly Remembered in Spain

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When Brazil were crowned 1994 World Champions at the end of a dramatic penalty shoot out with Italy, star striker Bebeto was joined in the celebrations by a fresh faced, largely unknown 17 year old by the name of Ronaldo. Four years later in 1998, Ronaldo was first choice in the side while in 2002, he finished as the tournament’s leading scorer as the Brazilians lifted the trophy for a record fifth time. Continue Reading →

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