Do you dream about being able to speak Spanish? Can you see yourself chatting easily to your Spanish neighbours, your Spanish doctor or a Spanish police officer explaining why you had to park on that yellow line?
Some dreams do come true – and learning to speak Spanish is one that you can easily fulfil.
23rd April is United Nations Spanish Language Day.* We decided to use it to help you take that first step and start learning the language.
Age in Spain believes that learning Spanish is key to living a full life in Spain. Stay with us and start speaking Spanish!
Read on to see our suggestions for learning resources, tips and tricks, our survey, our light hearted quiz and our story about how Marijke got started with learning Spanish when she came me to live in Spain.
*Did you know that 23 April was chosen by the UN to promote Spanish which is one of the six official languages of the UN. It’s the date that commemorates the death in 1616 of Miguel de Cervantes, Spain’s best-known writer whose Don Quixote is the most translated work of literature in the entire world. 23rd April, 1616 is also the day that William Shakespeare died. With these two giants of language being celebrated on the same day, what better day to begin your language learning journey?
How good is your Spanish?
In a recent survey, Age in Spain found that 67% of English speaking residents in Spain would find it useful to know more about the Spanish language. And as many as 78% of people who were thinking of moving to Spain felt they would benefit from learning the language.
This survey is for people whose first language is not Spanish who live in Spain or want to move to Spain. Your response will help us understand the main challenges in learning Spanish for use in every day life in Spain.
Whether you are planning a move to Spain or have lived here for many years, learning the language will undoubtedly help you to navigate and integrate into local life.
Here at Age in Spain we firmly believe that it is never too late to learn, even having a stock of fall-back phrases to use when out shopping will help build your confidence. We’ve put together a list of learning resources and ideas that have already proven indispensable at those ‘what do I say now?’ moments.
Ways to learn
Mobile phone Apps - Duolingo, Babbel, Busuu, FluentU
Podcasts, videos and audio courses
Spanish lessons - in person, online
Intercambio - language exchanges, informal meet-ups
Town hall courses (ayuntamiento)
Summer school (intensive) course
Tips and tricks
Learn grammar from textbooks and videos
Learn wish novels
Watch TV and movies in Spanish
Keep a simple diary in Spanish (‘today I went…’)
Listen to the Radio and News in Spanish
Play simple learning games in Spanish
Listen to Spanish music and simple learning songs
How well do you speak Spanish?
Whether you´re thinking of moving to Spain or already live here, having a good grasp of the language can really help with settling in and feeling at home. This quiz is not a test, but something a bit more lighthearted and fun that gives you a sense of how good your Spanish really is. Perhaps you´re fluent, or maybe you might benefit from a few more lessons? Do the quiz, and find out!
Learning Spanish - Getting Started
Marijke is a Dutch national who is married to Hilary, a British citizen. They moved to Andalucia in 2019.
This is her story about how she overcame the fear of speaking Spanish.