I´m glad that spanish speaking populations are so receptive to learners.

I´m glad that spanish speaking populations are so receptive to learners.


I mention this because for a while now, I´ve been teaching my daughter some nouns that relate to her life. She also knows her numbers 1-15 and her colors, plus claro y oscuro.

In the last few days while we´ve been out shopping, I´ve been mentioning spanish words to my daughter in public and she often says these things herself.

We´ve received lots of smiles from spanish speaking folks and very kind hellos and everything. It just reaffirms that I´m doing the right thing.

updated OCT 1, 2009
edited by quépasa
posted by quépasa
Unlike the French I would say. Italians are also very receptive. - ian-hill, SEP 30, 2009

13 Answers


I applaud you for your efforts and can sympathize with you regarding you worries.

I agree with Joe. In my own experiences and with few exceptions, most Spanish speaking people that I have tried to engage in conversation have all been warm, receptive, patient and helpful.

It's funny (and a little bit sad) how our own insecurities and fears can often lead us towards false perceptions of what people are really like or how they might react to us.

updated OCT 1, 2009
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
I reworded that because I didn´t want to come across the wrong way. I was raised in the back woods with no exposure to other populations. White wash, we call it. I moved to the city a few years ago and I have seen so many great things. - quépasa, SEP 30, 2009
I don't think that your original wording was offensive (or could be taken as such). I was not "raised in the backwoods" and I don't believe that your experiences are particular disimilar to what anyone trying to learn any new language might experience - Izanoni1, SEP 30, 2009
I have seen this same apprehension that you had expressed in people learning English as well, and I think that it has more to do with being human and our desire to be accepted than with where you are from - Izanoni1, SEP 30, 2009
Well put. Okay, I wasn´t exactly backwoods but... thanks for the input. - quépasa, SEP 30, 2009

When I was a boy, there was a puerto rican family across the way. Me and Ito (Junior) became quick and inseperable friends. I was accostumed to them speaking english when I was around. Well, the father comes home one day, in a mood, and goes on for five minutes in spanish. The mom goes, "Chris is here you should speak english" He says, "Chris is here all the darn time, he can learn spanish." I don't ever recall a word of english being spoken in my presence again. I didn't know what the heck was going on the half of the time. But word by word, stupid question after the other, they suffered me, and within 2 years, there I was. It just became natural to switch when I walked into the house. They were very gracious, probably the best people I've ever known. wink

updated OCT 1, 2009
posted by ChamacoMalo
Great story. You get a vote. - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
You get my vote too! Was that a Northeast Philly Puerto Rican familia? - Nicole-B, SEP 30, 2009
And my vote "Charmar" lol - ian-hill, SEP 30, 2009
Yes...that was when the NE was ummm....very different. It was us and them. One dark family, one brown family. lol. - ChamacoMalo, SEP 30, 2009

I have to agree, Spanish speaking people are the best when it comes to encouraging others to learn their language. Without exception, where ever I go, it seems that they are so helpful and understanding when it comes to people learning their language.

A while back, when I was first learning, a waiter in Mexico learned of my interest in Spanish. Every time he returned to the table, he taught me three or four new words. I still remember them all to this day. But I especially remember the joy he had in teaching me.

Recently in another country, I asked a teen-aged boy how to say a particular word. Within minutes, there was a crowd of kids gathered around us as they wanted to know what other words I needed to learn. For about thirty minutes we went back and forth teaching each other new words. It was a great experience!

So to all of our native Spanish speaking friends...muchas gracias!!! grin

updated OCT 1, 2009
posted by Nicole-B
I may never even leave my country although some day I would like to. I have only to cross the street to hablar español. - quépasa, SEP 30, 2009
It is my wish that everyone on this site, who has a desire to learn Spanish, would have the opportunity to visit at least one Spanish speaking country. - Nicole-B, SEP 30, 2009
I know we are blessed in the US to have so many Spanish speaking people to communicate with. But there is nothing like being totally immersed in a culture. It gives you a whole new perspective and really motivates you to dig deeper in the learning process - Nicole-B, SEP 30, 2009
I feel blessed that those are the people that want to come to America. We are very lucky as a nation to have the neighbors we do. I'm not talking politics, just people. - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
I agree! With so much discussion in the US about border patrols and illegal immigrants, you just don't hear much about the positive contributions our neighbors have made. - Nicole-B, SEP 30, 2009

The way I view it is that every single native Spanish speaker is an expert in the subject of speaking Spanish - so who better to learn from than experts? Most experts (in any subject) want to share their knowledge of the subject.

This year, whilst on holiday in Spain, I tried extremely hard to speak only Spanish to anyone I met. I found the Spanish people to be extremely receptive to my efforts and more than willing to correct me or advise on pronunciation.

From calling out breathless greetings to people I met whilst out running, striking up a conversation with the chef in a restaurant where no-one spoke any English (and why should they?) to trying to haggle for bargains at the market - I felt good and I felt that I had done my bit to show that not everyone from the UK expects to be able to travel in Europe and make their point by speaking louder and slower in English.


updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by RandyBrewer
Great story Randy! - Izanoni1, SEP 30, 2009

Muchas gracias a todos por sus comentarios acerca de nosotros los hispanos.

Yo estaré, mientras pueda, en este foro ayudando a todos los que necesiten de nuestra ayuda. En este foro estamos vinculados varios hispanos, al igual que personas de otras nacionalidades con profundos conocimientos del Español, con grandes deseos de ayudarlos.

De nuevo, muchísimas gracias a todos por sus amables comentarios.


updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by RicardoP
Well, bless you and thank you. I will be here for a while learning from you. - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
My pleasure Philmikki - RicardoP, SEP 30, 2009
A mi tambian!! - Nicole-B, SEP 30, 2009

I have always found Spanish-speaking people very receptive and helpful, regardless of errors, to those who try to learn and speak their language. Mete la mano!

updated SEP 30, 2009
edited by 002262dd
posted by 002262dd
I said that to someone here, Mete la mano....oh did I ever get flamed. People don't say that! they said to me. lol - ChamacoMalo, SEP 30, 2009

Quépasa - I love the way you phrase your thoughts - like the comment under Izanoni post. It lets me learn English which I didn't know.


updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by Behemoth
From the back woods; in a rural area... White wash; solamente white people. - quépasa, SEP 30, 2009
So first I got right, second - not. Muchas gracias. :) - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009
BTW - how you say that someone was raised "overprotective way"? - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009
I had a "shelterd" childhood/upbringing. - samdie, SEP 30, 2009
Gracias Señor :) - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009

that is wonderful! i am in a class for spanish. i've been taking it for 3 years and i have loved it ever since. i love how you speak to your daughter in spanish. it was an amazing thing if you are young and you can speak many different languages. very good! smile

updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by iLoVeItAlY

I love these discussions - I always seem to come in hours behind - that's because we're so far ahead (time-wise only of course....)

I was fortunate enough to visit Costa Rica earlier this year for quite a few weeks - the trip was to improve my limited Spanish. Everyone I met, without exception, was thrilled that I was having-a-go at learning Spanish - and always tried to help. I certainly hope to return one day - or - perhaps to visit another Spanish-speaking country.


updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by nonombre

No how hard I try not to, I end up offending someone.

As the saying goes... "you can please some people some of the time, but you can't please all people all of the time."

At least the Spanish speakers like me.


updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by quépasa
Where I come from we have the saying which I would translate as "Hasn´t been born so far the one, capable of pleasing everyone" ;) - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009

I've only met one spanish speaker who wasn't so receptive to my spanish conversational attempts(to put it nicely). And also one "native american" who was quite irritated that I asked a question of her in spanish. I guess I was tired and thought I heard her speaking spanish, when in fact she wasn't and is not spanish at all..hehe, woops...

updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by cheeseisyummy
ouch - Izanoni1, SEP 30, 2009
Like asking a pregnant lady if she wants to lose weight, right? - ian-hill, SEP 30, 2009
Or asking a non-pregnant lady, "So when is the baby due?" - Izanoni1, SEP 30, 2009

Hmm. that should ease my fears.

updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by BellaMargarita

I have notice that while learning Spanish, everyone is very friendly and helpful. While learning Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic, a lot of times you have people treat you very rudely. I'm sorry, but Gaelic is a dying language, I would think they would be more helpful. Maybe that is why Spanish is number 2 in the world.

updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by Seitheach
There isn't as much sunshine in that part of the world... that's why they're so grumpy. Just kidding. - quépasa, SEP 30, 2009
So you are saying I am / I will be soon... HELP!!! - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009
Have you noticed that about Gaelic speakers Behemoth? - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
I think Behemoth is saying he is gaelic and is giong to be dying soon... - cheeseisyummy, SEP 30, 2009
Or that he is gonna turn out to be grumpy. - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
I am saying I live in THAT part of the world - with no much sunshine... Quépasa scared me predicting consequences... - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009
Lol - cheeseisyummy, SEP 30, 2009
Cheeseisyumm - I am Polish - and not in rush to leave my current dimension of reality :) - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009
Just speak Spanish in the U K Behemoth and you should be alright. - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
Philmikki - I am not able to answer your question as I live in Wales. And when it comes to reactions to my English... I stop here to not prove Q being right... ;) - Behemoth, SEP 30, 2009
Oh, Ok. - Seitheach, SEP 30, 2009
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