I am English and I learn Spanish. Because I am a shy person, I lack that bit of confidence in me speaking to people. Should I talk to my Ecuadorian friend, Maria or should I just keep talking and thinking to myself in Spanish'
Should I talk to the Spanish speakers around me?
Alright, well some people will be very happy to help you and patient, but some won't. This is what I did and you can do: talk to someone you think is a nice person, tell them that you're trying to learn Spanish and ask if it would be okay if you talked to them in Spanish, and they spoke to in Spanish also using mild communication when you two interact in this way. I personally decided not to interact verbally with people in Spanish until I improve, but to be for real I have a fear of saying something stupid in front of people, so I choose to be chicken for a while. If you're afraid to make a mistake, then you might as well admit your afraid to improve. Go ahead and do it, it'll be good help for you and you'll get the fear of the culture interacting with the people. Good luck!!!!!
Yes I agree, I also had very hard time when I started speaking only in Spanish to my teacher. But as Eddy said think of your mood and your friend's mood as well. It should not happen that your friend get impatient of talking slowly to you.
Please don't give up.
You then ask them what it means in English and to say it again in Spanish. Obviously not everything, but certain things you don't fully understand. This is not an easy excercise. It can also depend on the mood you were in, were you receptive at that point in time, were you concentrating etc, etc.
I know Eddy -maybe I should use giti's example and tell them to only speak Spanish with them. One problem they have is that they seem incapable of slowing down -and it's when I get a sentence at full speed that I can't even get the gist of that I give up. :(
Your lucky. I have no one around me that speaks Spanish. In future, try not to crumble and ask when you are stuck.
Yes! I need to myself. I work in London but there are a few Colombians there and an Ecuadorian. My problem is that they all speak reasonable English and although they are patient I soon crumble and switch to English.
Must try again today!
Keep on talking and writing and reading, this is the only way to build confidence about language (according to me).
I was like this some year ago but my Spanish teacher (who is Brazilian by origin jeje) stopped talking to me until I started speaking in Spanish with him and at that time I was not at all confident in speaking Spanish but I made it possible slowly. Although I still am learning new things about Spanish everyday. I have sent many horrible sounding voice messages in Spanish to my teacher and he patiently responds to them. Also my Spanish speaking friends also cooperate with me. And this site is also very useful.
And no body laughs at you ... at least you are trying!
All the best!
I'm in Colombia and have to use Spanish to communicate at all. A lot of people here in Bogotá speak a few words of English and are anxious to help if they can. My Spanish isn't too bad, but I still make mistakes. I'm partly deaf, so when I explain that I'm poco sordo, they go out of their way to help. I don't think I've ever had an adult laugh at my error, though a few young teens have tried to get to me to say carrera so they could tease me about my inability to trill my r's (still working on it after years of practice).
I don't know about the Spanish, but the Latin Americans I work with have been very kind and helpful. Ocassionally someone gets frustrated trying to communicate with me until he learns of the sordo problem.
Besides the language situation, many people here have greeted me warmly and welcomed me to Colombia. Many of the women have given my wive a kiss on the cheek to welcome her here. She speaks very little Spanish, but understands quite a bit after living with me for 35 years.
I agree with the previous posters, all spanish speaking persons will appreciate your attempts to communicate in Spanish since it is a sign of involvement with and respect for their language and culture that you are taking an effort to learn. They will always help you learn by gently correcting any mistakes and showing patience.
I was in Spain and needed someone to look at my broken camera. I went in to a camera shop in Ronda, and feeling self-conscious, asked the man at the counter if he spoke English. He said "no" and turned away, face closed. I thought, I can do better than this. I spoke to him in my very limited Spanish, and he quickly turned back to help. He was patient and kind, gently correcting, and we solved the problem. But if we had to speak in English, there was just not going to be a conversation.
I have never seen anyone in Spain to laugh at someone's attempt to speak Spanish. The general reaction is respect and/or admiration for trying, no matter how bad the attempt.
Exactly! My boyfriend and his friends are also very flattered I take so much interest in learning spanish, that they don't even initiate to correct me - and by the way - NEVER ever laugh, if I say 'something funny'.
- surely they correct me, when I ask them to
Sure it's a good idea to learn spanish by yourself, about the basics as to prepare yourself - but prepare for what? - to make conversations, of course!
I wish you good luck!
Yeah, they appreciate it so much that you even care to ask and try to communicate. My boyfriend is hispanic and although I'm kinda shy with having long-winded conversations in spanish with him because I tend to trip over my words, he know I always try. Now, I can text all day in spanish haha.
I mean, I met his cousin the other day and his fiance is white, and she can't even pronounce his last name and doesn't know how to say anything but "I love you" and says she has no reason to if he knows english. That was like sooooo ignorant to me.
*I too had the same problem last year. The only words that I knew of were; 'Hola' 'Gracias' and 'Mi amigo'. Although the Spanish people around me could speak English very well I felt like I needed to learn some of thier language and culture, so like every other person who smothers themselves within a language, I learnt from scratch.
I did the typical thing of saying 'How do you say this/that' and to my surprise, they were flattered that I was intrested and I returned the gesture by learning their language.
From March last year upto now I've studied Spanish on my own.
Translating for people at work and speaking Spanish to the natives. It's enchanced basically everything and the best thing............They now realise that not every British person is lazy and a pig.
So basically, don't be shy because you'll be helping yourself and making an excellent impression which leads to excellent frienships.*