Can you imagine what life would be like for you if you lived in the UK but you didn’t speak English. You would never get anywhere or get anything. It would be impossible to make friends with other people as all communication would be pointing and gestures.
It is easier for the British community here in Spain as tourism has meant that the Spanish people have learned our language. Being able to speak English means cash in people’s pockets. Money is a great incentive to learn a language.
If Blackpool was full of Spanish people, you can guarantee that most of the people of Lancashire would have a good basic knowledge of Spanish.
Sadly, many people don’t bother to learn the language because they simply feel that they don’t need it. This is simply not true. You do need it. Having Spanish means that you can be understood at the Doctors and the hospital. It means that the police can understand you better too. What is more, isn’t it really just something that we should all be able to do, to speak the language of the country that we live in. Surely we have an obligation to fit in.
This is all easy for me to say because I speak the lingo. I taught myself before I moved over here years ago. I didn’t want to be held back in what I wanted to do because of a lack of being able to make myself understood.
Over the years I have realised that I did the right thing. It wasn’t always plain sailing. I made mistakes. I once told the doctor that I was pregnant. As I am a man, I think he was more than a little surprised. The word for embarrassed is embarasoso and the word for pregnant is embarasado. It is easy to make mistakes but you just have to laugh them off and carry on learning.
In these quiet times, we all have a few extra hours on our hands. Start off by learning to count up to a hundred. Learn the days of the week and the months of the year. Try to learn things that are useful to you like, how to say your telephone number or your date of birth. You could pick a few words each day to try and say or better still, join one of the classes that are run here on the Costa del Sol.
Scientists have proved that you CAN tach an old dog new tricks as long as the dog has an incentive. Go on, improve you life and have a go. I promise you that you won’t regret it.
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