Moving to Spain? Know the language already? Fantastic! Know basic Spanish? Again, fantastic. Don’t know Spanish at all? Don’t worry about it. I promise.
While having the ability to speak Spanish is more beneficial (think general assimilation process e.g. dealing with dumb problems on the phone, dating) it’s still possible to function in Spain without having a complete grasp on the language.
I had quite a few friends who didn’t know any Spanish and they survived the year. They went on dates (they used a translation app the whole time) and it made for a good story.
Before I moved to Spain, I was worried. I had previously studied in Sevilla, a time where I felt confident in my Spanish, but that was a year and a half ago. Would I remember anything? I did. Eventually. It took me a little while after I got rid of my nerves/embarrassment.
There’s nothing like a little preparation to ease the nerves of tackling the language barrier.
If you’re new to speaking Spanish…
- Download Duolingo to start learning new words
- Check out Fluent in 3 Months— his blog has tons of tips
- A Texas in Spain write about pronunciation here
- Anki to start memorizing words
If you want to start speaking Spanish slang…
Remember when our teachers told us to “forget about the Vosotros verb forms”? Yeahhhhhh. Spaniards use that. Spain also has slang that’ll make your head spin with confusion. Some of my favorite websites on Spanish slang are:
Other ways to brush up on speaking Spanish…
- Listen to Spanish music (like I am as I write this)
- Read a book in Spanish–start with a children’s book and work your way up
- Watch TV or movies in Spanish– Los Simuladores is Argentinian, but still good practice
- Watch with Spanish subtitles
What other ways do you like to practice speaking Spanish? What fears do you have if you don’t speak the language?