First, let’s get that myth out of the way: “I just don’t have a talent for languages”.
Of course you do! It’s not something you need to have a talent for. Just as you don’t need a talent for walking up straight. You just learn it by doing it.
You already speak a language: your own. If you didn’t have a talent for it you wouldn’t be able to read this.
Secondly, … you don’t speak your native tongue because you followed a course one hour a week.
At that pace you would probably only have spoken English by the time you were 20. But somehow you seem to expect that from a language course?
Do you really want to speak Spanish? And very quickly so?
In a very fun way?
Then here’s the ONE AND ONLY TRICK (and the one ‘secret’ of many a multi-lingual person):
REFUSE TO USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE FOR ONE MONTH.
Simply put it on the shelf. You refuse to use it. You are going to live and breathe Spanish only. For one month only.
Be then prepared for that one single incredibly frustrating day: a day in with you are just not able to communicate. For you can’t use your language.
O, you will feel to be like a toddler, utterly frustrated that you can’t get any message accross. And that’s exactly how you picked up your mother tongue: stuttering and struggling through every moment. With that same feeling of: “Aaaaaaargh“.
All of a sudden you find yourself reverting to sign language. And you know what? That’s Spanish already! If anyone is very expressive with eyes, hands and legs, it’s the Mediterraneans.
Inform everyone around you: “I am really sorry, bear with me“! Just as though you were a smoker committing to quit.
It’s the only way to become one of those multilingual people. People don’t become Olympic athletes by practising a one hour a week… They dive in head over heels”.
By the 3rd or 4th day of feeling like a fool, you suddenly hear yourself say something that strikes you like a thunderbolt: gosh, where did that expression come from?? From me??
In the 2nd week you’ll start dreaming in Spanish.
By the 3rd week there’ll be moments you THINK something in Spanish. From this moment you learn it even while doing nothing. Your radar has become so sensitive and trained, it starts to pick up everything, like a snowball rolling down a hill.
And after 30 days you can tell your partner or colleague: “Ahora en Inglés”.
Raise the glass and say “salud”!
You might not be a professional linguist or even haven gotten as far as you wanted to get: it’s a given though that you will be fluent enough to make any conversation with any Spaniard one from heart to heart. Your life will become richer for it – not to mention about how proud you will feel of yourself.
Are you up for a challenge?
Or a month in which you do what you’ve never done before?
Treat yourself to those few days of feeling like a Spanish toddler… and enjoy the evolution into Spanish youngster, teen, adult.
Me and my colleagues will be with you, should you call our office stuttering and fighting yourself through a sentence. We will understand.
For we’ve been there too. And often still are.
¡Suerte! to those who go for it. Keep us informed from time to time… in Spanish.