Learning Spanish in Argentina

  • When I moved to Buenos Aires, I could only say 'Hola, me llamo...' and with the wrong pronunciation. Now I am grateful to have learned a new language that has opened many doors.


    How did you learn Spanish? What was most effective for you?

  • Sorry - returning to the original very interesting question - I regret to say that my Spanish really hasn’t progressed very much in the past 15 years. That is to say, while I would love to be able to speak well, and even took private lessons for a time some years ago, I just never have devoted the time necessary to grow beyond the stumbling amateur stage to reach the reasonably conversant adult stage. Noun-adjective agreement and verb tenses still bring my sentences to a standstill while I second-guess myself.


    I have enormous admiration for Argentines I know who flew to North America for a few weeks or a few months and taught themselves English on the spot! The enormity of learning another language’s idiosyncrasies WITH help overwhelms me; doing it WITHOUT help seems tantamount to overcoming gravity.

  • My Spanish was awful when I came to stay here 12 years ago and has hardly improved.

    Why is that I hear you ask? Truth be told I couldn't be bothered learning it as my wife is fluent in English. Early on I did go to a teacher for some one to one tuition but she always chose spoke to me in Spanish rather than English so I hadn't a clue what she was on about. She was obviously a troubled lady as shortly after I last saw her she sadly committed suicide.


    I don't have to interact much with the locals as my wife does most of that. Which is probably a good thing especially on the business side....as nothing here is done normally I'd end up losing the plot anyway. My best mate and I understand each other fine. Mother in law can talk the hind legs off a donkey so I don't get the chance to say much to her.

  • I tried to play it by ear but I was struggling to say what I wanted to say. It is okay to find workarounds when you are visiting, but it gets frustrating when you are living in a foreign country.


    I took some 'formal' group classes, excepts that I was often alone or paired with absolute beginners. I then took on grammar study by myself and that's where I improved - I finally had something to grow on.


    Last year, I bought an advanced grammar book in Italy, but I am still at unit 10 of 92. Wish me luck!

  • I tried to play it by ear but I was struggling to say what I wanted to say. It is okay to find workarounds when you are visiting, but it gets frustrating when you are living in a foreign country.

    I couldn’t agree more. Very frustrating and defeating. One of the things that makes living in another country less difficult is being able to communicate well in that country’s language.


    I’d really love to speak better, but getting there is such an endlessly daunting proposition that, being rather lazy, I just don’t.

  • I'm not an outgoing type person so tend to avoid situations where I have to converse. When people talk to me quickly I give up and don't like asking them to repeat.

    It's annoying but I try not to worry too much about it. We also have some friends who are fluent in English.

  • We speak Italian at home because my husband spent most of his life there anyway. And because he is very annoying when he corrects my Spanish. I asked to be corrected and suddenly found out my Spanish was heavily flawed but that he never corrected me ‘because you don’t listen to me anyway’. Now that I have woken up Mr. Spanish, he corrects me adding ‘you’ve been saying it wrong for FIVE years’. I tell him he never corrected me. He said he did it once in 2014 (when I was learning Spanish from scratch).


    It never occurred to him that he’d need to reiterate the correction until I got it right. Now many mistakes have sunk in. And he is to blame!



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • UK Man, Rice, how do you manage in situations when you are out on your own?

    I can speak, though often with self-doubt and hesitatingly (Did I get that gender right? Should that verb have been perfect or imperfect? ), much to my chagrin. So when I can let someone else do the work, I’m all too happy.


    A British friend once inelegantly but accurately commented that the only way to do it was to just open the mouth and “vomit out Spanish.”

  • I just read an article about the languages easiest for English speakers to learn. Spanish was one of them, because of the shared Latin roots, similar word order in sentence structure, and cultural familiarity with many words, due to Spanish being the most spoken language in the world.


    The other three surprised me: Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian.


    Dutch, because of the shared Germanic roots, the numerous cognates, and grammar plus audible tones that both have more in common with English than with German.


    Swedish, also because of its Germanic roots and its many cognates, and its “non-fussy” word order.


    Norwegian was the big surprise to me. Besides the shared Germanic roots and lots of cognates, the language has fewer words than most languages. But the best part is that there is only one verb tense! Imagine! If Spanish had only one tense, I would have been rattling on, years ago!

  • In my experience, people from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands speak the best English, so perhaps it also goes the other way.


    By the way, Spanish is not the most spoken language in the world, not even close. In fact, I think there may be more English speakers.