I have always planned to retire abroad but have been reluctant to be in a country where I couldn’t speak the language. I am a firm believer that wherever you travel you should immerse yourself in the culture, the people and the language. You should not expect the world to speak your language.
Finally settling on Spain as my early retirement destination I feel my life will be far more enriched by participating fully. I have therefore recently embarked on learning the language properly, no longer relying on the smattering of vacation words I am taking the bull by the horns and consuming as much of the language as possible before my adventure truly begins. I am learning Spanish. Yo soy aprendo Español!
Tools to learn Spanish
My learning tool of choice has been the Duolingo app. It is easy to use and I must say it is actually quite fun. Never having studied Spanish before it is a language that I am enjoying, although at times the sing-song speed of how the words string together has been challenging for my ears to keep pace. To supplement my Duolingo learning I am also reading Madrigal’s magic key to Spanish and believe me it certainly is.
This book was a Christmas gift (alongside a lifejacket with a shark fin for my little dog who will be making the move with me). It was chosen after reading the great reviews on how it completely simplifies the entire language as a whole.
Within the first couple of pages I had completely mastered basic rules that apply to English words and armed with my ability to order ‘Rosbif’ and tell you ‘En mi opinión’ there are so many English words which are very similar to Spanish, making it that little bit easier to understand.
Perhaps the ease of these first few pages helped to give me the confidence alongside the phrases I had learned from Duolingo to see that learning a language isn’t as difficult as I had first thought. This book is great in terms of supplementing the practical aspect of the app.
The ease of the Duolingo app is engaging and I have been surprised at how much I have learned in such a small amount of time. My vocabulary is growing daily. It is also interesting discovering the simplicity of turning many English words into Spanish words immediately with the addition or extraction of a couple of vowels.
I must admit I initially struggled with the masculine/feminine of words and I am gradually improving my grasp of these, although I am still easily caught out.
Learning a new language
Learning a new language as you become a bit older can be somewhat daunting but I can assure you by using the Duolingo app it is really easy and fun. I have upgraded to the plus version as I felt because I have a specific reason for learning Spanish rather than it just being a hobby, for my purpose this was well worth it.
In addition to learning Spanish, the Duolingo app covers a multitude of other languages to learn.
With only a couple of weeks learning under my belt and a few months left until I retire I am confident that I will be able to navigate food and clothes shopping quite readily. I will be able to reserve a table (as long as it’s not for more than 10 people) and purchase a ticket to Madrid with my suitcase happily!
Have you been learning a language? If so which language and do you have any tips? I would love to hear them in the comments section below. As always, if you have found this article of any value we would love for you to ‘Pin It’ on Pinterest and share with your friends and family across social media and beyond!