Monday, 2 May 2016

Our Spanish Dream Learning the lingo Part 46

Dave & Bev Welcome you to Spanish Dream Property

Learning the lingo

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Neither of us are fluent in Spanish. Neither of us are gifted in language skills at all. Indeed I failed my school French exams in spectacular style, but somehow passed in Spanish. Despite not being able to hold a full conversation I find by listening I do tend to get the drift of the conversation, as long as the Spaniard speaks slowly. I am totally fascinated by the fact that many Spaniards who can speak English well do so at a pace to be envied by a horse racing commentator. How anyone can speak at that speed in any language amazes me but when it isn’t your mother tongue, well that is truly impressive.
Around the Spanish Costas it is easy to see why ex-pats don’t bother learning Spanish. In the bank I was doing my best pigeon Spanish and got stuck on a word, so resorted to English. Painful my attempts may have been but I was trying hard! The cashier then suggested we continue in English,
“But I am in Spain so must learn to say things in Spanish” I protested. Her reply explains everything; “That is not necessary, we like to practice our English, we need to speak it well.”
Examples like this happen every day around the Costas. But in my opinion, the foreigners (and by that I mean any non-Spanish) are being rude and arrogant.
Many local town halls haven’t helped the situation over the years, to be honest. The attitude that their staff need to speak English is commonplace and whilst admirable in some ways, it has also fed the poor attitude of ex-pats that Spanish is neither required nor desired. It’s just my opinion, but surely self-respect as much as respecting your new country and its culture (of which language is a part) should spur you on to make an effort.
So on that note I bid you adios mis amigos. Hasta pronto!
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