Expats in Spain using lockdown to learn the local lingo

Published:  25 Jun at 6 PM
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Expats living in Spain are being urged to use lockdown time to learn Spanish.

Although the huge change in expats’ Spanish lifestyles isn’t expected to last for ever, staying at home in order to avoid infection can be turned to advantage. It’s never too late to start learning the language of your country of residence, with taking on a challenge the right way to stay positive in these difficult times.

As regards the average conversation, there’s a close link between locals’ favourite topics and those of the average British expatriate, with the weather a favourite subject for exchanges of views, especially when it’s gearing up to provide the Spanish summer. Some exact translations can cause amusement, such the oft-heard complaint, ‘estoy criando pollos’, literally translated as ‘I am raising chickens’ and referring to high temperatures causing clothes to stick to the wearers!

The most important advantage to learning the local language is that bilingual conversations between expats and bank staff, local police and town hall employees are now possible, although this may well take two years of study with a good teacher. If finance is the issue, the internet may be your answer as there’s a wealth of resources in the language just waiting to be utilised as speaking practice. Two worth trying are Duolingo and Coffee Break Spanish.

Nowadays, the world is getting smaller, with no real way forward until the pandemic sheathes its claws or an effective vaccine is found. Integration is far easier when communication is possible, and time spent learning to speak the local lingo is never wasted as its links with the country’s culture help expats understand and appreciate their new surroundings.
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