For the past two years, I’ve been learning Spanish.
I wasn’t really intending to learn Spanish when I started out, I just fell into it.
I’d been umming and ahhing over learning Spanish after returning from a trip to Spain and I had been wondering if technology could in some way make the learning process less painful.
Within a few months I’d found a tutor online with Italki and I was properly getting into it.
Since then I’ve also been doing a weekly “language exchange” with a chap in Madrid (using an app called HelloTalk).
We talk in Spanish for 30 minutes, then in English for 30 minutes.
It’s good fun, a little more relaxed than my lessons and we get to learn a lot about each other’s cultures.
I’m not yet fluent, I have to plan out what I am about to say in English then translate it into Spanish.
I also still have a tendency to translate what I hear into English before I can understand it and respond.
That obviously slows me right down.
But with time that translation layer will go away and I’ll start to think and communicate directly in Spanish.
I’d often wanted to start learning a foreign language but had been put off by the thought of attending classes.
But now I’ve found that it’s possible to learn a language to a decent level just using the internet.
And without spending much money either.
I pay for my lessons but Duolingo and my language exchanges are free of charge.
I think now that with the amount of free apps and websites available for language learning there’s never been a better time to learn a foreign language.
If you’re thinking of tackling it just download Duolingo and give it a try.
As they (might possibly) say in Spain, qué es lo peor que puede pasar (what’s the worst that can happen).