Six Important Reasons to Study Spanish in Spain

spanish-students-flag- image by www.englishspanishlink.comThe one who has been there, done it and worn the tee-shirt will say that the best way to learn a language is to study in that country and this does make sense but what about when, as with Spanish, the language is spoken in many countries around the world?  Here are six reasons why it makes sense to study Spanish in the country of origin, rather than in some other country where the language turned up later.

  1. When learning Spanish, pronunciation is so very important and, if we compare Spain to the Spanish speaking countries of South America, there are distinct differences.  For example, in Spain, ci and ce are pronounced thee (as in Theodore) and the (as in thespian), whereas in South America, they are pronounced si (as in seat) and se (as in cemetery).  Also, ll (double l) is pronounced as y in Spain (e.g. cebolla is theboya) and lya in South America (sebolya).
  2. When language moves to another country, that country starts to add some words of its own, words which may never travel back to that language’s country of origin. Look no further than the English words of bun, cob, stottie and fadge, all referring to round bread but words which were introduced in distinct parts of England and not necessarily known throughout the country.  Also, when comparing Spain to South America, the word for ‘to drive’ is conducir in Spain but in Ecuador and Columbia, the word for ‘to drive’ is manejar, while, in Argentina, the Spanish dinero for ‘money’ is expressed as plata (silver). From this, I think we can all agree that it makes sense to learn Spanish in Spain and, once learnt, you will have a good solid grounding in the Spanish language.  Without that solid grounding, learning a language in another country won’t allow you to identify those local changes which veer from the true roots of Spanish.
  3. There is a big difference between textbook Spanish and the real thing. Studying at school or in a night class in your own country isLearning Spanish Online Vs. Abroad - imagen by keepcalm-o-matic admirable and yes, it does get you on the bottom rung of the communication ladder but this method of learning does lack that certain authenticity which comes with living in Spain.  Being immersed in the language means you have to get to grips with understanding what is being said, rather than letting it pass over you when it suits you not to listen.
  4. Not only do you pick up common vocabulary by living in Spain, you also pick up on lifestyle and culture.  Living the life makes expressions make sense, as you can hear them being used and can understand why phrases are made as they are.  This interaction also helps you stop making direct ‘word for word’ translations, by being able to hear just how the real Spanish sentence is delivered.
  5. Spain’s universities offer many levels of learning and these are delivered by excellent teachers, all of whom hold a degree in philology, meaning each and every one has gone that extra mile to understand the effects of structure and historic development of a language on interaction and communication.
  6. Spain is a very popular country with tourists and it has spent several decades developing a convivial service in the form of accommodation, entertainment and a ‘something for everyone’ attitude.  These facts are all to the student’s advantage, as learning in a country which has never had to adapt to such an international slant may not be a country in which one can easily integrate.

All in all, you can see how these six points will play a big part in learning pure Spanish.  And, let’s face it, getting it right first time is always better than trying to iron out ingrained mistakes later.

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