Bad Spanish

Welcome to Spanish Sundays

When we decided to move to Costa Rica we determined that we wanted to learn the language. We didn’t want to be one (two) of those gringos who lived in a foreign country and never learned the language; who never even tried.

Six months into our retirement in Costa Rica and we resemble those gringos that we looked down our noses at. Just the other day, we go into town for lunch and, with unearned confidence, I exclaim to the hostess “Buenos Dias”. Jen couldn’t help but crack up, shake her head and correctly wish the hostess a “buenas tardes”. Hell, I could have just said “buenas” only and covered everything.

There are many, many stories of my failure and unfortunately, most of them do not include me using the wrong Spanish words; instead, the typical scenario has me standing there, idiotic look on my face, as a tico tries to tell me something. It could be a story about their kid, or something about the bus not coming up our road, El Cajon, that day or some other aspect of life, and it wouldn’t really matter to me, I would just stand there and look confused.

Before we moved here I came across a program that was quite a bit different than the other popular Spanish programs from Rosetta Stone and Pimslear. In fact it wasn’t a Spanish course at all. It was a program design to teach you how to learn a language and how to learn the language faster.

Those that know me, know that I am an idea man; this idea got in my head and stuck – I can learn a language and I can learn it fast(er). I understood that before I bought it, which I did right before the New Year, that to learn a new language I would have to study and work and that fluency would not come through osmosis.

The author’s story resonated with me. He was an engineer by trade but decided he wanted to learn a language. He had difficulty learning a new language in school and thought that it was impossible. Eventually he devoted himself to learning and now he is a polyglot (a person who speaks several languages) who speaks over 8 languages, whose job it is to go to a new country, learn the language and teach others wanting to learn how to learn faster. Here is a link to Benny’s program:

(update: Benny has put his info in a much more affordable format – A book. Available HERE.)


So after reviewing the material in the Fluent in 3 Months Plus program I decided 2 things. First, I was going to put into practice the principles I am learning with a goal of fluency (being able to understand and be understood in normal situations) by the end of 2014 and secondly, that I would document my progress weekly via my blog. This last point let’s you follow along with my journey AND it helps force me to do what I say I am going to do. You guys can help to hold me accountable.

I did buy, before we moved to Costa Rica, Rosetta Stone for Latin America 1-5 and I am sure this will be incorporated into my learning. But for this week I have some very low level goals:

  • Learn the alphabet
  • Learn numbers through 100 (hey, I’ve got uno-diez down pat – only 90 more to go).
  • Find 5 different Sesame Street shows in Spanish on YouTube and watch them and take notes.

I am excited about this program and putting into practice the strategies to learn Spanish faster. By the way, blogging on what you are doing and learning, is one of the strategies that help hold you accountable, that is presented in the program.

To be transparent, after reading through the materials, reviewing the spreadsheets and videos provided, I have decided to be an affiliate and to offer the program to my readers. If you follow the link above it will take you to the authors sale page and if you buy the program from that link I will get a commission. To be even more transparent – I paid the full price for this program and I think it is worth every cent, otherwise I would not be presenting it to you. The program is the same price whether you buy from my like or found it on your own.

I look forward to learning and being able to communicate with native speakers in my new home country. Please, if you have questions about my progress, shoot me an email.

Until Next Sunday,



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