This is a strange claim that many Spanish learning courses use to attract you to buy their stuff. And, in fairness it has always been our goal to offer our students a Spanish that they can use. Perhaps this is what Real Spanish means.
Some books out there…
Fortunately, this is less the case these days however, when I first started to learn Spanish I would scan the shelves of our local book store hoping to find something that would catapult my Spanish forward.
Most of the time, however, all I could see were travellers books that offered phrase after phrase without any real explanation as to why you were saying what you were saying.
In addition to that, it seemed that the majority of books were focussed on Latin American Spanish which wasn’t a problem in itself, only that Spain was my closest Spanish speaking country and I wanted to focus more on that particular accent.
Parallel Text Books
Another short lived thrill I had was when I discovered a Penguin parallel text book which had one page in English and the facing page in Spanish. This was just what I had been looking for!
As soon as I got home a sat down to read my new treasure with great excitement only to find that the stories they had used were older than my grandmother. The English and therefore the Spanish was so out of date that it was obvious it wouldn’t serve me at all. I was quite angry that I had been foolish enough to buy such a useless book.
The truth was that I was angry because I had believed that the book was going to help me understand structures and really move my Spanish forward. In the end the only thing that moved was the book from my hand to the top shelf of my book cupboard, never to be picked up again.
So, where do you find this Real Spanish?
Firstly, here at LightSpeed Spanish we like to think that we offer our students a decent look into what is Real Spanish. However, we are not so naive to believe that everything we teach is of value to everyone.
The Spanish speaking world is so large (Now it has become the second most widely spoken language in the world.) that it would be impossible represent Spanish from every country, region, zone and village in the world.
The truth is that the real Spanish can only be found in its subjective form out there with the people who speak it. If you want to speak real Spanish from Mexico, then you need to go there and spend time, holidays, immersion courses in the area you like. That way you will learn a Spanish that is real to that area.
So what’s the point of learning Spanish from Spain if I go to Latin America?
Great question and one that many students ask us. The good news is that 95% of the Spanish you learn from any country will travel and be understood by any native Spanish speaker. The extra 5 % is what you will learn once you are in that area. So you needn’t worry too much about learning the wrong things.
So, listen in to the podcast as we talk in Spanish about our plans to move to Spain in 2016.
Saludos, Gordon 🙂