If you’re now happily settled in to your new home on the Costa del Sol, you may or may not be thinking about getting to grips with the Spanish language. Spanish is the second most common language in the world and although there are many English (and other language) speakers in Spain, you may well want to learn the local language whether it’s for fun or to cover all your communication needs.
However, there is one caveat – or bonus, dependent on your attitude to language learning – here in Spain. Spain has regional languages, some of which bear a lot less resemblance to standard Spanish than you might expect! Other languages that you may want to try your hand at learning are Basque, Catalan, Galician, and Valencian. If you happen to speak Spanish already, then you’ll surely have a head start. If not, why not go for the challenge anyway? It will certainly make a trip to Bilbao, Barcelona, or Benidorm a little more comfortable.
Learning a local language brings cultural insights
On the other hand, Valencian locals will often speak standard Spanish or English to you, but where’s the fun in that if you’ve already got those languages down to a tee? Learning a regional language can give you a real insight into the local culture and make you a lot more friends – whether that is inside a classroom or due to your proficiency in everyday conversations with locals.
There is a strong feeling of achievement to be had when you first manage a functional conversation with a local in a language you’re new to. So, if you’ve decided that Spain is the place for you long term and you want to investigate study options for Spanish, or regional languages, Paradise Marbella are happy to offer you a few pointers on where to start.
If you haven’t moved here yet and are still in the process of considering it, why not chat to us about your requirements? We can advise on your Costa del Sol dream home; we’ve got property for sale in Marbella, townhouses in Benahavis, plots in Estepona and many, many more!
Language Schools or Academies
Dependent on where you’re going to be situated in Spain, you will find an Official School of Languages (known as ‘Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas’) somewhere nearby. At these, international students can sign up to courses in Spanish as well as regional languages, like Catalan, Galician, Basque or Valencian.
You may be a beginner now, but stick with the course and you’ll be able to progress to their advanced levels sooner or later. One thing is worth noting though: it’s better to book in advance for these courses. The schools are publicly funded, which makes for cheaper prices but higher popularity.
Many of Spain’s language academies focus solely, or mainly, on the English language. However, it is relatively easy to find one in your area that offers Spanish and regional language classes for expats and international students.
Teaching yourself: Online tuition, or books
Some people prefer to learn in the peace and quiet of their own home; we think that’s a great way to spend some of your first months settling into your Costa del Sol villa… sitting by the pool in the glorious sunshine, with your laptop and your education head on!
There are many online courses to choose from, and if you’re looking to learn a regional language with no intention to live there, this can be an appealing option. You can do it in a relaxed setting on your own schedule. If you wanted to learn Basque, for example, you can even get a free online course from The Basque Department of Education, or try Talk Now! software, available on Amazon.
If you prefer to learn a different regional language, check out the other Talk Now! software options; they offer language tuition software for Catalan and Galician, but check that the software is compatible with your laptop before you sign up.
Another obvious choice for those that want to learn DIY style, is to invest in some good old language books in the language of your choice and get studying at home. Of course, this doesn’t give you the practice with others, but we’re sure you can rope in a friend, or make one in the process!
For the most serious of learners, there’s university
If you’re taking your language learning seriously, you may want to consider learning with one if the various universities here, but this could mean a bit of travel. Spain’s universities sometimes offer courses in the same regional languages mentioned above, and if you can speak Spanish at the time of enrolling, you may be able to attend a few classes without having to enroll as a full time student.
If you’re a British citizen thinking of moving to the Costa del Sol, and you want to prepare for your move, you might want to look at some of the university options in the UK. Sheffield University and Lancaster University in the North will offer Catalan courses, and if you’re a US citizen you could take a look at the courses on offer at the University of California.
Whether you’re here already or looking to move here, Paradise Marbella have all your property needs covered; we’re sure of it. With hundreds of Costa del Sol properties for sale on our books, we can ensure a smooth move and great advice on any issues or questions you may have. We’ll be waiting for your call!