Would you like to learn Spanish in Ecuador? Are you worried about going to Ecuador because you don't speak a lick of Spanish?
Don't worry. It's ok. We moved to Ecuador and we didn't know any Spanish. Oh wait... I lied. I did have 8th grade Spanish for a semester before we left. So I knew how to count, my colors and my ABCs. Not too helpful when you want to TALK to people.
To learn Spanish in Ecuador seemed a daunting task but we took as another adventure. It was a good workout for our brains and fun too (most of time)!
We did just fine. My dad bought a nice little phrase book. He took it everywhere. People were so patient, so he would just pull it out and find what he needed to say. It was a great way to learn.
Everyday we had to speak Spanish, so we had to learn. Of course, we had some slips along the way. But those little -sometimes big- mistakes aren't quickly forgotten. We still laugh about funny things we said years ago. And believe me we know how to say it right now.
So there's no need for a perfect handle on the language. The people are glad to help. Between the people and a good phrase book things should be just fine. I suggest the Latin American Spanish (by Lonely Planet). It has specific info on Latin American Spanish as opposed to Spain or Mexico.
By the time you leave you'll have improved through the real life use of the language.
Just like American English differs from British English, Ecuadorian Spanish is a language all it's own. There are slang words and expressions that are unique to Ecuador. The meaning of these expressions are learned with time and practice.
One thing to remember when you're learning Spanish in Ecuador, you might pick up words and sayings that aren't technically Spanish.
The Ecuadorians sometimes mix Spanish with Quichua words. I've often been shocked to find out something I've been saying is Quichua (like guagua..."baby" in Quichua). They use it so fluently -as one language- you won't know the difference. Don't worry though, if they say something Quichua and you look at them funny, they'll reword it in pure Spanish.
If you're looking for a more structured study plan, there are Ecuador Spanish schools, especially in Quito. Some visitors make Quito their home base and enroll in a Spanish school to better their skills.
Since I personally have not been to any of these schools my advice comes straight from Lonely Planet: "Visit a few schools before committing."
There are lots of school to choose from in touristy cities. And you can also often find a private tutor, either on Facebook or on community bulletin boards.
A lot of people also like www.spanishwordoftheday.com. This service sends out a daily email to helps you build your Spanish vocabulary.
Either way -school or on your own- you can learn Spanish in Ecuador.....just ask my dad.
Part of learning a new language is messing up. And after the embarrassment of the moment passes, we can all laugh about it.:D
Share your funniest Spanish blunder!
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