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Learning Spanish

Hello, I am not fluent in Spanish and would like some advise as to what would be the quickest way to get fluent in Spanish while living in Bogota, Colombia. Thank you!

A combination of formal and informal methods might be the quickest.

Informally just go out and talk to people as much as you can.  Two phrases that can help you learn a lot are ¿Cómo se dice (point at object)? which means How do you say (point at object)? and ¿Que quiere decir (repeat word not understood)?  which means What does (word not understood) mean?

Have an informal program to learn a few words each day, in different venues.  One day go to a park.   Another day, a restaurant.  Then a market, then a flower stall.  Stop and talk to street vendors, go into shops, etc. etc.  Try to mimic their accent closely, repeating a word you don't understand or have trouble pronouncing - usually people catch on quickly and will correct you gladly, if they see you want to learn.  Make friends with a native, or several, who would like to learn some English, and who will teach you some Spanish in return.  Meet several times a week or whenever convenient.

There are many books you can buy before you get there, not just dictionaries but self-help and self-paced courses, many bilingual books of stories.  You can find these in the US on-line in places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.  There are also many apps for any device you choose, from phone to tablet to PC.   There are many videos on-line for instance on YouTube (youtube learn spanish):
https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube … p;ie=UTF-8

Formally, you could enroll in a Spanish course in Bogotá.  See this search (bogota learn spanish):
https://www.google.com/search?q=bogota+ … p;ie=UTF-8

Approach from a different angle - volunteer, or maybe even earn some pay, teaching English to those who want to learn it, by being an instructor's helper in a formal setting (bogota escuela ingles):
https://www.google.com/search?q=bogota+ … p;ie=UTF-8

Expat.com has two Spanish-language-learning threads on the Ecuador forum -- español for Gringos .. and Shortcuts to español.

Google expat.com ecuador forum and select the Schools and Studies option from the topics list after you arrive at the forum.

  -- cccmedia

Thank you for the fast reply and great information.

I have found a couple of language exchange groups are also helpful.  Whereas formal classes try to load too much information into your brain, with the result that you forget everything you just learned as soon as you leave the classroom, verbs, grammar, gender, past, present and future tenses, ugh, too much .........  language exchanges are very informal, and help you practice your Spanish with using simply normal conversation.  A great way to get used to the local accent, and you can sit back and listen, talk when you want to, and talk about any subject you want, ask questions, and you will also be helping the Colombians to practice their English too. In fact, you will be in great demand, as you are a native English speaker, and you'll find everyone wants to practice with you.

Two that I go to regularly,
"Gringo Tuesdays", held in a bar called La Villa, Cra 14a #83-56 (Bogota, of course).  Every Tuesday from 5.00pm to 9.00pm.
No cost, simply buy your drink from the bar, and join the table of your choice, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, etc.

And just around the corner,
"Meetup" Spanish/English exchange, held in the Restaurant El Corozo, Calle 83 # 14a-25 every other thursday from 7.00pm to about 9.00-ish. As it is alternate thursdays, calculate from August 24, Sept 7th, Sept 21st, etc, etc.
Again, no cost, Buy your drink from the bar, and join a table. (All tables are Spanish/English), and start talking.

Both of the above events are excellent social venues too, and I have made many friends there, especially at Gringo Tuesdays. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and you'll enjoy a good evening out.

Hope this helps.

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