I have made a pact with myself. Every time I meet a Spanish speaker, I speak Spanish with them. Either from the way they say hello, the way they look, or perhaps their last name is Martinez, I often take a gander and start with “HOLA!” Sometimes I'm flat out wrong. They don't speak Spanish and they're annoyed that I even asked! But more often than not they do and they’re delighted! This is the difference between those who know a language only intellectually and those who can actually speak it. CONFIDENCE.
If perhaps you were a chess player growing and learning your skill set after a few years of practice and started seeing people who had been practicing for 20 to 60 years, would you interact with them? Would you learn from the masters? That’s often how I see Spanish speakers, not just a new friend I could enjoy meeting, but also a master at the language that could help me hone my craft a little more in just a five minute conversation!
This pact I made has made a huge difference in how I learned Spanish and how I continue to grow my skill set. I hope if you’re learning you will do the same. Challenge yourself to constantly use Spanish in any way that you can and grow confidence in yourself by interacting more. ¡SI SE PUEDE!
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Brittany is a bilingual Spanish teacher who has lived in Spain and Argentina. Through this blog, she hopes to relate her travels, insights, and Spanish speaking journey!