I am Spanish, I lived in England for 8 years and moved to Torrevieja 9 months ago. I am writing this article to encourage you all to learn the language of the country you are currently living in.
I have noticed the amount of British living in this area, I have also been checking websites for expats, somehow I feel a little bit British, in fact, I love the british people and have quite a lot of friends in this area who live here permanently.
As I said, I lived in England for 8 years, I did a huge effort to learn the language, it took me 4 years to learn it properly, the gramma, the sentences, etc, etc. Even though I still made huge mistakes and spelling mistakes but hey... I do speak English now.
What is my point? Well, what i have seen in Costa Blanca has shocked me. I quite understand why you get horrible customer service and why the people look funny at you when you are in the shop. Most of the british DO NOT speak a word in Spanish.You have your own pubs, you have your own radio... In other words, Spanish people say that you are like the Chinese who do not like to get together with anyone but their own people.
I came across the other day an English bloke who was getting upset at the lady in the vodafone counter because she did not speak English properly! HOW DARE HIM??? How would he feel if I was in England and he was working in the vodafone counter and I did not speak a word in English, he'd feel the same!!
I would like to understand Why do you bother to come to Spain? For the sun? for the people? for our culture? I laugh at those who say I want to live within a Spanish community. Years later they move to one and then start moaning that no one speaks english. HOW Lazy are you people?
I have met a couple who has recently moved to Los Montesinos, Torrevieja. I met them in the shop, nice guys. I asked them "Do you speak spanish?", guess what the answer was. I was honest with them and said that if they wanted to get a job quick they'd better start getting some leasons cause there were too many british speakers in this area, in fact, most of them are running back home because they work for english estate agents, english builders and now there is not job to be done and cannot get a job with spanish since they don't speak the language.
I also wonder how you guys complain about the customer service in Spain. How can you get a proper customer service if you don't speak the language, don't come to me with this bullsh*t. I said this to one of my colleges: How do you know about spanish customer service if the only thing you can say is "una cerveza por favor"
I think you have all made a big mistake coming over here without a speaking a word in spanish, it has been the same if I had gone to England and wait for the people to speak to me in Spanish.
If you want to be respected, if you want to get a job, if you want to go to the shop and the people stop staring at you do us all a favor and get some Spanish lessons. It won't cost you much, maybe ?20 per class but it will worth it. You will be able to send to the hell the lady in the post office, you will be able to understand what the cashier is telling you and, most important, you will be respected/admired by the spanish.
I have worked with a group of 20 guys, all of them British, only one spoke good spanish. They all now wonder what's going to happen to them if the company they are working for closes down. Go back home?