A Spaniard's View of The Brits

Published on 20/10/2009 in Learning Spanish

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.

Brtish woman in SpainAs 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?

Written by: Israel Crespo

About the author:

Israel is Spanish and lived 8 years in England.  She now lives in Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca.




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Comments:

Natasha said:
09 February 2014 @ 22:51

A lot of English brunette women do have sort of Spanish-made looks about them.. wonder why.


Julie keen said:
16 February 2013 @ 01:38

I live in Pwllheli North Wales and hate it because it is very racist and very hard to gain employment if you are English . My plan is to move to Spain in a couple of years I have Spanish lessons. I love the Spanish people there culture I should of been born Spanish I have a number of Spanish friends and visit Spain a lot it's the best place in the world as far as I am concerned. North Wales is a not a safe place for English people unless you are on holiday spending .



Miquel said:
06 November 2012 @ 21:30

I am looking for one person to improve my english.I offer one room in my house and conversation in spanish.
More details in
mfurio@hotmail.com



uk brit said:
14 July 2012 @ 16:46

I made the mistake of thinking that the Spanish people were like the English.
Learnt the language, polite to everyone & then BANG.
These spanish are arseh*les of the highest calibre. Racist, vinditive and crazy.
I am off to Cyprus at the end of the year.
If you have any sense keep well clear os Spain.



uk brit said:
14 July 2012 @ 16:45

I made the mistake of thinking that the Spanish people were like the English.
Learnt the language, polite to everyone & then BANG.
These spanish are arseh*les of the highest calibre.
I am off to Cyprus at the end of the year.
If you have any sense keep well clear os Spain.



uk brit said:
14 July 2012 @ 16:43

I made the mistake of thinking that the Spanish people were like the English.
Learnt the language, polite to everyone & then BANG.
These spanish are arseh*les of the highest calibre.
I am off to Cyprus at the end of the year.
If you have any sense keep well clear os Spain.



Loli said:
05 July 2012 @ 09:47

Is there anyone in here that by any chance may figure to themselves the possibility of the creation of a British-Spanish kind of association or club? I just keep asking myself how it is that, after so many years living in the same country, we haven't formed any partnership or just something like what the Brits very often do in Spain that is create like-minded clubs. It is weird for me to see that. Why don't we mixed up into doing things we all like? That would be constructive and open our minds into a world of discovery.


Loli said:
05 July 2012 @ 07:47

Is there anyone in here that by any chance may figure to themselves the possibility of the creation of a British-Spanish kind of association or club? I just keep asking myself how it is that, after so many years living in the same country, we haven't formed any partnership or just something like what the Brits very often do in Spain that is create like-minded clubs. It is weird for me to see that. Why don't we mixed up into doing things we all like? That would be constructive and open our minds into a world of discovery.


MARIALOPEZ said:
05 July 2012 @ 01:38

Is there anyone in here that by any chance may figure to themselves the possibility of the creation of a British-Spanish kind of association or club? I just keep asking myself how it is that, after so many years living in the same country, we haven't formed any partnership or just something like what the Brits very often do in Spain by creating like-minded clubs. It is weird for me to see that. Why don't we mixed up into doing things we all like? That would be constructive and open our minds into a world of discovery.


Loli said:
05 July 2012 @ 01:36

Is there anyone in here that by any chance may figure to themselves the possibility of the creation of a British-Spanish kind of association or club? I just keep asking myself how it is that, after so many years living in the same country, we haven't formed any partnership or just something like what the Brits very often do in Spain by creating like-minded clubs. It is weird for me to see that. Why don't we mixed up into doing things we all like? That would be constructive and open our minds into a world of discovery.


Loli said:
05 July 2012 @ 01:26

Is there anyone in here that by any chance may figure to themselves the possibility of the creation of a British-Spanish kind of association or club? I just keep asking myself how it is that, after so many years living in the same country, we haven't formed any partnership or just something like what the Brits very often do in Spain by creating like-minded clubs. It is weird for me to see that. Why don't we mixed up into doing things we all like? That would be constructive and open our minds into a world of discovery.


Loli said:
05 July 2012 @ 01:25

Is there anyone in here that by any chance may figure to themselves the possibility of the creation of a British-Spanish kind of association or club? I just keep asking myself how it is that, after so many years living in the same country, we haven't formed any partnership or just something like what the Brits very often do in Spain by creating like-minded clubs. It is weird for me to see that. Why don't we mixed up into doing things we all like? That would be constructive and open our minds into a world of discovery.


Fernando said:
31 January 2012 @ 05:33

I am a Spaniard, born in Madrid. I went to study to Kings College in Cambridge in the early 90's and fell in love with the place and its residents. Specially the little old lady ex RAF menber that welcome me to her home. I now live in the States but I still listen to BBC radio 5 and watch premiership soccer. I fly in my home the old king's colours flag and belong to a rev war reenactment group that portraits a new jersey loyalist regiment. I am probably the only Spaniard that it is actually ok with the Rock to remain british if is that what their residents want. I love british culture movies books and language and consider myself an anglophile. I hate that our two countries have historically been at odds with each other mainly because religious bigotry between to great ex-empires. Because of that many spaniards and britons have to hide their love for the "enemy's" culture and people.
Rule Brittania! Viva España!



amep75 said:
30 March 2011 @ 10:50

YOU ARE SO RIGHT MY PARTNER AND I HAVE LIVED IN FUENGIROLA SINCE LAST NOVEMBER, I SPEAK FLUENT SPANISH AS DO MY CHILDREN WHO DONT EVEN LIVE HERE.
WE LOVE IT THE PEOPLE ARE SO FREINDLY AND NO ENGLISH LIVE IN THE AREA. I AM TEACHING MY PARTNER SPANISH AND SHE HAPPILY GOES TO THE SHOPS AND USES THE TRAINS AND BUSES ON HERE OWN.
I WOULD NEVER RETURN TO THE UK WHERE THE UNHAPPIEST AND DEPRESSED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD LIVE IN THE COLDEST AND WETTEST PLACE IN THE WORLD .



Cal said:
16 September 2010 @ 23:26

I totally agree with what you have said!I am looking to come and live in spain within the next 4 months in Murcia area,and i am already taking Spanish lessons!I think it is only right to learn some of the phrases before i move from Scotland,if i am to live in your country?And yes,Estoy muy bien gracias!x


David said:
21 August 2010 @ 18:32

Hello,
Just one comment. Retired brithish peoble living in Spain are not "PAYING GUESTS" You do use our health services to which you have never contributed, you do use our roads, telecom systems, legal courts.... You have never paid for receiving those public services that costs billions a year. Meanwhile a foreing worker in UK pays taxes that are used to pay your pensions and contribute to UK's wealth.
Please don't take yourself for what you are not. Spanish workers pay your life in Spain, the country wealth do not depend on Brit residents, that's for sure.
Thanks Israel for your comment.



Svart said:
14 March 2010 @ 20:25

La leche, valiente gilipollas el duckerdiver ese. Hay que ver como salen algunos, cuando sus padres no les han dado un buen par de hostias a tiempo. :S

I totally agree with you, Israel. Im Spanish-American but If someone wants to live in any country, learn the manners and language of such country is the correct and educated thing to do. Despiting how much money you invested in.

No wonde America defeated the british like duckerdiver once! God couldnt tolerate such jerks pretending to control us anymore. And now we tell them what they can do, and what they can´t. ;)



Miguel Silva said:
08 March 2010 @ 01:24

Another lovely group! God they love us!

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=1097453454542#!/group.php?v=wall&gid=330280982275



Miguel Silva said:
08 March 2010 @ 01:12

Another comment from the group by a vile individual called Paul Grange:

"No, I wouldn't go to Spain. It's a shithole.

They don't come here (spanish) because they wouldn't be welcome. Greasy haired perverts. They can stay in their shithole with all the British we don't want anymore. Just like you Anne. You wouldn't be allowed to have a grotty pub here. They would shut you down. That's why you live where you do. The standards are lower."





Miguel Silva said:
08 March 2010 @ 00:55

@vikki666

You people don't complain!?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Milton-Keynes/I-want-to-fly-my-flag-the-UNION-JACK-but-im-not-allowed/376646945711?ref=mf#!/pages/YOURE-IN-OUR-COUNTRY-SO-SPEAK-OUR-FCKING-LANGUAGE/239204891053?ref=nf

Scroll down in this group (which is one of many alike. There's at least 5) and you see people telling foreigners who can't speak the language to f*** off to their countries and calling them every name under the sun! Plus they say all the time how much they hate two foreigners who're speaking in a different language and accuse people who do that of being terrorists who are planning their next attack! They demand everyone to speak english even to their fellow country mates in public!
Comments from that group:

" I hate it when im in a nailshop and i think the chineese people are talking about me :/"

" they dont want 2 here the plans of bombing thats all it is"

"I hate immigrants because they come here and steal all our jobs and take advantage of the benfit system"

"It don't really bother me what language people speak, It just annoys me when you can hear someone talking English but as soon as they see you there they start talking their language."

They cant speak english! Shhot them bastards!"

Also an youtube link I'd like you to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfbgw0BnWHQ

Your government might be open minded as you say but some people are the most close minded, paranoid, intolerant and impatient towards foreigners that I've ever seen in my life!!!



fireblade900-1 said:
15 November 2009 @ 10:22

well said...its important to learn the language of the country you live in.!


yvonne said:
10 November 2009 @ 20:27

Buonas dias. I went to learn Spanish at our local school in Albox, however the teacher was Spanish and did not speak one word of English, I , as my colegues, found this very frustrating and we could not ask a question or say we did not understand could she please explain. Also at the age of 60 I know we need to know the gramatics of the language but I wanted to peak a conversation. One year down the line and we have been taut one sentence. With due respect, I understand that children need to learn gramah etc. but for us oldies we would just like to learn to converse and join in.


duckerdiver said:
02 November 2009 @ 13:47

Dear Suemac

Is it "arrogant" to be expected to be treated with respect??

Is it arrogant to assert your right to service? After all is said and done, we are paying guests

Most of the hotels/tourist centres in the UK do have multi-lingual staff and it would be a closed business that fails to communicate with its customers in a language they understand.

Whilst there are a number of other nationals here in Spain; by far (and by a significant figure,) the largest ex-pat group are the British.

There is no need for the Spanish to speak German, Swedish, Dutch, etc, etc because the international standard language of the world in English. It is spoken by, and in the vast majority of countries. Also the nationals you mention, by and large, are usually fluent in English.

As I said before; if you want to learn Spanish that is a laudable aim, but the thrust of Israel's posting (and the ppl who supported her) were, in my not so humble opinion, making demands of us that we should learn Spanish, something you simply cannot do for fear of killing the "golden goose"

Brian



duckerdiver said:
02 November 2009 @ 13:25

Dear Suemac

Is it "arrogant" to be expected to be treated with respect??

Is it arrogant to assert your right to service? After all is said and done, we are paying guests

Most of the hotels/tourist centres in the UK do have multi-lingual staff and it would be a closed business that fails to communicate with its customers in a language they understand.

Whilst there are a number of other nationals here in Spain; by far (and by a significant figure,) the largest ex-pat group are the British.

There is no need for the Spanish to speak German, Swedish, Dutch, etc, etc because the international standard language of the world in English. It is spoken by, and in the vast majority of countries. Also the nationals you mention, by and large, are usually fluent in English.

As I said before; if you want to learn Spanish that is a laudable aim, but the thrust of Israel's posting (and the ppl who supported her) were, in my not so humble opinion, making demands of us that we should learn Spanish, something you simply cannot do for fear of killing the "golden goose"

Brian



suemac said:
01 November 2009 @ 17:51

I think some of the comments are a bit arrogant, after all it's not just British people who have bought a property and are living in Spain, there are also many Germans, Scandinavians and other nationalities who presumably are also contributing to the Spanish economy. Do you expect Spaniards to be multi-lingual and speak English, German, Swedish, Norwegian etc? How many people in London, who rely on foreign tourists to boost the economy, also speak other languages?

We have retired here, and we are far from fluent, however we have found local people to be helpful and welcoming, and they obviously appreciate it when we make an effort to speak to them in their native language.

What we have also found is that the culture in Spain is very different, and it helps to have Spanish friends who can explain these differences to you!



duckerdiver said:
31 October 2009 @ 14:14

Dear "Pilgrim"

You say that we are: "fortunate enough to be allowed to live in this beautiful country!" "Allowed suggests that we have been given something? So l take issue with your use of the verb "allow"

We have come to Spain to spend our hard earned cash (usually earnt in the UK,) in Spain, so not sure how "allowed" comes into the equation???

Whilst it is true we are allowed to live/work/reside/die here, it is by virtue of our membership of the EU that we are "allowed" to do that, not by any gift of the Spanish and/or their laws.

We are indeed "fortunate to live in this beautiful country" but Spain is not the only beautiful country in the world and Spain should beware making too many demands of its paying guests.

If you have a desire to learn conversational Spanish that is a laudable aim, but it cannot and should not be a "minimum" requirement (as your post seems to suggest.)

Brian



duckerdiver said:
31 October 2009 @ 13:28

Dear "Pilgrim"

You say that we are: "fortunate enough to be allowed to live in this beautiful country!" "Allowed suggests that we have been given something? So l take issue with your use of the verb "allow"

We have come to Spain to spend our hard earned cash (usually earnt in the UK,) in Spain, so not sure how "allowed" comes into the equation???

Whilst it is true we are allowed to live/work/reside/die here, it is by virtue of our membership of the EU that we are "allowed" to do that, not by any gift of the Spanish and/or their laws.

We are indeed "fortunate to live in this beautiful country" but Spain is not the only beautiful country in the world and Spain should beware making too many demands of its paying guests.

If you have a desire to learn conversational Spanish that is a laudable aim, but it cannot and should not be a "minimum" requirement (as your post seems to suggest.)

Brian



duckerdiver said:
31 October 2009 @ 13:21

Dear Mike

Thanks for your support

Brian



pilgrim said:
30 October 2009 @ 06:22

You are absolutely correct! We are fortunate enough to be allowed to live in this beautiful country, learning at least conversational Spanish is Paramount in my book.
I try quite hard, plus my wife has Castellano as a first language.
She loves English, so we speak "Spanglish" mostly at home.
However, my senior years are a bit of a barrier with word retention but providing I insist "muy despacio, por favor", I get by.



mike_walsh said:
29 October 2009 @ 20:11

Duckerdiver! Well said, mate. If you need a seconder then my hand's in the air. I love your take on it. Mike

PS. I love the Willi Brandt quote ... but he was a Commie runt and I can't like him for that. ;o)



duckerdiver said:
28 October 2009 @ 22:05

Dear Israel Crespo

Your comments/thoughts/observations on the reason why Brits should be learning Spanish is based upon a flawed premise. You say that whilst in England you learnt English therefore you cannot understand why the long-term British residents of Spain do not likewise learn Spanish. However you are not comparing like with like. You went to the UK to either study or work, the long-term British residents of Spain came here to live, retire, spend their money, etc as "PAYING GUESTS" not economic migrants. Rather than "demanding" we fit in with your idea (an idea erroneously held by a number of your countrymen/women) of what we should do, you should accept that having "PAYING GUESTS" \is not the same as having guests who do not pay!

The vast majority of the Brits here have made significant investments in this/your country and they continue to support the Spanish economy with annual tax payments and by spending their "UK pensions/money/savings" etc in Spain.

You have to be aware that there are a number of countries competing for the ex-pat income stream and Spain should be careful for fear of killing the "Golden Goose" by making unreasonable and unwarranted demands of its "PAYING GUESTS"

You may have noticed that I have, in capital letters and quotes, highlighted the status of the Brits living here. We are significant contributors to the Spanish exchequer and not dependants as many of the third nation nationals (Mexicans/Argentineans/Moroccans, etc) who come to Spain are.

As the late German Chancellor Willie Brant succinctly put it; "If you are coming to Germany to spend money in Germany we will speak your language to you, but if you are coming to take money from Germany you had better speak German to us"

You really have no right to make demands upon your paying guests, far better that you say thank you to us for choosing Spain over another country and hope that we stay here, spending our money here, rather than arrogantly assuming you are the only country in the world that has sunshine and olive oil.

As to the Brits on this forum that are busy kissing up to Israel, please grow a pair and start standing up for yourselves, we don’t have to apologise for the way we are, we are what we are and actually what we are (the British) is nothing short of magnificent!



spanishruralbliss said:
27 October 2009 @ 13:34

Hey Isreal,
I totaly agree with you. My wife and I run a riding stables upon the Altiplano De Granada near Castril.
When wwe moved we were the only Brits it#n the area, if we had'nt taken the time to sit and communicate with the local people we would be clased as the outsiders. But we did persevere and slowley we learnt the language and five years later we can get by,make ourselves understood ( with the odd giggle) ( although I still get told of for my litteral translations) .
We have some lovely friends here in our village and are often invited out for meals and drinks.
Usually they practice their english in our conversations and we practice our Spanish.



spanishruralbliss said:
27 October 2009 @ 13:32

Hey Isreal,
I totaly agree with you. My wife and I run a riding stables upon the Altiplano De Granada near Castril.
When wwe moved we were the only Brits it#n the area, if we had'nt taken the time to sit and communicate with the local people we would be clased as the outsiders. But we did persevere and slowley we learnt the language and five years later we can get by,make ourselves understood ( with the odd giggle) ( although I still get told of for my litteral translations) .
We have some lovely friends here in our village and are often invited out for meals and drinks.
Usually they practice their english in our conversations and we practice our Spanish.



spanishruralbliss said:
27 October 2009 @ 13:32

Hey Isreal,
I totaly agree with you. My wife and I run a riding stables upon the Altiplano De Granada near Castril.
When wwe moved we were the only Brits it#n the area, if we had'nt taken the time to sit and communicate with the local people we would be clased as the outsiders. But we did persevere and slowley we learnt the language and five years later we can get by,make ourselves understood ( with the odd giggle) ( although I still get told of for my litteral translations) .
We have some lovely friends here in our village and are often invited out for meals and drinks.
Usually they practice their english in our conversations and we practice our Spanish.



Si`s partner said:
23 October 2009 @ 19:27

I agree 100% with Israel s comments , but that is why we have not returned to the coast of Spain for years and are looking inland for a home, to be with warm and friendly Spanish people , not the Brits you are speaking of , my dear they probably can`t even speak `Queens English `either , we have seen them everywhere , the first to bitch about immigrants here in UK not speaking English but look at the lazy morons on the Costa`s , cant speak their own language properly darling leave alone another Language , out or curiosity why are they all `builders`, if they were any good they would be in the UK , could it just be that they couldn`t `make` it in the UK so kind of `drifted` into Spain for an easy life ? I wish they would all return to UK , that would save embarrasment to us Brits who are learning, do shop only in Spanish shops and eat only in Spanish places , why otherwise come to Spain , am not surprised that some Spanish are pissed off with it all , we have seen and heard those kind of english gits Israel is talking about , thick as planks, usually fat , and as idle as they come , we avoid them like the plague !! Viva Espana Vee xx

PS I take great exception to a comment someone made on this thread that the Spanish should be grateful the Brit `builders` gave them lots of building work, get real , I have Never COME across a good genuine Brit Builder in Spain in over 30 years , that person wasn`t mixing up the `can`t speak the lingo` brigade with a handful of real Craftsmen were they , I think the Spanish would be more than grateful if that sort did clear off , may be Spain would then become a bit more upmarket again , all would love that , fab , you want fish n` chips, Marmite , Typhoo Teabags, stay in the UK then and don`t inflict your naff ideas of what you think Spain should be on everyone else , you don`t like it then clear off dears !!!



Si`s partner said:
23 October 2009 @ 19:16

I agree 100% with Israel s comments , but that is why we have not returned to the coast of Spain for years and are looking inland for a home, to be with warm and friendly Spanish people , not the Bruts you are spaeking of , my dear they probably can`t even speak `Queens English `either , we have seen them everywhere , the first to bitch about immigrants here in UK not speaking English but look at the lazy morons on the Costa`s , cant speak their own language properly darling leave alone another Language , out or curiosity why are they all `builders`, if they were any good they would be in the UK , could it just be that they couldn`t `make` it in the UK so kind of `drifted` into Spain for an easy life ? I wish they would all return to UK , that wouls save embarrasment to us Brits who are learning, do shop only in Spanish shops and eat only in Spanish places , why otherwise come to Spain , am not surprised that some Spanish are pissed off with it all , we have seen and heard those kind of english gits Israel is talking about , thick as planks, usually fat , and as idle as they come , we avoid them like the plague !! Viva Espana Vee xx


roddy1 said:
21 October 2009 @ 07:52

I agree entirely with Isreal's comments! I believe in my case that it is an education issue. I left school in the early 70's and the only second language taught was French, nowadays things have changed in the education system being which french, german & spanish being taught. I myself have a second home in a small market town in Murcia called Balsicas, which is very spanish I would'nt want it any other way! I have plenty of spanish friend's of here and absolutley love the place. Isreal I think brit's that live on the big urbanisations are the real losers, a part from a day trip into the hills they will never know the real Spain and way of life! I would like to say more on subject but it is cold and wet here in Leeds, and I have my spanish lessons in a few hours, I am finding it hard but "I WILL LEARN IT"

Hasta la vista

Rod



roddy1 said:
21 October 2009 @ 07:51

I agree entirely with Isreal's comments! I believe in my case that it is an education issue. I left school in the early 70's and the only second language taught was French, nowadays things have changed in the education system being which french, german & spanish being taught. I myself have a second home in a small market town in Murcia called Balsicas, which is very spanish I would'nt want it any other way! I have plenty of spanish friend's of here and absolutley love the place. Isreal I think brit's that live on the big urbanisations are the real losers, a part from a day trip into the hills they will never know the real Spain and way of life! I would like to say more on subject but it is cold and wet here in Leeds, and I have my spanish lessons in a few hours, I am finding it hard but "I WILL LEARN IT"

Hasta la vista

Rod



G. said:
21 October 2009 @ 04:40

You are dead on Isreal !!! sorry ¨ Israel¨............G.


G. said:
21 October 2009 @ 04:38

You are dead on Isreal !!!


Roberto said:
20 October 2009 @ 23:35

¿Porque vives en Torrevieja, entonces? Si yo vuelvo a Inglaterra, no voy a vivir en Bradford, ¡porque no hablo Urdu!



Linda Needham said:
20 October 2009 @ 22:04

How interesting to have so many comments on this article. We live inland and 10 years ago did not speak one word of Spanish. We had no intention of living here either. The house was a ruin and it was bought as a project, something to do and something to achieve. After 2 years the way of life got to us and we moved. We were fortunate and a novelty, as no other Brits lived here then. The Spanish took us under their wing and it took a long time but we got there. No classes, just in at the deep end. It is much harder when you are older and classes concentrate on grammar which is only of use when you have actually learnt a few sentences. After all one does not want to write a book. My husband is considered more Spanish than English these days. Yes, it is also hard to practice your Spanish when all the Spanish want to learn English. My point is that despite this we still do not get excellent customer service. It is sometimes good and sometimes bad but never excellent. and now a funny stories or I think they are anyway. We have been in UK a lot this year due to a family bereavement. I took the opportunity to go shopping for a whole day in Westside, London where I was pounced upon by a man selling hand cream made from the sea salt. Actually the same company is selling it in Elche Shopping Centre. He said to me where are you from (I have a London East accent) Spain says I. He looked at me funny and thought I was pulling his leg because he had an accent and proceeded to speak to me in Spanish. His mouth nearly hit the floor as I then spoke only in Spanish to him. He still wanted to charge me £10 more than he charged the previous women he served. The other incident was getting on a bus in London. We did not know you had to pay at the machine before you got on the bus. We were on the bus and it was moving when the bus driver asked for the ticket. My husband realised our mistake and started talking to the driver in Spanish so he would think we did not understand English and he would not throw us off the bus. However, a very nice Spanish lady sitting in the front row decided to translate for us and the driver. We near wet ourselves when we got off.


vikki666 said:
20 October 2009 @ 20:41

I live here in the UK ,am learning spanish to enable me to move to Spain in the future, the same can be said of all the immigrants who arrive in the UK .most of them cannot speak a word of english but we don't complain, they get jobs,we print our Goverment forms in their language to make them feel at home,they unlike the Brits who arrive in Spain don't bring any money into the UK so come on we have created many jobs in the building industry for the spanish workers.


vikki666 said:
20 October 2009 @ 20:41

I live here in the UK ,am learning spanish to enable me to move to Spain in the future, the same can be said of all the immigrants who arrive in the UK .most of them cannot speak a word of english but we don't complain, they get jobs,we print our Goverment forms in their language to make them feel at home,they unlike the Brits who arrive in Spain don't bring any money into the UK so come on we have created many jobs in the building industry for the spanish workers.


Christine14 said:
20 October 2009 @ 19:33

Israel has a very vaild point I have been here for two and a half years now and I love it I do not speak much spanish but I can get by in the shops and I am taking lessons twice a week supplied through the town hall but I do find that as a retired person it is much harder to learn a new language than if I had learnt it when I was younger I actually live in Los Montesinos on a new urbanization which is mostly english but there are a few spanish amongst us and obivously in the village there are more spanish and I find they are friendly and helpful and are some places that when we ask them something in spanish and they answer us in english so it is very much a two way thing and when they tell me how mush I have to pay I always say it back to them in spanish and they like that and correct me if I'm wrong I can understand written spanish better than spoken One of the things I really like about here is you can walk down the street and exchange greeting with anyone and everyone you can't do that in england


mike_walsh said:
20 October 2009 @ 17:59

This article is written from a Spanish perspective and that's fine. Now for a British perspective. Such is the English speaking presence here there simply isn't the incentive or need to speak Spanish. As one lady said; 'If you moved to Llandudno would you learn Welsh?'
There are so few occasions when knowledge of the language would be a genuine asset there isn't any incentive to learn your lovely language.
When we make the effort the Spaniard we are dealing with will invariably say: 'It's okay. I speak English.' That can be very deflating.
You talk of going to lessons? They don't teach Spanish. what they try to do is teach the mechanics of the spoken word, which is daunting and quite unnecessary.
I am a freelance journalist, author, writer and poet of some international standing. If I can't figure out what these 'teachers' are going on about how the heck can anyone else?
If you want an analogy I would put it this way: You invite a driving school instructor to teach you to drive. "Fine," he says: "Dismantle that car, see and understand how it works; then re-assemble it. They we shall teach you how to drive it."
I can well imagine your reaction.
Do you take my point? There is only one way to learn any foreign language. First provide the incentive. Secondly do it by total immersion, just as a child learns and indeed as we all learned as infants: listen, repeat, say, use it daily. We don't get the opportunity here. Should I move inland I shall learn it with enthusiasm.



Adendum said:
20 October 2009 @ 17:50

Isreal,

I agree 100% with every word you have written. I am British and spend about half the year in Spain (Jaen province) and the same is true here...very few Brits take the language seriously. It embarrasses me.




Marysafc said:
20 October 2009 @ 17:46

Definitely has a point. At the moment we only visit spain for about 8 weeks in total per year but we do have a basic (very) understanding of the language in that we understand most of what is being said to us but sometimes have problems thinking of the right response quick enough. The area where we have bought is mostly spanish so we do make the effort but are still a little self-conscious at our replies but - hey we try!

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