If you are planning to live in Barcelona, or coming for a long visit, you should start thinking about learning Spanish, or as the locals call it, Castellano. The fact is that there are many spoken languages in Spain, and a variety of dialects. To the locals, “Spanish” refers to all of the languages spoken in their country.
The most obvious way to learn Spanish in Barcelona is by taking Spanish lessons. There is a variety of language schools where you can enroll. Some of the most popular ones are International House Barcelona, Speakeasy BCN, Camino Barcelona, and International House Barcelona.
But if you prefer to go through an alternative route or want to speed up your learning process, there are some activities that can help you achieve that goal. Most of these activities are free or require only a small monetary investment.
Reading is one of the best ways to quickly improve your Spanish vocabulary. If you already have some concept of Spanish, go to a bookstore and choose a book whose plot does not seem overly challenging. Have a pencil with you while you are reading. Underline what you don’t understand and look it up on a dictionary. You will not only learn new words but will get a better understanding of how sentences are formed in Spanish.
Take a couple of hours off your day to dedicate yourself to simply listening. A quiet coffee shop, a frantic marketplace, a busy mall… choose your setting and start listening. Listen to the shopkeeper-client interaction, to the friends talking in the café, the mother and daughter shopping… Basically, any vocal activity provides you with a good opportunity to listen to native Spanish being spoken.
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A great way to make your Spanish evolve is by practicing it. There are several groups on Meetup where people get together for language exchange. You offer to teach your language, they offer to teach theirs.
Choose your favorite feature film or one of the new ones and dare to watch it with subtitles in a foreign language. Hearing the characters speak in your native language while you read the subtitles will help you start making connections between your native language and the new one.
You can choose from a variety of Blu-Ray discs and DVDs at stores like Fnac, Media Markt, Worten and El Corte Inglés.