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Spanish
December 26, 2011
23:16
this_just_in
Toronto

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Where did you Learn Spanish while you were in Spain and where do you recommend studying Spanish in Spain.

Fluent- -Native English (Toronto) -French Mission/Learning- -Spanish  
December 27, 2011
00:37
Kevinpost
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I'm sure that I can speak on behalf of Benny on this one. To answer your question that greatly depends on what you are looking for. I hate to use this old cliché but if I had a dollar for every time I read a post/blog or heard someone while traveling say, "the best place to learn x is y" I'd have my rent paid for several months in advance. I personally chose to become fluent in Spanish in Colombia not because I was told to but because I love the people, felt at home and enjoyed the amount of diversity in geography, flora and fauna that this country had to offer. I love mountains and therefore lived in the mountains. 

What is it you are looking for in Spain? Aside from Spanish, what activities do you like? Do you prefer hanging out at the beach or rock-climbing deep in the mountains? Do you prefer amazing night life in a huge city or a relaxing small town feel? What will allow for you to use your Spanish more often? I like to use my language abilities to talk about common interests with the natives I meet (in my case politics, comedy, rock-climbing, alpinism, mountain biking, etc). 

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December 27, 2011
04:26
this_just_in
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Thanks i guess I really do have to look for what I want and not what some random person online says. (though I will look for some reviews for help.) Anyways I still would like to know where Benny learned Spanish in Spain. Thanks

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December 27, 2011
13:24
Lingo

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He took his exam in Salamanca:

http://www.fluentin3months.com/forum/my-language-mission/my-mission-pass-the-spanish-c2-exam-in-november/

One of the best years of my life was in Valencia. It has the charm of many big cities, but being the 3rd city it is still manageable. I found it quite inexpensive, but I lived there 7 years ago so I don't know how it has changed.
I can also recommend Salamanca and La Laguna in Tenerife, both of which I lived in for a few months and have lots to do but being manageably small with lovely locals. I also lived in Barcelona and love it to bits, but it's more expensive and harder to avoid other foreigners, and so not as ideal for a first immersion attempt.

source: http://www.fluentin3months.com/avoid-english/comment-page-1/

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December 27, 2011
18:04
this_just_in
Toronto

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Thanks So Much. I have been looking at Salamanca for the last couple days and personally i have narrowed it down to Madrid vs Salamanca. But now i cant decide beetween the 2. I want to go to Madrid because I love big cities, nightlife and being able to go on day trips to different places in spain. But i worry in Madrid that it would be hard to Immerse my self in Spanish because i am guessing alot of people speak english,

Salamanca on the other hand is beautiful and has a very clear spanish accent and from what i can tell less english speakers.

 

If anyone has any insight that can help me with my decision please do it would be of great help to me.

Thanks

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December 27, 2011
22:23
Kevinpost
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I've never been to Spain but from what I can see they are only a few hours away from each other. Couldn't you arrive in Spain and check them out for yourself before making a decision? 

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December 28, 2011
03:27
Benny
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I agree with everything Kevin said about "the best place to learn x is y". The only exception I generally make to this is "The best place to learn French is not-Paris" laugh (but of course a heap of people will disagree with that)

But just to clarify on the main question; I learned most of my Spanish in Valencia by living there for an entire year – I was only in Salamanca for a couple of months leading up to my C2 exam. Both fantastic cities to live in.

I would say that learning Spanish in Spain worked to my advantage because the way they speak is harder to understand than almost any South American dialect, so being forced to get used to that means that now I have no trouble understanding any Spanish, even drunk Chileans… But then again I wasn't speaking as soon as I could have, had I been learning in Colombia. I still remember seeing Colombian soap operas my first months learning Spanish (in Spain) and cursing the Spaniards for not speaking as clearly as those on TV, and longing to hang out with them some day :P

But to be honest, I think you should pick a place to live because of personal or convenience or cultural reasons rather than some language advantage.

This will be even more clear when you see where I'm moving to on January 2nd ;)

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December 28, 2011
04:08
this_just_in
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I am so excited to find out where you are going to Benny!!! Though one more question. Isn't Spanish the second language in Valencia like Barcelona?

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December 28, 2011
07:31
NKellyEmerald
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In Catalunya the official languages are Catalan and Spanish, and while Catalan is the first official language, practically everyone is also fluent Spanish so it makes nearly no difference really! :)

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Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
December 28, 2011
08:20
this_just_in
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See my dream was to go to Barcelona and Learn Spanish because personally it is the perfect city for me. But not being able to walk the streets and listen to Spanish or street signs all being in Catalan scare me. Is it possible to learn Spanish there do you hear Spanish there or is it like Montreal where ya alot of people speak English but French is more Predominant.

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December 28, 2011
12:28
Benny
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Valencia is not quite the same as Barcelona. Most people I met in Valencia couldn't speak Valenciano – that only happens outside the city. The region speaks it a lot, but the city doesn't.

However, Barcelona really does have Catalan spoken openly by many. I'm glad I learned some Catalan while in Barcelona as it enhanced my experience. It would not have done so much in Valencia. To reduce confusion I think outside Catalunya would be more appropriate to learn Spanish – that way all conversations you may overhear are in the right language.

But yes, Spanish is spoken by all in that entire area of Spain.

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December 28, 2011
17:10
this_just_in
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Thanks so much Benny I think I will stick with Madrid or Salamanca.

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December 28, 2011
17:24
fabriciocarraro
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this_just_in said:

Thanks so much Benny I think I will stick with Madrid or Salamanca.

I've been to Madrid once, and though I can't say I really know the city, I LOVED what I could get to know! The city is really big, but the night life is so….alive! Ahahaha Me and my wife were at Puerta del Sol at 1am, listening to people singing, a band playing songs live, some woman playing the violin on the other side…. and it was a Tuesday!

I don't know Salamanca, but I can assure you that if you enjoy the nightlife, you'll love Madrid!

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December 28, 2011
18:04
this_just_in
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You know I have been leaning towards Madrid and what you just described is exactly what I am looking for. Now I know the city all i need to do is find a school and Accomadations….

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December 30, 2011
04:33
this_just_in
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In a surprising twist of turns I am now going to a city I never even researched but is just perfect for me. VALENCIA!!!!! I love it, it reminds me of Barcelona and I love how it is a city and a beach with a great night life. I have booked a Flat to rent while I am there for 3 months (July, August, September) I am now looking for Spanish Schools while I am there. Alot of people online say I need to go to a Cervantes Certified school (is that true?)

Fluent- -Native English (Toronto) -French Mission/Learning- -Spanish  
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