BBC Real Story & expat language skills

Other topics that are not covered in the sections above.

Should basic competency in the Spanish language be a condition of granting Residencia?

Yes
44
64%
No
19
28%
Don't know/don't care
6
9%
 
Total votes: 69

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hillybilly
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BBC Real Story & expat language skills

Postby hillybilly » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:28 pm

On this week's Real Story, apart from the property/land related stuff, there was a snippet about the failure of a high percentage of British expats to make any attempt to learn Spanish. All the Moroccans I've met who live here can speak Spanish, so why can't the Brits?

Here we have free Spanish lessons provided by the Ayuntamiento during term time (standard of tuition not brilliant but hey, who's complaining when it's free?) and there is also a new Spanish language college where lessons cost €4 per hour (!) and the standard of tuition is excellent. Despite having these facilities on the doorstep many people don't bother to attend, or start and then drop out, citing a variety of excuses from "the lessons are too hard/easy" or "I haven't got the time" or "the classes clash with line-dancing / yoga / swimming" or "we can't afford it" to "I don't like the teacher".

Those of us smug barstewards who do attend got to talking last night after class about the desirability of making basic competency in the Spanish language a requirement of residencia. In the US if you want to become an American citizen you have to demonstrate your understanding of English and some knowledge of US history and the government system. Why not the same here?!

In my opinion it's downright rude to move to another country and not bother to learn the language. Think my idea'll catch on? :wink:

Jennifer
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Postby Jennifer » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:06 pm

I agree with everything you said but, given that this doesn't apply to folks moving to Britain from all over the world, I think it must be part of the British mentality to ingore the "when in Rome" bit.
:twisted:

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:30 pm

That't the problem Jenny if you apply the rule here then as EU law dictates then it would have to be applied in the UK and then what??

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:03 pm

i'll tell you what.. we would be deprived of all that nice culteral enrichment that the uk has enjoyed recently.

oh i'm so bad.. ;)

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:06 pm

in fact, i might just go out and culturaly enrich the local bars with some traditional english lager lout culture.

Beachcomber
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Postby Beachcomber » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:43 pm

The ability to communicate in Spanish is a requirement when applying for Spanish nationality but I think making it also a condition of residency, although a good idea, is a little unrealistic.

sherlock holmes
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Postby sherlock holmes » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:43 pm

Hilly, I think it depends where you live - in 20 years of holidays to the coast my Spanish never progressed beyond ordering food. And after 2 years in the Port, I never needed to formally learn it as everyone either was english/german/dutch or all the spanish spoke english. My neighbours where all english - shops spoke english etc etc etc.



now I have formal spanish lessons (as you suggest!) i find myself integrating more with the natives and watching spanish tv. I'm also amazed that people on my urb have lived and worked here for years and dont have a word of spanish - so their children have to translate.......... remind anyone of our complaints about Ghettos in the UK??

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:40 pm

Purple Mushroom wrote:That't the problem Jenny if you apply the rule here then as EU law dictates then it would have to be applied in the UK and then what??
What EU law is that then "PURP"? can you quote it for us lesser mortals not endowed with massive intellect, lyke wot u av?

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:07 am

Sorry Topps i wasn't quoting anything and in fact the law indeed may not exist but then isn't it a prerequisit that members "adopt the common rules, standards and policies that make up the body of EU law".

I'm no expert on EU law but maybe the great font of all knowledge that is Topper could enlighten us all?

There should be a law that states that all member states must speak Enlish ;)

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:35 am

What about if you live in Poland, should you speak Olish!

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:22 pm

I'm not about to enlighten you about EU law, you made the remark not me, :roll: :roll: :roll:

nevada smith

Postby nevada smith » Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:42 pm

follow the unraveling thread...
purple mushroom: "...if you apply the rule here then as EU law dictates..."
topper: "what EU law is that then..."
purple mushroom: "...i wasn't quoting anything and in fact the law indeed may not exist but then isn't it a prerequisit that member "adopt the common rules, standards and policies that make up the body of EU law"..."
my guess is that if you dress up a purple mushroom as a badpenny you'll get an adeel...

citymike
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Re: BBC Real Story & expat language skills

Postby citymike » Sat Aug 13, 2005 4:50 pm

hillybilly wrote:On this week's Real Story, apart from the property/land related stuff, there was a snippet about the failure of a high percentage of British expats to make any attempt to learn Spanish. All the Moroccans I've met who live here can speak Spanish, so why can't the Brits?

Here we have free Spanish lessons provided by the Ayuntamiento during term time (standard of tuition not brilliant but hey, who's complaining when it's free?) and there is also a new Spanish language college where lessons cost €4 per hour (!) and the standard of tuition is excellent. Despite having these facilities on the doorstep many people don't bother to attend, or start and then drop out, citing a variety of excuses from "the lessons are too hard/easy" or "I haven't got the time" or "the classes clash with line-dancing / yoga / swimming" or "we can't afford it" to "I don't like the teacher".

Those of us smug barstewards who do attend got to talking last night after class about the desirability of making basic competency in the Spanish language a requirement of residencia. In the US if you want to become an American citizen you have to demonstrate your understanding of English and some knowledge of US history and the government system. Why not the same here?!

In my opinion it's downright rude to move to another country and not bother to learn the language. Think my idea'll catch on? :wink:
I was thinking about this recently. The vast majority of people who move out here are middle aged and it's been a long time since they were at school. There are some people who think that they have to be intelligent or intellectual to learn a language but you don't, every human being is capable of learning a language unless they are brain damaged.

I think there should be a lot more encouragement and enlightenment along these lines. Explain that:

Everyone struggles to learn a language
Everyone feels a bit stupid when they first start talking in the language you will not speak Spanish in 2 weeks after studying a Michel Thomas tape.
Some people will appear smarter than you, it's ok
It usually takes 3 years to speak the language well and that's if you work hard.

It will put some people off, I am sure, but I think it will encourage a lot of middle aged people who give up in frustration thinking that they are just not good at languages

fullmonty
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Postby fullmonty » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:36 pm

every human being is capable of learning a language unless they are brain damaged
but I think it will encourage a lot of middle aged people who give up in frustration thinking that they are just not good at languages
Add that they learnt to speak a a really difficult language (English) before they were five and WELL BEFORE they could read and write. Emphasise the oral......and get away from the security of the written word.

Otherwise I could not agree more, and I have started learning at an advanced age, and though I have some advantages, am happy to do so. I expect to be reasonably fluent in two/three years.

But you have to go to Spanish bars, not English ones and a certain amount of self confidence (whatever that really is) helps.

Best regards,


Dave

katy
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Postby katy » Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:50 pm

Have to remember that a lot of people living here are not into the bar culture be they Brit or Spanish bars. Its not like the UK where you pop to the local. Speaking to the neighbours is best, ask them about their family is a good way to break the ice. In a bar about the only person who wants to (or has the time) speak to you is usually the local scrounger and they will probably speak bad spanish.

planet homer
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Postby planet homer » Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:03 pm

Hello, I´m new to this voting thing, but shouldn´t the options be "si", "non" y "no lo se"?
Doh!

Tamara
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Location: Malaga/London

Postby Tamara » Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:12 am

The main reason for learning the language for are;
If you fall ill, how are you going to communicate to the hospital staff.
Culturally it will enrich your lives :)
It will be fun /frustrating to learn :x
We have children, so I want them to integrate with local children

Its really important that you try to learn the language of any country you choose to live in.....

England has lots of language schools, and I personally know many people who have paid a fortune to come here to improve there English, as many jobs in England requires you to speak English.

If people living in Spain worked in Spanish environments it would be the same. But I know employment is difficult, so many people work in English bars/clubs or set up their own companies for the ex pat community......

That's probably why people don't mix as much and do not see the need to learn the language. :(


Tamara
Sharon

frank
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Postby frank » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:27 am

planet homer wrote:Hello, I´m new to this voting thing, but shouldn´t the options be "si", "non" y "no lo se"?
Or even sí, no, no lo sé. :D
Regards, Frank

No soy residente, simplemente un turista, ¿qué sé yo?

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kevin77
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Postby kevin77 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:00 am

Of course learning a language is very very difficult.
It takes years and you have to suffer on the way.
Many time I have left a conversation totally demoralised by my lack of understanding and vocabulary. You can then give in and go home or continue to live in your fools paradise of English speaking wasters. Or you can get the text book out or better still enrol on a course. Next time round, you are fitter and stronger - you can control the conversation a bit more. You still get battered, but the beating is not so bad. And you progress. What I am saying is that you have to work at it and many people who have fallen for the Living the Dream stuff think that it is somehow included in the package that they will learn Spanish 'just like that' with no effort.

katy
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Postby katy » Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:19 pm

After all the discussion why should it be a condition of residency? I do think people are missing out by not speaking the language of the country they live in but the Brits who come here are not freeloading, they are injecting a substantial amount of money from other countries into the local economy, most people have fat transfers coming into banks here (and charged highly for them) which in one way or another goes into the spanish economy.

Judging by the ex-pats I meet (and NOT only on the CDS) probably 98% would have to leave España if this were a requirement. I have met more true Spanish speakers in the UK.


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