Why Learn Spanish?

It’s pretty obvious on the face of it. Although you can ‘get by’ in Costa Rica with only English and hand gestures, the more Spanish you speak, the better the quality and variety of your experiences are likely to be.

Just think about the negotiation process for a moment. Most of the ladies will understand you when you ask ‘how much?’ Most of them know enough to answer ‘$100’ or the Spanish equivalent. Suppose you don’t want to pay that much? She may not understand your counter-offer, or misunderstand it and mistake your offer of 15 for 50 (cheapskate!) and all hell might break out after when it comes time to pay up. Beyond that, there is the matter of explaining what you want. I don’t want to go into all the things a man might want of a working girl, but suffice it to say there are a lot of things that just ain’t gonna happen unless you can ask for it in Spanish.

This brings up a very important point. A LOT of disappointment can be avoided by asking beforehand if the lady will perform X or Y rather than just HOPING she will. Beyond that, most girls will perform better if they are relaxed and feel comfortable. Not surprisingly, a little conversation or small talk can go a long way to improving her mood. I remember my own ‘aha’ moment way back when I made my first play on words in Spanish. I knew I was on my way!

I could go on with more reasons, but instead I am going to talk briefly about why so many guys I have met have NOT gone beyond ‘hola.’ I see two main reasons. The first reason is simple mental laziness. I have seen guys buy $300 dollar computer programs that sit and collect dust because they were too lazy to use it more than once. This is the mental equivalent of the exercise bike that sits in so many garages, bought with the idea that once they had the bike, they would somehow magically be motivated to exercise, but weren’t. No matter what program you buy, or what method you follow, learning a foreign language takes TIME and EFFORT. There is no magic bullet or magic program.

Some guys think they can do a week or two ‘intensive’ course that includes a home stay where no English is spoken, and somehow they will emerge in a couple of weeks as Ricardo Montalban. Ain’t gonna happen.

The second main reason is the unwillingness of many of us to leave our comfort zone, to face the possibility of failure. As adults we have found things we are good at, and we avoid things we aren’t good at. It’s a fact that some people have less ability with languages than others. Still, I know a few guys who have only the most meager natural ability who end up being able to communicate because they aren’t afraid to work at it and aren’t afraid of failure.

I’d like to point you to an article on a blog I read about Costa Rica, and it gives an introduction to Spanish pronunciation that is a nice foundation for further study. Check it out here. In future posts I’ll get into some tips on ways to approach learning Spanish that worked for me. My Spanish is far from perfect but I am able to converse reasonably well and can usually get my point across. It’s a good feeling to be able to ask basic questions and understand the answers. Look for more articles soon, in the meantime check out the series on NoCalCostaRica.com.

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Comments

  1. Wear a corsage made of $100.00 bill's all is said. A word or two in Tarzan spanish, and you will be rewarded.

  2. Don Quixote says:

    When you learn to say no in Spanish, you have it made in Costa Rica.

  3. astromax says:

    Practice makes perfect. Go to Google home page / language tools. Translate some simple negotiating questions and responses into spanish. An automated voice will say them and u can record them on the sound recorder in "all programs / accessories / entertainment folder. Save them to a folder on your desktop for late night homework before you depart for the land of pura vida.

  4. When you have used a computer translator to fuck up you a date with a Chica you really like, spending a few hours learning enough of another language to properly convey your wishes and understanding hers will equal a qualitative increase in your love life. P4P or regular dating.

  5. What the Hell does Tarzan having been filmed in Africa have to do with Tarzan Spanish, Its the jist, you Igmo, Id suggest you not resort to name calling, unless you want to get clocked.

  6. In an English verbal sense. Hug's and Kiss's CRdude. How about a beer?