by Niall Doherty

Hola from San Sebastián, or Donostia as the locals call this dream town on the Northern coast of Spain. I have just a few quick words to go along with the video above (click here if you don’t see it). That’s me conversing in Spanish with my friends Uzuri and Erick, after only 3.5 months of learning the language. We didn’t prepare anything ahead of time, just sat down and started chatting. My sincere thanks to both of them for being so legendary!

I was hoping to be conversationally fluent by the time I left Spain, and while I haven’t quite achieved that goal, I’m pretty happy with how far I’ve come in just a few short months, starting from scratch. I’m able to communicate whatever I want most of the time, and I can usually get the gist of what folks are saying to me if I listen attentively and ask for the occasional clarification. Last week in Burgos I was able to go shopping for new jeans and tell the sales reps exactly what I was looking for, and I’ve been conversing primarily in Spanish for the few days I’ve been staying with Uzuri’s family. ¡Días felices!

However, my goal is to become so fluent in Spanish (and several other languages) that I’ll eventually be able to deliver a clear and effective speech in front of at least 100 native speakers, and be comfortable handling Q&A afterwards. So although I’m leaving Spain this week, I fully intend to keep up my learning pace.

I’ll have plenty more to say about my learning experience in future posts. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts on the video via the comments below. I’d also love to hear about any experience you’ve had with learning a second language.

Leaving you with the view from the hike I went on a few days ago. La vida es buena 🙂