Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Should I learn Spanish in Barcelona? Will the Catalan spoken there affect my Spanish?

As most people now know, there are two official languages in Cataluña: Spanish (or Castilian) and Catalan. Catalan isn’t a dialect of Spanish; it is a separate language which in many respects is as close to French as it is to Spanish.

The Catalan government has spent a lot of money trying to increase the number of people who speak Catalan. Not surprisingly, some students have written to us asking whether Catalan could interfere with their Spanish studies. The answer is “no”.

At the school in Barcelona, they teach Spanish (not Catalan) to their foreign students, and their host families will also speak Spanish (not Catalan) to them.

Students may overhear some conversations in Catalan, but they are equally likely to overhear conversations in English, French or Italian – Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city!

According to a recent survey, over 67% of the people in Barcelona consider Spanish to be their first language. In small towns and villages Catalan is more widely spoken, but in Barcelona, because of a long history of immigration from other parts of Spain, the dominant language is very definitely Spanish. Most of the television channels currently available broadcast in Spanish, and all the leading newspapers – including those published in Barcelona – are also written in Spanish.

What’s more, everyone in Barcelona automatically uses Spanish to speak to foreign students as they don’t expect them to know any Catalan, so there is very little danger of students being asked to understand anything other than Spanish while they are in Barcelona.

It is also worth noting that the school in Barcelona always asks its students for feedback on every aspect of their course, and in all the years have been teaching Spanish in Barcelona, not one student has ever complained about Catalan interfering with their studies. In other words, the perceived problem simply doesn’t exist.

Finally, it is also worth bearing in mind that all Catalans are totally bilingual and that they speak Spanish without any noticeable accent. So what Spanish students will hear in Barcelona is in fact much closer to “correct” Castilian Spanish than the Spanish they would hear in some other regions of Spain where Spanish is often spoken with a very strong regional accent.

For more information on please see learn Spanish in Barcelona

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Why study language courses abroad? It might open up a world of opportunity…

It’s a big, wide world out there but it’s finally starting to get smaller - especially if you can speak another language. 

Learn German in Germany
With the advent of social media, an increase in accessibility and more people studying foreign language courses abroad, we are communicating with each other like never before. And in this brave new age, being able to speak another tongue could be the key to getting ahead. 

 Experts collectively agree that those who speak another language are generally more successful; that speaking more than one language increases your confidence… and also your career prospects. In the UK we are notoriously apathetic towards learning another language - but employers may look more favourably on multi-lingual individuals when they submit their CV. 
Learn Russian in Russia

One expert even estimated that those who spoke an additional language, in sectors such as sales, marketing or technical support, earned between 10-15% more than average. 

And by studying language courses abroad you are increasing these prospects for success even further. The benefits of learning the language in the country it is spoken are huge: It is all too easy, when learning a language at home, to revert back into speaking English when it gets tough - because everybody does it. When you’re in Spain learning Spanish or in France learning French you can’t; you have to adjust and get through, relying less on your native tongue.

Learn French in Paris
Studying courses abroad will help you pick up the language far quicker; you will develop a more natural accent… just by learning from those all around you. 

And then there’s the added bonus of gaining a far greater understanding of different cultures - something you could never experience sat in a classroom at home. 

By studying language courses abroad, you never know what career opportunity could present itself on your return. 

For more information on studying language courses abroad, contact us on 01736 740000 or email info@livelanguagesabroad.co.uk. You can also find out more about this on our language courses abroad website