«The limits of my language are the limits of my world»
If you're like most of my readers...
English is your native language and you’ve already reached an intermediate level of Spanish. You’re able to write and understand texts of a certain complexity. And that’s great, but you don’t settle for that. You lack a vital part.
You want to speak.
And you want to do it fluently, clearly and confidently. Why else have you been studying Spanish?
My experience as a language learner
In the USA
I was good at English. I’d always aced my exams at school. It was then, when I went to Minnesota, that the reality slapped my face. People didn’t understand me clearly.
After 10 years of studying!
«What? What?» – Americans kept asking.
(I used to repeat my sentence over and over again).
«Ahh! You mean … ?» – they finally said, repeating my exact words!!!
It was frustrating.
Even if my vocabulary and grammar were perfect, they didn’t understand. My pronunciation was terrible.
“Study Spanish, get it perfect and then go and speak flawless Spanish”
That’s what we are told.
But the reality is rather the other way round: speak first and then get it perfect.
The reality, again
I got itchy feet so, when I finished my degree in teaching, I moved to Finland.
Finnish is the most phonetic language -with the latin alphabet. I already knew all the sounds of this language except one (ä) so I shouldn’t have problems to make myself understand. Well, that’s what I thought.
I’d been studying Finnish for 6 month during 8 h a day when I realized, again, that what I learned at school had nothing to do with what I heard on the street.
It was very difficult to understand and I felt uncomfortable several times, asking every 10 minutes “what does it mean?” or thinking I would slow down the conversation.
This kind of mistakes may be funny at a specific point but they can make us feel awkward too.
Every action has an impact
I wanted to speak the language spoken by the natives and I wanted to do it clearly. So I got serious with my speaking. Magical moments don’t always happen in our mother tongue and I wanted to make the most of every single one.
The first time I heard “where are you from?” I couldn’t believe it -people always noticed I was Spanish (or Italian). That meant that I was talking more naturally and I didn’t have such a thick Spanish accent anymore. I was the happiest woman on earth.
I felt confident when I had to speak, I was able to express whatever I wanted and I got a better job.
Native speakers were a key factor for my pronunciation improvemnt.
Blanca as a kid
Since childhood, the Spanish language has always drawn my attention. It was my favourite signature, after Physical Education.
Syntax, grammar, phonetics… Most of my classmates disliked all that “boring stuff” but I found it enjoyable (yeah, you will notice I’m a little weirdo).
However, as a kid, I never said “I want to be a teacher of Spanish when I grow up”. -It only was my mother tongue!
But then it happened.
Blanca as a Spanish teacher
What I do
I help demanding English-natives, with a desire for self-improvement, to reduce their accent in Spanish, understand fast-talking natives and improve their self-confidence. Even if they don’t have much time or an advanced level.
I’m the first Spanish native who is specialized in pronunciation online for the English native professionals. I want to share with you all what I’ve learned. A defined road map that will get you straight to the point, with few theory and more practice.
A little more personal
I was born in Madrid, 5 minutes later than my twin brother. I have a little sister and a cat afraid of plastic bags.
I love travelling, mingling with the locals, taking pictures and food -all the food, except bananas. A good reason to travel (I mean food, not bananas).
I’m addicted to spicy, and mayonnaise.
As a child I hated pink colour, dresses and Barbies -I told you I’m a bit weird.
I hate posing in pictures and TV.
I like TV series –I love “Grace and Frankie”-, table games, sunsets, skiing, comfortable clothes and the smell of bread and magazines.
I can sleep anywhere at any time. I’ve slept while standing, in the disco and with rats bigger than my cat.
Still, I sleep around 5 hours a day. As some Spaniards say: “ya dormiré cuando esté muerto”.
I’m fine with snakes, spiders, lizards… But the earthworms… (You should see my face right now to know what I feel when I touch one of them… aghh).