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How Eric became fluent in Spanish

Eric has wanted to learn Spanish his whole life. And now, with a Spanish-speaking partner and plans to move to Spain, Spanish fluency is no longer optional! Here is his story.

Full Podcast Episode


Here’s how Eric broke through to Spanish fluency.

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to get some great quizzing practice with lo que, el que, la que, and the subjunctives of Ser and Estar.

But first, I’d like to read a testimonial from our coaching student Eric. Eric had spent a long time working on Spanish, but when he finally dedicated himself to rebuilding fluency from the ground up, he had an enormous transformation.

After a year of coaching with us, here’s a summary of what Eric had to say:

My biggest motivation to learn Spanish was that my partner is from Spain, and while she is a polyglot, her family speaks only Spanish. I wanted to be able to participate in conversations and save my partner from always having to act as a translator. We have also been considering relocating to Spain at some point, so obviously, some degree of fluency would make that transition much easier.

Before doing language coaching, my Spanish was quite poor. While I studied Spanish briefly in college and have worked through numerous online programs, apps and books, conversational Spanish was both frustrating and embarrassing.

When I discovered LearnCraft Spanish, I was hesitant to join for two reasons. First, it was quite a challenge for me to accept my starting point as a beginner. Second, I was unsure that I would be any more successful with the program than all of my prior attempts. But what convinced me to join was the unique approach. I have studied memory techniques for years and loved the idea of using memory palaces. Also, once I started using the materials it was quickly apparent that many of my struggles related to conversational Spanish resulted from a real lack of understanding and competency with basic grammatical construction.

The personalized coaching approach has been tremendously useful. My coach, Alejandro, has been able to modify lessons and emphasize things that are of importance to my personal situation, something that you won’t find in apps and software programs. I’ve also loved the emphasis on learning how to construct sentences and conversations rather than simple memorization.

I now comfortably understand 60-80% of normal conversation at normal speed. My partner and I are able to watch Spanish television without subtitles and I am rarely lost, which is quite fun. I also feel that I can have decent conversations in Spanish and have less trepidation than ever before in doing so. While I realize that I still have a lifetime of learning to do, I feel much more prepared to travel in Spanish-speaking countries and to interact with family.

When we asked Eric what he would say to someone who’s considering Spanish coaching, here’s how he responded:

The coaching program is invaluable if you really want to SPEAK Spanish. There is a huge difference between cognitively knowing rules, conjugations and grammar and actually applying them, at speed, in practice. As an educator myself, I know that my job is to save students 5-10 years of hard work by giving them shortcuts to gain expertise. I believe this coaching program does exactly that.

You can read Eric’s full testimonial at LCSPodcast.com/30. And if you want to be our next success story, you can apply to work with me and the team in the same coaching program that Eric used.

All right, now let’s get into today’s quiz and practice everything we’ve been working on recently on the podcast:

Were you with the one(f) that was here?

¿Estabas con la que estaba aquí?

I am here so that the girls be friends.

Estoy aquí para que las chicas sean amigas.

They want us to be with the one(m) that knows you.

They want que estemos con el que te knows.

Quieren que estemos con el que te conoce.

I want what your friends(m) have.

I want lo que tus amigos have.

Quiero lo que tus amigos tienen.

I was at my house, but they(f) weren’t.

Yo estaba en mi casa, pero ellas no lo estaban.

You’re the one(m) that is at the place!

¡Eres el que está en el lugar!

How good that you’re here!

¡Qué bueno que estés aquí!

Are you(formal) well?

¿Usted está bien?

My friends are at your(formal) house.

Mis amigos están en su casa.

I am the one(f) that wants to be a student.

Soy la que wants ser student.

Soy la que quiere ser estudiante.

I won’t know what to do when they are here.

Yo no will know qué to do cuando estén aquí.

Yo no sabré qué hacer cuando estén aquí.

It’s a good place, or a good house.

Es un buen lugar, o una buena casa.

He is nicer than she.

Él es nicer que ella.

Él es más amable que ella.

If you’re not here, I want to be at home.

Si tú no estás aquí, I want estar en casa.

Si tú no estás aquí, quiero estar en casa.

Our friend(m) wants me to be your mentor.

Nuestro amigo wants que yo sea tu mentor.

Nuestro amigo quiere que yo sea tu mentor.

We were at the good houses.

Estábamos en las buenas casas.

Either they are friends(f) or they want us to be friends(f).

O son amigas o they want que seamos amigas.

O son amigas o quieren que seamos amigas.

The good (thing) is that they are not present.

Lo bueno es que no están.

We are with your(formal) friends(m).

Estamos con sus amigos.

I want the place to be good.

I want que el lugar sea bueno.

Quiero que el lugar sea bueno.

We want you to be the one(f) that does it.

We want que seas la que lo does.

Queremos que seas la que lo haga. 

How good that the boy is OK!

¡Qué bueno que el chico esté bien!

You can get more practice with all of this and everything else we’ve learned on the podcast at LCSPodcast.com/30.

And stick around, because next week we’ll finish our foundational work on Ser and Estar.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was provided by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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