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Spanish fluency, after a lifetime of trying!

Mike became fluent in Spanish after a lifetime of trying — in this episode we’ll talk about how he did it, and we’ll practice all of the Spanish skills we’ve learned up to this point with a comprehensive quiz.

Full Podcast Episode


A little story about how Mike became fluent in Spanish.

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 practice everything we’ve learned so far, with emphasis on the advanced uses of Ser that we learned in yesterday’s episode.

But first, a little encouragement. I’d like to read you a testimonial from one of our coaching students, Mike, who worked with us last year. Mike is a great example of how working on essential grammar can help you finally break through to fluency, even after a lifetime of attempts at learning Spanish. You can read the full interview with Mike at LCSPodcast.com/20, but I’ll just read out the highlights of what he told us.

[note: Link to the full interview here ​​https://www.learncraftspanish.com/testimonials/mike-ginani]

Mike says:

My great grandparents on my mom's side are from Mexico. Growing up I remember listening to family members speaking Spanish and wished I could understand and speak with them. I took Spanish in high school and in college and they were my favorite subjects, although I was nowhere near fluent. I always felt like I had some "unfinished business" in becoming fluent in Spanish.

Before discovering LearnCraft Spanish, My Spanish was not great. Most of my Spanish consisted of knowing some vocabulary words, and I did learn some conjugations in the past but I really had no recollection of them. 

When I considered coaching, I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure if someone my age who didn’t currently know much Spanish could become fluent. I was also self-conscious about speaking in front of the teachers and the group classes. But Timothy and the teachers took the time to answer my questions, and since there was no long-term commitment, I thought, why not give it a try?

In the ensuing year, I went from not really being able to convey anything to being able to pretty much say whatever I want to say. I can now speak with my Mexican family members in Spanish. Also, I am confident in living/spending time in Spanish speaking countries and knowing that I can get by without only spending time in tourist areas. There is still vocabulary that I do not know but usually I am able to convey what I want to say by pulling from vocabulary that I do know. I am a volunteer in an organization that helps disadvantaged people. This organization often needs someone who can communicate with Spanish speakers. I am now helping with this which is very rewarding.

We also asked Mike what he would say to anyone who is considering joining our coaching program, and he said:

You will not regret it. My coaches, Diana, Ailén and Carolina have been so helpful and are patient and understanding. The group classes (in addition to the one on one class with an instructor) gave me a chance to use my Spanish multiple times per week. Just do it!

Now I’m not here trying to tell you that you have to join our coaching, although that is an option if you really want to work hard toward fluency along with my team like Mike did. But the main reason I wanted to share Mike’s story today is to help encourage you through the difficult grammar that we’re working on right now. Mike made the biggest breakthroughs near the beginning of his work with us, by pushing through the essentials that we’ve been covering on the podcast up to this point. So hang in there, and remember that once we’re over this mountain of tricky grammar, fluency will all be downhill.

Now let’s use today’s quiz to practice everything we’ve learned this week.

The guys are coming from over there.

Los chicos are coming de over there.

Los chicos vienen de allí.

The problem was that he didn’t know her.

The problem era que él no la knew.

El problema era que él no la conocía.

It’s the girl’s friend(m).

Es el amigo de la chica.

Es el amigo de la chica.

What is your paper cup on?

¿En qué is your cup de paper?

¿En qué está tu vaso de papel?

My concern is that my friend isn’t here.

My concern es que my amigo no is here.

Mi preocupación es que mi amigo no está aquí.

You are with the guy?

¿are con el chico?

¿Tú estás con el chico?

It was by my favorite author(f).

Era por my favorite author.

Era por mi autora favorita.

It’s because of that.

Es por eso.

Es por eso.

Are they friends? We are.

¿Ellos son amigos? Nosotros lo somos.

¿Ellos son amigos? Nosotros lo somos.

Why are you here at 6?

¿Por qué are here a 6?

¿Por qué estás tú aquí a las seis?

We were friends so that you could have that.

Éramos amigos para que tú could have eso.

Éramos amigos para que tú pudieras tener eso.

You said that you(m) were a friend.

said que eras un amigo.

Tú dijiste que eras un amigo.

It’s because of the girls.

Es por las chicas.

Es por las chicas.

The girls are here in order to be your friends.

Las chicas are here para ser your amigas.

Las chicas están aquí para ser tus amigas.

She is taller than he.

Ella es taller que él.

Ella es más alta que él.

He’s from Chile.

Es de Chile.

Es de Chile.

I wasn’t their friend(f), but she was.

Yo no era their amiga, but ella lo era.

Yo no era su amiga, pero ella lo era.

I’m a girl.

Soy una chica.

Soy una chica.

And that was because of being his friend(m).

Y eso era por ser his amigo.

Y eso era por ser su amigo.

They(f) knew me — they were my friends.

Ellas me knew — eran my amigas.

Ellas me conocían, eran mis amigas.

I was at the station because of being a thief(m).

Yo was en the station por ser un thief.

Yo estaba en la estación por ser un ladrón.

The girl that knows you has that.

La chica que te knows has eso.

La chica que te conoce tiene eso.

My concern is that he ran to the store.

My concern es que él ran a the store.

Mi preocupación es que él corrió a la tienda.

Why are the girls friends?

¿Por qué son las chicas amigas?

¿Por qué son las chicas amigas?

The guy is around here.

El chico is por here.

El chico está por aquí.

What is the point of being friends(m)?

¿What es the point de ser amigos?

¿Cuál es el punto de ser amigos?

It was a friend, that’s why she watched him.

Era un amigo, por eso ella lo watched.

Era un amigo, por eso ella lo miraba.

I met them(m) in order to be friends.

Yo los met para ser amigos.

Yo los conocí para ser amigos.

You and we(f) were friends(f).

Tú y nosotras éramos amigas.

Tú y nosotras éramos amigas.

Why were you his friend(m)?

¿Por qué eras tú his amigo?

¿Por qué eras tú su amigo?

It’s for the girl’s friends(m).

Es para los amigos de la chica.

Es para los amigos de la chica.

They were friends for many years.

Eran amigos por many years.

Eran amigos por muchos años.

How strange that he’s in the car!

¡Qué strange que he’s en the car!

¡Qué raro que esté en el auto!

I was the girl that walked along this street!

¡Yo era la chica que walked por this street!

¡Yo era la chica que caminó por esta calle!

She isn’t a friend, you are.

Ella no es una amiga, tú lo eres.

Ella no es una amiga, tú lo eres.

I said that needs to be here by tonight.

Yo said que eso needs to be here para tonight.

Yo dije que eso tiene que estar aquí para esta noche.

For more practice with everything we’ve learned up to this point, go to LCSPodcast.com/20.

Next week things get really exciting — we’re going to learn the verb Estar, along with some more words that are going to help us say lots of different things entirely in Spanish.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach [...]. 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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