I’ve been living in Colombia for a little over a year now. I made plans to return home in time for Christmas and to stay in the United States for a while. My teacher tells me my Spanish level is B2, which isn’t so bad.
One of my biggest worries is forgetting the Spanish that I’ve already learned.
The hardest part of learning a language for someone like me is going out and finding people to speak with. I generally don’t even speak to people in English, in Spanish it will be twice as hard.
It isn’t difficult to find Spanish speakers in the States, only I fear I wont be inclined to speak Spanish with them. In South America I have to, and I choose to even if the person I’m speaking with speaks English. But in an English speaking country I feel as though I’d be going out of my way to speak it.
I use apps and websites and can read news articles in Spanish, but the human interaction is what I think will be lacking when I move back home. Apps like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo just don’t do it for me, I need the face-to-face with a native speaker.
In a Spanish speaking country the language is all around me, and even when you’re not trying, sitting in a coffee shop working, for example, your ear catches a phrase or a sentence coming from the next table over you otherwise wouldn’t have heard or spoken had you not been living there.
I guess I’ll have to look up language exchange events, even though I don’t like them, and just force myself to speak Spanish with people even though it might be a bit awkward. I’d hate to have to lose the progress I’ve made during my stay here.
Spanish is a very useful and beautiful language, over 400 million people in 21 countries speak it. A year ago I could barely order a steak, now I’m reading, though very slowly, The Old Man and The Sea in Spanish, and that’s good progress.