|La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel - San Miguel de Allende|
¡Bienvenidos! Welcome !
Spring vacation is over and local Spanish classes are starting July 2nd in San Miguel de Allende at the Warren Hardy Spanish School. Classes offer a full range of both language and cultural studies, and are most appealing to retirees, "curious expats", and visitors.
Why "Buenos Dias" Means More
Than "Good morning"
At the very beginning of the Level 1 course, titled "Power Verbs", students learn some of the most important Spanish words and phrases that are used in the social protocol of the Hispanic culture. Greetings, farewells, requesting space or attention, and giving a blessing on a meal are the four areas of social protocol that will allow students to connect with locals, overcome fears of using Spanish. These protocols are the basic dance of the Hispanic culture and everyone uses them since it is the mothers responsibility to teach them.
The most important way to begin communicating is to use a formal greeting. This is when you share a moment with someone who will return the greeting with a smile. The formal greeting is more than just a greeting. The purpose of the greeting is to acknowledge someone when they enter your space. That is why you should always say the greeting as you enter the market, a store, a restaurant, a taco stand or even an elevator (Yes, people actually do greet everyone as they get on an elevator.) As you enter the space, just say to everyone Buenos dias. Everyone will turn and acknowledge your presence with a Buenos dias.
The way do this properly in a more personal way is when you are face to face with someone; in the bank, pharmacy, restaurant, bar, or any store. For example, let's say you are in the market purchasing your vegetables. Once you have made your selections, patiently wait your turn. You approach the lady. You make eye contact, smile and use the greeting with a title of respect. Buenos dias Señora. The lady will smile and greet you back. At that point, it does not make any difference how lousy your Spanish might be. The person in front of you will do everything they can to serve you because you have connected at the heart and shown proper respect.
Imagine an American or Canadian or anyone from a foreign country walking down a street in San Miguel de Allende. There is a local Mexican walking towards them at a distance. At some point eyes may briefly meet, and the foreigner says Buenos Dias with a smile. They may receive a reply with a smile and Hola, Buenos Dias. A powerful moment is shared, however briefly. The local Mexican man or woman feels that the foreigner has shown respect for their cultural protocol and language. Perhaps they may have had a different experience as many foreigners may be seen as cold or even rude since they may not greet each other in the same way in their culture.
It might be important to note here that sometimes in passing people will just say >Adios. This is considered a high greeting and literally means "to god".
When you experience this type of exchange it can be very rewarding and empowering. You have barely started to study the language yet you are already communicating with Mexican locals and showing respect for the culture. You are not just studying Spanish, you are living it, and seeing how it works with the basic social protocols. This can be very inspiring and motivating to learn more to be able to communicate more.
Why the Online Learning Option is a Good Idea - Learning Spanish is a life long process.
You will not learn it all in just one class. Most students study before class, during class and then continue to study after class. Learning another language is a complicated skill. You need to learn the words and then practice putting them together. The online course will give you the content and practice you need so you can feel comfortable in front of native speakers. We have found that the most successful students use our online course before and after the classroom experience. The online course has exactly the same content as the classroom course with Warren teaching directly into the camera. More online course details >
Again, we have found that students who study online before the class have a much better success rate. You own the online course forever and can continue to study it during and after the class for the rest of your life. How cool is that ? Check out this sample video so your can see exactly how this course works.