Back to school for my holiday in Columbia


If you learnt at school, but haven’t touched the language since, Rosetta Stone can be the perfect tool for rediscovering how much you already know. This was the case for Susanne, who used our app to gem-up on her Spanish before a big trip to Columbia this Summer.

“You’d be surprised how much comes back…..

I started a couple of months before I went to Columbia and that was enough to learn the basics sufficiently to have a normal conversation. It had been 9 years since I really learnt any Spanish at all, but the fact that I was going to Columbia motivated me to look at it again.”

Choose somewhere you really need the language

“It’s very important to know some Spanish in Columbia because hardly anyone speaks English, even in hotels and restaurants.

This was especially true when we went to Nuqui, a very remote town on Pacific coast. There were no roads no internet, no cash machines. The only way you could get there was by plane. And there was really no one in the whole place speaking a word of English!

We couldn’t even use the internet to look things up. I was grateful that I had downloaded some of the Rosetta Stone lessons in advance.”

Don’t be afraid of the locals on holiday: One day I got sick and my boyfriend, who doesn’t speak any Spanish, refused to leave the hotel room. He said: “I can’t understand anybody, its embarrassing”

Memorable conversations in the new language

“One of the most rewarding conversations I remember is with the cab driver when we first arrived in Bogotá. He told us about the development of the city and the political scene in the town. I think he was moaning a bit, but for me it was really reassuring to realise I could understand what he was saying as well as getting some insights about the city from a local person.

Some people had warned me that it would be hard to understand the South American accents if I had learnt European Spanish, but I didn’t find it a problem”

Tips and tricks for learning with Rosetta Stone

“It’s important to use it every day, so that you get regular repetitions and an accumulated learning. I did it every day before sleeping because they say that you are more likely to remember things that you look at right before you sleep.

I certainly believe that, wherever you go, it’s worth learning some basic words and phrases so that you can start conversations.  People always appreciate it if you make an effort. I have never had anyone laugh when I tried, or dismiss me. Instead they were always happy and grateful that I was trying to learn their language. Actually, the more remote the place or culture, the more this is true. “


Congratulations Susanne on your Spanish success! And thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. We wish you all the best with your future language learning.


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About the Author Simon Goodall

Language learner, teacher and contributing author to the Rosetta Stone magazine

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