Antigua Guatemala is world-renowned for its Spanish language schools.

Learning Spanish in Antigua Guatemala

Learning Spanish Antigua Guatemala is world-renowned for its Spanish language schools.


Antigua Guatemala is world-renowned for its Spanish language schools.  Mrs. Yolkobsen, determined to conquer the language, signed up for a few weeks of Spanish instruction at one of the many fine Spanish language schools here.

Here are five things to avoid when learning Spanish.

First, don’t confuse cowboys (vaquero) with horses (caballos).  

My sister got a fast lesson when she went to a local horse riding stable, and asked to ride a cowboy.  Well, you get the picture.

Second, don’t confuse avocados (aguacates) with lawyers (abogados).  

This is highly offensive to vegetables everywhere and to avocados in particular.

Third, don’t try to order fast food over the phone in Spanish.  

This is especially true when ordering  pizza from a large American chain that will go unmentioned here.  Okay, here’s a hint: the name incorporates the age old game of dominoes.  Need I say more?  The trouble is that even after you listen to the manic recording braying about their specials, you still get a Stepford Wife order-taker who cranks out pitches regarding the specials live and in person. Just for you! If you must order from this polka dot pizza concern or others like it, just remember the mantra:  !Quiero solomente una pizza! I just want a pizza!  I just want a zzzzz. Rinse and repeat.

Fourth, don’t sign up for a six-hour-a-day program at your Spanish school.

Three to four hours to start is more than ample. Seriously.  Don’t forget that most of these schools offer one-on-one instruction and conversation, so think twice:  do you really want to spend six hours a day with Juanita? She’ll tell you all about her troubles, how her husband doesn’t help around the house, how much it costs to send her kids to school, how she wishes she’d gone to Med school or become an international super model when she had the chance and most of all how really the last thing in the world she would like to do is:  teach you espanol.  Worse, she knows of no available cowboys.

Fifth, don’t waste your time memorizing the following Maya 2012 calendar question.

“?Cuando el fin del mundo comienza?” “When will the end of the world start?”  Clearly, this has already started and we are in process.  Better to ask when will the end of the world end?  You’ll need to know this so, at the last minute, you are not wasting time or money buying savings bonds, memorizing irregular verbs, planting oak trees or having your roots touched up.


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