How I learnt Spanish! My Journey to Fluency


(pop music) – Hello, everyone. Welcome back to English With Lucy. I’ve got a slightly different
video for you today. It’s something I’ve had a lot
of questions about recently, and I’m going to talk to you
about how I became fluent in a second language. So, many of you will already know, but I’m sure many of you don’t know, I am fluent in Spanish. If you would like to
hear me speak Spanish, then you can click up here. I filmed a video speaking in Spanish, talking about the different, funny mistakes that I made whilst I was learning the language. Now, the reason I am telling
you this story in English, rather than in Spanish, is because I think it would
be a really good opportunity for you guys to practise your listening, and I also want you to feel more motivate with your language learning journey. Now, I will warn you, I was very lucky in my situation. So, I don’t want you to think, “Oh God, Lucy is fluent “because she had this, this, and this. “And she’s so lucky, and
the situation was perfect.” No, I want to just show
you and inspire you and kind of demonstrate that you can get to a
really good level of fluency in a language that is
not your mother tongue. And I have one thing to
say before we get started. You can sign up for a free audio book and 30-day free trial on The link is in the description box. Videos like these are subtitled, and would be really,
really helpful for you if you want to improve your listening, understanding, and
pronunciation in English. But if you want to take it a step further, try an audiobook. It’s something that can
be really, really helpful, and I’ve had fabulous
feedback from all the Lucifers that have tried it already. So, here it is, my journey to fluency in Spanish. Now, please not that fluency, to me, does not mean 100% accuracy. Fluency to me means that you can speak without thinking. It is almost as easy
as your native tongue. I dream in Spanish. I have had relationships in Spanish. I can make jokes in Spanish. So, really, I consider
myself to be fluent. You might not agree with that. I do know that there are some
issues with my pronunciation like (speaks in Spanish). I could do it, but sometimes don’t put it into the words, so sometimes I confuse
my (speaks in Spanish) with my (speaks in Spanish). So, please bear with me. Right, so let’s start
the journey as it were. I grew up in a really,
really small village in the County of Bedfordshire in England. And languages were never a
big thing at my school. So, typically, English children will have to study French at school from the age of 10, and then I think you are
allowed to give it up at the age of 14, or 13, 14. So, really, you only have to do three years of language. This is in state school,
not private school. It’s different. I started off in a state school, and then I went to a private
school for four years, and then I went back to state. And I had been studying French, and I hated it. I love the French language, but I found it really,
really hard to learn. I was in a class of 40 children. And French kind of had
the reputation of being the most boring class ever, so I kind of went along with that. And then when I move to my next school, suddenly, they told me I
had to learn two languages. So, I would continue with French, and then I could choose Spanish or German. I asked everyone, and I asked
which one is the easiest, and they told me Spanish was. So, I joined this class. It was about 25 girls,
because it was a girl school. I was at the very bottom
of the bottom class, because they’d had a couple of years, you know, Spanish experience,
and I had never… I’d never even been to
Spain at this point. So, I sat there in all of the classes, really bored, really unenthusiastic. I didn’t want to learn Spanish. I couldn’t wait to give it up. I could not wait to stop Spanish. And I knew that at the age
of 16, I would be able to. I went to every class, I sat there. I was like… (speaks in Spanish) And yeah, to my surprise, I suddenly found myself understanding things. While some of the other
students were struggling with the grammar, it really made sense to me, but I didn’t want it to make sense. So, is sat there bored, but then I couldn’t stop thinking
outside of Spanish class. Cool, that present tense really make sense. Oh, I’m a poet, and I
didn’t even realise it. Anyway, so, I decided, well, maybe I could get quite a good grade in the end of year exam if I actually study something. So, I started really putting the work in. And then I found the
class to be a bit slow, so I asked to be moved
up to the top level, and they lat me. And in the end, I got the
highest grade possible in my exam, age 16. But I really put the work in, and I remember, I’ve always
used to have a bath every night, well, I still do, but I remember very, very
clearly having a bath and just speaking to myself
in Spanish in the bath. And I would love to hear what I was saying back then. But then I decided to
carry it on to A level. And A level is last two years
of school, of high school, and you have to get your A levels to then go to university. I did three A levels. I did biology, chemistry, and Spanish. So, from then on, I decided that I loved Spanish. And I didn’t just love Spanish, I also decided that Spanish men were incredibly good looking and sexy. Sexy. Really, they were really attractive. So I started (speaks in Spanish). I started putting in a lot of effort. I was really lucky at my high school. I moved to a state school, and I was are lucky because nobody wanted to study languages. So, I think there were
200 people in my year. One person studied German, two people studied French, and three people studied Spanish. No one did, but it was great for me because I had a really, really small class with an amazing teacher. She was called Ms. Flores, and she was Irish even though
her surname was Flores. She was so inspirational and pushed me hard in a good way. And so, after one year
of studying Spanish, I then decided I want to
take this to the next level. So, after one more year
of studying Spanish, I mean I wouldn’t have
been even at B one level. It was very, very little,
the amount we were doing. But I decided I want to
take this to the next level. I was working at a pub, and I was saving up all my money, and I managed to buy flights and a Spanish course in Seville. Now, I don’t really know
why I picked Seville. I think it’s because my
first Spanish teacher had said that she’d been
to Seville and it was nice. So I thought, “Oh, I’ll
go to Seville then.” I had no idea that
Seville has a very thick Andalusian accent. So I go there with my
standard school girl Spanish, and I didn’t understand a blood word. (laughs) But anyway, I did week at a school called CLIC. It’s in the International
House Chain of Schools. It was really, really good. If you want to do an
intensive Spanish course, I would definitely do it there. And I stayed with a host family. And I met lots of Spanish people. And eventually, I met a
couple of Spanish guys that I then became friends with. So, it was a bit crazy. I was 17, running around Seville, going on mopeds and staying out far too late. Making it to class, because I wanted to learn my Spanish. So, I went first time in August, which was very, very hot. I saved up all my money again,
after the trip in August, and I went in October for another week. And then I went again in April. So, I was still 17 at this point. And a guys that I have been
friends with for a while, I met him again out there and, basically, we fell in love. We felt pretty hard in love, actually. We were together for four years. I won’t say his name, because I’d like to respect his privacy. But yes, I felt very much
in love with a Spanish man, and luckily, this man didn’t
speak such good English. So, our whole relationship was in Spanish. And we use to WhatsApp
together all day long. I would go out there and
see him as often as I could. I became so close with his family, and we ended up living together in London. We lived together in Seville. We lived together in London again. And that really was a driving force in my journey to fluency. And I would say after about
a year of being with him, I felt completely fluent. I felt that Spanish was
just my natural language. Because we were living together, I would go to work and speak in English, but my home life was always in Spanish. So, that was a really big motivation. But, you might be thinking, “Great Lucy, I’m so happy for you “that you managed to
fined a Spanish boyfriend. “But how can I apply this
to my language learning?” Well, I’ve got some tips for you. The first tip is copying mouth movements. So, when my ex-boyfriend would speak, I would always watch his mouth, and the shapes that it made. And I started to realise that the sounds and the shapes were different. So, in English, we would say the letter D. (sounding out letter D) But in Spanish, they would
say (sounding out letter D). So it would be like a flatter shape. And I notice this watching him. Because he’s from the south of Spain, he would say, instead
of (speaks in Spanish), he would say (speaks in Spanish). Instead of saying things
like (speaks in Spanish), he would say (speaks in Spanish). So, I started really, really
copying the sounds he made, rather than just the words. Another thing I experienced was complete immersion. So, I was thrown into
Spain at the deep end. I mean I had to communicate because he was someone I
wanted to communicate with. So, when you’re looking to
learn a foreign language, really make sure that
the motivation is there. “I want to pass my exam, “so that I an never study English again.” is not gonna make you fluent. You really have to think, “why do I want to learn this language?” And then work towards that. Mine was I want to be able
to communicate fluently, and comfortably, and expressed
myself to my boyfriend. So, that was my motivation, and oh my god, I worked
hard towards that goal. Now, another thing, which
you guys can also do is never let anything slip. And when I say never let anything slip, it means don’t think, “Oh god, I don’t know that word. “tomorrow I’ll search it.” because you won’t. I’ve got a video about learning vocabulary which you can see right here. But basically, every time
I heard my ex-boyfriend say a phrase or an expression
that I didn’t understand, I would stop him and ask
him to explain it to me. And if he couldn’t, I would write it down and
I would search it later, and I was meticulous with that. You aren’t just going to pick up all of the words and phrases, because some of them are idiomatic, they don’t make sense. I remember having a really hard time with the word (speaks in Spanish). Like (speaks in Spanish). And I was like (speaks in Spanish), what does that mean? And I remember that he
couldn’t explain to me, and I just went on quest,
on a road to discovery. I needed to find out what
(speaks in Spanish) meant and when I should us it. And I did in the end. So, yey! Go me! Another thing I did was I wasn’t afraid to ask
people to repeat things. And I actually found that
people were really kind to me. And when I ask them to repeat things or I didn’t understand a joke, they would slow down and explain it to me. And if they were rude about it, I didn’t want them in my life anyway. So, another thing I did was I always watched Spanish YouTubers. I loved Hola Soy German, and I also loved Auron Play. I just find him so funny. He does prank videos, and he just basically makes fun of people, and he’s very, very funny. And I also love El Rubius who is a gamer. I just would have them
on in the background, and always listening to
that chitter chatter. I also watched the Spanish
news every single morning. That really helped me as well. And I read Harry Potter in Spanish because I love the Harry
Potter books in English, so it was really interesting
to read it in Spanish. And that’s just something
that you have to remember. You need to be interested. You need to have a motivation. So for me, reading a book
about economics in Spanish would not motivate me at
all to learn the language, and I probably wouldn’t finish it. I probably wouldn’t start it actually. Yeah, so choose things that
are really relevant to you. If you like photography, but you also want to learn a language, find somebody doing photography tutorials in English, and there we have it. You’ve made your own lesson for yourself. Now, I want to talk to you
about a coupe of things that I love and I wouldn’t have without speaking a
second language fluently. And the first one is I
have two personalities. Honestly, everybody says it. In English, I’m not really very vulgar around… In English, I’m more professional, and I think I’m more… I’m slightly more polite, especially at the way I speak. But in Spanish, because I kind of learned
my Spanish from somebody who said swear words, and used lots of slang phrases, and had a thick accent, well, it kind of developed my
Spanish personality as well. I mean is not forced at ll. It’s just the way I naturally am, but it’s great to have kind of two sides to me as well. The second thing is two sets of humours. And this is great because English jokes do not
translate into Spanish, and Spanish jokes do not
translate into English. So, English, I make
people laugh using puns, and play on words, and things like that. And in Spanish, I have
to think of other things. In Spanish, we tell more anecdotes. We like to make people laugh about our experiences and things like that. That’s just my interpretation, but it’s great to have
different funny stories that I can tell to
different groups of people that just don’t translate. Also being fluent in
the second language has really opened up my mind. It’s made me much more confident. Nowadays, if I hear somebody
speaking on a train in Spanish, I’ll immediately go up to them and say… (speaks in Spanish) And then I’ll ask them, “Oh
my God, where are you from?” and that’s something that
I would not do otherwise. And just the final thing is that I really, really enjoy speaking Spanish. And if you can get to a level where you enjoy speaking that language, everything is just going to fly. You are going to have so much fun. So yes, guys, this is quite a long video. I hope that it’s motivated you and inspired you a little bit. Yes, I had a boyfriend
who spoke the language that I was wanting to learn, but you don’t have to do that. It might not be possible. And you certainly shouldn’t look for one just to learn English. I was very lucky, but take little bits of
information from my story an apply it to your own story, which might be starting. It might have already started. You might be close to finishing. And just do the best that you can do with your situation and your time. That’s it for today’s video. Don’t forget to sign up for
your audiobook at The link is in the description, and don’t forget to connect with me on all of my social media. I’ve got my Instagram and my Facebook, and I will see you soon
for another lesson. (lips smack) (pop music)


100 Responses

  1. animasi bocah kampret

    May 7, 2019 1:17 pm

    Good thing he dint use duolingo were going to see the news about a women is missing


    May 8, 2019 7:41 pm

    I think you will find its "I'm a poet, and I didn't even know it" – For goodness sakes at least make it rhyme!


    May 20, 2019 1:36 am

    El español es el segundo idioma más hablado (en número absoluto de países). Si tú hablas inglés y español, simplemente puedes comunicarte con nada menos que 80% de la población del planeta. Es el segundo idioma más usado en el comercio internacional, el segundo más usado en las redes sociales y el segundo idioma extranjero más estudiado del mundo.

  4. Learn A Language

    May 28, 2019 7:03 pm

    So fascinating! In this video you come across as quite reserved which is perfectly fine. But then I watched your Spanish video that you referred to and your personality changed dramatically. In the Spanish language you speak so passionately and expressively which I found so endearing.

  5. Stephanie Dower

    June 9, 2019 4:15 pm

    Lucy U R so amazing, your channel, your lessons <3. I regret I haven't discovery you sooner! I have a question for U, how to manage learning 2 languages. I'm mean the key is to dive in into, to make it part of our daily life, right? But how to manage second and third languages at the same time?

  6. Jorge P.S

    June 10, 2019 7:04 pm

    I'm fluent but I still sound Spanish, I can't speak like you, it's impossible, I don't have that personality swap ability like you, lol, it's like I'm me but in English, 😅😅😅, though I don't have a strong accent as I don't pronounce the H like a J or the Y like Ll, I also speak more in the American way sometimes cos I find it easier and faster, lol.

    I can also say "Started" or "Saturday" with a "t" but with a "r" is faster and easier, 😅😅😅, or "You've got to go" instead of "You gotta go" also the "r" at the end, I'm not used to mute it so I also pronounce it in words like "Car", lol, once I tried to say it without the "r" but it sounded like something was missing and I didn't see myself saying it that way, I'm too Spanish, I think, 😅.

    But obviously if I had an English girlfriend I'd try to speak and sound as English as possible, in the things I can, cos in others I just can't, it'd be strange cos I'd be forcing myself and my spanish me always comes out cos I like to feel like myself when I speak, but I guess with practice I could do it, for you it's easy cos it's really incredible indeed how you can switch from feeling Spanish to be yourself again in English but I can't do that, 😔. Anyway, nice and really interesting video, 👌.

  7. Rafael Cuevas

    June 25, 2019 2:17 pm

    I wasn't particulary good in landguages when I was at school but then I met a German girl and instantly fell in love with her. I didn't know a word of German and had no choice of lerning. Her English was pretty good for her age whilst mine was poor (I was 16 and she 15). Anyway, English was the only way for us to comunicate. So, as you said, motivation.
    The first letters I wrote her were really hard and most times led to misundertandings considering I was translating from Spanish and she into German. But with the time we improved more and more to a point that we both were the best in English in our schools. Then I learnt German and she did the same with Spanish. She speaks Spanish just the same way you do. I moved to Germany, got married and had two beautiful daughters. After a time we moved to Málaga where we presently live. Our daughters are native both in German and Spanish. At school they learn English and French so they, as well as their parents, can speak in four landguages.

  8. Jose Herrero

    June 28, 2019 9:48 pm

    Hi Lucy, Me encantan tus 2 personalidades, jajaja, they are really nice, and I agree with you every single word of your video. Al final la mejor forma de ser fluido en un idioma es "dormir con el diccionario". Disfruto mucho with your videos, and learn a lot from them. As you say, English is not my mother language, but I try to do my best with it. Keep doing these awesome posts. Jose

  9. Hector Muñoz

    July 1, 2019 5:56 am
    Join if you want to learn Spanish

  10. Annie Evie

    July 8, 2019 7:21 am

    I completely understand you for the last part (different personalities, different senses of humor, etc.) because I studied Mandarin in high school and learn it to a comfortable level just like you with Spanish!

  11. Andy GoH

    July 9, 2019 3:41 pm

    You are a terrific teacher. Quite helpful and very good videos.
    This one, though, extremely painful to watch. So many wrong things that keep one away from fluency, let alone personal fulfilment.

  12. Sarah Whatnall

    July 10, 2019 1:28 pm

    me encanta este video! he comprado un libro en espanol, la traducción de lo que ya he leído en ingles. (corrígeme si me equivoco, por favor)

  13. A. Hernandez

    July 15, 2019 7:25 pm

    Hola, me gustaría aprovechar para decir a todos los angloparlantes que como Lucy se decidieron a aprender español o van a hacerlo en el futuro, que sepan que como se suele decir por el precio de uno e llevan casi dos, es decir con el español se aprende también una buena parte del portugués y no menos importante parte del italiano esto es algo que solo ocurre con el español y por eso y por muchas cosa mas que no voy a decir aquí porque seria muy largo la elección del español como segunda lengua es una decisión muy recomendada por cierto congratulations for you excellen spanish Lucy, I hope same day I will be able to speak English as well as you speak spanish

  14. MARIA Cebrecos

    July 28, 2019 6:25 pm

    If you want to learn good Spanish, don't go to the South (Andalucía, Murcia, Extremadura…). You'd better go to Castilla, in general. Or even to the North, Santander, Bilbao, San Sebastián… And you, girls, take care of Spanish guys. Most of them are very chauvinist still, in the twenty-first century. Believe me, I'm Spanish and this statement comes from the horse's mouth.

  15. Marlon Edinson Díaz

    August 1, 2019 9:37 pm

    If you want to see play on words in Spanish, you should watch Cantinflas movies. He did it so much that the Real Academia Española de la Lengua added the verb Cantinflear to the Spanish language. Also, Charles Chaplin didn't like sound movies, but still considered Cantinflas a true genius.

  16. Mia Duff

    August 6, 2019 10:36 pm

    Wow very inspiring 🙂 I would love to be fluent in Spanish I’ve been learning it for a year now and I know basics

  17. #Julia_Hiszpanka

    August 7, 2019 8:19 pm

    Oh I enjoy learning Spanish too 💗 It was amazing to hear from you about your experience with Spanish.
    In my case, I wanted to learn Spanish from beginning and it had been my right decision because now I'm going to study Spanish filology 💞

  18. Sara 246

    August 8, 2019 4:13 pm

    I'm from Madrid and I'D LOVE to meet you!!! We might bump into each other someday in the Metro 😂

  19. Tami Day

    August 9, 2019 5:45 pm

    I'm trying to learn spanish, but it's so hard, english was much easier to learn 🙈
    I'm also trying to watch spanish tv Shows, but i don't understand anything 😂😂

  20. ܬܠܡܝܕܐ ܕܡܫܝܚܐ

    August 12, 2019 2:25 pm

    It could easily be that Spanish made sense to her because she had learned a bit of French earlier.

  21. Jennifer Barrios

    August 14, 2019 8:26 pm

    Hello, so i try to talk english but i dont what happend to me….i try all lot of things but i cand learn.
    My english is not bad but i want to learn more.

  22. Rainy Day

    August 16, 2019 5:05 pm

    Hola Lucy. Que bueno que hablas Español también. Yo soy rumana y aprendí español from telenovelas cuando era muy joven. De vez en cuando miro telenovelas en Netflix aquí en Inglaterra para que no se me olvida la idioma. Besos y gracias por todo lo que haces en Youtube x

  23. Orange Peel A.

    August 19, 2019 5:26 am

    If I were you I definitely would choose to learn German and French plus Italian ,yes, I play piano…lol

  24. Mónica Cárceles

    August 19, 2019 9:33 pm

    Hahhahahhahajjha oh my God I have laughed so much with your Andalucia’s accent 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣.
    If you want to learn Spanish I would highly recomend not going to the south of the country

  25. enrrique paredes

    August 21, 2019 6:04 pm

    I am from colombia . Me gusta me orgullese que una mujer inglesa ame mi lengua gracias profesora me gustan sus claces

  26. yoututubus

    August 22, 2019 6:12 pm

    I've been saying this forever and to everyone: the BEST motivation EVER is to get yourself a boyfriend/girlfriend whose native language is the one you want to learn and you WILL learn it. Of course, you need to try to speak that language with your boyfriend/girlfriend and not just try to get them to speak yours. It works 100% 👍😉

  27. soroush soltani

    August 26, 2019 6:47 am

    i dream to have relationship with Spanish girl that's why i started Spanish… the same as yours lovely Lucy

  28. Jesús Gómez

    August 30, 2019 8:07 am

    I wish i were the lucky fellow sitting in a train beside you to whom you asked "perdona…?" I am actually a spaniard…..

  29. Ramiro Hurtado Lizarme

    August 31, 2019 6:44 am

    If you wanna master English or any other language just get a boyfriend or girlfriend 😂😂I guess that I'll have to get a girlfriend

  30. Florencia Sánchez

    September 2, 2019 2:30 am

    Lucyy tengo que decirte que estoy aprendiendo ingles y viendo este video me puse muy contenta porque entendi casi todo lo que dijiste!! Ojala veas este comentario, me ayudaste mucho jaja

  31. Sneha Das

    September 4, 2019 4:20 pm

    I also want to learn Spanish. Bcoz I m in love with the spanish songs. That's why I want to sing Spanish nd English songs with understanding the language. I have been learning Spanish since some months.
    Hola to everyone from India👊❤

  32. Natalie Muñoz

    September 5, 2019 12:59 am

    This is how I learnt spanish….just repeating what my mom said as a child (is my mother tongue 🤣). Greetings from Chile 🇨🇱

  33. Alex Puerta

    September 5, 2019 8:49 pm

    i think taht if you understand andalusian you are officially a spanish speaker fluent.
    said it by an andalusian myself!

  34. Sebastián

    September 14, 2019 3:23 am

    I'm what we hispanicamericans know as "el cacas". I'm very fluent in English but I'm not interested into living in an English-speaking country. I learn German but I'm very lucky at getting almost every European girl, except by Germans. My ex-girlfriend is Dutch and when I had like one year to learn Dutch and practice it, I didn't do anything, nowadays I'm learning Dutch but I've got nobody to practice it with xd #KillMePlease

  35. Santiago Pedernal

    September 14, 2019 5:08 pm

    No se q te haces si sos mas argentina q el dulce de leche, esta bien q hablas bien en british english pero se nota el acento

  36. A God

    September 15, 2019 9:31 am

    Excellent story. And I love you're explanation of motivation. Reading is the #1 study lesson in all languages. I also love your explanation of personalities development.

  37. Castor Polux

    September 15, 2019 11:34 pm

    Eres la angloparlante que mejor habla español que yo haya visto. Al menos en lo poco que hablaste en español se nota una fluidez y acento perfectos. Y digo ¡perfecto! Si no lo dices no se notaría que eres inglesa. Felicitaciones.

    Saludos desde Ecuador.

  38. And Bed

    September 22, 2019 9:12 am

    Now.. of all the youtube English teachers one can come across on here, YOU Lucy are the most credible one – for once there's someone who teaches, but who has actually learnt a foreign language, thus has a practical experience & understands the process. Thumbs up! I myself have learnt 2 foreign laguages (for the last 2 years I've also been taking Spanish lessons) now I work as a language teacher, and I AM SO GONNA recommend my students to watch your videos, this one in particular
    Ps he visto un otro video donde estas hablando totalmente en español .. mi español sigue siendo mucho peor que el tuyo, pero trabajo duro y espero que mejore. Un fuerte abrazo.


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