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Learn Spanish in Santiago vs Lima

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Learn Spanish in Santiago vs Lima

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1. Posted by shaunigus (Budding Member 32 posts) 10y

Hi all,
My first stop on my travels through SA is Santiago thus my first destination to study spanish in this great continent. I am taking a beginners course before i leave which should hopefully get me by for a little while - but i am planning on a sort of 'home stay' or language school along my journey (obviously preferable at the beginning!) to increase my experience (i'm an advocate of local communication to get the full experience of travelling)

Can anyone recommend places in Santiago (or surrounding areas) or possibly Lima (or surrounding areas) I will be in Lima after about 2 weeks from landing in SA so hopefully i would have learned enough to get by for a few weeks before i get there!

i have heard that the Chileans speak much faster! i'm not sure if this will a benefit or hinder my learning from them!

Thanks in advance,

Shaun

2. Posted by HereICome (Full Member 67 posts) 10y

Why are you spending 2 weeks in Lima?

3. Posted by shaunigus (Budding Member 32 posts) 10y

2 weeks was in anticipation that i would be doing a 1 week spanish course.

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Chilean spanish is not at all representative of what the rest of the continent speaks, so for a beginner, I'd strongly recommend Lima instead. It's much cheaper, too :-)

An even better choice would be Quito (Ecuador), the Mekka of language schools, but I don't know how flexible your travel plans are. See other threads re this issue.

good luck,
Niels (Amsterdam)

5. Posted by HereICome (Full Member 67 posts) 10y

I would recommend finding somewhere other than Lima to do your course, somewhere safer and with more things to do and see.
I had lessons in Cusco and loved every minute. There are plenty of schools and lots of things to do outside of school time! A much safer option too. Cusco is a wonderful city with a real energy and vibe to it.

6. Posted by HereICome (Full Member 67 posts) 10y

I would recommend finding somewhere other than Lima to do your course, somewhere safer and with more things to do and see.
I had lessons in Cusco and loved every minute. There are plenty of schools and lots of things to do outside of school time! A much safer option too. Cusco is a wonderful city with a real energy and vibe to it.

7. Posted by HereICome (Full Member 67 posts) 10y

I would recommend finding somewhere other than Lima to do your course, somewhere safer and with more things to do and see.
I had lessons in Cusco and loved every minute. There are plenty of schools and lots of things to do outside of school time! A much safer option too. Cusco is a wonderful city with a real energy and vibe to it.

8. Posted by shaunigus (Budding Member 32 posts) 10y

Thanks for you comments. I had a feeling Chile wouldnt be a good idea, but thought because i am starting there i should go ahead and get in to it as soon as possible. In that case i guess i will head straight up to Lima and go from there.

Does anyone have any direct recommendation as to schools for spanish courses in Peru?

Cheers

And thanks again for your input.
Shaun

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Hi Shaun,

I would say that for a beginner, learning the basics in Chile is more or less the same as learning the basics anywhere else. Chilean Spanish is quite a bit different to the Spanish spoken elsewhere, but when you are starting off it is pretty much the same. Plus, it´s really interesting to learn the Chilean phrases too! :)

Lima is not a nice place to spend two weeks, whereas Santiago is full of language schools and a great place to spend some time in the summer months!

Every country here seems to have their own unique ways oçf saying things in Spanish...for example, the Argentinians pronounce some things quite differently. I foudn that the Chileans speak really quickly compared to the Peruvians, Bolivians and Argentinians.

Also, you are going to pick up so much by ear anyway. I have never had a SPanish course, and already I have learned an amazing amount of Spanish. So, my advice would be start off with the basics in Santiago and then you will learn as you travel! :)

Hope that helps a bit!

10. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

As a linguist, I cannot really agree (ha! finally my professional background for once comes in handy ;-P).

The thing is that other south american nationals (especially peruvians, bolivians and argentinians) do not really like the Chileans for their long history of agression (I'm sorry, but this is true), so you're likely to meet some hostility if you speak 'castellano chileno'. Furthermore, the first stages of language learning are crucial to future progress, so best learn the most 'neutral' variant first, only to specialise afterwards. I agree that I can think of more agreeable places to live in than Lima, so my advice would still be Quito, or else Cuzco, but language courses there are relatively expensive. And maybe La Paz would be a good alternative, a really interesting though somewhat explosive city, but I don't know about language schools there.

Niels (Amsterdam)