Picture_1_1 This year I decided to learn Spanish. One would think the surname, the place I grew up, the sombrero, would all indicate some working knowledge of Spanish–but no, I'm pretty much illiterate when it comes to the language.

"¡Hola, Andres!"
"Plato."
"¿Que? Que es, plato?"
"Yo vivo en una escuela de pescados. Plato."

See? Gibberish. Don't be fooled, I have excellent pronunciation, mainly due to years of practice imitating my dad saying "Chicago", otherwise, I'm a mess.

So, I did some looking around and it turns out there's a podcast being produced by (I'm not joking) a pair of Scottish podcasters in Scotland. The chemistry between them is outstanding, and Mark, the teacher is very good at balancing the lessons so they aren't too advanced but stay interesting. I think the key to the podcast is they try to keep it around 15 minutes and each episode builds on the previous work.

It's called "Coffee Break Spanish" and it's entirely free.  There are study materials that cost a nominal fee (like $1) that are produced along with each podcast, but I haven't needed them.

The only thing that's a little odd is the differences between the Spain Spanish versus the Mexican Spanish  my parents speak. For example, "mujer" in Mexican Spanish means "woman" but in Spain it means "wife".  And of course there is the Spain Spanish lisp that would probably get a few laughs if I tried talking to my relatives with it.

But I can't recommend the podcast enough. Check it out.