Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Culture and Travel What is the best or easiest way to get between an airport or train station and a hotel/apartment/B&B in Spain?

What is the best or easiest way to get between an airport or train station and a hotel/apartment/B&B in Spain?

Jim-J19

 We are flying in and out of Madrid on our vacation and taking high speed trains to Seville, Cordoba, Barcelona, then back to Madrid for our last day before flying back. Any advice on using buses, taxis, metro trains, or any other means of transportation would be most appreciated. Thanks, Jim

Steven-W15

tripadvisor is a good source for this kind of information. Be prepared to speak Spanish. Many years ago when I visited Madrid, the person at the international desk in the train station only spoke... Spanish.

I have been to Barcelona a few times: a beautiful and unique city. Be aware that the accent is pretty different there. Getting around by metro train is incredibly easy - no orientation is necessary. Be sure to start your visit there on one of the red tour buses (I think there are two different trips around the city) - it's a great way to get an overview of what's there. The center of activity revolves around "Las Rampas" and, of course, la playa is right there as well.

Dan-H24

Be prepared to speak Spanish. Many years ago when I visited Madrid, the person at the international desk in the train station only spoke... Spanish.

I would love to spend 3 months in a place where only Spanish was spoken; where I had to use the native language for every communication.

Jim-J19

Thanks Steven and Dan for your responses. This is my second beginner course with Rocket Languages since I took Italian two years ago for a vacation. I have tried to learn "survival-level" competence for all our European vacations, and at times it did get us out of some troubles. This time I have gone much farther in the course work than any previous language study, and this time I find that I'm actually starting to understand the grammar and correct word form to use. I am a little more confident than I had been before with memorized key phrases and some individual vocabulary lists. I have only a week to go before departure, so I need to keep going back to review past lessons to make things stick. I plan to keep studying while traveling too once I discover what I most need.

I have been told that European Spanish slurs "s" sounds into lisp-like "th" sounds, but Rocket Spanish does not teach that pronunciation. Hopefully I can try imitating that after hearing it.  I noticed that depending on which instructor is speaking in the Rocket Spanish lessons, some pronunciations of consonants are different. The woman speaks a double L like in "ella" as "ayah" while the man makes it sound like "ay-ja." Which will I hear in Spain? Similarly, the woman pronounces a "v" just like English, but the man turns a "v" into a hard English "b" sound. Again, which will I encounter in Spain? 

Thanks folks for all your advice, it is much appreciated. Kind regards, Jim

Dan-H24

Jim, I think it is actually "c" and "z" that are pronounced with the "th" sound in Spain. I heard a story once that Spain had a king with a lisp, and so as not to offend him, all of his subjects copied his lisp and it became common usage in Spain. I have no idea if this is actually true or not but it is a funny story if it is.

Listen to Lightspeed Spanish videos on You Tube and you will hear the continental Spanish pronunciation.

I think that Spanish centered more on Latin American is taught here at RS; I suppose because Mauricio is from Chile. They also don't teach us to say "vale" all the time like they do in Spain.

Steven-W15

I had heard that the king actually imposed speaking with a lisp to his subjects. I had to look it up. Hélas, another urban legend bites the dust...
- http://spanish.about.com/cs/qa/a/q_lisp.htm

Dan-H24

I hate it when an urban legend is disproved. They are so much more fun to believe than the truth.

Jim-J19

Hi Dan, it appears that your right about the consonants spoken with a lisp "th" sound in Spain. I just got a copy of the newly published Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook and Dictionary. I pre-ordered this from Amazon hoping it would be published and shipped before we departed and it did finally arrive. This is a nice pocket sized travel booklet, and I wanted it because it was supposed to be for continental Spanish, not Latin American. I see that words with embedded "ci," "ce,"  and "z," are supposed to be spoken with the "th" lisp sound, but I have not yet seen any for "s" consonants. There may be other combinations in words that require the lisp, but this is not as bad as I thought it would be. I will have to practice and do voice recording in my final lesson reviews to train myself away from what I have learned so far. I'm glad I have this pocket book book to take along and study on the plane or train trips. Thanks a lot for correcting me on my misconception about pronunciation in Spain.

Jo--110

Hola Jim. Espero que tengas un buen tiempo. Espero ir el mes que viene.

How are you finding the phrase book? Would you recommend it?

Gracias, Jo

Jim-J19

Hola Jo, Gracias por sus buenos deseos.

Besides grammar basics there is a big practical section that includes transportation, lodging, shopping, communication, and money among other things. Also, there is a very large social section for meeting the locals and making friends. I always like sections on food phrases and this book has an extra  menu translator. The dictionaries are basic, but I am putting a much larger dictionary App on my iphone to take care of that. If all else fails, I will have the SayHi live translator App on my iphone if my beginner Spanish is really having a rough time getting across, and the conversation is critical. I do hope I will get much better at the language by the end of our 2.5 weeks over there. I wish for you a great experience on your own trip. 

Jo--110

Gracias Jim, voy a comprarlo. 

Dan-H24

Jim: no te preocupas.

I could be wrong, (I frequently am) but I will be surprised if you find any other letters besides the c and z that are pronounced th. I call it the cerveza...or thervetha...rule, since both instances occur in that one word. I also suspect that if you refer to it as a lisp in Spain you might get corrected. I think it is just the way it is pronounced there. Finally, I would not worry about switching to the continental, or European, or Castillian, or whatever the correct term is for that pronunciation instead of the Latin American pronunciation. Just as in English, there are numerous regional and national variations in pronunciation, and I think you would drive yourself crazy trying to adjust to the local variations. Sort of like a born Yankee like me trying to say ya'll here in southwest Virginia: it sounds like an affectation.

¡Buen viaje!

Ava Dawn

Tengas buen viaje! Maybe late this year or early next year, God willing, I can visit Spain again. I am just not sure which part of Spain.

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here .