Learning Spanish in 11 Weeks | 10-Min Documentary

After hundreds of hours of work filming, editing, translating and transcribing (mostly by Vat), the video documenting learning Spanish in 11-weeks is finally ready. We wanted to try to capture both the progress of learning a language, as well as the experience of living in Spain.

  • Tom Boyden

    Wow guys, you blew away my expectations for this video. Vat, excellent editing and the film you captured was beyond amazing. The amount of hours you put in has got to be mindblowing.

    Keep it up guys, looking forward to your updates from Brazil.

  • Mauro

    Impresionante Scott! Te felicito y gracias por compartir este video. Yo llevo más de un año de vivir en el área francófona de Suiza y no he aprendido a habla porque mi trabajo y entorno es todo en inglés, aunque ya entiendo un poco mejor. Sin embargo tu video me ha inspirado y ahora quiero aprender francés 🙂

    Saludos

  • Michael

    Outstanding video guys. The timelapses are stunning. Fantastic work.

  • Niels Bom

    Hey guys,

    Inspiring stuff, very cool. Beautiful video as well. It looks like you’re having a lot of fun too 🙂

    Enjoy your stay in Brazil and good luck!

  • Baptiste

    Ambos el montaje y vuestro desarollo linguistico son geniales! Mucha suerte en Brasil!

  • ji

    Awsome! Guys!

    wish you can release more videos when you are in the process of learning a language.

    expect your brazil trip video.

  • Alejandro

    Ya que estarán de este lado del charco, pasen por México, platicamos y practican su español.

  • isabel crest

    awesome stuff! really nice i want to learn my spanish too! thank you for this one! 🙂

  • Spencer Rowland

    Excellent work. Two very talented and ambitious people. I look forward to following the rest of your journey.

  • Max Nachamkin

    Video fenomenal! Me encanta Valencia.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your trip in Brazil.

    Cheers,

    Max

  • Sid

    This video is so good! And your improvement in Spanish is inspiring!

    Good luck in Brazil!

  • Benjamin

    Very well-done. The video is amazing, and your experience really makes me want to travel again :).

    I can’t wait to see how you will deal with Asian languages. Btw, if you are looking for great resources to learn Korean, talktomeinkorean.com is awesome.

  • Peter

    Wow, that video was amazing. Both the editing, and the account of your experience. I could imagine that this year would probably be one of the most memorable ones of your lives. Awesome.

  • Tuco

    El video es muy inspirador! Yo mismo quiero hacer algo como vosotros hicisteis – es decir, yo y mi novio queremos pasar un cierto tiempo en algún país aprender el idioma (francés, español e italiano), pero hablando somente en lo idioma que estaremos aprendendo. No pude hacerlo en 2013, pero en 2014 no hay nada que pueda impedirnos!

    A propósito, somos brasileños (yo de Rio; él de São Paulo) y podríamos ayudaros con vuestra ‘misión portugués’, pero vivimos en un ciudad no muy famosa y no muy atractiva para extranjeros (Curitiba), y no creo que vengan aquí en vuestro viaje, verdad?

    Saludos

  • Scott Young

    Tuco,

    Gracias. No creo que vamos a viajar mucho en Brasil esta viaje. Cuando viajando en España, fue mas dificil de aprender español, nuestra razon para el viaje. Sin embargo, seguramente voy a volver a Brazil cuando quiero hacer un viaje diferente.

    Benjamin,

    Definitely. I bought some of TTMIK’s stuff and I’ll probably use it a bit in Korea as well. I’m not exactly sure how much, since there podcasts (or at least, there early ones) are mostly in English. However, if Korean grammar proves extraordinarily difficult, I might need more English explanations of the grammatical structure considerably longer into my trip than I did with Spanish.

    -Scott

  • Dylan J

    Really inspirational guys.

    I was wondering… will you continue to speak to Spanish to each other while in Brazil?

    The reason I ask is that it seems that maybe one of the reasons you have learnt so quickly is that you left yourselves with only one option to communicate with each other (by learning more Spanish!).

    If you can now can communicate well to one another without English, maybe you will have less motivation to learn Portuguese, but on the other hand this would help not forget all the Spanish you have learnt?

    Anyway just curious, best of luck in Brazil!

  • Amir

    The video is literally fantastic.

    But you need to spend at least 6 months in London to recover your English after one year.

    See the 2:16 moment of this video to understand what I mean 😀

    I wish you the best in Brazil 😉

  • Tuco

    Scott,

    Sí, creía mismo que viajar mucho dentro el país prejuzdicaría el aprendizaje. Debeis tener en cuenta que portugués y espagnol son muy parecidos – por lo tanto, hay que tener cuidado para no olvidaros de lo que han aprendido hasta ahora. Cierta vez conocí un americano que vivía a Río hacía unos pocos años y que hablaba portugués muy bien, pero era graduado en espagnol en los Estados Unidos y decía que había ya olvidado todo!

    Donde van a quedaros aquí en Brasil?

  • Marcel

    It was amazing and very motivating to see the whole process and the places, keep up this quality stuff.

    Really excited about the Brazil videos, would be awesome if you could make more videos about it to let us immerse into this deeper 🙂

  • Laura

    Hi guys – what camera did you use to make your video?

  • pascal

    Bel lavoro Scott!
    Complimenti per il coraggio e la determinazione. Magari potresti anche provare a imparare l’italiano.
    Ciao!

  • Scott Young

    Amir,

    The subtitles were actually painstakingly made to mirror the errors and level of speech we have in Spanish, that’s why there are grammatical errors in our narration and dialog, because we were trying to capture the errors we were making in Spanish and translate them into English (admittedly, it’s a very subtle point, but it was done intentionally).

    Laura,

    Vat tells me it’s a Canon T3i

    -Scott

  • Scott Young

    Dylan,

    That’s a really good question–and one I’ll be providing a more concrete follow-up in the next article. In general, the plan is to not speak in Spanish to each other while we’re in Brazil. I’m softer on this rule than the no-English rule because practicing switching between Spanish and Portuguese is a major goal of mine in Brazil. However with Chinese and Korean, I want to force the rule more strictly, because speaking in Spanish together will be so much easier than speaking Chinese in the beginning, that it will probably have the same handicap as speaking English.

    -Scott

  • Nagi

    Great Work Guys. You are a true inspiration! Glad to see Vat join you in your quest to learn! Does he have a seperate website as well?

  • Jimmy Naraine

    This video is AMAZING. Great spirit, amazing challenge and awesome editing. You guys give me inspiration. This is the sort of stuff I’m doing as well, but it seems like you took the entire lifestyle design & accelerated learning approach to a brand new level. Congrats and Respect.
    Jimmy:)

  • Jimmy Naraine

    Guys, your challenge made such a big impression on me that I would like to refer to it in one of my new posts. Would you mind if I add a link to your webpage and briefly describe your project?
    Seriously, I’m in the middle of executing some potentially life changing projects and this video was like steroids for my enthusiasm!

  • Michael Bowen

    Props to both you and Vat for doing so well and creating a great video! I hope it goes viral.

    You know, when I’ve learned languages in the past I never used foreign phrases outside of conversation with another person. For example, milk was always milk in my head, never leche.

    Do you feel that the continuation of immersion in all aspects of thought helps learn the language?

  • Scott Young

    Michael,

    You’re asking, what I believe to be a far subtler and more interesting question than I think most people realize. What does it mean to “think” in a particular language.

    At times, “thinking” silently to yourself is a bit like speaking silently to yourself. In that, you use full words and sentences to convey your thinking in the same way that you would when speaking to another person. In this case, I did find myself often “thinking” in Spanish even outside of conversations. I also find myself “thinking” in Portuguese now, albeit with lesser frequency as we’ve just started in Brazil.

    However, I’d argue that much of thought we believe occurs in a given language isn’t really expressed in language at all. Our difficulty occurs because as soon as we try to introspect these thoughts more closely, we turn on the silent-speaking machinery we would use to describe the situation to others. I liken it to peripheral vision–you have remarkably poor detail resolution outside of a few degrees of central vision, however the world always appears in high-definition because your eyes move instantly to objects of interest. Similarly, all thought appears to be in language because the moment you introspect deeply enough, the communication machinery whirls up and spits out an inner monologue to help collect and organize mental objects.

    A small shred of evidence of this view occurs when you get tounge-tied (which happens significantly more in unfamiliar languages). Some of the time the word in English pops up and I’m unable to retrieve its Spanish translation. But other times I can’t think of the English word either, I’m only left with an ineffable sense of the thing I’m trying to describe, which occurs outside of language. In this case, the thing I’m trying to describe is clear to me, but for a few seconds I can’t recall it in any language.

    It will be interesting to see what mechanisms there are for such pre-language thought in the brain, but I strongly believe that language is an added element to consciousness used for communication (both with others and oneself) that isn’t actually present for a lot of thinking which isn’t highly introspective.

    -Scott

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