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Why did you move to México, and how long did it take for you to learn Spanish?
 

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In our case, we had been retired for some time and had travelled for several years, full time, in a motorhome. Wintering in Texas gave us the opportunity to 'vacation' in Mexico and we fell in love with the climate, cost of living, friendly & cheerful people, access to the lake and the ocean from Chapala, etc. So, in 2001, we made the move by selling the RV and buying a home in Ajijic. In 2004, we sold that house and purchased a larger property in Chapala. In the process, there have been a few sessions of Spanish lessons, reading news or TV captions and other sources in Spanish. As such, I'm at the stage where I can manage conversation on the phone or in person, providing that the other person slows down a bit, doesn't use idioms or slang, and is somewhat patient with my errors. I'm still learning, and always will be.
 

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My reasons are about the same as RVGringo's. Climate and cost of living. Now that I'm here, I can add friendly people and lack of stress as two more reasons. I started studying Spanish on my computer for several months before I came, and I still doing it now. There is a lot more to learn, though. I can usually carry on a conversation, but sometimes I'm just totally lost. It gets better little by little. For those who want to learn more quickly, there are usually places around where you can get private lessons.
 

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Why & Where

Why Mexico and where are certainly key questions and very personal, at least in my view.
We had been traveling extensively and seriously thought about Phuket, Bali, Loire Vallry, and Tuscany among others but family & distance a problem.
I actually documented our decision process in the summer of 2008 in an article "Mineral de Pozos: Magical Tranquility" that you can google. We are now in our third year in the casita and just completing a standalone studio for my wife.
Spanish is a little bit of a sore point as we haven't put in the effort that we should, partly because we haven't moved here full time as we do extensive family swings from a base in NC.
I can haggle, communicate at some level with non-English speaking residents and after a few weeks, can understand a fair amount but certainly not conversational.
 

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I still am still learning Spanish.... still don't get that subjunctive right.

I have lived here for 3 years. I originally moved here as a Peace Corps volunteer and stayed because I got married and start a Spanish school with my wife in Querétaro. It took me about 3 months to get from 0 to a communicative level of Spanish. That being said, I am relatively young (late 20's) and spoke a few languages beforehand.

The amount of time it takes to learn varies greatly depending on age (the young tend to learn faster), background (if you already speak more than 1 language) and discipline (if you take 1 hour of class 3 times a week, but speak English for the rest of the time you will probably never learn).
 

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After spending most of my adult life as a working expat, I came here to retire. My last job was in the Middle East, but I wanted a more laid-back atmosphere and wanted very much to be near the sea. Access to goods and services, affordability, and a learnable language were also important. I'd been to Mexico once in 1975 and enjoyed the country and people, so I knew it wouldn't be much of a stretch to feel at home here.

Discipline isn't my strong point, but practice and motivation help. I arrived at age 60 with no Spanish, but it didn't take long to pick up the basics. English isn't spoken extensively outside the tourist areas, and I live in a Mexican neighborhood and use Spanish daily. So after 2-1/2 years I manage at least a limited (if broken) level of conversation, read the newspaper, and so on. As Queretaro mentions, other languages provide a head start. I was fluent in French and competent in colloquial Arabic, as well as being used to "thinking" in different languages. I doubt I'd be as far along if I'd spoken only English before moving here.
 

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Why did you move to México, and how long did it take for you to learn Spanish?
I started learning written Spanish in 2005 by corresponding with Spanish speaking persons on penpal/epal sites. At first, I was using online language translators, but that is a very poor substitute for corresponding in a non-native language. Over the years, I have become proficient in written Spanish. My reading comprehension is excellent, although I have some problems with European (Castillian) Spanish, as the vocabulary and grammar are slightly different than Latino (Mexican, Central and South America and Caribbean) Spanish. Also, I write with a multiple language keyboard which assists me in writing with the correct grammar, characters and accent marks which is very important in written Spanish. As for speaking Spanish, I have a large collection of Latin songs which trains my brain to the sounds of the language. I also listen to Spanish language radio stations. Unfortunately, my cable system does not carry Telemundo or Univision, which are two Spanish language TV channels. There is a large Latino/Hispanic population in my area which affords me the opportunity to speak Spanish with native Spanish speakers. The bottom line in learning a non-native language is practice, practice and more practice! :D
 
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