David Strittmatter

More Than Just ‘Hola’: My Plan to Learn Spanish for a Greener Future

May 9th, I made a decision: I’m going to learn Spanish. I become fluent in it. And I will make business in it.

Did I speak a word of it? Not a single one.

Yet, the quest was clear: to speak Spanish fluently by the year-end and to utter more than just “Hola” and “Gracias” but hold basic conversations in less than 3 months.

Naturally, every brave knight needs a battle plan.

Mine involved daily exercises with the Spanish language for at least an hour, coupled with at least one weekly tutor session, starting from June.

I was taking baby steps, but hey, even Don Quixote started somewhere.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why the sudden romance with Spanish?”

Well, amigos, let’s just say that business can make you do crazy things.

The answer lies in my startup, ICODOS. We’re in the business of developing technology to produce e-methanol. And where do you find the lowest cost sustainable electricity, crucial for e-methanol production? Southern Europe and South America, where Spanish reigns supreme.

Adding to the plot, my co-founders can already Spanish their way through business deals. So, it was clear as a tapas menu that my Spanish fluency could be a game-changer. Just picturing myself, salsa-dancing through business deals in Spanish… I had to make it happen!

Fast forward to more than 80 hours of practice and a dozen tutor sessions later, and it’s getting fun.

I am proud to say that I am more than just a man with a Spanish dictionary. Meanwhile, I’m a man who can choose between a hotel or an Airbnb, express my foodie preferences, and sift through Spanish texts and emails understanding the core content.

Of course, there’s still a long journey ahead. But the truly daunting phase – when you sit in a tutor session, taking an embarrassing minute to form a basic reply – is thankfully behind me.

It’s no secret that learning a language from scratch to attain fluency is a Herculean task. But here I am, showing myself again that anything I set my heart on, I can achieve.

I’ve learned to trust the process and embrace the challenge. And who knows, someday soon, even the tricky subjunctive might start to feel like a friendly ol’ amigo.

So here’s to the next chapter in my Spanish journey. Que la aventura continúe! (Let the adventure continue!)

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