learn spanish in buenos aires

  • Eating out: Spanish immersion in Buenos Aires

    By Aaron Hodges

    If you're looking for a good spot to learn Spanish in 2019, then look no further than Buenos Aires! Not only does this city have some amazing architecture and crazy nightlife, it also boasts a budding food scene that will satisfy even the fussiest of foodies. And not just with their world-famous barbeque.

    Dining out in Buenos Aires is an experience you don't want to miss, and an evening walk through the neighborhood of Palermo will reveal a host of tasty restaurants. Unlike many parts of South America, Buenos Aires offers a real variety on the cuisine you can experience -from Chinese to Spanish and much more. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a steak as much as the next guy, but there's only so much meat you can eat in one week. 

    Fortunately, Buenos Aires does not let you down, and after a month there's plenty of places for me to try. So far, my favorite has probably been the variety of a night out wandering the tapas bars of Palermo, where the Spanish tradition has grown in popularity in recent years. Of course, the three meal special in a cocktail bar (which included a free cocktail) was also great, with the highlight being a main of roast lamb that impressed even this kiwi.

    Of course though, you probably aren't going to visit Buenos Aires just for its sushi and dumplings. Let's face it. If you're making the trip all the way to Argentina, it's the steak you can't wait to try. Fortunately, the international food is just the cheery on top of the cake. This city is plenty of barbeque restaurants or parrillas as they are known here. If you're looking for the best asadoon the market, then look no further than the restaurant "Don Julio". Located in central Palermo, this place offers a truly magnificent (and enormous) steak. And while you will be paying a little more than your average restaurant in the city, you might be lucky enough to be offered free bubbly at the door while you're waiting for a table.

    Fortunately, if Don Julio is a bit expensive for your tastes, Buenos Aires also hosts a ton of other parrillas, offering options for all budgets. Though, of course, the cheaper a place is the less likely they are going to speak any English! But then, that's the same for for everything in any of the countries down in this amazing continent. If there's one thing that surprised me on my first trip to Latin America way back in 2015, it's how difficult it is to get by without the local language. Unlike South East Asia and Europe, English is not particularly common and even a week's worth of Spanish lessons could mean the difference between a good trip and a bad one.

    Or in the case of your first eating out experience, just knowing the difference between carne and pescado!



  • El mate en Argentina

    ¿Tomamos unos mates? En el Día del Mate, te traemos esta propuesta.

    Cada cebador tiene su forma de preparar el mate. Esta es la que adoptamos en IW:


    Mate y español  

    1. Colocar la yerba dentro del recipiente llamado "mate".

  • Español en Buenos Aires y la herencia cultural

    El fileteado porteño 

    Esta semana, en IW aprendemos acerca de Buenos Aires y su patrimonio cultural:

    ¿Qué es el fileteado porteño, este arte popular de Buenos Aires que nació a principios del siglo XX?

    En el día de ayer, 1 de diciembre de 2015, el fileteado porteño fue declarado por la UNESCO Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de la Humanidad. 


    This week at IW we learn about Buenos Aires and its cultural heritage.


    What does fileteado porteno, this popular art from Buenos Aires that was born at the beginning of the Twentieth Century mean?


    Yesterday, December 1st 2015, fileteado porteño was declared Cultural Heritage by the Unesco.






  • Four excellent reasons to learn Spanish

    By Aaron Hodges

    There's probably a million reasons to learn a new language. Studies have found that learning a new language improves critical thinking, even if you don't get a chance to use it. And hundreds of cultures are able to interact because of second languages. But if you're like me, a native English speaker, understanding a second language is not exactly a common occurrence. If you ask me, that's our loss. And if you'd like to go against that status quo, I believe enrolling in a language school should be on the top of your list. 

    Here's a few reasons why: 

    1) Spanish is the second most spoken first language in the world

    The first is Mandarin. English is third. I know, being a native English speaker sometimes it's easy to think the whole world speaks our lingo, from tour guides to baristas. They don't. Sure, if you stick to the well-worn tourists tracks you might be able to get by on English alone, but if you really want to experience and meet people from other countries, it helps to know a bit of the local lingo. And with its Latin base, you'll at least be able to link a few Spanish words to English ones -unlike Mandarin...

    2) Travel the world

    As I've said, there are a lot of countriesthat have Spanish as their local language —every country from Guatemala down to Patagonia (with the exceptions of Brazil and Belize, of course). And unlike SE Asia or Europe, there are very few people that actually speak English, even in the tourist industry. One of my funniest memories traveling South America was in Cusco, when a tourist office would only speak to us in Spanish! it is a good thing we had a bit of Spanish between us, because it was the only way to book the cheap but complicated $10 minibus to Machu Pichu, rather than taking the $100 train. 

    3) Communicate with the locals

    Some of my best experiences overseas have been conversations with random people on buses, trains or even just in the street. But that's a little bit difficult to do when you don't speak the language spoken by everyone around you. And if you're anything like me and have interest in local politics and history, that makes it even harder to get a gauge on the experiences of the average citizen.

    4) Understand the menu

    Yes, many places will be able to provide you an English menu, even in South America. You just might end up paying premium in some places for that convenience. And in my experience, often the best and cheapest local eateries might not even have a menu! In those places you'll need to know how to ask how much the meal is, and understand what they're saying when they ask whether you'd like your eggs revuelto o frito

    All in all, speaking a second language is a skill all of us should aspire to ―and if you ask me, Spanish should be on the top of everyone's list! Even more so if you intend to visit South America, where even a week of Spanish lessons is going to save you a lot of strife!




  • Frases populares

     Viajar y sus frases:

    Estas son frases populares en inglés y en español:


    Donde fueres, haz lo que vieres.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans.

    Una imagen vale más que mil palabras.

    A picture is worth a thousand words.


    Una acción vale más que mil palabras.

    Actions speak louder than words.


    IW Languages teaches Spanish in Groupand One-on-One.

    IW Languages dicta cursos de Inglés para Viajes

  • IW languages at Es tu día

    This month IW Languages was present at the event Es Tu Día  Study Buenos Aires organizes so that students from every part of the world that come to Buenos Aires can meet and have a great time. It took place at the Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo. We shared mate, and there was a tango and milonga show among other games.  And students played a game known as Sapo, where you need throw 5 special coins. Each competitor aims at a wooden table with several holes and a toad on its top. It was a lot of fun!

  • Keeping active in Buenos Aires

    So in-between all that sightseeing, and eating (and Spanish lessons), you might decide you need to sneak in a bit of exercise. Fortunately, there are many gyms throughout the city of Buenos Aires that cater to a wide range of fitness programs, including activities such as yoga, kick boxing, spin, and all your favorites. Always Gym, On Fit and Openclub are some of the larger chains, but you'll find at least one gym a short distance from your place just about anywhere in the city. Or if not, certainly somewhere offering yoga or pilates, which are very popular!

    And if you prefer a more sporty form of exercise, football is popular with avery age group. Once you've connected with a few locals or expats, it won't take long to find a group with a weekly football game. A reminder: football is a serious business in Argentina, and it is played to win.

    Of course, there are some other sports as well. Martial arts are popular: taekwondo, boxing, taichi and everything else under the sun!

    Like everything else, Buenos Aires truly has everything, even bouldering gyms and archery!

  • Main reason to experience that "mate" beverage

    On November 30th, Argentina celebrates the National Day of the Yerba Mate. 

    More than 500 years ago, native guaraníes were already using these leaves to prepare an energetic beverage. Nowadays, both Argentina and Uruguay love "mate", not only in the countryside but in the cities too. 

    But what can we expect when we are offered a "mate"?

  • Making progress in Spanish learning

    Like anything worthwhile, learning languages is a challenge, and Spanish is no exception. Often times it feels like you're not making progress at all. Each week you learn a few more words, add another tense to your arsenal, make your sentences a little longer, but sometimes it seems you're getting nowhere. But it pays to take stock, because even after just a week or months, you'll be surprised how much you've learned. It might not seem you've progressed much from one day to the next, but when you look back at where you started, you'll realise you've come a long way!

    Take myself for example. I know from past experiences I struggle with language. After 13 months in South America without any tuition, I came away with very little understanding of Spanish. Looking back, that's one of my biggest regrets of the trip! Perhaps that's why I've now returned with a fresh perspective, determined to learn this time.

    I know take regular private classes of 1.5 hours every day, and I am happy to say after two months it is showing. After my first week, I was generally able to communicate my orders to restaurant staff, and after  a month I began to enjoy

  • Spanish and Argentinean movies

    Spanish and Argentinean movies

    At IW we would like to invite everybody to use different tools when learning languages.

    During our class this Friday we worked with one of the official trailers of the Argentinean movie "Relatos salvajes". Here you can see everybody at work:


  • Spanish for children

     Children learn Spanish at IW


    These last three weeks, a family came to our Spanish school and entrusted us with their three children. They had Spanish lessons one-on-one. Type of course: Spanish immersion and Argentinean culture, with the developing of their conversational Spanish and their understanding of Spanish grammar as a must.


    When they first arrived, we started by learning about the children's preferences: Natalie (12) is very interested in environmental issues and animals, Louis (10) is interested in movies and their making as well as in sports; and Tristan (9) loves books and adventures.

    As their program was based on one-on-one Spanish lessons, we had the opportunity to focus on each child in particular.


    We know that along these three weeks they have learned a lot. We have also learned a lot from them.




  • Spanish immersion: exploring Buenos Aires

    Buenos Aires is a wild and wonderful place with plenty to see and do, whether you live here for a long time or you are just visiting! One of my favourite ways to explore the city when I first arrived was the multitude of walking tours available all around the place. These are a great way of getting your feet on the ground and exploring all the monuments, grand palaces and amazing architecture this city has to offer ―while also hearing about the diverse history of Buenos Aires.

    These tours are often free (with a tip given to the guide at the end) and run each day. You'll probably want to start with the free walking tour of Microcentro, which usually starts at the Congress building and heads on through to Plaza de Mayo ―with a dozen or more stops along the way to hear all about the people who built the amazing buildings in downtown Buenos Aires. 

    From there you cannot miss the free walking tour of Recoleta. Starting from Teatro Colón, this tour can take up to four hours, as the guides take you through the history of how this barrio came to become one of the richest parts of Buenos Aires. There are literal palaces all through this part of town and the tour ends in the famous Recoleta cemetery, where there are a ton of walking tours available! I haven't taken this trip yet, but I've heard it's the best way to learn all about the generations of wealthy porteños buried in the ground!

    Finally, the last main walking tour you'll find is the free tour of La Boca ―the original port area of Buenos Aires. With a slightly less savoury reputation, this is definitely the best way to safely explore the rich history of La Boca and the neighbourhood's connection to the tango! Football fans will also get a taste of the porteño passion for the world sport, with the tour finishing at the famous La Boca  stadium.

    Those are just a few of the tours on offer around Buenos Aires, but there are a ton of others for the savvy explorer. These three free options don't even touch of Palermo, another fantastic barrio you will no doubt want to explore as well. But of course, if you want to get the stories direct from the locals while walking in the streets, you'll need to knuckle down with your Spanish lessons so you can keep up with the conversation!

    By Aaron Hodges 

  • Tango in Buenos Aires

    There are a broad range of activities planned for this August in Buenos Aires, many around tango.

  • The coolest neighborhood in Buenos Aires

    Its 50th anniversary, and The British travel magazine decided to find the 50 best neigborhoods in the world for travelers as well as for locals. With its various art galleries, boutique hotels and a broad variety of restaurants and nightlife, Palermo Soho in Buenos Aires was ranked as one of these neighborhoods. The photo above shows you a street in this quiet and yet vibrant neighborhood.

    Talking about steakhouses, Don Julio Buenos Aires is one of my favorite, rated 6 among the 50 best restaurantes in Latin America. The address: Guatemala with Gurruchaga, quite close to IW Languages Spanish school.

    Our Spanish vocab tips as regards ordering a steak:

    Puede traerme un bife de chorizo o un ojo de bife con ensalada? / Can I have a strip steak or a ribeye steak and a salad?

    Quisiera mi bife a punto/jugoso/cocido. / I'd like my steak rare/medium/well-done.



  • Top art gallery to visit near IW Languages

    Xul Solar Museum is a museum dedicated exclusively to Alejandro Xul Solar (1887-1963), his work and life. Xul Solar was a painter, sculptor, writer, musician, linguist, inventor and astrologer. He was a friend of Jorge Luis Borges, the great Argentinean writer. With so many interests and such a vast culture, Xul Solar was a multifaceted man.   

    Our tip: whereas the museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 12am to 8pm, and o Saturdays from 12am to 7pm, we recommend you the guided visit. For a visit in English you can call the museum. And you only need to walk for about ten minutes to get from IW Languages to Xul Solar museum.

    También tienen visitas en español para estudiantes intermedios y avanzados. Visitas en español: martes y jueves a las 16:00, y sábados a las 15:30.

    ¡Pueden practicar lo que aprendieron en la escuela!




  • We are on TripAdvisor!

    Happy to be part of this site well-known worldwide!

  • What to do in Palermo on a tight budget

    November in Buenos Aires means Spring! Time to exercise, time to relax under the shade of the trees, time to explore...

    Here is a list of some relaxing places where you can exercise after your Spanish class at IW Languages.

    During daytime

    Botanical Gardens: enjoy the shadow of its trees and go "photo hunting" as well.

    Bosques de Palermo: walk, run, ride a bike, even take part of a yoga class or go paddle boating. You can do all these and even more at this huge park.

    Japanese Garden: Take part of an Anime and Manga contest, watch the tea ceremony or just live its peaceful atmosphere. 

     In the evening

    Walk along the streets of Palermo Soho, find art galleries, murals and the lively Plaza Cortazar, also called Plaza Serrano.

    Take your first tango steps, join a tango class. It's fun and non expensive.

    Go for a beer outdoors.

    Eat at a typical bodegon (word to name short menu but big meals at a very accommodated price).

    Enjoy Buenos Aires at this time of the year!

  • Why choose Buenos Aires to live and study Spanish?

    By Aaron Hodges

    There are so many places to study Spanish in the world, but Buenos Aires was one of the top locations of my list right from the start. Having already completed a couple of weeks in Guatemala, and a three week course in Tulum, Mexico, I had a pretty good idea of what I didn't want. While both those locations were stunning in their own way, I eventually decided they weren't such great places to actually live ―at least not until my Spanish gets a lot better! With most visitors only staying a week and most of the locals speaking only Spanish, an extended stay may become slightly lonely.

    So I decided I would need a truly international city to live and study. The three cities that made the top of my list were Barcelona, Spain (because I love the beach and Europe), Santiago, Chile (because I like mountains), and of course, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Having been to each of these cities in the past, I Knew a little about them already, but I was sure to make my research before my final decision. The first thing I was told by multiple people was that Chilean Spanish is quite different and can be difficult to understand even for native Spanish speakers. Whether this is true or not I cannot say just yet (I'll have to visit them when I'm fluent), but the warning was enough for Santiago to take the bottom podium. 

    A visit to Barcelona during the summer was also helpful in taking Spain itself off the list. I was unlucky enough to be in Barcelona during the heatwave of 2018. After experiencing temperatures upwards of 40C, I decided the city wasn't for me, although I'd love to visit again in the future!

    That left Buenos Aires the default choice ―but of course it also has many positives that made the choice even easier. For starters, the city has a thriving expat community and friendly locals that are quick to invite you to drinks and to share mate (a local drink). With the economy struggling right now the currency is also favorable for overseas visitors, with the average pint costing between 2-3 USD at the bar, cheap accommodation, and great food. Plus the weather is reasonably mild (so far).

    And with Argentina stretching from the deserts to the north, the jungles to the east, and the mountains and fiords to the south, there'll be plenty to do on your long weekends or weeks off! I'm even hoping to escape the city for a week on a ski trip sometime in the next month!


  • Why learn Spanish?

    Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires

    Español, also called Castellano, is is the third language most spoken in the world, widely spoken as a second language, and the official language in 20 countries.