surinenglish

Raising the bar in Duquesa

Customers study Spanish in the Manilva bar.
Customers study Spanish in the Manilva bar. / SUR
  • An expat bar is helping foreign residents to integrate by offering them free Spanish classes while they drink

A British pub in Manilva has found a novel way to bring in more customers during the winter months - by offering free Spanish classes.

Almost 50 people turn up for the free lessons at Mirror Mirror Lounge Bar in Puerto de la Duquesa every week.

The lessons are taught by bilingual Brit Christian Lee Dun who grew up on the coast after his parents moved here in the 1980s.

Bar owner Christian, 34, told SUR in English, "It all started because customers overheard me speaking Spanish in the bar and kept asking me if I would be interested in teaching them. So I thought I would give it a go and came up with the idea of doing a conversational course.

"The majority are British and Irish, but we've had Italians, Belgians, Scandinavians, Portuguese and people of all ages. We even had a family in this week."

Christian, who was born in Wigan, explained that the course starts off with numbers, basic conversation and how to greet other people.

He added: "I teach proper Castilian Spanish, but also how to speak with the Andalusian accent and useful slang words. We do practical classes that focus on cafes, bars, restaurants and supermarkets too.

"It's good for business as it brings a lot of people in. But it's also something to do mid week when there's a bit of a lull in things to do and not much is happening.

"Even if you don't speak the language fluently, it's important to try as you get a lot of respect from the locals for making the effort.

"It's all done in a relaxed atmosphere. And because it's a free course, people are a lot more relaxed about attending."

The Spanish classes are every Tuesday from 7.30pm to 8.15pm for beginners and 8.15pm to 9pm for improvers, with the course running from October to April.

For more information visit the Mirror Mirror Lounge Bar Facebook page.