The Spanish you’ll come across in the workplace is as different from the textbook version of the language as it is from the sort you’ll hear used on the street. You’ll need to get used to littering your work emails with the kind of long, flowery and ever-so terribly polite expressions that the locals enjoy.
When Spanish words are pronounced by a native speaker, the language has a certain musicality that gives it a real charm. But, as foreigners, our efforts to replicate these sounds are often nothing short of a complete disaster. We butcher the accent and destroy what should be a quite beautiful tongue.
One of the problems I faced as a Spanish learner in Colombia was that the meaning of many of the words I heard in everyday conversation didn’t appear to match what the dictionary said they should. Any attempt to translate such things literally proved extremely unenlightening.
A great way to expose yourself to the Spanish spoken in Colombia is by watching, reading, listening to and generally enjoying the country’s entertainment output. The amazing thing about doing this is that it feels like much less effort than consulting textbooks or studying in class. It is also fun and can be done for minimal cost, whether or not you’re physically located in Colombia.