Groundhog Spanish

Groundhog Spanish

‘What if you had to live the same day over and over again?’

That’s what happened to Bill Murray in the comedy classic Groundhog Day.

Some people’s lives are like that, and they don’t even realize it.
They say, “I have 25 years’ experience.”

Often 25 years’ experience is really just one year experienced 25 times over.
But that one year plays out the same way each year.

In the Movie, Bill Murray’s character lived not the same year, but the same day.

Every day he woke up stuck on Feb 2, reliving exactly the same day over and over again.

Hence the Spanish name for the movie, Atrapado En El Tiempo (“Trapped In Time”).

At first he was confused. Then he realized he could take advantage of the time loop. He seduced women, stole money and experienced a police chase.

But eventually it dawned on him that he was doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing every day.

I used to work in a language system just like that.

I was Bill Murray. I’d go to the schools where I taught English, and the teachers would start their classes in the same old, dull way:

“Turn you textbook to page 31.”

“Today’s lesson is on the pluperfect.”

“Fill in the blanks in the sentence.”

Then they’d write exams.

“Fill in the blanks in the sentence.” (Groundhog Day)

All the people who filled in 80% of the blanks correctly graduated (more Groundhog Day).

But I always felt dirty being a part of that system. That’s because the students would leave the college without being able to speak any English in the real world.

So, I broke out on my own and discovered a better way to learn and teach languages.

I haven’t looked back. I haven’t taught in a university for 8 years now, but I guarantee it’s still the same old Groundhog Day.

They’ll be teaching the same old grammar lessons. The administrators will still be more worried about paperwork than real life. And, of course, the results will be the same…

Exams passed, but nobody communicates in another language.

What a crock!

I’m so glad I’m no longer a part of it.

The good news is you can break free of the Groundhog Day.

You can take a fresh approach. You can acquire more real-life Spanish daily.
Each and every day you can become a better and better Spanish SPEAKER.

Not a better textbook-exercise-filler-inner.

You can become a better Spanish SPEAKER.

And it doesn’t take long for those days to mount up to something good.

In as little as 25 days you can get by in Spanish.

In a year, you can achieve great things. Check out what people like you have done with their Spanish.

Great Things with Spanish

Here’s a clip from Groundhog Day with Spanish subtitles. It’s a fun clip from a fun movie.

Leave A Reply (44 comments so far)

  1. Theresa R. Shaw
    6 months ago

    I love your method. I am feeling more comfortable speaking

  2. Everett Rainey
    8 months ago

    Your method for speaking to learn Spanish has been marvellous for me. I honestly apologize sr greatly to you because I’ve not purchased any of your tools for speaking,I haven’t been able to. Nevertheless your free video accelerators and with practice with friends.I’m learning by adventurous speaking ,again thanks. So many obstacles have been made accessible for me.l’m 75 years old.

  3. margaret ulysse
    1 year ago

    I am 55 I love to learn spanish

  4. samuel Emeka
    1 year ago

    I really appreciate the way u educate people about getting to learn Spanish. l will love to have more videos and audio so that l can be able to follow up, thanks alot Mr Marcus

  5. John
    2 years ago

    I really enjoyed this, plus learned a bit…thanks…John C.

  6. Daniel Fratus
    2 years ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed the video lesson. Thanks for offering it…

  7. Mrs. Tove Finne Røed
    2 years ago

    Hallo, Marcus, I am a Norwegian woman, 73 years old, living in Spain during the winter months, and I of course need to speak some Spanish. I have made several attemtps to learn the language, but I have almost given up on the whole learning process due to the difficulties with learning the verbs! In Norwegian, verbs are easy. As an example, I’ll use English: I am, you are, he/she/it is, we/you/they are. In Norwegian, that would be: jeg ER, du ER, han/hun/det ER, vi/dere/de ER. You see? In Spanish, using the verbs are even more difficult than in English, and it almost drives me crazy. I have studied your site and will give the “Learning Spanish project” a last chance. Happy New Year!

  8. Ellen Browne
    3 years ago

    Gracias Marcus I could understand some of it .A very helpful clip which will help concentration .Gracias !!

  9. Carmel
    3 years ago

    Great clip also helpful seeing the subtitles to prompt me to try to remember a phrase, muy cerca,
    Gracias Marcus

  10. Louise
    3 years ago


    I was happily surprised to be able to understand a great deal of the text of the film Groundhog day you sent us. I am presently using an exercise book my daughter in law used some time ago when she learned Spanish at school.
    Apart from the vocabulary I am trying to pick up, the focus is on grammar and I now understand why so many people have given up trying to learn Spanish with this type of learning material. I am grateful to have accidentally found your Synergy Spanish course and I recommend it to anybody who wants to have a grasp on the language.
    Gracias Marcus and long life to your teaching strategy


  11. kaz
    3 years ago

    Classic movie, thanks for the inspiration. Cant agree more with you about the spoken Spanish after college and uni experiences. This classroom meathod is Ok if you want to do translation. If you want to learn to communicate with people however, you’ve got to use the language at the end of the day and speak how people speak not all formal like constantly. Thanks.

  12. Gladys
    3 years ago

    This is a good way to learn a language with subtitles and speech not so fast it’s too difficult to comprehend. I loved this and learned several new vocabulary words.

  13. pamela
    4 years ago

    I want to listen to spanish not english!

  14. Evelyn
    4 years ago

    I like it short and to the point! Faster learning and No bordome.

  15. Mike Nolan
    4 years ago

    I’ve been teaching English for a long time, and I certainly don’t know anyone who teaches like you. You have no warm-up, no introduction of vocabulary, no listening exercises, and no reading. You start out by telling your pupils to open a text book.

    Your style of teaching went out in 1950.

    Marcus Reply:

    You must be talking about someone else because your comment doesn’t describe what I do at all.

    The proof is in the pudding as they say. There are many success stories from people using their new Spanish in real life.

  16. gerry fitzgerald
    4 years ago

    I like this are there more tapes ? Its easy to follow .

  17. patrick
    4 years ago

    enjoyed the film long time ago,but also enjoyed this extract.cheers for that.

  18. Christine
    4 years ago

    Great stuff Marcus, a good encouragement, can’t wait to see more.

  19. Vicki
    4 years ago

    very interesting to hear a Spanish conversation. I don’t get a chance to do that otherwise. Thank you Marcus

  20. Carlos
    4 years ago

    very nice!!! one of few clips which that transcribe the tit for tat correctly..
    do you have more?

  21. Rosina
    4 years ago

    I love it. A great idea to motivate and encourage people to learn Spanish.

  22. phyllis
    4 years ago

    dont see what you are trying to tell ,us here

  23. Alison
    4 years ago

    O.K.! With this method you can stop the film to see the words in context, practice pronouncing and even write them down. Good show Marcus S.

    Marcus Reply:

    I didn’t create the video clip. It’s just something useful and fun that I found that ties in really well with my article. Thanks for the feedback though, great to know it’s helpful.

  24. Vivienne
    4 years ago

    Marcus – superb clip with the Spanish subtitles!! Really do appreciate the way you apply your teaching methods. You always inspire me. Keep up the good work. Sincere thanks too.

  25. Dave Blest
    4 years ago

    I liked the example of Groundhog Day , I could follow some of the conversation in Spansh with what little knowledge I have already.

  26. Mel Bishop
    4 years ago

    Thanks Marcus – very entertaining and relevant – if only there were teachers like you in school. I wish I could get the same help with the other half a dozen languages I am trying to speak – Latvian Polish Bulgarian French Lithuanian Catalan etc etc ;S!

    Many thanks

  27. Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I liked the frist clip with Spanish subtitles, but they dissapeared on the following clips. The subtitles.

    Ingelise Frier, Denmark-

  28. susan butler de salces
    4 years ago

    Thanks, Marcus. Would like to see the whole movie with subtitles! Gracias, Marcus. Me gustaria ver todo la pelicula con subtitulos. Gracias. Siempre quiero aprender mas con sus clases diferentes,

  29. Alan Roadnight
    4 years ago

    Very enjoyable , I could watch this type of clip with subtitles all day long. You just seem to know what ways to keep your students wanting more! What better way to encourage learning the Spanish language. Keep it up!

  30. Bhola Maggero
    4 years ago

    Me encanta la forma de acercarse sus lecciones, por favor envíeme una versión de audio y de vídeo española del Groundhog day (para descargar ) . He aprendido mucho a pesar de que hasta ahora lejos en Kenya. Gracias Marcus y espero verte un día.

    Do see how far I am doing Mi Maestro, You have encouraged to listen to spanish music too eg NUNCA VOY A OLVIDARTE by Ahristian Castro and SIETE VECES SIETE MAS by Ana Gabriel.

    Nairobi – Kenya

  31. Alice
    4 years ago

    This was really good – so nice to have the subtitles – a good way to learn.

  32. Julie
    4 years ago

    Such fun!

  33. Dave
    4 years ago

    Thnaks for that it rings true with my experience. After 3 years at adult night school, passing my exams etc I noticed that apart from myself, none of my classmates were ever confident enough to speak any spanish say if we went to a tapas bar! Myself I had long worked out that they system didnt work and got boring as we were bogged down in grammar and uninspiring teachers. I therefore did lots of other pratical measures that took me out of this environment (signing up to Marcus was one of them). I went to Spain 3 times yearly also and always spoke to every Spanish person I could do. I always told them to tell me when I made a mistake – always. This made a massive difference – a practical approach to speaking a language. Just like when I was a baby and couldnt read – I managed to pick up English without any text books! In Spain I realised that even dogs could understand Spanish ‘Ven Aqui! Sientate! etc. I teased my classmates about that one!
    I am now fortunate enough to own a small house in deepest andalucia – away from the tourist masses. 99% of the people in the mountain village where I live only speak spanish (I spend 7 days a time there about 9 times per year – its ony 6 hours door-to-door from my home in the UK). I have to speak Spanish If I want anything – and guess what – becasue Im immersed in it – I am easily 70% towards being fluent. I can go all day and not speak an english word. Also, the andalucian accdent is a thick sounding and lazy one – much different from the pure madrid accent spoken in spanish classes in the UK. Mastering the sound of that has been an achievement too.
    In conclusion, if you arent fortuinate to learn spanish on the street, then I cannot recommend Marcus’ approach enough. Classroom spanish very rarely produces anyone who has the confidence or ability to have real conversations outside of the classroom. I long abandoned my classroom spanish appraoch. When we met up for a meal last christmas (spanish speaking restaurant) not one of them spoke a word of the language simply becaused they had learned by the boring way that ticks boxes fro teachers and administrators – they had forgotten what little theyd learned. On the other hand they were amazed at my level. Im not saying this to brag – rather to point out that immersion/pratical approaches work the best by far.

  34. Sabrina Shea
    4 years ago

    me gusta eso. Gracias por las letras en espanol. Quiero mas.


  35. Aki
    4 years ago

    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for the clip.
    I read the email that contained this clip to my husband. He really enjoyed what you wrote because he got his degree in English and taught for seventeen years.
    Your classes are truly wonderful; and learning about the success of others is very encouraging.
    My thanks to you and them. I really appreciate your emails, too. I’m determined to continue learning despite a number of challenges. When I complete “Synergy Spanish” and “Short Cut to Spanish,” I plan to order the next course.
    Thank you so much for all your work.


  36. mark
    4 years ago

    me gusta mucho

  37. mark
    4 years ago

    I like it its realy nice.

  38. Chris Kiwi
    4 years ago

    Would be interesting to see a dubbed-in-Spanish version with the subtitles in English, but this little clip was a useful lesson.
    BTW did you know the antipodes of Madrid is Palmerston North, a town in New Zealand?

    Marcus Reply:

    I didn’t know that. I do find it very interesting as I was born on the other side of the Tasman Sea in Launceston, Tasmania, which does have a similar latitude to Madrid.

  39. Will Barker
    4 years ago

    Good stuff.

  40. jack
    4 years ago

    Me gusta mucho like it very much

  41. jack
    4 years ago

    me gusta mucho