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How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

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How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby fightforlove » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:53 pm

For those of you who've acquired strong proficiency in a second language, what is the best way to go about this?

I studied Spanish at university, took 6 courses plus two 2-3 week trips to Spain. I just got back from another trip to Spain for 9 days, my Spanish was noticeably stronger this time as I could go further into conversations with my friends. I would say that I'm soft conversational at this point.

How can I get stronger to the point of being able to speak more confidently and go into deeper conversation topics. Right now, I have a strong vocabulary and verb conjugating skillset to have everyday conversations, but I struggle with forming grammatically proper sentences, speaking in the past/future subjective tenses, and I lack the deeper vocabulary for more specific topics, such as what I do in my job, politics, history, etc.

Would a program like Rosetta Stone help me at this point? I hear that it totally immerses you to help create more fluid speaking/listening skills. I would already know a lot of the vocab/verbs taught in the early levels, but the higher levels may help me. Any thoughts?
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Wolfeye » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:23 pm

Would like to know that myself. I tried to use that Rosetta Stone thing, but it seems more useful as a suppliment than to outright learn it from. What would always happen was I would remember things when I saw the PICTURE, but not the real thing. That said, it is pretty useful to be able to practice the pronunciation & have some idea of if you're saying it right, to be able to practice reading the written language, and to be able to practice typing it.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby xiongmao » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:08 pm

I'm in Barcelona now. I think it would be a terrible place to learn Spanish given how so many locals speak Catalan, and many bars only have Catalan menus.

But the total immersion you get from living in a foreign country is the best way to learn a language, like I did when I lived in China and (to a lesser extent) Thailand.

I'm gradually learning Spatalan (or whatever it is I'm picking up!) but I'm not making an active effort to learn it, as I don't think I'll be staying here. I expand my vocabulary by Googling any new words I come across. So many words are similar to English/Latin/French but you do have to be wary of false friends.

There are lots of people learning Spanish in my language school (including quite a few Chinese) and they get good by using every possible chance to practice speaking to locals.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Ghost » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:59 am

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Last edited by Ghost on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Jester » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:26 am

Ghost wrote:
I recently went to Nicaragua for a month



Yes and may I say I really enjoyed the trip report that you so thoughtfully provided.

oh - waitaminnit
"Pick a point and go to it."
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby tamdrin12 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:28 am

The number one way to learn a language is to get a girlfriend who doesn't really speak English. This is a fun and enjoyable/educational way to learn a language.. I am doing it with a Thai girl right now.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Johnny1975 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:44 am

tamdrin12 wrote:I am doing it with a Thai girl right now.


Quick, take pictures!!!
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby zacb » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:54 pm

I am not all the best at Spanish, but Pimsleurs has helped me a lot. Rossetta Stone is soso.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby fightforlove » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:26 pm

zacb wrote:I am not all the best at Spanish, but Pimsleurs has helped me a lot. Rossetta Stone is soso.


I've heard good things about Pimsleurs, how does it differ from RS? I actually have some Online Lingo disks in Spanish that someone pawned off to me, but haven't checked them out yet.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Jester » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:56 pm

Johnny1975 wrote:
tamdrin12 wrote:I am doing it with a Thai girl right now.


Quick, take pictures!!!



:lol:

you HOUND!
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Johnny1975 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:56 pm

fightforlove wrote:
zacb wrote:someone pawned off to me,


What you do in the bedroom is none of our business. This is a family forum! We'll have none of that, you hear!
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Ghost » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:12 am

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Last edited by Ghost on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Jester » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:36 pm

Ghost wrote:
Well, I thought about it. Actually, not planning to go back and it is already getting spoiled by gringos, so...that might actually be one good reason to write a trip report. ;)


:lol:
Well, okay then, Captain Selfish, fire away!
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Ghost » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:05 am

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Last edited by Ghost on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to get really good at a second language (Spanish)

Postby Renata » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:28 pm

Belize in the Carribean, it's a real affordable place to live, plus it's national language is English but 50% of the natives Mestizo, Latino, or Hispanic so alot of them speak Spanish as a native language or are bi-lingual. I think it's one of the best places to learn spanish on a dime.
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