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Learning Spanish

Chat in foreign languages or discuss language-learning.

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drealm
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Learning Spanish

Post by drealm » November 13th, 2011, 6:41 pm

I searched and didn't find any threads. Short of complete immersion, what's the best way to learn a language (Spanish in this case)? I'd prefer something I can do at home without anyone else. I've heard Rosetta stone isn't any good.

E_Irizarry
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Post by E_Irizarry » November 13th, 2011, 6:50 pm

Interesting. How come they said that Rosetta isn't any good for learning Spanish?
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

TanBoy by DNA | Despedido, Hugo Chavez...Descansa en paz!

drealm
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Post by drealm » November 13th, 2011, 7:03 pm

To be fair, the criticism was from a competitor. But the main reason cited was that Rosetta tries applying teaching methods that work for children, but don't work for adults. Other reasons were that it's too easy to score well in the program. In many cases multiple choice questions are used that involve matching a word with a picture. The older Rosetta editions gave multiple choices in a four question format, which gives a 25% chance of scoring right. However the newer editions are even easier because they use a two question format, which gives a 50% chance of scoring right.

Full critique of Rosetta here: http://language101.com/reviews/rosetta-stone/

Rock
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Rock » November 13th, 2011, 7:09 pm

drealm wrote:I searched and didn't find any threads. Short of complete immersion, what's the best way to learn a language (Spanish in this case)? I'd prefer something I can do at home without anyone else. I've heard Rosetta stone isn't any good.
Spend 60 hours listening and responding to all 4 levels Pimsleur Spanish and you will have a fantastic start. Repeat levels 3 and 4 to get conversations fluency in the most common structures. Then spend time memorizing vocab and practicing with native speakers. If you wanna do Rosetta Stone, do it after Pimseur, not before.

E_Irizarry
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Post by E_Irizarry » November 13th, 2011, 7:10 pm

drealm wrote:To be fair, the criticism was from a competitor. But the main reason cited was that Rosetta tries applying teaching methods that work for children, but don't work for adults. Other reasons were that it's too easy to score well in the program. In many cases multiple choice questions are used that involve matching a word with a picture. The older Rosetta editions gave multiple choices in a four question format, which gives a 25% chance of scoring right. However the newer editions are even easier because they use a two question format, which gives a 50% chance of scoring right.

Full critique of Rosetta here: http://language101.com/reviews/rosetta-stone/
Well give it a try and then if no success, try pimsleur.com
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

TanBoy by DNA | Despedido, Hugo Chavez...Descansa en paz!

well-informed
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Post by well-informed » November 13th, 2011, 7:43 pm

good thing i grew speaking spanish fluently with my mom lol. saved me a whole lot of time learning

MrPeabody
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Post by MrPeabody » November 13th, 2011, 8:02 pm

I learned Spanish by taking a two year community college program that was offered at night. This gives you the basic grammar and practice, and the community college is less expensive than the commercial alternatives. Pimlseur just gives you a few phrases without any real depth. Their methodology is faulty because an adult really does need to study the grammar of a language and learn to write. Only children can acquire languages naturally.

Rock
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Post by Rock » November 13th, 2011, 8:58 pm

MrPeabody wrote:I learned Spanish by taking a two year community college program that was offered at night. This gives you the basic grammar and practice, and the community college is less expensive than the commercial alternatives. Pimlseur just gives you a few phrases without any real depth. Their methodology is faulty because an adult really does need to study the grammar of a language and learn to write. Only children can acquire languages naturally.
Well I gotta say, Pimsleur did me well. I did a couple of semesters of Spanish at a good uni but could never use if for shit. I felt like a NE Asian who had studied English in school but had no ability to communicate at even the most basic level with a native speaker. But after 3 weeks of intensive Pimsleur (I broke the rules by doing more than one unit a day), I could really talk to the natives and get around. My pronunciation improved tremendously and I could have spontaneous conversations for extended periods with locals. They understood me well and I could understand most of what they said to me too. It worked great for practical convo. Of course, I still didn't understand too much of the news and other higher level stuf.

You could argue that my classroom background helped me to put it all together by the time I did the Pimsleur course. But, I also did 3 levels of Porto a couple months before I went to Rio. And I had no classroom or other learning mixed in. From the moment I stepped off plane, I was talking to people with confidence. I could give good directions, order food, greet people, talk prices and numbers with no hesitation, and even hit on women, lol. Tell me that's not practical.

I also did one level for Thai (they only had one for this language) and while it was a lot tougher, it did help for understanding what was going on around me and being able to say very basic stuff.

And, I used a similar method to learn Mandarin Chinese on my own before I knew about Pimsleur. First I did a sound workshop on tape to learn all the sounds and tones well. That took about 3 weeks. Then, I wrote down dozens of sentences and phrases plus common responses I knew I would need and got it translated to verbal Mandarin. I used these with bi-lingual locals who would prompt me in English and have me verbally translate on the spot. They would sometimes break down the sounds and tones so I could practice speaking sound by sound. Pimsleur does a bit of this too. They would go into progressively difficult material while often throwing in stuff from earlier lessons for review. Within about 4-5 more months, I could say a lot, say it clearly and we, and with almost no hesitation. Having a base like that is very motivating to go on. Once you get to a point where you can converse comfortably at a simple level, you naturally pick-up a lot more vocab and verbal comprehension over time. And it helps a lot of you supplement living around locals with active vocab memorization.

On a pure return per hour invested basis, I believe Pimsleur method is hard to beat if you main goal is to speak and listen fluently in as short a period of time as possible.

But, different methods work best for different people. I've seen some foreign contract workers from places like Indo and Thailand learn Mandarin and Taiwanese just by watching soap operas on TV. I don't think I could ever learn a language like that unless it was at least somewhat similar to my own language - say Jamaican creole, Dutch, or perhaps even Spanish.

Twobrains
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Post by Twobrains » November 13th, 2011, 9:43 pm

The Michel Thomas method is highly regarded, and if you dabble in torrents ... quite cheap. ;)

E_Irizarry
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Post by E_Irizarry » November 13th, 2011, 10:40 pm

well-informed wrote:good thing i grew speaking spanish fluently with my mom lol. saved me a whole lot of time learning
Remember, just like probably for you and most other Latinos, it had taken Spanish-speaking Latinos 2-4 years to learn Spanish (0 - 4 years of age).
But most Latinos don't keep that in mind when a grown adult doesn't speak the language fluently throwing them under the bus. :rolling eyes:
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

TanBoy by DNA | Despedido, Hugo Chavez...Descansa en paz!

momopi
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Joined: September 1st, 2007, 5:44 am
Location: Orange County, California

Re: Learnign Spanish

Post by momopi » November 14th, 2011, 2:17 am

drealm wrote:I searched and didn't find any threads. Short of complete immersion, what's the best way to learn a language (Spanish in this case)? I'd prefer something I can do at home without anyone else. I've heard Rosetta stone isn't any good.
Where do you live, and are there any Spanish speaking population near you?

Falcon
Experienced Poster
Posts: 1847
Joined: November 7th, 2011, 12:59 am

Post by Falcon » November 14th, 2011, 11:59 pm

Vocab, vocab, vocab. Then everything will start to fall into place together.

For example: "Train station where?" vs. "May I please know where exactly is the ... um?"

Listen to a lot of Spanish on the Internet or radio to get a good sense of the pronunciation and intonation.

MrPeabody
Experienced Poster
Posts: 1458
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 7:53 pm

Post by MrPeabody » November 15th, 2011, 12:17 am

I would also recommend taking time to learn how to pronounce the language properly. People tend to neglect this, but it is really important for communications.


E_Irizarry
Veteran Poster
Posts: 2352
Joined: July 5th, 2008, 9:07 am
Location: The Corporation ( the U.S. of Gay )

Post by E_Irizarry » November 15th, 2011, 5:46 pm

Falcon wrote:Vocab, vocab, vocab. Then everything will start to fall into place together.

For example: "Train station where?" vs. "May I please know where exactly is the ... um?"

Listen to a lot of Spanish on the Internet or radio to get a good sense of the pronunciation and intonation.
"La parada del tren esta adonde?" v. "Podria yo saber exactamente donde la parada del tren esta localizada x favor?"

Would you say it that way?
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

TanBoy by DNA | Despedido, Hugo Chavez...Descansa en paz!

momopi
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Posts: 4837
Joined: September 1st, 2007, 5:44 am
Location: Orange County, California

Post by momopi » November 16th, 2011, 2:36 pm

This reminds me of a funny incident in Paris. I had to ask for directions and found myself surrounded by Spanish tourists, so my HS Spanish class lessons actually came in handy.

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