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Chat in foreign languages or discuss language-learning.

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Ghost
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Post by Ghost » October 5th, 2014, 3:51 am

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Last edited by Ghost on October 24th, 2016, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fschmidt
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Post by fschmidt » October 5th, 2014, 4:03 am

Learning Spanish formally like this is painful but I don't think it is necessary. You don't really need the future tense at all. Instead of saying "I will do something" just say "I am going to do something" ("voy hacer algo"). For the past tense, the "I" and "you" singular are enough. With this you can communicate and you can pick up the rest passively with practice.

OutWest
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Re: Spanish is NOT an easy language!

Post by OutWest » October 5th, 2014, 5:12 am

Ghost wrote:If my rate of progress is any indication, I'll be fluent by the time I'm in a nursing home. People always say "Spanish is an easy language!" No, no, it isn't.

Now, every language has easy parts. That is true. And trying to judge how difficult a language is always depends on where you start from and what your native language is.

Spanish phonetics are easy. Drop dead easy. And there are plenty of cognates. (But the false friends counter balance that.)

So it is easy to pronounce and many words sound familiar. OK, that's where easiness ends with Spanish.

The conjugations of the verbs are killing me. And there are so many irregular verbs. Really, if Spanish didn't conjugate verbs, it really would be an easy language. And some languages are like that. Mandarin doesn't have conjugations. Spanish is getting me so down I'd almost rather give it up right now and go back to trying Chinese.

I study about 30-60 minutes a day. Mainly verbs and their preterite, present, and future conjugations. I was doing more before but I was learning much at all. I do some vocabulary also. I listen to music in Spanish everyday now and my listening has improved. I don't often understand everything, but I can often get the gist of the song. I guess main thing is that I need practice. I don't have to go far for that, but I don't think I'm willing to go around looking for Hispanics at Wal-Mart or something. I've delayed my next chapter of being Happier Abroad partially because I can't seem to improve my Spanish very much.

It's not easy. So many people in the U.S. were raised bilingual. They are really lucky on that count.
There is a better way. If at all possible, get into a language immersion school in Mexico or Guatemala.
In the historic city of Antigua Guatemala, such schools are about the biggest industry there.
You are not just learning the words and language, you are experiencing context and the culture behind it. Additionally, Antigua is breathtakingly beautiful and the schools are cheap. Typically, you have half a day of classes and the rest of your day is yours to explore and socialize. Even just 30 days there does wonders, and 60 days is amazing.

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Yohan
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Re: Spanish is NOT an easy language!

Post by Yohan » October 5th, 2014, 5:57 am

Ghost wrote: The conjugations of the verbs are killing me. And there are so many irregular verbs. Really, if Spanish didn't conjugate verbs, it really would be an easy language. And some languages are like that. Mandarin doesn't have conjugations. Spanish is getting me so down I'd almost rather give it up right now and go back to trying Chinese.
You are worried too much about grammar - and you think too little about vocabulary and how to talk 'fluently'. Native speakers can understand you even if you make mistakes and if it sounds 'funny' to them.

Often languages from Europe are remarkably complicated. As a native German speaker I am surprised how it is possible that some foreigners can speak my native language without grammatical mistakes. Russian is even more difficult. However it is all and everything only about that you are living in a region, where German is spoken and that you listen how native speakers will reply to you and that you repeat what you hear from them. Basically it is about using the foreign language with native speakers every day.

Without native speakers next to you, I would say, don't ruin your day with grammar.

Englsh-Spanish cannot be compared with English-Chinese. Standard Chinese 普通话 (as used in Beijing 北方话) is very much more complicated regarding pronunciation and writing. It takes a native English speaker without any prior relationship to China several years to become somewhat familiar with the Chinese spoken and written language.

Living in Japan since decades I can read a lot of standard Chinese despite Japanese and Chinese are following different grammatical rules. However I do not have any knowledge about how to speak it correctly, despite many characters have similar pronunciation and similar meaning.

As said foreign languages are more or less about daily exercise, if used every day, your knowledge will improve up similar to a native speaker, if not, your knowledge will decline and finally disappear.

It is also a bit about if you like a certain foreign language or not. I am many times in Thailand, but I do not like the Thai language, neither how it is spoken, nor how it is written. Simply said, I do not like to learn it.

BTW, I am not a native English speaker and have no native English speaker next to me to correct me, neither at home nor in office.
I simply don't care, if my English (my language no. 4) is correct or not.

Traveler
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Post by Traveler » October 5th, 2014, 6:11 am

According to Stephen Krashen, one of the top experts on second language acquisition in the world, you don't need to make a conscious effort to learn grammar rules. If you immerse yourself in listening and reading materials in the foreign language, you'll eventually learn the rules without even trying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqVhgSvw ... r_embedded

Johnny1975
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Post by Johnny1975 » October 5th, 2014, 10:06 am

fschmidt wrote:Learning Spanish formally like this is painful but I don't think it is necessary. You don't really need the future tense at all. Instead of saying "I will do something" just say "I am going to do something" ("voy hacer algo"). For the past tense, the "I" and "you" singular are enough. With this you can communicate and you can pick up the rest passively with practice.
It's :

voy a hacer algo
I-go to do something
I'm going to do something

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