Best way to learn a foreign language quickly in your home?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I am going on vacation to the Dominican Republic
    in about 7 weeks.

    Most of the people there speak Spanish. It would
    be nice to be able to communicate with the people
    that will be taking care of us during our resort stay.

    It seems like a good idea to get one of those
    audio CD programs. Problem is....which one?

    Amazon lists more than a dozen of them. Have
    no idea which one is better than the other.

    Was hoping one of you folks have recently learned
    a foreign language using a particular method and
    would have something to steer me towards.

    Look forward to the responses.
     
  2. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

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    Wow, what a coincidence!

    I've been doing some research online to find the best Spanish teaching software. My wife and I are planning on going to the Dominican in June, so I too thought it would be a good idea. We're going to Punta Cana.

    So far, based on the reviews I've read, Learn to Speak Spanish from the Learning Company has been the best.

    I'm sure most people will say that actually trying to converse with someone is the best way. I would have to agree.

    The sad thing is that I'm actually Hispanic. I never learned while growing up, but I'm planning on doing a lot of practicing with my dad and grandmother before I go. I'm also interested in hearing what other methods have worked.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Jerry,

    This forum never ceases to amaze me.

    I'm going to Secrets in Punta Cana. You?

    I'll check out that Learning Company software.
     
  4. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

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    We're staying at Paradisus Punta Cana.
    My uncle is the one that turned us on to Punta Cana. He went last year and stayed at one of the Bavaro resorts, not sure which one. He had a great time, very relaxing.

    We must have been reading some of the same reviews and stuff for Punta Cana. From what I read, and from my uncle, it wouldn't hurt to know some Spanish.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    All you need to know is (my Spanish is muy rusty, forgive the bad syntax):

    ?El donde el bano, por favor?

    !Dos cervasas, por favor!

    and:

    S-O-C-K-S

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The problem with “¿Donde está el baño, por favor?”, is not in asking the question but in understanding the reply. [​IMG]

    No problem at all with ¡Dos mas cervezas, por favor! [​IMG]

    Have fun Ron.
     
  7. Peter Burtch

    Peter Burtch Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with that too. You just won't _retain_ as much by only utilzing software to learn a foreign language. It's a good companion to real live practice though. Using a language in a social context or workplace allows you to retain more of _how_ another language is used day to day. Definitely hit your dad & abuela for the good stuff [​IMG]. You could have them do a little skit or something to teach you the basics of communicating w/ the staff where you'll be staying.

    When I was learning Portuguese in college I probably picked up more than I every would in class by listening to and practicing with the Brazilian TAs & grad students in the bars [​IMG]. Knowing Spanish only got me so far without that extra help...

    -Pedro

     
  8. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    "Soy amigo de Pedro Martinez." [​IMG]

    Is the Learning Company the one that does the SOCKS? If it is, I'd probably look for something less gimmicky. Sometimes one of the PBS SDTV multicast or cable channels runs lessons for foreign languages.
     
  9. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Tengo el gato en mis pantalones.
     
  10. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I don't mean to have a chuckle at your expense, Jerry, but excuse me if I do.[​IMG]

    And, you live in FL, too. Oh, the humanity. Ok, I'll stop.

    Todd

    (WV native, can't speak proper English[​IMG] )
     
  11. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I used Berlitz long ago just for fun and was making good progress. Then I moved, got married and had children.

    Aye carrumba!

    I'd have been glad to send you the tapes (yes, that old) but they are packed away right now while my home is being restored.

    Berlitz is possibly one of the oldest and most respected names.
     
  12. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Spanish? That's nothing, I have to learn Swedish. Now that's a tough one! [​IMG]

    (although still probably easier to learn than Japanese or Chinese?)
     
  13. Peter Burtch

    Peter Burtch Stunt Coordinator

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    Why do you have to learn Swedish? Work related, or girlfriend related [​IMG].

    cheers,
    P
     
  14. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    I believe Gary is moving to Sweden.
     
  15. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Yeah I'm moving right after Episode 3 comes out(don't want to see it dubbed or with subtitles!). But it's not 100% until I get my passport back from the Swedish government, hopefully with a residential permit stamp included. If not Sweden then France, or maybe Australia. Or Mars.
     
  16. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I'll add Learn in Your Car Spanish Level 1(Amazon shows ISBN: 1591252040) for the set. I used the entire 3 levels before moving to Mexico, and it really helped a lot in giving me the vocabulary to understand most phrases that are used in Latin America.

    If you're going on vacation, I would recommend getting the level 1 and a good english/spanish dictionary. Try your stuff out at a local latin resturant, waiters are usually really nice with helping you out and telling you how to say different things.

    Good luck and enjoy your trip!
     
  17. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

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    Good suggestions Matt.

    Some of the educational software out there comes with the audio cd's for the car, but the one I was recommending doesn't. I was still thinking about getting a hold of some as well, the more practice the better.

    I'll look into the one you suggested.

    I was going to say go to a restaurant as well, but Ron's looking for ways to learn in the home. Maybe he could order take-out from home. [​IMG]
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Enjoyed reading your responses.

    Okay...

    So through all these posts there seems
    to be one recommendation for audio or
    software instruction.

    Learn in Your Car Spanish Level

    I'll go check out Amazon for it.
     
  19. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Hey Ron
    Make sure you visit Santa Domingo besides the Resost. We swent about 8 years ago and were very happy we did. SD is filmed if they want a pre-castro Havana. Oldest city in the new world and a lot of real cool places to see. I remember hitting a night club that was a real cave under the street.
    Have a great time!
    Grant
     
  20. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Grant,

    Thanks for the tip. Taking a note of this.

    You actually stayed at Secrets?

    Sounds like you had a blast.
     

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