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Looking to learn to speak Spanish - suggestions? (1 Viewer)

ChristopherG

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Actually my wife brought up the idea that she would like to and so I thought why not? So, looking for suggestions. Not knowing anything, I immediately thought of Rosetta Stone, but have seen a number of reviews that poke hard at the price and the lack of "conversational" learning.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.
Chris
 

David Norman

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Years ago, a buddy of mine who was originally from Vietnam (or a neighboring country) whose English was exceptional with only a minimal accent told me how he learned English.

Essentially and I think he was only partially kidding
"I moved to an English speaking country as a 17 yo refugee speaking virtually no English with $5 in my pocket and nobody spoke anything remotely like Vietnamese.
I learned what i needed very quickly to keep from nearly starving to death (again) "

Duolingo is a good choice. Babbel.com is also fairly cheap and easy though both require a pretty selfmotivated learning style
Many Community Colleges have Adult classes if you want something a bit more structured

Then the old school -- find Sesame Street or something designed for younger children in Spanish. YouTube Kids videos,
Graduate into fun things like telenovelos or singing
Watch movies or TV shows you know well with Spanish audio

I did 3-4 years of Spanish in High School 5 decades ago and I one point had a decent vocab and understanding of grammar rules -- I could read decently enough to get by, but I never developed an ear for listening to people speak (no Spanish TV in those days) and my verbal ability was awful even at it's peak.
 
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Jacinto

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Native bilingual here, as well as a high school Spanish teacher.

Duolingo is great and is free. The most important thing you can do is get consistent exposure to the language. Making sure to do some Duolingo for 15-20 minutes every day will greatly speed up you progress, as will listening to as much of it as possible. Watch the evening news on Univision or Telemundo, listen to a Spanish radio station in the car, and definitely watch movies you know well with the Spanish audio track.

¡Buena suerte! (good luck!)
 

Josh Steinberg

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Try duolingo.com, a free app (as long as you don't mind some advertisements).

I have extremely limited skill at picking up additional languages but my wife is very good at learning new languages and duolingo was her app of choice when she wanted to learn Italian. We didn’t get lost once on our Italy trip thanks to her so I’d say it works!
 

sfyalek

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Actually my wife brought up the idea that she would like to and so I thought why not? So, looking for suggestions. Not knowing anything, I immediately thought of Rosetta Stone, but have seen a number of reviews that poke hard at the price and the lack of "conversational" learning.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.
Chris
Learning foreign language, the commitment is very important. Block 1/2 hr each day to take the class and not anything else. Duolingo is a good choice.
Read a teen book in Spanish can help too.
 

John Norris

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Having spent over 20 years learning Italian, I can assure you that the only way to become conversant in a language (in contradistinction to simply being able to read the language) is to sit with a group of others in the company of a competent native speaker and just talk. Duolingo, MemRise etc will teach you thousands of words, but there is no point in simply acquiring a vocabulary if you don't know how to put these verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs into a sentence that is comprehensible to a speaker of that language. If you find being in a group is a bit intimidating (early on, I certainly did) get a period of one on one (or two on one if your partner is included) tuition. Then travel to a part of the world where that language is spoken: that is the final test, and it is an absolute joy when you say something that the listener responds to. For example: in Italian if you want to know the date, you say Quanti ne abbiamo oggi? That literally translates as: How many of them do we have today. Good heavens. How many of what do we have today? Imagine my joy, however, when I asked that question of a shopkeeper in Rome, and he replied (in Italian) that it was the 7th of November! You absolutely need to know as many as possible of these idiomatic expressions and the best way to learn them is to speak, often, with a native-speaker...

Buona fortuna.
 

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