VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of you remember my recent post asking which language I should learn and well, I've decided to learn Spanish for an upcoming trip through Spain, and I'm wondering which software and/or technique you recommend? I won't have the opportunity to take a class before then, but if you know of some good learning software that you can recommend please tell me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
I listen to Pimsleur courses that I downloaded off iTunes in my car twice a day.

Do you have any background in Spanish?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I dated a Puerto Rican girl in college and learned a lot of off-color Spanish during that time but other than that... no.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
I ask only because the pimsleur courses have been helpful for me, but they're audio only. I had Spanish in high school (which I mostly forgot) but I remembered enough that I felt like I had a good "base"...

When are you going to Spain? I'll be there in May!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

Well I dated a Puerto Rican girl in college and learned a lot of off-color Spanish during that time but other than that... no.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you recommend the Pimsleur courses for someone who needs to learn Spanish quickly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

Do you recommend the Pimsleur courses for someone who needs to learn Spanish quickly?
I think so. It's based for people traveling for pleasure on business so it teaches you what you'll need to get by. I guess it depends though, how quickly are you thinking?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Yep. They're not necessarily cheap. But there are 4 "Phases" with 30 lessons each. Each lesson is about 30min. I listen to each twice (on my commute to/from school). They've been helpful for my in getting back up to speed with the language in a short amount of time.

Just an FYI, these are the only courses I've used, so I don't know if something like Rosetta Stone would be better for your money...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts
In a year, you can become fluent. Go to www.spanishpod.com, sign up for a 1 week trial, and during that week download every single lesson they've got (there are hundreds, it was an absolutely awesome site while it was running). Don't bother maintaining membership after that, because the site has been essentially dead for a few years now and is no longer adding new material.

My language learning technique is pretty much the opposite of conventional college classes. At first, forget grammar. It won't help you communicate, and because you can't communicate and have no context to compare the things you'll learn to, you'll forget it.

Listening comprehension is, by far, the most important aspect of learning a new language. The conversations on the site I mentioned are all ideal. I would suggest getting to the point where you can understand most basic conversations. By this point you will intuitively be able to pick up on grammar simply based on what sounds right and what doesn't, and it is at this time that you should begin including pure grammar into your studies in order to fine tune your progression. The various grammar rules will make more sense when the language is no longer foreign sounding to you. Also, I prefer train my ear to understand the difference between good pronunciation and bad pronunciation before I begin training my mouth to imitate it. Conventional learning techniques are really a good way to pick up bad habits that are hard to get rid of.

For the record, the same company (Praxis Language) also has frenchpod.com, italianpod.com, and chinesepod.com. These will all be completely accessible during your free trial. Chinesepod.com is, however, the only one that is still being maintained and added to daily, so don't bother with a permanent subscription unless you want to learn Chinese.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad888 View Post

My language learning technique is pretty much the opposite of conventional college classes. At first, forget grammar. It won't help you communicate, and because you can't communicate and have no context to compare the things you'll learn to, you'll forget it.
I completely agree with this. I have friend who are bilingual and they all agree that when you are still starting out, just talk. You'll start to figure out what is correct/incorrect the more you speak. In the mean time, people will know what you're trying to say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts
That absolutely makes sense. I know I'm biased being a complete language nerd, but you get so much more out of a trip when you can communicate. Anyone can go stair at a tourist landmark, but being able to really be part of a country, even if only for a few weeks, is an amazing experience.

Condition or no condition, there isn't a person in this world who can say with absolute confidence that they're still going to be alive tomorrow. If there's something you feel you need to do, do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,660 Posts
In addition to all the other suggestions in this thread, buy a couple packs of index cards and study/drill on the Spanish word frequency lists that are now on the web. (I had previously looked this info up for a friend.)

50 Most Common Spanish Words
http://www.study-spanish-language.co...sson-words.htm

Top 100 Spanish Words - Most common words in Spanish
http://www.vistawide.com/spanish/top...nish_words.htm

1000 Most Common Spanish Words
wordsgalore.com/wordsgalore/languages/spanish/spanish1000.html

List of the 100 most frequently used verbs with translations.
www.lingolex.com/spanish.htm

The 500 Most Commonly Used Words
forums.tomisimo.org Spanish & English Languages Vocabulary

Vocabulary: The Most Common Spanish Words
http://www.spanishpronto.com/spanish...nishvocab.html

Learn Spanish Vocabulary
http://spanish.about.com/od/spanishv...Vocabulary.htm

1,000 Words Is All You Need for Spanish
http://www.spanishdict.com/blog/13/1...ed-for-spanish

"You can probably get around a Spanish-speaking country if you know
the 100 most common words, but the closer your daily vocabulary is to
1,000 or above the better."

Just Google "most common words in Spanish language" for about 4 million
hits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,693 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Although I know very little Spanish, it did help a little while in Spain. Did you know that Mexican Spanish is not the same? They speak different dialects and one is Catalunian. I did not spell this correctly, but you might want to look it up. I am guessing that if you get fluent in Spanish it will really help, but they definitely speak differently in different areas. Kinda like India. All the Indian people at my company speak English because they all speak different dialects from their regions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,862 Posts
I don't have any software suggestions, but I have heard that Pimsleur (which was suggested) is really good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad888 View Post

In a year, you can become fluent.
You mean conversationally fluent, right? Because I can say pretty safely that to be truly fluent takes more than a year.

Quote:
Go to www.spanishpod.com, sign up for a 1 week trial[cut]
I already speak Spanish but I'll check this one and the others you mentioned out, thanks!

Quote:
Listening comprehension is, by far, the most important aspect of learning a new language. The conversations on the site I mentioned are all ideal. I would suggest getting to the point where you can understand most basic conversations.
Yep! I'd focus on listening and words over grammar. If you know words and you can pick them out of a sentence, that's more helpful that know what the sentence structure is if you don't know the words being used.

Where are you going in Spain? If you need ideas/travel trips let me know - my knowledge is a few years old but I lived there for a year and traveled a bit around the country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,862 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocrob37 View Post

Although I know very little Spanish, it did help a little while in Spain. Did you know that Mexican Spanish is not the same? They speak different dialects and one is Catalunian. I did not spell this correctly, but you might want to look it up. I am guessing that if you get fluent in Spanish it will really help, but they definitely speak differently in different areas. Kinda like India. All the Indian people at my company speak English because they all speak different dialects from their regions.
Totally true, but the kind of words and such that Digger would likely be studying will mostly be the same - travel-related things. And if you go to different parts of Spain where they have another dialect, anyone who went to school (basically everybody under 60 and a lot of people over that) will understand Spanish as well. In Catalunia (the Barcelona area) I had no problem using Spanish with everyone even though they have their own language, Catalan, there, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocrob37 View Post

Although I know very little Spanish, it did help a little while in Spain. Did you know that Mexican Spanish is not the same? They speak different dialects and one is Catalunian. I did not spell this correctly, but you might want to look it up. I am guessing that if you get fluent in Spanish it will really help, but they definitely speak differently in different areas. Kinda like India. All the Indian people at my company speak English because they all speak different dialects from their regions.
Yeah there are several dialects (Catalan, Basque, etc), but most speak Castilian. There are some different pronunciations though too... For instance, in the north they pronounce the letter 'z' as a 'th' sound, where as in the south it's more an 's' sound (as with Latin American Spanish). Kinda neat really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Joe (and everyone else too) thanks so much for posting so many links. I did go ahead and invest in the Pimsleur audio tapes so we'll see how it goes. I do understand that I won't actually be fluent until I'm actually living in Spain and forced to use the language conversationally for some time, but you've laid a good foundation for me. Thanks again for all of your great ideas. You've been a whole lot of help and I appreciate that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,130 Posts
My library has language programs to borrow. IIRC, they have the Rosetta series.

Perhaps that's a cheap way for you to learn the language without buying the software.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top