HomeQ&Awhat modality is the most difficult?

what modality is the most difficult?


I'm wondering what others find the most difficult - reading, writing, speaking, listening and understanding? Is this a personal thing that would vary depending on one's learning style or is one of these things inherently more difficult for most people?

Some days I feel like I have really progressed, and can even understand a video when I listen to it, then when I try to process what a real person is saying it all shuts down - even my own son! even when I know all the words! (ie it's not just a difficulty with accents, idioms, vocabulary...) It seems almost like I get brain freeze and can't process.

I am so curious about this. I know I am weak in audio processing and am a very visual learner, so maybe this is just me?

What have you found the hardest? Is there one way of communicating that seems to lag behind or be the most challenging?

updated OCT 12, 2009
edited by Nicole-B
posted by kittybrougham
I'm sorry, this should be general discussion - is there a way to change that? - kittybrougham, OCT 9, 2009
use the edit function next in your message - nizhoni1, OCT 9, 2009
I changed it for you. - Nicole-B, OCT 10, 2009

4 Answers


Look...listen to your Chamacito. The truth is that, unless you are are writer, the most you are ever going to do is speak to people in spanish. Sure, it's real good and easy to speak to people in here on the screen in spanish, where you have a handy little translator and you can say, "hey look at me I have ten milliion stars after my name!". But the real world doesn't work that way. If you were with you someone in the store or at work and you said to them "Hi! I speak spanish!", and then they said to you, "muybien, comoesta? Soloheestadoenloestadounidoshastadosmesas", what are you going to say? Sorry, I didn't understand you, but I have 10 million stars next to my name in the computer? It doesn't matter in the real world what you have in here. The best you can do for yourself is listen to the leccions que les dan, listen to television, listen, listen listen, and then listen some more. So when you get to the point where you are actually talking to a real life native speaker of spanish, you know what is going on. Bueno...that takes time...but judging by your question, you are already thinking in that direction. You are on the right path. Do your studies, listen to TV, music, and anything else you can get your hands on, and you will be prepared when your time comes. wink

updated OCT 12, 2009
posted by ChamacoMalo

First of all, excellent post. I don't know the science behind this, but it is my opinion that most people find listening to be the most difficult. I have no problems with audio processing, in fact, it is my life as a musician. So you don't have to worry about that being the cause of your difficulties.

I'm sure others will have varying opinions, but I constantly hear people complaining about difficulties understanding the spoken language. No matter how long you have studied vocabulary, grammar, etc. you will always have to adjust to the sounds of the words spoken together (one word tends to run into the next), the different accents and the rapidity of the spoken language.

Don't be discouraged. A lot of us struggle with the same problem. I would suggest that you spend extra time (as much as double) on "listening" through T.V., radio, movies, etc. It does not happen over night. In the beginning you understand a word here and there, followed by a phrase. Eventually, you will understand sentences, the context of the conversation and finally, word for word.

I wish you the best in this process,


updated OCT 9, 2009
posted by Nicole-B
You do give me hope Nicole - I want to master the language so much it hurts. I've been so discouraged in the past, but I am very determined too never give up. Thank you for your encouragement. - kittybrougham, OCT 9, 2009

When I begun to study the language of Willaim Shaakespeare , understanding what I heard ,English wise,was the hardest part. Reading and understanding what I read was fairly easy.I don't know how it happened but one day I understood everything that people said in English. Understanding what Rock and Roll singers are saying was and still is pretty difficult to me. My american brother in- law can understand most of what people tell him in Spanish but he can't neither speak it nor read it.

updated OCT 10, 2009
edited by 00769608
posted by 00769608
Well, understanding rock-n-roll songs is difficult for me, too, and English is my native tongue. Fortunately, I don't like rock-n-roll music. - webdunce, OCT 9, 2009

The most difficult thing for me is to write and construct sentences.I can recognize words aurally and visually but become mute when it is time to answer. I so this in English my native tongue when under pressure as in oral exams etc.

updated OCT 9, 2009
posted by nizhoni1
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.