Understanding when people talk
Is there a "best" method to help with learning to comprehend what people are saying to me in Spanish. While I can say many things in Spanish ... there is a big "disconect" when I'm trying to understand what is being said. Thank you for any suggestions. Dave
I have exactly the same problem myself. I find it very difficult to understand Spanish when it's spoken very fast and/or where some words are not pronounced fully.
I have had so much problem with listening comprehension that I have to resort to the following:
My vocabulary needs to be as near to native standard as possible. My solution - read the dictionary. Tip: start with a pocket sized one first.
Practice makes perfect. Solution - listen to native speakers on TV and radio. My solution - all my radio channels are now in Spanish, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Heyo Dottmer! Remember this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It takes a great amount of time and efficiency to actually communicate fluently. I agree with the answer above me. Make the dictionary your best friend. It's what my English teacher always said, and it should have been what my Spanish teacher always said. Sign up for the Word of the Day. Even though that may not be actually listening, it's still good to always see more words.
Secondly, listen to what may seem like nonsense. I use to turn off the audio on my television when watching Mexican League soccer, but now I attempt to pick out words I know from it... besides "fútbol" of course! Listen to Unividos or whatever other Spanish programs you may have on the TV. Also listen to the radio! This was one of the best steps I have ever taken into advancing my communication skills. In my area, there are not FM spanish stations, but there are a few AM stations. Get a notebook, and write down the scattered words that you can understand.