HomeQ&AWould you care to share experiences, frustrations and observations about your quest to learn Spanish?

Would you care to share experiences, frustrations and observations about your quest to learn Spanish?

1
vote

Hi guys,

How many of you have tried to learn the language before?

Have you tried courses, software, etc. What were your experiences?

What barriers and challenges have you encountered while trying to learn Spanish?

What would you like to see in a course or a program designed to teach Spanish?

Sorry, if it seems like I'm playing 1002 questions here, just curious.

Thanks!

2336 views
updated FEB 5, 2011
posted by Naviv

5 Answers

3
votes

I'm a native English speaker, and I've studied Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Japanese. The only one I can still sort of speak is Spanish. Use it or lose it. All but Japanese were studied in the traditional way - lots of memorization, conjugation and drills. I had 3 years of Spanish in high school before I moved to Venezuela as a teenager. It took 6 months before I was comfortable holding a conversation with a Venezuelan.

On the other hand, I took a Berlitz course in Japanese when I was traveling there on business. Within a couple of weeks I could hold an extremely simple conversation with a native speaker. The key to the Berlitz method is total immersion, and that's what got me over the hump with Spanish after I moved to Venezuela. I've had this finding confirmed when I was taking courses for my teaching credential. Immersion is by far the best method for learning a language. Any successful language course has to involve a lot of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Drills and memorization should be kept to an absolute minimum. They're mostly a waste of time. While it is important to learn how to conjugate verbs, the only reason on Earth to learn the names of the conjugations is to pass grammar tests, which have nothing to do with actually learning to speak a language. You're better off watching Harry Potter with the Spanish sound track turned on.

updated DIC 13, 2010
posted by KevinB
Wow you really really love Harry Potter don't you? ;) - jeezzle, DIC 13, 2010
It´s true, for learn a lenguage it´s important that you go where it speak that lenguage. It´s the same whith English or Spanish. I am Spanish and whith grammar only pass the exam - FRANKESTEBAN, DIC 13, 2010
0
votes

Learning Spanish is much easier than I expected when I first began Spanish class, but I'm not very confident in my ability to speak it. This results in me just embarassing myself by pointing out my mistakes when I say stuff. I'm a gamer, and I sometimes run into Portugese players on MMOs (Especially AQWorlds. There are tons of Portugese playing that!), and it's similar. I'd like to see some sort of thing where I can practice while playing.

updated FEB 5, 2011
posted by evilweirdo
It helps me figure out phrases in other languages as well... Italian is remarkably similar in some ways. - evilweirdo, FEB 5, 2011
0
votes

Favor de corregir los errores.

Lets see, I already knew spanish growing up because i was born in Mexico, but my brother, born in Los angeles California, also knew spanish. The problem was he couldnt speak english very well, and he couldnt communicate at all in english. Basically no one in the family could speak ingles. So he took ESL clases and hang out with anyone that could speak english. Me on the other hand, i didnt want to learn english, because i wanted to return to Mexico. Well, our story is kind of hard for me to explain in english so i will just stop here.

updated DIC 13, 2010
posted by Rey_Mysterio
i should be capitalized. couldn't, English, hung out, didn't. This is my first attempt at correcting errors. I hope it's ok. - swampy, DIC 13, 2010
Los Angeles , classes - swampy, DIC 13, 2010
0
votes

How many of you have tried to learn the language before?

I started learning it in middle school and continued in high school, but I didn't intentionally "quit". I wanted to go up to level 5 which was rumored to be a level of "fluency" (yea, right) but I stopped at level 3; I had moved to another state and that school didn't offer anything higher. Once I got to college, my work load was too much for me too add any additional classes to it

Have you tried courses, software, etc. What were your experiences?

Outside of school, I've taken no professional courses. I've "self-studied" using old Spanish textbooks, websites for Spanish-learners, and practice books. They've all been very helpful and it's good when you can pace yourself and really get a good understanding of concepts (not that I've attained everything, but I understand more [and better] the things that I learned in high school)

What barriers and challenges have you encountered while trying to learn Spanish?

Remembering conjugation rules while speaking; Learning the difference between imperfect and preterite; Knowing when to use subjunctive; and knowing when to use indirect- vs. direct-object pronouns (but I think I've finally gotten that part down). Improving my listening comprehension was a struggle too, but over time, it got much better (but it varies from speaker to speaker; I learned that over the weekend speaking to a borracho, lol)

What would you like to see in a course or a program designed to teach Spanish?

Loooong spoken dialogs and lots of examples with subjunctive and imperfect vs. preterite wink

Sorry, if it seems like I'm playing 1002 questions here, just curious.

No biggie smile

updated DIC 13, 2010
edited by Goldie_Miel
posted by Goldie_Miel
0
votes

I still get frustrated all time. I am finding it lately hard to study for hours a day, so I just do a bit. I am stuck at the beginning of an advanced level. Like Kevin I have studied many languages. I probably have 1000 Japanese words (I have lost a lot) and maybe 10000 Spanish words some of which are on the fence of what they mean. But a guy comes in to get a job and starts with "No tengo cabeza para" and goes into a long slangy rant that I only catch a tenth of. Frustrating, while a movie is for the most part understood I still don't get a lot of what the speakers say, because it's all idioms or it means something that the dictionary doesn't list. IE junto VS juntado....

updated DIC 13, 2010
edited by jeezzle
posted by jeezzle
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