How to learn spanish without lessons

4
votes

How can I help my fiance to learn spanish when he doesnt like formal 'lessons' but he wants to learn before we go to Mexico. If I just talk to him in spanish he just nods or says 'si' and then if i tell him that he needs to put effort into learning he says he wants to understand but doesnt have the energy to put lots of hours into online or paper learning. Anyone find any simple daily tricks to learn even a few words at a time that are not 'lesson based'?

16075 views
updated Aug 11, 2011
posted by toothpastechica

11 Answers

3
votes

Hmmm...

Quick question...what's your fiancé's Spanish level?

When I first started learning Spanish, I would study by taping thing around the house. When my vocabulary words were household items, I'd tape an index card with "el fregadero" to the kitchen sink, "el espejo" to the mirror, and so on. My mom didn't like it, jaja, but it helped me learn. Those were things I'd encounter everyday. When it came time to take my test, I was able to remember the words easily. Maybe you should try something like that.

I'd also get into the habit of speaking to him in Spanish! Tell him to try to respond with something other than just "sí".

I'd also look on iTunes for some podcasts. SpanishDict has some videos, but some others are pure listening! They are great for when you are a passenger in the car! Since they are listening exercises, you can replace whenever you listen to music on your iPod with listening to the exercises. Some podcasts are like a regular Spanish news channel. I don't recommmend those for beginners. I tried listening to one and felt really discouraged!! However, some are specifically for learners (especially beginners) and they do help! Instead of listening to music while he exercises, tell him to download a podcast on his iPod (if he has one) and listen! grin

updated Aug 10, 2011
edited by SonrisaDelSol
posted by SonrisaDelSol
Come to think of it, my mom did that for my sister when my sister was struggling with learning (she was only 6 or 7 when we moved from canada to mexico)
ahd his spanish level is nill. - he has learned the words i txt him all the time like 'te quiro and besos' but thats about it. he tried doing a beginner online course, but stopped after the first lesson because he felt it went to fast.
8
votes

What motivates a man? Sex and beer! You should come up with something that involves these two things grin

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by SpanishPal
I think this aswer should be accepted
3
votes

Gayland said:

No effort means no learning. Sorry.

I tend to agree with Gayland on this topic. Yes, you might pick up a couple of words or even a phrase or two with minimal effort. However, beyond being able to say "hola" or "gracias", I don't think any substantial communication is going to happen.

If you do a search of this site, you will find a ton of tips and tricks that we all use to learn Spanish. But you say that he is only responding with yes/no answers. He needs to be asking you what words mean or responding with more complete sentences. If he doesn't do this with you now (a person he is comfortable with) the likelihood of him using any Spanish in Mexico is minimal.

I do feel for you and your situation. My husband has little desire to learn Spanish. Every store I go in down here or everything he needs to communicate has to be through me. We went to a mercadito the other day to buy 25 cold water bottles for some kids who were playing games. Without me, he wasn't able to communicate this simple need to the store owner, neither was he able to understand the price unless the clerk showed it to him on a calculator.

I think that maybe you should refocus your efforts on finding tips to motivate your boyfriend. Once he is sufficiently motivated.....the rest will be a piece of cake. Or as they say it in Peru, it will be "mango". wink smile I hope he becomes inspired!!! Then the two of you will have a lot of fun practicing and studying together! smile

updated Aug 10, 2011
edited by Nicole-B
posted by Nicole-B
3
votes

No effort means no learning. Sorry.

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by gayland--Smith
i know this, im just looking for usefull SIMPLE ways to learn.
Not at all true in my opinion.
2
votes

The Speed Spanish series by Dan Mikels is fantastic. His approach is completely focused on learning to speak Spanish rather than learning to teach Spanish. I used it before I went to Venezuela the 1st time and was amazed out how much I could communicate without really understanding any Spanish grammar.

Here is their description of the product:

"Speed Series Level I achieves the communication level of a high school graduate. . No verbs to conjugate or adjectives to memorize. And the best part is ALL YOU HAVE TO DO….IS LISTEN!"

It is available at http://www.nationaldynamics.com/

updated Aug 11, 2011
posted by redrivermonkey
Thanks for the reccomendation, I tried to purchase synergyspanish and was never emailed my code for the download page.
2
votes

If he wants to learn without lessons, he should be the one on SpanishDict.com. The flash cards are great vocabulary builders. The lessons have tests that no one needs to see the results for, so he doesn't have to feel intimidated.

He could also get Rosetta Stone, or show some motivation of some type.

You might want to let him know that when you travel, you will not be translating for him. Enabling is doing for someone what they could do for themselves. It's a bad precedent to set early in a relationship.

If having a boyfriend that speaks Spanish and appreciates the culture is important to you and he cares about you, he will make an effort. If he won't, sadly, this might not be the guy for you.

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by JoyceM
2
votes

I'm not so sure he's really interested in learning or else he'd be more motivated? Maybe?

But in case I'm wrong, you are his teacher. He's very lucky he has his beloved girl for a teacher instead of someone that will force him through drills and go beyond his comfortable pace. How do you teach anyone a language? Start with something he says all the time is a good start. Something little like tengo hambre maybe, or ¡qué guay! or whatever and whenever he says it in English you can repeat it in Spanish until he gets the idea. Be fun! Also, I find beginners like to have quiero, me gusta, and ¿qué es esto?. Then they can start playing with the language.

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by mistermouse
I agree with you. I think that if he were interested...he would be motivated.
i think thats part of the problem, i have many years of spanish behind me plus growing up in mexico...so I think he is intimidated to use it around me, althought he won't say so.
That would definitely be the problem, if he does actually want to learn. My boyfriend is the same about learning sign language or spanish off me. I say "quieres algo para beber?" He says "I could go for a coffee" and I say "mm? No entiendo" until he manag
es to spit out "umm... quiero..." "sí.." "el café?" "¡Perfecto! ¿Te gusta el café?" "C..claro.." "¿Qué tipo?" and so forth. And then he gets kisses for being sooo good at Spanish ^u^
2
votes

' but he wants to learn before we go to Mexico.

I'm not sure how soon you will be going to Mexico, but without a lot of time and effort, he is not going to move past basic "meet and greet" type conversation. There are so many of us, including our esteemed teacher Paralee who have studied extensively, but still struggle here on the ground in Spanish speaking countries, so to speak. I remember Paralee mentioning this in a thread a long time ago. There really is nothing that prepares a person for stepping off of a plane in a Spanish speaking country and being surrounded by nothing but Spanish.

However, in your case, it seems like your boyfriend is lacking the amount of motivation necessary to learn. I can understand that some don't enjoy classroom type situations. My daughter is like that. She is here with us in the Dominican Republic, but spent the past year speaking in Spanish non-stop with one of her coworkers.

Most of us in the forum really don't go to formal classes. However, as mentioned in an earlier thread, we all do a ton or work on our own in order to absorb the language. Maybe you can persuade him to become involved in the forum. We will all collectively inspire and encourage him!!! wink :lol: LOL

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by Nicole-B
True, the SD forum sure does meet my needs when it comes to motivation!!
1
vote

Tiene que tener el deseo. Lo siento....

Or, in English, give him some reason to desire to learn.

If no desire, "it ain't gonna happen" smile

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by pesta
1
vote

Hi, well Spanishdict is an amazing website people who want to learn. I won't say you will learn quickly unless you do all the lessons fast and understand it thoroughly. Since you both are visiting Mexico, learn the main things like: introductions, directions, food, how to order, etc. Basically the main things you would need to know when traveling anywhere. Good luckgrin!

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by MissImpurrfect
1
vote

Get him to speak. If it's hard to get him to study a lot, the easiest way to practice vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, etc. all at the same time is to have Spanish conversations. Correct him and explain why during the conversation. And like SpanishPal said... hold out on certain things until he asks in Spanish.

updated Aug 10, 2011
posted by bafalck
Oooooooo....I like what SpanishPal had to offer but I don't think he meant holding out. :)
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