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How to learn Spanish

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I actually have two questions but I didn't feel like making another post. So, I have been learning Spanish in school now for 2 years, but Spanish 1 is a joke and didn't really help me. What would you recommend me studying the most to become fluent faster. Should I study vocabulary and memorize conjugations or just try to speak it as much as I can because we're not in school right now but I still want to continue to teach myself as much as I can.
My other question has to do with pronouns. When you ask a question like, "¿Puedes ayudarme'", do you always combine the pronoun and the verb into one word'

2413 views
updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Matthew-Jones

8 Answers

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I like what Mz Badger said. I'd go one step farther and say get some songs in Spanish to listen to. Also, I found the public library will check out intermediate courses that include an audio portion which you could listen to while driving or whatever, AND help with the vocabulary/conjugation part if it gets confusing.

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Valerie
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That's true. The main point of learning a language is to communicate, isn't it? (unless you just want to be able to read, of course).

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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What I noticed when I was at college was that the linguists had a different approach to languages than did us science dittos. Now learning spanish I decided to try to do it their way. Here's my observation:

They actively pursued the language(s) they were studying in their day to day life. When you are listening to a conversation (or indeed having one) think about what you would have said had you had to reply in spanish. (Who said hearing voices in your head can't be a good thing? grin It may need to be simplified to start with, but you will find words YOU would use (rather than learning how to complain in a hotel wink, and being things that interests you makes it easier to remember.
Any main words you feel you are missing as you go along LOOK UP, or make a note of to look up later. Use the memo function if you have a mobile phone and you don't want to walk around with a notepad at all times.

When you are listening to music (if you are the mp3 type on a bus or the tube), pick random lines and try to translate them in your head if you got time.

These students also questioned everything they did not immediately grasp without worrying about looking a fool (and exasperated the rest of us who had lost the plot 10 minutes previously!). I'm still struggling with that one grin
Good luck!

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Mz-Badger
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So do I, which is why I used it.

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Eddy
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I think you should speak it as much as you can because, there is no point in learning the vocabulary if you can't even say it. The whole point of learning a language is for social and mental purposes.

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by LuxuryLion
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That's cool that you said "querer es poder" because that phrase was in the back of my book and I always liked that one.

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Matthew-Jones
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As far as I can see, the only way to become fluent faster, is to learn faster or to increase the time that you are learning. Most people go to foreign language class go home and then don't do anything until the next class. Joining something like this site will, I am sure, assist you immeasurably. It is just something that takes a lot of work but if you want it, "querer es poder"

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Eddy
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With regards the second part of your question. If the pronoun follows the verb as you have stated, then yes they are joined. If it precedes the verb, it is separate as in "¿me puedes ayadar'"

updated JUN 18, 2008
posted by Eddy
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