What Is The Point In Trying

3
votes

As noted in another thread I am 3 hours into my Pimsleur Spanish course.

I spent some time looking on the internet tonight at Pimsleur v Rosetta Stone v This V That and on each one people post things like - ' these CD's even level 3" will not make you fluent in a language.

Most post seem to be very critical of the courses.

Now, my ambition is to be able to speak a bit of pidgeon Spanish if I go to Panama, or Miami - but the posts on the sites that compare the teaching courses available are really quiet depressing.

Today is my first day at work and having to find my 1/2 an hour - which quite hondestly is pretty difficult to do.

So off outside to listen to lesson 8 and 'waste my time' 8 as the general opinion of CD courses goes.

Anyone get any more positive views '

7516 views
updated OCT 19, 2010
posted by Roger
never quit
Hey Roger, I hope you don't mind me suggesting a couple of corrections, some I'm sure are just typos but to help our learners of English :) most 'posts', pidgin english, quite, honestly :)

26 Answers

0
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In respose to "What is the point in trying'" my question is "What is the point in not trying'" You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Language learning is a lifelong journey. I don't think that anyone can truly say that they know every single thing about their native language, let alone a second language. I look at it as languages are the key to the world. We can only gain so much knowlege about the world through books. It isn't until you have the capacity for conversing with people from other countries and cultures that you can grasp what they are all about. For me it is more of a hobby and a source of enjoyment. I am sure that I learn something new each and everyday about Spanish. I know bits and pieces of several languages and have also at this stage of life started learning Turkish.

updated MAR 13, 2008
posted by Cherry
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Oh, don't lose it. I have a friend who was an exchange student in Mexico, now she says that she can't remember anything.
She also learned Vietnamese, when her husband was in the service & she can't remember that either. I have a feeling though, that they would come back fairly easy.

It's such a shame when other nationalities move to the USA & lose their native language.

updated MAR 11, 2008
posted by motley
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Your approach to plantear is good.
Thinking in another language means using the words when you would think of using them.

So you have to learn to associated thoughts to Spanish words, look at things and try and remember their names in Spanish. And don;t worry about the grammar rules. make up a sentence and just check to see it it sounds right.

That is an unfortunate problems of using this forum. A lot of the people that are helping are only half way through their learning and sometimes give the wrong advice with the best of intentions. But it is still better than not practicing.

updated FEB 24, 2008
posted by RicardoN
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Thank you so much. It is definitely an advantage to learn when you are young. Little minds are sponges.

I have these little revelations. For instance, plantear doesn't mean propose, create, cause, pose, raise, suggest, it means plantear, so I'm hoping maybe that approach will help.

I want to accomplish as much as I can before this fall, when I plan on going to Mexico for an immersion Spanish class.

The counting thing is really strange. I knew a French Canadian, spoke perfect English, but counted in French. I also knew a Chinese girl raised in NY. We worked in a bank & she always counted her money in Chinese.

updated FEB 24, 2008
posted by motley
0
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I am not sure about when your brain switches over.
I was lucky, i learned English as a small toddler so I never translated in my head. When I learned French, it was natural to think in French. I have met people that after 30 years speaking English in Australia, still translate from their original native non-English lanaguage...
Maybe it's a thing you do consciously and jump into the void and hope and after a while it becomes second nature.

As to my Italian... I never studied it properly so my grammar is woeful. Accent and vocabulary is not so much a problem as I have two other romance languages, Spanish and French, and I even studied Latin at high school.
But I picked up Italian here and there and have never spent any time seriously trying to get it right ( a low priority as I mostly use it in Italian restaurants!). If I did it, would improve heaps in no time. I got the hand mpovements down pat! grin

As to the brain channels...
I am not sure. When I speak in English i often get words in Spoanish or French come to mind while I am still thinking in English. So if it is a channel the signals get confused at times.
What I have noticed is that if I use Spanish words while I am speaking English I will pronounce them with an English accent.
Then again I always count in Spanish, as my wife once told me, without being aware of it. I can easily count or do maths in English but I must make a conscious effort to do it. If I don't think about it I will naturally revert to Spanish.

Be aware that I not only learned Engl;ish before I went to school but I also followed a bilingual education. I went to English school in the morning and Spanish school in the afternoon studying often the same subjects in both languages. My parents spoke both languages and often spoke to me in either of them. So I don't know why the counting in Spanish is so strong.

As to your problem, I would suggest you take a plunge and try and think in Spanish. Do it consciuously at first and see if it becomes unconscious with time. don't worry about getting it right all the time. Just speak it. Remember that the four stages of learning are:
1. Unconscious ingnorance (you don't know what you don't know.)
2.Conscious ignorance (you know you don't know)
3. Conscious knowing (it takes an effort to use the skill)
4. Unconscious knowing (you use your skill and you are not aware of it.)

think of learning to ride a bicycle or driving a car for the four stages to become clear.

Hope this helps.
R

updated FEB 24, 2008
posted by RicardoN
0
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Ricardo,
I would like to know at what point in your language learning process, you are able to turn off the translating in your head.
It seems I always have to frame my sentences in my head before saying them. Conjugate the verb, stick that pronoun here & this one there, etc, etc., so as you see, it takes me awhile to speak, making for very sloooooow conversation.

Do you find that your brain just changes channels from one language to another? And why is your Italian so bad, accent, vocabulary or what? I know some people have the gift for learning a language, just wish I was one of them.

I did go to one class, where she taught only in Spanish, but I still found a way.

updated FEB 24, 2008
posted by motley
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My cats are becoming bilingual

:} LOL

updated FEB 9, 2008
posted by Roger
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I don't know how old your son is, but young people tend to absorb a language much better than most of us adults & the younger the better. He will be able to teach you. Try to say everyday things in Spanish. My cats are becoming bilingual. I make my grocery list out in Spanish, of course sometimes I come home with the wrong thing, lima beans instead of limes. And I think the idea of labeling household items items is great. The only thing, all these suggestions, while being very good, don't help so much with conversation. That's why I think you need a class. I go once a week, which really isn't enough.

updated FEB 9, 2008
posted by motley
0
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I guess I may be underestimating how much I actually understand. I can read and write and speak fairly well, but the way that native Spanish speaking people speak is just different than the way that we do. We have pauses between each word, but in Spanish it all flows together, it's very difficult to pick up. I just completed an assignment about travel and it was this video of people in an airport talking about how much they travelled and where they went and why they travelled, and we had to take a quiz afterwards. Luckily, there were subtitles of what they were saying written in Spanish, otherwise I don't think I would have understood.
I think that your son going to Costa Rica will really help him, though. When I was in high school, my best friend went to Costa Rica for the summer on an exchange student program, and she learned so much Spanish. Having to speak and listen to it everyday really makes you have to learn. One night while she was there, though, she said she woke up and there was a giant bug on her face, so I'll probably not go there.

updated FEB 9, 2008
posted by jen3
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I"ve been "learning" on and off for 6 years, and I still can't listen to Spanish and understand most of what's being said

That is depressing ! How do you have so much paitence.

I am sending my son to Costa Rica for two weeks in the summer to a teen camp - with 3 hours a day of Spanish. I think that will help him on.

updated FEB 9, 2008
posted by Roger
0
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Hey, don't get down on learning Spanish. I've never applied myself to the CD courses to know if they help or not, but there are plenty of other resources to help you gain a level of competency in Spanish.

updated FEB 5, 2008
posted by beth2