I must learn Spanish

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ConsideringLawSchool
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I must learn Spanish

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:18 am

Other than a period of immersion (not really an option at the moment), what advice would you offer to a person who is desperate to become fluent in conversational Spanish (reading/writing or using great grammar doesn't matter... I just need to understand and be understood). Thanks.

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im_blue
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby im_blue » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:20 am

--ImageRemoved--

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taw856
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby taw856 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:23 am

Image

Seriously though, same way as anyone else. Classes/studying of some kind. Practice with anyone who speaks it and will tolerate your broken attempts.

CMDantes
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:23 am

Did you lie on your app?

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:30 am

CMDantes wrote:Did you lie on your app?


Puzzled by the question, but no.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:31 am

taw856 wrote:Image

Seriously though, same way as anyone else. Classes/studying of some kind. Practice with anyone who speaks it and will tolerate your broken attempts.


And that is where I am looking for some advice...

jlxbos
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby jlxbos » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:39 am

assuming you're already studying the grammar and vocab and stuff...find a language partner that speaks little english (or is willing to pretend that's the case) and meet regularly.

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sundevil77
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby sundevil77 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:57 am

I learned Spanish through immersion. Taking classes, like at the university, is not going to make you fluent. Assuming you already have a decent handle on Spanish grammar (if you don't, get books/worksheets to help you out), I would watch television, movies, etc. in Spanish. Write down the words you don't know. It will probably be next to impossible at first. Over time, your comprehension should improve.

As for being able to speak fluently...immersion really is the only way. Practicing with a Spanish speaking partner could help a great deal, though. You'll gain basic communication skills that way, but I doubt you'll ever become fluent.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby Fark-o-vision » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:07 am

I think it depends on the individual. I had friends in college who became fluent other languages, like French or German, or at least close enough so that they didn't speak English while traveling, from just taking classes and the university and studying. I know the Army uses a system similar to the Rosetta Stone (I'm not sure if it is Rosetta Stone, though) and I had one friend learn conversation Arabic in a summer. Arabic is, from what I've heard, pretty difficult if you're coming from an English perspective. Then again, that was his job for the summer. Eight or more hours a day of studying. I took two years of German in College and never really got past a few verbs and nouns. I think I'd have to go the immersion route.

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taw856
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby taw856 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:09 am

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
taw856 wrote:of some kind.


And that is where I am looking for some advice...


Most classes will probably give you similar results, honestly.

Language is learned by repetition. So if complete immersion isn't an option, read spanish textbooks, take a class, any class, practice with friends. Not a question of which of those things to do, or which kind of those things to do -- do all of them, as often as you can. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

EDIT: To fix shampoo slogan fail.
Last edited by taw856 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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BigA
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby BigA » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:13 am

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
CMDantes wrote:Did you lie on your app?


Puzzled by the question, but no.


Lol. That would be a good reason for needing to learn quick

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Gunz353
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby Gunz353 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:26 am

Get a job at a restaurant...I took formal classes all my life and supplemented that learning with experience and practice by speaking Spanish on the regular at work with the kitchen staff.

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as stars burn
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby as stars burn » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:24 am

I agree with sundevil. My dad is puerto-rican but didn't speak to me in spanish when I was growing up. I studied spanish for a total of 6 years, and I am nowhere near fluent.

The problem is that if you don't use it, you lose it. Immersion is the only thing that will truly make you fluent. If you're just looking for some very basic conversation...there's nothing a little studying can't do. Keep in mind there are many different dialects of spanish too.

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RickyRoe
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby RickyRoe » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:46 am

Take the advice of Arnold Schwarzenegger when he said that Latinos should stop watching Spanish TV as a way to learn English faster. You don't have to have a Spanish friend to immerse yourself in the language. Get a cable package that includes Telemundo, HBO and Showtime both have Spanish channels, and there is always the SAP button on your remote. I find it is most useful to watch your favorite movies where you already know the words and can just hear what they are in Spanish.

william wallace
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby william wallace » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:32 am

It's not impossibly hard. Don't build it up to be impossible. Break it down into steps. Watch local/international news in Spanish. If you already know what's happening in the world, you will be familiar with the subject. E.g. Earthquake in Chile - watch CNN Espanol for news coverage about this. If this seems hard at first, maybe (like someone posted earlier) watch familiar movies in Spanish. The voices are easier to understand. Make a study plan. There are a lot of websites for this. Google it and do some research.

hsprophet
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby hsprophet » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:38 am

I would get some kind of study materials to learn the basics of grammar (how sentences are structured, verbs are conjugated, etc.). After you learn the basics, it's mostly then just vocabulary. One good thing about Spanish is that there are few exceptions to the grammar rules, unlike English.

You can watch movies and turn on Spanish subtitles (or watch it in Spanish with English subtitles). But keep in mind they don't always translated exactly. When I was in Mexico I watched a few movies in the theater. They are all in English with Spanish subtitles, and there were differences in what was said. The dialog was more abbreviated in Spanish. Sometimes the meaning is changed entirely, say for a joke about an American political figure who people in other countries don't know. They'll change the joke.

My wife is fluent in Spanish, but I'm not really even conversational. It's hard to spend the time and effort to learn.

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heyyitskatie
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby heyyitskatie » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:45 am

Depending on the level of Spanish you have, watching Spanish movies with Spanish subtitles might be the way to go. For me at least, doing so changed the sounds I was hearing to actual words because I could read along with what was being said. This is also great practice for pronunciation. Ditto to poster above who said to note down the words you don't know and to look them up...but to nuance this a little, only look up words you hear three or more times and still don't know. Always try to guess what a word means by context, first. You'll be surprised at how many words you can learn just by putting the pieces together.

Also, if you live in/near a major city, there should be tons of language exchange groups that meet once or twice a week that meet just to practice speaking the target language.

Renzo
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby Renzo » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:01 am

Start talking to the cooks, dishwashers, manual laborers, etc. that no doubt surround your daily life.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:10 pm

william wallace wrote:It's not impossibly hard. Don't build it up to be impossible. Break it down into steps. Watch local/international news in Spanish. If you already know what's happening in the world, you will be familiar with the subject. E.g. Earthquake in Chile - watch CNN Espanol for news coverage about this. If this seems hard at first, maybe (like someone posted earlier) watch familiar movies in Spanish. The voices are easier to understand. Make a study plan. There are a lot of websites for this. Google it and do some research.


Thanks very much for this advice. I think it makes a lot of sense. I've been trying to learn Spanish for quite some time (took a few classes in college), but the classes have tended to focus endlessly on elements of the language that are not important for my particular needs (such as the conjugation of irregular verbs). The one conversational class I tried focused mostly on travel lingo.

My challenge is that many of my clients at work speak only Spanish, and I need to be able to communicate with them without constantly relying on translators... I don't really care (for the moment) if I can speak in only present tense as long as I have enough vocab to convey the basic ideas.

CMDantes
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:11 pm

BigA wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
CMDantes wrote:Did you lie on your app?


Puzzled by the question, but no.


Lol. That would be a good reason for needing to learn quick


This.

CMDantes
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:12 pm

Renzo wrote:Start talking to the cooks, dishwashers, manual laborers, etc. that no doubt surround your daily life.


I don't know whether to laugh because this is so true or cringe because of the blatant stereotyping.

Damn.

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DeSilentio2728
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby DeSilentio2728 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:15 am


hsprophet
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby hsprophet » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:36 am

We have a huge Spanish-English dictionary. You pretty much need to know the basics of Spanish to even use it. But check and see if there are dictionaries for legal terms. There are special ones for medical terms, etc. There's even a book of just slang. A lot of medical and legal terms are not common, and it might be handy to have a book that has those terms.

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CG614
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Re: I must learn Spanish

Postby CG614 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:46 am

Renzo wrote:Start talking to the cooks, dishwashers, manual laborers, etc. that no doubt surround your daily life.


Really? That's special.

OP, if you want to learn Spanish, then I suggest you start with some kind of audio program and then try to use it as much as possible. Also, watch some Telemundo for an hour or so a day. It will take some time to actually understand what they are saying, but it will help. Plus, if you are male, the picture is great! :)




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