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barmarr

Nov 30, 2008, 9:38 PM

Post #1 of 67 (14286 views)

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Learning to speak Spanish

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Hello,

I have tried several learning tools to speak Spanish. Unfortunately, everything I buy turns out to be the language as it is used in Spain. Can someone recommend a a program for learning Spanish as it is spoken in Mexico? We have bought a home in Bucerias, about 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta and I would really like to be able to converse in their language.

Unfortunately I am always short on patience, is it possible to learn to speak the language without using a textbook and starting from square one?

I am open to any and all suggestions as long as they don't cost hundreds of dollars.

Thanks



sioux4noff

Dec 1, 2008, 6:54 AM

Post #2 of 67 (14264 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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In Bucerias there is Bucerias Bilingual Community Center. The center, a non-profit organization, offers English classes at a very low cost and also Spanish classes at a reasonable cost.
When will you be arriving in Bucerias? The Spanish classes are fun and also a good way to meet other local residents.
http://buceriasbilingualcommunitycenter.org


robrt8

Dec 1, 2008, 2:23 PM

Post #3 of 67 (14242 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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http://spanishpod.com/

Try it free for a while..see if ya' like it.


raferguson


Dec 1, 2008, 4:51 PM

Post #4 of 67 (14234 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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Get a tutor from Mexico or another Latin American country. A tutor is the fastest way to learn, and can tailor the class to what you know and don't know.

I suggest an hour a week to start.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


sergiogomez / Moderator

Dec 19, 2008, 8:26 PM

Post #5 of 67 (14088 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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Yes, it is possible to learn without a textbook, starting from square one. I would suggest starting out with a good Spanish-English dictionary. Online dictionaries can be useful, but tend to have limited numbers of words and often lack good examples of how to use the words in a sentence. A good bilingual dictionary might cost $50-$65 and will not only give you definitions and translations, but also example sentences and phrases, as well as information on pronunciation and grammar.

Another indispensable book is 501 Spanish verbs. Again, this will help you get a grasp of the one part of speech (verbs!) you must know in Spanish--and brace yourself, because there are 14 tenses. The majority of them are used on a daily basis. This book takes the pain out of learning verb conjugations.

In the end, the approach you take is up to you. You can pick up a lot by reading online--sites like Univision.com have news, forums, etc. Movies that come in both Spanish and English (preferably with subtitles, too) are good for getting used to pronunciation and the rhythm of speech. Spanish grammar is relatively easy to learn. What most people find difficult is mastering the pronunciation. The only way to get around this obstacle is to face it head-on. Practicing alone in front of a mirror can be helpful and keeps the embarrassing sounds that will come out of your mouth away from other people's ears. You will make lots of these sounds at first. It helps to keep a good sense of humor. Practice in private, and put your acting skills to good use. Often it's easier to speak a new language if you imagine yourself as an actor playing a role.

A few golden rules to get you started (and hopefully keep you going for a long time):

1. Practice!

2. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

3. Don't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes.

4. Have fun! Learning doesn't have to be a chore.


Rolly


Dec 20, 2008, 7:26 AM

Post #6 of 67 (14074 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Learning to speak Spanish

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There is one online English/Spanish dictionary that I have found to be excellent both for me and for my English students. It offers usage examples, and it speaks the words -- something a print book cannot do.

Houghton Mifflin eReferenceEspa˝ol. It is based upon the American Heritage Spanish Dictionary: Spanish/English, Ingles/Espa˝ol, Copyrightę 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

$34.95, download

A neat extra: it inserts a link in Word and on the IE tool bar. Very useful! The same company (same website) offers an English dictionary that also inserts itself in useful places.

http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/eref/

Rolly Pirate


Rock

Dec 21, 2008, 11:07 AM

Post #7 of 67 (14038 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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I'm a bilingual retired educator who taught English as a Second Language for six years to adults, primarily from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. I offer these perspectives, for whatever they are worth. First, I respectfully disagree with Sergio that Spanish pronunciation creates more problems than the grammar. Because the Spanish vowel sounds never change, compared with the many different vowel sounds in English, I think learning English to Spanish pronunciation is much easier than the reverse. Granted that there are some significant grammatical differences, but if one says "negro perro" instead of "perro negro" to a native of Mexico, the meaning will be conveyed despite the grammatical error. As far as conjugating verbs is concerned, you'll get by nicely with simple present and past tense to begin with. Leave the "I had cleaned my house" or "I have cleaned my house" distinction for when you're more comfortable with the basics. In three years of high school Spanish nearly 50 years ago, I was never exposed to the tu form and it doesn't seem to have impaired my ability to communicate during my frequent visits to Mexico. There are basic books that have "survival language" words and phrases that you'll use every day ( where is the bathroom, how much does that cost, may I please see a menu, is parking allowed here, what time do you close) and will give you a way to learn through repetition. Finally, RosettaStone has excellent Spanish programs that I have personally used and recommended to others wishing to learn and/or improve their Spanish. RosettaStone offers both Spanish and Latin American versions of its programs. Buena Suerte! Nicho


robrt8

Dec 21, 2008, 12:04 PM

Post #8 of 67 (14030 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Learning to speak Spanish

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Rolly, I know you use IE. Why you still do I don't know.

There's a nifty ad-on for Firefox called g-Translate that enables you to highlight a word or a sentence and translate it instantly by right-clicking on the highlighted text. If you highlight more than a sentence another tab will open with a google translate page.


Rolly


Dec 21, 2008, 12:57 PM

Post #9 of 67 (14024 views)

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Re: [robrt8] Learning to speak Spanish

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Actually, I use both. I prefer IE because I have several add-ons (ad killers, spell checker, and others)that give me a playground that I like better than Firefox for most things.

Thanks for the g-Translate info.

Rolly Pirate


Rolly


Dec 21, 2008, 1:04 PM

Post #10 of 67 (14020 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Learning to speak Spanish

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I tried it. Works well. I like. Thanks.

Rolly Pirate


robrt8

Dec 22, 2008, 5:57 PM

Post #11 of 67 (13982 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Learning to speak Spanish

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Anytime, Rolly.

To the OP: Don't be afraid to learn Spanish as it is spoken in Spain. The differences aren't great -- mostly the accent and the y'all (vos) form. There are a considerable number of free resources available on the internet because of the British love of the Spanish sun.


Carol_Wheeler

Dec 22, 2008, 9:31 PM

Post #12 of 67 (13970 views)

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Re: [robrt8] Learning to speak Spanish

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"the y'all (vos) form"...

Love it! As a Southerner, I find that the perfect translation for the plural "you."
: )


Carron

Dec 26, 2008, 4:00 PM

Post #13 of 67 (13908 views)

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Re: [Carol_Wheeler] Learning to speak Spanish

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It's not just the plural "you". It is the familiar form of "more than one of you". And having been born in New Orleans and spent my adult life in Houston I could not agree more that "vosotros" means "ya'll". A perfect translation.


dreammen

Jan 23, 2009, 7:22 PM

Post #14 of 67 (13689 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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I don't know how to learning spanish . What should I do ?

english to spanish translation




(This post was edited by dreammen on Jan 23, 2009, 7:23 PM)


sergiogomez / Moderator

Jan 29, 2009, 10:07 PM

Post #15 of 67 (13591 views)

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Re: [dreammen] Learning to speak Spanish

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I am not sure exactly how the link to that Spanish/English translation site relates to the rest of your post. And if you are truly interested in learning Spanish, perhaps you can give us a little background about yourself, why you want to learn the language, and what specific difficulties you have encountered that make it difficult to learn, and we can help you.


peter savoy

Aug 10, 2010, 11:16 AM

Post #16 of 67 (10139 views)

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Re: [barmarr] Learning to speak Spanish

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I can help with the spanish translation if you want


Schap

Aug 11, 2010, 1:23 PM

Post #17 of 67 (10093 views)

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Re: [peter savoy] Learning to speak Spanish

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Your link didn't work.


mevale

Aug 11, 2010, 2:45 PM

Post #18 of 67 (10085 views)

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Re: [robrt8] Learning to speak Spanish

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In Reply To
Anytime, Rolly.

To the OP: Don't be afraid to learn Spanish as it is spoken in Spain. The differences aren't great -- mostly the accent and the y'all (vos) form. There are a considerable number of free resources available on the internet because of the British love of the Spanish sun.


"Vos" is not the y'all form. "Vos" is familiar second person singular, much like "t˙", but it has it's own set of conjugations. Used in Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and a few other countries.

"Vosotros" is the "y'all form. As far as I know, "vos" is not used in Spain.


(This post was edited by mevale on Aug 11, 2010, 6:44 PM)


jerezano

Sep 9, 2010, 1:34 PM

Post #19 of 67 (9744 views)

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Re: [mevale] Learning to speak Spanish

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Hola todos,

I have lived in Mexico now for over 21 years.

I moved here because I was tired of listening to Spanglish as spoken on the Texas border. Also on the recommendation of my English students from Matamoros who both spoke excellent Spanish and were appalled at the border Spanglish.

Now why did I want to learn Spanish? Because I had taken two years of Spanish in my college years, got A's both years, but after 30 years had forgotten everything, and because as a retiree living in Texas where we have so many native Spanish speakers as well as 2nd and 3rd generation kids, I felt I ought to learn it. One other reason: to keep from going intellectually stale.

So I took a lesson a week at a Seventh Day Adventist Spanish school. My teacher for the six months was an Ecuadorian. Excellent Spanish. Different pronunciation and rhythm than Mexican.There I met two young men from Matamoros who were studying English because of their jobs with a Maquiladora (Texas Instruments). We arranged a weekly meeting for comida at which we spoke a half hour of only Spanish and then switched to a half hour of only English. Strictly enforced.They recommended that I also start listening to Spanish TV stations of which in the Brownsville Area there must be at least seven. They particularly recommended the soap operas and the sport shows. They also suggested I pay special attention to the advertisements because they were repeated so often that I was bound to finally separate the run-along-wordsthatallblendedintone into separate words which I already knew from my lessons. This went on for about six months and they began to recommend that I get away from the border and its Spanglish to the interior of Mexico.

So far so good. I moved to Zacatecas for several reasons. Here, I continued to watch the soap operas on TV, went to my favorite cantina which was a hangout for young, unmarried, teachers and spent lots of time talking to them. All very supportive of my efforts to learn Spanish. All very helpful. There too, I learned to be very careful of those loaded Spanish words like Pendejo, which can be everything from a deadly insult worth fighting over to a term of camaraderie among friends. So my education progressed.

A disappointment. My student of English who by now had been sent to Japan as a representative of Texas Instruments on several trips and now spoke English of which I was proud to have contributed visited me after two years and made the the comment that my Spanish was better in Matamoros that it was now after living two years in Mexico.

But the problem I learned later was that here in Mexico I was learning the T˙ forms for the first time since all my companions used that form of address with me. It took me several years before I learned that the T˙ form of address to a stranger or newly met acquaintance was actually an insult. By that time, the habit was hard to break. I still haven't broken it. But the redeeming feature was and is that I am usually older than the person I am speaking to, and us oldsters have the privilege of
using that familiar form when addressing younger people. Now that I am so old that I am considered an anciano, I no longer worry about it.

Spanish castillian versus the Mexican Andalucian pronunciation.

Don't worry about it. Mexicans will understand it. They understand Spaniards speaking castillian don't they? They understand Cubans don't they? My Ecuadorian teacher taught me to say words like silla (chair) with the ldj pronunciation of the ll instead of the y pronuncian of the Mexican. The only time I ever was called to order was by a gringo in a library meeting at San Miguel de Allende who objected. I said SI-ldja instead of SI-ya. He immediately left my table and joined others but only after reading me off. Yet never once had any of my Mexican friends objected. They all understood me. They even understand the castillian lisp for c before e and i although I never learned that so it was never a problem.

Now this has been a long description of learning Spanish at which I am good at writing but still learning about talking. I have never been discouraged. I have always enjoyed the process. About ten years ago I even matriculated as a freshman in the University of Zacatecas in its College of Literature and spent a year with them just to see if I had trouble either reading required texts, listening to lectures, understanding, speaking or participating in group projects. No trouble at all with anything, and a qualification of a 10 (A) for the year, I dropped out. One of my volunteer projects was the reading of Herodotus' History of the world in a Spanish Text. A 10 on this one too.

I have enjoyed every minute of my life here in Mexico. I can not only survive in Spanish but I can discuss politics, culture, customs, legalities, or whatever else might be necessary.

Am I fluent in Spanish? Clearly not so. Can I understand the special Mexican street language. Clearly not so. Do I want to? Clearly not so and not necessary. Any jokes that I don't understand (very few) can be explained to me in a few words. Can I read and understand Spanish Poetry. With great difficulty because poets tend to use words in very special ways and words and word forms that are often rarely used and seldom heard. Do I feel that I am missing something? Clearly not. Would I like to be more fluent? Clearly so.

We keep hearing the words Practice; Break down inhibitions; Make mistakes and then correct them; Participate. All true. It is all worth while.

As ever, jerezano


Rolly


Sep 9, 2010, 3:14 PM

Post #20 of 67 (9729 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Learning to speak Spanish

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But the problem I learned later was that here in Mexico I was learning the T˙ forms for the first time since all my companions used that form of address with me...the habit was hard to break. I still haven't broken it. But the redeeming feature was and is that I am usually older than the person I am speaking to, and us oldsters have the privilege of
using that familiar form when addressing younger people.


I have the same problem. I have to make a conscious effort not to us the t˙ form.
As with you, I get away with because I'm pretty ancient.

Rolly Pirate


tashby


Sep 9, 2010, 4:25 PM

Post #21 of 67 (9715 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Learning to speak Spanish

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Quote
I have to make a conscious effort not to us the t˙ form.


I am currently struggling to learn to speak Spanish. For the time being, I have made the conscious decision to default to "usted". At this stage, for me, it's more important to practice, practice, practice and get the sentences and thoughts out. It's one less thing to think about while I struggle to find the verb, form the sentence, juggle the word order, use the pronouns, etc., etc.

And, of course, hearing what the other person says and being able to first understand, then respond.

Paso a pasito. Today I had a nice 20-minute conversation with someone I had never met, about topics that were entirely unconventional. Little conversational victories like that are such enormous encouragement.


eyePad

Sep 9, 2010, 5:08 PM

Post #22 of 67 (9707 views)

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Re: [tashby] Learning to speak Spanish

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I see at least some people on this website are interested in Spanish. It just blows me away the relative lack of interest. To each his own.


esperanza

Sep 9, 2010, 9:42 PM

Post #23 of 67 (9689 views)

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Re: [eyePad] Learning to speak Spanish

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I'm not sure that I understand your comment, eyePad. This is a recently-resurrected two-year-old thread, but there are many threads on the Learning Spanish forum, some with a lot of response and others with not so much.

I must say that I agree with you in principal, but I've learned to temper my disappointment. Many of the posters here are retired or soon to be retired, of an age when learning a new language presents unique challenges to unfortunately changing powers of mental retention. In 30 years of life in Mexico, I have met ONE person who said she was not interested in learning Spanish. Everyone else has arrived with the firm intention to learn the language. The reality, however, is that after retirement it's much more difficult to grasp it. A good friend, age 72, told me only this week that after four years she is returning to live in the States because the language challenge is just too difficult for her.

I'm grateful that I learned Spanish half a lifetime ago, and even more grateful that I have continued to learn the language. I'm native-speaker fluent in both speech and print.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Peter


Sep 9, 2010, 9:45 PM

Post #24 of 67 (9689 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Learning to speak Spanish

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I seem to default to t˙ also, though the usted form would seem easier. I thought I hadn't been hearing it much but some do use the third-person form with me, it seemed so mainly because I don't hear the "usted" but just the verb ending.

Is it properly formal without the pronoun "usted" and just the third-person verb ending? Or am I hearing it correctly?


(This post was edited by Peter on Sep 9, 2010, 10:29 PM)


jerezano

Sep 9, 2010, 10:49 PM

Post #25 of 67 (9677 views)

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Re: [Peter] Learning to speak Spanish

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Hello Peter,

Was it you who asked>>>>Is it properly formal without the pronoun "usted" and just the third-person verb ending? Or am I hearing it correctly? <<<<<<

The answer is yes, of course. And yes, you are hearing it correctly. The usted is just an honorary term like Your grace, milord, your honor. When addressing a judge in court you would use your honor. At a coctail party probably not.

By the way usted is written without a capital. But the Ud. short form of writing must be capitalized. This is true of a lot of address forms like ciudadano C, se˝or Sr.; senora Sra., senorita Srta. etc. For some strange reason the term Don is aways capitalized and is used only in front of a Christian name not the surname (apellido). Extremely polite and almost servile would be the address C. Sr. Don Juan Cristiano Ulua R. Yet I have seen such addresses used frequently in newspaper reporting.

If you have a good friend who is Canadian or Estadounidense and understands Spanish and its uses you might try addressing him as C. Sr. Don (here goes his Christian name say John) C. Sr. Don Juan DelaCroix canadiense (estadounidense) corriente and see what his reaction would be to the insult. Make sure he is a good friend first.



Hasta luego, jerezano
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