Oct 20, 2004, 10:15 AM
Post #12 of 23
Fortunately for beginning learners, Mexicans are extremely generous, gracious and good natured about attempts to speak their language. A quick short cut for beginners who are intimidated by the 17 tenses in Spanish: don't use them at first. I say this, because it will likely confuse things. When I used to teach a quickie survival course for adults who had to go to Spanish speaking countries on short notice, this was the technique:
Re: [charley] Tips for beginners who will live in Mexico
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post-its all over the house with the names of things and actions done with them.
(Example: cocina, cocinar; comedor, comer; lavabo: lavarse la cara, las manos; cepillarse los dientes, etc. etc.) Start thinking the spanish as you do these actions.
At first forget about verb forms - please note, I say AT FIRST. Instead talk this way:
Yo comer ayer en un restaurante.
I to eat yesterday in a restaurant.
Not at all pretty, but you will communicate effectively at first.
So, the deal is this: learn subject pronouns (yo, tu, Ud., el, ella, nosotros, Uds.), infinitives of verbs (ir, ver, comer, estar, ser, hacer, etc. etc.), and adverbs telling when the action occurred.
last night: anoche
next week: la semana que viene
todos los dias: every day
It's a starting, non- classic approach to language learning that gets you jumping right in from the get go without stumbling over grammar. That should come later after you've learned to sort out what people are saying to you and vice versa. It helps you build a practical vocabulary very quickly. You will be understood. You will not choke over grammar quandaries.
Just don't let the learning stop there.