Oct 23, 2005, 7:51 AM
Post #16 of 36
In line with what Palomares said, about pronunciation: yup, the pronunciation is relatively easy - learn the sounds of each letter. That's easy to do. That is step One.
Re: [johanson] Learning Spanish: a tip
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Step Two: Label your house. (Okay, so don't invite people to dinner for a while if it bothers you that it looks odd.) Use red for verbs, blue for nouns. Get a friend who is competent in both your native language and spanish to help you with this. Cooking, chopping, dishwashing labels in kitchen, reading, watching tv, chatting, etc. verbs in living room, brushing teeth, bathing, putting on makeup, whatever, in bathroom .... you get the idea. Label things. Use photos. Tack 'em up. Label them.
Step Three: Contrary to what your high school language teacher told you, DO NOT WORRY AT THIS STEP ABOUT CORRECT GRAMMAR. Just learn the subject pronouns(I, you, he, she, we, they), stick them in before those verbs (do not try to conjugate those verbs at first), and learn the words for yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, etc. Stick those words in somewhere near the verb.
You'll end up saying things like this:
Yo ir Guadalajara manana. Or: Manana yo ir Guadalajara. (I go Guadalajara tomorrow.)
Elegant? No. Communication? Yes.
Now, you're all labeled up and ready to go: use this stuff out loud to communicate to your maid, friends, shopkeepers, whoever. Just do it, as they say. You really do learn from your errors where language is concerned.
Step Four: Expand your vocabulary to different topics. There are excellent books for learning Spanish that do this: weather, health, tools, cars, etc vocabulary are grouped with illustrations.
Step Five: Refine your Spanish after you get the hang of this elementary form of communication. After a few months of sincere effort, you will be ready to tackle those verbs, add in more sophisticated structure, etc.
But you can't understand the locals? Magic words: Mas despacio, por favor. Your efforts will reward you with free lessons from the Mexicans you speak with ... and a lot of smiles at your desire to speak their language.
By the way, I used to teach Spanish to corporate employees and their families who were going to live and work in South America. I would go into their homes and teach them, mess up their houses with labels, explain cross cultural issues, etc. If you want to learn, this is a great way to start and it works. Honest.