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Author Topic: Anyone else learning Spanish?  (Read 424 times)

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Offline ValthazarTopic starter

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Anyone else learning Spanish?
« on: March 18, 2014, 02:19:50 PM »
Just curious if anyone else here is trying to learn Spanish?

I was considering using Rosetta Stone, but it is a bit more than I would like to spend at the moment.  I've been using free resources online so far, but I was wondering if others could recommend a more complete, affordable option.

It would be cool to find others who are also trying to learn this language.

Offline roulette

Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 02:06:08 AM »
Okay, I've tried to post here two or three times now, gotten distracted and run off.

Rosetta Stone is expensive, and while I've used it, I'm not sure how to speak on its usefulness. It's immersion based. You see something and hear the word. There are no English instructions saying "This is this form, and that is that form!" If you learn well based on that intuition and you're just trying to learn conversational Spanish, then there are similar immersion based programs available.

I'm a textbook learner, so I bought myself a textbook. I did well enough working with RS, but I just enjoy learning sentence structure and things like that, and I wanted a stronger focus on reading (aloud) and writing to supplement my conversational abilities. When you're learning something by yourself, you tailor it to your own needs and interests and skills. Conversational is still important to me, so while I'm working with my textbook, I answer every question orally first, and then write down my answer.

Etc. There are plenty of resources. Free podcasts, books, etc. Most of them will probably work well enough if you find a style that teaches the way you want to learn; a textbook that works for me might not work for you (mine is very English-minimal and makes me use a lot of context clues to figure out what's going on, which I find delightfully challenging but possible, and others might find frustrating and discouraging.)

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Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 08:57:49 AM »
Rosetta Stone is very good. This is the feedback from friends of mine. They are learning different languages, but I only heard good things about Rosetta Stone so far. It is not cheap, that's true, but, apparently it is worth the money.

Offline cptBacon

Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 10:49:46 PM »
I agree with roulette in that I personally feel like Rosetta Stone falls a bit short in making you conversationally proficient. The immersion aspect is nice, and you'll probably understand when someone references the little girl under the yellow airplane's wing, but that's kind of where my use of the software fell off.

If you're looking for an alternative, I've heard good things about Duolingo also. It's a fairly similar idea to Rosetta Stone, but I think it focuses more on conversation. I say 'think' because I didn't get far enough in the program to know for sure  :-[. Either way, the biggest upside to Duolingo is that it's free. It's worth trying for that reason alone.

Offline Aleph

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Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2014, 08:21:58 AM »
I can second Duolingo, I'm learning French there and really enjoying it.

It works on gamification in that you're continually doing quizzes and learning clusters of words and grammar with each quiz. You won't expect to pass every quiz, but the next time you do it should see you improve. I've found the forums to be really helpful to, with lots of experienced people explaining where people are going wrong with particular questions, etc.

Offline BlueMaiden88

Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 02:03:47 AM »
I tutor Spanish.  I cannot speak for Rosetta stone's effectiveness.  Not everyone learns with the immersion style of Rosetta.  It's FINE if you already know some Spanish, but not if you're completely new to it.

I do know that it's best to start off with grammar and slowly build your vocabulary.  Do the following suffixes mean anything to you?

-o
-as
-a
-amos
-an

Offline ValthazarTopic starter

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Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 07:38:47 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!  I don't know anything about Spanish so I am brand new.  I was thinking of maybe just getting a cheap used textbook for beginners and using that for now, to learn the grammar and all.

Offline BlueMaiden88

Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 10:17:06 PM »
That's a good plan.  The most complicated things you'll learn are the verb conjugations.  They have a different way for conjugating verbs depending on levels of respect and the number of people involved. 

Offline Dobry Den

Re: Anyone else learning Spanish?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 02:09:02 PM »
I spontaneously quit my job and moved From Austin to Guadalajara last month.

The extent of my Spanish upon arrival was "yo quiero" (adapted from the Taco Bell chihuahua).

I grabbed Rosetta Stone's Latin America Level 1 program and started hitting it every day. One month later and I'm now cruising through Latin America Level 2.

I can comfortably navigate the simpler interactions in life. I can hold basic conversations with people like asking what their plans are for this evening and then weasel into those plans.

The best thing about Rosetta Stone is that it just drops you into the language with zero explanation so that your intuition can weave/reverse-engineer things together. It's no grammar book, but that's a feature. Just hit it with any sort of routine and you will progress quickly.

As for Rosetta Stone being expensive, so is everyone's ~/Music folder had they purchased it through iTunes.

I tried to watch some Mexican telenovelas with Spanish subtitles to study, but I just couldn't stay interested in the Tony/Maria/Martha love triangle with Tony being such a furtive scoundrel.

[1]: gwern.net/Spaced%20repetition