Learning Spanish

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cfs
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by cfs » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:10 am

Aprender español es fácil.

Good conversation, good recommendations.

Aqui estan mis dos centavos (here are my two cents).

My recommendation is to practice, practice, practice at home, at work, and start "thinking" in Spanish.

Oh by the way, don't be ashamed to ask the Spanish speaking person [I am using basic Spanish here, the same used in Latin America] "como se dice ______" (how do you say ____ [insert the word here] to get the correct pronunciation. For example, the Spanish speaking person will be glad to tell you "se dice papas, no se dice papos" (if you called the potatoes papos, which is a normal thing to do).

This I know - most [educated] Spanish speakers are reluctant to correct non-Spanish speakers unless the non-Spanish speaker ask for assistance.
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Hexdump
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Hexdump » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:41 am

cfs wrote:Aprender español es fácil.

Good conversation, good recommendations.

Aqui estan mis dos centavos (here are my two cents).

My recommendation is to practice, practice, practice at home, at work, and start "thinking" in Spanish.

Oh by the way, don't be ashamed to ask the Spanish speaking person [I am using basic Spanish here, the same used in Latin America] "como se dice ______" (how do you say ____ [insert the word here] to get the correct pronunciation. For example, the Spanish speaking person will be glad to tell you "se dice papas, no se dice papos" (if you called the potatoes papos, which is a normal thing to do).

This I know - most [educated] Spanish speakers are reluctant to correct non-Spanish speakers unless the non-Spanish speaker ask for assistance.
Aprender español es fácil.
Aprender espanol no es facil, es muy dificil por me.
Pero estos recomendationes estan muy bueno
Y aqui is mi tres centavos.
Mil gracias. :D

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cfs
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by cfs » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:27 am

Hexdump wrote:
cfs wrote:Aprender español es fácil.

Good conversation, good recommendations.

Aqui estan mis dos centavos (here are my two cents).

My recommendation is to practice, practice, practice at home, at work, and start "thinking" in Spanish.

Oh by the way, don't be ashamed to ask the Spanish speaking person [I am using basic Spanish here, the same used in Latin America] "como se dice ______" (how do you say ____ [insert the word here] to get the correct pronunciation. For example, the Spanish speaking person will be glad to tell you "se dice papas, no se dice papos" (if you called the potatoes papos, which is a normal thing to do).

This I know - most [educated] Spanish speakers are reluctant to correct non-Spanish speakers unless the non-Spanish speaker ask for assistance.
Aprender español es fácil.
Aprender espanol no es facil, es muy dificil por me.
Pero estos recomendationes estan muy bueno
Y aqui is mi tres centavos.
Mil gracias. :D
Good Job by our shipmate Hexdump!!

Aprender español es fácil.
Aprender espanol no es facil, es muy dificil para mi.
Pero estas recomendaciones estan muy buenas.
Y aqui estan mis tres centavos.
Mil gracias.
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

Miriam2
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Miriam2 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:43 am

haha!
Just come to Miami - we all just speak Spanglish - anything goes! 8-) 8-)

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cfs
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by cfs » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:34 am

Miriam2 wrote:haha!
Just come to Miami - we all just speak Spanglish - anything goes! 8-) 8-)
Totally concur with our shipmate Miriam. Last November we went to Miami for a week, upon arrival we went directo a la Calle Ocho in Little Havana to eat some good Cuban food and to practice our español--after a couple of days we realized that the whole county is a Big Havana with the large majority hablando español.
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Peter Foley
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Peter Foley » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:03 am

I'm a former college level Spanish teacher with a Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics. Based on my own study abroad experience while in college and my years of teaching in the US and in Spain (for a semester), the real key is a tutor if you want to learn to speak.

Yes, there are exercises that can help with verb conjugations, but there is nothing like a tutor. When learning French after the age of 50 I made the most progress when I used a tutor. You may be able to find a tutor on line who is will to coach you in exchange for gaining some skill you have. (My French tutor wanted to learn Spanish so we spent an hour each week in session where he would speak Spanish and I would speak French.)
Correcting all mistakes in such sessions impedes communication. While listening one should take some notes re the errors of the other speaker and you can both spend a few minutes on a grammar pronunciation review at the end of the session.

What to talk about . . . You want to be able to communicate and to do so you need to be able to talk about what you do, what you like to do (me gusta, prefiero) and want to do (quiero, deseo) (present tense) what you did (preterite tense) and what you will do. Travel is a good subject.

A simple exercise that will help with verb conjugations (and also reflexive verbs): One's daily routine.

Present tense: Cada dia me despierto a las seis de la mañana. Me levanto poco despues. Voy al baño, me lavo la cara y me afeito. Antes de vestirme, preparo un cafe. Prefiero el cafe solo, pero a veces lo bebo con leche. Entonces me visto, como el desayuno, y leo el periodico.
(Obviously this can go on and on.) Then change people - Cada dia Juan se despierta . . . . Then change verb tenses Ayer me desperté (cuando era joven me despertaba) Mañana me despertaré . . etc.

Buena suerte, bon chance, good luck - it takes considerable regular practice to become fluent.

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Peter Foley
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Peter Foley » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:14 am

cfs and hexdump wrote versions of the following with some corrections:
Aprender español es fácil.
Aprender espanol no es facil, es muy dificil para mi.
Pero estas recomendaciones estan muy buenas.
Y aqui estan mis tres centavos.
Mil gracias.
Here is how I would say it if speaking to someone from Latin America. (Note - very educated speakers might use "Castellano" instead of "español.")

Aprender el español es fácil.
Aprender el espanol no es fácil para todos, de hecho, es muy difícil para mí.
Pero estas recomendaciones son muy buenas.
Y aquí les doy mis tres centavos.
Muchas gracias.

Miriam2
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Miriam2 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:33 pm

Peter Foley wrote:Based on my own study abroad experience while in college and my years of teaching in the US and in Spain (for a semester), the real key is a tutor if you want to learn to speak. . . it takes considerable regular practice to become fluent.
cfs wrote:Last November we went to Miami for a week, upon arrival we went directo a la Calle Ocho in Little Havana to eat some good Cuban food and to practice our español--after a couple of days we realized that the whole county is a Big Havana with the large majority hablando español.
All of South Florida is a tutor 8-)
Peter Foley is right - regular practice. Simply do everything in Spanish as best you can, ask for corrections, then learn the correct words and grammar as you go along, and slowly everything internalizes, becomes memory. Don't worry about making mistakes.

The only difficulty in Miami is that Spanish speakers come from so many different countries with different dialects, word usage, and education. The Spanish we learn may be more colloquial than proper - but hey! - at least it's Spanish :D

I once asked my lawn man - in my best Spanglish - to please trim my "arbustos" (shrubs). He laughed and gave his co-worker a big grin. They were from Honduras. My "arbustos" were never trimmed.

I went to work and asked my secretary, who was from Venezuela, what I said wrong. She had never heard the word "arbusto" and told me my lawn men thought I was talking about my "bustos" :shock:
Another secretary, who spoke Cuban-Spanglish, never heard "arbusto," so she called her father, a traditional Cuban gentleman. He said: Of course, a shrub is an "arbusto" and I had instructed the lawn man correctly in good Spanish.

My new lawn men are from El Salvador. They know what arbustos are, but they trim them with a "trimador" - which is pure Spanglish for "trimmer." If I go to Home Depot and ask in Spanish to buy a "trimador," they laugh (but they know what I mean). :happy

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cfs
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by cfs » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:19 pm

Miriam2 wrote:All of South Florida is a tutor 8-)
And the whole state of California.
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spectec
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by spectec » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:26 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Peter Foley wrote:Based on my own study abroad experience while in college and my years of teaching in the US and in Spain (for a semester), the real key is a tutor if you want to learn to speak. . . it takes considerable regular practice to become fluent.
cfs wrote:Last November we went to Miami for a week, upon arrival we went directo a la Calle Ocho in Little Havana to eat some good Cuban food and to practice our español--after a couple of days we realized that the whole county is a Big Havana with the large majority hablando español.
All of South Florida is a tutor 8-)
Peter Foley is right - regular practice. Simply do everything in Spanish as best you can, ask for corrections, then learn the correct words and grammar as you go along, and slowly everything internalizes, becomes memory. Don't worry about making mistakes.

The only difficulty in Miami is that Spanish speakers come from so many different countries with different dialects, word usage, and education. The Spanish we learn may be more colloquial than proper - but hey! - at least it's Spanish :D

I once asked my lawn man - in my best Spanglish - to please trim my "arbustos" (shrubs). He laughed and gave his co-worker a big grin. They were from Honduras. My "arbustos" were never trimmed.

I went to work and asked my secretary, who was from Venezuela, what I said wrong. She had never heard the word "arbusto" and told me my lawn men thought I was talking about my "bustos" :shock:
Another secretary, who spoke Cuban-Spanglish, never heard "arbusto," so she called her father, a traditional Cuban gentleman. He said: Of course, a shrub is an "arbusto" and I had instructed the lawn man correctly in good Spanish.

My new lawn men are from El Salvador. They know what arbustos are, but they trim them with a "trimador" - which is pure Spanglish for "trimmer." If I go to Home Depot and ask in Spanish to buy a "trimador," they laugh (but they know what I mean). :happy
One does need to be careful with those pronunciations and regional usages, especially with false cognates. For example, if you get embarrassed, you would not want to say "estoy embarazada".
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

Miriam2
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Miriam2 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:32 pm

spectec wrote:One does need to be careful with those pronunciations and regional usages, especially with false cognates. For example, if you get embarrassed, you would not want to say "estoy embarazada".
haha! That's where street Spanglish can get us in trouble :)

wassabi
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by wassabi » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:02 pm

TxAg wrote:I've learned bits and pieces of Spanish over the last 20 years. While I have a good vocabulary, I'd like to double it. Additionally, I need the most help at properly conjugating verbs and re-learning proper tenses.

I'm open to suggestions.

I have a wife, kiddo, and job so I can't just pick up and move to the coast and learn Spanish in a little fishing village. So what is the best option for in the car or on the computer?

On a positive note, I do have people that I can practice with (they are fluent) once I get back to forming more complex sentences.

Check out duolingo. Fantastic way to learn. Computer or electronic device.

Dimitri
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Re: Learning Spanish

Post by Dimitri » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:30 pm

Somewhere in one of James Clavell's novels I remember someone saying that "pillow talk" was the best way to learn a language. :happy If that isn't a viable option then I second or third the idea of watching television. Years ago I had a Brazilian girlfriend who sat at home and watched CNN for hours at a time every day. Her thinking was that if she missed something the first time a story aired it would probably play again in another hour or so and give her another chance to try to understand it. Plus, the announcers spoke what she perceived as unaccented (and therefore desirable) American English. It worked pretty well for her.
Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun.

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