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So I did a search of the forums and found a bunch of threads about Spanish asking various questions or whatever, but I didn't see anyone actually lay down a comprehensive datasheet on Spanish.

I am by no means an expert on the Spanish language, nor am I fluent, but I am breaking into an advanced level of Spanish. It has taken me quite a bit of time to get to where I am right now, and while I am no means done on my path to Spanish perfection, I know exactly what I need to do to get there. I have tried many things and I have been lazy at times. I have spent a lot of time in Latin America so that is a distinct advantage but I didn't really start to intensively study Spanish until about a year to a year and a half ago.

I started off just passively learning, not studying anything, hooking up and dating a lot of Latinas and practicing with them. This obviously made a difference but was slow and ineffective. I've used a bunch of resources, and have dabbled in all of the ones I will outline in the following datasheet with mixed results. I will try to help clarify some of the things that I have learned in my journey so that we can make more effectively use of our time. Just like anything else, you get better at studying Spanish (or any language for that matter) the longer and more you do it. However, you can skip a lot of the noise if you know beforehand some tips that others have learned throughout the process.

Some Basic Rules for Learning Spanish:

1) Interest: To learn any language to an advanced level you need to have a purpose for it or be incredibly interested in the language itself. There are many reasons for learning a language, whether being interested in a particular type of literature, type of woman of a region, the culture/history/countries themselves, or your professional goals may be in line with learning the language. Hell, you may just really like the language itself. These are all legitimate reasons, among others unlisted, for learning a language. But there has to be something powerful that drives you to learn Spanish. If there isn't something powerful driving you, you won't ever become good at it. And frankly, with the amount of resources, time, and effort you would spend on learning Spanish, you should use that to something more productive.

As hard as learning a language is (even a relatively 'easy' one like Spanish), it's incredibly easy to lose it. Learning a language is a long-term and even lifetime pursuit and if you don't make it part of your life you will easily lose a language even one that you have learnt to an intermediate level.

2) Immersion: To learn Spanish properly, there needs to be some level of immersion. Immersion allows you the opportunity to escape all your native language comforts and forces you to communicate in Spanish. Now, obviously going to a Spanish speaking country is the most effective way of immersing yourself in Spanish, but it's not the only way. You can also artificially immerse yourself in a language, but doing this requires quite a bit of discipline.

Artificially immersing yourself in Spanish would require changing your websites to Spanish, only watching TV shows or movies in Spanish, reading almost everything in Spanish, thinking in Spanish, and shopping at stores with Spanish speakers. This isn't easy to do.

3) Acquiring a Spanish Speaking Girlfriend: Dating a girl or having a Spanish speaking girlfriend that preferably doesn't speak your native language is one of the most effective ways to boost your speaking and comprehension skills. Most people (myself included) are shy to speak in another language they don't know well to native speakers. Having someone you feel comfortable with to speak to on a regular basis can make a world of difference with improving your Spanish skills. One of my primary goals when I go to a Latin American country is always to find a sweet girl that I can spend a lot of time with to speak only in Spanish with.

There is a flip side to this equation however. It can actually be detrimental to your progress if you don't be careful. If you rely on this avenue too much you will reinforce your limited vocabulary, bad habits, and you won't push yourself to learn new things if you can communicate adequately with her. Also, if she is doing most of the logistical legwork (like say, setting up a sim card on your phone or making a reservation) when you are with her you are missing out on opportunities to push yourself linguistically.

4) Learn Spanish from Multiple Avenues: I strongly believe that learning a language is best done by focusing on all skills of a language, both passively and intensively. You are learning to speak better when you read, to comprehend better when you write, to read better when you speak, ect. There are four main components of all languages: speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing. If you skimp out on reading and writing, which a lot of people do, then you will not progress as quickly as if you do regular reading and writing. Find exercises that focus on multiple components simultaneously (such as readings that have a recorded narrator, exercises that you write and read at the same time, Spanish subtitles on Spanish movies so you read and listen, ect.). Obviously people have different goals with languages, some may just want to learn how to communicate orally, and it's fine to focus more on that; but to ignore any of the components is foolhardy.

5) Some Degree of Formal Study: Some people have varying opinions on formal study. I don't think it is the end-all-be-all of language study, but I do think some degree of formal study is necessary in learning a language. I think a beginner group course + 1-3 months of one-on-one formal instruction is a good base to learn Spanish. Doesn't all have to be at the same time (in fact, spreading out the one-on-one is probably a good idea) nor do you have to spend multiple years in a classroom to become advanced in Spanish. The reason is two-fold: firstly, formal instruction forces you to work for a specific number of hours with no excuses or lack of motivation, and secondly, having a trained professional help you understand the intricacies of Spanish grammar is likely to benefit you greatly. The simple fact is for Anglophones who have no education in Romance languages, grammar in Spanish is quite different and complex compared to English. Burdening yourself with the task of learning all of this is quite a large endeavour.

6) Don't Skimp on Grammar: The difference between a beginner and a more advanced speaker of Spanish is very simple to point out: it's how they use their verbs. For any language the verbs are the skeleton of every sentence and this is especially true for Spanish. When you have a language that has 13-17 tenses of verbs and you don't learn some grammar along the way you will not speak good Spanish, it's as simple as that. Yes, you can learn some grammar passively, we all do and did as children, but for a foreign language you need to sit down sometimes and just hammer out some grammar exercises.

7) Make a Schedule: If you don't make a specific and realistic schedule for your independent studies in Spanish, it's likely you won't study what you need to or get things done. What type works for you is idiosyncratic: make a checklist, monthly goals, weekly or daily schedule; whatever works for you, do it and follow it.

8) Avoid Vocab Flashcards: Do not, I repeat, spend time at the beginning learning a shit tonne of words through memorization. This is honestly the worst way to learn a language and a waste of time. If you progress to an advanced level and want to incorporate a bit of this into your regimen, fine, but don't rely on this method because you will forget most the words faster than you learn them.

Resources:

Rudimentary Resources: These are your basic learning resources that I don't hold in high esteem. Examples of these resources are: Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, Fluencia, and Rocket Languages. I find these resources to have two purposes: as beginner "get your feet wet" type programs and as supplemental to other more productive resources. The reason why I don't like them too much is because they are often boring, are more vocab builders than anything, and if they are relied on they will fail you when you actually step into a Spanish speaking country. So yes I see the value of them for 30 minutes a day when you start out with a language, I don't believe they add any value beyond that.

Listening Lesson Resources: These resources take the form of audio lessons, the most dominant being Pimsleur and Michel Thomas. I hold these resources in a high esteem than the former ones but they do have a limiting factor as well. I like them more, particularly Michel Thomas, because they focus a lot more on verbs than learning vocabulary. I think for a beginner, spending time with these two resources is a lot more effective than Rosetta Stone or Duolingo. Of course, once you read a intermediate level they don't hold that much value besides basic review.

Podcasts: Some people swear by podcasts, I don't use them that much. The gold standard of podcasts in Spanish is Notes in Spanish. They have a broad range of topics, are segregated between levels of Spanish, and are pretty clear and easy to understand. Here is a list of more Spanish podcasts.

Entertainment: Luckily for people interested in Spanish, there is a whole continent+ of the world that produces entertainment for us to enjoy. Movies and TV shows can be good passive language lessons and are amendable to the level you are at. For beginners, you can watch with English subtitles, for more advanced learners you can switch to Spanish subtitles or no subtitles at all. Listening to Latin/Spanish music is also a good resource, particularly if you follow along with the lyrics. The best thing about using entertainment is it doesn't really feel like you are studying and is a lot more fun than many other resources. However, learning from entertainment should never solely replace any more intensive styles of studying.

Some good Spanish movies:

- Y tu Mama Tambien
- El Infierno
- Como Agua Para Chocolate
- Midaq Valley
- No
- Amores Perros
- Diarios de Motocicleta
- Sin Nombre
- Los Olvidados
- Presunto Culpable
- Hijos de la Guerra


Some good Spanish TV shows:

- Gran Hotel
- El Chavo del Ocho
- Velvet
- Violetta
- Destinos

- Various telenovelas

Reading/Literature: I will state this boldly: one of the best ways to learn a language and increase your vocabulary is through intensive reading. Most of the words we learn past a very rudimentary level is through reading. Studies have shown the best way to retain words, become a better writer, and even speak better is through reading. Intensive reading is the task of reading something in a foreign language, making a list of words you can't figure out from context, and then going back and looking up the definition of those words. Even better is to continue to review those lists of words at a later time to really hammer them into your long-term memory. Remember, it's not incredibly important to understand everything perfectly. Just the fact that you are trying and actively making connections and looking up words is the meat and potatoes of this method of language study.

Graded readers are great resources for beginners. They start quite simply and some of then have vocabulary lists. The best ones are with recorded narrators so you can listen, read along, so you are hitting your brain from multiple avenues. Children's books are also good for beginners because of their limited vocabulary. Once you have progressed past these levels, you can begin to read news articles, short stories, poems, and young adult novels. If you take airplanes in Latin America, keep the programs that they put in front of your seat because they often have Spanish articles side-by-side to English articles so you can reference whatever you don't understand. After this level you can just ramp up the difficulty levels to things such as renowned literature, non-fiction, and more academic work. There are countless fantastic Spanish/Latin writers that I am not going to list a bunch of books or authors.

Grammar Books: Grammar books are a necessary evil when studying Spanish or any other language. They can be boring but are extremely helpful for advancing your grammatical skills. By far the best grammar books I have come across are the Practice Makes Perfect Series. I downloaded the Verb Tenses + Irregular Verbs + Advanced Spanish Grammar stream and it is fantastic. Good explanations, the exercises are pretty chill, and it's organized pretty well. However, there are countless of these books on the market so take a look around to see what works for you.

Language Exchanges: These are good options for when you are stuck in your home country. Either one-on-one or group exchanges can be helpful for continuing to converse in Spanish when you may not be immersed in another country. Universities typically have some kind of language exchange that is often organized by students. Couchsurfing groups organize a lot of these in major cities and in major cities there are also cultural centers that you can use to organize these types of gatherings. You can also find language exchanges on the internet.

Formal Study: There are a range of types of formal study in Spanish: college level courses, private group courses, private one-on-one courses, and tutors. Formal study does not need to be expensive. You can go to certain countries and study and not pay very much at all. The cheapest countries to pay for private lessons are: Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Guatemala. In these countries you can pay as little as US$5-8 for an hour of one-on-one instruction with good language teachers. Doing 20 hours a week will run you somewhere between $100-180, which isn’t very much in the grand scheme of things. The best countries to learn Spanish in my opinion, because of clarity and easiness of native tongue, are Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, and Ecuador. The worst places in my opinion to learn Spanish are the Caribbean countries, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. Caribbean countries often chop up a lot of words (a good example of this is the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico) while Rioplatanese Spanish isn’t a great place to start or even progress your Spanish skills. Chile is just a mess of a country to learn Spanish in. Chilenos speak very strangely and quickly. As a general rule, cities in mountain regions speak more clearly and slowly than coastal cities. So a city like Quito is a lot better than say Cartagena. There are plenty of private Spanish schools littered throughout Spain and Latin America. You can also find Spanish schools as offshoots of universities, such as CEPE of UNAM in Mexico City.

Spanish Language Websites: There are numerous websites out there that are geared towards Spanish learning. My favourite by far is SpanishDict. They have conjugation tables for every verb in Spanish and a number of other resources. I use Google Translate a lot for simple words or phrases. Other examples of good websites like this are Live Mocha, Study Spanish, Mi Vida Loca, and FSI Spanish.

A Template of General Spanish Progression:

I thought I would also break down a basic flow chart of the different steps in learning Spanish incorporating some of the resources I highlighted above. This is by no means scientific nor concrete for every person. Nor is this a table of "your level of Spanish is this." Rather, it's just a basic guide of what each step entails.

Beginner:

- Start with basic vocabulary: colors, days, months, numbers, pronouns. Learn basic greetings.
- Learn some of the basic conjugations of the most common verbs (such as tener, poder, querer, estar, ser, hacer, ect.).
- Do an immersion of a couple to a few weeks in Spain or a Latin American country and get your feet wet.
- While in a foreign country make friends with locals and stay in touch with them over email or facebook. Continue to speak with them in Spanish.
- Beginner resources: Michel Thomas, Children's Books, Google Translate.

Advanced Beginner:

- Start to learn more verbs in present indicative tense, both regular and irregular.
- Start using verbs and limited vocabulary to form simple sentences.
- Advanced Beginner Resources: Practice Makes Perfect or other grammar books, Michel Thomas, Children's Shows, Destinos, Notes in Spanish.

Intermediate:

- Progress from present tense into past and future tenses, both indicative and perfect/imperfect.
- Master present tense conjugations.
- Learn imperatives.
- Start focusing on picking up more vocab through passive studying, conversation with native speakers, and intensive reading.
- Look to live in a Spanish speaking country for an extended period of time.
- Intermediate Resources: Grammar books, young adult novels or other literature, TV shows and movies, news articles.

Advanced:

- Master all general tenses in present, past, and future.
- Begin to get a handle for the subjunctive tense.
- Actively increase your vocabulary through reading and flash cards.
- Read advanced Spanish literature or non-fiction on a regular basis.
- Watch Spanish entertainment with Spanish subtitles or no subtitles.

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Some basic notes:

- Besides formal study, I don't pay a cent towards any of these resources. I can go into more detail about how to get resources for free (legal or illegal means) if anyone wants.
- Be humble. You always have more to learn and it takes years of practice to become a master of a language. You are always going to get yourself in a situation where you don't understand something someone says.
- Since I put this in the travel section, I can expand on which countries are best to learn Spanish in if anyone would like.
- I didn't post this thread to have a debate on what people think is the best way to learn a language. Some of these things are my opinion, it's not gospel, I just wanted to add some value to the board. Feel free to offer opinions though.
- I encourage anyone to share other resources they might have come across that they like.
- I hope this helps some people!
¡Gracias paisano! Lots of great info here, and a lot of it it can be applied to learning any language. Immersion is key.

In my experience and observations, watching simple shows or movies, like Toy Story or better yet a local children's program, is a good way to start immersing yourself in the language from abroad. The vocabulary and themes will be easier to grasp than an adult film, and the dialogue will be slower, so it's worth doing as long as you can stay interested in watching it. It's also helpful to watch an adult film if you've seen the movie before or put on Spanish subtitles until you are comfortable enough with the language. Obviously real, local films will give you a better sense of the culture, slang, mannerisms, etc. that you aren't going to get from a dubbed Disney flick.

Quote:The best countries to learn Spanish in my opinion, because of clarity and easiness of native tongue, are Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, and Ecuador. The worst places in my opinion to learn Spanish are the Caribbean countries, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile.

I agree with you on all except Cuba. They speak a Spanish that is pleasing to the ear and not too fast, but is often missing syllables as is the case with most Caribbean Spanish dialects, including Caribbean Colombia.

If I were to choose a country to learn Spanish, based just on the accent, it would be Colombia followed by Mexico, then Nicaragua or elsewhere in Central America. Ecuador and Peru are also good options.

If you're trying to learn Spanish with a Spain accent, slang etc. I would go to Madrid, Salamanca, Santander, or somewhere in central-northern Spain. This area has the most neutral accent and you'll be surrounded by 100% Spanish speakers, as opposed to Barcelona for example where you'll easily get confused with Catalan and not be as immersed in Spanish. Whatever you do don't go to Andalucia to learn Spanish. Unless you'll be living there long term and becoming fluent, learn a more standard accent. A few girls at my university studied abroad there for a semester or year and came back speaking the worst type of hybrid, grating second-language Sevilla Spanish that was damn near impossible to understand.
(01-16-2015 06:53 PM)getdownonit Wrote: [ -> ]Obviously real, local films will give you a better sense of the culture, slang, mannerisms, etc. that you aren't going to get from a dubbed Disney flick.


I agree that local films are the most desirable.

But I do think there is some value of dubbed movies for a language learner. As much as I hate dubbed movies, because they are required to be synced up to the timing of the English language, the Spanish will be spoken at a much slower pace than a straight Spanish movie. I find dubbed movies a lot easier to understand for this reason.

Quote:The best countries to learn Spanish in my opinion, because of clarity and easiness of native tongue, are Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, and Ecuador. The worst places in my opinion to learn Spanish are the Caribbean countries, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile.

I agree with you on all except Cuba. They speak a Spanish that is pleasing to the ear and not too fast, but is often missing syllables as is the case with most Caribbean Spanish dialects, including Caribbean Colombia.

If I were to choose a country to learn Spanish, based just on the accent, it would be Colombia followed by Mexico, then Nicaragua or elsewhere in Central America. Ecuador and Peru are also good options.

If you're trying to learn Spanish with a Spain accent, slang etc. I would go to Madrid, Salamanca, Santander, or somewhere in central-northern Spain. This area has the most neutral accent and you'll be surrounded by 100% Spanish speakers, as opposed to Barcelona for example where you'll easily get confused with Catalan and not be as immersed in Spanish. Whatever you do don't go to Andalucia to learn Spanish. Unless you'll be living there long term and becoming fluent, learn a more standard accent. A few girls at my university studied abroad there for a semester or year and came back speaking the worst type of hybrid, grating second-language Sevilla Spanish that was damn near impossible to understand.

The reason why I put Cuba there is because I had a number of friends who started there and did well with picking up Spanish. But yes, the weak pronunciation of constants is something that isn't helpful to a beginner speaker.

I've never been to Nicaragua, but if you think it's a great dialect than it's hard to pass off as one of the best in LA because of the relative cost of formal lessons there.

The best Spanish for beginners I have encountered so far is Ecuador. The Andean regions, particularly places like Loja, and to a lesser extent Quito, are super clear and at a good pace for a beginner's ear. Actually funny enough, Chilango (Mexico City) and Andean Ecuador Spanish were quite similar bizarrely enough, which made it easier for me because Mexican Spanish is what I first learned and have become accustomed to the most.

Colombia was pretty good but had quite a bit of variance. I found the Caribbean area of Colombia quite ugly Spanish wise and was quite hard to understand.
Thanks for this. One can immerse oneself into a Spanish speaking country, but never improve at all. This is why you can see many Spanish speakers in the States that don't speak any English. It's easy to create a bubble in which you only speak your native language when abroad. You have to force yourself to speak and this is the only way to improve.

It really does come down to motivation.
Just copied this whole post into Evernote. Thumb up
I find this post very useful as a guy trying to get a hold of Spanish while transitioning my French to a more-advanced level. It certainly covers the major necessities of going about learning a language. Every person does it slightly differently according to individual strengths, but the general principles remain the same.
Thanks for posting this, I found this via a search in the forum. It seems there are over a dozen apps and language programs that one can buy to learn Spanish.

I've started with Duolingo, but am not sure which app/program to move onto next.
True. Everybody I've talked to, be it Spanish professors, Spanish teachers, and people who have learned Spanish. The most neutral Spanish of them all are countries from the Andes (Ecuador, Peru, and parts of Colombia).

I disagree with Cuba though. I have talked to some Cuban people and I have to really stop and really pay attention to what they are saying because the speak so fast. It took me a while also to get used to the Argentinians when I went to Buenos Aires. But I think they have the nicest sounding accent. The Argentinian girls sound awesome when they speak.

Mexican Spanish is also neutral, but it has a strong accent but you can understand it perfectly.
This year I began my journey towards learning Spanish. I want to travel to Central/South America and also I do encounter Spanish speakers every so often in my line of work who do not know any English and being able to communicate with them would be useful.

I took Roosh's advice from his blog and from a post on Return of Kings.

I set up a DuoLingo account. I play a level a day, learn some words and what not. I think it is helpful.

I set up an Interpals account as well. Interpals is great because you can online chat with native speakers. It is also a great place if you want to pipeline as well since there are women from all over the world and some are looking for relations. Also, with Spanish, there are sooo many Spanish speaking countries that there is an abundance of Latinas more than willing to help. Some of the women I have met are really impressive. They are teaching me Spanish by speaking English to me to explain why the grammar or what not is the way that it is.

I am also using Pimsleur, Spanish for Beginners by Charles Duff, and Berlitz Phrase Book & Dictionary as a reference guide. Also, SpanishDict is a great translator site (better than Google Translate IMO).

You just got to do a little bit every day and eventually you will start getting the hang of it.
Duolingo is great but you need to supplement it with grammar resources to really get a good experience. It's great for practicing a concept that I'm learning or already know. I used it in the early stages of my French learning, and am doing the same thing now with Spanish. After I'm comfortable with a few more tenses (currently at past perfect), I'll start changing up things a bit and move away from Duolingo.
(01-16-2015 06:53 PM)getdownonit Wrote: [ -> ]If I were to choose a country to learn Spanish, based just on the accent, it would be Colombia followed by Mexico, then Nicaragua or elsewhere in Central America. Ecuador and Peru are also good options.

I think the Nicaraguan accent could be difficult to understand for a total beginner...though it varies greatly depending on the speaker.

The college-educated chicas from Managua were tough to understand at first. For example, they pronounced "buscar" as "puka".

I found that the chicas from smaller towns such as Somoto and Estelí spoke slower and smoother...which I thought was strange because in other Latin American countries the capital cities tend to have the clearest Spanish.

In Central America, I think that Guatemala and Panama have the easiest to understand Spanish.
I came across this blog today:

http://howlearnspanish.com/

The guy is pimping his own book on how to learn using telenovas - it actually looks legit, but haven't tried it out yet. One could probably find it on a torrent site and check out. I'm not sure about this, but might give it a shot.

He has a long blog post http://howlearnspanish.com/2011/09/spani...g-systems/ about (3 years old at this point) talking about some of the language learning systems. He recommends http://synergyspanish.com/index_v7.html

And this spanish synergy guy - an american who married a mexican (cute btw) and lives there, has a second page (not linked to from the first, his websites look very much like a DIY job) http://www.synergyspanishsystems.com/blog/courses/

I'm torrenting the first course and if it's any good (reviews of it are good) I'll post again here about it. This youtube guide made me think it's worthwhile.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbLVzCiXzX4

Basically, Spanish Synergy focuses on 138 words/ word chunks that combine together to string most of the daily basic spoken Spanish, rather than throw giant lists of nouns, verbs, and adjectives at you.
The hardest part for me is listening.

I can read/write at a degree that can pass Turing Tests for native speakers (although it's perhaps not that hard, since the modal Latin American chick is quite... lax... with grammar and vocabulary).

My accent is still muy gringo for speaking, but girls generally understand me quite readily (despite me butchering por vs. para, and many conjugations).

I'm not optimistic that I will ever hit "Advanced" for speaking/listening.
So I made a torrent for this thread/board.

There are a bunch of Spanish goodies on it.

There are about 1000 ebooks in the readings section. Some of these are more advanced books, while others are more graded readers. Some of them also have audio files with them so you can follow along with a narrator. The more advanced books are epubs, so you will need to download an application that is compatible with those files. The rest are standard pdf.

There are a few movies on there, some with subtitles and I think a couple without. I recommend watching them with VLC player, but any other type of video player will do. There is also the whole season of Destinos on there.

There are about 20 grammar books on there. I highly recommend the 'Practice Makes Perfect' Series (there are 3 of them that I put in the torrent - although there are more on the market).

There is also the full set of Pimsleur and Michel Thomas.

If you download it, please seed because I am the only one currently seeding it right now.

If you don't know how to download torrents PM me.
^ Thanks this is awesome.

This is the first foreign lang I am learning. It feels that I make the most progress the more I speak outloud and try to think in Spanish ie repeating Pimsleur or what is said on TV novellas outloud right after the actor says it so I can hear my pronounciation.

I feel like mastering good conversation and pronouncing comes WAY before spending time on reading. What is your take on this? Spanish seems so easy to guess on how words are spelled by the way they are said anyways unlike English...
(01-29-2015 09:32 PM)Tytalus Wrote: [ -> ]I've started with Duolingo, but am not sure which app/program to move onto next.

Make a schedule. I would definitely do 15-20 minutes of Michel Thomas (or Pimsleur whichever you personally prefer), + some time doing grammar and reading each day. The good thing about the audio lessons is you can throw them on an ipod or phone and just do them passively while you are doing something else.

(01-30-2015 11:12 PM)Kabal Wrote: [ -> ]The hardest part for me is listening.

I'm not optimistic that I will ever hit "Advanced" for speaking/listening.

I know how frustrating that can be. Comprehension is probably my weakest area of Spanish. Some people just don't make it easy for you. I often have to get people to repeat things because I don't understand the first time. I still have trouble following along with un-subtitled TV shows or movies.

Just keep moving forward. Keep reminding yourself of what improvement you have made. Learning languages to an advanced level takes a loooong time.

(02-01-2015 02:29 AM)Travesty444 Wrote: [ -> ]This is the first foreign lang I am learning. It feels that I make the most progress the more I speak outloud and try to think in Spanish ie repeating Pimsleur or what is said on TV novellas outloud right after the actor says it so I can hear my pronounciation.

This is an important technique that a lot of audio lesson methods emphasize. Repeating things you hear is really important for memory and feedback.

Quote:I feel like mastering good conversation and pronouncing comes WAY before spending time on reading. What is your take on this? Spanish seems so easy to guess on how words are spelled by the way they are said anyways unlike English...

I think reading is very important. For both building your active vocabulary but also improving grammar and understanding how Spanish flows.

I remember earlier (and still have trouble with this) I often got adjectives and nouns mixed up in their order. As you may know, in English we use describing words before the nouns we are talking about, in Spanish it is the opposite (however this rule is often broken in many cases).

The red flower.
La flor roja.

Reading can really help for things like this because you are subconsciously figuring out the structure of the language.

I already outlined how reading Spanish can be one of the best methods for vocabulary acquisition in the OP.

As far as the phonetics go, this is definitely an advantage of Spanish. Spanish words only have one stress in them and it usually takes place in the second last syllable of the word. This is why Spanish is often spoken very fast compared to English because English is actually a more tonal language than Spanish.

Think of the word 'elevator/elevador.' Elevador is easy to say quickly in Spanish, you only place a stress on the 'd' part. In English, you place stress on the 'le', 'vat', and 'or' part.

And if the stress isn't the second last syllable, they add a nice little accent and place it exactly where the stress is. It's pretty nice of them.

So by reading you can actually learn how to pronounce a lot of words. Of course, when you go to say them for the first (or even dozen) times your mouth still is not used to saying those types of sounds or combination of sounds so it will take practice. Reading out loud is a really good method of practicing both at the same time, preferably with someone who is native or fluent in Spanish to correct you.

-----

Reading in a foreign language is a royal pain in the ass though. But the benefits IMO are paramount for learning a language. I make it a point of emphasis on my studying because of those reasons.

I don't think it's totally necessary for a straight beginner to jump into reading. The best thing for these levels is immersion plus learning to speak and understand simple things. But for an intermediate or advanced learner of Spanish, it becomes exponentially more important.
Have any of you guys studied in South America? I've been looking at an intensive course at Cristobal Colon in Quito. I know Quito is cheap and the intensive courses are only $7hr for 1 on 1 lessons but the from what I've read Ecuadorian girls are really mediocre, compared to say Colombia.

Does anyone have any better suggestions?

Americas, thanks for that torrent +1 Rep
(02-06-2015 01:52 PM)Sidney Crosby Wrote: [ -> ]Have any of you guys studied in South America? I've been looking at an intensive course at Cristobal Colon in Quito. I know Quito is cheap and the intensive courses are only $7hr for 1 on 1 lessons but the from what I've read Ecuadorian girls are really mediocre, compared to say Colombia.

Does anyone have any better suggestions?

Americas, thanks for that torrent +1 Rep

I did about 3 weeks of intensive one-on-one in Quito. It was approx. US$7-8 an hour which is pretty cheap (not the cheapest in LA but definitely a fair price). Cost of living is also cheap there, food and accommodation is pretty baseline and they use the US dollar which is nice.

The city itself, I was a bit mixed on it. Nice little city, good Centro Historico, the more northern areas of the city were fairly nice and well maintained. Quito Spanish is fairly easy to understand and they don't speak too fast. Good base to learn Spanish. Ecuador is fairly small so it's easy to do side trips on the weekends. Pollution was brutal and this is coming from someone who lives in Mexico City. Food was pretty shitty.

Girls were okay. Averages were pretty low, but there were some decent looking chicks around. I was super busy when I was there (20 hours of Spanish lessons per week + 30 hours of work on a project I was doing at the time) so I didn't spend much time gaming at all although I did fuck a few girls with little effort. I also did not even drink one alcoholic beverage while I was there.

Rottenapple did really well there.

If I were to do another round of Spanish lessons in South America I would go to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Good place to game girls, high gringo status, and probably some of the cheapest lessons you can find (US$5 per hour).
When you game in Spanish speaking countries, do you always use informal pronouns instead of formal?

For example, tu instead of usted? I've never tried gaming Spanish before, but I would think girls would look at you funny if you use formal pronouns. I understand if you're meeting a businessman for the first time you'd use usted or ustedes, but not for gaming girls, right?
Use the informal pronoun 'tu' when gaming girls in Spanish. 'Tu' assumes informality and rapport which is what you want.

However, for a bit of flirting later on you can mockingly use 'usted' to put her in the frame of being 'high and mighty' and acting like a 'little princess'.

Second person plural 'ustedes' is something completely different. In all of Latin America 'ustedes' is standard and not formal at all. In Spain it's a different story.
Thanks for this thread Americas. My Spanish journey starts next week so I have been going over it in detail.
The torrent link seems broken (won't work for me anyway). Anyway you can post it again?
Serious question: anyone has a good source for talking dirty in spanish?
(03-12-2015 05:23 AM)rottenapple Wrote: [ -> ]Serious question: anyone has a good source for talking dirty in spanish?

The comment section of any Colombian camgirl. Seriously.
(03-11-2015 11:02 PM)Atlantic Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for this thread Americas. My Spanish journey starts next week so I have been going over it in detail.
The torrent link seems broken (won't work for me anyway). Anyway you can post it again?

https://kickass.to/spanish-language-pack-t10154352.html

Fixed.

Thanks Americas this is an outstanding datasheet.
Just wanted to add my own testimonial about learning Spanish. I started studying the language almost 30 years ago (when I was 19) and studied it fairly intensely for six years, including immersion with Spanish friends (men and women) who didn't speak English, personal study, watching Spanish TV (especially the news), and some college classes. I became good enough at the language that I actually got a part time job one summer when I was in school tutoring Spanish at a local college.

It has really enriched my life. In case you haven't noticed, most Spanish people love it when someone who isn't native tries to speak their language. A significant portion of the bangs I have gotten over the years have been because of my Spanish language ability. For example, a bartender I picked up in Cancun, who said that tourists fruitlessly hit on her all the time, told me that she was attracted to me because I could speak Spanish. Not only that, I've made some really good friends. It has happened to me several times where I've just gotten into a random conversation with a Spanish person on the street or on the bus in an American city and after just a few minutes of conversation they've invited me to their house to eat or otherwise enjoy their hospitality.

Another story: A friend and I went to climb Mt. Fuji in Japan but found we weren't equipped for the cold, so we waited all night at the mid-level station for the next day's bus to the train station. The bus wasn't going to come until almost noon. I heard two Japanese-looking dudes speaking what sounded like a weird dialect of Spanish (I later figured out it was a Japanese dialect of Brazilian Portugese). I went up to them and tried to open a conversation, but we couldn't understand anything beyond basic pleasantries. Awhile later, they decided not to wait the several hours for a bus and came over and offered to share a taxi ride with us, which got us on our way quicker and cheaper. You never know when or where a common language like Spanish will be useful, even if indirectly like in this case.
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