1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Learning Spanish

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by BB Bobcat, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I'm 45 years and trying to learn Spanish. I just started (literally, two days ago) using this app (Duolingo) my teenage daughter suggested helps her. (She's taking Spanish in school.)

    It seems like it's mostly directed at kids. But Its free so I figure it's a good way to see if I'm really going to be able to absorb it and if I have the perseverance to put in the time.

    I know I'll need to do some other things too, so I'm looking for suggestions.

    Does Rosetta Stone really work? Should I take a class? Move to Mexico for a month?
  2. Spartan Squad

    Spartan Squad Well-Known Member

    Classes can help (never tried Rosetta Stone), but I found a summer at Jack in the Box did more for my Spanish than three years of high school classes did.
    The classes gave the foundation of sentence structure and the basic rules, but actually conversing in the language is going to really get you off the ground. Not saying you should move to Mexico for a month, but if you can find ways to use your Spanish on a daily basis with someone else who actually speaks it, you should get better.
    forever_town likes this.
  3. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Plus, Rosetta Stone is not cheap. Well acclaimed, but very pricey as a result.
  4. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I think they have a deal for like $200-250, which doesn't seem out of line to me if it's really going to give me a new language.
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    This is the key. You must USE the language, otherwise any classes, or attempts at learning with computer programs will be pointless. It won't stick. The thing that makes learning a second language so hard is that you have to learn to think in that language, which most people don't do. They think in their first language, and then translate.

    One of my brothers is fluent in conversational Spanish, all because he's spent his adult life working in the restaurant/catering/hotel management industries. He supervises people and had to learn to converse with them, and he did, all without taking a single class or spending any specific time "learning" the language. He just...picked it up. Now, we're all always amazed when we hear him on the phone, talking to his employees.

    Granted, he's a really bright guy, and probably not everybody could do what he did, as well as he did. But Spartan Squad's point definitely applies. It's the only way unless you're going to somehow be immersed in a new language/culture for a while.

    Basically, adults have to be forced to learn a new language. Otherwise, they probably won't. Even your daughter, for all her classes, will probably lose most of whatever she's learned/practiced once she gets out of regular classes where they probably make the students speak nothing but Spanish for exactly the reasons cited.
  6. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    It depends if you want to speak it, understand it or be fluent.

    If you just want to speak it and understand it, I would go the Tim Ferriss route when you can become very proficient in a language while learning only the words that you need to know, rather than spend a long, long time becoming fluent.

    Tim Ferriss How to Learn Spanish
  7. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    When I took Spanish in high school for three years, my teachers emphasized the need to be immersed in it. Watch TV in Spanish, watch videos, practice speaking in Spanish, etc.
    During my first week in second year Spanish, our teacher spoke only in Spanish. We were all looking around at each other scared as hell, both at the realization we had no clue what Mr. Holt was saying and because we had this guy for a whole year. Finally, the last 10 minutes of that week Mr. Holt told us in English about how you need to be hearing it.
    Like WriteThinking said, you have to think in that language. I never could and struggled; 20 years later, I barely remember things other than bits and pieces. At the end of my third year, I had to give a five-minute demonstration speech all in Spanish. I wrote it all in English and translated word for word, or phrase for phrase. Not good.
    One key difference is Spanish speakers (on average) speak faster than English speakers. I would try watching a show on Telemundo and be lost in a few seconds. But if I had stuck with it, that would have helped me so much.
    I can't remember the exact age, but studies have been shown that if a child isn't exposed to a particular language by a certain age (I'm thinking it's 7, but it could be younger), the likelihood of that child learning the language later goes down dramatically.
  8. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    I watch Univision and Telemundo, and don't care what they are saying.
  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    quatro tacos al pastor, por favor

    what else do you need to know?
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Agree with everyone here who said you really need to be immersed in it. But that's tough to do. I took five years of Spanish in HS/college, but I couldn't hold a real conversation if I had to. I am better off than most if I go to Mexico and I can read something and figure out what it says, but conversational Spanish is a whole different animal.
  11. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Uno cerveza, por favor!
  12. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    ¿Dónde está el baño?
    murphyc likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page