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Lars Porsenna

Learning a new language!

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Here's one for the collective wisdom of the forum. I have the potential of dating a woman from Ecuador. She pushes a lot of right buttons for me: attractive, smart, interesting, etc. English is her second language. Spanish obviously is her first. This may lead to an actual relationship, so I want to start looking into things in case that develops in that direction...

 

Is there any good sources, tools, methods to learn a foreign language, in this case Spanish? I think it would be a cool aspect to a relationship to be able to talk & relate to her in her own native language. I don't expect it to happen overnight, but I would like to look into it...

 

Damon.

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I used Duolingo when I started to relearn my Japanese. It's an app you can use with your phone or computer and might be a good assistance for learning words, grammar and vocabulary

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    Having a conversation can be difficult, but learning to say a whole bunch of simple, common sentences is pretty easy, and from there you can learn to mix and match the stuff you've learned to create new more complex sentences. I've found that talking to myself about things I see around me helps to get me thinking in Spanish (which is the real key to fluency) - describe your surroundings to yourself, i.e., "This box is red.", "The red box is small.", "It is not a large box.", etc. Any time you make an observation or have a thought, try to translate it into Spanish.

Also, get the lady in question to teach you a new Spanish word or sentence every time you see her, and make sure you use those new words the next time you see her to show that you remembered them - it's a great way to start a conversation with anyone who speaks a different language, since in my experience those people are almost universally happy to teach someone a few words.

 

 Another thing you can do to help with the learning is to have a Spanish-language radio or tv station constantly going in the background while you're doing other things - immersion is one of the best ways to reinforce what you've already learned and pick up new stuff quickly.

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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38 minutes ago, Mad Jack said:

Another thing you can do to help with the learning is to have a Spanish-language radio or tv station constantly going in the background while you're doing other things - immersion is one of the best ways to reinforce what you've already learned and pick up new stuff quickly

 

Spanish language news is good for this.  Especially on the radio.  Broadcasters tend to speak a little slower and enunciate better so it can be easier to follow along. 

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Check out Duolingo. Once you are more comfortable, try news articles and even YouTube or Netflix with captions.

 

Also, check out the thread here on the forums with others using Duolingo.

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My sister learned Spanish by working in a hotel kitchen in Los Angeles.

 

The dishwashers and prep cooks tended to be Spanish-only speakers. The chefs tended to be English-only. Led to issues when my sister decided to be the one chef to learn Spanish. The elitism in those hotel kitchens can be brutal. Also made the head chef mad when my sister's stuff got done first because she made the effort and asked people how their kids were.

 

Not the most helpful. But an argument for immersion and basic effort.

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You could also listen to recorded books and podcasts and stuff in Spanish. More immersion. Good luck! :winkthumbs:

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4 hours ago, Talae said:

Check out Duolingo. Once you are more comfortable, try news articles and even YouTube or Netflix with captions.

 

Also, check out the thread here on the forums with others using Duolingo.

 

To go with the Youtube/Netflix, watch reruns of shows you love, dubbed over in the language you want to learn. When I was learning French in high school I did this with Buffy episodes, since I roughly knew the lines. No captions, just new language for it. It won't get you the whole way, but it may help keep your brain in learning mode. 

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All of the above is good advice but the most important is just find somebody to talk to. You'll learn faster by actually using the language and not just trying to memorize it. I found for myself that reading was the best way to pick up on the rules and grammar but conversations was the best way to get it all to stick in my memory. Plus most of us don't speak using proper grammar in whatever language we're speaking. A spoken conversation generally won't be a lot like a written one. 

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I don't thnk that it is possible to emphasise enough the necessity for actually listening to things in the language you are trying to learn.

By listening, your brain will start to firstly, recognize sound patterns instead of just gibberish.  This will hasten the process of  beginning to think in the language, which everyone who is multi-lingual will tell you is necessary for true fluency in a language.

Once your brain begins to pick out these sound patterns it will automatically begin the second stage and start to establish linkages between the spoken and written word.  Once you are able to recognize words the structure of sentences comes into play. 

Which gets you to the third stage, where you begin to use gramatically correct structure and syntax. 

Once you get to this point you are well on your way to a mastery of the language.

GEM

May you and your lady friend have a long and happy relationship.

Edited by Green Eyed Monster
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DUOLINGO is the way to go.

It's FREE, its self-paced, It works. 

It includes Grammar, speaking, hearing, translation to and from English..

I used it to learn to speak, read, understand Norwegian.

I have been using it for over three years.

My brother John used to to be fluent in German (did not speak a word of it prior),

he also learned Spanish utilizing it also.

( I receive email and letters written in Norwegian, I also send email ONLY in Norwegian back)  I have NO

problems comprehending what is written, and writing back in my other language.  My cousin that I

write to is a Professional Editor/freelance writer. Norwegian as a second language instructor.  

Jay

 

Edited by Jasonator
Add in further information.
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If she wants to learn English, then you can try it with a tutor via Skype or use the interactive resource LearnEnglish - a site with lots of materials for different levels of learning and with different formats (from lessons and videos to games and communication with other users). You can also study various articles, like this example of autobiography, or register for Interpals - this is a huge international community, built on the principle of Facebook or any other social network, but with an emphasis on learning the language.

Edited by hepe
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