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Language Software and Websites


Talae
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I know this is only slightly related, but I took 4 years of French and 1 month of immersion Spanish in Guatemala, and my Spanish is leaps and bounds better than my French.  the language gurus I talk to don't seem to like Rosetta Stone, but I have no personal info to share.  If you ever have the opportunity to do and immersion program, they are well worth the time and cost.

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A full set (levels 1-5) is $230 on sale, normally $500, so it's a pretty decent savings.

The language teachers I know are not fans because of how it teaches language acquisition.  But if you are looking for a quick and effective way to become passable with the language it's not a bad means.  It's designed around second+ language acquisition.

 

Also, make sure you get the right kind of Spanish.  Rosetta Stone has Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Latin America).

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I'd go with Latin America, it's more useful to us here, there are far more LA Spanish speakers than old Spanish (with the lisp for the s). I'm taking a conversational Spanish class currently :)

 

Check out your library, too. Our library offers free online language training with your library card. We used to have Mango, currently Transparent Language (I don't negotiate those deals, no idea why it changed).

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This is not mandatory by any means. Living in Arizona, it would be beneficial to know more Spanish than I do. I had many colleagues and students in previous years that I could practice with during non-teaching time. This new school makes me unsure of thst due to the population, but I have not specifically asked.

 

I am just torn on the cost. 

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I have never heard anything wildly positive about Rosetta stone except the price.

I use "Duolingo" online and it is free.

34 hours of usage is equal to a semester of college language.

I am 90 days short of completion of my Norwegian course..(yes, I can speak, hear, spell, and think in the language).

Next up will be Spanish.

My brother is five months into his German course.

There is an explanation on how the program works.

Jay

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If you go to livelingua.com, you can find lots of free language courses that were developed by the government, one of which is Spanish.  This is totally free, as we paid for it with our tax dollars.  My issue with Rosetta Stone, besides the exaggerated cost, is that it is very generic and not at all culturally tailored for individual languages.  If I understand correctly, there is also no explanation at all of grammar, which Rosetta touts as a "natural" method, but for adult learners it's not always enough to work on instinct alone.

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Du er ikke dum.

You just need to get through the basics, and then you will slowly add to your vocabulary, and everything else you need.

It really is very intuitive. 

Be aware though, there are some things in any language that DO NOT make sense in another.

Jay

Edited by Jasonator
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I picked Italian. In normal worlds, it's probably not super useful. That said, I work for an Italian company whose biggest profit centers are in my home office, so I feel like I'll get some immersion and (maybe) some career boosts. Either way, "io mangio zuchhero" is the most false sentence I've ever gotten right.

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I have the Latin American Spanish and I think it's fantastic. I took 3 years of spanish in high school, so the first level was pretty much a review. 

Fair warning, you have to actually try to learn it. I found myself half paying attention and using context clues instead of learning when I got tired, so that's a problem. I live in southern Texas, and it hasn't had a lot of words that my friends that are native TexMex speakers have laughed at me for using. :)

Overall, I say it's definitely a worthwhile experience. You also get a free period of time where you can converse with one of their native speakers on some programs. 

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Our karate instructor used it for a while - said it was like the Time Life music - "oh, you need this update - $25, oh, you need that update -$25, and so on..." he had to get rid of it because they were charging him every other month or more because he travels a lot and couldn't always cancel an update.

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I picked Italian. In normal worlds, it's probably not super useful. That said, I work for an Italian company whose biggest profit centers are in my home office, so I feel like I'll get some immersion and (maybe) some career boosts. Either way, "io mangio zuchhero" is the most false sentence I've ever gotten right.

This got me intrigued. My own company overlords are Brazilian, so maybe a bit of Portuguese wouldn't hurt.

 

Though I'd be more interested in Japanese and Chinese, Duolingo doesn't offer them (...yet).

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