I Want to Speak Spanish!!

Jan 5th, 2007, 11:33 PM
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I Want to Speak Spanish!!

Hola! I have been to Mexico a dozen or so times and spent a bit of time in Spain a few years ago. What little Spanish I know I learned in Mexico.

For Christmas my boyfriend said he will pay for a spanish class. Most of the classes in my area teach "Mexican" Spanish. Also, since I know a lot of basic stuff I am concerned that beginning Spanish will be too basic but intermediate Spanish may be too advanced.

I am planning a trip to Argentina towards the end of the year and I would love to be able to speak Castilian Spanish, at least a bit!

What are the best online courses or cd roms for learning Castilian Spanish at my own pace? I definitely want something that has audio and visual.

I have googled and found some samples that seem pretty good but your recommendations are greatly appreciated!


eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:38 PM
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BTW, I did a search on this forum and found a few suggestions but I am looking for others as well.

eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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What are the best online courses or cd roms for learning Castilian Spanish at my own pace? I definitely want something that has audio and visual.

I haven't tried multiple programs (ie, nothing to compare this to) but the Berlitz Spanish Premium CD is very good, a big improvement over the things available a few years ago.

In addition to the usual flash cards and 'movies' and dialogs there is a voice recognition feature where you play a word or phrase and then you repeat it back via a microphone and it shows you how well you pronounced it compared to the original.

I think it was $40 with a $10 rebate recently and at Fry's Electronics I saw it with a $35 rebate over Christmas, so a good deal.

Bill_H is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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"Mexican Spanish" is castellano and will work just fine anywhere in the Spanish speaking world. There are some vocabulary differences, for example some indigenous words have come into the langauge and vosotros is not commonly used as it is in Spain, but it is good castellano. I would recommend a good class with a qualified instructor over a taped course any day as it will afford you the opportunity to interact inthe langauge with the instructor and other students.
Dude is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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I think a class is the very best way to go. There is something about learning with a qualified teacher and other students that cannot be replicated using books, DVDs, computer programs (in my opinion) on your own.

It is better to repeat a beginning level than try to jump to one that is too advanced. Nothing wrong with reviewing the basics and getting a solid platform to work from.
suze is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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I've always described "beginning level" as being on a scale of, for example, 1-16. After my first round of homestay/study in Costa Rica, everyone at home (in their ignorant bliss) thought I should be fluent! One lady in particular made that comment, so I reminded her that I had only studied for 3 weeks. And she replied, "Oh! I thought you studied for 4 weeks!" I loved that!

But seriously, after 3 weeks of homestay and 5.5 hours of classwork per day (1.5 hour of it private), it seemed that I had climbed from "beginning beginner" to "mid-high beginner". And to me, that was good progress. I'm somewhere in the intermediate range now (middle area, I would guess). But fluency---YEARS! And I've heard it said that the accent is virtually impossible to obtain. . .I believe it!

Good luck in whatever you find and however you study. I think that acquiring a new language is a fantastic goal, and has given me personally a lot of pleasure. I have a friend from Costa Rica who is now living in Barcelona. Learning Castilian Spanish from his wife and her family. It has even been a bit challenging for him as a native Spanish speaker.
shillmac is offline  
Jan 12th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Thanks for the recommendation Bill.

I currently have the Pimsluer Spanish and it is great but fairly basic.

As for the recommendations to take an actual live class, that is not possible because my schedule varies from day to day depending on my clients needs.

I found what looks to be a good one at http://www.learnspanishtoday.com/

They sent me an email the other day and the total cost of the course is $89.95, which is comprable to an actual live course but will allow me to study at my own pace/schedule.

Has anyone used this course?

eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Hello everyone,

I don't pick up foreign languages easily so I've tried several different programs. Far and away the best I've used and certainly my primary method has been Rosetta Stone (http://www.rosettastone.com/en/?a=b). It is online (or you can by CD-ROMs), the program use pictures with text and graphic captions, along with spoken language. It offers Latin and Castilian Spanish programs as well as a shorter "Travelers'" program.

I think the annual subscription to the online program is pretty pricey. Fortunate it's available to me for free via my local libraries web site. If you like the program it would be worth checking with your library.

Buena suerte.

AntiguaRum is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Thanks Antigua.

I have heard good and bad about Rosetta but I know that is the case with every system.

What I have heard about the Rosetta Stone one is that you learn a lot of words but not how to use them in a sentence.

Did you find that to be the case?
eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Here's a link to site that reviews Spanish language programs; maybe there's something there that will help you:


Also, I find the reviews at amazon.com to be interesting. Keep us posted and let us know how you like whatever you pick. Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  

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