Which Language Software

Nov 24th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Original Poster
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Which Language Software

We want to learn Spanish. We know the best way to learn is an immersion school, but that is not an option at this point. Does anyone out there have experience with one of the language software packages? If so, please advise/recommend best/worst. Thanks!
Wm is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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I HIGHLY recommend Learning Like Crazy - Spoken Spanish. In my experience it's unusual for folks to learn much usable conversational Spanish from the hard core Spanish study sets - tough to be motivated enough for that stuff. This one is a listening/speaking practice program that my staff and I have found really motivating and productive. (But you're right, immersion programs are the way to go.) Check it out (you might have to copy and paste):

hopefulist is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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I have the best luck attending classes (at the community college or a language school). I know immersion would be even better. I have had absolutely zero luck learning on my own from tapes or books myself, especially if you are 100% beginner.
suze is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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I've had good luck polishing my very basic French and Spanish skills with the Berlitz software. Not too expensive, lot of tourist-friendly phrases. I can order a meal or a hotel room or ask prices or get basic directions ... simple stuff like that.

I have a hunch that most of the programs do OK *IF* you study diligently, but there's a tendency to get bored and not keep up with it, especially at first. I just couldn't get over the hump with Swahili for my Tanzania trips no matter how hard I tried.
Bill_H is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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What about Rosetta Stone?
Wm is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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IMHO a class is best, next best- Rosetta Stone.
Dude is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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I'd have to put an immersion program light years ahead of a class in the states, from my experience - great teacher, great text, studied hard, still not close to immersion.
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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I've tried Rosetta Stone for a couple of languages and haven't found them very useful. Granted, I was using them for difficult languages (Turkish and Arabic) - but I just didn't find them appealing.

I have had better luck with the following:

1) BBC Languages Suenos series - have a look at http://www.bbcactive.com/languages/spanish/22.asp (I have also used the second level French course, too.) Try Amazon if the BBC bookshop doesn't work.

2) The "Teach Yourself" series of books with CDs.

3) Pimsleur (pure audio).

As others have suggested, though, the best way to learn a language is through live teaching - at least at the start. If you can find a course nearby at a college or other school, it's worth it even if you only take 6-12 lessons. Once you have this kind of knowledge base, you can reinforce what you've learned and move forward using CDs, books, software, etc.

I speak French (conversant), some Spanish (intermediate) and have dabbled in Turkish, German and Arabic. I'm good at learning languages and the only systems that work for me involve some face-to-face teaching at the start.

frogoutofwater is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Well, thank you all for your well-thought-out responses. We do have an excellent community college here, but I'm unable to attend classes as frequently as required (the Conversational Spanish is a 3-unit class) so will explore the BBC software at this time.
Wm is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Hi Wm,

If I were you, I would still check out what the community college near you has to offer. The community college near me has online and TV courses for languages (and other subjects.) They also have a language library where you can go to listen to language tapes and record yourself speaking the language.

Good luck.
misterfuss is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Hi again Wm,

Another resource you can check out is youtube.


Take care.
misterfuss is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Yet one more suggestion...check out the selection of language tapes/cds at your local library. You can borrow them free of charge and find out which programs work for you and which ones don't.
misterfuss is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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My personal experience with Pimsleur, as regards Italian and French, have been most satisfactory.

I don't see why Spanish should be any different.

It will definitely not allow you to write like Cervants, but will undoubtedly enable you to survive.

One needs some discipline, though, to go through the full 90+ CD hours.
jfcarli is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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If you have a Pocket PC (also known as a Windows Mobile phone or PDA), be sure to take a look at MobiLearn Talking Phrasebooks (www.mobilearn.net). They allow you to carry a virtual tutor in your pocket. The MobiLearn Phrasebook software contains up to 2,000 essential expressions and terms in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, all spoken in a pure native voice. A big virtue of this format is that you always have it with you so you can use it when you're at leisure or when you need it urgently.
acg3 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 04:46 PM
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My favorite is Coffee Break Spanish on itunes, there are 80 lessons about 15 minutes each and they are free.

I also bought a cheap set of flash cards (1,000) that I keep by my bedside.

I have all of the Pimsluer tapes which are wonderful (although the 4th set really didn't teach me much). Most of what you learn is travel related.

I bought a 90 day subscription to Rosetta Stone. It was slow and at times boring but I really did retain quite a bit. They don't advertise the subscription but it really is much cheaper than buying the software.

Last, I watch Spanish soap operas and movies with the closed caption on....It's great listening practice and now I actually understand most of what's going on!!
adnil1962 is offline  
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