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  #1  
Old 6 Feb 2006
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Learning spanish

Another great adventure is over, and it's back to normality until next december, when i plan to fly back to Mexico and continue south. I've made a commitment to myself to learn spanish, or at least a reasonable faxsimile of it before i leave. My problem is my work scedule doesn't allow me the time for classes. Can anyone out there recomend a good software class i can use on my computer and laptop. Has anyone out there tried this successfully?
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  #2  
Old 6 Feb 2006
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Just a small suggestion, If you are like me and spend loads of time on the net,,,
download and install the Google toolbar!
here you have an option of word translation. where the toolbar will automatically translate the word your mouse is pointing to.
I use this extensively for improving my french vocabulary.
Regards,
Red Bull
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  #3  
Old 6 Feb 2006
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Wow! I've had the google toolbar up for ages and didn't know it did that. Thanks Red Bull, that's gonna help me a lot!
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  #4  
Old 6 Feb 2006
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Hey Gringo!

I just had to say "Hey Gringo"! Remember those old cowboy movies where the bandidos yelled "Hey Gringo!"?

I think your advice is damn good and I'm going to take it. Speaking Spanish, at least a little, will change the complexion of the trip! Your method of learning sounds right on!

Mike

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  #5  
Old 7 Feb 2006
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Have you tried to rent DVD movies in spanish with english subtitles?
Just to excrecise your ear?
My wife came with me from germany to argentina,and she learned listening TV and radio.In less then 4 month.....habla como una parlanchina sin parar hombre!
Bye
KH

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Old 7 Feb 2006
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I've been locked into a Spanish course for the past week and a bit, here in Bariloche (Argentina) and it's damned hard work I'm afraid. My Brain hurts. I've had a series of recordings on my I-pod by Michel Thomas for ages, which are pretty good, but I found that I get lazy and would prefer listening to music. (I tended to fall asleep listening to ol' Michel's dulcet tones anyway)
I can't help thinking that the discipline and support/practise of a class has to be beneficial. But I still can't hold a conversation! Let's see how I shape up at the end of three weeks.

Grant

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Old 9 Feb 2006
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Thanx for the info guys. Gringo, i looked into the Pinsleur meathod and it looks like a good choice. E-bay seems to have the best deal, next paycheque i think i'll go shopping.
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  #8  
Old 9 Feb 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Ron:
Thanx for the info guys. Gringo, i looked into the Pinsleur meathod and it looks like a good choice. E-bay seems to have the best deal, next paycheque i think i'll go shopping.
*cough* bittorent *cough*
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  #9  
Old 9 Feb 2006
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Mr Ron and anybody else with "ganas"
If you are in the usa or another country that has latin american immigrants, and want to learn spanish, and if you have the time you might consider joining a literacy program. For me this, in addition to the Berlitz cd set, was great. My town had one that paired volunteers willing to teach english to immigrants wishing to learn english. This enabled me to make friends with spanish speaking people and arrange to trade english classes for spanish classes. The program gave me a bit of training and paired me with students. This way I have made some great friends. Some of the best friends i have in this world. When i did travel to Mexico i was able to visit my friends friends and relatives, delievering letters, photos, news from up north.. I was warmly recieved and feel honored to have expierienced the hospitality and warmth of my friends familys. The time commitment was not that great ( one 2 hour class per week) and what i recieved back was way greater than what i contributed...if your town does not have a literacy program, you could start one, you could contact churches, you could talk to local businesses.. etc etc...to find a student. .as far as training, you can go online, or pick up an learn english course such as interchange by cambridge or,, what most people need is to just practice conversation...also i am available to talk to about any of this if that will help.. my email is my handle plus 2000.yahoo.com

ps.. it was nice meeting you Mr Ron on that busy street Isabel La Catolica, DF , even if it was by chance and for only a few minutes..you inspired me to unpark my bike and i have been getting quite a few nice trips in.

wyomex
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  #10  
Old 10 Feb 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by wyomex:

ps.. it was nice meeting you Mr Ron on that busy street Isabel La Catolica, DF , even if it was by chance and for only a few minutes..you inspired me to unpark my bike and i have been getting quite a few nice trips in.

wyomex
...Likewise! Hope you had an eventful trip. I left my bike in Zacatecas and will be returning in Dec. for Panama. Good advice too.
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  #11  
Old 10 Feb 2006
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*cough* bittorent *cough*[/B][/QUOTE]

...??!?
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  #12  
Old 10 Feb 2006
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Quote:
<font face="" size="2">...??!?</font>
Bittorrent is a file sharing protocol. If one were so inclined, one could use it to download the Pimsleur material without paying for it. Not that I would encourage such immoral activities.

However, it is useful info for those of us who cannot afford to blow 200 clams on a set of language tapes.
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  #13  
Old 10 Feb 2006
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A variation on WYOMEX's reference to litteracy classes is foreign students at university. Some universities here in Oz have programs which match you with a student from your target country...you help them with English and they help you with thier native language.

Flying Gringo I did 4 years of Vietnamese language study at university, which included correct and formal pronunciation, however, our classes also included "common" speach, and our examiner's idea of fluency was being able to be understood in the street by the locals, and if that meant poor grammar and regional accents, then so be it. Indeed, ordinary street language is often best for travel as you are more likely to be speaking to ordinary people in the street. A practical example...in one instance I very nearly stepped on a snake because my "correct" Vietnaese I did not recognise the local/street warning.

At the end of the day, the idea is to communicate.

John

Just read my own post.....where is the spell check? lol

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[This message has been edited by BTO APAW (edited 10 February 2006).]

[This message has been edited by BTO APAW (edited 10 February 2006).]
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Old 13 Feb 2006
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...wow! This post has received some interesting responces, and i decided to let it play out before reply. Gringo, your advice is sound, and risking a verbal backlash, i have to agree with your reasoning. While travelling in Thailand for three months, i considered teaching english. I soon discovered that i neither had the qualifacations or the proper language skills (anyone who recognises my posts can see that!) to be a good english teacher. I could teach people how to communicate, but not eloquently. I've travelled to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and twice to Mexico over the past six years. In that time, my spanish can only get me a hotel and order food. I had to see a doctor in SanCristobal de le Casas, and suffered a complete lack of comunication, without a clue what had been prescribed to me. Learning from a student, friend or girlfriend i think would be acceptable, but i would prefer the next level of communicating. Having said this, i'm not sure i agree with your comment on being looked down upon by the locals, but you seem to be quite experienced in this matter, so i'll take your word for it with a grain of salt
I'm getting the Pimsleur 1 today, internet download. Are there any important books included that i'll be missing?
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  #15  
Old 13 Feb 2006
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If you want people to listen to you, what you say is as important as how you speak it.
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