Joined 1341 days ago
1 posts - 1 votes
Message 1 of 324 July 2015 at 9:50pm | IP Logged
Hi all, I am new to the forum.
Basically I would like some advice on my path to learn Spanish. I am completely new at the language and
only speak English.
I have michel Thomas, pimsleur and Rosetta stone levels 1-5 with the audio companions.
I would like to know which order I should complete these in, and roughly how long it would take to become
fluent in the language. I am willing to spend an hour every night practising.
Also any tips are more than welcome!
Edited by Brucey2343 on 24 July 2015 at 9:51pm
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Joined 2939 days ago
3277 posts - 6777 votes
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian
Message 2 of 324 July 2015 at 10:58pm | IP Logged
Well, these tools only won't take you that far. Michel Thomas and Pimsleur both have got a very good reputation for teaching the real basics but you need much more. RS doesn't have much of a reputation, you could have had tons of more useful resources for the money (unless you got it for free, people working for some companies do).
How long will your path be is not that simple question. Do you have any background in any language, especially Spanish? "Fluent" is as well a word people use to describe various things. With good resources and dedication, you can get by on a holiday after just a few weeks of studying. But to get really good, speak about whatever you want in a way that wouldn't be hard for any natives you talk to, that usually takes a few years.
I'd recommend doing Pimsleur or MT first, whichever you prefer (I personally like better Pimsleur but I tried it for another language). Than RS, if you want to use it basically as a flashcard program, aside of something of better quality. Various members of this community have been very successful with Assimil, Teach Yourself, FSI and many other courses. A great complment to anything is Gramatica de uso del espanol series and there are tons of podcasts and such things on the internet. On your path to "fluency" you are extremely likely to need some books, movies, tv series and such things, your resources are not gonna take you that far.
However, it is a path well worth taking, I am not trying to scare you off ;-) Spanish is an awesome language with tons of fun to be had.
And welcome to the forums by the way. We are in a kind of a weird situation right now. After repeated problems with the forum, we are now in the middle of what appears to be transition from this domain to how-to-learn-any-language.org and you are welcome to both.
You might be interested in logs of various Spanish learners and you might like to make your own either here, or rather on the new forum, to receive more advice and encouragement on your path and to document your learning.
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Joined 1786 days ago
239 posts - 327 votes
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Swedish, Esperanto
Message 3 of 325 July 2015 at 4:13am | IP Logged
I will chime in, and encourage you to start making use of native materials as soon as possible. Different people can take in different amounts before the native material becomes tiring and loses it's appeal. For example, Cavesa's German is undoubtedly better than mine, with a stronger base. However, I started messing about with native materials right from the beginning of my journey because it was the best way for me to get motivated, and also because I have a very high tolerance of not understanding what I'm reading/watching/listening to.
I'd say the best way for you to incorporate native materials is to start listening to Spanish music. Listen to it while doing other things, to get you more used to the language, but also listen to the songs you like a bit more intensively. Look up the lyrics, see if you can find a translation or just run them through Google Translate. Perhaps learn to sing along. It's a really fun way to learn in a language, and I'm sure you'll start coming across some of the words you learn in your more formal, course-based studies. If you feel that you want more than songs, perhaps try to find a simple cartoon for kids or a news channel with slow news. Don't be discouraged if you can't immediately understand as that takes time, as Cavesa said. The most important thing is laying the groundwork. Being able to pick out a few words you have encountered before actually feels great, and coming across words in new contexts helps you remember them better.
Iguanamon wrote a very interesting post on this called The Multitrack Approach which I strongly encourage you to read.
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