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Learning Spanish (To Understand It)

  Tags: Spanish
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
12 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Rozzie
Senior Member
United States
Joined 1403 days ago

136 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 12
29 July 2015 at 12:13am | IP Logged 
Hello,

I'm new and I wanted to explain my language story. I have been trying to learn Spanish on and
off since 1998 and I didn't have success with it until last December when I went back to
Duolingo. I sign up for it in 2012 and did a little bit of Spanish then forgot about it. Then I
rediscovered it last December. I have been sticking with it ever since until I came across this
website four days ago and Duolingo has become my just do my lesson then go to HTLAL site.
Before Duolingo I have tried many things to learn Spanish I even watch Spanish Soap Opera's!
Nothing when I started my journey I had my sister buy me a Spanish program and I don't remember
what the name of it was but the only thing I got out of it was how to say Husband and Wife
nothing more nothing less. Then five years ago I bought another Spanish program Berlitz. I stop
doing that and then three years ago I was doing skype and found someone who would help me and
he was starting a Spanish program so I told him that I would try it out. I didn't like how it
was set up so I stopped doing that. That is when I discover Duolingo and did that for a hot
second. I have jump all around trying to learn Spanish and nothing seems to really catch my
eye.
I even had gotten my favorite movie Selena in Spanish to help then I lost it and rebought again
and when I put it in Spanish I forgot everything :( But not to worry I have been listening to
Spanish music for twenty-one years. Then about six years ago my brother in law ask why don't I
just learn the Spanish language so I understood what I was watching (at the time I was watching
a Spanish soap opera and the channel Mun2 has English Translation right on the screen) I told
him because they already had the translation in front of me.
But then December of last year roll around and I told myself that I was going to learn this
language if it kills me (which it still might do). That when I redid my Duolingo Spanish tree.
Fast forward to four days ago I found this site and I downloaded Anki flashcards this past
weekend and found a site with 1,000 most common Spanish words and started putting the words
into Anki I only did the first 100 words but I broke it up into 25 words each deck. I have been
working with the first deck since yesterday.
My goal is to understand Spanish written and spoken what else can I do to improve what I have
already started?
1 person has voted this message useful



Elenia
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
lilyonlife.blog
Joined 1847 days ago

239 posts - 327 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Swedish, Esperanto

 
 Message 2 of 12
29 July 2015 at 12:41pm | IP Logged 
I don't think Duolingo and Anki alone will get you to your goal, although they are both very useful supplements. I have never studied Spanish, but many other users who have recommend
'Destinos', which I believe is a TV series designed for learners. Starting with that will get you closer to your goal.

I have also heard that FSI Spanish is good. FSI is a course designed by the US government to train their ambassadors. These resources are old, but they are freely available and very good.
They can be boring, but I think a little boredom is worth it for how effective they are. But they are geared towards being able to speak (and understand).

What you've posted shows that you've focused mostly on audio input. Have you tried reading? If you're comfortable with doing so, start with a parallel text or graded reader, then move on to
children's books. You will be able to make you way up quite quickly. I find rereading things very useful in learning new vocabulary, but if you don't like that, it helps to find books by
the same author or in a series as you are more like to encounter the same time of vocabulary. Also try reading the logs of other members who have learnt Spanish, or who are currently
learning Spanish.
2 persons have voted this message useful



EnglishEagle
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2566 days ago

140 posts - 157 votes 
Studies: English*, German

 
 Message 3 of 12
29 July 2015 at 2:46pm | IP Logged 
I have heard that Destinos is good as well as Assimil for Spanish, Teach Yourself Spanish (Complete) and FSI.
Even though I am not learning Spanish I have bought the 'Essential Spanish Grammar' book by Dover as well
as 'Essential German Grammar' book. They are books which go over the basics of the grammar, and I really
like them and they are cheap! For my German I am currently using LingQ and I am going through some basic
German books which are designed for beginners. Any phrases/sentences/words I find useful I put them into
Anki and then review them. I am not progressing as fast as I like (probably because I'm impatient), but it
seems to be reasonably effective.
1 person has voted this message useful



garyb
Triglot
Senior Member
ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3198 days ago

1468 posts - 2411 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 4 of 12
29 July 2015 at 3:30pm | IP Logged 
Well, the good thing is that understanding is a hell of a lot easier than production, so if your goal is just to understand then you have a lot less work than if you were wanting to be able to speak and write too.

I found Destinos and Assimil very useful. They give you a decent base for native materials, which you can then use to further improve your comprehension. I've heard good things about FSI Spanish but I believe it's more geared towards speaking, so if you just need to understand it might not be the best use of your time. But someone who's actually used it might be able to give clearer ideas.
1 person has voted this message useful



James29
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3366 days ago

1265 posts - 2112 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French

 
 Message 5 of 12
29 July 2015 at 3:45pm | IP Logged 
I think you need to have a good foundation of the structure and grammar of the language. I think your long term goals will be best met if you are able to fully understand and use (produce) the language up to a basic intermediate level. I think that would be much more efficient than just focusing on comprehending/passive use of the language. My suggestion is to get a good/solid foundational base in the language by studying it seriously with courses like Michel Thomas Advanced, Assimil, FSI, etc and then, once you have obtained a solid B1-ish level, focus on your goal of comprehension. I think that will be the most efficient way to obtain your long-term goals.
2 persons have voted this message useful



ScottScheule
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
scheule.blogspot.com
Joined 3219 days ago

646 posts - 1177 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Latin, Hungarian, Biblical Hebrew, Old English, Russian, Swedish, German, Italian, French

 
 Message 6 of 12
29 July 2015 at 6:23pm | IP Logged 
Rozzie wrote:
That when I redid my Duolingo Spanish tree. Fast forward to four days ago I found this site and I downloaded Anki flashcards this past weekend and found a site with 1,000 most common Spanish words and started putting the words into Anki I only did the first 100 words but I broke it up into 25 words each deck. I have been
working with the first deck since yesterday. My goal is to understand Spanish written and spoken what else can I do to improve what I have already started?


Generally, it's considered bad to break up things into different decks as you've done. You'll start to learn which words are in which deck, and they may become unduly easy because of that. Like, if the card is duck, you might think: "I think the word is either pato or oso, but I know oso is in Deck 3 and this is Deck 2, so it must be pato." Well, in real life, you don't get that bit of help when trying to remember something, so you shouldn't in flashcards either. Is there a reason you did so and didn't just keep all the words in the same deck?
1 person has voted this message useful



Rozzie
Senior Member
United States
Joined 1403 days ago

136 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 7 of 12
29 July 2015 at 7:18pm | IP Logged 
ScottScheule wrote:
Rozzie wrote:
That when I redid my Duolingo Spanish tree. Fast forward
to four days ago I found this site and I downloaded Anki flashcards this past weekend and found
a site with 1,000 most common Spanish words and started putting the words into Anki I only did
the first 100 words but I broke it up into 25 words each deck. I have been
working with the first deck since yesterday. My goal is to understand Spanish written and
spoken what else can I do to improve what I have already started?


Generally, it's considered bad to break up things into different decks as you've done. You'll
start to learn which words are in which deck, and they may become unduly easy because of that.
Like, if the card is duck, you might think: "I think the word is either pato or oso, but I know
oso is in Deck 3 and this is Deck 2, so it must be pato." Well, in real life, you don't get
that bit of help when trying to remember something, so you shouldn't in flashcards either. Is
there a reason you did so and didn't just keep all the words in the same deck?


I think that trying to get a 1,000 words into my head at one time is a lot so I thought it
would be easier to break it up so it's not so overwhelming.
1 person has voted this message useful



ScottScheule
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
scheule.blogspot.com
Joined 3219 days ago

646 posts - 1177 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Latin, Hungarian, Biblical Hebrew, Old English, Russian, Swedish, German, Italian, French

 
 Message 8 of 12
29 July 2015 at 8:07pm | IP Logged 
Hmm. I'm not sure I understand. Do you realize you can set Anki to only give you a certain amount of new cards per day? So you don't have to face the 1000 at once.


1 person has voted this message useful



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