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Learning some basic Spanish on the cheap.

MiserableMirthMiserableMirth Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I want to try and learn enough Spanish to test into a 2nd year class at college. I took French in high school, and was really good at it. I hear the structure is similar so I think with some dedication I can learn enough on my own. The reason I came here is because I was hoping someone would know the best and cheapest way to do this.

Also, I'm not exactly sure all the concepts that are taught in first year. I'm pretty sure I will need to have a understanding of past, present, and future tenses, but is it usually more than that?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

MiserableMirth on

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    LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I once had to go to Spain to speak at a conference. I speak french, but beyond the "Dos cervecas, por favor" or "uno vino tinto, por favor" I couldn't speak any Spanish. I knew I was going to be simultaneously translated into Spanish and Basque, but I wanted to be able to speak some Spanish, both for the conference, and for socialising.

    The languages are very similar written down, but I can't do a Spanish accent at all; my French accent is OK. I went to my local library, and borrowed some conversational Spanish tapes and books. I learnt enough Spanish to open my speech (I was nervous, it helped, and I managed to get a joke in, too), but then had to switch back to English, cos I didn't have business Spanish.

    I only borrowed the books/tapes a couple of weeks prior to going, but it was enough to get me through. From what you want to do, it will probably take you longer, but, if as you say, you are good at French, you should manage it. Are there any Spanish speaking places where you live? One easy way to improve your command of a language is to have conversation lessons, they help massively with accent and vocabulary.

    Good luck with it.

    LewieP's Mummy on
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    W2W2 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Check out My Spanish Coach if you have a DS.

    It's obviously not a substitute for, y'know, actually being taught Spanish, but it's a bit of fun and not a bad way to brush up on some of the basics.

    W2 on
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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    First of all, French is not very similar to Spanish, I don't know why people think this way, in addition the phonetics is more complex than Spanish.

    Probably the cheapest way would be to purchase a used book such as Spanish the easy way, or a Traveller series. If you know someone at work or school from Latin America or Spain, you may ask him/her to help you practice, carry a small pocket book where you write down small lists of words for you to memorize, that way when you have the chance you can go over it again and again till you remember each word and its meaning.

    Keep in mind that there many differences between the Spanish spoken in places like Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain, such as the meaning of certain words or the use of Slang.

    I will try to talk to some of my English friends and see what method they used.

    Buena suerte chico.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I've used http://www.mangolanguages.com/ before for Japanese in a free sense and it is pretty good.

    I didn't read very much but it seems to have pay services now but I don't know much about them.

    MoSiAc on
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    OdinOwnsYeAllOdinOwnsYeAll Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I would be willing to tutor you via webcam for a nominal fee. First year Spanish is a cinch.

    I'm a college grad with a minor in Spanish.

    Otherwise, find someone you know who has taken advanced courses in Spanish and ask them to help you.

    OdinOwnsYeAll on
    [image]img84.imageshack.us/img84/7858/ubd7248ei3.png[/image]
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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I want to try and learn enough Spanish to test into a 2nd year class at college. I took French in high school, and was really good at it. I hear the structure is similar so I think with some dedication I can learn enough on my own. The reason I came here is because I was hoping someone would know the best and cheapest way to do this.

    Also, I'm not exactly sure all the concepts that are taught in first year. I'm pretty sure I will need to have a understanding of past, present, and future tenses, but is it usually more than that?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

    Find out what textbook they use for the Spanish I course, buy a previous edition of it for $.50 on half.com or amazon.com.

    Find one or two used (or buy new) learn spanish cd's.

    Just do the lessons in the workbook and load the tracks from the CDs onto your iPod.

    Also - if you want to practice there are a few online forums you can go to. Just google something like "learn spanish forum".

    I'm doing the same thing to CLEP test out of my college foreign language requirement.

    Speaker on
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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Hi,

    Going back to your original question, this is what I have been able to gather after talking with some people:

    Sitting down with a native speaker would be the cheapest way, you clearly said you want to learn the basics, so who knows, maybe you can meet someone as I had advised before. If you can befriend someone who is willing to practice with you and teach you things one at a time would be nice, just be frank from the beginning of what your intentions are.

    Now, another way to learn, but not so cheap, is by using the Rosetta Stone System, this method is based on an old formula: you memorize a word, its pronunciation, meaning and after some practice you listen to a recorded sentence, any chance for a scholarship to travel to Central America, or South America for 4 or six months as exchange student?, you would be exposed to the language, immersing yourself in the culture, but it could be risky and expensive.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
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    OdinOwnsYeAllOdinOwnsYeAll Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I wouldn't recommend learning from a native speaker unless they have some experience teaching Spanish.

    OdinOwnsYeAll on
    [image]img84.imageshack.us/img84/7858/ubd7248ei3.png[/image]
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    ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm a native speaker of Spanish and I have tutored at several schools and I'm in charge of translating documents for my department at my current job.

    There is no absolute best way to learn Spanish, be it basic or advanced. Some students learned faster seeing the actual exercises, that is to say, they prefer reading and writing it over hearing it. Others learned by speaking it and trying to hold conversations with my help. Whenever someone wanted to know how to say something, I'd work it out with them. It all depends on what format is best for you.

    Since you are going for "cheapest" then I recommend you pick up a Spanish newspaper or read up some news online in Spanish and piece together the words you know. The words or sentence structures you do not know you can look up in a Spanish-English dictionary (there are many online). That is the cheapest outside of taking lessons or teaching yourself via a program/book.

    Arikado on
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    MiserableMirthMiserableMirth Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Much appreciated. I did some calling around and managed to get in touch with an old friend who majored in Spanish. That will help me with the speaking aspects. Then I will probably use websites and used books from college for the rest.

    Thanks again.

    MiserableMirth on
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    Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Check out the free podcasts on iTunes
    There are lots
    Some of them are pretty good
    Just look in the iTunes store

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    poo
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