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Thread: higher learning

  1. #1
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    Default higher learning

    so i have wanted to learn another language for years now and new have. so i have been looking into spanish and i met a guy in mexico when i was there who spoke great spanish and he said he learned it through rosetta stone so i have been looking into it and heard nothing but great things, i just bought v4 lesson 1 to try it out does anybody have experience with it good or bad?

  2. #2
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    I've played with the spanish version at my schools library. It seemed good but I didn't invest anytime into it. My mother has a french copy at her home, she finds it useful and easy to use. Though she is trying to relearn and maintain her french rather then learning a brand new language.

  3. #3
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    I have heard nothing but good from those I know who have tried Rosetta Stone

  4. #4
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    yeah same here well i bought one lesson hope it was worth the $190 if i start posting is spanish then you will all know why lol

  5. #5
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    Speaking of spanish, have you seen that Volkswagon commercial about the guys stuck in a car for 13 hours listening to a spanish tape? I don't normally like commercials, but that one made me chuckle.

  6. #6
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    The rosetta stone software can be helpful but I think you really need a traditional textbook as well. The grammar just isn't that intuitive via Rosetta Stone

  7. #7
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    As someone who is multilingual and who has used language skill (fluent to a native level in few that I learned early in life, conversational in a few more, and basic in a number of others) in real international situations (68 countries thus far), I've learned that what you need most (and will be most useful) is conversational ability, the rest is polish/refining.

    Learning conversational language first (as we do our native language as a young child) is the easiest way to really grasp it. You can learn the reading/writing/conjugation later on.

    Look into the Pimsleur language CDs as this is an audio-only course (there are sets for extreme basics, conversational, and full verbal language) that use this conversational-first approach. My suggestion is to buy the conversational set (under $30) on eBay-- search ebay for Pimsleur and look for those sets with conversational in the name, it usually has ~8 CDs and around 16 lessons of 30mins each, which is actually the first 16 lessons of the full set. Think of it this way, buy the Pimsleur conversational set (~$22-30) or get it from the library and see if you learn well using this method. Worst case, you spent $30 and not $300 and you can easily make your $30 back on eBay if you don't like it and want to sell it.

    With the conversational set, you'll actually have a decent foundation and you learn it with proper accent. More than once I've used these CDs to learn before a trip and natives were surprised that I was able to pronounce things properly (and with their accent) rather than how most Americans (who learned it academically) would usually say it. A tip is to not listen to this in your car as you need to be able to focus. The lesson is only 30mins, but I'd suggest listening to it multiple times in a day until you really grasp every conversational response without issue. Then move on to the next lesson the next day-- you'll really be surprised how much you learn.

    Also, if you don't mind spending money for the sake of learning a language, look into the Rassias "Accelerated Language Programs" ( http://rassias.dartmouth.edu/programs/ ) where you essentially learn a language in 10 days. Expensive, but I've heard has exceptional results. They use a unique style of immersion, focus on conversation, but also incorporate writing, reading, cultural immersion, and so much else. Someday, I'd love to experience one of their ALPs.

    Another option is to look into language schools that are in your local area. Often, these are much less expensive than you think and have decent results. Of course, there are the Rosetta Stone courses everyone seems to love, but I've tried them and am not their biggest fan.
    Last edited by DBlair; 10-17-2011 at 10:35 PM.

  8. #8
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    hmm i heard alot about pimsleur alot of good things..and i know alot of basic spanish i took it way way back in high school and also my g/f is half mexican and at work alot of people are so i am around it alot and pick up alot. im working on my conversational spanish i just thought id start from the step one and go from there i only mention rosetta stone because i know of two people who used it and loved it but i dont know them very well just quick convo's.

    and that vw com cracks me up.... but i kind of impulse bought the first session so well see how it goes

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyguns View Post
    my g/f is half mexican and at work alot of people are so i am around it alot and pick up alot
    This.

    No matter what approach you use - Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, formal courses, one-on-one tutoring - the most important thing is to keep interacting with the language you're trying to learn. Nowadays this is really easy because you can get so much international media over the internet, free of charge. I'm working on German and love that I can get printed news from a variety of sources, German TV from NDR, German radio from hundreds of stations, and all free. It's helped my conversational German greatly, and so has finding a 'Stammtisch' (conversation table). I'm sure there's a Spanish equivalent of all of this, and in an area like Chicago you should have no trouble finding people to chat with you in Spanish.

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