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Old 03-29-2016, 08:55 PM
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Unhappy (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

I have the "INSTANT IMMERSION" Spanish Language Lessons software. Its a knock off of Rosetta Stone.

Been trying to teach myself the Spanish language because we will be spending about 40 days in Spain this summer. The areas were we plan to travel have a lot of foreign tourists so English should be reasonably common. But I like to at least have some passable phrases when I travel. And since this is an extended trip I am hoping for more than simple phrases.

Unfortunately at the pace at which I am (not) learning I am shocked that I ever learned English

FWIW, I don't blame the software, I blame my brain
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

It depends on what kind of brain you have.

I have a friend who went to work in Venezuela. Her Spanish was passable in 2 weeks and she was fluent in a month. Same thing when she went to work for a French oilfield service company. She was fluent in French inside a month. Picking up languages came so easily that it pissed me off. Her German, Italian and Russian aren't too bad either. She's great to travel with.

I, on the other hand, have a terrible time with languages. I studied Spanish in school. 25-years later I went to work in Venezuela and Peru and found out that the Castillian Spanish that I kinda learned in school had very little in common with what the people in South America spoke. After a couple of years I could understand and be understood ... some of the time.

I had one Venezuelan tell me that I spoke Spanish like a priest. What the heck does that mean??? My secretary said that my Spanish was good enough to get me fed, get me drunk and get my face slapped. I'm not sure what that meant either.

The breakthrough comes when you stop translating from English to Spanish in your head and start to think in Spanish.

Bob, you have many talents, learning languages may not be one of them. After 20-years of not speaking Spanish I can hardly order something to eat at Taco Bell. It comes so hard and goes so easily.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

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Originally Posted by EastTexFrank View Post
It depends on what kind of brain you have.
DEFECTIVE?


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. . . the Castillian Spanish that I kinda learned in school had very little in common with what the people in South America spoke.
That is problem #2.

The computer based Spanish classes are all LATIN AMERICAN based programs, not the Castilian Spanish spoken in Spain. I looked for a Castilian Spanish class, could only find 1 of them and it was older software, not sure if it would actually work. I had problems with some older Rosetta Stone (would not run at all on the new Mac OS X) and some older Instant Immersion (only parts would run) But honestly I don't see that as TOO MUCH of a problem. I'm not looking to be fluent, but I'd like to be able to ask for simple directions if I get lost, manage to get some Ibuprofen at a pharmacy, etc.

My wife found an on-line Spanish course, free from our local library. We were using it in the car yesterday, it is all verbal, no visual cues. I kept getting "lost" in in the language during that lesson. The software from Rosetta Stone and Instant Immersion use both Audio & Visual learning cues. Much more to my learning style. So my new version of Instant Immersion seems like my only hope.



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Bob, you have many talents, learning languages may not be one of them. ...
Stating the obvious
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

There's also an app for your smart phone where you say what you want in English and it translates it in to your language of choice. It displays the phrase on the screen and also gives a verbal prompt. It's basically a phrase book for your phone ... and it's free. There are no doubt better ones than the one I have but if all you want are the basics, it'll get you there.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

Well my problem seems to be that I keep thinking in GERMAN while trying to learn SPANISH.

The program I am using shows a photo of something, has a speaker say it, and also has the English and Spanish word for the thing on the screen. It runs you through "games" and I will see the picture, think of the word in German and wonder what the hell it is in Spanish.

Bizarre thing is that the last German class I took was my Freshman year in College in 1978. WFT is wrong with my brain
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

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Originally Posted by EastTexFrank View Post
There's also an app for your smart phone where you say what you want in English and it translates it in to your language of choice....
Somethings just don't translate well, there was a reason the Chevy NOVAS were not popular south of the border.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

Every time I try to learn Spanish my high school & community college German keeps popping in my head. I guess it's because it's in the same part of my brain. Most people here can speak some "Spanglish."
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

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Every time I try to learn Spanish my high school & community college German keeps popping in my head. I guess it's because it's in the same part of my brain. Most people here can speak some "Spanglish."
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a dysfunctional brain.

I've been to Spain before, always got by with some simple words and never needed to carry on a conversation. But as we will be in some small towns I am hoping to at least learn a little more. Perhaps a goal of speaking a phrase or two is beyond my simple mind? So I'm hoping to at least pick up more vocabulary words to muddle through.

Honestly I'm really trying. Honestly I feel like a total idiot.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

Bob, you're doomed.

Use the smartphone translation app and just go with it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: (trying) to learn Spanish with computer program

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastTexFrank View Post
Bob, you're doomed.
I believe we have already established that point.

However, I am going to keep on trying anyway.



Quote:
Use the smartphone translation app and just go with it.
Downloaded and installed that today!
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- Ayn Rand
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