Need to Learn Conversational Spanish

I’ve recently had a very compelling reason to learn conversational Spanish. When I was in grad school, I was able to gain a reading knowledge of Latin and German just by hitting the books, but I don’t think that will be possible here - I need to learn more than simple past and future with 1st and 3rd person singular. I can’t walk around with a cheat sheet of irregular verbs and a dictionary. So, I was trying to think about some other options.

I don’t need to learn quickly, as I’m not going on a business trip, and the person I am learning for already speaks fluent english, so I have a crutch there. I was considering…

  • I was looking at the Pimsleur stuff, but I’m lucky enough to only have a 7 minute commute to work, so I wouldn’t really be able to learn in the car. I’d probably have to dedicate a couple of hours a night. I understand gaining vocab this way, but can you really learn the rules of grammar via audio?

  • There are, of course, a ton of books on Amazon on this. But I don’t really need to reproduce an entire high school curriculum for this. I think I can learn a little faster than the average 15 year old - or at least I hope so - so I’m willing to tackle a more demanding work.

  • I’m guessing the community college route may be the best, but I’m not relishing the thought of 2 hour courses twice a night for 12 weeks.

  • Finally, I really enjoy casual word games like ZamBeeZee or Bookworm Deluxe and thought a Spanish equivalent would be a cool way to build vocabulary, so any thoughts there would be appreciated.

Kind of a strange topic, I know, but this board is full of helpfully strange people. Thanks.

Unfortunately, you’re wrong about picking the language up faster than a kid. It’s easier for kid brains to learn new languages than adult brains.

Books, tapes, and classes are all ok for memorizing vocabularly and grammar, but nothing really helps as much as full immersion. I improved my spanish more over 2 months working on a farm where there was only one other native english speaker than in 3 years of taking classes.

Does she know you’re in love with her?

Yeah, languages are easier for kids, but as an adult, you might be more focused. Honestly, if you could do it, your best bet would be to go to Mexico and immerse yourself. Many colleges have immersion classes though, where you get an intense training in conversational language in like 6 weeks…usually summer classes. I haven’t done one, but it’s supposed to be great.

Agreed, necesitas estar en una comunidad en que el idioma se hable bastante para aprender rapido. Ahora, si no hay prisa… I had a canadian girlfriend and what we would do is, she would speak almost only in english and french when we were together. Made me pick it up really fast.

Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of. I don’t really have this option. Juan has some interesting advice I might try. Thanks.

I recommend the Rosetta Stone software, if you can afford it. It uses the immersion method and it kicks ass. At first, it felt like I was just learning a bunch of unrelated phrases. “the woman and the boy boarded the airplane? WTF?”, but you’ll find yourself recalling those same words out of context with ease.

como se dice “boarded?”

Pimsleur stuff works great. I’ve done it for Russian and Spanish, and it worked great for both to get a basic understanding of the language.

The Russian stuff in particular was fun as hell, because by the 12 or 13th part your were picking up chicks in some very funny scenarios.


la mujer y el chico abordaron el aeroplano

Only, “el avion” sounds more natural than “el aeroplano”. The last one we use most for ancient looking planes. Could be different in other countries of course.

I am trying to get some of that Pimsleur stuff for Japanese. Now THAT is a language that seems to me gonna be difficult to pick up. I have heard that it works very nicely. Buena onda.

EDIT> here’s an Idea for Mr. Preston. Get some games in spanish! that way you’d be having fun, must of the stuff said in game would make some kind of sense, and it is hilarious. For example, quoted from THE THING: “Joder tio, que me estoy congelando el culo!”

The whole thing starts with you picking up a chick!

Lesson one. Imagine an American man sitting next to a Russian woman on a bus in St. Petersburg. He wants to start a conversation so he says “Excuse me”. Izvinitchye.

mi espanol is muy malo, pero puedo decir el importante palabras, como…

mas cervaza por favor! Donde esta el bano? y Yo no quiero ver el burro!

ja! those ARE very important things to be able to say! “more beer” is, of course, mandatory. “where is the bathroom” can really help in an emergency and “I don’t want to see the donkey” maybe a life saver, depends on what crowd you are hanging with.

And yes, my desire to learn japanese was born out of meeting a girl.

Yo a ce problemo que mi brain comprende que tout los mots foreign sunt interchangable. It’s that whole problem where if I can’t remember the correct word, a similar foreign equivalent will sometimes get subbed-in on the fly.

  • Alan

I want to know the very compelling reason. As if I didn’t already. Jim, you sly dog.

A cheap and inferior alternative to full immersion might be to watch lots of Telemundo.

But that has secondary effects: your brains rots, dies and you become a Telenovela watching souless zombie thing. A spanish speaking one.

I think Sabado Gigante is the best thing on television and I don’t understand a word of it.

And that right there explains why.