How to learn Spanish?

Nancy David

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"Hello all, I was wondering what is the best and fastest way to learn Spanish ... just moved here and completely overwhelmed, people speak very fast and instead of speaking slower they speak louder ... I am not deaf I just don't understand you. Any suggestion?
 

antipodean

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Firstly, it’s good to remind oneself that it is not going to happen overnight. The speed it takes will depend on the effort you put in.

Take Argentine Spanish classes. Depends if you learn better in a group (try a school) or individually (try a private teacher)

Try to watch as much local language content as possible. Personally it helped to watch the new shows here daily without any subtitles to get an idea of how people speak and how fast they speak naturally in conversation. Once you learn the rhythm it suddenly sounds crystal clear (well 95%ish of the time...there are some sloppy speakers out there like anywhere)

The Spanish here is really quite different to the Spanish elsewhere. Having lived in other Spanish speaking countries in the past, it took me a while to get accustomed to here - not just slang and vocabulary but also the grammar and form in which people speak here can easily throw you off.

Good luck.
 

Iznogud

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While watching TV is the best ticket short of direct human interaction, it gives you visual clues of what is going on, I'd suggest you add Radio to the mix.
It can run in the background but will not require your full attention.

Immersion is the key but just like any infant in the world, we are used to acquire vocabulary FIRST by listening. Speaking comes last and it's a leap of faith.

Keep in mind that language should be a means to an end, this way you'll deal with frustration in a more positive way. It's just an obstacle and not the end of the road. Best way, find a subject you like and have some previous knowledge (not completely clueless) and follow it in spanish. Be it world exploration, tourism, cooking, etc and find a TV program/channel to follow. This will create associations between your existing vocabulary and the matching words in spanish. You'll be familiar with some parts of the puzzle.

Repeat out loud what you hear. Regardless if you understand it or not.

Make friends. They are the most interesting and practical way to discover argie castilian.

Use your different memories. Viewing, listening, repeating, etc. are different type memories that add up in your learning experience.



Iz
 
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Nancy David

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Firstly, it’s good to remind oneself that it is not going to happen overnight. The speed it takes will depend on the effort you put in.

Take Argentine Spanish classes. Depends if you learn better in a group (try a school) or individually (try a private teacher)

Try to watch as much local language content as possible. Personally it helped to watch the new shows here daily without any subtitles to get an idea of how people speak and how fast they speak naturally in conversation. Once you learn the rhythm it suddenly sounds crystal clear (well 95%ish of the time...there are some sloppy speakers out there like anywhere)

The Spanish here is really quite different to the Spanish elsewhere. Having lived in other Spanish speaking countries in the past, it took me a while to get accustomed to here - not just slang and vocabulary but also the grammar and form in which people speak here can easily throw you off.

Good luck.
Thank you, sounds like a plan ... the news bit makes a lot of sense.
 

Nancy David

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While watching TV is the best ticket short of direct human interaction, it gives you visual clues of what is going on, I'd suggest you add Radio to the mix.
It can run in the background but will not require your full attention.

Immersion is the key but just like any infant in the world, we are used to acquire vocabulary FIRST by listening. Speaking comes last and it's a leap of faith.

Keep in mind that language should be a means to an end, this way you'll deal with frustration in a more positive way. It's just an obstacle and not the end of the road. Best way, find a subject you like and have some previous knowledge (not completely clueless) and follow it in spanish. Be it world exploration, tourism, cooking, etc and find a TV program/channel to follow. This will create associations between your existing vocabulary and the matching words in spanish. You'll be familiar with some parts of the puzzle.

Repeat out loud what you hear. Regardless if you understand it or not.

Make friends. They are the most interesting and practical way to discover argie castilian.

Use your different memories. Viewing, listening, repeating, etc. are different type memories that add up in your learning experience.



Iz
Yep will try that ... If only they had the stories with IZNOGUD and the calife it would be a little more fun the learn!
 

¡Sencillamente yo!

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"Hello all, I was wondering what is the best and fastest way to learn Spanish ... just moved here and completely overwhelmed, people speak very fast and instead of speaking slower they speak louder ... I am not deaf I just don't understand you. Any suggestion?
Congratulations,

You have just given yourself quite a challenge, because in my opinion, there is no more difficult dialect (if we can agree to call it that) than Rioplatense Spanish or Castellano as it is referred to locally.

Accent, intonation and speed are challenging on their own and more so as a group. Mix in using the voseo in place of the tuteo (Maybe not a big deal if you are not use to the tuteo? Seems you are learning the language from the ground up.) a whole bunch of lunfardo (slang) and all the words that mean something here, but nothing anywhere else, and BAM, you'll feel frustrated at times.

So how do you conquer this?

HEAD ON! DON'T HIDE FROM IT! Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Take the attitude if others have learned it, I can too!

But try to remember a few things a long the way:

Everyone is different and we all do the same things and accomplish the same things differently. Experiment and find what is comfortable and works for you. It's trial and error.

Accept the fact that now you are the foreigner, the outsider you have always observed wherever you are from. You know who I am talking about. That person who looked like an idiot among a group of native speakers, trying their absolute best to communicate while everyone looked on and made it even harder on that person to get the job done.

Now it's going to be you! You are going to make errors and people are not going to have patience, but keep pushing ahead. And at the very minimum, you will find a new respect for that person I just described. And over time you are going to put it all together, but in the process of being that person, take an "I DON'T GIVE A DAMN" attitude and be fearless to look the idiot who can't communicate. TRY TRY and TRY some more.

Think of children who are learning to talk. They have no shame, no fear and everyone adores them. Unlike an adult, it's all good. Why? Because they are cute and full of energy. Learn to smile and use animation to communicate. Non verbal communication can get a person very far and even further in conjunction with whatever you can muster with your voice.

Immerse yourself, TV, radio, shopping, friends etc ...

Sit down in your quite time and learn vocabulary. But not just any vocabulary as that is a waste of time!

Think about the categories of words YOU NEED TO KNOW!

For example, if you were an auto mechanic, it would be a good idea to learn every word you could for what you did and knew. Arrange things within groups. Verbs, nouns, adjectives etc and you will be amazed how many of the words from said category can be used for other categories.

Try to find a native speaker who can help you become aware of the word that ARGENTINES use. Not the same word that a MEXICAN uses. This will be a big headstart in not wasting time learning the wrong way of saying the word you need to acquire.

Review, review and review until you know your vocabulary front wards and backwards.

And my quintessential piece of advice, if you enjoy what you are doing (learning a new language) you will have enthusiasm to get you through tough times and it will never feel like work or something you have to do. Remember, languages are a work in progress for a lifetime. Wake up each day with the goal of improving one little bit more than yesterday. Over time, you will see progress, but it's not magic.

Lastly, focus more on knowing what you are saying more importantly than getting rid of your accent. I have high respect for that person who has an incredible command of a second language without a great native sound. But that's me.

GOOD LUCK!

(If you care to go further - PM me!)
 
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