Spanish classes, how much do you actually learn?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Rollicon, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Señor Jordan Videos on YouTube will teach you more than you'll ever want to know. You can also cherry pick the level of language expertise you want to target. All free. Available 24/7. I think at last count he had a billion videos on Spanish.

    Just some examples from his entire arsenal:





    #21
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  2. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    I worked 100 or so miles north of the Mexico border and by necessity, picked up some Spanish. But when I go a few months without using it, I lose what little ability I had. A week or two in Mexico helps my Spanish go from non existent to possibly understandable. I certainly wouldn't bother with a class up there unless right before you leave because for me, language is a use it or lose it proposition. So I think your 1 week class while down there wouldn't be a bad thing as you'll be using (and thereby learning and retaining) Spanish way more than where you live. You'll also be picking up some of the local customs at the school and home you stay at which may well influence the helpfulness of other people you encounter. I've found that it's important to greet the person in their language (buenos dias, buenos tardes, or buenos noches) and then ask for forgiveness as my Spanish is bad and limited (Pardon, me Espanol is muy malo y muy pochito). Don't use my Spanish spelling BTW. Without the greeting and apology, people are not always as helpful. Besides the immediate practice you'll get in your class from your class in Mexico or Central America, you'll pick up little things like that. I personally don't think it's as important to work on conjugating verbs as it is to learn numbers, nouns, pronouns, and the infinitive tense of verbs. Learning to conjugate verbs will greatly limit the number of verbs you can learn and use to make your questions understood. Conjugating verbs is valuable but not the most important thing when you've only got a week.
    #22
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  3. GordonLightfoot

    GordonLightfoot McRib Master

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    All you need to know...
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  4. Rollicon

    Rollicon n00b

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    Bahaha! Awesome!
    #24
  5. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    My first solo trip I made up 5x7 cards with phrases and responses, numbers and such and had them laminated. Worked great to get done what was needed, but short on conversation. Hopefully you can expand from there. Buena suerte.
    #25
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  6. GordonLightfoot

    GordonLightfoot McRib Master

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    #26
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  7. GregDavidL

    GregDavidL Adventurer

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    And food. Learn the names of the foods. When you buy taquitos on the street corner, you can order pig's cheeks, throat, head meat, etc. If you are a gringo and order something they think is odd for you they will usually ask to make sure. I love cow tongue and most street vendors find that odd and will ask me if I'm sure. LOL
    #27
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  8. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin'

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    Best spanish lessons you can buy on the cheap. Learn by rote aural experience, just the way you did as a kid.


    http://learningspanishlikecrazy.com/
    #28
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    HA!:lol2
    OMG, she's cute as a "butterfly":-)
    I got "A"'s in English but not one, zero, nada, none of my teachers were anything like that butterfly girl!
    Looking back seemed to be the subject attracted what I'll call a "school Marm" type of older woman, overweight, no kids, big broach pin on a dress seemingly from another era, etc....
    In the 9th grade ~1957, when she had me memorizing Hamlet's Soliloquy on Life and Death- I should have been learning Spanish?:hmmmmm
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  10. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    First time I went (1976) I learned one phrase “como se dice eso en Espanol” Then just pointed and listened. I did learn numbers real quick. Yes please and thank you. Bathroom, beer, bed.
    #30
  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    If I ever get to where the Mexicans can understand that I want ice vs ice cream I'll be good...:lol2
    Cocoa vs. coconut ice cream gets me some too.
    Being polite always works.
    I suppose I "learned hillbilly" by rote aural experience? :roflThey make fun of my speech in Kansas. The danger here in Kentucky is that "putting on airs" is frowned upon. :-)

    2010, I was staying in this small hotel near the Mariposa Preserve in Michoacan and eating dinner. I was invited over to a table of guys who worked together at a local bus company owned by one of them. A relative nephew had started the hotel recently. It's across and down the road from the bigger, older mariposa hotels.
    They were doing their Thursday night boys out thing, eating/drinking their way to happyland. The bus company owner had recently traveled to Boston for English classes and I was his language practice. Another man, one of his managers spoke English well and was the go between for me (nearly zero Spanish) & some of them trying out English. It was a fun time and that guys Boston English was, lets say, interesting. I explained to him that in Boston I don't get understood well nor do I get much of what they're saying either.
    #31
  12. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    OMG, that is exactly my strategy as well! I grew up in Los Angeles, Spanish was part of my life in school and I was fairly conversational, until I (stupidly thinking I knew Spanish so why not switch) started taking French in 7th grade. I continued with French through college and I kind of blew-out my Spanish. Although my comprehension isn't bad (if I am spoken to slowly enough and without a lot of slang), when I go to reply it goes like this: I think in English what I want to say, then my brain translate it into French, then I try to translate it into Spanish, then I speak and it comes out as "Eng-Fren-ish" long after the person has given up on me responding; VERY frustrating! But I still get along fine and have a very enjoyable time just using Tuckers strategy.
    #32
  13. peterman

    peterman cop magnet

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    Johnny Drunkard suggested the DuoLingo program to me after the first trip to Baja. I try to practice it and expand my use every day. I have it as an app on my phone as well, and it is handy for killing time when waiting for something. I also have a google translator app,,english to spanish, and spanish to english,,type or speak into the phone and it is instant. Helps to check the results of what I think I have learned from duolingo. the duolingo program as mentioned will not help all that much with conversational spanish, but it will teach you basics and a good usable vocabulary, and you can plead for help from any vendor you deal with, gas, food or other.
    I can't wait to see the little lady who runs the store near playa coyote and try to speak with her again. The first year I saw her it was hilarious,,due to her good nature,, but it took several attempts and lots of time and jabbering back and forth to buy a six-pack of cold beer. By the end of it we were both laughing hard,,just silly.
    Johnny D. and Hells Alien laughed at me in the cafe,,,"you can't even order food Ptrmn, yer gonna starve to death in Baja!",(they had pictures of the food on the wall, so I was okay:lol3) ,I also learned that counting on fingers is allowed,, and asking to be spoken to as a child also helps,,despacio por favor. slowly please.
    In Baja the folks are used to touristas, and realizing that you do not habla espanol, then you probably don't get numbers either. So,,when you stand there looking gringo-ish they type a number into a calculator and hold it up for you to read,,and soon you will learn that 200 pesos will cover lunch and beers or a tank of fuel.
    #33
  14. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Why not! Take a week off of riding, and go to school. Yeah!
    #34
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