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Learning Spanish - Is Babbel a good choice?

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GuyA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobi 13, Gebennensis 13, Le Puy 13, Frances 14, Finisterre 14, Kumano Kodo 15, Portuguese 18
Fluency in French/English was great for Caminos in Switzerland and France. Walking with a pilgrim from Brazil was super helpful for Caminos in Spain and Portugal.

In May 2020 the Camino Primitivo calls and I understand one should have basic knowledge of Spanish. So both from a personal development perspective and to show respect for the Spanish people I meet along the route I would like to improve my Spanish. So far cerveza, por favor and gracias have been mastered 😊.

I would like to use an App on my iPhone if possible and have come across Babbel. Have anyone used this app? Like it? Other recommendations gladly accepted.

Thanks/Merci/Por Favor

Guy
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don’t know if this is correct, but my impression is that the US State Dept. uses Babbel for its employees. If so, I think that speaks pretty highly of it. Everyone I know who has used it has liked it.

This is a little off-point and would defeat the purpose of your post, but when I saw Ender on the Camino this summer he told me that he and his wife communicate with the US parents of their daughter-in-law with an app called SayHi. He showed me how it worked and it was really quite accurate. You just talk into the phone in your language, and out it comes in the other language. I was pretty gobsmacked, but maybe this is old news to the more tech-enlightened peregrinos out there.
 

CAJohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
I don’t know if this is correct, but my impression is that the US State Dept. uses Babbel for its employees. If so, I think that speaks pretty highly of it. Everyone I know who has used it has liked it.

This is a little off-point and would defeat the purpose of your post, but when I saw Ender on the Camino this summer he told me that he and his wife communicate with the US parents of their daughter-in-law with an app called SayHi. He showed me how it worked and it was really quite accurate. You just talk into the phone in your language, and out it comes in the other language. I was pretty gobsmacked, but maybe this is old news to the more tech-enlightened peregrinos out there.
Wow, I had not heard of that. I have been playing around with it with languages that I know and it does a really good job.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
I did use Babbel to prepare for my Camino, but I think it depends very much on how motivated you are to study on your own whether it'll be helpful or not.

For me it was nice to begin with, learning first phrases but I found it quite boring after some lectures, because the exercises are quite static, are not really flexible and the spanish native speakers talk slowly, easy to understand for beginners but not like it is in Spain, when talking to a salesperson, receptionist, busdriver etc.

I also took some spanish classes at nightschool, this was really great. It switched from studying vocabulary, vocal excercises, dialogues, reading easy articles of a newspaper, listening to dialogues of native spanish people on tape, answering questions afterwards. This was really helpful for me. *

I started 5 months before walking with my spanish studies. If I'm going to walk the Portugese Way, I'll definitly will take classes at nightschool to study some portugese, much more effective, interesting and meeting every week is also some sort of motivation / pressure - whatever expression you prefer ;-) - to keep on studying, at least for me 😁.



* On my way I learned most, if you're really interested to talk to spanish people. At the end I was really able to make calls in spanish, not only telling the people what I'd like, but was also able to understand their answers :cool:. I already booked my next class ;-).
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Fluency in French/English was great for Caminos in Switzerland and France. Walking with a pilgrim from Brazil was super helpful for Caminos in Spain and Portugal.

In May 2020 the Camino Primitivo calls and I understand one should have basic knowledge of Spanish. So both from a personal development perspective and to show respect for the Spanish people I meet along the route I would like to improve my Spanish. So far cerveza, por favor and gracias have been mastered 😊.

I would like to use an App on my iPhone if possible and have come across Babbel. Have anyone used this app? Like it? Other recommendations gladly accepted.

Thanks/Merci/Por Favor

Guy
I use Duolingo. It is free I have learned quite a bit very quickly
Was looking into Babbel but Pimsleur seems higher rates but more expensive
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I used "language transfer" it is a free audiocourse in the form of a dialogue between teacher and pupil. I liked it, it builds on the many similarities between English and spanish. It is more directed at understanding a language than on learning by heart. I used it with headphones at training walks combining the advances of both.
 

cindyjo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Camino del Norte /Primitivo (2014)
Chemin la Puy (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
I’ve used Fluenz for both Spanish and French. It’s a computer program and not just an app. It does have an audio component to use on your phone plus vocabulary reviews apart from the program. It’s a little spendy, but usually goes on sale near Christmas. It’s best used by folks who want to learn more than what’s necessary on a Camino. I thought I’d never get French, but I was able to do reasonably well on the Chemin. I was pleasantly surprised since I never considered myself a language learner.
 

gheggie

CF Sept 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2018
Have a look at a free podcast called ‘Coffee Break Spanish’. It’s ideal for what you want as each lesson is 15/20 minutes long and each covers a scenario like booking into a hotel/albergue , ordering a meal, asking directions, shopping etc.

If you get out of your depth Google Translate is good as, like the App referred to in another reply, voice translations can be made as well as written. You can even scan a menu in Spanish on your phone and it will translate for you.
 

GuyA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobi 13, Gebennensis 13, Le Puy 13, Frances 14, Finisterre 14, Kumano Kodo 15, Portuguese 18
Thanks for the various helpful suggestions...will try out a number of them and just pick one. Anything I can learn is positive!

Guy
 

Pia Valbak Schmidt

Pilgrim, DK, Caminos 2007,09,11,12,13,14.15,16,18
Camino(s) past & future
2007,2009,2011,2012,2013,2014.2015,2016,2018. Hospitalera 2012,2013,2014,2016,2017
I use Duolingo. It is free I have learned quite a bit very quickly
Was looking into Babbel but Pimsleur seems higher rates but more expensive
Same here, I use Duolingo for daily practice, and I find it very useful
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
Fluency in French/English was great for Caminos in Switzerland and France. Walking with a pilgrim from Brazil was super helpful for Caminos in Spain and Portugal.

In May 2020 the Camino Primitivo calls and I understand one should have basic knowledge of Spanish. So both from a personal development perspective and to show respect for the Spanish people I meet along the route I would like to improve my Spanish. So far cerveza, por favor and gracias have been mastered 😊.

I would like to use an App on my iPhone if possible and have come across Babbel. Have anyone used this app? Like it? Other recommendations gladly accepted.

Thanks/Merci/Por Favor

Guy
Hi Guy:

I would recommend that you begin with an app called Duolingo, it is free and teaches you the very basics of the language.

If, you are still “hungry “ for more, then switch to Babbel. This one isn’t free, but it gives you more in depth teaching of the language; including verb tenses, grammar, etc.

I have used both to learn Italian and presently, Portuguese. BTW, I’m fluent in both English and Castellano (aka Spanish), which I was taught since grammar school thru college years; in an Island where Castellano is the main spoken language. 😎🤪😀

You’re welcome/ de nadas, un placer en ayudarte/da niente........

Buen Camino
 

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