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Learning Spanish - Methods, resources, experiences, etc.

JEsler

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Hi! There are many online language tools and programs, to add to your book-based study. I'm sure others will come along soon and make suggestions. In the meantime, I've added a tag "language" at the top of this thread. If you click on it, you'll find related threads.
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
Go you!

Okay, I'll throw in some free (-ish) suggestions.
- duolingo. A gamified language app. Spanish in this app is latin american. They have a lot of languages, but euskara is not one of them.
- clozemaster - a dorkier gamified language app - and they do have euskara! And galego! Castillian & Latin American here
- spanishdict - a dictionary, obviously, but it allows you to make flashcards and do grammar & conjugation drills. Emphasis on both Castillian and Latin American Spanish.
- mango - it's offered by North American public libraries, and perhaps by yours as well?

I love the chance for some immersion learning... but that's not going to be happening for me until the virus dies back a bit. But it's nice to think about.

What book are you using?
 
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Gumba

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I've been using a company called Baselang for the last 6 months or so. For a flat monthly fee I can take as many one on one Zoom classes daily that I want. I try to do at least one hour a day.
Wow trecile, just googled Baselang and it looks really interesting. According to the website after 4 months, 1 hr a day you should have a base conversational ability. Where would you say you are at? I think I will stick to duelingo for now and maybe join Baselang a few months before our - hopefully - Dec 22 Camino.

JEsler, the course - and experience - sounds really interesting. Check out Duolingo too, I am unfamiliar with the others mentioned above. I walked with my family April 2018 - lots of snow! Be prepared for the cold weather! Am a fellow Aussie in Vic - were are you?
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I have Learn Spanish with Paul Noble downloaded to my Audible App.
I'm really enjoying it.

@trecile , I take it (since you are recommending it) that Baselang lives up to its guarantees of being able to hold a conversation in 4 months? That's enticing, to be sure.
I notice it's out of Colombia, though, so is it Latin American Spanish?
 
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JEsler

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Wow trecile, just googled Baselang and it looks really interesting. According to the website after 4 months, 1 hr a day you should have a base conversational ability. Where would you say you are at? I think I will stick to duelingo for now and maybe join Baselang a few months before our - hopefully - Dec 22 Camino.

JEsler, the course - and experience - sounds really interesting. Check out Duolingo too, I am unfamiliar with the others mentioned above. I walked with my family April 2018 - lots of snow! Be prepared for the cold weather! Am a fellow Aussie in Vic - were are you?
Thanks Gumba, I have now installed Duolingo and it looks like a good supplement to the book work which can be a bit dry.

I am in Doncaster and had been planning to walk the Frances route with my Boston based brother in April this year. It was/is going to be a post retirement refresh for two recently retired IT geeks. Fingers crossed.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Wow trecile, just googled Baselang and it looks really interesting. According to the website after 4 months, 1 hr a day you should have a base conversational ability

@trecile , I take it (since you are recommending it) that Baselang lives up to its guarantees of being able to hold a conversation in 4 months?
I didn't start at the beginner level, so I'm afraid that I can't answer your questions.
I will say that speaking Spanish with a native Spanish speaker every day is very helpful, and I feel like my Spanish has improved a lot.
Yes, the teachers are based in South America, so the accent is different, and there is no vosotros, but the basics are the same.
For me the key thing was trying out several teachers before I found a couple that I "clicked" with.
In addition to my baselang lessons I like to listen to Spanish learning podcasts while I'm out walking.
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks for the very helpful info vjpdx. I am using “Easy Spanish: Step-by-Step” by Barbara Bregstein.
I've been working through that too! Just know that it doesn't cover vosotros. All of my spanish classes have been Latin American (emphasis Mexican) Spanish so while I know vaguely about vosotros, I'm not sure when to use it and why. So much to learn!
 
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vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
I've been using a company called Baselang for the last 6 months or so. For a flat monthly fee I can take as many one on one Zoom classes daily that I want. I try to do at least one hour a day.
Wow, I'd heard of Baselang but hadn't actually looked at it. Thank you, Trecile!

A couple of other online less expensive options:
- iTalki - they match you with native speakers for one-on-one lessons & conversations. You can trade conversation time or pay - and it can be inexpensive. I haven't tried it but I know a lot of folks who have.
- Youtube - Youtube has videos, obviously, of spanish tutorials (my fav is Why Not Spanish, from a Colombian; Linguriosa is Spain spanish) BUT they also have Camino de Santiago videos in Spanish. You can slow them down and toggle on subtitles (which is the only way I understand much of them).
- if you watch Netflix on your computer, you can use a chrome extension called Language Learning with Netflix. It's free and is similar to using the slow-down/subtitle method on youtube. Except it's Netflix.

Great conversation, y'all - thanks JEsler for starting it!
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
Good for you for wanting to learn Spanish. Even a little can come in handy and so many peregrinos don’t bother to even try.

I learned Spanish in many ways, in many places, and over many years. In addition to self-study and various classes in the US, I have attended overseas language schools a number of times - in Guatemala x2, Puerto Rico, and in Mexico in Guanajuato x2, Pueblo, and Querétaro, as well as shorter lessons in a couple of other places in Mexico. (I’m a slow learner, lol!) Sometimes I did homestays and sometimes I stayed in shared Airbnb situations with a mix of English and Spanish spoken. One hundred percent immersion is best, but it is difficult especially for lower level students.

I usually stayed for 3-4 weeks, and in my experience and from observing others at the various language schools, a one week stay isn’t really long enough to have much effect. Your mileage may vary. A month-long stay really makes a difference, but it is exhausting. I strongly preferred one-on-one instruction because I had a huge mix of prior experience with learning and using the language, and I didn’t fit into pre-established classes.

I wouldn’t worry too much about learning New World Spanish to use in Spain. Vocabulary differences can cause some confusion, but that’s pretty easy to rectify. You would have to be pretty advanced for either accent or grammar differences to be much of an issue. I am reasonably fluent and I understand vosotros conjugations and pronouns, but I never used them in two lengthy visits to Spain and it didn’t seem to matter. You’ll make much more rapid progress as a beginner if you study the New World dialect that doesn’t use vosotros. I had to study those forms when I was at university and I hated them. When I started studying Spanish again years later and the class didn’t include them, it was so refreshing and so much easier. That’s probably why I was so resistant to using them when I was in Spain. I was scarred! Lol! Anyhow, based on my experience, you can just pretend they don’t exist and go about your business as a peregrino and tourist and you’ll be fine. If you decide you want to move to Spain, then you’ll have to learn them.
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
As a peregrino you only need five words.
"Estoy perdido. ¿Dónde está Santiago?"
[I am lost. Where is Santiago?]

Keep smiling: if you're walking in Portugal, the Portuguese love it when you speak in English!

Steve;
getting a bit past it for caminos; but who knows what 2022 will bring?!?
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
You might have a look at the ‘news in slow Spanish’; the audio’s free but the accompanying text and grammar notes are on subscription. Because it deals with contemporary world news, with a focus on Spanish-speaking countries, the topics are familiar to anyone with a basic awareness of current affairs.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
I am reasonably fluent and I understand vosotros conjugations and pronouns, but I never used them in two lengthy visits to Spain and it didn’t seem to matter. You’ll make much more rapid progress as a beginner if you study the New World dialect that doesn’t use vosotros. I had to study those forms when I was at university and I hated them. When I started studying Spanish again years later and the class didn’t include them, it was so refreshing and so much easier. That’s probably why I was so resistant to using them when I was in Spain. I was scarred! Lol! Anyhow, based on my experience, you can just pretend they don’t exist and go about your business as a peregrino and tourist and you’ll be fine. If you decide you want to move to Spain, then you’ll have to learn them.
I'm really just starting my Spanish study, but why does eliminating the "vosotros" conjugations make it "so much easier"? I'm focusing on old world Spanish.
 

Bodi

For this breath, I am present.
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
I’m using Duolingo as well but I also follow “Español con Juan” on YouTube. Juan is based in Spain and he teaches through stories and skits so that you learn Spanish “en contexto.” I find his videos fun and practical.
 

Beeks

Member
Past OR future Camino
(2019) only 2 weeks available! St. Jean PDP - Pamplona, then Sarria - SDC with the family,
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
Lots of great suggestions.... I'm also learning Spanish. Book, Rosetta Stone, Duolingo have been my mainstays. Oh, and Destinos. 🤣

The YouTube channel "Dreaming Spanish" is great! All in Spanish, so it's kinda immersive, with SuperBeginner, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Pablo uses a whiteboard and simple drawings as he goes along...Hundreds of interesting short videos.

Buena Suerte!
 

RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
Find the Spanish language TV channel on your TV. Watch 30 minutes a day. News or sports program. WARNING, do not watch the soap operas. They are addicting. You will get bits and pieces but most important the rhythm. In the car, when alone, listen to english talk radio. Try to respond emotionally in Spanish. Gaps in vocabulary will become apparent.
 

Ronald Boivin

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
the free APP Duolingo is an excellent way to get the grammar and pronunciation down pat.
 
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Ronald Boivin

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
The free APP called Duolingo is excellent to get the grammar and pronunciation down pat. Been using daily for years.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
Online for free and good quality:

Coffee Break Spanish Year 1 https://coffeebreakacademy.com/p/coffee-break-spanish-season-1

The Language Tutor Spanish —youtube start at the beginning

Butterfly Spanish—youtube start at the beginning

And also on youtube is “300 words every spanish beginner must know”

If you spend an hour each day total with these you’ll be in good shape!
 

woody66

This is my boy !
Past OR future Camino
2021

Hi JEsler!​

I echo Trecile's opinion about language transfer( there are youtube vids of the young guy who is language transfer as well;his back story is pretty amazing really); i have done two six week language courses in Spanish which gave me basic phrases like how to ask for directions or help or order food /drink
etc.
Tried Duolingo but found it frustrating; like being up to lesson 30 and still counting up to three or learning phrases like my wife is glamorous(really useful when you want to buy bread or a coffee)

Language transfer if you follow the course;gives you over 3000 Spanish words.
No notes or writing just follow the rules as so many English words are similar in Spanish easiest examples are words ending AL (metal/legal/dental emphasis on last syllable) or most words ending in ION are the same/similar to English with a change on emphasis when speaking loads more.
Worth a go;i am as thick as a plank and managed to expand my vocabulary just by listening that's all you do listen (i am a lazy old s*d:) ha!ha!)
18 sleeps till i start my walk;so to late to worry now; Santiago is calling!
You will defo be fine by the time you go Buen Camino
All the best
WOODY
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
why does eliminating the "vosotros" conjugations make it "so much easier"?
Well, for starters, you eliminate at least 1/6 of the verb endings you need to memorize. And those are the most complex endings. If you eliminate the "tu" form as well (which I don't recommend) you cut out another 1/6 and can still use Spanish perfectly correctly.

If you want to get conversant and reasonably correct, there are many many grammatical details you must learn, so it is important to simplify the task. Eliminating "vosotros" is a good starter. Another area that I long ago relegated to secondary importance was the many ways to use the imperative. I attempt with one way, and hope to be understood. For both vosotros and the imperative, I have learned to recognize it and understand, but happily function in Spanish without using them.

I wouldn’t worry too much about learning New World Spanish to use in Spain. Vocabulary differences can cause some confusion, but that’s pretty easy to rectify... I am reasonably fluent and I understand vosotros conjugations and pronouns, but I never used them in two lengthy visits to Spain and it didn’t seem to matter.
I agree with @Esperanza . I learned Spanish many many years ago in Latin America, in my 20s. The "vosotros" form was simply not used, so I put it out of my mind.

I am still quite functional in Spanish, although I keep forgetting gender of nouns, and I have trouble formulating complex constructions on the run, such as "If they were planning to leave tomorrow, would they have already packed their bags?" The vosotros endings are lower than that on my priority list for study!

Since we have the choice of using the formal usted or the informal "tu/vosotros" it is convenient (and safe) to use the formal. Maybe I sound like a old-fashioned visitor from the New World, but I am understood. I'm quite sure that the young person who has just addressed me as "tu" recognizes that I am a native English-speaker who is speaking New World Spanish.

The differences in Spanish as spoken in the Americas versus Spanish seem not much (if at all) greater than the regional differences within either Spain or Latin America. If you can learn any of those versions, using reasonably standard language, you can transfer the skill.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2022
I'm really just starting my Spanish study, but why does eliminating the "vosotros" conjugations make it "so much easier"? I'm focusing on old world Spanish.

It’s easier because for every verb in every tense, you only have to learn five conjunctions instead of six. That is significant. Also, pronouns are a difficult area for most learners of Spanish, and vosotros adds a sixth form there as well, making an already challenging area even harder. In the nominative case, it has to agree by gender, so that’s just one more detail that can trip you up. In the possessive case, instead of four ways to say “your” you have six. It all adds up.

I see that you’re based in the US. You’re going to have a much broader selection on learning materials if you are willing to use New World Spanish because outside of very academic programs at universities, Castilian Spanish isn’t bothered with much in this country anymore. Mine did it because: 1. It was a long time ago, 2. They were preparing us to read Spanish literature, not to talk to people, and 3. Just to torture us, I think. It was a euro-centric bias, and certainly not focused on the communicative needs of the students. Since then, I have taken Spanish classes at two other universities in the US, and neither taught Castilian Spanish. Of course, it depends on your language learning goals, but there are some very practical advantages to studying New World Spanish.

Edited to add: And what C clearly said!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Here's a quick lesson on knowing which syllable is stressed in Spanish words, and for some reason I wasn't taught this until my third year of Spanish.

The basic rule is this: Words that end in a vowel, an S, or a N have the stress on the penultimate syllable. All other words have the stress on the last syllable.

UNLESS there is a tilde (accent mark) over a syllable, in that case that is the stressed syllable.
For example pensión - without that accent the stress would be on the second to the last syllable - pen.
When you pluralize pensión into pensiones there is no tilde because the stress stays on the syllable sion, which is now the penultimate syllable!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino 2017
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
Just my 2 cents....I am a Canadian who can speak English...French....some German ( Military service in Germany ) Italian and Swahili ( My Dad's postings in Italy and Kenya....Diplomatic service ) and I too wanted to learn Spanish...got the books and tapes and I flopped on the streets...the Spaniards speak so fast and they have some dialectics that only a brilliant ear can understand ..i.e.. ( Barcelona ). This is not meant to be rude..but man do they ever speak so fast....I applaud your efforts....carry on.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Hola JEsler!

Una experiencia de inmersión total en español sería ideal. Pero para llegar allí realmente debes conocer el idioma tanto como sea posible y eso nunca se hará solo con libros. En los próximos meses completaré más de mil días de estudio de español en Duolingo. Recomendaría que se agregue Duolingo a todo lo que está haciendo ahora.

Not to put you on a spot but my comment‘s intent is to challenge your training. Copy into a translator. Repetition is the real teacher.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Yes, the teachers are based in South America, so the accent is different, and there is no vosotros, but the basics are the same.
@trecile, thanks so much for posting the information about Baselang! I had never heard of it before and it looks very interesting. The chance to make a last minute decision of "Oh, I have a half-hour free. I think I'll try a conversation in Spanish," is quite tempting. Do you find that the teachers are agreeable to you using Castilian pronunciation (ce, ci, z, etc) in your conversations with them even though they are using Latin-American Spanish pronunciation?

For anybody else who might be interested in learning more about Baselang, I found the reviews on this page very helpful, especially the ones that compare it to italki and other similar resources.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2022
This is not meant to be rude..but man do they ever speak so fast....I applaud your efforts....carry on.
I’ve found that over time, they start to slow down. 😉

Pro tip … don’t go to Puerto Rico to study Spanish. They speak so fast, they don’t bother to even say half the words. 😳. My teachers there, however, were great.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
"If they were planning to leave tomorrow, would they have already packed their bags?"

Imperfect subjunctive in the first clause and conditional perfect in the second clause. My Spanish isn’t too shabby, but I had to sit down and have a good old think about that sentence.

I think if you could form that sentence in real-time you would have a strong claim to fluency.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@trecile, thanks so much for posting the information about Baselang! I had never heard of it before and it looks very interesting. The chance to make a last minute decision of "Oh, I have a half-hour free. I think I'll try a conversation in Spanish," is quite tempting. Do you find that the teachers are agreeable to you using Castilian pronunciation (ce, ci, z, etc) in your conversations with them even though they are using Latin-American Spanish pronunciation?

Yes, I like the flexibility of Baselang. I know of at least two other members here who are using, or have used it - @linkster and @CdnDreamer.
Since I had already been learning Latin American pronunciation I don't normally use Castilian pronunciation in my Baselang lessons, but I know that it wouldn't be a problem. They will basically do what you want to do for the lesson - either follow the structured Baselang lessons, just have a conversation, or something that I like to do is have my teacher help me understand an article from one of the online Spanish newspapers.
 
Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
G'Day @JEsler As someone who has been to Spain a number of times I have been learning Espanol (Spanish) for the past 15 months (so during the lockdown). I am using Duolingo - the advanced one (so I pay a fee).
I think the 7-10 day immersion learning would be a great way to advance your Spanish. But you will need to be above the basic level (imho) to get a real benefit. I did look into this back in 2016 (with a view to doing it in 2017) I found there were a number of classes in Pamplona so have a look. Buen Camino.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
"If they were planning to leave tomorrow, would they have already packed their bags?"

Imperfect subjunctive in the first clause and conditional perfect in the second clause. My Spanish isn’t too shabby, but I had to sit down and have a good old think about that sentence.

I think if you could form that sentence in real-time you would have a strong claim to fluency.
The only online tool that I have found, at the right level, is this one. I had an Audible subscription at the time, but you can get it as a free trial - there are 17 hours of advanced drills. On that link you can listen to an excerpt. I hate the name of the program, I can't make sense of their website, and cannot recommend whether the beginner-intermediate program is any good. But those 17 hours of advanced drills available on audible.com have been excellent use of walking time.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
The link just takes me to the Audible site - not to a particular title.
Try searching on Audible for some of the following words:
  • Learn Advanced Spanish Bundle: Includes Both New Version & Original Version of Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level Three

 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Past OR future Camino
2022
I have been using baselang for several months after I read a recommendation from @trecile. I try to do an hour a day 5 days a week. I am not fluent, but my Spanish has improved. I am not sure that I will get to be truly fluent unless I am immersed for sometime (~living in Spain). I have spoken more Spanish since I started baselang than I did in 2 years at the university level.

As far as the grammar (vosotros, present perfect, Castillain things) you can do what you want and just tell them what you would like to focus on. I am working through the material in their course. After I finish a section, I go back and review the material from the university course I took. I work through the exercises etc. with them for practice.


I do like to use spanishdict.com. It has a good table of verb conjugations, and pronunciation in Latin American and Spain Spanish. spanishdict has their own version of phonetics for each word (SPA). I think it is much easier than IPA or is that a beer?


Here is another site that I like for syllabication. It provides a lot of detailed information on the syllabication and pronunciation of the word. Try it out with something like desafortunadamente.


There are several beginner series on YouTube like Destinos or Extras. La Casa de Papel 5th and final season comes out 9/3 on Netflix. Elite, Sky Rojo, Sky High, Perdida, Fugutiva, La Cocinera de Castamar, etc. on Netflix (you can watch it with subtitles). + the Baztan trilogy (The Invisible Guardian, The Legacy of the Bones, and The offering to the Storm all from the Basque country). Lots of narco telenovela like series in Spanish.

Also a couple of resources I posted in the forum.
Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros - Quizlet (flashcards with audio)
Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros 2.0 (PDF)

Camino Francés Ciudades - Quizlet

¡Buena suerte!
 
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EGW

New Member
Past OR future Camino
None
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.

In pre-pandemic times, the University of Santiago de Compostela conducted short courses that might have been of interest to you.

I have not taken any of their courses and do not have personal experience of their quality to share. I am merely pointing out this option as it involves both immersion and taught classes in addition to living for a short while as a non-pergrino in SDC.

Of course, they are not running some of their usual courses this year, like ESPAÑOL PARA SENIORS, the course I am looking to take in the near future.

 
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linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Past OR future Camino
2022
Linguriosa is Spain spanish
I watched a couple of her videos this morning, and I was mesmerized with her tongue while she spoke. Her tongue operates completely differently than English speakers (IMHO). I find myself getting tongue tied sometimes during class and almost need to pause, and take a sip of coffee before starting again. I think it is muscle memory in my tongue fighting resisting the Spanish pronunciation.

I have been amused to see some of the teachers wrestle with English, even though their English skills are very good. It seems a common one is the "uh" sound like in understand. We have used the pronunciation tab on spanishdict to work through it. It is the same for them ... it is a foreign language.

I would like to think I could be come fluent, that may come over time, but conversant is realistic for me. I have progressed beyond the university Spanish classes which resembled the following: Que Hora Es? Part 1.
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
Try searching on Audible for some of the following words:
  • Learn Advanced Spanish Bundle: Includes Both New Version & Original Version of Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level Three

Are/is this it, C clearly?

These might make an audible/amazon membership worthwhile...
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
I've watched several of her videos, y ¡me encanta! I love the topics that she discusses, and best of all I can understand casi todo sin subtítulos!
After I posted about Linguriosa, I think she might be Argentinian? Oh, accents, I don't have a clue.

Either way, it's a new accent to me, and she's understandable - both wins for me.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
After I posted about Linguriosa, I think she might be Argentinian? Oh, accents, I don't have a clue.
I believe that she is Spanish. She does talk about accents in different countries and regions of Spain. To me, Argentinian accent is particularly difficult because they use a sh sound in words with double L and Y. So Yo becomes sho, calle is cah-shay, etc.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
These might make an audible/amazon membership worthwhile...
I took advantage of the free credit, and then also (of course) forgot to cancel within a month, so I got some additional credits. I feel I got my money's worth with the Advanced Spanish drills, plus the excellent History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad.

I may join up again when I see something else that really interests me.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2015)
It’s easier because for every verb in every tense, you only have to learn five conjunctions instead of six. That is significant. Also, pronouns are a difficult area for most learners of Spanish, and vosotros adds a sixth form there as well, making an already challenging area even harder. In the nominative case, it has to agree by gender, so that’s just one more detail that can trip you up. In the possessive case, instead of four ways to say “your” you have six. It all adds up.

I see that you’re based in the US. You’re going to have a much broader selection on learning materials if you are willing to use New World Spanish because outside of very academic programs at universities, Castilian Spanish isn’t bothered with much in this country anymore. Mine did it because: 1. It was a long time ago, 2. They were preparing us to read Spanish literature, not to talk to people, and 3. Just to torture us, I think. It was a euro-centric bias, and certainly not focused on the communicative needs of the students. Since then, I have taken Spanish classes at two other universities in the US, and neither taught Castilian Spanish. Of course, it depends on your language learning goals, but there are some very practical advantages to studying New World Spanish.

Edited to add: And what C clearly said!
I studied Spanish in high school and university here in the US 40 years ago. Vosotros was never used. I am teaching myself the conjugations now as I hear it used frequently when we are in Spain. I wish now that I had been taught those conjugations so long ago. Espanol con Juan is a good resource if you want to learn them. We have also recently purchased a course from Great Courses on DVD. Latin American spanish, very clear and understandable. They frequently have sales with free shipping.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
I studied Spanish in high school and university here in the US 40 years ago. Vosotros was never used. I am teaching myself the conjugations now as I hear it used frequently when we are in Spain. I wish now that I had been taught those conjugations so long ago. Espanol con Juan is a good resource if you want to learn them. We have also recently purchased a course from Great Courses on DVD. Latin American spanish, very clear and understandable. They frequently have sales with free shipping.

Thanks, but I did already learn them. The only time I have found them to be useful was for reading literature. YMMV.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
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vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
We have also recently purchased a course from Great Courses on DVD. Latin American spanish, very clear and understandable. They frequently have sales with free shipping.
If you are in the US or Canada and have a public or university library card, you may have access to Kanopy, which is a library-based streaming service. They have the Great Courses' Learning Spanish, and the History of Spain. It's totally worthwhile to see if your library offers this. (Kanopy also has a great selection of documentaries and foreign films, including three CdS docs)
This is the link to my library's Kanopy subscription -
https://multcolib.kanopy.com/s?query="great courses" "learning spanish"
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I liked language transfer very much, because it builds on things you already know and does empathize understanding a language instead of memorising. The form, a " dialogue between teacher and non Spanish speaker was also satisfying because it follows your own thinking proces. I liked to listen to the course on my headphones while training for the Camino, so I could combine two preparations. Being Dutch this course still worked well for me.
The only other course mentioned in this thread that I know is Duolingo, but that I did not like. Like someone else wrote "after 30 lessons I was till counting to three"
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I liked language transfer very much, because it builds on things you already know and does empathize understanding a language instead of memorising. The form, a " dialogue between teacher and non Spanish speaker was also satisfying because it follows your own thinking proces. I liked to listen to the course on my headphones while training for the Camino, so I could combine two preparations. Being Dutch this course still worked well for me.
The only other course mentioned in this thread that I know is Duolingo, but that I did not like. Like someone else wrote "after 30 lessons I was till counting to three"
Another thing that I like about Language Transfer is the very calm and reassuring voice of the teacher. I like listening to it when I'm stressed. 😊
 

JEsler

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
If you are in the US or Canada and have a public or university library card, you may have access to Kanopy, which is a library-based streaming service. They have the Great Courses' Learning Spanish, and the History of Spain. It's totally worthwhile to see if your library offers this. (Kanopy also has a great selection of documentaries and foreign films, including three CdS docs)
This is the link to my library's Kanopy subscription -
https://multcolib.kanopy.com/s?query="great courses" "learning spanish"
I am in Australia but the public libraries have very similar services here so I will check it out. I asked a simple question and have got back so much info. Language Transfer sounds very interesting.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Another resource that can be quite fun and which will allow you to speak and hear Spanish is to ask Siri and/or the Google Assistant to talk to you in Spanish.

In my case I also have several Google Nest speakers scattered around the house (Amazon also has these types of devices) and I switch them into and out of Spanish so that I don't mess with my phone too much.

When I am engaged with a more formal Spanish language lesson (I use Duolingo) and I need a bit of help ☺️ then it is easy for me to talk to Google and ask for a phrase to be translated.
 
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Columbian Spanish is slower and clearer than most other varieties. Dominican, Cuban and Puerto Rican would drive me nuts. Dominican especially with its dropped s's.

I once asked a Dominican (male) to tell me what Spanish accent was the sexyist. His answer was Colombian and his tone told me that it was rated far above any other.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
@Doughnut NZ my dad use to have ongoing arguments with Alexa ... calling her names etc, but her mood never seemed to change. That would irritate him even more. It would be interesting to switch her into Spanish, and learn some street slang.🤣
That is how the idea came about. When my 6 yr old grandson comes to stay he loves interacting with the Google Assistant on a Nest in our lounge that also controls our lights and a couple of other electrical devices.

He is very intelligent and has taught himself how to use it without any coaching from me. Initially he spent most of his time asking Google to make fart sounds 💨😂 but eventually got bored with that and moved on to getting Google to play videos on YouTube on the TV and other stuff. In the beginning I could control his use by turning off the microphone using a switch under the unit that he couldn't see. Then one time he noticed me turning it off and from then on we have been engaged in friendly competition on how to use and control it.

One day I noticed that he had figured out how to change the settings using voice commands only, even I haven't figured that out yet! He reprogrammed it so that it no longer called me by my name and instead called me by my son's name (his father).

After he went back home I sat down to restore the settings that he had changed and noticed that I could browse back through the history of voice commands that the unit had received. I was amazed at how quickly he had learned stuff and found that he was making some sophisticated inquiries when I wasn't around. It had become like a trusted older and very knowledgeable companion for him.

You know the sort of stuff that parents (or grandparents) say to kids like "eat your vegetables or you won't grow", well he was checking them out! This kid is sure hard to fool 🤣.

I was wondering how I might reassert my control without removing the Nest or severely restricting what it can do and decided to change the interface language to Spanish. This way he will have to learn Spanish if he wants to use it and in the meantime I will be back in control but I know who will eventually win this friendly competition! I just hope that by the time he passes me in intellect and knowledge that he has also learned to be a generous and kind winner 🏆.
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Another resource that can be quite fun and which will allow you to speak and hear Spanish is to ask Siri and/or the Google Assistant to talk to you in Spanish.

In my case I also have several Google Nest speakers scattered around the house (Amazon also has these types of devices) and I switch them into and out of Spanish so that I don't mess with my phone too much.

When I am engaged with a more formal Spanish language lesson (I use Duolingo) and I need a bit of help ☺️ then it is easy for me to talk to Google and ask for a phrase to be translated.
Doughnut,
There is a spanish language group that meets fortnightly at (I think) the Empire pub on corner Nelson and Victoria Streets in the CBD. Tonight they're meeting virtually, see pic.
I went when they were meeting in person, but there was too much noise.
 

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WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study before a planned April ‘22 start in StJPdP.
I also reading a book where the author spent a week at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute while boarding with a Spanish only speaking family before continuing along the way. Total immersion sounds interesting.
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.
As a former language teacher, I would say the FREE (demo) version of Rosetta Stone is not bad for learning Spanish words but it's not enough to learn to actually communicate. And the full version isn't worth paying for. Even the demo sucks for some languages (Japanese).

To learn vocabulary, check out https://AnkiSRS.net which will allow you to put in your own vocabulary (unlike Rosetta Stone).

Learning to put together comprehensible sentences takes exposure more than grammar lessons. The two together are good (with exposure the big of the two) but if you can only have one, the exposure is far superior to grammar.

After five years of acing grammar and vocabulary tests in high school and jr. high, I was expected to be the interpreter for a group of other teenagers. I learned immediately that I was unqualified. On the other hand, the two-week trip made a HUGE difference, and it probably would have taken much longer if I hadn't had that foundation.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Hi JEsler,
I started using DuoLingo before our first Camino in 2016 and was usually able to make myself understood. In 2018, my husband went to Language School in Santiago (Ira Flavia) for a month and enjoyed that. We both went back and studied there for two weeks in 2019. Since the pandemic, we've been taking Spanish lessons in the US through a school in Boise, ID. We started face to face and then went to online and have been studying online now through CR Languages for the last 18 months or so. Currently we have a private lesson every week for one hour. There are books written by the owner of the school that we use and we are now working through the Intermediate level and learning several past tenses, etc.. My husband also uses a language exchange program where he signs up to talk to someone who speaks Spanish once a week. He has a regular talking partner who is about his age (both of them in their 70's) and they talk 30 minutes in Spanish and 30 minutes in English once a week. They enjoy different topics like stuff the kids and grandkids are doing, what they do in retirement, hobbies, the Camino, etc.

He's on the Camino now and is finding that his Spanish lessons have really helped him understand and be understood.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
grammar... it probably would have taken much longer if I hadn't had that foundation.
I agree with that point - both grammar and exposure are needed. Too often I hear people disparaging their school language experience with the idea that somehow those grammar classes are useless. They aren't useless - they are just incomplete.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
The resource we’ve used but I haven’t seen mentioned yet is Pimsleur (recommended by an Australian!) Accesible from our library even during lockdown as it is audio.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
How to learn any language in six months…he doesn’t say how long each day, but there are some good tips here:

So a language will take more than twenty hours, but this is interesting:
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Good for you for wanting to learn Spanish. Even a little can come in handy and so many peregrinos don’t bother to even try.

I learned Spanish in many ways, in many places, and over many years. In addition to self-study and various classes in the US, I have attended overseas language schools a number of times - in Guatemala x2, Puerto Rico, and in Mexico in Guanajuato x2, Pueblo, and Querétaro, as well as shorter lessons in a couple of other places in Mexico. (I’m a slow learner, lol!) Sometimes I did homestays and sometimes I stayed in shared Airbnb situations with a mix of English and Spanish spoken. One hundred percent immersion is best, but it is difficult especially for lower level students.

I usually stayed for 3-4 weeks, and in my experience and from observing others at the various language schools, a one week stay isn’t really long enough to have much effect. Your mileage may vary. A month-long stay really makes a difference, but it is exhausting. I strongly preferred one-on-one instruction because I had a huge mix of prior experience with learning and using the language, and I didn’t fit into pre-established classes.

I wouldn’t worry too much about learning New World Spanish to use in Spain. Vocabulary differences can cause some confusion, but that’s pretty easy to rectify. You would have to be pretty advanced for either accent or grammar differences to be much of an issue. I am reasonably fluent and I understand vosotros conjugations and pronouns, but I never used them in two lengthy visits to Spain and it didn’t seem to matter. You’ll make much more rapid progress as a beginner if you study the New World dialect that doesn’t use vosotros. I had to study those forms when I was at university and I hated them. When I started studying Spanish again years later and the class didn’t include them, it was so refreshing and so much easier. That’s probably why I was so resistant to using them when I was in Spain. I was scarred! Lol! Anyhow, based on my experience, you can just pretend they don’t exist and go about your business as a peregrino and tourist and you’ll be fine. If you decide you want to move to Spain, then you’ll have to learn them.
I have a slightly different perspective on the duration of immersion. I have attended language schools several times in an immersion context, and found that only a single week was enough to yield a significant improvement in my skills. In fact, I confess I was delighted! I would recommend it to anyone.
Of course, as you hint, everyone is different.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
In the last few days I've watched a number of YouTube videos on two language learning channels. I've obviously not had great exposure to these but I think they are different from most of the other channels I've seen and might be what some are looking for.

Edit: Thinking about these channels a little more I would say that these are more for improving your language ability than for learning the basics. Try out a few videos to see if they are too difficult.

I'm going to watch more of Hola Spanish. The presenter is a native Argentinian and she speaks clearly and slowly. What I like is that she teaches in Spanish and speaks a lot. Where there are subtitles I have seen them both in Spanish and English at the same time.


The second channel is for people wanting to learn how Americans speak (so not really relevant to this thread but maybe useful for some.) One video I watched was on how changing your throat would change your accent. This was beyond the positioning of tongue, teeth and lips often given. Another was when to use which of the t, d, id sounds (or none) for the past tense verbs ending in ed.

 
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Past OR future Camino
2022
I have a slightly different perspective on the duration of immersion. I have attended language schools several times in an immersion context, and found that only a single week was enough to yield a significant improvement in my skills. In fact, I confess I was delighted! I would recommend it to anyone.
Of course, as you hint, everyone is different.

Hello Karl! I have been waiting for someone to come along and say that ever since I wrote that post. 😁 At various language schools, I have seen many, many one-week students come and go, and by and large, they made progress and are happy, with some wishing they could stay longer. I don’t doubt the validity of their - or your - opinions. And I don’t know if you have ever stayed longer at a school, but I have done both. I always learned something in a one week stay, but what I have found is that staying longer, say two weeks instead of one, doesn’t just double the experience, it also compounds it. From the perspective of staying a month, as I often have, that first week is just a blip.

I have also found that it takes me a week in country and in class just to get back up to functioning at my old level.

I do think level is a factor as well. If someone is a beginner and only knows ten words, when they learn ten new words, they are delighted. They have doubled their vocabulary. However, if you have a vocabulary of 5,000 words, learning ten more isn’t such a big deal. So a week of classes is going to tend to be more satisfying for lower level students than more advanced ones.

Another factor, of course, is that not everyone has the time and money to stay as long as they would like at a language school. I will point out for the benefit of anyone interested, that Mexico is significantly cheaper to travel in than Spain, and I would expect language schools are much cheaper there as well. Guatemala has quite a little industry of language schools of all sorts, often catering to the long-term backpacking crowd heading for months of travel in South America, and is cheaper still. I’d say about 50% less than Mexico, and that’s for private lessons, not groups as is standard elsewhere.

So, yes, I agree with you that everyone is different, but I would recommend to folks that they stay as long as they can at a school to get the most out of the experience.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Guatemala has quite a little industry of language schools of all sorts, often catering to the long-term backpacking crowd heading for months of travel in South America, and is cheaper still. I’d say about 50% less than Mexico,

Yes, Spanish courses in Guatemala are very inexpensive! I spent over 6 weeks there a few years ago, and the cost for my 20 hours of week of one on one lessons plus my home stay with 3 meals a day was between $200 and $250 per week.
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Lago.jpg
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
@trecile Lago Atítlan ❤️

I did enjoy my time in Guatemala. The first time there I just travelled, the second and third times, I took classes for 4 weeks and traveled and relaxed for 2 weeks. I paid about the same as you for classes and lodging, but about double that in Mexico.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Poking around some, I found this comprehensive review page of the various language apps and programs. She gives an overview and then if you click on the program links a much more detailed review. From PCmag.

I'm now actually using an old desktop version of Rosetta Stone that I found used. It's good for vocabulary and grammar, but you don't really learn to converse. For that, I think you need real life interactions.

Some apps that I had never heard of that seemed interesting are"Yabla"and "Lingopie". They are video based programs where you can get subtitles in Spanish and English, but also click on the subtitles for translations, I believe. They use original Spanish language TV and film.

Almost all these apps cost about $10 (US) a month. Some have free versions, but they are limited.
Here's the link to the opening review page:
 
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John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
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For those interested in simultaneous dual-language subtitles for Netflix and YouTube, the browser extension formerly titled LLN (Learning Language with Netflix) is now called Language Reactor. It is still under development and doesn't work on every video, but I've found it useful. It currently only works on Chrome.

It lets you:
  • watch (some) Netflix and Youtube videos with Spanish audio and two sets of subtitles at once, Spanish and English, for example.
  • adjust the speed of the playback with more choices than Netflix alone offers (0.875, for example)
  • toggle an option button that makes the video stop after every segment of dialogue, if you wish to use each segment as a conversational exercise for yourself.
  • toggle various other functions described in the 'help' menu on the left of the page linked above.

Screen Shot 2021-09-06 at 7.44.24 AM.png
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
For those interested in simultaneous dual-language subtitles for Netflix and YouTube, the browser extension formerly titled LLN (Learning Language with Netflix) is now called Language Reactor. It is still under development and doesn't work on every video, but I've found it useful. It currently only works on Chrome.
Lots of interesting features there. Thanks!
 
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Pilgrim9

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
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Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
I’m using some lockdown time to do some beginner level book based Spanish study...
Does anyone have any experience or comments, positive or otherwise.

I used to download selected free podcasts from Radio Nacional de España (RNE), and listen to them on my morning commutes to work. It improved my listening comprehension improved a lot.

For me the best technique was to definitely not try to understand every word - that kills learning dead because the brain keeps changing modes, i.e., it stops listening to the stream, changes gears, and then focusses only on that particular sound that was initially not understood. By the time the brain figures out that one misunderstood word and has changed gears back again to listening mode, the conversation has moved on - a long long long way on.

Just listen with a receptive, non-analytical mind to the firehose stream of sounds. At first it will almost all be unintelligible but I think that within a few days or a week you will be recognizing chunks of sound patterns that you absolutely know you have heard before, even though you might not understand the meaning. Soon you will be recognizing more and more chunks of sound patterns, and on occasion recognizing some of them as particular words or phrases that you know. Bit by bit the mosaic will decode itself. But you must never stop listening, to analyze what you heard.

Also, I recommend choosing podcasts from the geographic region that you plan to visit. Tempo, accent, intonation, and vocabulary vary widely throughout el mundo hispánico. So, if planning to visit Spain, listen to podcasts recorded in Spain, not to those recorded in, e.g., Ecuador or Cuba.

The brain is such a wonderful learning organ.

I wish I had a better one.

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I just ran across another YouTube channel that works well with Language Reactor (providing subtitles in two languages with ability to slow down the speed of the dialogue). Lots of interesting short documentaries and news stories in Spanish.
I noticed the DW videos were fairly easy to understand.

Here's another site chock full of articles, videos, exercises, etc. You can even find articles about the Camino on it! Just enter "Camino de Santiago" in the search box.

 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
I just ran across another YouTube channel that works well with Language Reactor (providing subtitles in two languages with ability to slow down the speed of the dialogue). Lots of interesting short documentaries and news stories in Spanish.
Deutsche Welle does everything well. If you need to learn or brush up on German, they are fantastic.

I was a DW Español subscriber but talk about firehose - so much content!

I've been enjoying Easy Spanish - short, generally amusing, and lots of Spain-specific content. If you're starting out with Spanish, there is a series done by the same people called Super Easy Spanish.
 
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SioCamino

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
There is a weekly show (very long running!) on RtVE called Informe Semenal (weekly report). The full half hour show features usually 3 stories, more full reports on a topic rather than the headlines. It's really good to learning, in my last Spanish course it was part of our weekly homework. The videos online are available for the whole show or the individual segments. You can add close captions to the whole show which aids comprehension. Highly recommend!
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
Oh! Here's something interesting.

Trece, a free-to-TV Catholic channel, has a series called Diario de un Peregrino. 34 episodes/etapas, each 26 & a half minutes or less. The reporter interviews many people - pilgrims, hospitaleros, business owners - all of whom speak Spanish. The presenter, Javier Escartín, speaks clearly, and if I slow it down, is pretty understandable. That said, it's a Catholic channel and this might be very Catholic but I haven't noticed it.

I have, like Pilgrim9, been firehosing, me with Spanish Camino videos. I especially like the packing lists. Did you know one name for zip-off pants is pantalones gringos? I love that.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Oh! Here's something interesting.

Trece, a free-to-TV Catholic channel, has a series called Diario de un Peregrino. 34 episodes/etapas, each 26 & a half minutes or less. The reporter interviews many people - pilgrims, hospitaleros, business owners - all of whom speak Spanish. The presenter, Javier Escartín, speaks clearly, and if I slow it down, is pretty understandable. That said, it's a Catholic channel and this might be very Catholic but I haven't noticed it.

I have, like Pilgrim9, been firehosing, me with Spanish Camino videos. I especially like the packing lists. Did you know one name for zip-off pants is pantalones gringos? I love that.

Thanks! I just started watching the first espisode, and so far it is pretty easy to understand.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Trece, a free-to-TV Catholic channel, has a series called Diario de un Peregrino. 34 episodes/etapas, each 26 & a half minutes or less.
I just watched the first episode and it is lovely! I especially liked the two Spanish friends who hadn't seen each other due to Covid restrictions but were now able to walk together. The programs are very recent - August of this year. Thanks for posting this.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I don’t think anyone else has mentioned free online language exchange sites yet but that method has been fantastic for me since the first lockdown. Once you’re up and running with a basic level of the language, it’s definitely worth trying out.

I use https://www.conversationexchange.com to meet people and we then talk on Skype or Zoom, and send messages via WhatsApp or email.

There are a few excellent aspects to it. You can choose to view a list of people from specific countries, and filter it further if you wish (eg, age, gender, interests, level, platform, I think even area within a country). The list of results you’ll see will prioritise people who have most recently visited the site and updated their info, so you’ll know they’re actively looking for an exchange. When you add your own info—and it’s best to say a little about interests etc—people will find you and get in touch surprisingly quickly.

At first, I overegged the pudding and tried to talk to someone every day. Now, I have just two regular chats each week, usually for two hours each. We speak for an hour in Spanish and an hour in English. I now count them as friends. It’s surprising that it’s been easy to find people who really do share my interests. We have really good, far reaching conversations.

Before the exchanges, many years ago, I lived in Barcelona and learnt a little Spanish then—mostly present tense!—but imagined I’d forgotten it all. When I first booked the Camino in 2020, I plunged into Duolingo for three months and realised I remembered more than I’d expected. After the three months, I needed to start speaking and listening more, so I switched methods. I now also read news, articles and dip into some books, and watch Spanish series (Netflix mostly), but just a little at a time. Enabling notifications of news from Spanish apps ensures regular bite size Spanish at unexpected moments!
 
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