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Learning Spanish - Methods, resources, experiences, etc.

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
… 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.
Just to add my voice to those who also flop on the streets. It’s immensely frustrating!

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?"
Yes, this is exactly the type of sentence that makes me flop on the streets, although also at home! Subjunctive plus conditional… the only thing worse would be if you threw in an abstract ‘there’ along the way.

I did struggle with vosotros when I was in Spain, because I’ve learnt Castillian Spanish but usually only talk as one person addressing another individual person informally. Suddenly speaking on behalf of myself and my partner (nosotros) to two lovely Spanish pilgrims (vosotros) blew my little head for a while 😃 Navigating things like tripe on menus with speedy waiting staff hanging about was also an unexpected experience!
 
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Past OR future Camino
2022
@Faye Walker

I can’t help it either … 😁 … professional linguist here … but “diacritic” is the term for the whole group of marks placed above and below and sometimes through letters to indicate a difference in pronunciation, of which accent marks are only one type. Other examples are the tilde, the umlaut (used in German), the háček (Slavic languages), and many more which are all called diacritics.

The technical term for the type of accent mark used in Spanish is acute accent and the ones that go the other direction, used in French for example, are grave accents. Calling them “accent marks” has always been perfectly fine in my professional research papers.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Well, my Spanish teacher (Galicia) advised me to keep it simply and avoid the subjunctive etc until I get to grips with the basics.

Even the future, I was advised to use 'me voy a + infinitive to avoid tongue twisters. But, the future conjugation is quite easy anyway.

I'm in Spain now and I find that keeping it simple and speaking slowly to avoid using the wrong verb is much appreciated.

My Spanish teacher was right all along
 
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HaveringRob

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
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.
which podcasts do you like?
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
We learned Spanish in grade school 6-8 grade. Our teacher taught Castilian. It’s where I learned I couldn’t roll R’s. I don’t mind vostotros, maybe it’s four years of Latin but I like declining verbs. Before I walked I did Rosetta Stone and also took some classes at a junior college—where I still couldn’t roll R’s and in addition my instructor was from South America and really didn’t want me to learn the Spanish of Spain. We had several different south and Central American speakers in lab. I have a dead ear for language accents and listening via headphones didn’t help, nor did hearing different speakers say the word differently.

. I asked her “how am I supposed to pronounce “ll”, some of them it sounds like l and y, some like l, some like y…I’m so confused how I’m supposed to say “ll”. I wanted to watch her lips.

She replied “it’s easy, just say it like the animal” (meaning llama, but without her saying it 🙄). Still not sure if those are yamas, lyamas, or lamas but thankfully I didn’t need to use the word on the Camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
She replied “it’s easy, just say it like the animal” (meaning llama, but without her saying it 🙄). Still not sure if those are yamas, lyamas, or lamas but thankfully I didn’t need to use the word on the Camino.
Or in Argentina shama!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
which podcasts do you like?
There are many that I like. Lately, I've been listening to StoryLearning Spanish. It's short daily episodes of a story narrated by three different characters with accents from different countries. You can get a free version, or pay a small monthly fee through Patreon to get it without an intro and outro for each episode, and the ability to download transcripts, etc. (the transcript for each episode is on the podcast app though)

Other good podcasts are Coffee Break Spanish, Notes in Spanish, and Unlimited Spanish.

Babbel also produced a story based podcast called Palabras Bravas, and they have others that are at a beginner level.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Well, my Spanish teacher (Galicia) advised me to keep it simply and avoid the subjunctive etc until I get to grips with the basics.

Even the future, I was advised to use 'me voy a + infinitive to avoid tongue twisters. But, the future conjugation is quite easy anyway.

I'm in Spain now and I find that keeping it simple and speaking slowly to avoid using the wrong verb is much appreciated.

My Spanish teacher was right all along
I’m new to this, and hadn’t heard of that. I just looked it up and found in listed on this page as a Spanish “hack!” Wonderful!
 
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linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Past OR future Camino
2022
+1 for Spanglish hacks. A couple of hacks for the past.

1) The present perfect indicative can simplify the conjugation a bit and accomplishes a lot. You just have to learn how to form the past participle of the verb. Ar verbs end in ado, er and ir verbs end in ido. There are a few irregular past participles worth memorizing (decir = dicho, hacer = hecho, ver = visto).

Present Perfect Indicative Formula
present indicative of haber + past participle of another verb

He comido pulpo. I have eaten octopus.

2) Acabar de + [infinitive form of a verb] ... I have just done ...

Acabo de comer pulpo. I have just eaten octopus.
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
Just starting to try to understand the differences between ser and estar. Oh My! How am I ever going to remember all that?
Ser is for things that are fixed, and for professions... Soy jubilada, soy estadounidense, soy morena, soy de Detroit, era bibliotecaria.
Estar is for things that change like locations or states of being... Estoy en Portland, estoy aprendiendo el español, estoy cansada.

Here's an example that helped me understand these:
Estas borracho - you're drunk
Eres borracho - you are a drunk

you'll get there!
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Here's an example that helped me understand these:
Estas borracho - you're drunk
Eres borracho - you are a drunk

you'll get there!
That’s a really helpful example, and actually easy to remember. When I tried to research it on the Internet I got these articles that went on several pages. I’m sure they explained it thoroughly, but I don’t think that’s how you learn a language.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Today I was surprised to find my husband watching some YouTube videos in Spanish, although with captions. (He has next to zero interest in the Camino or Spain). This YouTube channel has many ethnographic documentaries by Eugenio Monesma Moliner, which describe lost Spanish crafts or trades - ranging from olive oil production to rope making. They are very interesting and provide both insight into the traditional practices and good Spanish listening practice.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For those who have a reasonable grasp of Spanish already (or keen beginners!), @Wendy Werneth did an interview in Spanish this week with a popular YouTube channel, El Jardín de Martín, talking about language learning, methods etc.

I only watched the first 10 minutes or so of the video (I'll try to watch the rest later!) but I know exactly how Wendy felt to be in a Spanish only class after having studied the language for several years in college. I took two years of Spanish in a community college, then almost two years after I completed those courses I started in upper division university courses, with my first class on my 60th birthday! There I was, amidst these 20 year olds, some of whom were native Spanish speakers! I stuck it out, and completed several courses at the university, but ultimately decided that it wasn't worth the price that I was paying. I don't care about being able to write a paper in Spanish examining the symbolism in Oda al aire. I just want to be able to talk to people!
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
I just want to be able to talk to people!
And I bet you can - you're certainly working hard on it!

Here's something that makes me optimistic. A friend is up here (in Oregon) from Mexico. The last time I saw her, 5 years ago, we talked in Spanish - and my Spanish was really awful (it's now just awful - I'm making progress). Imagine my surprise when I get together with her and she leads with English. There was a little Spanglish too but she spoke mostly English. Her vocab is limited, she has an accent, so in those terms, she's just like me (but not, obviously)! I've had to say, can I please practice my Spanish with you, because her English is good and she wants to use it.

She has done everything she can to immerse herself - and it's really paying off. I am so proud of her. (And I can't wait to put myself into immersion situations too)
 
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06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
When I began to learn Castellano, I used 2 books every day. i used one to read aloud for ten minutes. The other was my dictionary. I loved opening it and following threads from those words that had lots of sub sections. VNwalking's question above set me thinking about idioms. Here is one, which is the title of a book I read, one of many - that (reading) is really the basis of my store of language, vocabulary and structure in context. Of course, maintaining the reading element is key, but so is having the opportunity to speak with those whose first language it is.
Busqué este ejemplar por internet...
 

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