Best way to learn a foreign language with limited resources?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 05, 2015 12:56 PM GMT
    So I know some spanish from high school but I really want to be able to learn again but at my own pace. Should I try Rosetta Stone or should I suck it up and enroll in the local Spanish classes here in town?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 05, 2015 1:15 PM GMT
    Have you tried a meet up group. Some cities have meet up groups dedicated to learning Spanish.
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    Aug 05, 2015 1:23 PM GMT
    MrFuscle saidHave you tried a meet up group. Some cities have meet up groups dedicated to learning Spanish.

    I was thinking something along the same lines, without the expense and rigid attendance requirements of formal school enrollment. Or get a BF who speaks good Spanish with his family & friends.

    Everyone has different ways they naturally learn. Some visually from text, some from hearing, some from total immersion in a society. I tried Rosetta Stone for Italian, it really wasn't a good match for me, but I'm sure it is for others.
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    Aug 05, 2015 1:29 PM GMT
    Watching movies and shows in original Spanish version (with subs if you need them) could help too ! icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 05, 2015 1:39 PM GMT
    your bf knows spanish
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Aug 05, 2015 3:30 PM GMT
    I know a bunch of people who have been using Duolingo to learn a number of languages and they love it. It's free and you can do it on your computer or your phone:

    https://www.duolingo.com/course/es/en/Learn-Spanish-Online

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    Aug 05, 2015 4:55 PM GMT
    I know about it because I'm a native spanish speaker and never took english lessons. Do you know the basic structure of the language? If you dont, find a Youtube video with lessons for very beginners or ask a friend to teach you the basic rules. Once you got the basic stuff:

    - Surf on spanish web pages
    - Read all you can
    - Listen to music in spanish and read the lyrics
    - Watch spanish movies with subtitles and as soon as you can change the subtitles from english to spanish
    - Try finding someone to practice spanish with
    - Get on a internet chat/forums and interact with spanish speaking people

    I did all that and took me a year to learn the language (basic level), and Ive been getting better for the past 5 years or so.
    Most important thing is to do all that for fun and not as an obligation.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Aug 05, 2015 5:45 PM GMT
    I've studied several languages. The key, I think, is to learn how you learn, and follow that. I tend to be visual/paper oriented, and find grammar enjoyable. Others learn by ear.

    The downside of learning by eye is that you don't get the accent right, and for that you need tapes, or far better, a teacher or class or native-speaking friend. In addition, all languages take shortcuts and slur things together, and there's no way to learn to understand that without having listened and spoken with a native-speaker or someone very good.

    Try to find a class or a group.
  • metta

    Posts: 39165

    Aug 05, 2015 5:49 PM GMT
    I always heard the best way is to move to a country that speaks that language...it will force you to learn it quickly. ;)
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    Aug 05, 2015 6:20 PM GMT
    I personally don't like spanish icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 05, 2015 6:23 PM GMT
    metta8 saidI always heard the best way is to move to a country that speaks that language...it will force you to learn it quickly. ;)


    Yes! That's how I learned to speak a foreign language.
    You can also try getting a pen pal and asking him to teach you, OP.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Aug 05, 2015 6:45 PM GMT
    metta8 saidI always heard the best way is to move to a country that speaks that language...it will force you to learn it quickly. ;)


    That's how I learned German, but it's best, I think, to start with some foundation of vocab and grammar. It also makes a huge difference if you can find a family to stay with or a circle of friends: just being there doesn't accomplish that much.

    One thing I do to re-activate my German or Swedish is to read magazines in my field, or even better (because usually idiomatic), re-read a fast-moving book you've previously read in English.
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    Aug 06, 2015 5:38 AM GMT
    I married a Mexican.
  • Antarktis

    Posts: 213

    Aug 06, 2015 10:56 AM GMT
    woodfordr saidSo I know some spanish from high school but I really want to be able to learn again but at my own pace. Should I try Rosetta Stone or should I suck it up and enroll in the local Spanish classes here in town?


    I learned German in Berlin by watching cartoons and music videos largely and keeping a English German pocket dictionary with me. Oh and never underestimate comic books. They give a visual to the words and grammar.

    Move to a foreign country? He said inexpensive.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Aug 06, 2015 11:13 AM GMT
    Try to find a "full immersion" class; that is, a class in which almost nobody's native language is ENGLISH. The class will be taught in Spanish from the get-go. This is done all the time in the Volkshochschule system for evening classes in Europe and, for example, at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, where I learned German in about - it seemed - six minutes.

    You'll learn any foreign language best just the way your mother "taught" you English: that is, she didn't "teach" you. You had to "learn" it.
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    Aug 06, 2015 2:44 PM GMT
    expand your social circle. It would be really nice if you added people that spoke your desired language. Learning Korean, and Korean culture from one of my friends currently.
  • blueandgold

    Posts: 396

    Aug 06, 2015 4:22 PM GMT
    Really, there are a bunch of free resources. Duolingo is free, and there are a ton of free videos on youtube for all levels. I also watched his hilarious english/spanish bilingual cartoon on youtube called "el gato y el perro". I love el gato. He is always hungry.

    One thing that *really* helped me was... and haters are going to hate ... i downloaded "scruff" and "manhunt" and reset my location to south america. I learned a few basic phrases and with a translator app open next to me just started texting the frigging language. I met enough people that I copied the people I liked from the hook up apps into Whatsapp, where I could physically speak to the friends I had made in south america.

    Now I have about 10 friends of so on Whatsapp that I talk to on a regular basis - some by voice, some by text. Some are pretty good in english, and some have no english at all...but with a little research and some creativity you can usually communicate. I remember trying to explain what a "fag hag" was to some guy in Bogota and finding some pretty hilarious pictures to illustrate my point because neither of us could really get it across. I ended up landing on this photo of this one girl surrounded by a group of very obviously gay men. It was fun!

    Also, I know you have limited resources, so take this next piece of advice with a grain of salt. But I find that tutors are *much* more helpful than a group class setting. While a personal foreign language tutor in the US can cost you like $80 or more, there's an awesome website where you can outsource your tutoring needs: [url]www.italki.com[/url. There you can find tutors for like $8 an hour or less that you can Skype with you who are often professional teachers in their home country. My tutor's name is Viviana, and she is from Buenos Aires. She has over 20 years of experience teaching languages.... and compared to a fresh out of grad school snot nosed kid here, shes absurdly inexpensive.

    So yeah man, have fun with it.

  • blueandgold

    Posts: 396

    Aug 06, 2015 9:41 PM GMT
    Good point, muchmorethan. You remind me... I also use Netflix. I watch shows that I already know very well, but dubbed in Spanish. Right now I'm rewatching "unbreakable kimmy schmidt" in Spanish. Sometimes I'll put the subtitles in English, sometimes in Spanish. It helps me learn the cadence if the language and... The more titus andromedon the better, even in Spanish.

    All of Netflixs original shows are dubbed in at least four languages, including Spanish. This includes orange is the new black, bojack horseman, kimmy schmidt, house of cards and arrested development.
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    Aug 07, 2015 3:05 AM GMT
    metta8 saidI always heard the best way is to move to a country that speaks that language...it will force you to learn it quickly. ;)


    Very true! This is how I learned German after spending some time in Bavaria. I would stay away from social media to learn a language. People tend to be lazy when it comes to grammatical structure on social media.
  • ai82

    Posts: 183

    Aug 07, 2015 3:34 AM GMT
    I've taken a couple of years in high school and college. I'd recommend using a book to learn the basics like sentence structure and definitions and conjugation... In college I had one that came with a dvd so you got exposed to pronunciation.

    You may even want to try a community college class. Most courses are not that expensive (atleast where I live, maybe $60 for a semester) But I'd definitely try to learn the basics before anything else.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Aug 07, 2015 4:30 AM GMT
    Public Library
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 07, 2015 4:30 AM GMT
    Espanol es muy facil.

    Seriously, it's easy and categorized as a Level 1 language according to some UN guideline. Don't waste your money on classes or software.

    English shares a lot of latin root words with Spanish. So learning vocabulary is easy. If you're not going to be using Spanish on an academic/professional level, then who really cares. Most 2nd and 3rd generation Mexicans use Spanglish anyways. Living in Austin, I'm sure you've noticed this.

    Lots of free information on the internet, as well as podcasts.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Aug 07, 2015 4:35 AM GMT
    You Tube
    Easy Learning Japanese Audio Course cd1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1aRFpi9ALA
    1 hour 15 minutes

    LEARN FRENCH IN 5 DAYS # DAY 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdfwQXJ0ZVM
    4 hours 47 minutes

    IM Learn Spanish - Intermediate/Advanced
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhf9rw2cDGA
    1 hour 11 minutes
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 07, 2015 5:35 AM GMT
    woodfordr saidBest way to learn a foreign language with limited resources?
    Breech the border and hang out with native-speaking citizens.
  • blueandgold

    Posts: 396

    Aug 07, 2015 3:51 PM GMT
    Erik101 said
    metta8 saidI always heard the best way is to move to a country that speaks that language...it will force you to learn it quickly. ;)


    Very true! This is how I learned German after spending some time in Bavaria. I would stay away from social media to learn a language. People tend to be lazy when it comes to grammatical structure on social media.


    Once it becomes (very) obvious that you are a beginner speaker and you ask people not to abbreviate words, I've found most people are pretty accommodating. Certainty, lol, not all! But finding the right 10 people or so to practice a language with is an art itself.

    Without these people to practice with on a daily basis I'd be much more behind. I pester people constant with "does this make sense in Spanish"? Lol lol lol.

    To each their own, but having direct access to an unlimited number of native speakers through social media is an *awesome* ability, and a literal historical first.