Fluent In Spanish - How Fast?

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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There are a few jobs in the USA that I am looking at. Being Bilingual is a big plus. I speak Spanish but there is much I do not know or understand. I have never put the effort into going to the next level. I believe I could get there with a little work. How can I achieve this in the fastest way possible? Does anyone have a class they would recommend or tutor or program? Thanks.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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www.rockysbar.com
There are a few jobs in the USA that I am looking at. Being Bilingual is a big plus. I speak Spanish but there is much I do not know or understand. I have never put the effort into going to the next level. I believe I could get there with a little work. How can I achieve this in the fastest way possible? Does anyone have a class they would recommend or tutor or program? Thanks.
Watch TV in Spanish and read the local newspapers.
 
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Chip00

Guest
There are a few jobs in the USA that I am looking at. Being Bilingual is a big plus. I speak Spanish but there is much I do not know or understand. I have never put the effort into going to the next level. I believe I could get there with a little work. How can I achieve this in the fastest way possible? Does anyone have a class they would recommend or tutor or program? Thanks.
Seeing how you're probably going back to the States soon, take at least 4 classes(not concurrently) starting with basic Spanish 101. Yes you will be a little bored in the beginning but you need to learn to read, write and speak the basic and correct grammar from the getgo.

Having a Dominican wife will give you a great advantage as you will be able to talk with her on a daily basis.

And yes like Rocky says watch TV and listen to the radio in spanish - just try to avoid Don Francisco and Cristina!
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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I concur with Chip00....watching baseball isn't a bad way to go.

And you can also watch NFL football on NBC in Spanish or on ESPN2 in Spanish.
Also "real" football on FOX or ESPN... You get visual oral/aural stimuli that way.

You can see what a "carrera" is or what "un pase por el medio" is....plus the commercials are in good Spanish with good diction--something many sportscasters do not necessarily have...

the telenovelas are sometimes trite but they do speak understandable Spanish.

A few hours a day dedicated to this might help...

How about we plan on a SuperBowl cook out and I do the BBQ sauce??

HB
 

Snuffy

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HB...I am game for this. Chip...day is SuperBowl day...whenever that is...toward end of month. HB....where? I can do it here but my place is not that large...but it will do the trick. Nevermind on that...had large tv stolen and new tv got hit by lightening storm. 2006 was the year that took tvs out of my home. I do have a small errrrr 13" tv. :) I would like to meet some other expats living in the area. We need a large TV.
 

Snuffy

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Of course we need the grill or grills. I have a nice one. AZB has one. Anyone have a truck to haul a grill or TV. If someone wants to bring the large tv to my home we can do it here. Don't know if my cable will get the game...it should. What you think HB?
 

ustilagor

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May 30, 2004
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Hey, I agree with the Novelas as a good way to pick up phrases, for the most part the actors/actresses seem to speak slowly and clearly (exception being the more exciting parts...LOL) and they seem to use lots of phrases over and over again...I wouldn't be caught dead watching an American Soap Opera but the Novelas are very dramatic and only seem to last a few months...very dramatic acting and great scenery in them also...
 

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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Para mi, la mejor y mas rapida manera de aprender cualquier idioma es inmersiendose en ella. Es decir, reprimiendo su idioma natal y enfocarse completamente en el que se quiera aprender. De esta manera, uno piensa en esa lengua en vez de tratar de traducir cada palabra u oracion.
Trate de leer lo mas posible, creo es mejor que ver la tv.
 
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apostropheman

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Para mi, la mejor y mas rapida manera de aprender cualquier idioma es inmersiendose en ella. Es decir, reprimiendo su idioma natal y enfocarse completamente en el que se quiera aprender. De esta manera, uno piensa en esa lengua en vez de tratar de traducir cada palabra u oracion.
Trate de leer lo mas posible, creo es mejor que ver la tv.
convengo totalmente.
 
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Chip00

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For the gringos

Para mi, la mejor y mas rapida manera de aprender cualquier idioma es inmersiendose en ella. Es decir, reprimiendo su idioma natal y enfocarse completamente en el que se quiera aprender. De esta manera, uno piensa en esa lengua en vez de tratar de traducir cada palabra u oracion.
Trate de leer lo mas posible, creo es mejor que ver la tv.
Ok for the gringos who are still learning this translates as follows:

"For me the best and fastest way to learn a language is to immerse oneself in it. That is to say, "reject" or "subordinate" one's natural language and completely focus on the new one to be learned. In this way one thinks in this new "tongue" instead of translating each word or phrase."

There are a few schools of thought out there that buy into this "immersion" theory as effective from the very beginning as opposed to waiting until the student has actually learned the structure and grammar. However in my experience it will be most effective among the younger crowds(like my daughters 4 and 6). For us old coots - forget it - you will be just confused as I was. The "developed" and mature brain works differently and will work better with "structure". Again, study grammar for at least 6 months, and when you have a handle on it you can begin to focus on the listening and speaking and then "immersion" if the means permit.
 
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apostropheman

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good points. it does help, it does me at least, to have some basic knowledge before immersion.

now when i vacation i'm the only fluently english speaking person around and i find that after a week or so my spanish vocabulary has grown tremendously. being forced to communicate in another language really does work.

it's not at all the same sitting at home listening to pimsleur and watching novellas:cheeky:
Ok for the gringos who are still learning this translates as follows:

"For me the best and fastest way to learn a language is to immerse oneself in it. That is to say, "reject" or "subordinate" one's natural language and completely focus on the new one to be learned. In this way one thinks in this new "tongue" instead of translating each word or phrase."

There are a few schools of thought out there that buy into this "immersion" theory as effective from the very beginning as opposed to waiting until the student has actually learned the structure and grammar. However in my experience it will be most effective among the younger crowds(like my daughters 4 and 6). For us old coots - forget it - you will be just confused as I was. The "developed" and mature brain works differently and will work better with "structure". Again, study grammar for at least 6 months, and when you have a handle on it you can begin to focus on the listening and speaking and then "immersion" if the means permit.
 

ustilagor

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May 30, 2004
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oh yeah forgot about the Chicas

That's probably what ustilagor meant when he said:

"great scenery in them also..."
Si Si Muy Caliente....tambien....yes there are some really nice looking women in the novelas also...very nice looking women...how could I forget to mention that....:D
 

ustilagor

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I agree with the children learning other languages as if there is no big deal about it....young minds don't seem to realize that it is difficult to learn another language...perhaps because they are learning their native language as a new language at the same time....
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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how long then to learn from scratch?
i have been here six months now and my spanish has not improved much. i can understand a written word, especially newspaper spanish.
i still have a problem with spoken word...
 

Snuffy

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My experience is that when I am talking to educated people here I understand much more than I do talking to those that are using rough spanish. So talk to the right people and it will help a lot.
 
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Chip00

Guest
how long then to learn from scratch?
i have been here six months now and my spanish has not improved much. i can understand a written word, especially newspaper spanish.
i still have a problem with spoken word...
Dv8

Snuffy is right - talk with educated people if you can and you will be surprised of how much you understand this is assuming IF you have been studying grammar during your time here or previously.

On the other hand if you don't have that opportunity you will have to make do with what you have. Therefore, your mate will be of utmost importance to helping you. If he/she speaks English, have them stop and only use Spanish. Also, try to find a neighbor or maybe a person who hangs out a lot at the local colmado who will be patient enough to speak with you. Patience is the key word - most Dominicans in my experience don't have enough when it comes to talking to gringos who are at the early stage of learning Spanish,

At this point(6 months) assuming that you have studied grammar and know how to conjugate the verbs etc you probably find that speaking is a lot easier for you than understanding. Don't worry, this is normal and it will probably be some time until the hearing ability passes the speaking ability. Also, you should be able to communicate on a sufficient enough level to go to the store, etc. and ask for stuff you need.

Your situation was very similar to mine 7 years ago. If you do what I recommend and also watch as much TV and listen to the radio as possible EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT this will be very crucial to the learning process. A baby listens to the spoken language around him even though they understand nothing at the beginning and volia they start speaking. LISTENING will accustom and teach your brain the Spanish sounds and you don't even have to consciously think about it. Don't be intimidated when a Dominican speaks that it sound like one big long word - that will change.

A couple of final points, please don't be embarassed too much when you make mistakes - have confidence! Also, remember you will have GOOD and BAD Spanish days like everyone - if you don't believe me ask Hillbilly. Sometimes the brain will automatically "switch back" to the native language. Sometimes when I'm tired I hear Dominicans talking and it sounds a lot like jibberish until I focus and then I understand - NO MATTER how fast they talk.

Good Luck!