My hope for learning Spanish as increased....
I cannot express in words how happy I am that I found Duolingo...
In my school classes we are required to take 2 years of any foreign language. I decided to take Spanish, mostly because it is both a common and useful language to learn.
The first two weeks of class have not been the friendliest to me, my teacher teaches in a way that I don't learn well from. What my teacher does is just point to an object and say the Spanish word, and say it over and over again, or he will write a sentence on the board and go over it, then we write more sentences down. Although I know his intentions are good I do not learn that well with listening as I am more of a visual/kinetic learner. I do not like listening to pure repetition.
I also seem to be one of the few people in my class that doesn't know the exact grammar and spelling mechanics of some Spanish words. For example I misspell "Veintiuno" as "Vientiuno". I also cannot roll my R's that well and I wasn't really getting Spanish at all. I was frustrated!
I found Duolingo after a lot of desperate searches on the internet. I had no idea what I was in for. I love everything about this website, the lesson structure although similar to my teacher, it put's it in a way that I have learned more in four days than I have two weeks in Spanish class from Duolingo! Although it doesn't follow my class way of learning I have indirectly learned the correct spelling through seeing the words on lessons a number of times, and I have also learned basic phrases with my Spanish teacher (though occasionally I'll say the wrong word and embarrass myself). I am absolutely impressed by how much I learned and I cannot wait to get further in my studies (and pass my exams!)
I still need to learn how to Roll R's and also look into a bit more for spelling and grammar mechanics, but I hope I can find resources like that on my own :)
ESCUCHAME por favor.
- You must listen often. You don't want to listen to a boring, repetitive teacher but find a good source to listen to. Ask yourself this. What do I like? Do you like action movies, try to watch 5-10 minutes en español. Cartoons? Watch 5 - 10 minutes in Spanish. With subtitles or no-subtitles. You have to listen as often as possible.
- Don't worry about being to properly roll your R's. It does take practice. It is one of the hardest things for English speakers to do.
- Don't worry about being embarrassed. My son says a lot of weird things. Some times he speaks slowly when he's trying to express himself. He's 5. He's never been embarrassed trying to speak. English is his first language. The key point . . . older people (ages 12 and up I guess) who think they know better or everything, think too much, worry too much. I can guarantee you that I will sound foolish if I attempt to speak German, Japanese, Russian or any other language I don't know.
Once you can speak Spanish . . . no one will worry if you can correctly spell embarazado. And they won't drill you on the correct way to use ser o estar. Just make sure you understand the grammatical structure when you are taking your exams.
I think you're going to do well on your exams. Personal motivation is key. Considering your learning style, I think these books will help. Hopefully you can get these book at your local library.
This dictionary is bilingual. I'm an adult but I still enjoyed this book.
This book is not bilingual but it is still cool to look through.
I wish I had this book a long time ago. Personally I don't like reading about grammar, but this illustrated book really helps.
I am happy that you're enjoying learning here and you're finding it a lot more productive than classes. I am an English teacher in Spain and I know that people have access to a lot of great information, this included, on the internet, FOR FREE. I really raise the bar in my classes and make people realize why they are paying me. Your teacher sounds hopeless, like most academies here in Spain who teach Spanish.
I am only able to roll my R's after a couple of glasses of wine or a few pints of beer.
Poco a poco ;)
I'll try that, when I am older though!
My teacher has good intentions as a majority of English speakers get what he's saying, he just doesn't appeal to how my brain best learns stuff, I mostly have to associate words with pictures or other words.
A good example being classroom objects we have learned, I associate marcatextos (highlighter) with "phone texts" or Puerto (Door) with the Persian empire, I have a weird way of learning but it works >:)
Im with you.. when I found duo My mind went bonkers!!! it so much fun and now I Know different languages
hola i am learning spanish yo soy 12 yo soy la nina can you reply in basic espanol and help me
I might be able to help you a little bit with the spelling.
Spanish is just about as pure, phonetically, as a language can be. Every letter has one sound (except c and g, which have hard and soft sounds like in English). But the vowel sounds are completely pure.
So if you know that veintiuno sounds like bane-tee-oo-noh, just take it super slowly and the spelling will be a lot easier.
Spanish doesn't have a vowel that sounds like the long "a" in English. No "bay" or "bane" type sound can be made with just one vowel. But if you slide VERY slowly through a long "a" sound, you will hear that it starts out like "eh" and slides into "ee". e, then i.
So veintiuno has to have the e first, then the i, to make that long "a" sound eh-ee.
If you put the i first, it would sound like bee-ehn-tee-ooh-noh. No long "a".
There are a couple of consonant pairs that can get confusing because they sound the same, like b-v or s-z-c (soft c) but those will come with practice. If you can get the five vowel sounds, and make them pure and consistent, you'll have most of the pronunciation and spelling nailed down.
It was my college Spanish instructor who recommended Duolingo for extra practice. I'm so glad that he did. It has helped a lot with grammar and spelling. It's definitely a great resource. Just practice every day. I made an 85 in Spanish 1, but started using Duo a lot and made a 99 in Spanish 2. I'm taking 3 & 4 next year, and should be a breeze. I don't even need the classes, but want to take them because the instructor is great and I want to learn as much as possible. A good instructor is very important and can make all the difference. Go to www.ratemyprofessor.com to find a high-rated teacher for Spanish at your university. That's what I do and it has always been true.
I wish we had Duolingo when I was doing Spanish in School...I would be much further ahead. Aprendemos cada dia
There are so many resources on the internet for free it is great that you are looking for other options, duolingo is a great spot to start and there are also lots of other ideas (free, cheap and not cheap) that you can use to help. I can send you a massive list but don't want to overwhelm you.
I recommend watching some of these if you have time, even if you can do it while doinr things like tidying your room, without 100% attention it will help: Extra en español – look on youtube, great series to start with, probably my favourite of these but also all in spanish but great to watch again after a few months to see how your spanish is going http://www.learner.org/series/destinos/watch/index.html?ep1 – destino, made for beginners to learn about spanish, I feel like I did this in a spanish class but once I rediscovered it I had too much spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/ - for beginners starts basic has english explanations
I also really recommend these audio books, you can get them by googling the name or on audible, they aren't too expensive and they are for learning, they will get you used to hearing spanish being spoken and can be listened to anywhere so won't take up study time: Beginner - No work Spanish – poster girl – like this, story for kids but easy to listen to Beginner - No work Spanish – the case of the missing poodle - like this, story for kids but easy to listen to Beginner - No work Spanish – yaks march in Washington – don’t like this as much but same format easy to listen to There are also quite a few beginner podcasts but I find them too boring and much prefer the stories.
If you need any other recommendations of outside material let me know and I can help you find some resources (and everyone else on here!), I have learnt spanish in many different ways and I find I keep changing how I learn best, there will always be something new out there and good luck!!!