Site with short beginner to advanced readings in Spanish
I just found this web site. It has, among many other features, text in Spanish with side by side English translations and the Spanish words can be played so that you can hear how the Spanish text sounds. The sound isn't 'computer generated'; it is recorded by a real person. As it has beginner to advanced levels, there is something for everyone! :)
Thanks! I will definitely use this, since I can comprehend the reading fine, but understanding the audio is a different story, even though the reader speaks clearly and relatively slowly.
De nada! I have problems understanding spoken Spanish, too, but it is getting easier. I've found that if I listen to a passage multiple times, each time I understand a little bit more. It just takes practice. I find that, at first, I might pick up on only 1 word. But, after I listen a few more times, I might be able to pick up phrases and, eventually, entire sentences. The way I describe it to myself is that I have to get my ears attuned to the 'music' of the words. Once I become familiar with the 'rhythm' , I start to understand the words. ¡qt1bd! (¡Que tengas un buen día!) (Have a nice day!)
How is your speaking/understanding? I found that a year with DuoLingo gave me great reading/writing skills, but speaking and especially verbal comprehension were lacking. I've been using verbling.com/i/cat1 for live interactive classes ($1-2/hour) privates ($9+/hour). You can always watch classes (live recorded) for free your first week of unlimited classes is free! Now, I am actually able to speak with and understand so much Spanish.
I'm the same. My reading/writing are much better. But, my speaking/listening skills are lacking. Just this past week, I've started speaking on Skype with Spanish speakers that I found on Italki.com to improve those skills. I don't think that any 1 program will be enough. I think I need to use a variety of resources if I want to improve my Spanish skills.
I have signed up for News in Slow Spanish to improve my listening, they provide free podcasts every week and with the paid subscription you get transcripts and translations. It's particularly useful it you want to learn European Spanish - which has more limited online resources, although they do both.
I've seen that site. It looks like a great resource. Thanks for sharing it.
I did another lesson on the practical spanish website today, and I still find it amazing that while I can read actual books in spanish without much problem, where I am comfortable listening to the audio on the website (without looking at the text) is still the "absolute beginner" level. I definitely need more practice like this!
I've been listening to a lot of tv in Spanish for about a week now. I'm surprised how much easier it is getting. I'm able to pick out words/phrases/complete sentences. It's often enough to follow along with the story even though I don't understand 100% of what's being said yet. :)
I like to watch Spanish TV too and I feel like I can follow a lot of it, but I think that might be a delusion on my part and that I actually just enjoy making up the story while I think I am understanding it. Maybe not as good for my translation skills as it is for my imagination!
Thanks for the tip! I used to subscribe to a small Spanish/English newspaper for something like $50/month. This is much better, and it looks like it is free. It should be very helpful.
My reading/writing comprehension is definitely improving, but I don't feel the same is true for trying to converse in Spanish. At least, living in an area with many Latino immigrants, my ear is fairly attuned to it. I just need practice having spoken dialogues. I see that I should definitely add audio to my program, from Internet or subtitled recordings.
I also heard that one way to pick up the sound and meaning is to watch shows or movies in Spanish (or other target language), and repeat back what each actor says, mimicking the words and accent as closely as possible. Don't stop to think what it means. That will filter in later. I suppose that makes sense, as babies first learn to speak by repeating what they hear.