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Foreign Language Forums => Discusión en español => Topic started by: Rowan on November 22, 2008, 01:55:41 PM

Title: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Rowan on November 22, 2008, 01:55:41 PM
Because I plan on getting into the medical field, I really want to learn Spanish. I really need some advice about this.

Am I better off taking Spanish classes here at my school, or using software?

What are really good brands of immersion software (apart from Rosetta Stone -- too pricey)?

If the Spanish resource separates Spanish by region, from which region would it be better to learn from to get closest to Spanish-speaking in America (Spain, Latin America, etc.)

Anyone know anything about learning "medical Spanish"?

So far, these products are on my Amazon.com wish list:

http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Immersion-Spanish-Deluxe-v3-0/dp/B0011DM0IA/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I25EWAWXZQBHR0&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Beginners-Spanish-Joseph-Keenan/dp/029274322X/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2VE54OA5OZA9M&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Useful-Spanish-Words-Beginners-Guides/dp/0486291138/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IKIP3AQD70C0C&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Spanish-Phrase-Book-Everyday/dp/0486280861/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1QRIKHTG7O5MK&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

Any advice about learning Spanish, any at all, would be greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Fr. David on November 22, 2008, 02:51:35 PM
I'm a Spanish teacher by profession (as is ytterbiumanalyst, if he doesn't see this thread you can PM him), and I've found I have a lot of success in class with TPRS -- Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling.  It seeks to mimic the natural process of language acquisition that we experienced while learning English as children.  I've found it does this very well.

Drawbacks?  Those students (myself included) who really, REALLY like grammar rules and structures may feel frustrated at times, since it pretty much is "whole language" learning (which works, if the teacher knows how and when to use it).  You need to know if you can handle just "being" in the language from the inside instead of starting piecemeal on the outside and working your way, bit by bit, into the language.

If this seems like something you'd like to try, however, there are "Fluency Fast" Workshops (http://www.fluencyfast.com/) that the producers of TPRS provide at certain times in certain areas.  I recommend them if you're looking to do something quickly and effectively -- to get you "off and running" in a language quick.  Lots of folks have said that, after some of these workshops, they feel much better prepared to tackle more advanced stuff, whether it be more TPRS-type lessons or traditional, grammar-based instruction.

Good for you on wanting to take on another language.  ¡Buena suerte!
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on November 24, 2008, 06:16:28 PM
Spanish classes can be good, but they take a long time and can be very expensive. If you're going to go that route, I'd recommend at least eight: two introductory (100-level), which should focus on basic vocabulary and syntax; two intermediate (200-level), one focusing on speech and the other on composition; two advanced (300-level), again one focusing on speech and the other on composition; and two specific to the medical field. If your university does not offer such classes, try to find literature courses in which you can choose your own literature, and read medical novels. This should familiarize you with the specific terminology you need.

When selecting a professor, many are tempted to go with one with an Hispanic name. This technique does not always produce good results. For one thing, many native Spanish speakers do not fully understand grammatical principles, just as many English speakers do not, and it may be frustrating to ask why something is like it is and not receive an answer. Second, those who learn Spanish first and then English may not understand as well the errors beginning Spanish students make, especially if they are not as familiar with English idiom. On the other hand, native English speakers may only know Spanish academically, and may not be as familiar with Hispanic culture and idiom as native Spanish speakers are. My professor was a native speaker of both languages, and grew up in Puerto Rico. He seemed to have a good balance of both worlds.

I've heard good things about Rosetta Stone, but I've never used it myself. I'm not entirely convinced of the ability of a computer (a mathematically-based instrument) to be able to teach language (a decidedly unmathematical field). I think you'd be far better off actually speaking with a live person. It's for this reason I strongly recommend against online Spanish courses. You need the interaction with a professor and a class to practice your skills.

Just a question: Are you planning to go abroad with Medicos sin Fronteras?
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Schultz on November 24, 2008, 06:22:52 PM
Once you've achieved some competency and ability, I highly suggest finding yourself any Spanish language newspaper, magazine, etc and picking one article at random and go paragraph by paragraph trying to read it.  Highlight words you don't understand on your first go through and make flash cards for them.  Don't go on to the next paragraph until you understand the first one.  Don't go on to another article/story until you understand the first one.  Don't throw the magazine/newspaper away until you understand the whole thing. 

You'll get a feel for how people who actually use the language on an everyday basis understand and use their language. 

I've used Rosetta Stone as a refresher for German.  I like it.  It's very easy to use and it's a great basic vocabulary builder.  Plus you get to hear how words sound when spoken.

I also highly reccommend the Pimsleur language series.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Rowan on November 25, 2008, 10:58:06 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I will certainly keep it in mind. I'm in a good position to take actual Spanish classes now (and would be able to get financial aid for them), but I wanted to save my schedule for classes that actually apply to my major. What a thought: forever an undergrad. I shudder to even think about it.

Just a question: Are you planning to go abroad with Medicos sin Fronteras?

Hey, I know what that means!  :D (High-school Latin helps)

I was seriously considering it when I wanted to become a doctor, but haven't given it much thought since I now want to be a physician's assistant. I should see if they take on a variety of health professionals. Thanks for making me think about it again.

Quote from: Schultz
I also highly reccommend the Pimsleur language series.

Thank you for the recommendation.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Tallitot on November 25, 2008, 11:55:05 PM
Another fun way to study Spanish...videos of Spanish language movies with English subtitles.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on November 26, 2008, 10:12:22 AM
Just a question: Are you planning to go abroad with Medicos sin Fronteras?

Hey, I know what that means!  :D (High-school Latin helps)

I was seriously considering it when I wanted to become a doctor, but haven't given it much thought since I now want to be a physician's assistant. I should see if they take on a variety of health professionals. Thanks for making me think about it again.
They do. They are especially in need of nurses, but they take all kinds of people with medical training (and people like me who have none, but who can organize a single-file line in seconds flat :) ).
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: CCTE on June 18, 2009, 12:43:46 PM
Hello
I want to ask a question. there is any spanish letter (or a group of letters), for reproduce the sound 'sh' from english ship or cash?
What about a from above, or zz from pizza?
Thank you.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Ian Lazarus on June 18, 2009, 12:58:39 PM
Peronally, I'm a typical first generation/ third generation kids whose parents refused to teach them spanish because they insisted on english first and then in high shcool learn spanish.  Heres the rub:  my parents went to a private school surrounded by south americans, caribeans, and mexicans who spoke fluently, they had to take spanish for all the four years they were there, having at the end to read on a college level before graduation, and their professors in other classes switched between spanish and english.  I took two years in a govenment school with teachers who could barely read the text book.  I am still looking for the "banjo".

I had to learn through tapes, phrase books, flash cards and friends.  They corected as best they could.  Now Im functional in the language, but I am no where near an expert.  There are still alot of holes.  I cant keep up with the rancheros who come to my place of business conversing.  It's just too fast.  Too much slang I dont know.  And I'm not in an environment where I speak it every day. 

But, get a friend.  And ask him to help you.  It's gold.   
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on June 18, 2009, 05:24:05 PM
Hello
I want to ask a question. there is any spanish letter (or a group of letters), for reproduce the sound 'sh' from english ship or cash?
What about a from above, or zz from pizza?
Thank you.
"Sh" is usually pronounced as "ch." Thus Chicago is not "Shicago" but "Chee--cah-goe."

The schwa sound (that "uh" in "above" and so many other English words) has no correlation in Spanish. Native Spanish-speakers usually fully pronounce whatever vowel is written until they become more fluent in English.

The Italian double-zed is pronounced just as the Italians do, "La pitza."
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: CCTE on June 20, 2009, 01:20:51 AM
Thank you for answers
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: IPC on June 20, 2009, 01:40:35 AM
Dear Rowan, I like this site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/

You may learn online, or in a real life course, it depends on what you find more effective for you. Each person has it's own way to learning.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: IPC on June 20, 2009, 02:04:08 AM
Dear CCTE

Doamne Ajuta!

The sound Sh in spanish is represented by the same group of letters as in english "SH".

The zz from pizza is pronounced in spanish in exactly the same way as it is in italian, similar to the english "ts" in pants.

The "a" in pizza in spanish is pronounced like the a, in alo. Alo, salut, sunt eu un haiduk, si te rog CCTE,,,  :laugh:


If you see a letter "N" with a funny hat on top Ñ, ñ, you must pronounce it as the french "ng" in Champagne.







Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ChristusDominus on June 20, 2009, 02:10:50 AM
Dear CCTE

Doamne Ajuta!

The sound Sh in spanish is represented by the same group of letters as in english "SH".

The zz from pizza is pronounced in spanish in exactly the same way as it is in italian, similar to the english "ts" in pants.

The "a" in pizza in spanish is pronounced like the a, in alo. Alo, salut, sunt eu un haiduk, si te rog CCTE,,,  :laugh:
The "Z" is pronounced like an "S" is pronounced. Pizza would be prononced like this: Pee-Sah
That is how my mother pronounced it ::)

The letter "z" is mistaken for the "s" sound. It's a continual mistake.

This is the case in Latin American Spanish.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: IPC on June 20, 2009, 02:24:10 AM
This is also the case that some spanish speakers can't pronounce the "sh" and they pronounce it "ch" so instead of saying shampoo, they say champoo.

And exactly the opposite happens among spanish speakers of other regions, they pronounce the "ch" as "sh". Instead of saying "chilli" they say "sheely".

So you can hear a spanish speaker asking for "sheely beans" and saying "no peek engleech".

Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ChristusDominus on June 20, 2009, 04:18:35 AM
This is also the case that some spanish speakers can't pronounce the "sh" and they pronounce it "ch" so instead of saying shampoo, they say champoo.
Is it because it's champú in spanish? ::)
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: IPC on July 07, 2009, 09:38:45 PM
Someone in here posted a mistaken information:

The correct spanish pronunciation for Pizza, it's the same as the italian word, used in english

zz = ts Pitza, given it's a borrowed word from italian.

If you pronounce pizza as one person said, with s as in soul, (pee-sah) pisa then you get another spanish word, which means to step on or trample on something.

For example:

In one of the Icons of Archangel Michael, one may see he tramples on satan.

En uno de los Iconos del Arcangel Miguel, uno puede ver que pisa a satanas.


Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Lauren_Elisse on March 04, 2010, 09:20:59 PM
Estoy en una clase de español!
Estoy en la clase uno.
Yo aprendo muchas español.

Hahaha I'm obviously still learning
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on March 04, 2010, 09:27:31 PM
Estoy en una clase de español!
Estoy en la clase uno.
Yo aprendo muchas español.

Hahaha I'm obviously still learning
¡Bueno! Yo soy profesor de español. Yo enseño el español uno y dos en el colegio. Tú escribes bien (excepto es "mucho," no "muchas").
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: wynd on March 05, 2010, 02:58:56 AM
Estoy en una clase de español!
Estoy en la clase uno.
Yo aprendo muchas español.

Hahaha I'm obviously still learning

¡Español es fácil! Creo que es divertido aprender.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Papist on March 05, 2010, 02:22:14 PM
Because I plan on getting into the medical field, I really want to learn Spanish. I really need some advice about this.

Am I better off taking Spanish classes here at my school, or using software?

What are really good brands of immersion software (apart from Rosetta Stone -- too pricey)?

If the Spanish resource separates Spanish by region, from which region would it be better to learn from to get closest to Spanish-speaking in America (Spain, Latin America, etc.)

Anyone know anything about learning "medical Spanish"?

So far, these products are on my Amazon.com wish list:

http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Immersion-Spanish-Deluxe-v3-0/dp/B0011DM0IA/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I25EWAWXZQBHR0&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Beginners-Spanish-Joseph-Keenan/dp/029274322X/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2VE54OA5OZA9M&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Useful-Spanish-Words-Beginners-Guides/dp/0486291138/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IKIP3AQD70C0C&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Spanish-Phrase-Book-Everyday/dp/0486280861/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1QRIKHTG7O5MK&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

Any advice about learning Spanish, any at all, would be greatly appreciated!
Two suggestions:
1. Watch Spanish TV, especially movies that you have seen many times in English.
2. Watch English TV with the Spanish Sub-titles on.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on March 05, 2010, 02:24:48 PM
Because I plan on getting into the medical field, I really want to learn Spanish. I really need some advice about this.

Am I better off taking Spanish classes here at my school, or using software?

What are really good brands of immersion software (apart from Rosetta Stone -- too pricey)?

If the Spanish resource separates Spanish by region, from which region would it be better to learn from to get closest to Spanish-speaking in America (Spain, Latin America, etc.)

Anyone know anything about learning "medical Spanish"?

So far, these products are on my Amazon.com wish list:

http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Immersion-Spanish-Deluxe-v3-0/dp/B0011DM0IA/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I25EWAWXZQBHR0&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Beginners-Spanish-Joseph-Keenan/dp/029274322X/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2VE54OA5OZA9M&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Useful-Spanish-Words-Beginners-Guides/dp/0486291138/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IKIP3AQD70C0C&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Spanish-Phrase-Book-Everyday/dp/0486280861/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1QRIKHTG7O5MK&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

Any advice about learning Spanish, any at all, would be greatly appreciated!
Two suggestions:
1. Watch Spanish TV, especially movies that you have seen many times in English.
2. Watch English TV with the Spanish Sub-titles on.
Good advice. Also, children's programming in Spanish is great for learning vocabulary, since they'll repeat words and phrases in different contexts, often with illustrations.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Papist on March 05, 2010, 02:49:28 PM
I think the best thing that ever happened to me as far as learning spanish was spending some time in mexico. Even a one week vacation makes a big difference if you already know some Spanish.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on March 05, 2010, 04:43:51 PM
I think the best thing that ever happened to me as far as learning spanish was spending some time in mexico. Even a one week vacation makes a big difference if you already know some Spanish.
Yes. I spent a little over a week in Venezuela as I was learning Spanish. It helped tremendously; I learned a lot while I was there, and I learned much more from my Spanish classes after returning, because of the connexions I was able to make to what I heard in Venezuela.
Title: Re: Getting Fluent in Spanish
Post by: Christianus on March 13, 2010, 05:47:31 AM
Because I plan on getting into the medical field, I really want to learn Spanish. I really need some advice about this.

Am I better off taking Spanish classes here at my school, or using software?

What are really good brands of immersion software (apart from Rosetta Stone -- too pricey)?

If the Spanish resource separates Spanish by region, from which region would it be better to learn from to get closest to Spanish-speaking in America (Spain, Latin America, etc.)

Anyone know anything about learning "medical Spanish"?

So far, these products are on my Amazon.com wish list:

http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Immersion-Spanish-Deluxe-v3-0/dp/B0011DM0IA/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I25EWAWXZQBHR0&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Beginners-Spanish-Joseph-Keenan/dp/029274322X/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2VE54OA5OZA9M&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Useful-Spanish-Words-Beginners-Guides/dp/0486291138/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IKIP3AQD70C0C&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Spanish-Phrase-Book-Everyday/dp/0486280861/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1QRIKHTG7O5MK&colid=1VQQIIKFO7BBH

Any advice about learning Spanish, any at all, would be greatly appreciated!
As a language learning Expert,knowing English,Spanish,Latin,French, Italian, and some Greek, Rowan, I suggest that you buy Rocket Spanish, from Rocket languages, from whom I got the Rocket French version, for only a hundred dollars.
http://www.rocketlanguages.com/