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How I learned Spanish cheaply

How I learned Spanish cheaply

Old Oct 22nd 2014, 2:32 am
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Default How I learned Spanish cheaply

I'm doing a trip to Central America next year (after Iceland, so I think it'll probably seem quite hot). I've never learned languages, so starting from scratch in my (semi-) advanced years was never going to be easy.

Anyway, here's what I did to learn Spanish to a moderate conversational level in 12 months without being in a Spanish-speaking country:
  • Downloaded Coffee Break Spanish podcasts and listened to them in the car - this gives you the basics of verb conjugation
  • Bought an intermediate book as reference - all those prepositions that we don't use in English are confusing
  • Listened to streaming radio from Peru and Mexico for a couple of hours a week while doing random things
  • Hired a native language teacher using odesk.com for one hour a day, 5 days a week - cost US$4.50/hr for a guy from El Salvador.

I'm by no means fluent, but I can have decent conversations if the people I'm talking with don't talk too fast. I'm going to spend 2 months there and will try to avoid ex-pats and just talk to locals

The teacher I have is a linguistics prof and he says that in total immersion you can learn Spanish in around 25 weeks as compared to, for example, 90 weeks for Chinese. So, hopefully I'll be fluent in 8 seeing as I have a good head start.
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