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Bad at languages

Bad at languages

Old Mar 17th 2018, 12:56 pm
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Default Bad at languages

I'm looking to retire to Spain this year, probably on the Costa Blanca and can pick odd words up, maybe phrases but could never be fluent.
My question is, can I expect to get along with only knowing the odd sentence here and there or should I have a intensive go at learning Spanish.
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Old Mar 17th 2018, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Always best to pick up as much as you can but many Spaniards in the Costa Blanca area are used to the British and you can get by unless you go deep into the campo then it becomes more difficult. The real problems can be in government offices and hospitals etc. then you may need a translator.
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Old Mar 17th 2018, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

I'm going to seriously check out Babbel when I get some time.

For written stuff I've been using Google translate - I need to ramp up my Dutch big time - but last week my eldest stepdaughter pointed me at DeepL - https://www.deepl.com/translator - which certainly puts Dutch back to English in a better - reads better, less clunky - fashion.

However, a word of warning; it has on more than one occasion mixed up the subject and object around verbs. Luckily I knew the context, so could see that Google had it right whereas DeepL didn't. But dangerous if you don't know the context, especially when playing with officialdom.
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Old Mar 17th 2018, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Originally Posted by Cutter53 View Post
I'm looking to retire to Spain this year, probably on the Costa Blanca and can pick odd words up, maybe phrases but could never be fluent.
My question is, can I expect to get along with only knowing the odd sentence here and there or should I have a intensive go at learning Spanish.
Most of us here on the Costa Blanca get by with a few words or sentences. Very often you can ask a question or order in Spanish and they will answer you in English!! That's a bit annoying but at least you know they understood your Spanish

When you have been here a year or two you will manage ok. Stick to Google translate type of learning for now. The best way to learn in my opinion is to have conversation with a fluent Spanish speaker.

Steve
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Old Mar 17th 2018, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

I like the way this couple present the subject on Youtube. I can replay the areas that I cannot get my head around as often as needed.


Last edited by jonboy; Mar 17th 2018 at 7:23 pm. Reason: mis-spelt replay!
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Watch TV. Listen to songs. Read newspapers. You may not understand much at first but your understanding will grow. Everyone can learn.
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Watch TV. Listen to songs. Read newspapers. You may not understand much at first but your understanding will grow. Everyone can learn.
Exactly ! Watching basketball games a great way to learn the numbers as they score quickly and you get the commentator and the scoreboard so you can read what he is saying .
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Learning the words is easy - it’s those damned verbs that are tricky!
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Not being funny or insulting anyone's intelligence..... watch kids programs. The language is simpler and less rushed. I learned a good bit of Spanish from programmes like Art attack etc etc. Honestly, worked for me.
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

learning to speak a little is one thing - trying to understand the answer that comes back at you at 200mph is quite another.
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Originally Posted by Fred James View Post
Learning the words is easy - it’s those damned verbs that are tricky!
Made that comment to my Spanish national wife and then ended up in a long discussion about how complex is the english language.

Happened to choose the word "Pitch" as an example. Angle, Linear, Acoustic, Sport,Media ... All have different meanings for the one word ..
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Originally Posted by KieronF View Post
learning to speak a little is one thing - trying to understand the answer that comes back at you at 200mph is quite another.
That is why I love to talk with the older women in my town because they normally speak Valenciano so when speaking Spanish with me they are much slower and have to think first because it does not flow so well for them.

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Old Mar 18th 2018, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Originally Posted by KieronF View Post
learning to speak a little is one thing - trying to understand the answer that comes back at you at 200mph is quitte another.
Hablame despacio por favor amigo!
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Learning a language is like life in combat Take the advice of Napoleon «On s'engage et puis… on voit». Loosely translated "Get in there and see what happens"
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Old Mar 19th 2018, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Bad at languages

Originally Posted by Loafing Along View Post
Made that comment to my Spanish national wife and then ended up in a long discussion about how complex is the english language.

Happened to choose the word "Pitch" as an example. Angle, Linear, Acoustic, Sport,Media ... All have different meanings for the one word ..
English is pretty easy to begin with & gets more complex as you advance. No messy verb endings (well, only 's' in the 3rd person), no gender for nouns. Spaniards tend to fall down with complex structures like phrasal verbs (eg to make up, out, do, put up with, put down etc) and English pronunciation & spelling. Think how many different ways of spelling the sound eee as in tea; bead, see, seize, ceiling, quay, people, algae.
Perhaps we should be thankful we don't have to learn English. Of course the Spanish get their own back with words that English has no one word equivalent such as _"un piropo, caudoloso (of a river), una allubiada, sarmiento (vine sticks for a BBQ), @...arroba, or verbs like dificultar, colapsar etc.

Cutter, I'm afraid there are so many different methods of learning a language not all of which will suit you. Reading children's story books can be good, tho' they'll be full of "impractical" words such as 'acorn, woodcutter, sly (fox), etc. On the other hand, listening to children is good. TV can be good & bad. Adverts are useful.
Come September you could try to enrol in a school of languages that does Spanish for beginners; I'm sure along the Costas there must be lots. There might even be a short daily programme on local TV in your area, because of the huge number of foreigners that live there.
Que tengas suerte.
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