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Espanol - theory vs reality!

Espanol - theory vs reality!

Old Jan 30th 2010, 12:54 am
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Default Espanol - theory vs reality!

Haven't posted for a bit. I know, and this forum backs me up, that I should learn Spanish. I am now on Advanced 1 with Instituto Cervantes, but why does no-one warn you that, when faced with a Spanish national, your brain turns to mush, you forget about indefinido vs perfecto and just revert to complete b******s? I could write you an essay in perfect (nearly) Spanish but talk.. well ........ that's another kettle of fish!
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 1:03 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Makingthemove
Haven't posted for a bit. I know, and this forum backs me up, that I should learn Spanish. I am now on Advanced 1 with Instituto Cervantes, but why does no-one warn you that, when faced with a Spanish national, your brain turns to mush, you forget about indefinido vs perfecto and just revert to complete b******s? I could write you an essay in perfect (nearly) Spanish but talk.. well ........ that's another kettle of fish!
Just like english, very few speak it like ........ one ought to
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 5:15 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Makingthemove
Haven't posted for a bit. I know, and this forum backs me up, that I should learn Spanish. I am now on Advanced 1 with Instituto Cervantes, but why does no-one warn you that, when faced with a Spanish national, your brain turns to mush, you forget about indefinido vs perfecto and just revert to complete b******s? I could write you an essay in perfect (nearly) Spanish but talk.. well ........ that's another kettle of fish!
well done you for the studying so hard - & the written Spanish might well help you with employment

Originally Posted by missile
Just like english, very few speak it like ........ one ought to
exactly - it doesn't matter how much grammar you know, what all the tenses are called, or any of that

you just have to talk, talk, talk, in Spanish, preferably to Spanish people
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Makingthemove
Haven't posted for a bit. I know, and this forum backs me up, that I should learn Spanish. I am now on Advanced 1 with Instituto Cervantes, but why does no-one warn you that, when faced with a Spanish national, your brain turns to mush, you forget about indefinido vs perfecto and just revert to complete b******s? I could write you an essay in perfect (nearly) Spanish but talk.. well ........ that's another kettle of fish!
Don't you practise oral expression with the Instituo Cervantes?
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Veleta
Don't you practise oral expression with the Instituo Cervantes?
From my experience you need both the theory and the practical.

The first thing I did was read a Spanish book of grammer back to front before I started speaking a lot. This helped me understand how the language works.

However, then when speaking it was impossible for my brain to choose one of the 57 or so conjugations of verbs. So I stuck the present tense and the simple past (i.e. ha visto, ha ido etc).

Then I found I could get across what I wanted to say, but I didnt understand anybody!

Luckily that is when I came to live in Spain permanently, so I watched Spanish TV which really helped with that.

Btw, you are not understanding Spanish people because your ear isnt used to how they speak. I dont think it has anything to do with them "not speaking properly". That is nonsense, everyone speaks properly, they just speak differently depending on the region they are from. Andalucians are particularly difficult to understand.

I went to live in London and took some Spanish classes there. I couldnt understand a word my classmates were saying in Spanish as I had never heard foreigners trying to Spanish before.

The biggest barrier for British people learning another language is they underestimate how difficult it is going to be and how long it will take - so they give up after a short time. You need to dedicate 4-5 hours a week (at least). In that way you may be semi-fluent in 5 years time. It is that sort of commitment that is needed.
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

It's taken me a long time to learn it largely down to me being "muy bago" and living in Benidorm for 3 years (were too many brits in Beni´so felt I didn't "need" to learn it. After 14 months in Madrid I've learnt a lot more and watching the news evey day helps as I've found they speak more slowly and clearer.
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by cricketman
From my experience you need both the theory and the practical.

The first thing I did was read a Spanish book of grammer back to front before I started speaking a lot. This helped me understand how the language works.

However, then when speaking it was impossible for my brain to choose one of the 57 or so conjugations of verbs. So I stuck the present tense and the simple past (i.e. ha visto, ha ido etc).

Then I found I could get across what I wanted to say, but I didnt understand anybody!

Luckily that is when I came to live in Spain permanently, so I watched Spanish TV which really helped with that.

Btw, you are not understanding Spanish people because your ear isnt used to how they speak. I dont think it has anything to do with them "not speaking properly". That is nonsense, everyone speaks properly, they just speak differently depending on the region they are from. Andalucians are particularly difficult to understand.

I went to live in London and took some Spanish classes there. I couldnt understand a word my classmates were saying in Spanish as I had never heard foreigners trying to Spanish before.

The biggest barrier for British people learning another language is they underestimate how difficult it is going to be and how long it will take - so they give up after a short time. You need to dedicate 4-5 hours a week (at least). In that way you may be semi-fluent in 5 years time. It is that sort of commitment that is needed.

Now that is a very nicely thought out post, and sums it up very nicely.

One thing I would add is this.

A lot of English people don't understand what it is they are saying in English, so a study of grammar should start with English grammar.

For example, the English often use 'I could speak' and 'I would speak' as almost interchangeable, but before you can translate the first phrase, you need to know that it is actually 'I would be able to speak'

You need to know that there isn't a gerund in Spanish, so you can't say 'Swimming is good for you.'

As the original poster indicates, there's a world of difference between being able to read and write a language, and being able to speak it.
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Madridboy
It's taken me a long time to learn it largely down to me being "muy bago" and living in Benidorm for 3 years (were too many brits in Beni´so felt I didn't "need" to learn it. After 14 months in Madrid I've learnt a lot more and watching the news evey day helps as I've found they speak more slowly and clearer.
bago???


so you really were 'vago'
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by bil
Now that is a very nicely thought out post, and sums it up very nicely.

One thing I would add is this.

A lot of English people don't understand what it is they are saying in English, so a study of grammar should start with English grammar.

For example, the English often use 'I could speak' and 'I would speak' as almost interchangeable, but before you can translate the first phrase, you need to know that it is actually 'I would be able to speak'

You need to know that there isn't a gerund in Spanish, so you can't say 'Swimming is good for you.'

As the original poster indicates, there's a world of difference between being able to read and write a language, and being able to speak it.
there is a gerund - it's just used differently to the way we use it in English

& it really is best to not translate - so much is said so very differently that it rarely helps - IMO
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Madridboy
watching the news evey day helps as I've found they speak more slowly and clearer.
For the same reason watching dubbed films was a great help as they tend to be dubbed into "good" clear spanish. Filma originally made in spanish can be more difficult to follow.
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by lynnxa
bago???


so you really were 'vago'
Just goes to prove how little I can write, maybe time I put subtitles on with the news!
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:32 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by rachelk
For the same reason watching dubbed films was a great help as they tend to be dubbed into "good" clear spanish. Filma originally made in spanish can be more difficult to follow.
Actually I remember when we first cam here I tried to watch a dubbed version of Ghost

I had to turn off - I was watching the lips & listening to the words - off course all out of synch - & it made me feel physically sick & dizzy


now I just get irritated when the translation completely changes the meaning - for example in songs

a couple of weeks ago we watched Grease in Spanish - but they put subtitles up for the songs - they had high school kids in a cerveceria rather than a coffee/malt shop - in a state where alcohol is illegal under the age of 21

sometimes I think they could try a little harder - but there's still no doubt that dubbed films are a very useful tool
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Madridboy
Just goes to prove how little I can write, maybe time I put subtitles on with the news!
truly though - if you're not going to need to write in Spanish it hardly matters - but a bit of reading might not go amiss
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by lynnxa
truly though - if you're not going to need to write in Spanish it hardly matters - but a bit of reading might not go amiss
I didn't realy think about how little I can read and write in Spanish until recently. I'm recognised as being the top in my field at work but que verguenza when I have to ask my manager to help me with my paperwork in front of 2 apprentices.
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Espanol - theory vs reality!

Originally Posted by Madridboy
I didn't realy think about how little I can read and write in Spanish until recently. I'm recognised as being the top in my field at work but que verguenza when I have to ask my manager to help me with my paperwork in front of 2 apprentices.
oh well that's different then - if you need to read & write for work you'd really better get some practice!
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