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Learning the Language

Learning the Language

Old Apr 2nd 2006, 11:22 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by poollounger
I remember some 15 years or so ago signing up for a Spanish course at the City Lit in London.. a large centre for a variety of FE courses. The Spanish guy teaching was very funny, and on the first day he said the biggest hurdle Brits had to overcome was that Spanish needs to be spoken very loudly, with a huge opening to one's mouth, which he proceeded to demonstrate with a series of facial contortions. Sadly work intervened and I never finished the course.
I'd have to agree with this. Your mouth definitely has to learn to work in different ways and it helps to over-enunciate when you are first getting used to it. Even though I have been coming to Spain almost every year since I was born, it always takes me 3 to 4 weeks to re-acquire the necessary oral dexterity - by which time I am on my way back to the UK. Thankfully, I am now here for good and I only lose control when I have one more drink than I should have had
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 8:18 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by Unexpat
...Common Spanish uses about half the vocubulary that we commonly use in English, so it becomes a neccessity to get more words in per minute, to avoid loss of interest from your audience. Then there is the added factor that the Spanish like a good conversation, for its own sake.
Hola,
Yes, & very interesting, too! It made me chuckle to think of doing facial exercises before going on holiday this summer, but I think that might do the trick!
Regards,
Carol
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 8:47 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
Its not his voice that irritates me so much, its that picture of him on the CD packet
For me its the idiotic man who gets it wrong all the time, he is really off putting! Surely no-one would really be so hopeless.....

'im in the office' has come on in leaps and bounds listening the the CDs in the car on the way to work, although he does have a talent for languages I suspect. I find it a good method but can't keep up concentration because of the silly man getting it wrong.

I still think its the best course I have tried so far.
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 10:20 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

I've tried watching and listening to the tv in Spain, but I find it a bit disasterous, unfortunately. Horses for courses, and all that!

Does anyone else have that perculiar thing that the minute you land in Spain, the only language you can speak (apart from English, obviously!) is French? Likewise, landing in Paris, suddenly all you can think of is Spanish? Life is very perverse ... Or perhaps it's just me.
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Old Apr 4th 2006, 8:24 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by un-mundo
...Does anyone else have that perculiar thing that the minute you land in Spain, the only language you can speak (apart from English, obviously!) is French? Likewise, landing in Paris, suddenly all you can think of is Spanish? Life is very perverse ... Or perhaps it's just me.
Hola,
Could it be the "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium..." syndrome?
A bientot,
Carol
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Old Apr 4th 2006, 5:04 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by Carol&John
Hola,
Could it be the "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium..." syndrome?
A bientot,
Carol
Ha! No, unfortunately I don't get to travel as much as I used to. I suspect it's something far more foolish than even that - a subconscious fear of misprouncing Spanish to a Spaniard or French to a French person, my mind locks onto another language (which I mysteriously seem to have become fluent in, whilst tongue-tied whenever actually in the country itself!). I'll happily chatter away in my local restaurant to the Spanish waiter in French (he doesn't speak English), deep down feeling secure in the knowledge that his French is not much better than my own! Let's just say that his Spanish rather exceeds my own pitiful vocabulary! I am guessing that this is - somewhere along the line - the "reason" for it.

I don't do this deliberately, it's really a subconscious thing and deeply tiresome.
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Old Apr 7th 2006, 11:18 am
  #37  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Interesting article on the BBC news today about language learning:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4883418.stm

At least I may now have an excuse for why Spanish words seem to vanish from my memory minutes after I close the text book!
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Old Apr 7th 2006, 9:12 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by dennis
I have been struggling with the language, someone suggested that Linkword Languages provide really good language learning material, has anyone used them.

Many thanks, Dennis
Hi
To get back to the original question, yes I tried Linkword Languages. It is quite fun for vocabulary but Im not sure about the rest. I'm afraid I didn't pursue it.

Having said that I think I might have another bash, I have been listening to my Michel Thomas CD again this week. A change is as good as a rest, they say.
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Old Apr 8th 2006, 8:11 am
  #39  
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Thumbs up Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by susique
For me its the idiotic man who gets it wrong all the time, he is really off putting! Surely no-one would really be so hopeless.....

'im in the office' has come on in leaps and bounds listening the the CDs in the car on the way to work, although he does have a talent for languages I suspect. I find it a good method but can't keep up concentration because of the silly man getting it wrong.

I still think its the best course I have tried so far.
The "idiot" one is probably not an idiot really. In fact it is very clever the way the course is conducted. When learning a language, we all learn at different speeds and for some it will take longer than others. For the more gifted language learner they will relate to the clever one on the CD and others will relate to the "idiot".

if both pupils were smart a***S some people would feel as if they were being left behind. It is all about trying to keep everyone's confidence up.

I have listened to the Spanish, French and German courses and there is always an "idiot" pupil, thankfully not always a man.

Listen to the advanced course and there is no "idiot", but there is still one slightly brighter than the other for the reasons mentioned. Still a good course to listen to in the car!

Michel Thomas' life story is a good read, especially about his time during the war. He died last year aged 90.
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Old Apr 8th 2006, 10:02 am
  #40  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by Gray C
The "idiot" one is probably not an idiot really. In fact it is very clever the way the course is conducted. When learning a language, we all learn at different speeds and for some it will take longer than others. For the more gifted language learner they will relate to the clever one on the CD and others will relate to the "idiot".

if both pupils were smart a***S some people would feel as if they were being left behind. It is all about trying to keep everyone's confidence up.

I have listened to the Spanish, French and German courses and there is always an "idiot" pupil, thankfully not always a man.

Listen to the advanced course and there is no "idiot", but there is still one slightly brighter than the other for the reasons mentioned. Still a good course to listen to in the car!

Michel Thomas' life story is a good read, especially about his time during the war. He died last year aged 90.
Hi GrayC

Sorry I did not mean to be rude, I know he is an actor and what he is trying to do is difficult, but the script makes such a meal of getting it wrong that it ends up being totally unconvincing and therefore an irritation. No-one would continue to make the mistakes he does so consistently by CD No. 5.

Perhaps others find it helpful, Im afraid I find it a hindrance. You translate the phrase and by the time the 'dunce' has had it sorted out you find you have forgotten your own translation or got totally confused again.

Nevertheless, it is still the best language teaching system I have come across, and over many years, I have tried quite a few.

My husband (who does have a language friendly brain) is on the advanced course, having streaked ahead of me. But then he does have an hour's journey to work every day and the opportunity to get on with it.

My vocabulary and comprehension are still better than his, so I listen, translate into English and he replies in spanish. What a team!
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Old Apr 8th 2006, 10:19 am
  #41  
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Default Re: Learning the Language

Originally Posted by susique
Hi GrayC

Sorry I did not mean to be rude, I know he is an actor and what he is trying to do is difficult, but the script makes such a meal of getting it wrong that it ends up being totally unconvincing and therefore an irritation. No-one would continue to make the mistakes he does so consistently by CD No. 5.

Perhaps others find it helpful, Im afraid I find it a hindrance. You translate the phrase and by the time the 'dunce' has had it sorted out you find you have forgotten your own translation or got totally confused again.

Nevertheless, it is still the best language teaching system I have come across, and over many years, I have tried quite a few.

My husband (who does have a language friendly brain) is on the advanced course, having streaked ahead of me. But then he does have an hour's journey to work every day and the opportunity to get on with it.

My vocabulary and comprehension are still better than his, so I listen, translate into English and he replies in spanish. What a team!
It never occurred to me that you were being rude. I understand what you are saying, the American woman on the French CD is so infuriating, but nonetheless I do find them good, especially in the car. Not done the Spanish one for a while, I will have to dig it out and do some revising. Have been doing the French course because we are hoping to move to Canada and it may come in useful in some areas around Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. If we do not get accepted, it is Spain that beckons and I will then have to start studying my Spanish again. I cannot learn two languages at the same time, it is too confusing and I mix the two

Cheers

Graham
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Old Apr 17th 2006, 10:23 pm
  #42  
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Smile Re: Learning the Language

I have been subscribing to a couple of excellent podcasts from itunes, namely

"notes from spain" - an expat (Ben)and his spanish wife(Marina) chatting about all things spanish and

"notes in spain" - spoken in Spanish.

I thoroughly recommend them, easy listening, very relevant and the couple are delightful and obviously very committed to their broadcasts.

Try it.
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