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learning Spanish

Old Apr 29th 2008, 11:24 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by spain
or Valenciano depending on where you live which can be a tad confusing

Confusing you aint kidding. xxx's instead of j's for a start,
my town is spelt Muchamel or Mutxamel even the town hall doesn't know how to spell it
Up the road there is a place called jijona & Xixona
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Old May 1st 2008, 7:44 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by Grebo
Confusing you aint kidding. xxx's instead of j's for a start,
my town is spelt Muchamel or Mutxamel even the town hall doesn't know how to spell it
Up the road there is a place called jijona & Xixona
Or there is Elche.. or Elx.. depending..
I'm currently using the 'My Spanish Coach' on the Nintendo DS lite, it's a bit American/Mexican, but still works.
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Old May 1st 2008, 7:50 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by mikelincs
Or there is Elche.. or Elx.. depending..
I'm currently using the 'My Spanish Coach' on the Nintendo DS lite, it's a bit American/Mexican, but still works.
Is that My Spanish Coach 1 or 2. I was thinking about getting both to have another way of learning more or endorsing what I already know but did not want to send for them until I found out more.

So, PLEASE tell me more!!!!!

Rosemary
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Old May 1st 2008, 11:50 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Just my two centimos but I really like the Rosetta Stone.
You can sit in front of it for 5 mins or a couple of hours and it's actually enjoyable!

I've discovered that starting a sentence ┬┐Hables Ingles? is the worst thing to do, have a go in Spanish, make words up if you have to, do shadow puppets or express yourself in mime. Entertaining for the locals and shows that you're prepared to make a tit of yourself for the sake of being understood.

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Old May 2nd 2008, 3:39 am
  #20  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Also, it means you are approaching them informally which might cause offense.

Have a standard phrase available like 'Puede Ud. ayudarme por favor?'

That helps enormously.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 4:51 am
  #21  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by bil
Have a standard phrase available like 'Puede Ud. ayudarme por favor?'
I've been here 6+ years and I haven't called anyone Usted yet. Don't intend to start now either!
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Old May 2nd 2008, 7:29 am
  #22  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

What, never? I've always understood that one should be a little careful who you 'tutear'.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 8:31 am
  #23  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by bil
What, never?
Apart from answering the phone with diga I never use Usted. It's dated and disappearing, and people of my generation rarely use it. In the south it seems to be used a bit more but where I am only a handful of people ever call me Usted (head mistress in the school, shop assistant in El Corte Ingles, in the bank, and maybe sometimes a waiter, but usually not). My mother-in-law calls her mother-in-law Usted but none of the kids do and she's 93. Most of the time I hear it is when old people are chatting to one another or in extreme formality.

Last edited by bokeh; May 2nd 2008 at 8:34 am.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 9:39 am
  #24  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

I see it a bit like the old Yorkshire saying. 'Thee thou them as thees thee and not afore.'

OK, I'm in the far south, so maybe it's a bit more appropriate there. I just think it's far better to start off like that and be told that it's not necessary than to assume it's OK and maybe offend.

There's also a lot of old folk where we are.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 6:08 pm
  #25  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

I've never heard a usted in conversation either.
And you're never going to offend anybody by not using a usted....the Spanish don't expect classical grammar from guiris anyway.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 6:43 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by The Oddities
Is that My Spanish Coach 1 or 2. I was thinking about getting both to have another way of learning more or endorsing what I already know but did not want to send for them until I found out more.

So, PLEASE tell me more!!!!!

Rosemary
Didn't know there were two different ones. Mine is just labelled 'My Spanish Coach', and was only bought a couple of months ago, so if there are two, then I guess it is 1. I've read some unflattering reviews, but I've found it useful, and have certaily learned a load of new words etc. There is more than just the learning as there is a dictioonary and reference section that does give you conjugations of verbs, at least in my copy which is obviously not the most current version, bought mine off e bay, much cheaper than Amazon.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 7:43 pm
  #27  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by mikelincs
Didn't know there were two different ones. Mine is just labelled 'My Spanish Coach', and was only bought a couple of months ago, so if there are two, then I guess it is 1. I've read some unflattering reviews, but I've found it useful, and have certaily learned a load of new words etc. There is more than just the learning as there is a dictioonary and reference section that does give you conjugations of verbs, at least in my copy which is obviously not the most current version, bought mine off e bay, much cheaper than Amazon.
I presumed that the 1 & 2 were two different levels rather than original and current versions.

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Old May 2nd 2008, 10:51 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by XTreme
I've never heard a usted in conversation either.
And you're never going to offend anybody by not using a usted....the Spanish don't expect classical grammar from guiris anyway.
Out of curiosity, how well do you speak Spanish?

It's been my experience that I do hear it. Maybe not all the time, but it is there.

You are 100% right in that the Spanish don't expect to hear classical grammar from a guiri, but then I don't intend to be thought of as just a guiri. You can't escape the tag 100%, but by god you can reduce it.


Moving to another country, area, whatever is all about scoring points.

If you fail to score enough points, you will not be welcome. The more that you score, the more likely you are to be welcome.

Language is the single most important thing in moving to another country.

Try this little test. For whom would you have the most sympathy, and who would you be the most likely to help?

1. A Muslim immigrant that refused to bother to learn English beyond the
most basic level.

2. A Muslim immigrant who had taken the trouble to not only learn English
really well, but who had also picked up the local idioms and ways of
speaking

The fact is that of the huge numbers of English going to live in Spain, very few seem to bother to learn the language, and of those that do, how many really try for grammatical, properly spoken Spanish?

I had a hell of a shock the last time I was in Spain, when the guy who watches over our place let slip how sick he was of hearing so much English spoken. This is a guy who speaks some himself. I was just pleased that we have always demonstrated a grim determination to learn the language and use it as much as possible.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 11:33 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by bil
Out of curiosity, how well do you speak Spanish?
It's an impossible thing to quantify Bil. I'd obviously like to be much better than I am, and I'm quite self critical of my ability.
But some days I end up speaking as much Spanish as I do English, and I get by OK. I have to be able to communicate because all my IT component suppliers are Spanish, and I have done translation work for Spanish web designers so they can get grammatically perfect English translations on their sites.
Unlike most Brits, I don't have time to sit down and formally learn, I've just got to get on and do it! I haven't found it particularly difficult.....maybe it's because I did Latin for 4 years back in the 60's....or maybe I'm one of those people who can just pick up languages.
But I don't let on locally to Brits (apart from a couple of close friends) how much I can speak in Spanish, or I'd never be able to get on with my life.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 11:45 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by XTreme
It's an impossible thing to quantify Bil. I'd obviously like to be much better than I am, and I'm quite self critical of my ability.
But some days I end up speaking as much Spanish as I do English, and I get by OK. I have to be able to communicate because all my IT component suppliers are Spanish, and I have done translation work for Spanish web designers so they can get grammatically perfect English translations on their sites.
Unlike most Brits, I don't have time to sit down and formally learn, I've just got to get on and do it! I haven't found it particularly difficult.....maybe it's because I did Latin for 4 years back in the 60's....or maybe I'm one of those people who can just pick up languages.
But I don't let on locally to Brits (apart from a couple of close friends) how much I can speak in Spanish, or I'd never be able to get on with my life.
Hmmm. From that I would guess you speak it rather well. I find people who claim fluency (mostly) are talking complete sh*te, or else don't have a clue what fluency means.

Nice to find someone who treats the language with some respect. Me, I find grammar fascinating (which immediately marks me down as a sad anal git to many people) but it does help me learn the language. I always see fluency as Xeno's tortoise.

Remember the story? Achilles is put into a theoretical race with a tortoise, but the tortoise is give a 100 yards start. By the time Achilles reaches the 100 yard mark, the tortoise has moved forward, and so on.

When you start learning a language for the first time, you get told that you will be fluent when your vocabulary contains 1000 words, or something like that. When you get there tho you realise that fluency lies beyond that point and so on.

Anyway, I do find that approaching strangers etc (ESPECIALLY officials) with Ud. does seem to gain me a slight advantage, as tho while it may not apply so much these days, appreciation of its existance gains you 'points' if you know what I mean?
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