The Money Mustache Community

General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: sheepstache on October 20, 2012, 11:02:00 PM

Title: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on October 20, 2012, 11:02:00 PM

I've been meaning to make a concerted effort to learn spanish since, well, let's say that if I'd spent 2 hours a week doing it since when I first intended to, I'd probably be at the skill level I wanted by now.

I've done a couple chapters at Live Mocha now but didn't keep up with it (plus I kept getting distracted grading assignments rather than completing them).  I've also tried Rosetta Stone and done a class locally.  Those last two were too informal for me.  I know informal learning is advertised as a boost for a lot of methods but apparently formal memorization of grammar and conjugations and lists of vocabulary is actually what works for my brain.  Oh, and three weeks of immersion in a spanish-speaking country didn't do anything for me either, but that was before I did any studying at all.  I'd love to go back for a trip this winter with more rudiments under my belt which I suspect would get my brain processing and eventually I could practice at work with some spanish-speaking colleagues.  Would love to hear of any other resources people have used.

Anybody want to commit to a certain number of hours of studying a week and document it on a thread?  Or will an off-topic gauntlet like that be totally annoying to other forum members?  I'd probably keep going on live mocha and doing some independent reading.  I would suggest we could practice together through chat but I don't have much beyond hola and como esta; speaking is the real challenge but I don't have the equipment for skype.

Well, so, let me know if you're picking up any of what I'm putting down.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Nudelkopf on October 21, 2012, 12:54:16 AM
El año pasado, estudié Español en una clase propia (a una universidad). Pero este año, solo estoy estudiando vocabulario (online, memrise.com) Y en un mes, my novio y yo estamos ir a España :D YEAH!

I studied a Spanish last year, in a proper class at uni. But this year, I didn't have time for the class (yay thesis), so I'm just cementing some vocabulary through a website call memrise. It's so good for that kinda thing. My boyfriend & I are going to Spain in a month, can't wait!


I'm going to try to do 15 mins per day, until the end of November (when I leave). This is a good challenge for me, as I can get pretty lazy!
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: DaftShadow on October 21, 2012, 01:59:04 AM
Seconded.  Memrise is an excellent website for memorization and language, and I can still remember most of the words months/years later.  Of course, this still assumes you can keep up the habit of X minutes every day.  :)

It's not perfect though.  For example, one issue for me is that I want to learn to SPEAK the language.  In order to do that well you need to train your brain to associate the spoken word with the meaning, rather than just reading the text (aka "hear the word, know the meaning", not "read the word, know the meaning.").  And for the language I am working on (Dutch), there just aren't enough spoken recordings yet...  Course, things are much better for Spanish, Italian, French, etc.

It's improving though, and I hear that the company is well-funded, so it will hopefully be around a good bit longer.  The general mini-game of gardening makes a great metaphor for how we learn words. 

~ DaftShadow
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Paul der Krake on October 21, 2012, 11:13:03 AM
Movies, movies, movies. Seriously. Find native speakers to speak with as well, which shouldn't be hard in the US.

For everyday vocabulary, you can write down the translation on a postit in your house on every item. By looking at them every day, you'll memorize them in no time.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: ch12 on October 21, 2012, 01:39:39 PM
Use memrise. I already speak fluent Spanish, but it is seriously wonderful. I love to learn languages and when I did memrise for Mandarin, I was astonished at how much vocabulary I had retained. I did Chinese 101 years ago.

Movies are ok - music is the best for learning conjugations, especially of irregular verbs. Music is how I keep up my own Spanish when I'm not actually studying it.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on October 24, 2012, 02:44:01 PM
Destinos, via learner.org.  It is a telenovela filmed in the 90's for public broadcasting, that is a Spanish learning course.  I've listened to the first 2 episodes.  I need to get back to it.  I live in Honduras and I really need to be able to do more than say hello.  I've been here 2 years, so I can do the basics like order food and coffee.  Yeah, I'll check out the other sites as well.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Mactrader on October 24, 2012, 08:35:20 PM
I've been using the Pimsleur audio program as it's perfect for my commute (28ish minutes) and soaks in very well. It's purely conversational and it's amazing how much you retain. I've had a chronic cough for nearly a year now and I get off track of learning when it flares up, so I've neglected it this past month or so. You may have motivated me to get back on the horse!
Title: Learning Spanish
Post by: extralean on October 25, 2012, 04:20:12 AM
Hi Sheepstache,

This is the approach I've used to get to a level where people aren't sure whether I come from Spain or not when I speak (as an Australian and never having lived in Spain though I have visited it a fair bit) though I am not perfect, and will not claim to be. * After typing this I feel that you can replace Spanish with whatever language you feel like and it will still work, I have also used it to get to a bilingual level in French.

Acquire Assimil Spanish with Ease http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Ease-Assimil-Method-Books/dp/2700501314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351158403&sr=8-1&keywords=assimil+spanish+with+ease (http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Ease-Assimil-Method-Books/dp/2700501314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351158403&sr=8-1&keywords=assimil+spanish+with+ease) - how you do so is up to you; library, bookshop, google with filetype:pdf whatever suits your morals. Make sure to get the audio. Then follow the instructions.

Pimsleur Spanish, and Michel Thomas Spanish - also quite useful.

http://delicast.com/radio (http://delicast.com/radio) - pick your country, find a talk show/news station and listen to the radio as much as possible. All day at work/evenings at home, constantly immersed.

http://lang-8.com (http://lang-8.com) - crowd sourced correction of your written work by native speakers. Use habitforge.com (http://habitforge.com) to make a habit of writing 100 words a day; then increase.

Find a frequency list of the 5000 most frequent Spanish words (such as this one http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists#Spanish (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists#Spanish)) and once you've got a grasp of basic grammar, brute force it. Flashcards/Anki - http://ankisrs.net/ (http://ankisrs.net/) will help with this.

I also used http://busuu.com (http://busuu.com) for vocabulary. It's decent as a starting place.

I have an e-reader, and read constantly in Spanish, there are plenty available if you know where to look. You could do the same/or just hire books from the library. Start with Harry Potter/something equally simple to read which you know the story of already. Or the bible if you're so inclined. Whatever floats your boat and is something that you know reasonably well.

Once you're not completely shithouse at speaking; join your local http://www.meetup.com/ (http://www.meetup.com/) Spanish meet-up (you're bound to have one in most major cities) or put an ad up for a Spanish exchange. Meet weekly, drink, practice, flirt, whatever as long as you're doing at least an hour of speaking a week.

Have a bit of a google for a website which explains grammar in a way you understand, I didn't need anything more than Michel Thomas and Assimil as I already spoke French. But there's a bunch of resources online for grammar.

http://wordreference.com (http://wordreference.com) will save you having to buy a dictionary and the forums are pretty good.

The http://how-to-learn-any-language.com (http://how-to-learn-any-language.com) forum is also pretty good as a source of info/inspiration. I also had a log there for quite a while.

Ultimately, resources are never the problem. You need to find a reason that'll motivate you to push through the plateaus and the problems you'll eventually have with obtuse grammar points. Find a study-buddy/hot person of your desired sex/someone you admire for their extreme polyglottery and challenge yourselves to progress.

I hope this helps, your milage may vary, but if you don't fuck around and devote a good number of hours a day/week you should do well. If you've got any questions I am happy to answer.

T.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: rugorak on October 25, 2012, 01:26:50 PM
I am currently learning German on my own. I have a few more links to add that could be helpful.

http://duolingo.com/ (http://duolingo.com/) - great free site. Currently offer Spanish, German, and French with more languages being added. Totally free. Basically they pay for it by having you help translate the web as you learn. Through just mass of people they find they are fairly accurate at translations.

http://www.fluentin3months.com/ (http://www.fluentin3months.com/) - awesome blog showing how to do it. In essence learning a language is all about how you approach it and how much effort you put into it. Benny can learn languages in 3 months but that is putting almost 8 hours a day into studying every day. He does have an e-book for sale but no need to buy it unless you really want to. He even says so. Most of his advice is available on his blog, just not as condensed. He also recommends that the best resource to learn is other human beings and gives lots of suggestions on how to find people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/) - beginner courses in a lot of languages.

http://ankisrs.net/ (http://ankisrs.net/) - free program that basically works like flash cards but remembers what you know and what you don't. Awesome way to quickly get in some practice. There are versions for Android, iOS, and web as well as Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD. Quite useful.

http://www.onlinedegrees.org/top-50-podcasts-for-learning-a-foreign-language/ (http://www.onlinedegrees.org/top-50-podcasts-for-learning-a-foreign-language/) - list of a bunch of podcasts in various languages

Ultimately though you just need to study, speak, and listen as much as you can. I would suggest you do daily work on it. I have found I make much more progress when I spend some time daily vs taking a few days off then studying for an hour or 2. I recently got a lonely planet phrasebook that I keep with me and study whenever waiting around for a few minutes. 2 minutes here, 3 minutes there really adds up.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on October 29, 2012, 01:17:39 PM
Awesome!  Okay, so I figure I'll post progress on Monday so I kick my ass into doing it on the weekend if nothing else. 

I had a freelance job this week that added 35 hours to my full-time one so I only did 50 minutes on Saturday and 10 minutes Sunday.

Thank you guys for the memrise recommendation, it's awesome!  I like the addictive / video game aspect of it.  Since the sessions only take 10-15 minutes I'm inclined to do them when the email reminder is sent plus once it's done I'm more likely to keep going with some more studying on another resource.

@Shadowmoss I almost PM'd you!  When I searched for it you were the only person who had ever talked about Spanish on the forum and it was in the context of not spending too much time on the internet so I didn't know if you would see this.  Let me know how you get on if you like.
I did watch some of the Destinos a ways back!  It's amazing for the fashions as well as the learning.

@Extralean thanks for all the advice and resources, I'm particularly interested in what you've said because I have a little bit of French too and my brain keeps insisting that I know how to say something because I know it in French.  Apparently my brain doesn't understand there is more than one non-english language.  Hopefully the spanish study doesn't wipe out the french.

@rugorak Yes, ankis was something I'd heard about before through quantified self blogs but totally forgot about, thanks!  Those other things look awesome too.

For the movies and radio and podcast recommendations, I'm not sure I'm there yet.  Words that I know stand out but everything else is gibberish that never resolves into anything.  Like when I'm walking along the street in my neighborhood I hear asdkfjalsdgkasgadsfAHORAaoksdkfaskveiafaejwigeMIRAasdfjaewiofjoev, etc.  I was really pleased after taking a class that reading El Diario was somewhat possible because I could at least go through and see which words were verbs and which were nouns (basically a multiplier of the usefulness of my naturally good knowledge of etymological roots).  Unfortunately I'm exhausted after a couple paragraphs, but hopefully as I do more reading other words will stand out aurally.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on October 31, 2012, 11:23:43 AM
Inspired by this thread I hunted down my copy of Pimsler and listened again to the first lesson.  It is tough going to listen, but by golly you really know the material at the end of the 30 minutes (death by repetition...)

I'll check out the other resources as well.  I am picking out more words in the conversations around me as time goes by.  Again, I live in Honduras so there is NO EXCUSE for me not learning Spanish.  I do work in an environment surrounded by US folks speaking English, but still.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Able was I ERE on October 31, 2012, 04:16:06 PM
Count me in for a few hours a week.  After many years of failing to start learning Spanish on our own, my wife and I are taking an in-person course starting in mid-November. 
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on November 05, 2012, 08:18:50 AM
Made it though 2 of the Pimsler lessons.  It is still death by repetition, but getting a bit better.  I haven't learned any new words so far, but it is good practice to listen to the conversation.  Only about 98 lessons to go...
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on November 05, 2012, 03:44:50 PM
Oh right! Monday!

Okay so I did:
Monday: 30 minutes
Tuesday: 40 minutes
Wednesday: 30 minutes
Thursday: 30 minutes

Mostly this was memrise but I also did one Pimsler off of youtube.  Helps with actually forcing yourself to speak and work on the accent.  Unfortunately I think it's spanish spanish and I want to be more prepped for south america but considering I can barely roll my r's I shouldn't be too picky.  It also taught me a valuable lesson about time management since I did it while making dinner and I didn't realize making dinner took me so much longer than a half hour. 

This week have to focus on some conjugation and reading comprehension.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on November 06, 2012, 08:37:48 AM
I just checked memrise for the first time.  wow.  I'm at work and don't have sound on my computer (work phone support, so that wouldn't be a good thing while working), but it was easy to spend over half an hour just playing.  Good adjunct to the Pimsler.  Probably even better when I can hear it.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: carolinakaren on November 06, 2012, 04:47:57 PM
Hola!  I am just joining in, but gracias for all the links and recommendations!  A friend of mine loaned a copy of Rosetta Stone to us, but I haven't used it yet.  This challenge makes me want to get started pronto!
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on November 11, 2012, 08:08:33 PM
Señores y señoras muy bigotudos, (eso debe significar 'mustachioed' según google translate)

¿Como andais con el español?.

No sé si hay algunas entre ustedes que tiene un nivel suficient para charlar un rato, pero si hay, eso puede ser util o quizas una forma de motivacion.

¿Por qué quierais hablar español?

T
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on November 12, 2012, 08:54:25 AM
Ah!  Lunes!

Hico solo un poco esta semana.

Martes: media hora (memrise)
Jueves: cuarto de hora (youtube video)

Quiero hablar espanol por algunes razones.  Yo vivo en Nueva York donde muchas personas lo hablan.  Y tambien creo que es la mejor idioma para mejorar las perspectivas de empleo.

Si, utilizado google translate mucho.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on November 12, 2012, 03:56:31 PM
Neuva York eh?

Perhaps some of these could be useful for you: http://spanish.meetup.com/cities/us/ny/new_york/

I'm a host for the Sydney Spanish Meetup, so encourage everyone to join their local one.

T.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on November 14, 2012, 09:52:20 AM
Ok, tell me you guys are cheating with Google Translate!  sigh.  Ok, I'll start studying again...  :)
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on November 14, 2012, 09:58:26 AM
Ah, upon translating via google translate, I see that it is admitted it is used.  :)

My problem down here in Honduras is that I can say I don't speak Spanish with such well formed words in Spanish that I get strange looks that say 'but you just did!'.  So, now when I'm stopped at a checkpoint when driving I say in English that I don't speak Spanish...

Had a conversation with a woman in town this week and I am pretty sure we were on the same topic.  This is an improvement.  A woman I work with who speaks less English than I speak Spanish used to talk with me, and we had a great time.  Not ever sure we were ever on the same topic at the same time, but it was still fun.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on November 14, 2012, 02:59:07 PM
Ok, tell me you guys are cheating with Google Translate!  sigh.  Ok, I'll start studying again...  :)

Nah, I've just had a few extra years to grow my langauge moustache. That said, moustachioed just isn't the most commonly used word in my vocabulary in any language...


Just keep fighting the good fight and make a bit of progress everyday. Try to team up with this woman you work with, I find having a language partner to be a pretty productive activity.

Also, have fun learning some honduran slang, the slang is the best part of a language. The cruder the better...
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on November 15, 2012, 07:11:26 PM
Neuva York eh?



I may be revealing myself there.  They call it Nueva York on the radio stations but they might be making a joke and actual spanish speakers might just say New York.

Shadowmoss, I am getting a kick out of your story about not being sure if you're on the same topic :)  Still, if your accent is good don't forget that's an accomplishment to be proud of.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on November 19, 2012, 05:09:41 PM
Neuva York eh?



I may be revealing myself there.  They call it Nueva York on the radio stations but they might be making a joke and actual spanish speakers might just say New York.

I don't see why it wouldn't be nueva york... Sydney = Sidney (con un accento sobre el i).
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on November 19, 2012, 08:43:08 PM
Arg, hico un medio hora en Miercoles.  Eso es todo.

The spouse is working on a freelance project over the holiday so I'll have to remember to kick my ass into gear whenever he's working on that.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on November 20, 2012, 08:23:24 AM
Keep reminding me.  I want/need to get the third Pimsler done.  It is like medicine, I don't like it while I'm in the middle of it but it really does what it is designed to do.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on November 27, 2012, 03:26:07 PM
Oh hey, Tuesday, what's up?

Gonna say I did 40 minutes Tuesday, 20 minutes Sunday.

That's all I got.  Shadowmoss?
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Carlos on November 27, 2012, 06:18:10 PM
The New York or Nueva York question made me laugh.

I've been referring to shorts as "pantalones cortes" like I learned in school but now I'm told in Mexico everyone simply calls them "shorts".
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on November 28, 2012, 09:19:04 AM
I'm in love with memrise.com.  I can do it at work, it is short bites, lots of repitition, and I also have to occassionally type the words so I'm actually learning the spelling as well.  I finished the intro Basic Spanish, and I just today started the First 5000 Words.

At the same time I'm also learning the Major System of remembering numbers on the same site.  It seems to help to jump back and forth.  Same interface, different subject, so it gives me a break of sorts but still works my mind.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on November 28, 2012, 08:46:19 PM
Oh my gosh, we're doing the same thing!  I did the survival spanish and the beginning 1 spanish and now I'm 175 words into 5,000 words.  Typing helps me too.  I had no idea about that Major System, that's crazy and I wouldn't have found it on my own, thank you.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on December 03, 2012, 09:17:21 PM
If I did anything this week, I failed to record it on my calendar, so I am giving myself a big zip, zilch, nada, any one of which may be a spanish word for all I know, because I didn't do any studying this week. </self face punch>
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on December 03, 2012, 09:27:31 PM
If I did anything this week, I failed to record it on my calendar, so I am giving myself a big zip, zilch, nada, any one of which may be a spanish word for all I know, because I didn't do any studying this week. </self face punch>

Mire hombre (chica?), por que no? Es una muy grande lastima que no estudias tu espanol. Estoy muy decepcionado en ti. Pero, como se dice, manana es una otra dia!
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on December 04, 2012, 06:50:26 AM
Ok, ok, I'm off to memrise to 'water' my Spanish seedlings.  What do you folks think of the new, improved(?) interface?  I had just gotten used to the old one...  (grumble, shakes walker and says 'get off my lawn!')
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on December 04, 2012, 08:47:31 PM
Ok, ok, I'm off to memrise to 'water' my Spanish seedlings.  What do you folks think of the new, improved(?) interface?  I had just gotten used to the old one...  (grumble, shakes walker and says 'get off my lawn!')

I didn't realise it had changed...I should start using it for Italian or German or something...
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on December 05, 2012, 08:00:52 AM
Just emailed Memrise and complained about the new interface.  It seems to be the new normal:  Something work?  Great!  Let's fix it!

I can have small conversations now.  When I went to the craft person fair they had here on post I was able to ask 'quanto cuesta?  Of course, after that I was back to pantomime.

I'm going to make some flash cards from the site recommended above.  I'm using the Wiktionary list of most frequently used words.  Multiple learning modes seems to work best for me.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on December 13, 2012, 03:57:05 PM
Pues chic@s, que tal?

Hay novedades en sus estudios?
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: MsSindy on December 14, 2012, 09:07:16 AM
Hola!  Count me in.  I just went to the Memrise site and completed 'Beginner's Spanish' - nice easy course to get me started.  I'm now doing the 'Minimum Viable Spanish'.  In general I like the ease of the programs, and that it forces you to write the words.  I just hope that at some point they show you how to put the words together to form actual sentences - is there a site that does this a little better?  I think I have some CDs on Learning Spanish in your Car.... somewhere.  As I recall, these were more conversational.  I like learning straight vocabulary, then trying to apply it in a sentence, so meshing these two together might work.

My dad wants to go to Costa Rica to go zip lining (he's 75!!) - so I figured I could learn a little Spanish to make for a great trip.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Kriegsspiel on December 14, 2012, 04:16:53 PM
If you go to www.language-exchanges.org, you can sign up to speak with people who speak spanish and want to learn english.  So I guess all of you could talk to each other on there.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: extralean on December 30, 2012, 03:14:41 AM
Bumping.

I started a Total Annihilation Challenge Log over on unilang.org to log my progress with Italian in 2013 (http://www.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?f=119&t=39343 (http://www.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?f=119&t=39343)). I thought I'd share it with you guys as a form of motivation, and to introduce you to a group of like minded language learners on another forum.

De luego, como habéis pasado sus navidades?
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: amyable on December 30, 2012, 03:24:45 PM
Me gusta este "thread."  Hablo un poco de espanol, pero no entiendo muchas palabras.  Estoy tratando de estudiar espanol por una hora dia.  Es muy dificil.  Estoy muy "busy" (como se dice "busy?  Ocupado?) durante el ano de escuela, pero me gusta estudiar otras lenguas.  Es importante por mi trabajo. 


Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on December 31, 2012, 01:42:35 PM
A co-worker has cautioned me about how I wish a Spanish Happy New Year as it can easily accidently come out wishing everyone a happy a$$hole.  Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on January 21, 2013, 11:23:48 AM
In order to get myself back up on the horse I am giving myself five minutes for this past week.  That is about the amount of time I spent googling the spanish in Junot Diaz's This Is How You Lose Her.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: ch12 on January 22, 2013, 08:06:16 PM
I just started using DuoLingo. I previously recommended Memrise, which is great and made by someone who dominates as memorizing, but DuoLingo knocks my socks off. It's so much fun, with the addictive qualities of a video game. However, it draws a lot from Rosetta Stone, except you can frequently peek at the words. Also, DuoLingo has you translate business documents, so it has a real-world application. They make money because they charge businesses for the translation and the labor is free. This might be exploitative, but it's made by the same professor who created reCaptcha.

What I like better than Memrise is that you form sentences. I'm in linguistics now and I can see the principles that they are using to help you very quickly learn the language. I can speak a tiny, tiny bit of Portuguese now after spending an hour going through DuoLingo modules, although my accent, I'm sure, would be terrible.

I also started Italian, but I realized that Portuguese will have far more practical applications.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: shadowmoss on January 23, 2013, 07:39:28 AM
I started duolingo as a way to get back studying Spanish.  In a way, since  live in Honduras, I use Spanish every day, just not a lot and not well.  I'll probably bounce back and forth between Memrise and DuoLing as I get antsy just using one method.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: ch12 on January 27, 2013, 05:58:30 PM
It's very cool that you live in Honduras. If you're an expat, how much interaction do you get with the community? I found that being completely immersed in Spain did the trick to get me fluent, although it was terrifying to not be allowed to speak any English beyond an hour on the Internet per week.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Nudelkopf on January 28, 2013, 11:51:23 PM
I'm going to pick up classes again at united. I did 1yr while an undergrad, but now while I'm studying for my teaching qualification, I'll have time for 2hrs of night classes per week :-) 
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: rugorak on February 13, 2013, 11:39:59 AM
They make money because they charge businesses for the translation and the labor is free. This might be exploitative, but it's made by the same professor who created reCaptcha.

I don't really think it is exploitative. Two fold. First they are giving you something for free. You get to learn a language. They get you and thousands (maybe even millions) of others to collectively translate things for them to make some money. Seems like a very fair trade to me. Second they translate both things people have paid for to be translated and things that people have not paid for. Paying just gets you to the front of the queue of what will be translated. Oh and Luis isn't a professor.

Here is an interview with Luis Von Ahn
http://www.fluentin3months.com/entrevista-luis/
At about 7:50 he explains the money aspect. But the entire interview is very interesting. Plus for those learning Spanish the interview is in Spanish (with English closed-captioning available).
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: James on February 13, 2013, 11:52:57 AM
I just made a promise to myself last week to focus on learning Spanish this year, I spent last week in Guatemala and would have really like to know more than a basic few words.  Lots of great resources listed, thanks to all!
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Kimbl on February 14, 2013, 12:06:16 PM
I'm joining in on this challenge.  I've been using Memrise for the last couple weeks to build my vocabulary and have found it to be very addictive.  I just signed up for DuoLingo as well.  I hope to go to Spain in the Fall.  My mother is from Spain and I was very embarrassed my last trip when I couldn't hold a conversation (although lots of vino seemed to help ;) )  My cousins are all at least bi- (spanish, english)  or tri-lingual (spanish, english, french).   Stupid american!

No more excuses!
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: amyable on March 10, 2013, 08:10:25 AM
I know this is a very old thread, but I just had to add this free resource.  Is anyone else using Verbling.com?  It actually allows you to instantly connect with a native Spanish speaker--you speak for 5 minutes in Spanish, then 5 in English, and repeat.  They have classes as well, but you have to pay for them.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: James on March 10, 2013, 01:55:19 PM
I got a copy of Fluenz from a friend and am trying that, my kids use Rosetta Stone at school but that's a bit pricy for me to purchase for myself.  So far Fluenz seems like it will work fine, I think the main thing is to keep at it working with whatever you choose.
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: Chipamogli on March 13, 2013, 09:14:43 AM
Not sure if it was mentioned before... but I just had to comment about this...
I used an amazing system to learn Spanish. In fact, it was enough to arrive in Chile with intermediate level Español! No classes, no spending money on teachers, no forcing myself to sit in front of a computer and learn vocabulary.

Check out www.radiolingua.com
I listened to Coffee Break Spanish and Show Time Spanish over and over. Yes it's a podcast (you can also search for it on itunes). It's free unless you want the extra stuff it comes with, but the basic version was enough for me. I listened to it on the way to work every morning for about a year, but even if you don't have as much time you will find that you pick up a lot. The lessons are at a good pace for both beginners (Coffee Break) and intermediate speakers (Show Time).

I now live in Chile as part of my immersion experience and even managed to find a full time job in my profession!
Buena suerte a todos!
Title: Re: Anybody else trying to learn spanish?
Post by: sheepstache on March 13, 2013, 07:09:50 PM
Holy crap the Coffee Break theme song already has me laughing so hard I'm crying.