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-   -   How do you become fluent? (http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=17390)

Wahooka December 28, 2013 06:00 PM

How do you become fluent?
 
Hola todos!

I am trying to become fluent in Spanish.

Right now I can read a lot of Spanish and I know a lot of vocabulary, but I am not even close to being fluent.

What exactly is the journey to achieving fluency, or is there more then one path?

Thanks,
Wahooka

Mozzo December 28, 2013 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wahooka (Post 145789)
Hola todos!
Right now I can read a lot of Spanish and I know a lot of vocabulary, but I am not even close to being fluent.

I would say true fluency is only possible by conversing in the language.

If you can't easily meet people to practice with, you can approximate that, by reading aloud as audio-books or podcasts are played. That at least gives your mouth and tongue the "motor memory" of speaking. Armed with the knowledge that your enunciation is good, you'll be less ashamed to try and use the language with people.

You can also listen to Spanish talk radio on the Internet in DeliCast, to get a feel for how "real people" speak as opposed to the polished enunciation that is on prepared material. Record some of that and mimic the "normal sounding" conversations they have with the hosts. Sports stations and religious stations are good starting points, because the subject matter is somewhat limited, and you will have a better sense of what is under discussion.

There are Spanish chat rooms on PalTalk. You can go there and just listen, then practice typing in chat mode, and then progress to speaking on the microphone when you are satisfied that you can compose thoughts faster than you can type them.

Villa December 28, 2013 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wahooka (Post 145789)
Hola todos!

I am trying to become fluent in Spanish.

Right now I can read a lot of Spanish and I know a lot of vocabulary, but I am not even close to being fluent.

What exactly is the journey to achieving fluency, or is there more then one path?

Thanks,
Wahooka

Hola Wahooka,

Nobody really learns a second language very well in just a traditional classroom.
It's good as an addition to your learning but not and end to all ends. If you do take
a Spanish class make sure you record all the classes. You can record them right on
your phone. I have and still do.

You need to emerse yourself in Spanish. I for example watch 4 Spanish language soap operas every day 5 nights a week. I also watch TV in Spanish in the morning. I record programs in Spanish when I'm not home. Even on the week ends I watch TV in Spanish. Sabato Gigante with Don Francisco for example.
I live with a native Spanish speaker too that speaks to me only in Spanish. I speak back only in Spanish.

1. Get Spanish audio books and Spanish langugue programs and listen to them in your car every day on
your way to and from work or school.

2. Get Spanish songs on CD and listen to them in your car and at home.
Get the Spanish lyrics from the songs on the internet. Memorize the lyrics. Sing or speak the lyrics.

3. Even when you're on the computer listen to the radio or your Spanish language audio programs and Spanish music. If you're painting or doing house work listen to your Spanish programs or Spanish radio.

4. Listen to Spanish while at the gym. Talk to people in Spanish at the gym and out on the street.

5. Find Spanish speakers. I helped a man from Peru get his master's degree. He helped me with my Spanish. We got together every week.

6. Go to A.A. meetings where everything is in Spanish even if you don't drink. I did. You need to listen to Spanish a lot.

7. Start a Spanish language Meet Up group. Invite native Spanish
speakers that want to learn English and English speakers that want to
learn Spanish.

8. Make lots of flash cards. Spanish on one side, English on the other.

9. Get lots of books to learn Spanish at used book stores, garage sales
and off the internet.

10. Record native Spanish speakers speaking right on your cell phone.

11. Read Spanish out loud. This is one of the best things you can do
to become fluent and you never run out of something to say.:D:)

12. Remember that understanding well a language is more important
at first than speaking. Once you understand Spanish the words will just
flow out of your mouth without having to think. The way you learn to
understand Spanish is by listening to it a lot and putting time in studying
with flash cards books and coming on this Spanish forum.

All the above is part of the process of learning Spanish. If you enjoy and
have fun with the process you'll become fluent.

Wahooka December 29, 2013 10:21 AM

Thank you for your suggestions!

I like your suggestion number 6: go to AA meetings in Spanish :) :) :)

I have a question about listening to Spanish.

If you listen to a lot of Spanish but you don't understand or even catch a lot of what you're listening to, how does that help?

Simply listening will not help very much with the translation, right?

How do you listen in a productive way so that you are learning something?

Do you suggest Subtitles?

Mozzo December 29, 2013 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wahooka (Post 145808)
If you listen to a lot of Spanish but you don't understand or even catch a lot of what you're listening to, how does that help?

Simply listening will not help very much with the translation, right?

How do you listen in a productive way so that you are learning something?

I think the best listening material is "just a little beyond your level". Understand 50% to 80% of it, and be able to identify the gaps and fill them in on successive listening (along with a dictionary).

I've spent a few months building up vocabulary and am getting to the point where I can listen to nursery rhymes and folk tales. When I find something that is beyond me, I just bookmark it in my browser and will try again later.

The telenovas don't work for me yet. I just sense that "somebody is mad at somebody else for some reason" :blackeye: It's a stream of words with little dots of understanding on common terms. Bla bla ... manaña ... bla bla ... mi novia ... bla bla bla

I'll probably work up through podcasts and childens educational films before tackling contemporary dramas. One good thing about adult study, is that you can tailor it to your own mental acuity and pace of learning.

Rusty December 29, 2013 10:50 AM

Listening will help you learn how the language sounds and you'll discover its cadence.
At first, you won't be able to understand a single thing. It'll be a stream of sounds. Some of the sounds will, over time, begin to stand out in your mind. You'll begin to recognize that they mean a specific thing.

Now, to answer your question about how to make listening productive, you can't just listen to Spanish to learn the language, although it's a VERY important step in your learning process. You didn't learn an English word until you heard it first. You shouldn't expect anything different about learning Spanish words.

You should, at some point during the listening exercise, ask questions about what you don't understand. This part involves another person.

¿Qué es ...? = What is ...?
¿Qué significa ...? = What does ... mean?
¿Qué quiere decir ...? = What does ... mean?
In each case, substitute what you heard but didn't understand.

When you're ready to start learning about the Spanish world around you, hang out with native speakers and ask, "¿Cómo se dice ...?" Substitute "eso" (that) or "esto" (this), or provide the English word/phrase if your interlocutor understands English.
Repeating a lot of what you're hearing is a very good exercise. When the native speaker replies, "Es un árbol," repeat their answer trying your utmost to exactly mimic the way the sentence was said.
If you would like to look up the word later, write it down. Ask your friend to spell it - "¿Cómo se deletrea?" (How's it spelled?). You may or may not get the right spelling, but you'll at least have a good idea. If you can't find it in the dictionary, write down some context and ask about the word/phrase here.

chileno December 29, 2013 02:46 PM

To me, the way to become fluent on all fronts, that is, thinking, writing, speaking and listening, is as follows:

Transcribe a novel, in your case assuming you are a native English speaker, from Spanish to Spanish (copy the novel).

As you do this, phrase by phrase, translate literally from Spanish to English

Once you have this translation, it will become apparent, say 98% of the time, that something is wrong if indeed it doesn't make sense in English. That being the case you accommodate the words that most likely will be the correct translation. Again, 98% of the time you will be right on that translation.

With this you will get to think in Spanish by understanding it in English. (Weird uh?)
But you will also will write stuff in Spanish without knowing grammar, just because that's the way it is written. You begin to acquire the written form by copying.

Once you understand the phrase, read Spanish out loud. If you don't know how a word is pronounced, then go to any online dictionary or translator and input the word and click on the speaker icon. :)

Do not be tempted to translate using an online translator, by doing that, even if it was a good translation, will not really help you. You need to do the exercise. Falling for this it would be the equivalent of reading on how to develop muscles by lifting weights, you are going to understand that perfectly, but I hope you don't expect to develop any muscles just by reading.... :)

Once you have the correct Spanish pronunciation, read it out loud.

Start again.

Once a week watch a movie, either a Spanish movie or a movie that has the Spanish audio track. By doing this you will develop you listening skill and what Rusty explained in his reply will ensue, no doubt, but because it is a movie, which you will couple the action of what you are seeing with the actual spoken language, all will begin to make sense faster than just trying to understand a conversation, and trying to equate certain phrases that are pretty much the same in both languages, as Rusty also explained.

I recommend a novel of about 400 to 500 pages. I know it sounds like a lot, but actually it isn't. It has to be a novel that you would pick up if it were in English. In other words, something of your interest and that will keep up that interest in the novel. If you pick something for kids, thinking that the language level will be easier, most likely it will bore you to death and will not do anything. If that happens, most likely you will blame my system. ;)

The movie also has to be one that you will not mind watching over and over, because you are not going to see another one until you understand all of what has been said in the movie.

If you do this, there is no way you will be able to say that you don't understand Spanish, after going thru a 500 pages novel and movie.

Once you understand Spanish and can write complex phrases (read Subjunctive, usage of para/por etc) you will not be able to explain why you chose those words, other than "that's the way it is done". Then you can take on Spanish grammar, but then if you don't know your grammar and pretty much you express and write the way you do, because "that's how it is supposed to be" then I would recommend you to either, start English grammar and once you understand your grammar start the Spanish one, or do not start anything grammar.

See?

:D

Wahooka December 29, 2013 05:11 PM

Chileno: Great idea to transcribe a novel! This will involve looking up A LOT of words in the dictionary and learning a lot of vocabulary. As far as watching a Spanish movie, do you recommend using Spanish subtitles, English subtitles, or neither?

Mozzo: How do you find the right materials to listen to that are just above your level? Unfortunately, ALL the Spanish tv channels are too high a level. Are there certain podcasts you recommend?

Rusty: "Que quiere decir" literally translates to "what you like to say"... If I heard that phrase I would never guess it means "What does X mean?" I take your word for it :)

chileno December 29, 2013 06:14 PM

Wahooka:

My answer is: I go to the library, if I want to read. Would that suffice?

:)

Wahooka December 29, 2013 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chileno (Post 145819)
Wahooka:

My answer is: I go to the library, if I want to read. Would that suffice?

:)

I will try your technique, but it seems very idealistic!

I can imagine myself getting very stuck on certain scenes or words.

I would be tempted to get a translation for the parts I couldn't understand,

chileno December 29, 2013 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wahooka (Post 145820)
I will try your technique, but it seems very idealistic!

I can imagine myself getting very stuck on certain scenes or words.

I would be tempted to get a translation for the parts I couldn't understand,

All you have to do, is watch the movie again....when you follow my method, as you go along transcribing Spanish and then translating to English, pronouncing it etc, every time you watch the movie the more "knowledge" you have acquired to be applied while listening Spanish.

As a matter of fact, you will start recognizing certain words that you just had to look up in the dictionary, and that feeling, my friend, is wonderful.

Let your head level what you know in English to the Spanish equivalency. What you don't know in English, you will learn it through Spanish.

:)

Mozzo December 29, 2013 08:13 PM

123teachMe.com offers a nice set of simple audios that I have gained from.
https://www.youtube.com/user/MrLearnSpanish/videos

And there are many other free vocabulary builders if you search around.

Once you get beyond working with isolated words very short phrases, you can try listening to simple melodies, and short stories such as AEsop's fables:
http://www.interpeques2.com/pequecue...quecuentos.htm

Here is a huge pile of free audiobooks. (No, I am not tacking these quite yet. :o )
http://albalearning.com/audiolibros/

Think of an audio track like a bicycle chain. The chain is the flow of words and meaning. Your brain is a gear that has to adapt to "fit" with it. When this happens, you find yourself able to listen to much longer patterns of speech, and you don't mentally "stick" on a confusing spot and lose track of the entire thing.

As for what Chileno is getting at: When your ears "engage with" the other language, it is the verbal equivalent, of seeing one of those 3rd eye illusions. Suddenly ... cohesion appears out the background ... and you are following along.

chileno December 29, 2013 08:19 PM

I am not sure how long have you been doing all that Mozzo, but I would suggest you to follow my method and you will be up to par in no time.

Many people have been doing what you recommend for years and still are unable to put simple phrases without mistake, and with a lot of uncertainty.

Many people recommend to build flashcard and what not. In theory it works good as a vocabulary builder, but as time goes by, you don't know what to do with all that vocabulary, and then even if you get a but proficient with writing Spanish, you come to a halt with the subjunctive mood and usage for para/por along with past simple and imperfect or perfect, whatever, I do not know grammar.

Now, what do you do to remember a new word in Spanish?

Flashcards?

Practice different sentences where the word is used?


Do you do all that when you learn a new word in English?

Just asking.....

;)

zuma022 December 29, 2013 08:20 PM

To me the key to speak fluently is to have lots and lots and LOTS of speaking practice. Ideally immersion but these days with the internet and Skype it's quite easy to find language partners to practice with. I do about three hours a week of 100% Spanish for an hour, even if I struggle. It becomes easier over time.
With English I only really became fluent after spending 6 months in Australia. There just wasn't a choice but to speak English. Unfortunately I don't have the same luxury for Spanish now, so with 3h it's obviously slower but I have no doubt that it is possible.

Of course building vocab, studying grammar and practicing listening and reading comprehension are all part of it too. Depends what you consider true fluency.

Rusty December 29, 2013 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wahooka (Post 145818)
Rusty: "Que quiere decir" literally translates to "what you like to say"... If I heard that phrase I would never guess it means "What does X mean?" I take your word for it :)

Literal translations don't always work. ;) "What does it want to say" is a more literal translation, but that doesn't get you any closer to what it really means.
The two words work together in a way that doesn't make sense if you look at the individual words. That makes it a set phrase. It is an idiomatic way of asking what something means. The expression is very commonly used!
I provided the first question because it makes immediate sense to an English-speaker trying to learn Spanish. The more common way to ask what something means is the second question, however.

Mozzo December 29, 2013 09:09 PM

I only suggest vocabulary building for the early stages. Know the colors, the parts of the body, the days of the week and the months, etc. Get these common and basic things out of the way. Natural vocabulary acquisition will pick up later based on what is read and listened to.

I mainly use flash cards to clean up spelling. I'm pretty bad at remembering where to put accents. :o

Wahooka December 30, 2013 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chileno (Post 145821)
All you have to do, is watch the movie again....when you follow my method, as you go along transcribing Spanish and then translating to English, pronouncing it etc, every time you watch the movie the more "knowledge" you have acquired to be applied while listening Spanish.

:)

I will try that, but I do not see the harm in occasionally getting the translation, so I can't promise I will not cheat :)

I agree that flash cards are not that useful, no offense.

I learnt 1,000 words of new vocabulary at school with flash cards, and I can honestly say I can't remember hardly any of them, except the ones I have used.

Thanks Mozzo for the links, looking forward to trying them.

chileno December 30, 2013 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mozzo (Post 145827)
I only suggest vocabulary building for the early stages. Know the colors, the parts of the body, the days of the week and the months, etc. Get these common and basic things out of the way. Natural vocabulary acquisition will pick up later based on what is read and listened to.

I mainly use flash cards to clean up spelling. I'm pretty bad at remembering where to put accents. :o


No need to feel bad about flashcards. I was doing them for a brief time too! :)

People imagine that they know what they need. Well first is the other way around.

They don't know or seem not to know, then they ask, and when the help is offered, they say, "oh no, that's not for me"

:rolleyes:

See what I mean?

You don't learn a language by memory, you learn it by understanding it. Now, if you don't know that language what's the point of trying to write out of your head/mind, in a language you don't know?

That's why, if you translate literally from that language to your native language, then you will be able, first, to see what's wrong with the way it is 'laid out" in your language, fix it and thus, understanding what it is being said.

It is so easy, but people trip because of its simplicity.

Mozzo December 30, 2013 09:14 PM

For the benefit of the original poster, I have been listening to some Spanish each day for 3 months. Usually either in my car using CDs, or at home from websites.

I am just beginning to reach a stage where I can watch a childrens' cartoon or a simple educational program like Disney's "Plaza Encanto" without subtitles. (In fact I am observing that subtitles are often quite sloppy. They are better used as an aid, than to be trusted without question! :erm: )

Childrens' material can be good since it contains many repeated themes. Animal names, food, dancing, the weather, playing with toys. But it also tends to be set at a fast pace with squeaky, cute, voices that are annoying. :crazy: Fortunately, there are a *LOT* of free videos on YouTube to learn from.

Wahooka December 30, 2013 09:21 PM

Thanks, I like the ideas presented here, will give it a shot. I will let you know what I think of your methods!

I tried youtube but didn't see anything that caught my eye, maybe you have a favorite series on there?

Mozzo December 30, 2013 09:44 PM

Well I spent about a month, kicking off from vocabulary builders:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ebpaes/videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/MrLearnSpanish/videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/LearnEnglishSpanish
http://www.youtube.com/user/Vocabuflash


Then moved to "canción infantiles"
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA548720D06B86EF0
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL240EB432F973E8E0


Now I'm wading into music for older children:
http://www.youtube.com/user/jorgeembon/videos
http://musicalibre.com.co/(this was free when I used it, you have to buy the CDs now but they do still play 1 minute of each song)
http://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyJuniorES/videos


As well as listening to short stories "audiocuentos"
http://ntic.educacion.es/w3//recurso...ntos/index.htm
http://www.interpeques2.com/peques5/peques5.htm


Here is an English teacher in Spain that posted about 150 podcasts over the course of several years
http://ssl4you.blogspot.com/ (works better if you click on articles than use the links on the right)


Just keep looking around, and you'll find more material than you have time for !

Wahooka January 01, 2014 06:02 PM

Thank you very much!!!!

Valeria January 05, 2014 02:08 AM

Great resources!

To achieve fluency? paso a paso! necesita paciencia :-)

Fluency happens when you don't even notice it. Naturally. It will probably hit you when you smoothly construct 4 sentences without a single mistake, only to discover the average native speaker does a mistake every 3rd sentence :P

Don't try to hard. If you're immersed in Spanish it'll come to you.

Es me consejo.

Villa January 07, 2014 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Valeria (Post 145972)
Great resources!

To achieve fluency? paso a paso! necesita paciencia :-)

Fluency happens when you don't even notice it. Naturally. It will probably hit you when you smoothly construct 4 sentences without a single mistake, only to discover the average native speaker does a mistake every 3rd sentence :P

Don't try to hard. If you're immersed in Spanish it'll come to you.

Es me consejo.

¿Cómo has aprendido tú Valeria el español?
¿Has estado totalmente inmerso en el español antes?
La inmersión total es, por supuesto, la mejor manera de aprender español
o cualquier otro segundo idioma. Es lógico.
He tenido una inmersión total en español e italiano.

Valeria January 08, 2014 03:01 AM

Quote:

¿Cómo has aprendido tú Valeria el español?
Todavia estudio el espanol. Yo no lo entiendo muy bien. (I still study Spanish. I don't know it very well).

I never had immersion in Spanish. But I have experience in becoming fluent from null... it happened to me in two languages actually, English and Russian. English though I studied from the age of 6 and in school, and Russian from the age of 12 with my grandmother teaching me (forcing me to accept my half Russian side). I immersed myself in reading and writing resources, and TV, and despite the fact I've never been to an English-speaking or a Russian-speaking country, I can speak both those languages fluently! (I should mention some people in my family speak Russian and I grew up with Russian-speaking classmates so that was an unfair advantage I had).
That's what I'm doing now with Spanish, creating my own immersion with spanish tenenovelas, spanish computer games, and what not :-) Heck if I could trade my Russian boyfriend to a Spanish one I would, just for the extra immersion! (lol)

chileno January 08, 2014 10:15 AM

That's funny Valeria...

If you follow my method, you'll find yourself immersed in that language without the need to be "corrected", initially and you would be reading, writing understanding and speaking in a short period of time as opposed to years of repeating. What's more, like you said, you have two more language to fall back to plus your native language in order to understand and apply Spanish.

The best of my method is that you can apply it to any language in the world as along as you understand how to look up words in a paper dictionary of that foreign language.

:)

Valeria January 08, 2014 12:28 PM

Quote:

If you follow my method, you'll find yourself immersed in that language without the need to be "corrected", initially and you would be reading, writing understanding and speaking in a short period of time as opposed to years of repeating. What's more, like you said, you have two more language to fall back to plus your native language in order to understand and apply Spanish.
It's funny you should mention that because I'm exploiting it as much as I can. In Russia there is a show on the culture channel "Spanish from scratch in 16 hours" (испанский с нуля за 16 часов) with polyglot Dimitri Petrov... where they basically film him teaching a class of 8 people (mostly actors or class C celebs) Spanish and I find it extremely useful, interactive and entertaining. That show is helping me immensely! In Hebrew sadly there aren't many resources I can exploit. In English, galore!

Quote:

The best of my method is that you can apply it to any language in the world as along as you understand how to look up words in a paper dictionary of that foreign language.
Paper dictionary? Pshaw! How about android smartphone Collins Eng-Esp dictionary! :D

chileno January 08, 2014 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Valeria (Post 146085)


Paper dictionary? Pshaw! How about android smartphone Collins Eng-Esp dictionary! :D

That helps, but you are missing the point of knowing the foreign "alphabet" order and that, my friend, ranks high on my things to do list, when it comes to leveling what I now in my native language.

Valeria January 08, 2014 10:49 PM

Quote:

That helps, but you are missing the point of knowing the foreign "alphabet" order and that, my friend, ranks high on my things to list when it comes to leveling what I now in my native language.
No sé que es muy necesario. I mean, números and the más técnico parts of the language are the things you tend to learn last. Me parece.

chileno January 09, 2014 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Valeria (Post 146102)
No sé que es muy necesario. I mean, números and the más técnico parts of the language are the things you tend to learn last. Me parece.

You bet it is necessary.

Count in two's or three's in a language that is not your own and see how far you get. No doubt you know the numbering system in that language... :rolleyes:

Same thing goes for all 4 math operations in the foreign language.

All that is part of fluency.

Although I recognize all that, I still do most of my math in Spanish, but it is a matter of practice. The minute you start doing it, your head starts to crack. Sooner or later you gain fluency on that side too.

The rest, I will explain later.


:) I liked that one. Do you know more Chileans? :D

Villa January 10, 2014 12:15 PM

La mejor manera de todas para adquirir fluidez en español es conseguir
una novia o novio que es un hablante nativo de español, que sólo sabe
hablar español y estar con ellos 24/7. Entonces mirar la televisión en
español con ellos y así sucesivamente hasta la cama.
Es lo que he hecho yo.

chileno January 10, 2014 12:40 PM

Right.

Back in 79, I met this Chilean in California, who married this beautiful American girl. The girl ended up speaking like a Chilean, and the guy didn't even know how to say Hola in English.

:D

Villa January 10, 2014 03:53 PM

Muy interesante.

He hecho lo mismo con varias novias de habla hispana.
Aprendí mucho español pero ellas no aprendían mucho inglés.
Me sentía un poco culpable, pero yo quería aprender español
más de lo que ellas querían aprender inglés.
No es mi culpa.:D:D:D

ROBINDESBOIS January 14, 2014 06:07 AM

Your Spanish must be perfect, you´re such an untiring learner ! I don´t know if Infatigable is untiring or not.
Congratulations on your will power.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Villa (Post 145797)
Hola Wahooka,

Nobody really learns a second language very well in just a traditional classroom.
It's good as an addition to your learning but not and end to all ends. If you do take
a Spanish class make sure you record all the classes. You can record them right on
your phone. I have and still do.

You need to emerse yourself in Spanish. I for example watch 4 Spanish language soap operas every day 5 nights a week. I also watch TV in Spanish in the morning. I record programs in Spanish when I'm not home. Even on the week ends I watch TV in Spanish. Sabato Gigante with Don Francisco for example.
I live with a native Spanish speaker too that speaks to me only in Spanish. I speak back only in Spanish.

1. Get Spanish audio books and Spanish langugue programs and listen to them in your car every day on
your way to and from work or school.

2. Get Spanish songs on CD and listen to them in your car and at home.
Get the Spanish lyrics from the songs on the internet. Memorize the lyrics. Sing or speak the lyrics.

3. Even when you're on the computer listen to the radio or your Spanish language audio programs and Spanish music. If you're painting or doing house work listen to your Spanish programs or Spanish radio.

4. Listen to Spanish while at the gym. Talk to people in Spanish at the gym and out on the street.

5. Find Spanish speakers. I helped a man from Peru get his master's degree. He helped me with my Spanish. We got together every week.

6. Go to A.A. meetings where everything is in Spanish even if you don't drink. I did. You need to listen to Spanish a lot.

7. Start a Spanish language Meet Up group. Invite native Spanish
speakers that want to learn English and English speakers that want to
learn Spanish.

8. Make lots of flash cards. Spanish on one side, English on the other.

9. Get lots of books to learn Spanish at used book stores, garage sales
and off the internet.

10. Record native Spanish speakers speaking right on your cell phone.

11. Read Spanish out loud. This is one of the best things you can do
to become fluent and you never run out of something to say.:D:)

12. Remember that understanding well a language is more important
at first than speaking. Once you understand Spanish the words will just
flow out of your mouth without having to think. The way you learn to
understand Spanish is by listening to it a lot and putting time in studying
with flash cards books and coming on this Spanish forum.

All the above is part of the process of learning Spanish. If you enjoy and
have fun with the process you'll become fluent.

las novias y los novios no siempre ayudan, además siempre se repiten las mismas estructuras, unas veces están demasiado ocupados/-as. Ayuda solo si pones interés en aprender.

Villa January 14, 2014 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBINDESBOIS (Post 146209)
Your Spanish must be perfect, you´re such an untiring learner ! I don´t know if Infatigable is untiring or not.
Congratulations on your will power.

Muchas gracias por el cumplido. Eres muy amable, Robindesbois.

¿He mencionado que durante dos años enteros solo veía la televisión en español no viendo la TV en inglés en absoluto?:D

También estoy aprendiendo la lengua italiana y haciendo muchas de las mismas cosas para aprender italiano que he hecho para aprender español. Por supuesto el italiano es relativamente fácil sapendo el español. Esta es otra de las ventajas de aprender español. Una vez sabiendo español las otras lenguas latinas son más fáciles de aprender.:D

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBINDESBOIS (Post 146209)
las novias y los novios no siempre ayudan, además siempre se repiten las mismas estructuras, unas veces están demasiado ocupados/-as. Ayuda solo si pones interés en aprender.

Estoy de acuerdo contigo un poco Robin, pero que sería la alternativa, no tener
una novia de habla hispana? Tener una novia que solo habla inglés y nada de español?
En mi caso, mi novia hispana miraba telenovelas en español todas las noches y yo miraba las con ella. Despues y el dia siguiente hablabamos de lo que habia pasado en las novelas. Ella tenía revistas sobre las telenovelas en el idioma español y me gustaba leer sobre los actores en estas revistas todo en español. Mis novias de habla hispana me hablaban durante horas en español. Me enseñaron mucho vocabulario en español. La inmersión total pues. Por no hablar de hacer el amor en español. Te quiero tanto vida mia! Eres la mujer más hermosa del mundo. Bésame mucho, como si ésta fuera la última noche juntos. Te adoro vida mia. Cuanto me quieres? Estoy totalmente enamorado contigo! Eres muy linda! Me haces el hombre mas feliz del mundo. Eres el amor de mi vida. Me has extrañado?
Te necesito tanto vida mia! No hubiera aprendido nada de esto y mas sin mis novias de habla hispana.

Hablando February 27, 2014 03:33 AM

How to get fluent
 
I can speak Spanish very well and yet I still ask myself how it actually got that way.
It all started when I decided to do a Spanish course in Spain many many years ago. I wasnt even learning Spanish at the time and didnt do it at school either. Anyhow, I decided to go for it and in those days it meant going to the consulate (where I found some flyers), writing to the school for info, sending off the application form etc etc. I went to Granada in a school called Instituto Espanol de Granada - it doesnt exist any more. I booked for 4 weeks, 20 lessons a week, but ended up staying for 6 weeks.

What happened in those 6 weeks is a blur - eating, drinking, partying, lessons, meeting new people of all nationalities, speaking Spanish, excursions... And at the end of the 6 weeks I could communicate in Spanish. I could even talk to the barman in my favourite bar about the soccer on TV - something Id never imagined possible just 5 or 6 weeks previously.

The following year I did another 4 week course (Proyecto Espanol school) and, as with the previous year, learned tons but all in a blur which left me thinking "how did that happen". Last year, more than ten years after the first course in Granada I decided to do another course (with Estudia Espana this time). In the 10 years Id had little or no contact with Spanish but was surprised to find out how much I still knew. I had no communication problems really. And the 4 weeks was just like the rest - blur... learn... blur... learn.

I guess what Im saying is that the best way to become fluent is to go to a Spanish speaking country and do a course but also get out there to the bars, cinema, speak to people (they dont bite!) and immerse yourself. One thing I have learned over the years is that the fears and worries we have about speaking a foreign language, making mistakes etc, is absolutely not necessary. The schools are great for giving you the the grammatical guidance and security but speaking and living the language is the ONLY way to get fluent.

Villa February 27, 2014 09:13 AM

Speaking of going to a Spanish speaking country to learn Spanish reminds me of a joke I heard years ago:

In the U.S. state of North Dakota on the Canadian border a high
school student is in his room at night studying his Spanish
homework. His dad walks in and asks him what he's doing.
The kid says he's studying his Spanish but says what good
is it to learn Spanish because nobody around North Dakota
speaks Spanish. The father says that's true but some day
son you might take a trip to Los Angeles, California.

To understand this joke you have to realize that even though
Los Angles, California is in The United States there are more
Spanish speakers in L.A. than many Spanish speaking cities
in the 21 Spanish speaking countries around the world. In fact
after Mexico City and Guadalajara Los Angeles is the third largest
Spanish speaking city outside of Mexico.

I just read there are 69 million Spanish speakers in the U.S.
Half of them speak English too. Also there are 6 million
students of Spanish in the U.S.

SteffiL89 April 06, 2016 02:47 AM

I think reading doesn't make you fluent in Spanish. At least for me, it doesn't work. I learned tons of vocabulary, read books in English and practised with different softwares written and spoken Spanish and grammar. But speaking stayed a problem for me. I'd advise you to look for intercambios (they are free and you both benefit from each other) face to face or via Skype and regularely. If it's very important for you to improve very fast you should consider going to a language school for some weeks. I have been to one for several weeks because I couldn't communicate fluently. Then you'll be forced to speak and have a way more motivating surrounding in order to get absolutely into the language.

Voytek May 14, 2016 01:51 AM

Has anybody tried chileno`s method? It sounds very interesting but I want to know, if it`s effective? :)

Coldrainwater September 30, 2016 11:21 PM


 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voytek (Post 159521)
Has anybody tried chileno`s method? It sounds very interesting but I want to know, if it`s effective? :)

Sí, yo me voy a utilizar el método de chileno. Llegué a la misma conclusión antes de unirse a este hilo. Es casi similar a la lectura de mis propios pensamientos. Elijo 'meridiano de sangre(Spanish Edition)' porque me parece interesante la prosa ambos en inglés y español. He estado estudiando español ahora como adulto por cuatro meses. Me siento preparado para este tipo de inmersión. Sólo el tiempo lo dirá!


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