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Old March 19, 2012, 02:31 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Native Language: Castellano
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Originally Posted by aycaramba View Post
Okay... So I've been trying to learn Spanish for a long while, yet I don't seem to fully understand a native when he or she is speaking. This makes sense of course, since I'm still learning the language, I mean it's not that I expect myself to be fluent only after a little while. But I thought that I would've been better as I've come this far. Writing en speaking Spanish is not a problem for me though, but the listening part is really a challenge. So I wanted to ask you guys if you've any idea how I could possibly improve my listening skills? I kind of understand people when they're talking, but not always and it's getting very annoying... So should I watch more Spanish movies/news or are there plenty of other ways?
I had the same problem with English many years ago -and I still have troubles with that as I'm not speaking English on a daily basis, and let's admit it, I'm quite a moron in all this business of sounds translating immediately in ideas and vice-versa-. One day I was watching an old Hollywood film on TV and it had English subtitles, but they were out of synch in a way I was able to read the dialogue about one and a half second before the actors would say it. I started to understand almost all instantly, so I used that method wherever available during some time. Later I realized that I have created a set of sounds that could be called "the way I think English sounds" and not the real way all varieties of English sound -including that from India-. So I started to watch films with English subtitles -synch'ed this time- and to listen carefully what was said the way it was said and associate it with the written words I already know and not with the way I thought they sounded. I muffled that little voice that silently pronounces everything we read, so to speak.

So I recommend both methods to you. Spanish films with Spanish subtitles are a common option, and many systems allow you to tweak the synch between image, sound and subtitles. The advanced subtitles allow you to discover how real language sounds; the normal subtitles allow you to get rid of any wrong conceptualization about how real language sounds, provided you force yourself to avoid "reading" and you just listen and "watch" the texts.
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