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Going to Puerto Rico in August...but I feel like giving up

 

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  #11  
Old March 20, 2017, 11:44 AM
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If you can read Spanish pretty well, there is a good chance you will be able to hold conversations in Spanish in Puerto Rico. If there are a group of people speaking, and it is not directed to you, you may find it more difficult to understand. Anyway, that's the way it is for me. One-on-one conversations come fairly natural to me.
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  #12  
Old March 20, 2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelmit View Post
I must admit, I was hoping to see some success stories when it comes to fluency, I look at my lady who is only 25 and is completely fluent in both spanish and english, even knowing several more obscure words and idioms and phrases in english.
Being fluent and looking a fool are not mutually incompatible! I think that Angélica, for example, is a professional translator.

I'm not, but to my delight, I was recently told by a Spaniard that, listening to me translate in church, she thought I was Spanish for a couple of weeks and put my errors down to the pressure of translation - which in part is true. I have previously been asked whether I was Argentinian, but it's the first time anyone has mistaken me for a native speaker of their own dialect.

As for obscure words, in certain specialist areas I have a better vocabulary in Spanish than anyone I know, including my Spanish friends and colleagues.

My point is that you shouldn't expect perfection: after all, very few people speak their native language(s) perfectly (and you know you've made a lot of progress when you start picking up native speakers on their errors).
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  #13  
Old March 20, 2017, 03:20 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
I think that Angélica, for example, is a professional translator.
I wish!
I have done some translations for work, but I'm always very insecure, as I don't have any professional training for that.
I never really worked with languages (they were only tools for my job) until rather recently, when I started teaching some English to Mexican students and Spanish to foreign students. It's more challenging than I had expected, but it's been a great experience.

@lordhelmit: Never be discouraged, it's all a matter of goodwill and dedication.
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Old March 21, 2017, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
My point is that you shouldn't expect perfection: after all, very few people speak their native language(s) perfectly (and you know you've made a lot of progress when you start picking up native speakers on their errors).
Ages ago when speaking German, a German asked me "you're not German are you?". He could not identify where I was from, but he knew I was not native German because I made no grammatical mistakes, and was using the subjunctive mood correctly. That was the result of learning by reading, not communicating verbally with native speakers. The OP is in the best position imaginable to practice his Spanish, if he can't benefit from that, then it's a shame. An opportunity like that probably will not come his way again.
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Old March 29, 2017, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelmit View Post
Than you all for the help!

I must admit, I was hoping to see some success stories when it comes to fluency, I look at my lady who is only 25 and is completely fluent in both spanish and english, even knowing several more obscure words and idioms and phrases in english. That's how I want to get, but maybe English speakers just can't lol. Still keeping going though. I've been reading Wikipedia articles in Spanish and understanding quite a bit, and I'm trying to understand the spanish words rather than just translate them in my head.
It takes time.

Learning a foreign language is primarily cognitive and not linquistic.

Look at different ways to acquire the language.


Keep going.
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  #16  
Old March 30, 2017, 09:14 AM
lordhelmit lordhelmit is offline
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I appreciate all your help and encouragement, it does make me want to continue. I've noticed that my biggest problem with understanding spoken spanish is how they combine words together when speaking naturally...just like we do it english.

A sentence my girlfriend read to me last night included "que hacer", but she pronounced it more like "qacer". But at the same time, I do the same thing in english. I don't say ad pronounce "I want a car" with a hard T and long a, it sounds more like "i-wanna-car", wuh-nuh. So I just need to get used to the spanish "version" of this, which is tricky and def will take time.
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  #17  
Old March 30, 2017, 08:40 PM
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Hi, Lordhelmit!

Another thing you can do is to read on a subject you may know very well in your own tongue. Knowing the subject, and having familiarity with it "conceptually" speaking, will allow you to then get the ideas in the other language with more ease.

For example, "Say NO to Drugs"

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22D...w=1280&bih=713

The other thing is to LOOK at the things you are reading in Spanish, and have the pictures, or the actual objects when using the words.

Una mesa es una mesa...

You can see one here:
https://forums.warframe.com/topic/356972-mesareally/

Or here (una mesa de póker)
http://www.pokerproductos.com/Mesa-d...MAN-OCIO-negra

You have many here,

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22u...w=1280&bih=713

But this one is another kind of "mesa",

http://redmesa.navajochapters.org/

¡Buena suerte con tu aprendizaje!
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  #18  
Old March 30, 2017, 11:21 PM
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I have been struggling to learn the spanish language for 6 months now and still fail the A1 test so I am frustrated to say the least but from reading users learner for 20+ years and still looking like fools is it basically impossible for most native english speakers to become fluent in spanish?
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  #19  
Old March 31, 2017, 12:01 AM
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No, it is not impossible at all.

In 2 years of dedicated effort you can learn the basics if you don't try to speak like Cervantes or Shakespeare.

That is, people, after 20 years may have a blunder here and there, but can COMMUNICATE.

That does not mean they are "perfect." "Nobody's perfect."

The main point is to have a "purpose" to learn it and use it. The more you learn and use it, the more you will enjoy it. And native speakers will help you to correct mistakes.

Is it impossible to climb to the top of a mountain?

If you don't walk, hike or climb, for sure it will be impossible. If you practice, get enough training, get enough food and water to keep going on the road, you will get there!

Seriously.
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