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How do you become fluent?

 

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  #11  
Old December 29, 2013, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wahooka View Post
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.

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  #12  
Old December 29, 2013, 08:13 PM
Mozzo Mozzo is offline
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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. )
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.

Last edited by Mozzo; December 29, 2013 at 08:34 PM.
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  #13  
Old December 29, 2013, 08:19 PM
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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.....

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  #14  
Old December 29, 2013, 08:20 PM
zuma022 zuma022 is offline
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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.
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  #15  
Old December 29, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wahooka View Post
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.
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  #16  
Old December 29, 2013, 09:09 PM
Mozzo Mozzo is offline
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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.
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  #17  
Old December 30, 2013, 10:03 AM
Wahooka Wahooka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post
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.

Last edited by Rusty; December 30, 2013 at 02:26 PM. Reason: merged back-to-back posts
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  #18  
Old December 30, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozzo View Post
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.

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"



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.
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  #19  
Old December 30, 2013, 09:14 PM
Mozzo Mozzo is offline
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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! )

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. Fortunately, there are a *LOT* of free videos on YouTube to learn from.

Last edited by Mozzo; December 30, 2013 at 09:18 PM.
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  #20  
Old December 30, 2013, 09:21 PM
Wahooka Wahooka is offline
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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?
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