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  #1  
Old July 21, 2013, 01:06 PM
ozisonfire ozisonfire is offline
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Hola (and other generic introduction message titles)

Hi,

I am Owain, i am have been attempting to teach myself Spanish on and off for three months now and seem to keep hitting a dead end.

I am a student and cannot really afford lessons, so I am restricted to information available on the internet - however once I believe I have a basic knowledge of the language I am going to invest in a few lessons in order to improve my speaking and listening.


My story so far has gone: 1. Understand spanish pronunciation, so that in basic terms i can read something and pronounce it like it should sound in Spanish (check). 2. Learn some Spanish words using a flash card software program (check) 3. Start stringing words together so i can start speaking spanish (failing) - basically I am stuck on where I need to start, what words do i need to learn in order to make sentences (I, I am, I have, We have, I like etc), as well as which rules I need to learn to make sure what I am saying makes sense - there seems to be lots of sources telling me different things (I spent a long time learning rules which i then found out are no longer widely used ) . I am all together very confused (yet no less determined), so I am here initially to seek guidance on where i should go next.

Any help would be much appreciated .

Thanks,

Owain
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  #2  
Old July 21, 2013, 01:31 PM
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Welcome to the forums, Owain.
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  #3  
Old July 21, 2013, 06:02 PM
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wrholt wrholt is offline
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Welcome to the forums, Owain.

It sounds a little bit like you're trying to build a house by putting on all the shingles before you've started pouring the foundation. Learning Spanish will go better for you if you start with an extremely basic set of rules and a very small set of words and practice them enough to give you a scaffold onto which you can incorporate new rules one or two at a time and new words a few at a time.

The most basic conversations that you can have with other people are greetings, introductions and getting to know one another, and many language texts start with these types of conversations: asking and answering questions such as how are you, what's your name, who is that, where are you from, what do you do, what do you like, and so on.
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  #4  
Old July 22, 2013, 02:53 AM
ozisonfire ozisonfire is offline
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Thanks both,

WRHOLT, thanks for the advice - i already have some understanding of the basics - how are you? how old are you? etc. Maybe i have gotten far to ahead of my station, and i need to drop back to the basics. I think I had a differnt approach as i feel if i understand the meanings and rules of a language then it should all fall into place. My problem is, for example, i know 'que tal?' means 'how are you', but i actually have no idea what 'que' or 'tel' means or why that when put together they make the equivalent of 'how are you?', so i feel it doesnt actually help me in the long run - im not sure if my logic makes any sense, but its something i am battling with at the moment.


Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Kind regards,

Owain
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  #5  
Old July 22, 2013, 07:16 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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My advice is don't try to translate or understand word for word. Learn the meanings and little by little you will get to know how the individual parts of phrases and sentences work by themselves. Otherwise, you'll get stuck in the dictionaries and that won't help you acquire any fluency.
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  #6  
Old July 22, 2013, 09:44 AM
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Good understanding of your native-language's grammar is helpful. For instance, it may help to know what an indirect object is. Basic functions of language a very much the same. Knowing them will help you learn any language.
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Old July 22, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
For instance, it may help to know what an indirect object is.
I think I learned this for a dozen time and still don't get it. I might just be simpleminded.
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Old July 22, 2013, 11:13 AM
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It's good to know it, because it will help you understand the lo los les las se me's of Spanish. We take the mechanics of language for granted because they are innate (birds fly, we speak), but it may helpful to know the mechanics especially when you are learning a new language as an adult.
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  #9  
Old July 23, 2013, 06:50 AM
ozisonfire ozisonfire is offline
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Again, thanks for the help all. I am going to drop back onto the basics, get some of the vocab and flow before i go any deeper.

Never heard of an 'indirect object' before, so I will be sure to look this up !!
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  #10  
Old July 23, 2013, 02:55 PM
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Rusty has a spectacular aura aboutRusty has a spectacular aura about
subject
verb
direct object
indirect object

He gave the book to me.
He gave me the book.

The direct object answers the questions "what?" or "who?".
What did he give? - the book

The indirect object answers the question "to whom?" (and "to what?").
To whom did he give the book? - to me

Él me dio el libro.

Last edited by Rusty; July 23, 2013 at 02:59 PM.
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