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Very Darn Frustrated!

 

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  #1  
Old May 11, 2014, 01:27 PM
FrannyCakes FrannyCakes is offline
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Very Darn Frustrated!

Hey, everybody,

First of all, I am NOT a girl. I made this name by mistake, not realizing that Franny is actually a girl's name! It was back in 2009 and I just picked something that sounded funny. :P

Anyway, since 2009 when I first joined, I have scarcely practiced at all. I retained my knowledge of grammar, conjugations, and some vocabulary, so I haven't lost much, but because of my inconsistency, I haven't gained much either. Phew, that was an awkward sentence.

I've just made an online Mexican friend whom I'm going to Skype with, and I've started practicing again, mainly by reading Spanish zombie books and watching Mexican TV with subs that follow it EXACTLY. But there are so many darn words that I don't know, and they go so darn fast, that I get sooooo frustrated that it deters me from sitting down for longer than 5 minutes.

I go over the same scene a few times to master it and let it sink in, but even then -- my goodness, it's so overwhelmingly difficult.

Does anyone have any tips for overcoming the frustration of totally -- if you'll pardon my language -- sucking? What can I do in the way of working on vocabulary and listening skills.

I just have this inherent predisposition towards sucking, and I find ALL foreign languages frustratingly difficult, despite my very strong desire to learn them.

Thank you, so, so much, guys.

My name is Matt, by the way, and it's good to be back.
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  #2  
Old May 11, 2014, 01:43 PM
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It will be easier from time to time if you keep practicing it. We all encounter problems when learning a new language. Just keep being motivated and rather learn little everyday than much 1-2 days a week.

Everyone will tell you a different way of learning vocabularies. You just have to find a method that suits you best. There are many ways to learn vocabularies. Flashcards, recording yourself while saying them out loud or just by reading them several times. You have to repeat them multiple times, though.
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Last edited by Premium; May 11, 2014 at 01:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old May 13, 2014, 02:06 PM
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poli poli is offline
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One-on-one conversations with a live person in front of you is most helpful, but phone conversations and Skype work too. A work environment where some translation is required, is what taught me to be comfortable with the language. Sadly enough. getting your linguistic foot in the door is a question of power. If the Spanish speaker needs your help, they may make themselves very clear. If you know the structure of the language, you will understand and will communicate with a "¡que bien hablas! as thank you even if you don't speak well. Helping is one way to begin to become fluent in a foreign language. On the other hand, if your help is not required, as in movies or in conversations among natives, it is very easy to get swamped.

Reading, and committing new words to memory will help too.
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Old May 13, 2014, 04:43 PM
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Tomisimo Tomisimo is offline
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Make learning it a way of life instead of a task. Get natural language input from as many sources as possible-- real life conversation, print, video, etc. When you hear a word or phrase you find useful, don't let it get away from you. Write it the tiny notebook of Spanish words you carry with you everywhere and go over constantly whenever you have a spare moment. Get music, books, and newspapers in Spanish. Pick one paragraph of one news article in Spanish and go over it, looking up every word, until you understand it fully. Mix all of the above with some continuing Spanish classes. It's hard, but if you want it, you'll get it.

Also, I can change your username to something else. Just let me know what you want.
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  #5  
Old May 18, 2014, 02:48 PM
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you could see movies with subtitle, It's so helpful.

"speeches" are very good for learning whatever languaje.

You start to practice all places. For example:

At te forum you can write Spanish, you will learn vocabulary. and you can read many post in spanish it is so good for structure!

You can practice your spanish in skype / Whats'app / Msn (Does it exist any?) /

I watch movies with subtitles and once commented that I look at with some friends because the conversation is spontaneous and using new words and try to tidy structures.
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Old May 26, 2014, 08:11 PM
ricardo1949 ricardo1949 is offline
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Ah, to be young again! I’m assuming, Matt, that you are under 30, and please correct me if I’m wrong. How do I know (suspect) that? Because you seem uncomfortable with the idea that it might take you longer than anticipated to master the Spanish language. If someday you should be so lucky as to arrive at my age of 64, you might find yourself searching for good things about getting old – and there are some. In many ways young folks have it all over us old people, but one advantage to age is wisdom (not to say by any means that wisdom is given to all old people in equal measure). The piece of wisdom that I impart to you today is this: Rome was not built in a day. In your case that would translate to: Don’t expect to learn Spanish all at once. Unless you were exposed to Spanish from infancy or you are living in a totally Spanish-speaking environment, this language will be challenging for you, as it will be for others in your situation.

While I’m at it, here’s another little nugget of wisdom: Sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination. If you are currently so lucky as to be unmarried, perhaps you can form an intimate relationship with a Spanish-speaker – even better, one that doesn’t speak much English. Now there’s a journey I would gladly take!

You have done yourself a great service by participating in a web forum devoted to learning Spanish. Look to it for inspiration as well as help in getting over the various bumps in the road that the study of Spanish can throw your way.

One last piece of advice: Try to limit your study to about 20 minutes at a time. Longer than that, and it’s my belief that the mind tends to go numb and not absorb new material.
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  #7  
Old June 24, 2014, 05:15 AM
FrannyCakes FrannyCakes is offline
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Thanks, everyone! My usual routine is listening to Mexican TV programs on Youtube -- dramas, movie star interviews kid's shows, and right now, I'm watching a makeup tutorial -- then I copy down words, phrases, and sentences that I don't know. I listen with and without subtitles. Then, this fall, I'm going to join the Spanish club at school (if I have time for it) and practice there.

Does that sound like a good game plan? (By the way, I'm a 21-year-old college student.)
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