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Everything posted by petesede

  1. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are probably the 3 closest languages that are considered different languages. If you know one, you will just spend most of your time learning the slight differences between them rather than like learning a new language. It is more like learning spanish if you speak english and you using a word like ´terrible´.
  2. Thank you, that US Gov´t one was exactly what I was looking for. I must have messed up the search somehow, because I did try to use Google a lot, but I was getting only stuff you could listen to online, not stuff you could download for an ipod. Thank you again for the help.
  3. I am looking for a spanish-learning site that offers MP3s that can be downloaded for an ipod that i can use when I go hiking. Nothing that requires a book or a website to follow along with. Obviously preferable that it is free I have so much dead time and it would be better if I was listening to something rather than just music all the time.
  4. If I could instantly learn 4 other languges? Russian and Mandarin for sure. I think once you know English and spanish/italian/french most of the other European languages would be fairly easy. Italian and Spanish for instance, if you know one, learning the other is a breeze. Chinese is so different than everything else that it will be a pain to learn. I was in the vocabulary phase of Russian, but it didn´t seem so difficult except most website aren´t effective because of the alphabet/keyboard.
  5. Don´t underestimate the value of telenovelas!! The one problem I found with the movies ( Saw most of the ones mentiones) is that they can be based on where they were filmed ( Mexico, Spain etc) so you often won´t get generic spanish. I found that most of the better telenovelas (oxymoron??) use very generic, location-neutral spanish.
  6. Probably the biggest difference is ´notice´ is mainly about vision.. it is something you saw. Realize is more a synonym with ´I now understand that´.... it is more about mentally becoming aware of something.
  7. I can´t imagine they would ever offer Russian or Chinese using ´english´ spelling. I learned to speak a good deal of Russian just by writing out the words phonetically in english. Of course that would probably be more trouble than it is worth for most people.
  8. Really that is all most programs can do.. teach vocabulary and some conjugations and make it as fun as possible. Once you have a good vocabulary and can recognize most verb tenses, then it is time to just watch soap operas ( telenovolas). They usually have perfect diction and use generic spanish. I think programs like duolingo are just meant to get you over that hump to where you understand all the words, so can learn sentence structure easier from other sources.
  9. I don´t know about losing the ability to speak your native language, but even after only 3 years I already find myself getting tongue-tied when trying to correct someone else´s english. There are so many spanish words that are almost exactly the same as english, that you find yourself starting the word in spanish, and then having to back track. The one that got me recently was ´terrible´.. took me a few seconds before I was able to say it in english.
  10. Awesome, so now his kids know how to pick up a prostitute!! On a side note, another thing I always found useful was to watch the news in a different language. The newscasters have excellent pronunciation and if you follow the news in your native language, you already know the theme they are talking about.
  11. It is pretty easy. The first sentence should be the overall theme for the paragraph. For the tests where I have seen this type of question, the ´trick´ is always that a small detail is included in each sentence that makes no sense unless that sentence comes AFTER a certain sentence. 1. Topic sentence 2. Sentence that contains no references to information in a different sentence 3. Sentence that contains a reference to something in #2 4. Sentence that gives a reference to something in #3 Usually with those type of questions, they want you to be able to understand that something within a se
  12. Hugh Laurie. The guy that plays House MD. Totally, and absolutely blew my mind the first time I saw him being interviewed on late night. I watched that show for years and never had any inkling that he was brittish. Then you see him doing an interview, and he has a really thick english accent. Just an amazing job he did with ´americanizing´ his accent for that show. It is strange to me to talk too much about UK vs USA english, when the fact is that the USA alone has the same issue with word usage. If you are from the NE, and you go to the deep south, the ´language´ there is about as
  13. informal english is always changing, it would be useless to try to form any type of curriculum on it and really, it would be a nightmare to figure out what words should be included. For instance, the two you gave would never even have crossed my mind to be taught to anyone.
  14. SpanishDict was really nice with great videos and all that. I just really disliked the ´timed´ aspect to the tests. It put too much of the emphasis on your typing skills.
  15. Just my opinion, but Portugese is almost closer to Spanish in Spain, then Spanish in Spain is to Spanish in Central America... and once you get to Brazil, they all just merge together.
  16. Just search on youtube for spanish cartoons, they are everywhere and most US cartoons are dubbed now. i watch US cartoons in spanish, but I am surprised at how little they actually talk. Scooby Doo is probably the best as far as conversations.
  17. For me, Cuban would be the hardest to understand. I only have limited experiences there, but they talk so muffled, like they have cottenballs in their mouths, it makes it very hard to hear the end of syllabels. Mexico is the easiest for the exact opposite reason, many sounds they over-emphasis, which makes it easier to pick up on. it is funny, I live in Nicaragua now, which is like Hondorus and Costa rica in that it has a really generic sound to it. When I lived in the USA, I lived in Ohio, which is the same way.. it is kinda the ´meh´ of proununciation with no real accent.
  18. I learned ( and this is just informal teaching). You never need to use yo except for two situations 1. You want to emphasis that you are different than something that was stated earlier. For instance ´many people think they don´t need to exercise to be healthy, I believe that you do´.. in situations like that, you want to emphasis your opinion/action, so you use yo. 2. For really complex (or chaotic informal) sentences, where there could be confusion because of the use of infinitive verbs and lots of other pronouns. The example I remember was when someone was saying something, but quot
  19. love or money! No, the reality is just to learn and be able to survive a little better where I live. At times I think I am missing out on some things because of my limitations with spanish.
  20. The both derived from latin, and as you said, the point at which they split is where the differences are. Letters and sounds were added later.
  21. It is just the way people´s minds work. I also think age has a lot to do with it. I learned Korean in a year and without really being immersed in the culture. Now I am 20 years older and have lived in central america for almost 3 years and my spanish is worse than my korean was back then. It is funny, I live with a family that has a 3 year old son. The mother is dutch, so speaks Dutch, German and English, the father is local and speaks spanish. The kid can go back and forth in spanish and dutch with ease and even understands that they are completely different languages... and his engli
  22. For me, telephone calls are the hardest. I am still trying to figure out exactly why. I have two theories. The first is that if I can´t see the mouth of the person talking to me, it makes it harder to understand all the sounds correctly. The other is that the other person cannot help me. I think when someone is talking to me in spanish, they can see/sense when I am not following, and slow down their speaking a bit. Over the phone, the other person doesn´t see that I am getting lost, and just keeps rambling on. At my level of spanish, this is definitely become more of a difference thoug
  23. Wow, great addition to the site. As a medical student, I was ´forced´ to take latin in undergrad and I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it had to do with their strict culture and rules, but the language is actually very very structured and you don´t have to deal with a lot of exceptions to the rules like other languages have. The verb conjugations can seem daunting, but in actuality they are easier because the rules always apply. That said, there is a very funny scene from a monty python movie ´The life of Brian´.. basically the time was around the time of Jesus and the main character is part of
  24. because when you read and write, it is solo, when you have to speak and listen, you are being ´judged´ by another person in real time. I also think we have learned to learn visually.. so it just comes naturally. I can read and write spanish well, and I can speak it, but the hardest is to listening because most of the time the speaker makes no effort to simplify things by avoiding slang.
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