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What do you think about this method for getting fluency in Spanish


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Transcribe a novel, in your case assuming you are a native English speaker, from Spanish to Spanish (copy the novel).

As you do this, phrase by phrase, translate literally from Spanish to English

Once you have this translation, it will become apparent, say 98% of the time, that something is wrong if indeed it doesn't make sense in English. That being the case you accommodate the words that most likely will be the correct translation. Again, 98% of the time you will be right on that translation.

With this you will get to think in Spanish by understanding it in English. (Weird uh?)
But you will also will write stuff in Spanish without knowing grammar, just because that's the way it is written. You begin to acquire the written form by copying.

Once you understand the phrase, read Spanish out loud. If you don't know how a word is pronounced, then go to any online dictionary or translator and input the word and click on the speaker icon. smile.gif

Do not be tempted to translate using an online translator, by doing that, even if it was a good translation, will not really help you. You need to do the exercise. Falling for this it would be the equivalent of reading on how to develop muscles by lifting weights, you are going to understand that perfectly, but I hope you don't expect to develop any muscles just by reading.... smile.gif

Once you have the correct Spanish pronunciation, read it out loud.

Start again.

Once a week watch a movie, either a Spanish movie or a movie that has the Spanish audio track. By doing this you will develop you listening skill and what Rusty explained in his reply will ensue, no doubt, but because it is a movie, which you will couple the action of what you are seeing with the actual spoken language, all will begin to make sense faster than just trying to understand a conversation, and trying to equate certain phrases that are pretty much the same in both languages, as Rusty also explained.

I recommend a novel of about 400 to 500 pages. I know it sounds like a lot, but actually it isn't. It has to be a novel that you would pick up if it were in English. In other words, something of your interest and that will keep up that interest in the novel. If you pick something for kids, thinking that the language level will be easier, most likely it will bore you to death and will not do anything. If that happens, most likely you will blame my system. wink.gif

The movie also has to be one that you will not mind watching over and over, because you are not going to see another one until you understand all of what has been said in the movie.

If you do this, there is no way you will be able to say that you don't understand Spanish, after going thru a 500 pages novel and movie.

Once you understand Spanish and can write complex phrases (read Subjunctive, usage of para/por etc) you will not be able to explain why you chose those words, other than "that's the way it is done". Then you can take on Spanish grammar, but then if you don't know your grammar and pretty much you express and write the way you do, because "that's how it is supposed to be" then I would recommend you to either, start English grammar and once you understand your grammar start the Spanish one, or do not start anything grammar.

This is not my method, I just found it at another internet site and I`m curious, what do you think about it. :)

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Is  an input method focused on developing your spanish reading and writing. You make the language yours by sheer repetition instead of doing the boring chore of learning grammar rules and suchs. Not bad at all, but quite time grindy.

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6 hours ago, lingvo said:

Is  an input method focused on developing your spanish reading and writing. You make the language yours by sheer repetition instead of doing the boring chore of learning grammar rules and suchs. Not bad at all, but quite time grindy.

Yeah, I was going to say the same thing.  It sounds like a good way to learn, but really if you are going to devote that amount of time to it, almost any form of learning a language is going to work.   That is a really huge amount of time.  Just take a book and time yourself writing out one page from a novel, then multiply it by how many pages are in the novel, then add another 50% because you will be writing in a different language and looking up some words.   My guess that method would take over 1000 hours of actual work.... where most ´students´ of a language are lucky to put in 300 hours of study time per year of hardcore studying.

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11 hours ago, petesede said:

Yeah, I was going to say the same thing.  It sounds like a good way to learn, but really if you are going to devote that amount of time to it, almost any form of learning a language is going to work.   That is a really huge amount of time.  Just take a book and time yourself writing out one page from a novel, then multiply it by how many pages are in the novel, then add another 50% because you will be writing in a different language and looking up some words.   My guess that method would take over 1000 hours of actual work.... where most ´students´ of a language are lucky to put in 300 hours of study time per year of hardcore studying.

Yeah. But those 300 hours are mostly  focused study sessions. Listening or speaking the language also counts as hours of language development.  Full immersion will make you spend like 8000 hour into the language in a time period of 2 and half years.

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I think it could work for some people :)  But everyone is different, so if you have been learning language for a while... you surely know by now what works for you and what doesn't.  In my case I think it would work, because I've done something very similar in the past, and copying things (by actually wring them down) does seem to help me memorize things better.  This method could definitely work for me. I might actually try it with a children's book... one I am familiar with, but in Dutch! 

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This seems like it could actually be really helpful... Sometimes I have trouble just taking courses on a language and trying to memorize vocabulary, and I've noticed I have a much easier time learning other things when I'm being more "hands on." Maybe just diving in and doing something "useful" while I'm learning, immersing myself in a book and keeping at it until I understand it, would be more useful. Trellum, I really like your idea of using a children's book; they're shorter, have more basic words and grammar and sentence structure, and someone could always do a bunch of children's books instead of one novel and then work their way up in difficulty. I might have to give this a try!

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I don't know... this sounds like an insane amount of work and the law of diminished returns will kick in eventually, if you focus on a single large novel the vocabulary and overall themes are going to be the same the whole time, I think it is better to translate shorter works but from different subjects and with different grammatical persons, so you are exposed to a broader spectrum of words.

Translating song lyrics helped me a lot, specially if you like the song, for extra points try to translate the song and alter it enough no make it rhyme in the other language.

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