1. mbinks89
    Offline

    mbinks89 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Montreal

    Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Linguistic Immersion

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mbinks89, Mar 20, 2014.

    This summer I'm going to be teaching English in Spain (most likely Madrid). I'll be doing so by living with a host family, and it's one of my objectives to learn a lot of Spanish there. I already speak French, and so know that learning a language is no walk in the park. I'm planning on taking Spanish lessons there, and am taking some now at the YMCA, but do any of you have tips or anecdotes of similar experiences? Right now, I'd say my Spanish is at maybe a 2, so I'm expecting the first few weeks to be a shock, with plenty of awkward miscommunication. However, French is pretty similar to Spanish, I've studied Latin, and have been told my French teacher I have a knack for languages. Any idea for what I might reasonably expect my Spanish to be like afterwards, and some ways to accelerate my progress? I'd be there for roughly three months.
     
  2. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I'd pick up a Rosetta Stone or whatever fast language learning tool you can get, to give you a crash course and a head start, so you can maximise the benefit of being immersed once you get there. And get an app of Spanish phrases and Spanish-English dictionary in your phone. Have fun!
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Be aware that Rosetta Stone's Spanish is Latin American, and Castillian Spanish is different enough to throw you for a loop. Still, it's better than no preparation at all.

    One of Rosetta Stone's deficiencies is that even when you want to look up grammar rules, Rosetta Stone won't help you. So use google when you're scratching your head over why one vowel appears for some verbs in a particular conjugation, and another vowel for a different verb.

    If you have Spanish language TV stations in your area, switch to them as often as you can. Over time, you;ll pick up more and more of what is going on, even if the programming is inane.

    The more diverse the resources you use to learn the fundamentals, the better.
     
    jazzabel likes this.
  4. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    You got a job teaching English in Spain without knowing Spanish? That surprises me a bit. We have teacher transfer programs to Spain, but speaking Spanish at B2 to C level is a prerequisite.

    I don't know if French is going to help, probably some? After studying Italian I started French and actually knowing English helped more :D On the other hand, if you've already learned a second language / foreign language, I think it will help you pick up a new language faster.

    One can learn every day phrases pretty quickly, I think. I spent only a little over a week in Bulgaria around people who spoke only Bulgarian, but when you hear the language a lot, you get used to it and start picking up patterns and phrases.

    I'd suggest study the language daily, even if just a little bit. Phrase books and grammar books. I have a translating app, so I can check out words quickly and prepare for whatever conversation beforehand.

    Because you'll be exposed to the new language every day, I would imagine your skills will improve fast. Maybe you'd be able to get to B1 even in 3 months?
     
    jazzabel likes this.
  5. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I tried this once. I watched Mexican soccer, and the only word I learned was "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!"
     
  6. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
    You can always buy a textbook and learn a little each night from that. (I have one for Japanese.)
     
  7. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Listen and ask is my advice. I work as an interpreter and my degree is in applied linguistics. I'm a polyglot now, but in childhood I was bilingual with New World Spanish (Castellano) and English as my native languages.

    Don't lean too heavily on your French for grammatical help. Of the daughters of Latin, French is the most Germanized. Her syntax, especially in the placement of verbs, is unlike her sisters, Castellano, Portuguese, Catalan, etc. And Castellano (Spanish) is like Shakira. Half Arab. :)
     
  8. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
    Out of curiosity, what do they call the Spanish they speak in Spain?
     
  9. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    If you live in Spain, it is called Castellano. There are a number of other closely related languages spoken in Spain like Catalan, Galacian, Aranese, a fair amount of Portuguese near the border and one language that is native to the area, but completely unrelated to any of the other languages there, Basque. Many New World (the Americas) latinos refer to the Spanish spoken in Spain as Castellano or Castilian and what is spoken over here as Español or Spanish. The truth is, that here or over there, what we think of as Spanish is really correctly called Castellano, of which there are numerous dialects.

    For example, I speak the Caribbean dialect of Castellano, which means that I have a habit of eliding certain consonants completely. Also, my brand of Castellano does not show "distinction", which means that I pronounce S, C and Z all exactly the same, where someone from certain parts of Spain pronounce the C and Z like a TH and the S like an S. There are many other differences, but those are hallmarks.
     
  10. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
    Ah, OK. I only have two years and six weeks of Spanish to go, so I don't think I'll ever be very good at it, lol! :D A very interesting language, though.
     
  11. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    You never know. You might take it in college as well. I'm not sure if colleges still have a language requirement, but they did when I went to school. I had taken Latin in high school so I decided to take French in college. Except the textbook was co-authored by Ianesco. No one told me he was a writer in French Theater of the Absurd until after I dropped the course ("Are you a doctor?" "No, I'm a crocodile". What kinds of dialogues were they to translate??). I went back to Latin to finish my language requirement.
     
    mbinks89 and Duchess-Yukine-Suoh like this.
  12. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
    Uguu....I hope not! :oops: I don't really like it, but I think that's just because of the annoying kid in my class......:D
     
  13. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Annoying classmates can be dealt with. ;)
     
    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh likes this.
  14. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
    Oh,the stories I could tell......
     
  15. Robert_S
    Offline

    Robert_S Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    163
    One thing I've noticed with one of the people I work with, her name is Marcela, that she sometimes pronounces her j more glottal. Box in Espanol is caja, plural is cajas. Now, most of the Spanish speakers pronounce it kah-has, but she tends to say it more like kah-kahs, so when I was pronouncing it back she and another we laughing at me. Oh well, the joys of flubbing a language and everyone having fun.
     
  16. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Is your friend Marcela from Mexico? Certain speaking regions of Mexico tend to hit the j and the x pretty hard. Some as hard the Ch sound of Chanukah.
     
  17. Robert_S
    Offline

    Robert_S Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    163
    Yes, almost all the people I work with are from Mexico.
     

Share This Page