Ayudame, hablo espanol como un mono!
July 17, 2012 6:00 AM Subscribe
What would be the best way for someone to develop / re-learn Spanish in four months or so of part-time study?
posted by Lame_username to education (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I took five years of Spanish many long years ago, so I was never exactly fluent. I still remember the basic rules of conjugation for at least three tenses and have a smattering of vocabulary words at my disposal. In the intervening years, I occasionally have travelled to Spanish-speaking countries and I find that within about two weeks, I'm able to communicate more or less effectively. Somehow I pick up the cadence and vocabulary fairly quickly, such that I progress from caveman sentences and catching just a word here or there of normal spoken Spanish, to at least a child-like level of operation. Unfortunately, two weeks is almost always the duration of my trips, so I acquire this ability pretty much just when I don't need it any more. I'm heading to Peru in a few months and it would be really nice to get a jump start on the process now. There is a tiny bit of pressure because my spouse is responsible for handling French translation when we travel and I'm on the hook for Spanish and she always does so brilliantly and I'm clearly the weak link in our translation team.
I've started a language CD, but its oriented for complete novices, so other than reminding me of vocubulary here and there, it seems like it doesn't give me the rewards per unit time I'd prefer.
Do foreign language teachers take on tutoring, where I could pay them to talk to me for an hour or so in the evenings after work? I feel like conversation, however primitive, might be the key to why I progress more quickly when I'm surrounded by Spanish. How would I find these folks?
Are there any online or CD-based language programs focused for people like me, who really just have high school kinda Spanish? I feel like even generous tips don't really compensate the waiter for subjecting him to my attempts, and it doesn't really cover a lot of ground. As a practical matter, I'm more concerned with being able to navigate typical tourist kinda conversations than actual fluency, but it is always nice to be able to actually talk about ideas.