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King John View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Learning Spanish
    Posted: 03-May-2009 at 22:44
Now that I have finished my Master's Degree I will have lots of spare time, I am also trying to get a job in the southwestern United States, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to learn Spanish.  My questions is this, do any of you know of a good book from which I can teach myself?  I know we have a few Spanish speaking members, would you guys be interested in helping those of us who want to learn, learn your language?  Maybe we can do something similar to the learning a Scandinavian Language thread, where we go through a book together, helping each other, and getting help from our Spanish speaking members.  You're help is greatly appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 01:27
I know some groups where Spanish speakers help English speakers to learn Spanish. I used to participate actively in there. Perhaps they still remember me there.
 
These are the links.
 
 
 
Just present yourselve there. I am sure you'll learn a lot with those guys.
 
Another resource it may interest you is the official dictionary of Spanish, compiled by the Royal Spanish Academy of the language (RAE)
 
 
If you want more direct help, I may give a hand. I am interested in the Groenland'S Sagas, so we may interchange knowledge on that
 
Good luck with Spanish.
 
Saludos,
 
Omar Vega
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 04-May-2009 at 01:29
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 05:09
Sure, whenever you want to talk in Spanish, just let me know, and we can do so. As for a book, you may want to ask Mixcoatl. He recently learned Spanish, and he did it very quickly, which is what I imagine will happen with you as well Do you Latin? Many features of Spanish are very similar to it, although a lot more simplified.
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 05:35
I do indeed know Latin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 11:58
I'm learning Spanish too, at the moment. I'm actually learning it from a book I picked up at Heathrow Airport, called 'Easy Spanish'. It's quite childish, but does a fairly comprehensive job. My mother speaks Spanish so I use her in conjunction with the book. I'm always up for a bit of spanish conversation, whether it be online or not, to help improve my conversational-skills Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 14:58
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

Sure, whenever you want to talk in Spanish, just let me know, and we can do so. As for a book, you may want to ask Mixcoatl. He recently learned Spanish, and he did it very quickly, which is what I imagine will happen with you as well Do you Latin? Many features of Spanish are very similar to it, although a lot more simplified.

I only used very little books and the ones I used were Dutch.

In any case I think you can learn a foreign language by taking classes or using books only to a certain extent; if you know the basics of vocabulary and grammar the best way is to go to a country where they speak the language and learn it naturally. I have learnt more Spanish in 2.5 weeks in Spain then I learnt French in 4 years at school. So I'd suggest you follow a course or teach yourself Spanish a bit where you live now, and then the rest will go automatically in the Southwest.

Finding a girlfriend who speaks the language also helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 18:09
Thank you for the advice, guys.  Luckily for me I have a girlfriend and a brother who speak Spanish, so practicing once I get a grasp of the grammar and vocabulary shouldn't be that difficult.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 00:51
Hey, if you know Latin, Spanish will be a breeze. Especially if you have a girlfriend that speaks it and is willing to speak to you only in Spanish. Then the learning will be very fast :)
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 05:38
The hardest part is listening to others and then hearing your own voice in another language.

Don't worry too much about grammar, at first anyway.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 05:59
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

Hey, if you know Latin, Spanish will be a breeze. Especially if you have a girlfriend that speaks it and is willing to speak to you only in Spanish. Then the learning will be very fast :)
 
That's true. Spanish, in same way, it is just a variation of Latin. However, if he tries to learn "Chilean" LOLLOL... just let me know. That's another thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 08:42
Grammar is how I learn to construct.  Vocabulary comes with time, grammar takes the effort.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 08:54
I agree with King John - I am having to learn the grammatical framework of the language before vastly extending my vocabulary.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 09:23
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

Grammar is how I learn to construct.  Vocabulary comes with time, grammar takes the effort.


This is very true.

In general, Spanish has a very logical and standardised grammar that is not subject to the great number of exceptions that exist in English (though there are a handful of exceptions in conjugation for each tense).

I only began to find Spanish very challenging when I encountered the subjunctive clause, but you can ignore that part of Spanish for the time being as it is more of an advanced thing and is not essential for everyday interactions.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 21:13
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

Grammar is how I learn to construct.  Vocabulary comes with time, grammar takes the effort.


Then you are practically there. Spanish grammar is a simplified, free form of Latin.
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 01:40
The hardest part of Spanish, for people who doesn't speak romance languages, it is the very strange fact that in this language objects have sex... Figuring it out the sex of objects is some of the more subrealistic things we could ever encounter, I guess.
 
Another thing that is complicated is the fact we have two verbs TO BE in Spanish (SER and ESTAR). What really amazes me in this case is how come most languages only have one!


Edited by pinguin - 06-May-2009 at 01:43
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 05:44
Pinguin, is the gender of a noun natural?  Are the two verbs "to be" used in different instances or are they interchangeable?  I know some of the Germanic languages have multiple verbs "to go" the difference is one is used for walking and the other for going by means other than ones feet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 06:21
Estar refers to a temporary state, Ser refers to a permanent state. For example, Estoy delgado - I am thin (but it is hinted that this is a temporary thing, perhaps due to being ill or not eating well). Soy delgado (I am thin, and it is just how I always am).
 
I do like this feature of Spanish, it gives the language an extra layer of subtlety and meaning.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 12:40
What do you mean by saying that a gender of a noun is natural? Most of them map to the genders of their root word in Latin. There is no neutral gender, so those just become masculine. There are practically no cases, except for the possessive and personal pronouns. Most of the nouns in Spanish seem to have taken the ablative case as the nominative, thus ending in -o for masculine and -a for feminine nouns.

The conjugations of verbs are basically the same as they are in Latin, with minor changes (such as dropping the final sound), except for the future case, which is different. The subjective, however, is pretty close to its Latin form. And the subjunctive in Spanish does get use a lot.

Because of the way the language evolved, many words that started with a /f/ in Latin, such as facere, appear in Spanish as hacer. At some point the /h/ sound was pronounced, but today it silent.

As for the syntax, a good rule of thumb is to follow the English word order, and in most cases you will be fine. Keep in mind, though, that the word order can be very fluid, so you may run into weirdly created sentences, especially in literature or political discourse. Unfortunately, you won't have the noun cases to help you on parsing it, but normally the context will aid a bit.
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 14:12
Natural would be a noun that is the same gender as its referent; for instance in German there is the noun Madchen which means girl but is grammatically neuter; in this case Madchen is not a noun with natural gender.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 15:08
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

The hardest part of Spanish, for people who doesn't speak romance languages, it is the very strange fact that in this language objects have sex... Figuring it out the sex of objects is some of the more subrealistic things we could ever encounter, I guess.
Languages with grammatical gender are not that rare. In fact most major European languages use grammatical gender, English seems to be the only exception.
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