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Is it difficult to learn how to speak Spanish?

I decided to go back to school, and am looking to take a Spanish class as an elective.

I know 5 words in Spanish. Would this be a mistake?

by Anonymousreply 71Last Tuesday at 8:23 PM

I started studying Italian a year ago. And I am ancient. It is not a mistake.

by Anonymousreply 109/10/2020

Es muy facil.

by Anonymousreply 209/10/2020

Why is this a mistake? I'm not understand your question.

by Anonymousreply 309/10/2020

Give it a shot. Learning Spanish will open a whole new culture for you: travel, music, food, friends, etc. Since it's a Romance language, picking up other Romance languages is easy, such as French, Italian and Portuguese. I have a Spanish background, and picking up those languages while travelling was no problem.

by Anonymousreply 409/10/2020

Super fácil, puta. Spanish is a great language to pick up secondhand because it's almost everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 509/10/2020

polla, follame, te quero, ti amo, joderme, ayudame, págame

these are all you need to know.

by Anonymousreply 609/10/2020

I had trouble with Spanish in school. Not necessarily speaking the language, but sentence structure. My dad was fluent in Spanish and my best friend is Hispanic, so that helped to where I can read it pretty well.

In high school I took Latin since that covers the Romance languages, so that helped with Spanish along with other languages.

by Anonymousreply 709/10/2020

It should be taught in all schools as a mandatory third language. Ebonics is second.

by Anonymousreply 809/10/2020

Perhaps these gringos can advise you, OP.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 909/10/2020

Here's them speaking actual Spanish. (It's subtitled in English.)

¡Buena suerte!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1009/10/2020

OP, Do you know any other languages? Do you have a good ear?

There are different theories and techniques to teach newbies a foreign language. The State Department adheres to the same way very young kids learn. That is they put you in an immersive environment where all you here is one particular language for at least a month. In classes teachers will jabber using pictures and repetitive basic commands as if students were 1st graders.

Another theory of learning a language focuses on learning sentence structure and conjugating verbs. You'd compare a basic command in English with one in Spanish.

My advice would be to start listening to Spanish nursery rhymes and seeing if you can pick it up. Or an easy translation of a TV show or movie with English subtitles to test your ability to hear and retain words.

by Anonymousreply 1109/10/2020

It depends who you are, OP. For some it's hard, for others it's easy. Give it a shot. It'll be fun anyway. No te vas a perder nada.

by Anonymousreply 1209/10/2020

Anyone from the larger cities in Mexico, Peru, or Colombia, will speak a nice, clear Spanish. My suggestion is to learn from someone who is from there, or has studied there.

by Anonymousreply 1309/10/2020

You're in America OP!! You need to speak American!!

by Anonymousreply 1409/10/2020

Blocking R8 has made my experience here much better. Racist piece of shit.

by Anonymousreply 1509/10/2020

Burrito Carnitas, OP,

Chimichanga relleno chile bueno navidad. Por favor, frijoles noches mexicali tostada domingo comino.

La puta roja, anchos casa jalapeno hacienda burro. Gomez sopapilla joder guadalupe nacho. Cucaracha muchacho joder señor. Albuquerque colorado florida sanchez.

Yucatan & Adios,

Juan Poncho

PS Flan enchilada peso, mole pendejo!

by Anonymousreply 1609/10/2020

Besame mucho.

by Anonymousreply 1709/10/2020

I've been told by Spaniards and Argentinians that the Spanish you hear in the US is a low-class pidgin dialect and a disgrace to the language. It's basically equivalent to redneck hillbilly American English.

by Anonymousreply 1809/10/2020

Argentines, doll

by Anonymousreply 1909/10/2020

I know a girl who took Spanish later in life. Then she decided to visit Mexico and died a horrific death, choking on the national food of Mexico, the taco salad.

by Anonymousreply 2009/10/2020

Argentinians is also acceptable. At least that's what I've been told by people from Argentina.

by Anonymousreply 2109/10/2020

OP, for a native English speaker, Spanish is probably one of the easiest languages you can learn. It uses the same alphabet as English, has many similar and guessable words, and the rules of pronunciation are very logical. Unlike French, the phonetic range is pretty wide. The trickiest part will probably be verb conjugations.

As a languages teacher myself (of French) I recommend to my students two things:

1) at beginning stages, you have to bite the bullet and acquire a basic mastery of grammar (tenses, articles, pronouns, moods etc). Yes, this means grammar drills and the like. Old-fashioned, but otherwise you will just get lost and confused. Find a good teacher and stick to it.

2) Once you have reached a lower intermediate stage (B1, on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), then broaden your knowledge and understanding by pursuing activities and content you enjoy through the medium of your new language. This could involve things like reading (whether children's books, newspapers, celebrity magazines: ie nothing too 'deep'), watching content creators on youtube, watching telenovelas with the subtitles on, listening to the radio online, etc. My students do things like watch cooking shows in French, watching football matches with French commentary, TEDx talks and so on. So long as you follow your own interests, you can continuously expose yourself to new vocabulary and structures, but yet it won't seem like such a chore.

3) There are many different varieties of Spanish as you know. I learned it to around upper-intermediate level myself. I found the best countries for a reasonably slow and easily understandable Spanish are Guatemala and Bolivia. Mexico is probably of average difficulty, Spain maybe a little more difficult than that. Chile is just *hard*. If possible, an immersion holiday (perhaps coupled with study at a residential school) enables you to make big progress in a short time. I spent 7 weeks in Guatemala and loved it.

There's nothing more broadening to the mind than learning another language - and, importantly for DL, you will delay the onset of dementia by about 3 years. Buena suerte!

by Anonymousreply 2209/10/2020

Oh yeah, where do you live?

From B1 level onwards, try and find a language exchange or some kind of regular group or activity. Make it social and fun, learn about someone else's culture. Spanish speakers are all over the world, and communicating with people is the reason you are learning anyway.

by Anonymousreply 2309/10/2020

The problem in American schools, Languages are taught so wrong. I took years of French with instruction like “This is the past perfect” and “this is the past plu-perfect form.”

No one learns to speak English that way.

I can’t remember a word if French now

by Anonymousreply 2409/10/2020

It's tougher for Americans to learn another language because we never really have to use one, even Spanish.

by Anonymousreply 2509/10/2020

I had no problem learning Spanish. It does me little good because Spanish speakers speak rapidly and with lots of close-sounding phonics. I could never get to the point where I understood what they were saying.

by Anonymousreply 2609/10/2020

Learn it from here OP

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2709/10/2020

[quote]OP, for a native English speaker, Spanish is probably one of the easiest languages you can learn.

Of course Spanish is easy. Even Mexicans speak Spanish.

by Anonymousreply 2809/10/2020

R24 You don't learn English that way because you don't have to. You have to learn a foreign language that way when you're older. Read R22. Lots of drilling, memorization and as he/she said biting the bullet. If you find that too tedious and can't be bothered then learning another language is not for you. It's hard work. That's why foreign language schools make all their money with beginning students. Oh it will be fun to learn French! No it won't if you're an adult with a full time job.

by Anonymousreply 2909/10/2020

Start here, OP:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3009/10/2020

the spanish from chile, cuba, venezuela and puerto rico comes from the canary islands and andalucia. some parts if the canary islands sounds identical to the one spoken in the central region of cuba.

nobody in latinamerican like the argentinean accent. the accent from spain is tolerated at best in latin america but noone would ever watch a movie dubbed in spanish accent. people prefer to watch movies in mexican accent than a spanish one.

spaniards always talk shit about latin american spanish, especially the one from the caribean. however, unless you are planning to live in spain, you should learn latin american spanish or canarian spanish. the readon is that latin america has more cultural "power" than spain for intance, all spaniards if they want to be successful singers in latin america they have to really tone down their accents.

by Anonymousreply 3109/10/2020

by the way, this is the very reason why Pablo Arboran never really made it in latin america, because he sings with a very strong castilian accent.

by Anonymousreply 3209/10/2020

I had a Cooobaaan Spanish prof in college. IDK wtf he was saying. My HS Spanish teacher was from El Paso. We joked she was from Southern Spain. I did place in Spanish 3 via testing, but I had no idea what the Cooobaaan guy was saying.

by Anonymousreply 3309/10/2020


by Anonymousreply 3409/10/2020

[quote] facil

Not for me. I failed...miserably. (I had to look-up the translation of 'facil')

I got decent grades in high school as I could memorize and conjugate, but I never learned how to carry on a conversation in Spanish. Fast forward many decades and I finally decided I was going to learn Spanish. Now that I was an adult with self-discipline, a decent salary, and a college degree under my now-expanded belt, it should be easy, right? After all I not only learned computer systems for a living, I trained people. Piece of cake.

I tried, I really tried. I signed up for a small (8 person) class, one night a week for 12 weeks. I bought the books. I got to class early, found a nearby coffee house and gulped down a cup of coffee (even though I knew it would keep me awake later that night) so I would be sharp for class. I participated, I paid attention. I took notes, which I reviewed on the subway ride home.

I did my homework, and unlike college, I didn't wait until the night before the next class either. I did my homework on Saturday and then again on Sunday. After about four weeks I noticed I was retaining...nothing. As soon as I closed the book it's like my brain was flushed clean. When I went back to redo the lesson, it was like I was seeing it for the first time. I was reduced to my 13-year old self, throwing the instruction book across the room in frustration.

The classes became the most stressful thing I'd done in decades. The night before class I'd toss and turn, frantically trying to remember the lesson. When I'd get called on, I'd always make a mistake. What was wrong with me? I can do the Saturday NYT crossword without cheating. Why was this so impossibly hard?

When I saw that the 'final' was writing a short essay about your life and then reading it out loud to the class, I bailed. I skipped the last 2 classes and celebrated my newfound freedom in a nearby bar. I saved the lesson book, although I know I'll never open it again (Chapter 15 is Pluperfect Tense. Would YOU look forward to studying that?)

Whenever I hear people speaking a second (or third) language I am filled with shame, but I just couldn't do it.

by Anonymousreply 3509/10/2020

r35 it was not actually facil in school. I took it 4 years in HS and 3 in college but all the college was reading no Spanish speaking so I can read it - and by read it I mean if I need to read 14th-century romance language Spanish then I am gold. I learned it in LA when I moved here. I started out in Van Nuys. both of my neighbors were Hispanic and spoke mostly in Spanish. I think after a year I picked it up - but I had the training. And yeah the masculine and feminine, the past and present tense and the verbs...oy the verbs.

by Anonymousreply 3609/10/2020

There have been a few times I would like to understand what the cleaning staff are saying, but otherwise I can’t see going to the trouble of learning Spanish. I would like to learn Italian though.

by Anonymousreply 3709/10/2020

r35 many americans retire in latin american and people from the UK in Spain and Portugal, that should give you a clue.

by Anonymousreply 3809/10/2020

Si, perra puta.

by Anonymousreply 3909/10/2020

Si, culo roto

by Anonymousreply 4009/10/2020

r3 Italian and Spanish are pretty close.

by Anonymousreply 4109/10/2020

I can took years of it in school and understand it pretty well. The problem is that native Spanish speakers speak really fast for some reason and I can't keep up.

by Anonymousreply 4209/10/2020

¿Cinco palabras?

Persona, hombre, mujer, cámara, televisión

by Anonymousreply 4309/10/2020

R42, it's not that Spanish speakers typically speak faster than English speakers, it is that words in Spanish are typically linked together (in Spanish -enlace). In spoken Spanish, when the last letter of one word is the same as the first letter of the next word, they are pronounced as a single sound. For example: ¿dónde está? would normally be pronounced "dóndestá." "Es simpático" would be "Esimpático" etc. This eliminates many of the spaces between words, and to a native speaker in no way inhibits comprehension, but to novices it gives the impression of greater speed. Also, Spanish typically takes 20%-25% more words than the same communication in English. You would think that it would give English speakers the impression that it is slower, but actually the opposite is true.

by Anonymousreply 4409/10/2020

thanks r44 that was really informative

by Anonymousreply 4509/10/2020

There’s also the fact that so many Spanish words are longer than English ones, such as the word “word” (palabra).

And Spanish is less flexible than English when it comes to parts of speech. In Spanish it’s impossible to use a verb as a noun or an adjective as a verb, so they have to resort to wordier expressions.

by Anonymousreply 4609/10/2020

I've been doing daily Skype classes with a school in Medellin, Colombia since May. Since I'm working from home now i thought it would be good to try to learn Spanish - it was always a goal but I never had the time to commit. It's pretty affordable and I'm enjoying it. I've been doing some private and group classes. I can sort of form sentences now!

by Anonymousreply 4709/10/2020


by Anonymousreply 4809/10/2020

Spanish is considered one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn, but a couple things: 1) It's only a general rule, and in fact a couple of posters have already said it was difficult for them, and 2) no matter what language you're dealing with, children learn a language when their minds are plastic, and people practice their native language every day. So in a sense all languages are hard, because you have to match that level of familiarity. I'm pretty sure that immersion is the only way to become fluent in any natural language -- perhaps not necessarily by travel but also through books, movies, music, etc.

by Anonymousreply 4909/10/2020

Honestly, I don't have an opinion- but I wanted to chime-in anyway.

by Anonymousreply 5009/10/2020


¿Dónde está el baño?

¡Deja de traspasar!

by Anonymousreply 5109/10/2020

I would say it's not difficult. It's very phonetic and the pronunciation is straightforward. I learned it easily, but grew up speaking Italian, so that made it easier. Portuguese is more difficult than either one, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 5209/10/2020

One of the questions to maybe ask is why you wish to pick up this course. Is it because you're interested in learning Spanish, or solely because you have heard Spanish is easy? While sometimes when you need to pick up extra credits it might be a good idea to take an easy course to not take away too much time from your main focus, there is the possibility you will be really bored too if you don't have any kind of interest in the language. I'm a big language nerd and I have found that there's no point me trying to learn a language without that interest behind it.

So even though I find romance languages fairly easy, I've never really spent much time with Spanish because I have less interest in it than I do in Italian or French (actually, I would argue Italian is easier than Spanish, but this is based on my learning style in particular).

All this to say, if you have any interest in the language, go for it! There's a lot of benefit to doing it. If you have zero interest in it though, and just wish to pass easily, then just weigh up whether Spanish would do, or if there's another course that might be easy AND maintain your interest.

by Anonymousreply 5309/10/2020

[quote]I would argue Italian is easier than Spanish, but this is based on my learning style in particular

What is your learning style?

by Anonymousreply 5409/10/2020

"Learning style" might have been a strange way to put it, come to think of it, but I mean in the sense that I find Italian easier to pronounce than Spanish, which is idiosyncratic to me as there are seven vowel sounds as opposed to five, and 'gl' and 'gn' which some people find difficult (I don't). But because of the standard Italian form, despite the many dialects, I find the pronunciation easier. With the different options for pronunciation of consonants in Spanish (b/v or y/ll) which are never consistent to my ears even WITHIN one person in one dialect, I find that slows me down slightly. The easier a language is to pronounce for me, the quicker I can get really into it because I can then focus on grammar (the Michel Thomas/Language Transfer method is the one that works quickest and best for me). Am I making sense? I'm not in any way saying those parts of Spanish make it in any way difficult, just that Italian is even easier for me in that regard. Plus Spanish has a future subjunctive, doesn't it? One more thing to remember there (and I like the subjunctive, but still).

by Anonymousreply 5509/10/2020

Learn Spanish OP. You’ll be ahead of the curve since America will be a bilingual country in about 10 years. Now if you really want to impress those pesky Messicans on the West coast, learn Spanish from a real Spaniard. I promise you this. They’ll treat you like royalty. I’m telling you, those Messicans have Stockholm syndrome.

by Anonymousreply 5609/11/2020

[quote] by the way, this is the very reason why Pablo Arboran never really made it in latin america, because he sings with a very strong castilian accent.

Many Spaniards with a strong Castilian accent were successful in Latin America. Arboran has mild success in Latin America but does not possess that extra something that would take him to the next level. . But more modern Spanish artists have modified their voice to sound more “Latin American.”

by Anonymousreply 5709/11/2020

With Italian, it’s much easier for Americans to pick up the accent and the hand motions.

by Anonymousreply 5809/11/2020

I took Italian lessons. Also spent time in Italy. I recommend it if you plan a trip to Italy. You will be able to pronounce words correctly. It helps a lot in the smaller Tuscan villages. Larger cities, most people understand English.

by Anonymousreply 5909/11/2020

¡Ay, que cabrón ese r50!

by Anonymousreply 6009/11/2020

Spanish was my fourth language. I learned Castillian pronunciation (I still pronounce verdad "berdath"). It was relatively easy to learn and helped in understanding both Italian and French. The toughest thing to learn in Spanish is the rolling "r", and it's the first thing that goes if you don't regularly speak the language. We learned the rolling "r" by quickly repeating 'pot of tea'.

by Anonymousreply 6109/11/2020


by Anonymousreply 6209/11/2020

[quote] There have been a few times I would like to understand what the cleaning staff are saying, but otherwise I can’t see going to the trouble of learning Spanish

For years I would hear advertisements for language classes gushing how wonderful it would be to 'speak to a non-English speaker in their native language' but then I realized I really don't like speaking to people in general.

Most of my travel interactions involve speaking to waiters, hotel staff, tour guides, etc and they all speak decent English. For better or worse, Google Maps has virtually eliminated the need to ask a stranger for directions. Even in the US, I never was one to strike up a conversation with strangers, I'd rather be left alone. My hearing isn't what it used to be, and in crowded, noisy restaurants I strain to hear my companions as it is (all-outdoor dining has been terrific for me).

Even if I learned a foreign language, I doubt I would ever become so proficient as to take a tour in that language, I'd be too busy trying to understand what they're saying to look at what I'm supposed to be looking at. I love foreign films and reading subtitles is no problem for me. I have no desire to read Cervantes in 'his native language'. And say I do learn Spanish. That's not going to help me in Japan or France or Hungary. In the past 20 years, English has been the de facto second language around the world. It's never been easier to be an Ugly American.

I understand that some people love to learn new things for the sake of learning new things, and that's great, but am I really going to put all the time and effort into learning a foreign language just so I can talk to the waiter in his 'native language' during my two week vacation?

by Anonymousreply 6309/11/2020

Google Translate has put an end to having to learn the rudiments of another language. Type in your query, smile at a passerby while pointing at your tablet or phone, the passerby types in his response, thanx all round and off you go. No more agonizing trying to make yourself understood. Works for potential hook-ups in restaurants, bars, pubs, etc. as well.

by Anonymousreply 6409/11/2020

How easy italian is

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6509/11/2020

[quote] With Italian, it’s much easier for Americans to pick up the accent and the hand motions.

LOL. I think it would be much easier (and much more useful) for Americans to pick up Spanish than Italian -- Spanish words and pronunciation are way more ingrained into the culture and vocabulary, even in subtle ways.

by Anonymousreply 6609/11/2020

Here is a cute video I came across yesterday of people doing a date challenge where they communicate through Google Translate. It's quite funny, there are so many ways it can go wrong, so it's not exactly the smooth ride people think it is. There will always be elements of language that are difficult to translate through a machine. It goes ok though!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6709/11/2020

In my experience, Italians are some of the best people out there to encounter if you are trying to learn a language. This is very general, but I have found they tend to be aware of enough English to help you, but at the same time prefer to talk in Italian if they can, so there will be no "oh let's just talk in English, it's easier" feeling, like you may get in other countries. Plus, even as rudimentary as you may be, they will praise your language the whole time, but are also happy to correct your mistakes. I've just found personally that Italians tend to be some of the best in alleviating anxiety in language learning, which helps you learn quicker.

by Anonymousreply 6809/11/2020

The french never want to speak to you in their language if their english is halfway decent. It must be enormously painful for them. As said the Italians are great. They really would prefer to speak Italian and in terms of language are enormously helpful and tolerant.

by Anonymousreply 6909/12/2020

Germans love speaking English with native English speakers, if you speak German and go to Germany they don't want to talk in German with you. Everybody is fluent in English, same with the Dutch.

by Anonymousreply 7009/12/2020

if you speak spanish you will also be able to undersand a lot of words in romanian and philipino, and there is even a part of philipines that speak chavacano, which is like 90% spanish. you can also speak spanish in marocco and new guinea.

by Anonymousreply 71Last Tuesday at 8:23 PM
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