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Learning Spanish Fluently

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Learning Spanish Fluently

Postby Lucus Eques » Sat May 31, 2008 2:27 am

So, I need to get really fluent in Spanish in two days.

Knowing Latin, Italian, French, and already having basic conversational command of Spanish, this will be easy; however, I need the right tools and the best tools for this massive dedication; almost a year ago, I had to learn a whole first semester of Russian in four days, so I know this is something I can do (and want to do, and need to do). Free online materials will be ideal, perhaps podcasts, with a focus on fluent conversation at a fairly advanced level finally — I am open to all methods and suggestions.

Ken, I know you have experience in a variety of methods; Amadeus, Gonzalo, you are natives of course, and there are other natives as well; all your thoughts will be most welcome to me.

Muchas gracias en anticipación de vuestro ayudo!
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Postby Gonzalo » Sat May 31, 2008 7:17 am

Hi, Luce!

I´m glad to help you with this. I don´t know exactly how your skills in Spanish are but knowing Latin, French and Italian, I suppose that you are able, at least, to read through a text and understand the sense of the whole. I´m going to suggest you some options from my own experience with French, Modern Greek and Italian. Two days aren´t a lot of time, but I´ll try to help.

First of all, Spanish is a language which is known to be spoken in many different ways -even in the same region but it´s always understandable. Anyway, it´s spoken in a very fast way -specially in Madrid and some countries of las Américas. From this I would suggest to listen to podcasts and when you feel you´ll be able to, try to listen to actual Spanish radio broadcastings. You will acquire how the sounds of Spanish sound by means of listening to podcasts or to live radio broadcastings.
-http://www.radiolinguamedia.com/cbs/www/lessons/library.html
-http://www.notesinspanish.com/
-Try to listen to these audio files, too. I follow their Modern Greek course and you get vocabulary with ease: http://www.fsi-language-courses.com/Spanish.aspx
Here it´s a directory of Spanish broadcasting services: http://www.multilingualbooks.com/online ... anish.html

About having a fairly good knowledge of Spanish Grammar I´ve found a very interesting site: http://www.colby.edu/~bknelson/exercises/
I´ve found other interesting sites focusing on Grammar. Take a look here: http://www.studyspanish.com/tutorial.htm
http://www.livingspanish.com/spanish-grammar
http://www.webworkbooks.com/spanish/grammar/ (this is the most useful and well-presented site I´ve found amongst these sites I refer to you)


Besides, if you want to get writing proficiency I find very useful the pen-pal system, that´s to say, you send a "curriculum" to a site and you can exchange letters with people in the languages you have selected.
- http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/
- http://www.tpn.info/


Regads,
Gonzalo

P.S.: If you have any doubt, please don´t hesitate to write here what you want to ask.
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Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby Amadeus » Sat May 31, 2008 4:50 pm

Hi Luke,

Seems like Gonzalo beat me to the punch! Hahahae

But, yes, try to listen to Spanish radio or even watch television in Spanish.

You can find lots of channels right here: http://es.wwitv.com/

¡Buena suerte!
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:21 am

¡Muchas gracias, queridos señores! ¡Espero che pueda lograr hacer este proyecto!

Una otra pregunta: ¿conocéis donde puedo buscar un sito que trata de la etimología de palabras españolas? Por ejemplo hay este sito para el italiano: http://www.etimo.it/ ¡Muy muy útil esto!

Me gustaría también saber más sobre la historia de las transformaciones morfologicamente de latín vulgar en español moderno — una historia que me podría hacer más apreciativo de esta única lengua española.

¡Gracias!
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Postby Amadeus » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:58 am

¡No hay de qué, estimado Lucas!

En cuanto a tus últimas dos peticiones, yo confieso no saber mucho de fuentes para etimología ni filología hispánica, pero en buscándolas encontré estos dos sitios que pudieran ayudarte. Tal vez Gonzalo sea de mejor ayuda, ya que él es muy bueno para encontrar cosas por Internet.

http://etimologias.dechile.net/ (No tiene mucho, pero algo es algo)
http://apuntes.rincondelvago.com/apunte ... hispanica/

Saludos cordiales

P.D.: Tampoco se te olvide visitar, para cuestiones de ortografía y gramática, la página de la Real Academia Española: http://rae.es/rae.html Y la del gran José Martínez de Sousa, un crítico de la Academia: http://www.martinezdesousa.net/escritos.html
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Postby Gonzalo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:00 am

Hola a los dos:

En papel, el Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico de Joan Corominas creo que es de lo mejor que hay. Sobre el tema de etimologías, hay muchos tratados, manuales, &c., pero para usar desde el ordenador, quizá lo más útil sea lo siguiente: Introduzca una palabra y le desplegará un menú con diccionarios desde el Primer Diccionario de Autoridades (1726) de la Academia hasta el último (XXVI edición, 2006).
http://buscon.rae.es/ntlle/SrvltGUILoginNtlle
Si no le funcionara o le parece demasiado incómodo, puede acceder a la etimología de una palabra escribiendo en la barra de su navegador Http://rae.es/ y a continuación la palabra cuyo significado y etimología busca saber. Así, para conocer la de "verde", escribe " Http://rae.es/verde ". Este buscador de la Academia puede interesarle más por indicar la etimología directa, esto es, la del latín vulgar pero tenga en cuenta que hay un sustrato de la lengua española con arabismos y hebraísmos, es un sustrato bastante pequeño (cosa demostrada por el gran Claudio Sánchez Albornoz: toponimia, términos relativos a la medicina, a la guerra, etc.), pero el diccionario relaciona el étimo árabe con su posible origen latino. No es un gran aparato lexicográfico, pero sirve. Por otro lado, hay un diario digital en el que se publica con regularidad una columna sobre cuestiones de la lengua española, muy interesante. La colección de los artículos, con actualizaciones es: http://www.libertaddigital.com/index.ph ... 79&firma=1
Lucas, si quisiere profundizar en el tema, pruebe con esto: http://books.google.com/books?id=R1IEAA ... ry_s&cad=0

Para ortografía:http://www.rae.es/rae/gestores/gespub000015.nsf/(voanexos)/arch7E8694F9D6446133C12571640039A189/$FILE/Ortografia.pdf


Un saludo,
Gonzalo

P.S.: Amadeo, me llama la atención la construcción "en+gerundio". Yo suelo hacer uso de ella pero en España rara vez se usa en el discurso hablado (como arcaísmo) y frecuente en el habla rural de los pueblos de España. ¿Ocurre algo parecido en Méjico?
Last edited by Gonzalo on Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby Amadeus » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:18 pm

Gonzalo wrote:P.S.: Amadeo, me llama la atención la construcción "en+gerundio". Yo suelo hacer uso de ella pero en España rara vez se usa en el discurso hablado (como arcaísmo) y frecuente en el habla rural de los pueblos de España. ¿Ocurre algo parecido en Méjico?


Estimado Gonzalo,

Hahahae, no, acá también es rarísimo, pero a mí me gustan los arcaísmos. Desde que comencé a estudiar latín, todo lo viejo me atrae. :lol:

Por cierto, ¡muy buenas fuentes!

Vale!
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Postby Gonzalo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:07 pm

Amadeus wrote:[...]pero a mí me gustan los arcaísmos. Desde que comencé a estudiar latín, todo lo viejo me atrae.


Caro Amadeo,

Me parece que somos ya dos. Más que algo extraño al lenguaje es cosa a él inherente, lo que José Martínez Ruíz -Azorín- llama las palabras "inusitadas". Son perlas que han quedado en las obras de nuestra literatura enquistadas y que el ser recogidas esperan y vueltas otrosí a nueva vida. Por lo general, tiendo a seguir la norma de nuestros poetas antes que la de la Academia, que es en todo momento cambiante y sujeta a revisión; y si en algún momento alguien me dijere algo, alegaría que los más grandes centinelas que por ella velan son, antes que asalariados, Cervantes, Góngora y Garcilaso. Tanto cuando tomo apuntes en clase como en mi escritura privada no suelo usar la ortografía de la Academia y con frecuencia escribo la "s longa" latina(ʃ), la doble s, muchas "i griegas" donde Gabriel García Márquez me llamaría "ortopédico", etc. Así que, comparto tu opinión.


Un fraternal saludo,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby ThomasGR » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:05 pm

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Postby Gonzalo » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:21 pm

Luce, tell us how is your Spanish going!
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby Lucus Eques » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:03 pm

(Si hago unos errores, o si uso frases extrañas, por favor dimelo! así aprendo mejor.)

Amigos míos,

No puedo bien agradeceros para estos sitios muy buenos que me han ayudado ya tanto.

Por el momento, quiero desarrollar una grande passión para la lengua española, buscar el romance, eso es. Es por eso que hasta hoy no quería estudiar y completamente aprender el español, "dive in" se puede decir; el romance del italiano, de Dante, de Petrarca (y de mis antenados!), y del latín, de Cesar, de Cicerón, era demasiado poderoso para concentrar su español. Entonces tengo que buscar el romance del español, tal vez en la historia, quizá en la cultura — ¿dónde voy a buscar tal romance? ¿Cómo empiezo a amar profundamente la lengua española como quiero amarla? ¿Por Cervantes? ¿Por un cuento romantico que tiene un signficado fuerte? No sé donde empezar. Vosotros, Gonzalo y Amadeo, estáis en diferentes lugares nel mundo hispánico, en España y en Mexico. Vuestros perspectivos diferentes del romance de la lengua española me interesan tanto.

Y Gonzalo, gracias que me preguntas de mi progreso; va muy bien, gracias. :) Y la razón que yo necesitaba reforzar mi español ha salido muy bien.
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Postby Gonzalo » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:30 pm

Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby Amadeus » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:10 pm

In response to your petition, I offer a few corrections, Luke. :)

..........................
Amigos míos,

No puedo bien agradeceros [suena bien esta frase, pero más común sería: No saben cuánto les/os agradecerzco] <del>para</del> por [Esto del complemento del régimen verbal, i.e., cuál preposición usar, te vendrá con la práctica, porque no hay reglas e incluso a mí me falla en ocasiones] estos sitios muy buenos que me han ayudado ya tanto.

Por el momento, quiero desarrollar una <del>grande</del> gran [apócope] passión <del>para</del> por la lengua española, buscar el romance, <del>eso es</del> [en latín sí, pero en español decimos: 'esto es' o 'es decir', y a la mitad de la frase, no al final]. Es por eso que hasta hoy no quería estudiar y completamente aprender el español, "dive in" se puede decir; el romance del italiano, de Dante, de Petrarca (y de mis <del>antenados</del> antepasados!) [No se te olvide la ¡], y del latín, de Cesar, de Cicerón, era demasiado poderoso para concentrar su español [¿tal vez quisiste deicr: concentrarme en el español?]. Entonces tengo que buscar el romance del español, tal vez en la historia, quizá en la cultura — ¿dónde voy a buscar [recuerda que find es "encontrar"] tal romance? ¿Cómo empiezo a amar profundamente la lengua española como quiero amarla? ¿Por Cervantes? ¿Por un cuento romantico que tiene un signficado fuerte? No sé donde empezar. Vosotros, Gonzalo y Amadeo, estáis en diferentes lugares nel mundo hispánico, en España y en Mexico. Vuestr<del>o</del>as perspectiv<del>o</del>as diferentes del romance de la lengua española me interesan tanto.

................

Espero que no me odies por las correcciones que hice, pero "echando a perder se aprende". :P De todos modos, ¡muy buen progreso!

¡Saludos!
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:11 am

¡Muchas gracias, caros† señores! a Amadeo por las correcciones, ¡y a Gonzalo por los fantasticos libros! Hablaré más de estas cosas luego.

For now I want what my announcement to be legible also to English speakers:

I found what I was looking for!

I wanted something like French in Action to learn Spanish. Well, mierda santa, I found exactly that! Destinos:

http://www.learner.org/resources/series75.html

It's awesome! It's even better than French in Action so far! I really love it, and am very grateful for this chance observation — it was right there on the French in Action site! Tan maravilloso...

There's even one for German! :
http://www.learner.org/resources/series104.html

I'll be checking that out too later, in order to bone up on my first second language, heh.

.........................................
† Gonzalo, Vd dice "caro" como un saludo; esto me parece muy similar al italiano, que también usa "caro/cara" como un saludo (e.g. "caro amore," "cara bella," &c.). Antes que leé esto, pensaba que "caro" en español significaba solamente expensive — ¿pero es en efecto como en italiano?
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Postby Gonzalo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:28 am

Hi, Luke!

Well, I didn't use English language so that Luke may read some words from Spanish but I consider that most people here prefer English, so I turn off Spanish.

And now, I answer you in connection with the usage of caro. In fact, it's used since a lot of time in Spanish, it's probably an italianism because -from what I know- it's not used in our medieval poetry (or at least, I cannot remember such a thing) and I find it in Garcilaso's Eclogues: "[...]del duro labrador que cautamente / le despojó su caro y dulce nido / de los tiernos hijuelos entretanto / que del amado ramo estaba ausente" (Egloga I:24). That's to say, he (the farmer) robbed the children from his sweet and beloved nest.
It's said to be part of Spanish formal speech (use it only when addressing to your most beloved Lady or the President :lol:). So, Spanish translations of our carissimo Leopardi's Infinito usually give "Siempre caro me fue este yermo cerro..." (=Sempre caro mi fu quest´ermo colle...).

Don't hesitate to write here every doubt which arises.

Regards,
Gonzalo

P.S.: I was about to start a new kind-of-Wordreference topic on German language because I want to begin to study it within one or two months since I've read Spanish translations from Novalis' Hymns to the Night and Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust. I'll try with these courses about which you talk very well.
Last edited by Gonzalo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:19 pm

Delightful! So "caro" is used in common speech in Spain? Is that also so in Mexico, Amadeus? And then, does it seem unusually strange or merely friendly and courteous to call you gentlemen "caros señores," and would that sound better than "queridos señores?"

Also, in listening to Spanish from Spain, in addition to the fricative nature of 'd's and other consonants, I hear a loss of 's' when followed by a consonant: for "usted" I hear "u'tedh" ['dh' respresenting the sound in English "this" or Arabic "Riyadh," and I know this sound is normal for intervocalic or final Castillian 'd'], and for "esperanza" I hear "e'peranaza." Actually, it even sounds like a double consonant as in Italian: "epperanza." Any comment, caros señores?
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Postby Gonzalo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:26 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Delightful! So "caro" is used in common speech in Spain? Is that also so in Mexico, Amadeus? And then, does it seem unusually strange or merely friendly and courteous to call you gentlemen "caros señores," and would that sound better than "queridos señores?"

Also, in listening to Spanish from Spain, in addition to the fricative nature of 'd's and other consonants, I hear a loss of 's' when followed by a consonant: for "usted" I hear "u'tedh" ['dh' respresenting the sound in English "this" or Arabic "Riyadh," and I know this sound is normal for intervocalic or final Castillian 'd'], and for "esperanza" I hear "e'peranaza." Actually, it even sounds like a double consonant as in Italian: "epperanza." Any comment, caros señores?


Caro is often used in formal letters, and referred to an only man or woman. So, when addressing to more people you should use "Estimados señores". It´s not correct pronouncing "epperanza" (or more common "ehperanza") but people in Andalucía pronounce such an "s" as an aspirated "s". Where have you heard that?

Regards,
Gonzalo
Last edited by Gonzalo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby thesaurus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:27 pm

Luce, would you say it's enough to simply watch those "___ in action" videos to learn a good amount of the language? I've taught myself introductory Spanish and can read it with some competency, but I'd like to develop some listening skills. I assume I could do the same thing with French (and German) in Action after having taught myself the basics?
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:56 pm

Estimado Gonzalo (also good in singular?), thanks for enlightening me on that. I heard it just now in the third of the Destinos videos, where the Mexicanoamericana protagonist has travelled to Sevilla, in Andalucía of course, and a Taxi cab driver speaks in the manner I described. Awesome! cool dialect.

Thesaure, absolutely! I've gained huge value from them, especially since most of my language learning has hitherto been though books and letters. I think you and I are at about the same level of Spanish, and I think these videos are extremely useful and helpful; I'm learning a lot all the time, and it's a great story. I'll share my notes with you too if you like (I rewind and rewrite whole phrases). Definitely I recommend it!
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Postby Gonzalo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:04 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Estimado Gonzalo (also good in singular?), thanks for enlightening me on that. I heard it just now in the third of the Destinos videos, where the Mexicanoamericana protagonist has travelled to Sevilla, in Andalucía of course, and a Taxi cab driver speaks in the manner I described. Awesome! cool dialect.

Hi, Luke!
Estimado is quite good and proper.

Yes, it's beautiful. From what I know. It's also heard in the Canary Islands (I spent a month in Tenerife two years ago) and in Extremadura (I have a friend from Extremadura and the "s" is aspirated in the strongest manner I've ever heard it but since he came to live to Madrid (don't scream if you happen to hear "Madriz" :lol:), he is been losing it...).

Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby Amadeus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:15 pm

It's a good thing that the Destinos course includes the Spaniard as well as the Mexican pronunciation of Spanish, that way the student will be able to recognize the differences in dialect right from the beginning.

As to caro, Luke, it is very rare here in Mexico. We usually use "estimado(a)" or "querido(a)", but this last one you use it when you know the person you are talking with very well (family member, close friend, girlfriend).

Saludos.
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