Hopeless Spanish

by SweetSusy @, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 16:54 (82 days ago)

We started coming to Zih 25 years ago. We would visit every couple of years. About seven years ago, we started coming every December for two weeks. About four years ago we decided to add another two weeks in in March. We are now debating between all winter or just giving up and moving full time. It just seems right when you start missing it the second you step on the plane to come “home”. Here is one of my biggest concerns. For the last five years I have been trying in vain to learn Spanish. I have done Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, taken private lessons, taken class lessons, taken lessons on the computer, spent countless lunches “conversing” with my native Spanish speaking friends, turned my phone from English to Spanish, tried not speaking English unless absolutely necessary (it is necessary when you have a boss and co-workers that only speak English), when we are in Zih I try and only converse in Spanish. And I still just don’t get it. My husband keeps telling me once we are there full time for an extended period, I’ll get it, but it’s so frustrating! Any tips that turned you from a bumbling Spanish speaking idiot into at least one that can make some sense and actually understand when you ask for directions what the person is telling you? UGH! #HopelesslyStuckInEnglish

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Hopeless Spanish

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 18:05 (82 days ago) @ SweetSusy

We started coming to Zih 25 years ago. We would visit every couple of years. About seven years ago, we started coming every December for two weeks. About four years ago we decided to add another two weeks in in March. We are now debating between all winter or just giving up and moving full time. It just seems right when you start missing it the second you step on the plane to come “home”. Here is one of my biggest concerns. For the last five years I have been trying in vain to learn Spanish. I have done Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, taken private lessons, taken class lessons, taken lessons on the computer, spent countless lunches “conversing” with my native Spanish speaking friends, turned my phone from English to Spanish, tried not speaking English unless absolutely necessary (it is necessary when you have a boss and co-workers that only speak English), when we are in Zih I try and only converse in Spanish. And I still just don’t get it. My husband keeps telling me once we are there full time for an extended period, I’ll get it, but it’s so frustrating! Any tips that turned you from a bumbling Spanish speaking idiot into at least one that can make some sense and actually understand when you ask for directions what the person is telling you? UGH! #HopelesslyStuckInEnglish

Claro que tengo una sugerencia, pero a tu esposa no le gustaría. Mejor te doy otra...

El libro Barron's 501 Spanish Verbs me ayudó mucho para entender cómo funcionan los verbos en sus diferentes tiempos. Hay catorce tiempos en español y 6 conjugaciones de cada una, aunque aquí en México no usamos todos. O sea, ya no usamos la Segunda Persona Plural Familiar vosotros, pero tenemos que entenderlo porque en algunos países lo usan aunque distinta de su forma original. Una vez que dominas la conjugación y tienes un buen vocabulario de verbos, puedes entender casi todo, y es más importante entender que hablar.

A ver si puedes aprender una canción sólo escuchándola. Quizás tu media naranja te puede echar la mano. ;-)


https://youtu.be/KhRtoBYukww

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Hopeless Spanish

by timixtapa ⌂ @, Ixtapa, México, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 19:31 (82 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Rob, your response is spot on. One needs to learn the grammar and the phonetics of a language first to form a solid base of understanding upon which one can build a world expressed in Spanish or English or Gaelic or Music.

Also, we should not allow ourselves to be trapped by the use of the phrase "Learn Spanish" or whatever language. We are never going to attain a complete mastery of a language. Rather we should set our goal to learn to express ourselves in a language or two or four or more.

--
Tim Sullivan
http://www.ixtaparealestate.com
https://www.facebook.com/IxtapaRealEstate/

Hopeless Spanish

by SweetSusy @, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 20:55 (81 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Love it!! Gracias Rob!

Hopeless Spanish

by Susan G @, Zihua/La Ropa, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 20:03 (82 days ago) @ SweetSusy

When I moved to Zihua, I enrolled in Spanish Plus (part of English Plus adjacent to the Cancha Municipal) in a class 2x/week. I learned all the grammar and now I feel confident about conversing in Spanish. It took time, homework and structure for me. I want to be more fluid, so I'm continuing. I really look forward to the classes!

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Hopeless Spanish

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 21:59 (82 days ago) @ SweetSusy

The best way to learn a language is by total immersion. Some people absorb languages like a sponge absorbs water. Some are tone deaf. Do what you can, but don't lose any sleep if your Spanish doesn't get as good as you'd like.

--
[image]
http://www.casa-amarilla-zihua.com

Hopeless Spanish

by Guerra, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 02:22 (82 days ago) @ SweetSusy

Hola. I feel your pain. I have been doing the exact same, tried all internet classes, etc. Have found that one on one Spanish conversation works the best for me. What makes it even more difficult is my Italian family corrects me whenever I reply to their conversations in Spanish. To be clear I know no Italian, none. That is another story. I choose Spanish as my language to learn and will continue. The small success I have had is rewarding. Stay the course and you will arrive.

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Hopeless Spanish

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 08:34 (81 days ago) @ Guerra

Hola. I feel your pain. I have been doing the exact same, tried all internet classes, etc. Have found that one on one Spanish conversation works the best for me. What makes it even more difficult is my Italian family corrects me whenever I reply to their conversations in Spanish. To be clear I know no Italian, none. That is another story. I choose Spanish as my language to learn and will continue. The small success I have had is rewarding. Stay the course and you will arrive.

If you speak Italian it's relatively easy to understand Spanish and vice versa. The languages are very similar and have many words in common albeit with a different accent. Learning one will help you to understand the other.

Hopeless Spanish

by Guerra, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 12:31 (81 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Hola Rob. I agree. I am finding that in Italy certain Spanish and Italian is similar yet enough of a difference to have been corrected. By the way. Thank you for this great site.

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Hopeless Spanish

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 13:53 (81 days ago) @ SweetSusy

I"m going to share my/our experiences in learning Spanish. It is still very much a work in progress.

We started traveling by vehicle in Mexico in 1983, starting with 2 weeks a year and quickly going up to 4-6 months a year. We both worked in the California school system with the non English speaking kids from Mexico, then into English Language Development. We thought we were pretty good with our Spanish from working with the kids and traveling. We could converse, discuss, find obscure vehicle parts and locations.

Then reality hit.

We started staying in Zihuatanejo for those 4 to 6 months a year, staying in our RV at the home of Rodrigo and Avelia Campos. They are both very well educated and have always taught and been involved in education. What a shock! Our Spanish was so technically poor that we were never able to complete a sentence without being corrected and explained why and how to correct it. This was a good thing, and we learned a lot. It ISN'T just about communicating, it's about communicating clearly and really learning the language, not muddling about.

We have now lived here full time for 18 months, and will be here forever. His language skills are very good and improving daily. Dealing with workers and contractors and buying their supplies has been very educational. He still uses Duolingo daily for at least 8 lessons.

Me? That's another story. I have decided that if I can't say it correctly, I won't say it at all. I'm working very hard with Duolingo, today makes a 140 day streak. I also look at as kind of a gift. I was always a motor mouth in English, and realize that I never will be in Spanish, so it's different. I have started forming the occasional sentence to use with the people doing work for us. It's working.


We both have our verb books next to our computers and use them constantly. Other than workers we find that we rarely talk to anyone other than each other in either language, so my lack of skills isn't too horribly apparent.

Is it important to speak Spanish here? Absolutely! Can you stumble by just by trying hard? Yes, but it's nice if you can do it correctly.

It sounds like you have what you need to be fluent in Spanish and just need to live here and use it. Your husband is right-once you are here full time you can relax and figure it out. Comprehension comes first, the last thing is the ability to speak. The people who live and work here are incredibly understanding and are good about speaking more slowly, using different words and simply asking you to repeat yourself so they can understand you better.

Either relax and continue trying or resign yourself to not talking to anyone!

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Hopeful Spanish

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 16:08 (81 days ago) @ Talley Ho

There is a page in the verbs book I recommended that shows the 14 tenses in Spanish with its English equivalent. That’s the single most helpful key to dominating the verbs.

IMHO the language is the key to appreciating the extremely rich and profound Mexican culture. Its songs, music, philosophy, poetry, political thought, the history of the numerous cultures that have shaped life here for thousands of years. I’ve never heard a translation I like. The choice of words and the nuances of their use add richness and meaning that are frequently lost in translation. Like a smart man once said, the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. While I don’t mind translated songs in music, I strongly dislike having to watch dubbed movies. I prefer subtitles on foreign language movies because I believe the actor’s voice is part of their performance to be appreciated.

¡Saludos!

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Hopeful Spanish

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 16:22 (81 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

So true!

We go to the movies regularly and see the adult ones in English and the semi-adult ones in Spanish. The subtitles for both are very entertaining and are often very different from what the actors are saying.

Hopeful Spanish

by SweetSusy @, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 20:53 (81 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Rob: is that page on the web somewhere? I would love to get hold of it. The verbs do confuse me so.

Thanks everyone for the tips and the encouragement. I think my main problem is that if I can’t say it correctly I’m not saying it at all. Which does not help me learn. I need to relax and go for it more. You don’t learn to ride without a few wrecks, right?

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Hopeful Spanish

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 20:58 (81 days ago) @ SweetSusy

So so true, but there is nothing wrong with changing from the talker to someone who occasionally has something great and correct to say!

Am there, trying to do that!