Hablo (un poco de) Español

As we will be spending 4 months in Cuba and then South America, we are going to be in a lot of places where not only is their first language Spanish but their only language is likely to be Spanish. Knowing a bit of Spanish will help us get around and will probably make life easier for us – and mean that can learn more about the countries we visit and the people that we meet.

After doing a bit of online research – and yes being influenced by the omnipresent advertising – we splashed out on Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish (Levels 1 – 3). (Rosetta Stone’s support for Latin American Spanish was a key reason for buying).That was in November and now we are 5 months on and I am nearing the end of Level 2. I thought this would be a good time to reflect on what I have learned and my thoughts on Rosetta Stone.

All in all, I would say that I am impressed with the software. It is  very professionally done and it lets both Janet and I progress at our own speed. You are totally immersed in your language – none of the course material is presented in English – and you pick up what you need to do. It does cover reading, listening, talking  & writing and you do pick up verb tenses and conjugation.

However, in itself, I wouldn’t say that it was sufficient. You do need to supplement Rosetta Stone with other things. For Janet, this has meant signing up for (Beginners) Spanish evening classes at the local FE college. For me it is the Collins “Easy Learning” book of verbs (oh, the joys of the preterite tense) and the Teach Yourself “Complete Latin American Spanish”.

I try to get to Rosetta Stone 5 times a week (about 30mins per session) and do 1 or 2 sessions of one of the other books. We also try and watch a favourite DVD every couple of weeks – but with Spanish dialogue and English sub-titles. Favourite so far has been Star Trek (“Me llamo Spock!”) – it does bring it home that we have a long way to go!

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