To be an outstanding tourist.

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jacobe
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby jacobe » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:18 am

Hi, I made an account so I could comment on your thread :) I'm just starting Spanish and also have the goal of being an outstanding tourist when I travel to Spain next year. I've decided I'll probably study by working through the Without Toil and With Ease courses like you have. Do you have any advice for me? Did you make an anki deck of the Assimil courses? I have only around 3 months before I leave (but will have a lot of free time over those 3 months).
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sfuqua
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:26 pm

Welcome to the forum!
Learning languages has brought a lot of joy into my life.
I didn't make an anki deck when I did Assimil. I did make Assimil anki decks later as a review.
There are many ways to approach Assimil, and most people develop their own way of doing it.
My way is this--
Repeat any step until you are happy with the results.
Passive Wave:
1. Work through all of the L2 in the lesson, comparing to the L1 until I know what every word means.
I sometimes leave something ambiguous, if I just can't get it.
2. Read the L2 aloud. At least try.
I'm weird and I actually do this before I listen to the lesson.
3. Listen to the lesson while reading the L1.
4.Listen to the lesson while reading the L2.
5. Shadow along with the lesson while reading the L2.
6. Repeat aloud each sentence of the L2 aloud while looking away from the page. Spanish with Ease has some ridiculously long sentences in the lessons right after lesson 50. Either just push through, or maybe divide them up into chunks and repeat that.
7. Go back as many lessons as you have time for and shadow through all of the lessons up to today's without reading along.
At one point in my trip through Spanish with Ease, I was shadowing 40 lessons each day.
Active Wave:
1. Read through the lesson.
2. Translate each sentence.
3. Talk to an imaginary person about the lesson, or whatever else you think your imaginary friend might like to hear. Take notes about what you can't say and use google translate (or a native speaker) to learn your gaps. Talk for at least 5 minutes. This will be very hard at first; keep your book open and feel free to use sentences from the lessons.

Feel free to repeat lessons, or drop back a week in the course if things seem like they are getting too hard.

Edited to clarify.
3 x
I'm trying to become an outstanding tourist in French and Spanish.
I use Tagalog every day.
I'm trying to read and/or listen to and to use an audio-lingual course for at least one of my languages every day.

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sfuqua
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Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.org/vi ... f=15&t=772
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:43 pm

If you are just starting Spanish, both Pimsleur and Michel Thomas courses are excellent. Pimsleur in particular is guaranteed to get you speaking and Michel Thomas is the fastest way to get an overview of the grammar. Neither course is entertaining.
2 x
I'm trying to become an outstanding tourist in French and Spanish.
I use Tagalog every day.
I'm trying to read and/or listen to and to use an audio-lingual course for at least one of my languages every day.

jacobe
White Belt
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:37 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby jacobe » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:29 am

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I really appreciate it. I’ve only just bought With Ease and am not in possession of it yet so some of what you wrote is unclear to me but I’m sure once I begin reading through the course I’ll understand what you mean (and I can always come back here and ask if I don’t).

On the topic of anki, did you put the whole assimil course in anki or did you make a personalised deck based on what you needed to revise? If the former, is there any chance you could share it with me? I could pay you for it since it’ll save me so much time... But if you don’t want to or can't share it for any reason, then that’s completely fine :)

I would like to use Pimsleur but it’s so expensive… Also, what do you think of the accents of the speakers? I’m looking to cultivate a Madrid/Castilian accent and I think the speakers in Pimsleur are from Colombia and Argentina. I love that Assimil teaches Castilian spanish.

Which Michel Thomas course do you recommend? I’ve searched him up and it seems that he has a variety of courses of differing detail/prices.

So just to conclude you think the best resources for me are Assimil, Pimsleur and Michel Thomas?

Once again, thanks for your time.
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sfuqua
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:57 am

You ask some good questions and I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner.

The anki deck is based on copyrighted material, and I doubt if Assimil would like me to share it on the Internet. I'll send you a message about how to build one of your own. There used to be a deck that contained most of Assimil Spanish on the shared deck server for anki, but I don't think it is there anymore. Just doing Assimil should be enough. if you finish Assimil, you will be shocked to discover that you can understand some conversations between native speakers and some TV/radio news. And you can read news articles on the Internet. It is so cool; I still get a kick when I fall asleep listening to the news from Spain.

Assimil does have a very nice, very Spanish dialect of Spanish. I have to admit that I find Castilian Spanish to be the easiest to understand and the coolest. This is probably just a case of it sounding exotic to me, here in the sea of Mexican (and other Latin American) Spanish in San Jose, California. The only problem with Assimil is that it is probably a little challenging for a complete beginner. If you go slow, you will get there, but trying to match the pace of one lesson a day may be too fast at first. If you have plenty of time, you can just repeat until you can do the lessons at the speed of the recording. When I started Spanish, I used Assimil, so it can be done.

For the goal of being an outstanding tourist 90 days from now, there is nothing better than Pimsleur. Pimsleur slowly, repetitively, and carefully teaches a little bit of language. The voices are American Spanish. There is a Pimsleur Castilian Spanish course, but I'm not very familiar with it, and I think it is shorter than the Latin American version. I wouldn't worry too much about learning the "wrong" pronunciation or getting confused. I can switch between the different conventions easily; my spoken Spanish has other problems, of course. If you go to Spain with Latin American pronunciation, it will make no difference. Folks will just think it is cool that you can speak Spanish at all. I have known people who claim that they have become romantically involved using only the Spanish they learned from Pimsleur. There are 5 levels (I think) of Pimsleur Latin American Spanish, and I think that most of the benefit of it comes in the first 3 levels. Pimsleur does not teach that much vocabulary.

Pimsleur is way too expensive, of course. I got it from the library. If you have to pay for it, I would just do without it. Sometimes you can buy a used copy. Michel Thomas courses are cheaper and manage to cover most of the high points of the grammar of a language. I would look at the library or look for used copies. I got my copy really, really, cheaply. MT has a weird format with two students. You get pretty tired of them, but MT is a great teacher and I find the courses useful. I think Michel Thomas and Assimil make a good combination. After doing about half of Assimil, I did Michel Thomas, whorich really opened up my speaking. It would be nice to use this before or during Assimil. Michel Thomas uses the "seseo," Latin American, pronunciation just like Pimsleur, and he is far from a native speaker. But it works. Within a few minutes, he has students repeating fairly long sentences. By the time you finish the course, you will have an understanding of most of the main points of the grammar. Michel Thomas uses Latin American pronunciation, but he frequently gives the Castilian equivalent. There is a very similar course by Paul Noble which is cheaper and may be better for what you are looking for. I was way past a point that where Paul Noble's course would be useful for me when I first saw it, but it sounds good...

One thing that is important to do is to get beyond courses at some point. You can wait until you are in country, or you can practice on a friendly native speaker or a tutor.

Please don't worry if nothing goes right during a single visit to Spain. You will definitely stumble and fumble a lot when using Spanish, but if you accomplish anything, you will be way ahead of most of the people who try to learn a language. I hope you continue your Spanish forever. A thorough run through Spanish With Ease and Using Spanish will leave you ready to (painfully and slowly) begin to use native media for reading and watching/reading. For me, this was one of the most exciting experiences in learning I have ever had. Painfully plowing through books in Spanish rapidly (within a few hundred pages) led to fluent reading for enjoyment. To enter the world of an L2 is what excites me the most. I can't explain how appealing and exciting the whole Spanish world is.

Now I'm going to turn off the lights, read to my daughter, and go to check outside (to make sure that bandits aren't emptying my neighbor's apartment and that there isn't a wildfire burning down on us) and then I'm going to go to bed and listen to the news in Spanish or French (which I miss most of) and try to go to Madrid or Paris in my dreams.

I have some great dreams :D
2 x
I'm trying to become an outstanding tourist in French and Spanish.
I use Tagalog every day.
I'm trying to read and/or listen to and to use an audio-lingual course for at least one of my languages every day.

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sfuqua
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Location: san jose, california
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Italian (daydream)
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.org/vi ... f=15&t=772
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:02 am

Michel Thomas had three courses in the old days, Foundation, Advanced, and Builder. The first two are what I am talking about when I talk about Michel Thomas courses.
0 x
I'm trying to become an outstanding tourist in French and Spanish.
I use Tagalog every day.
I'm trying to read and/or listen to and to use an audio-lingual course for at least one of my languages every day.

User avatar
sfuqua
Blue Belt
Posts: 938
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: English(N),
Samoan(FSI 4+, rusty),
Tagalog (use daily),
Spanish (study)
French (study)
Portuguese (daydream)
Italian (daydream)
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.org/vi ... f=15&t=772
x 2117

Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:47 am

Assimil: 12 / 120 French

Things are going well. I'm shadowing a little short of an hour a day. I plan to push it up a bit more. I'm doing less with the lesson on the first day I see it, just reading it and starting shadowing it. When I get up to as many lessons as I feel I need to master each day, I'm going to start reading aloud and doing exercises.
Eventually I plan to be doing something like this:
Two weeks of shadowing.
One week of reading aloud and doing exercises.
This is the longest I've ever gone (in the past few years) without studying Spanish. Of course I get all my news in Spanish. Of course my Spanish isn't disappearing overnight.
I'm learning a lot reading about France and Paris. I know that France and French is nothing new for most folks on this forum, but I'm wondering how I got this far in my life without learning French and without visiting France. I'm not sure how long we will stay in France next summer (the main visit will be to Ireland where there are family connections).

I've got a lot to learn before I get to France, and it should be fun. When we get closer, I'll ask for some suggestions about what to do in Paris (bookstores? Assimil? Cool graveyards? a good place to drink too much?).

Not that it's going to happen real soon, but I would love to find a way to retire in Europe.
It probably makes more sense to retire in the Philippines, but it would be nice to live somewhere with good train service to interesting places.
I'm probably not rich enough. :lol:
3 x
I'm trying to become an outstanding tourist in French and Spanish.
I use Tagalog every day.
I'm trying to read and/or listen to and to use an audio-lingual course for at least one of my languages every day.

jacobe
White Belt
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:37 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
x 6

Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby jacobe » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:02 am

Thanks very much for your detailed reply on 12 December! I’ll make sure to refer back to your posts once I get started.

Also, thanks for the offer of sending me a message about how to build my own anki deck - that would be very helpful. But there’s no rush - whenever you have the time. I won’t be starting Spanish until January. Btw if I were going to make an anki deck would it be best to make one at the beginning, or later on as a review?

What do you think would be the minimum number of days required to finish the assimil course if a person has a lot of time per day to work on it? I think I’ll only have around 60 days to learn as much spanish as I can… If I only have 60 days, would you still recommend assimil and that I just try to complete as much of it as possible, or would it be best to use another program? I hope to be able to stay in Spain a while, maybe with a few Spanish families, but at this stage my plans are very vague - I still need to work out a few things…

Thank you very much for your encouraging words!! I know it’s going to take a lot of time and work, but I hope to one day also be able to fall asleep listening to Spanish news and dreaming about Madrid haha.
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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:02 pm

jacobe wrote:What do you think would be the minimum number of days required to finish the assimil course if a person has a lot of time per day to work on it?


This was an interesting experiment:
Assimil Hebrew in two weeks
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zenmonkey
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby zenmonkey » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:10 am

jeff_lindqvist wrote:
jacobe wrote:What do you think would be the minimum number of days required to finish the assimil course if a person has a lot of time per day to work on it?


This was an interesting experiment:
Assimil Hebrew in two weeks


Thanks for sharing that. I might want to do a crash course using this method. Bookmarked.
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