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BellaOnline's Hispanic Culture Editor


My Quest to Learn Spanish

Guest Author - Sarah Salas

I admit it. I do not have a good track record with learning languages. High school French was forgotten as soon as I left high school and College Italian had me mystified. I had learned some Spanish from waiting tables in a Spanish bar (admittedly not much that I could repeat without blushing!) and my friends had helped out a lot, but I realized that in order to get a better understanding of the Hispanic culture, I needed to learn proper Spanish. So, I dove right in.

I researched all of the different language courses I could find, and finally settled on two very different programs, Rosetta Stone and Fluenz Spanish 1+2 for Windows.

I started with the Rosetta Stone program, mostly because it was available right away. The online program was easy to set up (I just had to register and had a contact person to help me if I needed it) and I got started right away. The program teaches you through pictures-you are not given the English translation-so it is easy to connect pictures with Spanish words.

Because of the lack of translation, I had a little trouble with the actions verbs. However, I was given plenty of repetition to help imbed the words in my brain. The nouns were amazingly easy for me-they seemed to just click and I literally learned more in the first 2 hours of the program than I did in an entire year of high school French. I also retained most of what I learned, and breezed right through the reviews a month later. The layout is easy to follow and the speech recognition was very accurate. All together, the Rosetta Stone proved to be a very thorough and high quality program, that packed a lot of learning into each lesson.

The Fluenz Spanish 1+2 for Windows program came through the mail a few weeks later and I could not wait to get started! I put in the disc and was introduced my guide, who followed me throughout the program, helping me with pronunciation and moving things along. Fluenz uses a one-on-one conversational method to introduce the language. Unlike the Rosetta Stone , Fluenz provides translations of the conversations, training your brain to translate the Spanish into English instead of associating it with a picture. It felt like a more methodical approach (which really helped me with the verbs), and the one-on-one method really helped clarify things that left me confused with the Rosetta Stone. This program worked great for the more mechanical/methodical part of my brain. For those (like me) who like to learn the rules of a language this is the perfect program.

After a few months with both programs my Spanish has improved dramatically. I really liked the compliment of the more vocabulary focused Rosetta Stone, with the more methodical Fluenz software. Learning Spnish can lead to such great things, like a better job or new friends from other cultures, and I would highly recommend either program for those who are looking to learn it. If you are interested, you can find out more about either program here:


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Content copyright © 2015 by Sarah Salas. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sarah Salas. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Valerie Aguilar for details.


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