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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently learning Spanish from an audio series which I think is mainly for Latin American Spanish - but that should be alright because it's the main castilian dialect used in Spain right?

Except I recently read that the south is mainly where there is some variation in dialect.

The place I will be going is 90% Malaga, and 10% (unlikely but possible) Valencia.

I just want to make sure...

Que quiero es hablar castellano ... correcto?

I don't want to get there and find out that my, by that time racking up probably 100+ hours of, Spanish learning is the wrong dialect...

Cheers!

Rich
 

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Hola Rich. Que tal?

I would suggest you avoid american spanish. Sorry didn't pick up earlier your course was Latin American. To be honest doesn't matter too much at the first stage but the use of verbs, some actual verbs, and the accent can all create problems later.

Certainly in spain regional differences are there even without the complications of non castellano. But your first task is to get a grounding in "Oxford Spanish ;)" and the simpler you keep that in my experience the better. Once you have that you can begin to communicate with spaniards, even if that amounts to ordering a coffee*, and the real learning process can begin.

You could also try and find a course where the dialogs and characters are based in say Malaga (or at least Andalucía). The advantage is that the conversations will include reference to local places, activities, etc. which hopefully you can include in your first conversations. I remember back in the 80s my bbc course was based in Cuenca. I remember the strange sensation of going there for the first time knowing that around the next corner Cloti would serve me a beer in her bar. I walked round the corner and there she was. Weird.

Have you tried finding the local Malaga and Valencia radio stations on the net? When I first started I was told to listen until I recognised 10 words - note 'gol, gol, gol, gol, goooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllll' does not count as 5 words :)

* Always makes me laugh when you have your phrase already perfected and you make yourself as spanish as possible. The listener is very impressed and can only assume that you are fluent if not a native speaker. Sadly he/she doesn't stick to the script. You receive a torrent of words from which you can only decipher - Zapatero and mierda. The torrent clearly ends with a question. You nod smiling :D
 
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I remember studying Castellano at McGill University in Montreal..MANY years ago,as prep to moving to Tarifa. To expose us to different accents/dialects our professor had a South American presenter visit our class..we could barely understand a word..very different accent, as well as usage of words and ..really be careful here...slang. I would definitely advise studying Castellano, not SA or Mex or whatever.
 

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Málaga and its surrounding areas have their own dialect - very clipped and abbreviated. It is Spanish, but sometimes its difficult to know what on earth they're saying lol!!! For example "Bwa" means buenas dias, "Porf" means porfavor - those are simple examples. You listen to a whole conversation/sentences with every other word an abbreviation it gets mighty confusing!!!

That said, if you learn to speak it correctly and ask them to speak slowly you should get to grips with it. In any case it seems most Spanish around here speak English - I find that quite hurtful when I've said something in my best Spanish, only to have them answer me in English - and to tell me to speak english please !!!!!!! I'm just about getting it now, I'mk okish with verb endings and sentence structures, I just need to build up my very limited vocabulary and my ability to speak without saying "um" after every couple of words!!!!

Jo xxx
 

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Málaga and its surrounding areas have their own dialect - very clipped and abbreviated. It is Spanish, but sometimes its difficult to know what on earth they're saying lol!!! For example "Bwa" means buenas dias, "Porf" means porfavor - those are simple examples. You listen to a whole conversation/sentences with every other word an abbreviation it gets mighty confusing!!!

That said, if you learn to speak it correctly and ask them to speak slowly you should get to grips with it. In any case it seems most Spanish around here speak English - I find that quite hurtful when I've said something in my best Spanish, only to have them answer me in English - and to tell me to speak english please !!!!!!! I'm just about getting it now, I'mk okish with verb endings and sentence structures, I just need to build up my very limited vocabulary and my ability to speak without saying "um" after every couple of words!!!!

Jo xxx
lol the first time I heard a true Andalucian speak I thought she was deaf!!

they seem to 'swallow' all the consonants!

they do still speak Castellano, though - it's just the accent that's hard to understand

I can now though - amazingly!
 

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In case you haven't seen them, here are some threads on the forum that have (possibly) interesting info for you.

As other people have said if I were you I'd steer clear of Latin American syle Spanish, although at a basic level it shouldn't matter too much.

People’s experiences of learning Spanish and some recommended sites for learning on page 2
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...iving-spain/39430-my-spanish-lessons-lol.html

Valenciano
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/spain-expat-forum-expats-living-spain/36265-pleasant-climate-just-one-language.html

Some recommendations here too
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/spain-expat-forum-expats-living-spain/34499-speaking-spanish.html
 

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lol the first time I heard a true Andalucian speak I thought she was deaf!!

they seem to 'swallow' all the consonants!

they do still speak Castellano, though - it's just the accent that's hard to understand

I can now though - amazingly!

Thats what we say here "they swallow their words"!!! My friends husband is Spanish and even when I ask him what something is in Spanish, I have trouble even repeating what he says cos I cant get the sounds - its soooo difficult!!

Jo xxx
 

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...... I will say something tho Ric, you reckon you're gonna learn Spanish in 6 months????????? I know I'm old and slow these days, but I've been here for 2 years and I'm nowhere near being fluent - I can just about get by for day to day things, but I could never hold a conversation.

...... and then of course there's the "street" spanish that the kids talk - which is something else LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Even the Spanish dont understand it!

Jo xxx
 

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Yes in this part of Spain the accent is a difficult one to understand. I remember when i first came on holiday here and was proud that I could if they had any fresh orange juice in the cafe and was understood. However, i was only expecting a simple yes or no answer and was completely thrown when I the reply was incomprehensible (to me). Now I know there is no such thing as a simple yes or no answer here, lol. I still think though that you have to persevere no matter how embarrassing it becomes.
A Lot of Spanish people do speak English and some, when they hear you struggling, like to answer in English, perhaps because they know they can speak English better than you can speak Spanish, or they are trying to be helpful, or they want to practise English. But I think you just have to brazen it out and insist on speaking Spanish however they respond. Its hard but it gets easier.

After nearly 7 years living here, i still have trouble though with the Andaluz accent, especially those from Seville.

Re South American Spanish, my son's father who is South American, said he couldnt understand anyone down here either when he first came here!

Caz.I
 

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I see zero reason to learn Latin-American Spanish when you have 1000s of castellano courses available.

The andalú (!) dialect is strong but it is based on Castillian Spanish and not American Spanish.

Stick to castellano and you will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Have you tried finding the local Malaga and Valencia radio stations on the net? When I first started I was told to listen until I recognised 10 words - note 'gol, gol, gol, gol, goooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllll' does not count as 5 words :)

* Always makes me laugh when you have your phrase already perfected and you make yourself as spanish as possible. The listener is very impressed and can only assume that you are fluent if not a native speaker. Sadly he/she doesn't stick to the script. You receive a torrent of words from which you can only decipher - Zapatero and mierda. The torrent clearly ends with a question. You nod smiling :D
Hola!

I'll start casually looking for another course to pick-up when I've finnished this one which is used with Spanish accents.

Note that the course I'm doing IS traditional castellano - but is with latin-american accents (I think).

I can completely imagine that situation happening at first, where you say something, get a barrage back, and just kind of smile... "yeah..... yeeeaaaaahhhhhhh.. . ."

Cheeres Pesky

...... I will say something tho Ric, you reckon you're gonna learn Spanish in 6 months?????????
Just basic - not fluent. I can learn basic by August - definately. I've already spent approx 14 hours on this current course, and I haven't gathered momentum yet.. ;) (haven't started listening to Spanish radio/TV and watching movies in Spanish etc - which I will start soon)

I have a friend who learnt portuguese in 6 months. He already knew some similiar languages and is somewhat of a "grammar expert." but never-the-less these things are doable when you really commit and focus.

One thing I am clear on though - it's not going to be a walk in the park. But that's alright, because most worth-while things provide a challenge.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also, out of interest, anyone have any experience with the online magazine "Think Spanish"...

It's quite an expensive subscription so I probably won't do it unless someone has a heavy recommendation.

I just like the idea of something which encourages you to "think Spanish" not just speak it.

As in, assist in cultural integration and thinking in Spanish as well as just learning to speak words.
 

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Also, out of interest, anyone have any experience with the online magazine "Think Spanish"...

It's quite an expensive subscription so I probably won't do it unless someone has a heavy recommendation.

I just like the idea of something which encourages you to "think Spanish" not just speak it.

As in, assist in cultural integration and thinking in Spanish as well as just learning to speak words.

I've not heard of it???

Thinking in Spanish is the key, but I'm not sure that its something we can do as an adult cos we already have the words imbedded in our brains (or maybe its just me!), but thats how kids learn - in fact there are a fair few words that my friends bilingual kids dont know in English!!

jo xxx
 

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All this reminds me of a chat I had with a Brit here in California..We were discussing language in general..I asked him a few questions about expressions I've picked up from my Britcoms (Only Fools and Horses, etc to which I am ADDICTED), such as "lovely jubbly"..He said that GB and the US are" 2 countries divided by a common language"..that pretty much sums up dialects and regional accents!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I've not heard of it???

Thinking in Spanish is the key, but I'm not sure that its something we can do as an adult cos we already have the words imbedded in our brains (or maybe its just me!), but thats how kids learn - in fact there are a fair few words that my friends bilingual kids dont know in English!!

jo xxx
There is a term called "neuroplasticity" which describes the function of the brain's neural pathways to change - in other words the higher your neuroplasticity the easier it is to "reprogram" what's in your head.

Like you say Jojo, it's commonly accepted that neuroplasticity tends to decline with age, being very high in early infanthood, and being very low later on.

However, there's plenty of things you can do to up your neuroplasticity too. Regular study, eating certain foods and whatnot (check it on wikipedia).

But the one which I do a lot of and which studies have shown to increase neuroplasticity A LOT (there's a great google video on the subject) is mindfulness meditation (relaxation, focus on the breath, and practicing disattachment with respect to thoughts.)

And from another perspective...

All you really have to do is condition yourself to a few new habits. If you remind yourself to choose B rather than A every time you make the choice for the next week, you'll start choosing B automatically.

In my experience habits are actually I lot easier to create than people think. It doesn't take 3 weeks or 3 months. It just takes 1 week of solid commitment.

But I think I'll need about another 500 words (which is... approx 5-6 weeks off if I learn 100 words a week) in my Spanish vocab before I can consider complex stuff like putting spanish thoughts in my head ;)

I'm actually planning on spending a whole day next weekend immersed in Spanish (with little to no contact with English at all apart from the English reader on the audio course), I'm predicting that I'll have dreams FILLED with Spanish... and we'll see what happens the next day before I devise some more ideas...

Rich
 

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There is a term called "neuroplasticity" which describes the function of the brain's neural pathways to change - in other words the higher your neuroplasticity the easier it is to "reprogram" what's in your head.

Like you say Jojo, it's commonly accepted that neuroplasticity tends to decline with age, being very high in early infanthood, and being very low later on.

However, there's plenty of things you can do to up your neuroplasticity too. Regular study, eating certain foods and whatnot (check it on wikipedia).

But the one which I do a lot of and which studies have shown to increase neuroplasticity A LOT (there's a great google video on the subject) is mindfulness meditation (relaxation, focus on the breath, and practicing disattachment with respect to thoughts.)

And from another perspective...

All you really have to do is condition yourself to a few new habits. If you remind yourself to choose B rather than A every time you make the choice for the next week, you'll start choosing B automatically.

In my experience habits are actually I lot easier to create than people think. It doesn't take 3 weeks or 3 months. It just takes 1 week of solid commitment.

But I think I'll need about another 500 words (which is... approx 5-6 weeks off if I learn 100 words a week) in my Spanish vocab before I can consider complex stuff like putting spanish thoughts in my head ;)

I'm actually planning on spending a whole day next weekend immersed in Spanish (with little to no contact with English at all apart from the English reader on the audio course), I'm predicting that I'll have dreams FILLED with Spanish... and we'll see what happens the next day before I devise some more ideas...

Rich
Right! Well I think I'll leave my neuroplasticity just as it is for now lol. If I remember rightly, this is how they help stroke victims isnt it. I'm learning slowly but surely. I still think you should come and listen and immerse yourself in the real thing before forging new pathways in your brain!!

jo xxxx
 

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There is a term called "neuroplasticity" which describes the function of the brain's neural pathways to change - in other words the higher your neuroplasticity the easier it is to "reprogram" what's in your head.

Like you say Jojo, it's commonly accepted that neuroplasticity tends to decline with age, being very high in early infanthood, and being very low later on.

However, there's plenty of things you can do to up your neuroplasticity too. Regular study, eating certain foods and whatnot (check it on wikipedia).

But the one which I do a lot of and which studies have shown to increase neuroplasticity A LOT (there's a great google video on the subject) is mindfulness meditation (relaxation, focus on the breath, and practicing disattachment with respect to thoughts.)

And from another perspective...

All you really have to do is condition yourself to a few new habits. If you remind yourself to choose B rather than A every time you make the choice for the next week, you'll start choosing B automatically.

In my experience habits are actually I lot easier to create than people think. It doesn't take 3 weeks or 3 months. It just takes 1 week of solid commitment.

But I think I'll need about another 500 words (which is... approx 5-6 weeks off if I learn 100 words a week) in my Spanish vocab before I can consider complex stuff like putting spanish thoughts in my head ;)

I'm actually planning on spending a whole day next weekend immersed in Spanish (with little to no contact with English at all apart from the English reader on the audio course), I'm predicting that I'll have dreams FILLED with Spanish... and we'll see what happens the next day before I devise some more ideas...

Rich
This is why this forum is one of the best:clap2: Points of view intelligently & succinctly put, maybe not to agreeable to us all but eloquent as always. You all do it and as much as I appreciate the thought provoking and undoubtedly well researched posts I have to say there are times (quite a few actually) when I literally have no idea what you are talking about..........& this is one of those times (again).

My take on this subject?....... I think I'll stick with "Monkey see(hear), monkey do"



Doggy


p.s. I was going to use "Doggy" instead of "Monkey" but obviously, if you follow it through there was going to be a bit of a problem:D
 

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This is why this forum is one of the best:clap2: Points of view intelligently & succinctly put, maybe not to agreeable to us all but eloquent as always. You all do it and as much as I appreciate the thought provoking and undoubtedly well researched posts I have to say there are times (quite a few actually) when I literally have no idea what you are talking about..........& this is one of those times (again).

My take on this subject?....... I think I'll stick with "Monkey see(hear), monkey do"



Doggy


p.s. I was going to use "Doggy" instead of "Monkey" but obviously, if you follow it through there was going to be a bit of a problem:D

Doggie, you're lovely LOL!!!! You never fail to make me laugh out loud!!!!!!!

Jo xxx
 

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Right! Well I think I'll leave my neuroplasticity just as it is for now lol. If I remember rightly, this is how they help stroke victims isnt it. I'm learning slowly but surely. I still think you should come and listen and immerse yourself in the real thing before forging new pathways in your brain!!

jo xxxx
HA!! You GO girl!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Right! Well I think I'll leave my neuroplasticity just as it is for now lol. If I remember rightly, this is how they help stroke victims isnt it. I'm learning slowly but surely. I still think you should come and listen and immerse yourself in the real thing before forging new pathways in your brain!!

jo xxxx
Personal development is my forte Jojo, but each to their own. :)

Either way, I will be speaking, reading and writing basic Spanish in 5 months time.

Interpreting/listening... well that could be the harder part which I only learn when I get there.
 
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