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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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We are planning on learning 'Castilian' Spanish and are having trouble choosing a CD/DVD series We would also like if there was some Catalán.


Living in Canada, the only courses available are all based on Latin American Spanish... We can order Roseta Stone Spanish(Spain) although the one in the stores is Latin American Spanish.
We've heard some very mixed reviews for this series and given the expense were sure there must be other courses equally as good at a fraction of the cost..

Any Recommendations?

Thanks
 

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Michel Thomas is very good. You can buy cd's or as an iPhone app.
Michael Thomas is easy to follow but i foudn he makes too many generalisations and applies rules but doesnt go into the exceptions enough which leads to mistakes later.. I think its ok for someone travelling but if you are settling then there is no substitution for lessons… better still talking with spaniards… some websites such as live mocha allow you to practice and be assessed by natives (although warning the spanish is mainly south american spanish!).
 

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Look for past threads where there are loads of suggestions. Scroll to the end of this page and you'll a few suggwstions there.
I always recommend the BBC courses Mi Vida Loca and Spanish Steps. Excellent and free. Look here
BBC - Languages - Spanish: All you need to start learning Spanish
I thought Michael Thomas was Latin Spanish as well??
 

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I liked Michel Thomas. Also I'd suggest Assimil Spanish With Ease, which is a good book with audio (make sure to get the CDs if you buy it) and teaches lots of vocabulary. It's available in Canada for sure - depending on where you are in B.C., obviously, or on Amazon if nowhere else.

It's Spain Spanish and everyone has very nice accents. An old-fashioned method but pretty painless and very useful.
 

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It depends how much Spanish you already know, but for beginners, I think the Rocket Spanish lessons are quite good (you can google them), as you can download them onto an MP3 and carry them around with you (and hopefully absorb them more).
I think they may be more Latin than Spanish, but we found them useful as starters.
But I think for beginners, any start (as long as it's not too expensive) is good and gets you on the road to learning.
Once you have a basic grasp of the language, you will be in a better position to choose a more advanced course suitable for you.

Can't help you with Catalan though. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all for your responses and helpful suggestions, Pesky Wesky what a great link, I look forward to exploring it.

Being the impatient sort I've ordered a CD from Amazon, it sounds as if it's 'Spanish' rather than Latin American.. Will let you know what we think of it. Hubbies birthday tomorrow (guess that's today for you on GMT) So I can tell him he has a pressie on the way!! lol

I'm afraid our Spanish is limited to ordering a glass of wine, draught beer as well as an extensive list of favourite Tapa's!
 
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well worth the small investment is the practice makes perfect series of books, especially anything by Dorthy Richmond.
 

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well worth the small investment is the practice makes perfect series of books, especially anything by Dorthy Richmond.
Yes, these are brilliant - but again, they are based on American Spanish so for "car" they say carro instead of coche and for computer they use computadora instead of ordenador.
 

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Thanks all for your responses and helpful suggestions, Pesky Wesky what a great link, I look forward to exploring it.
It's got bigger and better since the last time I looked.
It's full of "real" Spanish, spoken with authentic Spanish accents. Check out the swearing section as even if you don't want to use those words, you'll certainly get a lot of exposure to them once you are here :)
I can't say that you'll "learn Spanish" from them, but thwy will provide a great base on which to build
 

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One thing I would point out is that there's no "one size fits all" language course....even if it's promoted as ES Spanish.
Simply because there are numerous variations of dialect according to location.
If you did an indepth Spanish course and them came to an extremely rural backwater like where I live, you'd be gobsmacked. You'd wonder what the hell they're saying because it would bear very little resemblance to what you've learned.
Think of learning formal English in a London language school and then going into inner city Glasgow.

You may think that people will actually still understand you if you're saying it correctly.....but my experience is in many cases they don't. Their ears are tuned in to their dialect in very rural areas and any slight deviation from their norm results in "¿Que?".

This isn't just applicable to the average people, even professionals are the same.
Two years ago I was telling somebody that the donkey had a problem with Flys and Mosquitoes....so I used the word "Moscas".
Which resulted in a totally bewildered look until I pronounced it "Mokka". And that somebody was the Dept of Agriculture Vet!
It isn't just the way they say something.....they even leave parts of words out!
Talawaygo aka Hasta Luego! :confused:
 

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This isn't just applicable to the average people, even professionals are the same.
Two years ago I was telling somebody that the donkey had a problem with Flys and Mosquitoes....so I used the word "Moscas".
Which resulted in a totally bewildered look until I pronounced it "Mokka". And that somebody was the Dept of Agriculture Vet!
It isn't just the way they say something.....they even leave parts of words out!
Talawaygo aka Hasta Luego! :confused:
So true. Even the Canal Sur (local TV) presenters say mokka.
 

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Don't forget the mannerism and body language that has to accompany the words.....
Like "Po"......with a flick of the head like a horse turning away. (That's where it originated apparently so may only be used in equine regions).

And let's not forget "agua"...pronounced "agwaaaaaaaaa" which has to be delivered in a semi crouch like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and one eye closed like Long John Silver.

My particularly favourite is the perennial "tocame los huevos"....said without any "s" of course, and must be accompanied with a waving of hands in a raised arm position while simultaneously turning away and then back.

Also in this region to add more complication there are elements of Murciano involved....with the compulsory noise at the end of the last word like a clockwork toy running out of power....."Acabo" is......"Acaboooooooooooow" as in rhymes with "cow".

After the years I've spent here I now sound to people like a Frenchman (because of the melodious Welsh accent) impersonating a rural Spanish peasant. Which isn't exactly the persona I had in mind.

Though in short bursts I have got away with being mistaken for Andaluz but only by cutting out half the words, talking at 100mph without drawing breath, using excessive profanties and continually morphing from one ludicrous body position to another.
Just too tiring to do on a regular basis.....but it's good shock value at the time when they find out they've been duped by a Guiri! :D
 
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