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Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:39 pm
by nikotromus
I got of the boat 4 months ago not knowing more than a dozen Spanish words. Since then I've been hitting it hard. I've completed both the Dualingo and Memrise apps for Spanish and had a bunch of tutoring sessions with a native Chilean speaker.

I'm at the level where I can complete basic business transactions without problems. I know the vocabulary for just about everything - at least a basic word to call something. I can read Spanish no problem (might have to look a couple words up). I can speak Spanish when I have enough time to think about what I'm going to say. But hearing Spanish? Forget it. It's by far the hardest part of the equation. I'm not sure how to get myself over the hump. The best idea I have come up with is to put an add out to rent out a room at my place to a native Chilean rent free with the condition that he/she talk only in Spanish and try their best to make me understand what they are saying.

Any other ideas on how I can pick up Spanish quicker?

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:16 pm
by Rhodolite
Perhaps you need a copy of: How to Survive in the Chilean Jungle Paperback – 2006
by Alvaro Taboada John Bren Alvaro Taboada

Or - ask people to speak Chileano more slowly.

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:29 pm
by frozen-north
nikotromus wrote:
But hearing Spanish? Forget it. It's by far the hardest part of the equation. I'm not sure how to get myself over the hump. The best idea I have come up with is to put an add out to rent out a room at my place to a native Chilean rent free with the condition that he/she talk only in Spanish and try their best to make me understand what they are saying.
Not a good idea. What if the renter likes to talk about topics you don't care about? Snooker? Knitting?
Any other ideas on how I can pick up Spanish quicker?
I haven't heard of quick ways to improve on the skill to make sense of fast talkers, which is what you said is your current problem.

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:33 pm
by Donnybrook
It takes time. I was fully bilingual when I arrived here and it was a nightmare trying to understand people. It does get easier and I suspect I am now just as incomprehensible to a newcomer. The more you interact the more your ear gets used to the speed, dropped endings of words and local slang!

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:12 pm
by Britkid
Get some drinking buddies, a girlfriend/boyfriend, and some favourite TV programmes in Spanish. Have the TV on in Spanish a lot when at home. Or the radio.

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:10 pm
by at46
Sign up to Chilean FB groups of your interest to read people's comments. After some hard break-in you'll start getting how they say things and you'll be able to hear it when they say it. For IT groups try Chile Start Up, for cooking Cocinero y Chef de Chile.

Also read people's comments in online newspapers etc.

Install Reverso Context to be able to translate and look up contexts for words and phrases.

Watch Chilean telenovellas http://www.mega.cl/capitulos-completos/ and read FB pages of some of the actors.

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:15 pm
by at46
Also, maybe find a language exchange buddy. I should actually do that myself :)

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:57 pm
by David_Bro
Chilean tele-novelas in two words (sic) "Im-pressionasionante"-----make a habit of creating a route every day where you see the same people----panaderia, botilleria, kiosko, la ferreteria, el bazaar, peluqueria, el majordomo, guardia etc...----a little cafe or lunch place----create an environment where you are included and they will have patience with you as you move forward and you will learn and can try out what new words you have learned---and just the same where you are lacking, they will make you aware of what you need to know-----I think its also important to greet formally in the old Chilean way, as well as bid adieu, to everyone and it will come----talk up the taxi guys and eavesdrop on conversations around you where ever you may be-----maybe you are not buying the papers but read the headlines----pay attention to commercials and have the radio on as much as you can-----

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Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:10 pm
by eeuunikkeiexpat
Welcome back Sr. Bro.

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:18 pm
by Donnybrook
If you are in Santiago there are a lot of informal language exchange meet-ups. Those might help.

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:54 am
by nwdiver
nikotromus wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:39 pm
I got of the boat 4 months ago not knowing more than a dozen Spanish words. Since then I've been hitting it hard. I've completed both the Dualingo and Memrise apps for Spanish and had a bunch of tutoring sessions with a native Chilean speaker.

I'm at the level where I can complete basic business transactions without problems. I know the vocabulary for just about everything - at least a basic word to call something. I can read Spanish no problem (might have to look a couple words up). I can speak Spanish when I have enough time to think about what I'm going to say. But hearing Spanish? Forget it. It's by far the hardest part of the equation. I'm not sure how to get myself over the hump. The best idea I have come up with is to put an add out to rent out a room at my place to a native Chilean rent free with the condition that he/she talk only in Spanish and try their best to make me understand what they are saying.

Any other ideas on how I can pick up Spanish quicker?

Find a student to use the room, maybe you'll find someone studying education or Spanish...........

Re: Spanish is hard

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:58 am
by nikotromus
Thanks for the advice guys...