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millie

A few questions

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As suggested by the moderator some months ago, I purchased Rosetta Stone. I'm enjoying it, but there is no English instruction at all. We're talking about pictures and Spanish text and pronunciation. This "immersion" forces one to try to figure out things alone. My problem, at times, is that I'm not sure I've figured it out correctly.

I am assuming that "estaba" instead of "esta`" mean something like "was" instead of "is".

For instance, we'll have a picture showing a guy with his mouth open. The text will read: "La boca de hombre esta` abierta." Then we'll have a picture of the same guy with his mouth shut. The word "estaba" is substituted for "esta`."

I'm having immense difficulties trying to figure out what "que tenia" means in some of those pictures also.

And obviously, I can't make the accent marks go where I intend them to go.

Straighten out my thinking, please. And give me some examples so that I might be able to catch on a little more easily. Thanks in advance. :blink:

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Rosetta is great, but it can't do it all. You need to have a good, fat dictionary at your side, and maybe another practice lesson book. Or several. :-) I like the Larousse dictionary, and "Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish," both of which are available at the Bugambillas bookstore. I'm no expert -- my Spanish is at the Village I d i o t level -- but I think you need to just keep plowing ahead with as many resources as you can find.

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IMHO, the Madrigal book is the least likely to help you learn Spanish. It's poorly organized, badly written, and non-intuitive. I have it and have read it, but I never recommended it to my students.

Spanish Now! is a much better learning tool. The beginning book includes a CD which would supplement the Rosetta Stone CDs.

The Larousse dictionary is excellent.

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Wow. Well, esperanza's the expert. I also have "Spanish Now!" and liked it, too, when I went through it several years ago. I mentioned "Madrigal's" because it's a more recent acquisition, and I've found some helpful stuff in it. I think my point was (is) that you should not rely on any ONE resource to learn about ANY subject, whether it's Spanish or string theory or the US Civil War. I know that everyone learns differently, but practice, practice, practice seems to be a standard for language -- and that's Rosetta's idea. And, don't forget in-person classes...

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I don't know grammar in any language and prefer not to learn it at this late date. As such, I found 'Madrigal's' approach very helpful. Esperanza probably knows grammar and already spoke Spanish when she evaluated 'Madrigal's'. I also like the large Larousse Dictionary's completeness, 'Spanish Three Years' as a workbook and classes with a native Spanish speaking, experienced teacher. I have never seen 'Rosetta Stone' but any tapes, CDs, local papers or other reading sources are all very helpful. If you have Telecable, watch some of the classic movies in Spanish; the dialogue is slower, the story-line is often easy to follow and you'll soon have your ear in 'tune'.

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Wow. I'm printing this out. Thanks so much.

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Millie:

I recently saw a version of Rosetta Stone and I thought it was a somewhat decent product (with the emphasis on somewhat), but when I was told the price I could not believe it. I think what they are charging is way out of line for what they deliver. I also feel that there are much better resources out there than Rosetta Stone. I've seen the R.S. ads on CNN and they are very seductive, but really, unless a person is extremely gifted in learning languages, it comes down to perseverence and massive amounts of exposure to the language one is trying to learn. I have talked to people who think that by hiring a tutor for an hour a week they are going to learn Spanish. Not likely, if that is all they are doing. We recently had some friends from the States visit, and they brought two kids, one a four year old. He has had a full-time tutor for four years (mommy) and his English is OK at best. Anyway, enough of that. Good luck with your Spanish.

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Couldn't agree with you more on rosetta stone. There is no English dictionary or work book

Two examples . There is a pic of a guy riding a horse and later a guy riding a motorcycle. I guessed that the verb "to ride" differs depending on what you are riding.

They showed 4 pics with 4 phrases thast you match up. I easily figured what 3 of the pics were doing but the fourth of the polar bear I do not know what he was doing. Through the process of elemination i was able to guess polar bear.

Did I learn any thing---no

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I am rather thrilled and overwhelmed by both websites. Unfortunately, Rosetta Stone set me back monetarily, so I'll have to wait on that last one. Thanks guys.

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Millie: Re: ROSETTA STONE - try finding it in your local Library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get a loaner from another library.

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...which means it is stolen software.

I would suggest that we not support illegal activities in Mexico, but that would probably get me flamed. B)

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Although a very late post, I'd like to suggest another vehicle for tuning ones ear. I know this is probably going to sound weird for a 55yo guy, but I really enjoy Japanese Anime (cartoons). Now I'm not suggesting that you become a nerd like me (and proud of it), but rather that if you find some older cartoons, widely available LEGALLY to download on the net (out of copyright) and in the Spanish (just a little more difficult to find), you'll find that your understanding of what is going on goes a long way towards hearing words and phrases. Oh, I almost forgot, as Anime is Japanese in origin the primary language it of course Japanese. There are also English and Spanish language version available with and without subtitles. Along the way I have picked up some Japanese! If you are not a netophile you may PM me for sites to download Spanish language cartoons, programs, movies, etc.

deGimp

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