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Old 28th October 2006, 10:10 AM   #1
landlady
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Talking my intercambio on skype

As requested.

I had my first chat using skype http://www.skype.com/helloagain.html last night with my new language buddy Marta. I found the conversation really clear using my laptop with a usb headset with mic. I had already set it up for skype, going through the sound checks to make sure I was getting the best out of it.

I'm not sure why Marta needs to practice her English because it is absolutely fluent! I think I only had to correct her once, when she said she took her dog to the doctors (rather than vets) she has been studying for over 10 years and has a Canadian friend who she regularly practices with. I think she just loves the English language and likes to help others with their Spanish.

We spent the most part of our hour long conversation speaking in Spanish. Everything I have been studying went right out of the window as I struggled to use even the most basic sentences correctly at first. I think I was trying to speak at a normal pace and was unable to do this AND think through the verb endings for the tense I was trying to use, plus the fact that in normal conversation you need to jump about all over the place with your use of tenses - I am, I did that, He would like to do that, If I could I would do this etc. etc. on top of that my vocabulary is very limited as I am trying to learn the structure of the language first, so I can use it with all the new words I learn. Anyway, Marta was very patient with me and somehow we managed to have a decent conversation getting to know one another. I found that I could understand her quite well, so whilst at first she talked slowly, she soon quickened up

After 40 minutes of so, I found that my Spanish was getting worse and told Marta that I think we should continue in English as my concentration was diminishing and my head hurt which she found funny, so we continued in English for the last 20 mins.

We arranged to have another chat next week and during the week Marta is going to set me some exercises for me to do in Spanish via email, so that we can discuss this in our next skype session. I couldn't be more pleased to have found someone so willing to help me. Now that we have done a general, get to know you chat, we can spend some time on actual grammar on different tenses that I need to work on.

I hope that Ben & Marina manage to get more of us into intercambio meetings. I would be happy to help a Spanish person who is struggling with their English. It is quite daunting at first to try out the language you have been studying in class or in books with a real live person, but everyone in an intercambio get together is in the same boat so will be very understanding, and it really is an excellent way to practice using the language, especially when you can do so in the comfort of your own home.

Jan
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Old 28th October 2006, 11:42 AM   #2
Tony
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Well done landlady!

Really pleased it went well and you enjoyed it so much. Now that you live in spain you can go outside, find a local and practice your spanish but its a bit more difficult living in the UK.

Skype sounds good to me and I would be up for it on NFS.
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Old 28th October 2006, 11:53 AM   #3
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. Now that you live in spain you can go outside, find a local and practice your spanish but its a bit more difficult living in the UK.
You're right! And it can vary a great deal in UK, depending on where you live. I often read of groups that meet with loads of native speaking Spanish members, whereas we have one meeting a month and normally don't have any native speaking members.
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Old 28th October 2006, 12:10 PM   #4
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You're right! And it can vary a great deal in UK, depending on where you live. I often read of groups that meet with loads of native speaking Spanish members, whereas we have one meeting a month and normally don't have any native speaking members.

I have a formal conversational class for 2 hours every tue at the local college and frequent a local tapas restaurantes in Newcastle upon Tyne ~ "El Torero" and "El Coto" I would recommend both. Only problem is keeping my weight down as I love to practice my spanish!!!

Maybe Skype is the way ahead to avoid a bulging waistline ... ja ja ja !!
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Old 28th October 2006, 12:17 PM   #5
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I agree that it should be much more easier for me to simply go out and chat with a Spanish person. However, this has proved a bit more difficult than you would think. Locally, most of the Spanish want to practice their English as money is to be made from us from all sorts of businesses Even the waiters, shop assistants etc. take the opportunity to answer back in English when I ask something in Spanish. This is a bit of an excuse though I admit, as I could travel just off the urb and have the World and his friends to speak to. I just have to get over my shyness in doing this!! even though I probably come over as very confident within forums like these, I do find it a bit daunting to start conversations off with complete strangers, and especially in Spanish when I am all too aware of making myself look an idiot by saying things wrong.... I tried joining a local Spanish womans group that were having a 2 week course at the local village hall for a variety of activities. I pushed myself to going on my own and pushed myself to join in with a large group of woman who were playing cards that night. I didn't have a clue what was going on, and whilst they kindly pulled a chair over for me at one of the tables, they obviously wanted to get on with their game and chat with their friends, not hand hold a nervous English woman who couldn't join in their fast paced conversations. I hardly said more than a few sentences - it was quite uncomfortable sitting there watching and not an experience I am in a hurry to repeat. I did try on one more occasion, but that was a talk given by three young Spanish men to a room full of mature women, telling them how to safeguard their homes for young children !!! It went on for 2 hours with no escape route Surprisingly a few of the elderly ladies seemed quite enthusiastic about this lecture - small village mentality here is a far cry from cosmopolitan Towns & Cities in Spain.
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Old 28th October 2006, 12:32 PM   #6
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I have a formal conversational class for 2 hours every tue at the local college and frequent a local tapas restaurantes in Newcastle upon Tyne ~ "El Torero" and "El Coto" I would recommend both. Only problem is keeping my weight down as I love to practice my spanish!!!

Maybe Skype is the way ahead to avoid a bulging waistline ... ja ja ja !!
I could definitely do with 2 hour conversational classe every week, I'm jealous. We did have a girl from Barcelona briefly, but that only lasted about 2 months before she returned to Spain. Also had a lady from Chile for a while, but she has given up doing classes, so once again I find myself with no classes to attend.
Tapas bars! I wish! Nothing like that where I live.
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Old 28th October 2006, 02:07 PM   #7
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landlady, how did you meet Marta?
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Old 28th October 2006, 02:50 PM   #8
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Through this website http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/ You need to take the bulls by the horns though and pay your €5 for a Months membership so that you can contact the many people who have registered an interest there, rather than just post a free message in the hope that someone will contact you. You can filter your choices - I would recommend that you chose someone roughly around your own age, so that you have more in common to chat about and if you are married, someone your own sex might keep your better half happier about you having late night chats with someone in a foreign language - if single - no problem. Don't contact too many at once. I tried this a few years ago with 5 people and all 5 responded too many to email and chat with. This time I started off with two, one responded but didn't continue, then I tried again with two more and Marta responded.

Hopefully Ben & Marina are thinking up ways of expanding their intercambio section so we have lots of Spanish people on this site to chat with on skype or messenger too
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Old 29th October 2006, 01:37 PM   #9
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I saw that you used the skype system successfully. I am enrolled in it - but fear that the long distance costs from Spain to the US would be to expensive. Do you have any knowledge about that. I hope you continue to enjoy it. If you would like to practise Spanish online with me I'd love it. I think we have much in common....retired, children, love 24 (usually watch the season on CDs), desire to improve ability to speak spanish. By the way, I am at an intermediate level.
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Old 29th October 2006, 02:18 PM   #10
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I saw that you used the skype system successfully. I am enrolled in it - but fear that the long distance costs from Spain to the US would be to expensive.
It's free! So long as you have Skype on your computer, and the person you want to talk to has it, it doesn't cost a cent! And the quality is excellent.
If you wish to use Skype to call actual telephone numbers(rather than a computer) then you have to pay, although it's very little. I'm in UK, but use Skype to talk freely with Spain, Sweden and even Australia.
What are you waiting for, get talking!
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Old 29th October 2006, 08:18 PM   #11
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Hi Landlay,

It seems like Marta is just the intercambio you were looking for!
I'm very glad you've found her!

I think it was very brave of you to join the town hall course. From my experience learning English I used to find very exhausting following a conversation between 3 or 4 people, now it only happens when I'm very tired. My suggestion is that when you are not used to talk, it is easier to focus in one person as he/she will also make the effort to grade her language a little bit and the conversation will follow your own rhythm.

Last edited by Marina; 29th October 2006 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 30th October 2006, 08:52 AM   #12
landlady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty View Post
I saw that you used the skype system successfully. I am enrolled in it - but fear that the long distance costs from Spain to the US would be to expensive. Do you have any knowledge about that. I hope you continue to enjoy it. If you would like to practise Spanish online with me I'd love it. I think we have much in common....retired, children, love 24 (usually watch the season on CDs), desire to improve ability to speak spanish. By the way, I am at an intermediate level.
I would be very happy to practise Spanish with you Patty. I think I'm about intermediate level too. It might be good to practise Spanish with another English speaker who is roughly at the same level and has a desire to learn the language - we could help each other out and hopefully expand our knowledge together. I have sent you a pm with my email and skype name. Download the free skype, you will need a microphone headset and then we can arrange a trial run at a time to suit us both.
Jan
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Old 30th October 2006, 09:00 AM   #13
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Thanks for posting about your experiences Jan, 2 hours on how to safeguard your home for kids !!! Enough to put most people off for life
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