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Old 26th June 2009, 03:36 AM   #141
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I am back in the US now, my time studying in Spain is over

Still I wanted to say thank you!!! I finally started listening to the more of the podcasts as a way to keep my spanish up to date, for the past few days I have been listening to about 2 or 3 per day while driving or cleaning. Yesterday I listened to 3 while driving from OC to LA during rush hour traffic, and then last night, for the first time ever, I dreamed in spanish!!!! this never even happened while I was living in Spain. I just dreamed that I was having conversations with a friend and switching between spanish and english. anyways, I don't think that would've happened if I hadn't listened to those podcasts so now I always have spanish phrases floating around my head (like it or not)

my current program to practice & improve my spanish in the US:
  • reading Harry Potter 3 (slowly, don't have much time for this with work and all)
  • listening to the advanced podcasts in on my ipod whenever I have time (these are good because I actually understand 90% of what is said and sometimes I listen twice if I want to jot down interesting phrases that I pick up)
  • listening to spanish radio stations or spanish music on my ipod (i have a playlist) when I am working out or not listening to podcasts
  • watching a spanish sitcom called "Fisica o Quimica" online. go to to watch it. I probably only understand 60-70% of what is said but I like it because it is realistically the way people speak on the streets, and so it's a very good challenging spanish workout.
  • I talk to my spanish coworker Ricard in spanish whenever I get a chance, and he appreciates the chance to finally be understood! I understand his struggles after living in Spain for 5 months.
  • using Netflix to order spanish movies - haven't watched any yet, but plan on watching "Y Tu Mama Tambien" & "Mar Adentro" asap.

That's about it! Good luck everyone in your spanish learning programs. You will get there eventually it takes a lot of struggles.....If this gives people hope, a year ago I was retaking "Spanish 2," relearning all the grammar and verbs almost from scratch since it had been 3 years since I last studied it in high school. One year later (and with lots and lots of practice and struggles!) I can finally understand and be understood! there is still so much more to learn...but its fun!!!
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Old 1st July 2009, 12:48 PM   #142
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Thumbs up Mis probados

I love the language but cannot speak it as yet. Had attended some classes a few years ago. Recently revised the 1st level which covers the present tense. Have taught some earnest learners el nivel uno y lo pienso ahora bastante bien. Now I am in the midst of revising the past tense.

The NIS Beginners Podcasts are very helpful. I try to listen to them 2-3 times a week. This is the only spanish I get to hear.

Reading a spanish book. Somewhere I had read that one should not reach out for the dictionary but try to grasp what is read. Don't know if this helps, but trying to do that.

I try to translate a "quote" everyday and for this I do have to refer to the dictionary sometimes.
Lo probo traducción una cita todos los días y por eso tengo referir a la diccionario a veces.

I hope that one day I will get an opportunity to live in Spain so that I will be able to speak spanish fluently. Una día espero que aprovechar una ocasión para vivir en España para que podré hablar español con fluidez.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 07:14 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by alma hermosa View Post
I love the language but cannot speak it as yet. Had attended some classes a few years ago. Recently revised the 1st level which covers the present tense. Have taught some earnest learners el nivel uno y lo pienso ahora bastante bien. Now I am in the midst of revising the past tense.

The NIS Beginners Podcasts are very helpful. I try to listen to them 2-3 times a week. This is the only spanish I get to hear.

Reading a spanish book. Somewhere I had read that one should not reach out for the dictionary but try to grasp what is read. Don't know if this helps, but trying to do that.

I try to translate a "quote" everyday and for this I do have to refer to the dictionary sometimes.
Intento traduccir una cita todos los días y por eso tengo que referir al diccionario a veces.

I hope that one day I will get an opportunity to live in Spain so that I will be able to speak spanish fluently. Espero que un día aproveche una oportunidad de vivir en España para que pueda hablar en español con fluidez.

Good work, keep it up!
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Old 11th July 2009, 01:52 AM   #144
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Hi everyone from Holland.

I have been looking for a good forum and this seems to be just what I have been looking for.. Excuse me for writing in English for now please since I have only been studying Spanish for about 6 weeks (even if with some intensity) for clarity purposes it is probably best that I should stick to English in this post.

A lot of very good suggestions in this topic really in fact some sites (such as Albalearning) I discovered myself also, I just wish I had come to this forum before I would have discovered it earlier..

I thought I would share with you some of the treasures I have been digging up in my search on the web as well, and share some of my experiences..(I hope I am not mentioning things that have been menioned before but I did not see them in this topic I think) I have to say I am learning it all on my own (i.e. no class or tutors, just on the web, books and intercambio) so, not sure if it will be equally helpful to everyone but sofar this ' eclectic' approach seems to work for me. :-)

Like for many of you I really feel podcasts are so very helpful... :-) Especially if they have the full transcripts and exercises. Furthermore, reading newspaper articles, listening to radio and watching series/ tv/ sometimes a movie with English or Dutch subtitles..


I think this site is really great..It's run by a family in Spain.
They have all kinds of different podcasts (texts about fotographs, conversations, bits out of paper, radio and tv as well).
All are accompanied by full transcripts of the text, downloadable mp3's/podcasts and exercises. Alld for free and they have new additions at least 2 times a week.
The podcasts are on 5 levels, from absolute beginner to quite advanced (level 0 to 4).


Also very good for free podcasts on three levels (beginners, intermediate and advanced), also bits of tv. They have been less active since about a month or so but normally they do come up with regular updates.


A good site containing lots of exercises for vocabulary and verbs/ conjugations.


Verbix is a tool for conjugations for many languages in fact, you can download it as well. Very handy tool to quickly look up something with the extensive conjugations of the Spanish verbs...

5. Sites for intercambio/ language tandem:




On this site you can listen to many radiostations in Spain with live-stream.

7. TV-sites:


(Mostly local tv/ broadcastings)

(Podcasts, grammar and tv-bits :-))


The last one has a LOT of American tv series in Spanish (under TSExtranjeras/ Indice de E-links). You must register in order to be able to download them and probably you will need emule (which you can download for free, just be careful because apparantly there are imposters who want money..)

Once you have downloaded them you can then simply add the subtitles yourself, many can be found on numerous sites on the web e.g. here:
Simply download the subtitle file, put it in the same folder where the avi or mpeg or whatever it is, is that you wish to subtitle and give it the same name as your video record/ videofile. Playing it in mediaplayer, realplayer or winamp should work just fine. :-)


This is a great site to download many free ebooks and audiobooks/ video' s, films and material of all kinds. (In fact for many languages..)

On the sistersite you can download literature books for free.

You have to register (for free) in order to be able to download things , you can use the same login details on both sites.


Free tool/ downloadable software with different kinds of exercises in several languages ao Spanish (I think it has about 2000 words in the Spanish database) you can do e.g. crosswords , which makes for a nice change instead of the same usual vocabulary-drill..

Well I hope some of these sites will be useful to other people as well as for me they have been very helpful sofar in terms of learning, listening and getting in touch with Spanish speaking people for intercambio/ mutual practise.

Thank you all for your own helpful suggestions, I hope we will be in touch in this forum because I can truely relate to what many of you have written (especially about the ever fluctuating learning curve.. ) I was getting very impatient with myself (yes already...) and it was very helpful to know that other people experienced similar setbacks ... Misery loves company..

Still loving it though and like you all, more determined than ever not to give up !!!!

Last edited by Polvorones; 11th July 2009 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 11th July 2009, 08:56 AM   #145
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Polvorones - you've had a busy 6 weeks! Thanks for all those links and good luck with the studies.
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Old 11th July 2009, 10:02 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Polvorones - you've had a busy 6 weeks! Thanks for all those links and good luck with the studies.
Haha gracias!!....yes you are quite right, I've been ' immersing' myself!

But I have been wanting to learn Spanish for a long time now, and each time it got postponed due to priorities. This time I vowed to myself it would be different, that I would really commit and find myself good tools and a ´support system´ that would keep me stimulated.

I think diversity of the learning material is very important (it is for me anyway) because when learning a language being somewhere , you also get 'exposed' to the language in all kinds of ways.

Anyway if anyone of you have any good tips, I would always welcome them
I really like the way this forum is made, I have been browsing through quite a few topics and found it very helpful indeed. And the podcasts are very good as well (I had in fact discovered them before but did not notice there was a forum as well), I will try to practise sometimes (although I confess I have a little 'stage freight' :-)) with the help of some kind and patient people, hopefully.

Last edited by Polvorones; 11th July 2009 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 25th September 2009, 12:14 PM   #147
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Default ....

iam starting in "the sixth rocket spanish audio course"
and i finished it..
but it is very simple
i didnt learn just some words and verbs
now i dont know how to continue...
please advise me...
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Old 1st October 2009, 10:56 AM   #148
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At the present time, here's what I'm doing to learn Spanish.

-listening the the NFS beginners podcasts, with some intermediate and doing and posting homework on the forum (scary but useful)
-meeting weekly for an intercambio via SKYPE with a native Spanish speaker (a huge help)
-doing vocab flash cards on Lenguajero
-reading Harry Potter (in Spanish of course)
-grabbing any opportunity to speak to someone in Spanish
-listening to CNNe (CNN in Spanish) on my SIRIUS radio in my vehicle
-spending some time in various reference books, studying verbs, grammer, etc.

It seems like I'm making progress, but I'm finding I really need to build my vocabulary. I'm finding that reading Harry Potter is pretty fun.

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Old 14th October 2009, 01:13 AM   #149
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Default What are Ben and Marina doing to Improve?

Hi, Ben and Marina.

I’ve just finished listening to the Madrid Confessions. Interesting stuff. In the confessions Ben talked about the lengths that some Spaniards go through to further their education. Having heard that and then coming back to the forums just now and seeing the on going thread you started about what people are doing to improve their Spanish made me wonder:

1. What is Ben actively doing to improve his Spanish, from both personal and professional development standpoints in order to deliver more “Real Spanish” podcasts?

2. From a pedagogical, technical, or professional development standpoint, what are Ben and Marina doing to improve their ability to teach Spanish?

Thanks and keep up all the great work.
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Old 24th November 2009, 11:08 AM   #150
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By following program I am learning Spanish language.
1. Be Patient

Nearly all our Spanish teachers advised us that students expect to learn Spanish too quickly and subsequently get disillusioned when it doesn't happen. Give my time and don't expect to be perfect straight away. Learning a new language should be attempted in small, manageable steps. Congratulate myself on progress made and try to steer clear of making unrealistic targets.
2. Learn Spanish Abroad

It's common knowledge that students learn quicker when they are exposed to the language on a regular basis. Our students have told us that their Spanish improved significantly quicker because of lessons combined with using what they learnt in the classroom in practical situations. It's also very rewarding seeing your hard work paying off!
3. Actively Involve Yourself With Spanish Literature

We're not saying you should attempt to read an entire newspaper every day. However, by attempting a couple of small articles regularly you can pick up common words and phrases that you will need to get to grips with quickly. Our Spanish teachers say that newspapers and magazines can help students pick up key phrases and gain more confidence in their writing and reading ability. Reading a foreign newspaper will also make you look intelligent!
4. Organize Your Work And Yourself

We have all heard this before but it's probably the most important aspect of learning a language. There are almost too many useful resources out there and there is a real danger you get overloaded with paper, notes, books and go round in circles. After every lesson make sure you review everything you learn and understand it. Then do it again. Afterwards, organize everything in a way that you understand. There is nothing more frustrating than consistently searching for the vital piece of information in amongst hundreds of sheets of paper. Trust us, we know!
5. Use Flashcards

Students and teachers alike say that this is a great way of memorizing key words that they come across each day. For those of you who don't know what a flash card is, it's simply a small piece of card that you keep with you during the day and can refer to quickly and easily. So, if you keep hearing a word while you are out and about, write it on your card. Also, if there is a word or phrase you constantly forget, write on your flashcard. You can then focus your efforts on perfecting your Spanish in the key areas you need. Simple.
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:26 AM   #151
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Default I want to learn spanish

See - Listen - Learn - Remember

Vocabulary is the building-block of any language. Learning foreign vocabulary is fun, quick and recall is more effective with the innovative, multi-faceted 200 Words a Day! language-learning systems. Accelerate your language learning now.
Every word is presented with an imaginative, often quirky Memory Trigger and cartoon. Creating a link between the English word and the Foreign word, these mind pictures help you to remember words easier and recall them more effectively.
Save yourself valuable time. Our unique Gender Triggers are powerful mental hooks so you remember the gender of nouns at the same time as learning the word. You will remember whether a noun is feminine or masculine easily, by remembering the Gender Triggers incorporated within the picture.
  • Over 1000+ words per course.
  • View each foreign word with its own memory trigger and cartoon, including animations like the one above.
  • Hear each word pronounced by native speakers.
  • Customize your learning to suit your style.
  • Learn at your own pace with personalised learning and revision schedules.
  • Databases for up to 6 students.
Combined with:
  • e-Flashcardz - alternative Flashcards learning and testing option for every word with great photographic visuals.
  • Sentences Course - see, hear and learn a sentence for every word, perfect for extension learning and practice.
Remember the picture ... recall the word. Enjoy your learning. It's that simple.

Fun and easy to use with a host of unique features to learn the way you want to learn.
200 words a day (or more!) is easily achievable with minimal effort. Comprehensive Progress Stats record your progress and achievements.
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Old 26th November 2009, 11:07 AM   #152
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200 Words a Day! language-learning systems

And the nice thing about this system is that you don't have to pay the money - and it's not cheap. Anyone with sone imagination can work out their own pictograms. The really helpful thing is to picture the word as something really strange. For instance, I remembered the verb colgar as a row of hanging toothpaste tubes. (Think about it for a sec - you'll get it!)
A good way to memorise vocab is taught in the book "Aprende un idiom en 7 días", by Ramón Campayo. (That's a catchy title that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but if he had called it, "Memory techniques to remember words and idioms, no one would have bought it.) And it's much much cheaper than the 200 words a day collection of CDs.
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Old 19th January 2010, 11:37 PM   #153
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Default Verano Azul

I wanted to share a little bit about my learning program, prefacing it by saying that I swoon over Ben and Marina ... they're like a warm breath of fresh air each time I listen. I feel their ups and downs and just couldn't picture a more perfect way to learn Spanish. So muchisimas gracias to Ben and Marina for their excellent Notes In Spanish program. Really.

Me I'm a little bit of a unique case as I live in Barcelona. I relocated to Barcelona this summer from New York, and so I have the advantage of immersion or access to it anyway. I work from home as a graphic designer so honestly my 9-5 here is not that different from what it was in New York. My challenge is to force myself to get out and take advantage of my surroundings more.

My program is a bit helter skelter but I just follow my whims and do whatever interests me that day. Some of my attempts include the following:

1. Notes in Spanish - I'm currently intermediate but again I can't say enough about what a solid program NIS is and how instrumental Ben and Marina have been in my own learning. NIS is definitely my go-to ...

2. Spanish tv series - I just started this tonight actually but I'm watching the Spanish series Verano Azul here It's a bit old but it's a series muy española and it's not only great for language comprehension but it's also cultural. Ask any Spaniard about Verano Azul and I think you will quickly find all agree it's a very Spanish series. So far so good.

Also page right (see link) you can find virtually anything you want to watch in Spanish ... I haven't even begun to explore the options yet.

Another thing I plan to do soon is watch the US series "Friends" in Spanish. Since I know the characters already the fact that the dubbed voices will be a little annoying (OK super annoying) grammar and flow should really help my listening skills. Seinfeld may be another great option.

3. Intercambios - Nothing like getting out there and talking with a native speaker one-on-one. It's not easy but the potential rewards are huge. I find it's quite humbling to talk about "big picture" things like cultures and countries and one's background ... I find I'm always saying In My Opinion this and In My Opinion that because just because I think one way about something is not how I think a Spaniard necessarily ought to see it; I find it curious that I'm always qualifying my opinions because I realize that my life experience is far different from this person I'm conversing with but the exchange and the dialogue is priceless for cultural / interpersonal understanding alone, never mind learning Spanish (or English).

4. Telephone / Email - I frequently write emails in Spanish and call family and friends and/or beg them to call and talk to me on the phone in Spanish. It's difficult to talk on the phone but very helpful to test your listening and conversation skills.

5. CNN+ - ¡Leticia Iglesias! I have to be honest I'm flummoxed by Spanish tv and can't find myself getting into much besides futbol games and CNN+. Leticia Iglesias is the latter's prime time anchor, and my wife is a little jealous, but Leticia esta buena (!) ... so I will spin the dial and if Leticia is anchoring I always watch CNN+ for a few minutes. *boyish grin*
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Old 20th January 2010, 02:31 PM   #154
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Im currently working through the Rosetta Stone program on my pc. Im upto the second cd out of 5.

I also try to talk to people on msn, and soon to be skype in spanish and english so i can learn more informal ways of speaking.

I have bought a GCSE spanish book, the one from CGP.
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Old 31st January 2010, 01:23 AM   #155
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Default my regimen

hi all,

The most important thing I've ever done for my language learning is read through the advice listed on Even though it's geared towards Japanese, the strategies espoused by Khatzumoto are applicable to any language. I highly recommend everyone who is trapped in a rut to read through all of the material there.

Anyways, I don't have reliable Internet access, so I tend to download podcasts. I listen to the BBC Mundo newscast every weekday ( as well as Divertimento, a Chilean podcast covering news and culture ( I stumbled through an Isabel Allende book with a dictionary in hand, but I've realized that it's a much better idea to watch shows and movies that are easier; while it might be a badge of pride to make it through Cien Años de Soledad in Spanish, unless you're at an extremely high level it won't be a particularly enjoyable endeavor. As such, like many members here I am reading the Harry Potter series; I've finished the first two and am now on the third. I also watch American movies dubbed into Spanish; the idea is that the plot is fairly obvious, and as such I can sit back, enjoy the explosions and loud noises, and focus on understanding the spoken dialogue.

I don't read much news in English anymore; instead, I try to limit myself to only reading about current events in Spanish either through the BBC mundo site or through Google noticias. It was tough going at first, but now I read the news almost as comfortably in Spanish as in English.

Finally, a great way to learn vocabulary is through a spaced repetition system (SRS) -- it's basically a smart flashcard system which increases the duration between repetitions as you master a particular word. It doesn't really matter which piece of software you use. I use Anki (an amazing piece of freeware) but there are others out there.

I've probably improved more in the last 6 months in Spanish than I have for years having decided to focus on immersing myself as much as possible in the language. I can understand spoken news comfortably now without much problem, and I can hold my own fairly well in conversation as well as read the news and op-eds with ease. I've spent a grand total of 2 weeks in a Spanish-speaking country, and those were as a tourist in Spanish with my parents at a time when my Spanish was much more rudimentary. If I had more free time I would like to do intercambios, but due to work obligations these are difficult to come by although I've had a few live ones which were a blast. Skype can be a great adjunct, but I've found that voice chat really works better when you find someone with whom you have much in common and can schedule regular conversations. Single hour-long conversations with someone you'll never talk to again are better than nothing, but they aren't great either IMHO.

Un abrazo!

Last edited by mgmei; 31st January 2010 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 18th February 2010, 09:21 PM   #156
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Lightbulb I'm learning spanish fast

Actually, I thought learning spanish is very difficult in the beginning since I didn't have any clue about spanish language. I searched everywhere on the internet but could not find any good resource.

Few days ago, before I joined this forum, I read an interesting article on ezine articles on how someone could learn spanish fast and after reading that, I felt much better because I came to know that learning spanish is not actually mastering spanish.

I think you will all find it useful especially if you think learning spanish is difficult. You can read it here...

Don't forget to tell me if you found this helpful or not, as I certainly did enjoy it .....

Last edited by amanda100; 18th February 2010 at 09:24 PM. Reason: had to change a word
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Old 21st February 2010, 09:27 PM   #157
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Default Learning Spanish

Hola! Initially I tried to teach myself, having tried a Spanish class and not been impressed by the teaching method, which was unbelievably boring and unoriginal. I then moved to a different area and tried another class, but this was too basic and I learned nada de nada! I have learned more from your podcasts then any actual structured lesson, so thank you for that. I love your podcasts, you both sound very enthusiastic and as if you are having fun doing them, this is contagious, so I look forward to listening to each new one. As I run my own business I have little free time, but I now have Spanish ladies coming in and one of them is becoming a firm friend. Through her I am doing intercambios and through this site I saw a recommendation for a book called The Boy in White Pyjamas in Spanish, which is excellent, at a level I can almost understand! I have little resources and find your site a real boon. Can't thank you enough. Gracias desde Torrox Costa!
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Old 11th March 2010, 09:28 PM   #158
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Talking my learning tools


I'm just starting to learn Spanish but found a really good little course that is fun and easy to use. You get a free 6 day trial to start with but can purchase the full course at any time. Lots of audio and text work in it.
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Old 11th March 2010, 09:36 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by thatguy71 View Post

I'm just starting to learn Spanish but found a really good little course that is fun and easy to use. You get a free 6 day trial to start with but can purchase the full course at any time. Lots of audio and text work in it.
Which course is that, then? Possibly the one you're plugging in your signature? Sorry to sound sceptical but you joined the forum today and have racked up 4 posts so far (and counting..).
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:38 AM   #160
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Default learning spanish

Whatever course you take to learn spanish, it all comes down to hard work and perseverance. I have been studying with Notes in Spanish for some time now and I know that if I don't spend time to keep up with the information coming to me through podcasts etc., then I will not progress.
I have Spanish friends with whom I communicate, either by phone or e-mail and that is a great way to learn. Listening to a native speaker is the most difficult and very frustrating for me. I can read and write quite well but it would be great to have access to conversational spanish here in the Uk.
Back to the drawing board.
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