Selected Readings In Easy Spanish 9 (Spanish Lite Series nº 1) (Spanish Edition)
Then settle in and start learning. This package includes 2 programs:. The actors can be a little over the top, but we found it actually helps us to remember the lessons better. Sometimes they are funny … other times just really corny. The result of the corny skits is that we remembered the lessons really well. Verbs are the problem area for all gringos — right after pronunciation. A slightly different emphasis on a word can change the meaning from first-person present-tense to third-person past-tense. Believe me, that can really confuse a conversation!
We have 5 of their programs — certainly worth the money. My favorite video Spanish course comes in a 4 dvd pack. A total of minutes on 4 discs. We have all of these and they are worth it, especially if you prefer visual learning to books. Bottom line: These are some well produced training videos that make it easy to assimilate the Spanish lessons. The introductory 40 pages or so goes into detail explaining the different verb tenses and how they work.
And as a reference tool, it will serve you for years to come. This handy little book is worth having just to stick in your briefcase or backpack. What I love about the book is its phonetic spelling of the Spanish words. It really helps to get the sounds under control and lose the harshness of the Gringo Accent. Bottom line: At just two bucks, its hard to go wrong. It would be worth having one for every member of the family. We bought just one, and our new puppy went to town on it. You will learn from this little book. The first big purchase we made to help us learn Spanish was the full set of Rosetta Stone.
And it is a good tool. It makes you reason on sets of images — with no English used at all. While that sounds intimidating, it actually works pretty well. There are some drawbacks. Lessons are broken into bite sized pieces.
More than a year before we moved, we were looking for something help Drew learn Spanish. We wanted her to get a foundation in the language. We heard the two milestones of 5 years and 10 years of age are important in terms of language learning. She loved this program and when we moved she knew more Spanish than we did. Bottom line: This is a great way to get your young kids involved in learning Spanish.
The interactive story makes it more like entertainment than learning. While we did buy them for Drew, we can still remember the words and tunes to many of them. Days of the week, months of the year, the alphabet and names for family members are all taught here. There are a number of different disks. We bought two of them. Another real help to learning any new language is Speak From Day 1 — it gives you the right mindset as you tackle vocabulary and verbs. Read our Speak from Day 1 Review. What about you?
What is your favorite book or course to learn Spanish? Please share your thoughts in the comments below:. Tagged as: Book Reviews , spanish. Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. Work with GringosAbroad.
I recently learned about a wonderful book that Spanish learners could use and it would help so much in understanding the ins and outs of using Spanish. Thanks so much for all the information in your article. Look through each one and set aside the ones that fit your personality, goals, learning style, and comfort level.
Spend some time at the store with the titles before you buy them. If you are looking for customized Spanish lessons to get ready for a Spanish speaking country, then you should check my web page. I teach Spanish over Skype so you are more prepared in Latin America.
11 Books & Courses We Used to Learn Spanish (Print and Audio) | GringosAbroad
I have lots of recommendations, as you can see on my site and also on LinkedIn. I have been looking for the best European Spanish textbook. My problem is I am a Starter, I know only about words, and my grammar sucks because I have been learning for only about a month.
The other problem is many authors do not even mention whether they teach Latin or European Spanish. I need your help. Please, tell me what European Spanish textbook you liked most of all. I will subscribe to the answers to this comment and get your reply to my e-mail. We are using a wonderful onlina course with Warren Hardy. The first level is power verbs. Learn to properly speak the verbs, infinitives, and nouns for your basic needs…I want, you want, I need, I have to etc.
Uses video lessons, workbook, and games in interactive way to enhance learning. Very good program. We also just started using DuoLingo and it is sooooo addictive! I am taking a beginners course at Universidad Catolica in Quito and it is not working. Everything is in Spanish and if I ask a question they will answer it 10 ways in Spanish before even thinking of using their excellent English to answer. Aside from their cost, can I get them delivered here in Quito, Ecuador without it costing an arm and a leg? You would probably save a lot of money and time by ordering these on Kindle.
You can use Kindle on your mobile device or even on your PC. Dear Wayne It is frustrating because the mind has no reference points. The moment English words English is spoken the mind takes a rest and the duration gets longer. Ask the teacher to start with teaching the grammar part using English and the reduce the use of English in a gradual way making use of sign language, visual objects and increasing the use of Spanish descriptions. This is very interesting to me.
I recently got certification to teach ESL and the most popular thing they teach right from the beginning is that you never use any language other than the one you are teaching. Your comments are helpful to me as I have always wondered how effective it really is to never give any kind of perspective to the students in their own language first. It seems like it would take much longer to learn if you are lagging behind trying to figure out every word that has just been said while the teacher is moving on in an incomprehensible language.
What do you think about that? Or anyone else? I love using the app Duolingo! It makes it fun, you can do it with your kids and it gets progressively harder. However, because you earn points and different virtual gifts, it encourages you to keep going. Similar setup as Rosetta Stone without the cost. By far my 2 favorites, which are both online, are duolingo. I studied the Pimsleur Course on line for a year before coming to Banos Ecuador for three months for immersion. I found the Pimsleur Course.. At the end of the day though, if you want to converse like a local you will have to get into the grammar and the only way to do that is either in school or with a good book one of the ones recommended by Bryan.
I am using the free Duolingo course. I like they way they remind me to study with daily emails www. The courses are also engaging. You can also watch Ecuadoran television without closed captioning online on a number of sites. And it is free. Also there are more than an adequate supply of on-line phrase books, dictionaries and verb congugators with the main one being spanishdict. They will ensure that your pronunciation does not offend the language and encourage you to speak — usually the most daunting part of language learning — your new language.
Learning a language from a book, without audio or actual interaction is nonsense. But if you had grown up in the third world you would consider the proposition that books are necessary to speak and understand languages quaint. I grew up in the third world where many young children were completely at home in three languages but had never even seen a book. And my own children were at home in two languages before they started to read and write. Many adults are unaware that there are four basic language skills: understanding; speaking; reading; and writing and they almost always take place in that sequence.
As a teacher — including the teaching of languages — I want to point out to adult learners that too much book learning in a new language can actually prolong the process and create major frustrations. And this is no different in Cuenca — I hear so many North American immigrants to South America express their frustration at not being able to learn Spanish. Sure, as you already read and write, use those basic skills in the process of learning to understand and speak but DO NOT give major attention to books and, especially not to committing to memory verb conjugations.
Learn them gradually like a baby from hearing the language and using them from this knowledge. This is what makes DuoLingo I have no connection to the organization such a powerful and speedy learning tool. You hear the language from the get-go and progress by speaking into your computer mike. And you have instant feed-back — so essential in the learning process. The post, and the related comments, are in the context of adult learning.
Children learn by immersion — and it has been well established that children learn languages differently and much faster than adults. To properly learn a new language — not just speak a few works learned from exposure — a person needs books. They build vocabulary, teach grammar and proper verb conjugation. The beauty of it is that they will get listening and speaking exposure naturally, you almost do not have to worry about it. The only thing you have to convince them of is to open a book and start reading which is slightly harder.
Their language will develop much faster. If the conversation with you is tough, they will just stop talking. Romantic relationships are an exception. I already described some ideas below, but a book is your baseline. It is compressed wisdom available to you whenever YOU choose. I started being exposed to each of my foreign languages at ages 10 German , 12 English , 14 French , 20 Spanish respectively and each age had slightly different laws.
My first exposure to Spanish was through immersion at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, but I only started making sense of my surroundings once I complemented what I was exposed to every day with books. I was an avid reader and it helped me a lot. Back then the internet was just starting out, my main listening exposure to English was actually Armed Forces Network of the American troops stationed in Munich, Germany, at that time.
My paper English dictionary went from white to black on the edges and whenever I started a book from a different author believe it or not, each author has a different and limited set of words and expressions they use over and over in all of their books I needed an hour per page for the first 50 pages to understand everything on it. People today have a huge head start just by using technology and the internet. It might be a bit tougher to get at it for kids in the third world, I agree with that.
A book, electronic or paper, is the only way to get the highest amount of exposure to a language in the least possible time and is thus the single most important tool to learn a language with a high level of sophistication. I sometimes read texts written by native speakers and wonder whether they have ever read a book, because being a native speaker alone does not equal speaking a language well.
A book allows you to take time to think about language constructs, why things are expressed the way they are. There is nothing better than a book. A book is not listening and speaking, of course, but you can close the gap by: 1. Reading a book and having it as an audiobook at the same time 2. Reading the book aloud and recording yourself, then playing back the recording. You will catch your pronunciation blunders and correct them. You can watch a movie and speak all of the dialogues yourself while they are happening on the screen.
You will actually gain conversational skills. Just a word of caution, the genre of the movie does influence the way you are going to speak. The only reason why some people need a teacher is because there are a lot of people out there who need someone to structure the work for them and guide them, occasionally also motivate them.
Many people are not good at self-motivation and keeping tabs on themselves. You start with a book. Thanks for all the info about Ecuador! In this link you can download a free sample. Hola, I stumbled across your site, and glad I did. Thanks for all your suggestions, keep warm and well feed.
There is a free site, LiveMocha which has Spanish people help with your language. They have lessons which are corrected by Spanish speaking people and also vocal lessons which are corrected as to tense and accent. It is free. Maybe some can check it out. They DO have a program which you need to pay for, but the free lessons are extensive! I work retail and have a lot of spanish speaking ppl around and am starting to pick up some words.
But really want to learn cause I want to visit ecuador and maybe move there. There will always be nuances in the language depending on where you will be but this will help you with the language as a whole. Are you fluent in castellano?
Reading for Spanish Beginners
Then study the nuances. That is where they will live, play, function, take taxis, buy groceries, etc. If their goal is to be able to speak to local, native Spanish-speaking individuals, then the path of least resistance is to learn local lingo as it is spoken there. This includes vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, written grammar rules, colloquialisms, and to a certain degree, even syntax. I lived in the UK for 3 years, and the first 3 — 6 months were marked by some very confusing conversations; the remaining time continued to yield regular instances of the same.
Being able to communicate in your adopted region of whatever country is paramount—anything else is gravy. My only concern regarding local variants is that, apparently, there are some words and phrases that are seemingly inappropriate for use by gringos. Should I use that, too? The one referred to as Quichua is widely spoken in Ecuador. All of them together are a language as you say. Being an outsider is not defined by your place of birth or the colour of your skin or I would be an outsider to two of the three citizenships I hold, and I do not consider myself as such.
My experience again is that you become an insider once you communicate using the local nuances of the language including the local accent. The language is the key to being an insider. Once you are there you will understand that certain expressions are off limits based on the personal or professional relationship you have with the person you are talking to, not where you are originally from.
Note, that the rest of the sentence is very different, too, based on the level of formality and the relationship of the parties involved, even though the information content is the same. In your England example the American and the Englishman already share a common literary base, so you can focus on the local nuances immediately. The non-Spanish speaker in Ecuador first has to build the proper literary base before focusing on the local slang.
Kids, of course, do it the other way around. They learn the language in the street after which teachers at school have to raise them to a certain level of sophistication by studying literature with them. I would add one reference to your excellent list: A dictionary. My favorite is the Collins Spanish Unabridged Dictionary. First published in to great critical acclaim, this dictionary keeps getting better with each new edition. This book is printed in large type that helps optically challenged readers of a certain age — like me.
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Great comment. I forgot to include that in our list. I used to own paper dictionaries for several languages back when the internet did not exist. Nowadays, nothing beats an online dictionary in speed and accuracy. I use wordreference. It has a vast majority of the words and the added bonus of forum discussions around the usage and best translation of those words when a literal translation is difficult, something a paper or offline dictionary cannot provide. Just download it from Google play store and take it with you everywhere. It paces lessons and reviews nicely.
It also integrates new vocabulary seamlessly. It even sends you gentle reminders to practice. And while your at it download Spanish English Dictionary for your android phone — that too is Free. We are a German family having moved to Quito a couple of weeks ago. For the next three years, my husband will be working here as a teacher at the German school.
We arrived here with only a very basic knowledge of Spanish. I totally know what you mean with never having enough time to learn the language since there seems to be always something else to do…. However, I recently discovered babbel. Our eight years old daughter also started with it and likes it much more than learning with other learning material. To broaden my vocabulary, I personally like to just walk around or go food shopping, read all the adds and signs on the street, to eavesdrop conversations of people in cafes, on the street or in public transport etc. And I think speaking and reading newspapers etc.
By the way, thanks for your interesting blog and all the useful information. All the best, Franziska. It is categorized as a Latin-suited deck and has strong similarities with the Italian-suited deck and less to the French deck. Playing cards, originally of Chinese origin , were adopted in Mamluk Egypt by the 14th century if not earlier, and from there spread to the Iberian peninsula in the latter half of the 14th century. The earliest record of naip comes from a Catalan rhyming dictionary by Jaume March II in , but without any context or definition.
By , naipero card-maker was a recognized profession. In December , card games were banned from being played in Barcelona 's corn exchange. Valencia 's town council issued a blanket ban on un novell joch apellat dels naips a new game called cards in The removal of one rank shortened the deck to 48 which made card production simpler: a whole deck could be made with just two uncut sheets. Since the midth century, they have usually been sold with two comodines Jokers , for a total of 50 cards. Stripped decks have 40 cards and lack ranks 8, 9 and comodines. The popularity of the stripped deck is due to game of Ombre , which became a craze throughout Europe during the 17th century.
The Spanish suits closely resemble Italian-suited cards as both were derived from the Arab cards. The four suits are bastos clubs , oros literally "golds", that is, golden coins , copas cups and espadas swords. Unlike the suits found in northern Italy, Spanish swords are straight and the clubs resemble knobbly cudgels instead of ceremonial batons. Swords and clubs also do not intersect except in the 3 of clubs card.
The Spanish may have separated the pips in the 15th century to make them more easily distinguishable some export cards kept the intersecting pips, see "Extinct Portuguese pattern" below. La pinta first appeared around the midth century. Like the Italian-suited tarot , the Baraja is used for both game playing and cartomancy.
The Baraja has been widely considered to be part of the occult in many Latin American countries, yet they continue to be used widely for card games and gambling, especially in Spain. The three face cards of each suit have pictures similar to the jack, queen, and king in the French deck, and rank identically. There are instances of historical decks having both caballo and reina queen , the caballo being of lower value than queen. These decks have no numbers in the figure values, not even letters as in the French deck.
Reversible face cards exist but are not popular. It is also possible to find card French decks with Spanish pictures. These have English corner indices which means the Knight will have the Queen's "Q" index.
7 Tips To Learn Spanish Fast
Historically, Spain was split into several independent states. Even after these states began sharing the same monarchy, they maintained their own separate parliaments, laws, and taxes for several centuries. In the 16th century, Spain became the first country to tax playing cards.
The various regions and states kept track of the taxes they were owed by requiring producers, who were often monopolies estanco , to conform to a regional pattern for cards sold locally. Spain and France exported cards to each other, which explains why the kings and jacks in French-suited face cards resemble their Spanish counterparts, notably the standing kings. There was some deliberate copying; the king of coins from the Seville and Franco-Spanish patterns is near identical to the king of hearts in the French-suited Rouen pattern, which was exported to England and through centuries of bad reproduction became known as the "suicide king".
Latin-suited cards with cups, swords, coins and clubs like in Spain were also used in Portugal until the late 19th and early 20th centuries when these cards were abandoned in favour of the French deck. Both conventions mentioned above are also practiced in Malta which once used Portuguese-suited decks. The Aces featured dragons, the kings were seated, and the knaves were all distinctly female. The closest living relative of the Portuguese deck is the Sicilian Tarot which has these features minus the Aces. The extinct Minchiate deck also shared some features.
This system was believed to have originated in Spain as an export pattern. Instead of using la pinta , these decks used abbreviations as indices at the top and sometimes also the bottom of the card. A difference between the Portuguese and "Italo-Portuguese" patterns was that the Portuguese decks lacked rank 10 pip cards like the Spanish patterns, while "Italo-Portuguese" decks have them like northern Italian patterns.
The Portuguese spread their cards to Brazil   and Java  where they were also abandoned in favor of the French deck. Standard patterns are card designs in the public domain that have been printed by multiple publishers in the past or present. Decks with 50 cards have two jokers.
The Castilian pattern is the most widespread pattern in Spain. It was designed and published by Heraclio Fournier in and by the early 20th century had displaced the older patterns in Spain. Despite being called Castilian, the cards were first produced in Fournier's headquarters in Vitoria-Gasteiz , the capital of the Basque Country.
Figures wear fantastic pseudo-medieval costumes. Decks come in packs of 40 or 50 cards. The Mexican pattern was derived from the Castilian in by Clemente Jacques. The Spanish National pattern, also known as the Old Catalan pattern, emerged in the 17th century from Barcelona and was chosen as the national and export pattern by the Real Fabrica monopoly during the late 18th century.
After the collapse of the Real Fabrica during the Peninsular War , the pattern in its pure form ceased printing in its native country but led to the birth of the various daughter patterns described below. Usually, the knave of coins features a goat originally a dog tethered to a pole in the background like in the Parisian Spanish pattern.
They are found in decks of 40 or 48 cards. Who could want more? If you love historical fiction, this might be the choice for you! This collection contains multiple works by acclaimed Hispanic authors, including some poetry. This is another compilation you can jump around in to find something that grabs your attention.
This piece is the first known modern Spanish novel, and its author is considered the founder of the picaresca literary genre. The story follows a little boy, Lazarillo, who is left to become the apprentice to a blind man, while also serving other masters. Different century, same problems.
So there you have it. A free, easy way to continue investing in your language education.
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