My new friend Robin of Venezuela asked me to write on the subject. I think it would be a good idea. May be my fellow Chinese friends would get some ideas as to how I learn a new language. I would suggest them to do likewise as a lot them asked me how to improve their written and oral English.I started learning Spanish about two years ago and I have been doing so on and off. However, lately I have taken it seriously. I am determined to improve my Spanish to a level that I can at least communicate with Spanish speakers in simple conversation. I love the Spanish language because it sounds so poetic and like music to my ears. In particular I love Spanish and latino musics. Santana, Shakira, Juanes and Alexjandro Sanz are some of my most favourite singers. 

If you ask me what are my thoughts on learning Spanish, I can sum it up in one word, tough. I think Spanish is the toughest language in the world, particularly for a Cantonese person like me as Cantonese is very flat so I have a hard time pronouncing the "r" sound, not to mention the trilling "rr" sound. Besides, there is so much grammar to deal with in Spanish. Whereas the Chinese language, as I wrote in my blog a few days ago, has no grammar. I think the Spanish speaking peoples are language genius. How could they speak such a tough language so fast. It seems words just spurted out from their mouths and they do not have to think about it.I study Spanish entirely on my own.

I did not go to any schools to learn the language nor did I follow any professional teachers. I rely mostly on textbooks, websites and my friends to learn and improve my Spanish. I am especially grateful to my Spanish speaking friends, a lot of whom have gone out of their ways to help me such as talking to me and correcting me from time to time.
I list below some of the resources I use for learning Spanish, which may be useful to you too. They are:

  • textbooks from libraries, the website studyspanish 
  • language social nets such as italki and LiveMocha,
  • online dictionaries such as SpanishdictWordreference. I like the latter a lot. I often asked them Spanish questions and they would give me an answer almost every time in less than five minutes.
  • internet news networks such as Latino msnrtv.esBBC mundo
  • watching Spanish soap operas on Telemundo. I love "El Clon" on telemundo.
  • watching popular American videos with Spanish soundtrack and sub-title.

A Spanish friend at one time told me that the best way to learn Spanish is to get a Spanish girlfriend or move to a South American country or Spain. I know both are not possible. So I will continue to learn Spanish by the above-listed means. However, I am likely to travel to New York and Los Angeles in July and stay there for a long period of time. I look forward to practising my Spanish there, especially in Los Angeles, where there is a big hispanic community.


    Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.


    April 2010



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