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 Spanishdict, Wordreference. 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 msn, rtv.es, BBC 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.