General Question

Ron_C's avatar

I want to get better in Spanish, which program is better, Pimsleur Approach, or Rosetta Stone.

Asked by Ron_C (14438points) April 26th, 2010

I go to Mexico on business and work with a lot of guys that speak Spanish Unfortunately, I don’t stay around enough to learn from the guys with whom I work. I am looking for a language program to use between trips so I would like to know if any of you guys used either of these programs and if they worked for you.

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15 Answers

Ron_C's avatar

@kevbo Thanks, I sped through it but the course and comments below look promising. I’ll be looking this in detail, tonight. I just learned that we sold more equipment to Mexico and I will probably be spending a few months down there.

kevbo's avatar

No problem. I think it’s a pretty exciting development.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I use LiveMocha to learn French. It’s free, although there are some additional and optional things you can download, and those you have to buy. The cool thing is, you trade for your lessons. While people who know Spanish really well grade and comment on your assignments, you comment on and grade people’s English assignments.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C Not sure which to recommend, but after a month in Mexico your Spanish will be much better if you already have a basic understanding. Will you be in Mexico City?

I do have one recommendation now that I think about it more. Make sure to study the vocabulary of your industry. I can sell clothing very well in Spanish; I know parts of garments that even my husband doesn’t, and Spanish is his first language.

Ron_C's avatar

@JLeslie Fortunately, my profession involves engineering, mechanical, and chemistry words which are adapted to Spanish. The language was developed by lovers, not engineers, for engineering terms they use English or German.

I stay away from Mexico city, too big too crowded, to expensive. I believe that I will be going to San Luis Potosi, a very nice place if you like deserts.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C I would assume the majority of the engineers speak English.

gailcalled's avatar

Can you find a local native Spanish teacher here (who doesn’t lisp) and have conversational lessons with him/her? And as long as you know “flan,” you’ll be fine.

Ron_C's avatar

@gailcalled I have actually gone that route. I had an arrangement with a local Penn State student. We only talked once they he got transferred. There aren’t any Spanish speakers here except for a high powered eye doctor that is too busy to speak to us peasants.

@JLeslie that is true but I also work with construction guys, and operators that don’t know much more English, than I know Spanish.

My last Spanish course was in 1964 when I had to switch from Latin for “artistic conflicts” with my Latin teacher.

gailcalled's avatar

@Ron_C: Are you living in State College? Call the Spanish dept.

Ron_C's avatar

@gailcalled no, unfortunately, 80 miles from State College, over by the Allegheny National Forest.

gailcalled's avatar

Anywhere near Allegheny college in Meadville? If not, you’re on your own, kid.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C I see. Then knowing construction Spanish will be useful. So, not only conversational Spanish with one of the programs you mentioned, but also a list of the words of the materials and tools you use in the industry. Steel, cement, nail, weld, whatever they are. Even if you have someone who is interpeting for the construction workers, you will want to have an idea that they are relaying your information/direction correctly. I am going through that right now with the people cutting back my bushes and trees in my yard. Lietrally an hour ago I told the guy in charge what I wanted and then went outside 20 minutes ago to find the guy who actually was doing the trimming was not shaping the bushes as I wanted. So, I waited and listened this time to the lead person while he explained what I wanted (I have a feeling he never communicated what I said in the first place, he probably thinks I am a pain in the ass by now) but anyway, I waited and listened this time, and I knew he got it right, communicated what I wanted, even if I could not have said it as well.

Ron_C's avatar

@gailcalled too far west. I am up north about 50 miles from the N.Y. line.
@JLeslie I’m not really in construction but we do have construction workers and riggers working on the building and setting my equipment. I am a pretty good listener and can understand about 75% of what they are saying. The slang and colloquialisms are what throw me. My accent, however, is terrible and I speak way too slow.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C Your speed will improve quickly.

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