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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to teach DS1 Spanish, but first I'd like to teach myself. I took Spanish in high school, 3 years, but none of it stuck. Evreyone seems to go on and on about how great Rosseta software is, but when I read some reviews it didn't seem to rally measure up. Then I found Pimsleur and that seemed to get great reviews.

Or my big question is if any of you use software to learn a second language which do you use? Worth the cost or not at all? We have a fairly decent Latino population here that I'll probably immerse him in to help him learn, but until then I'd like something that can get my foot in the door and help him.
 

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From reviews I've read Pimsleur Spanish appears to be the Spanish they speak in Spain which is more formal than Latin American Spanish (what most people who speak Spanish in the US speak). We checked out Pimsleur Spanish from the library (for me) and it was the most boring thing ever. I hated it. We have Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish I and we love it. I've used it some and have learned quite a bit of Spanish. My 6 1/2 year old is using it and I'm amazed at how quickly and easily she is learning the language. I wholeheartedly recommend RS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! It's such a big chunk of $$$ I wanted to make sure I was buying something worth it, kwim.
 

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I've been learning Mandarin Chinese w/ the Pimsleur series and it's been excellent. I've had Chinese people tell me that I'm very understandable, and I've learned far more with the Pimsleur CDs than I did taking private lessons.
 

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I would choose on the basis of what works better for you and your son pedagogically and not worry too terribly much about whether a Spanish or Latin American accent is used. I personally love Pimsleur. I also like Michel Thomas, but I like Pimsleur better. I have not tried Rosetta Stone.

The public library where I used to live had the first 8 lessons or so of Pimsleur Spanish. If you could try before you buy that might make your decision easier. Another thing to keep in mind is Pimsleur sells really well on ebay (I am guessing Rosetta Stone does too), so if they don't work for your DS, it would not be a total loss.

I have also found this book helpful with home foreign language learning.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Butter
Not accent, words. Spain Spanish is apparently much more formal in the verbage than Latin American Spanish.
Yeah, but the basics are ultimately the same. My sister lived in South America for several years and she said no one there ever uses some of the words on my Pimsleur recordings (e.g. they say castellano rather than español). I think though if a particular method works well for you in terms of picking up the structure of the language and gaining fluency with using it, that is more important--just my 2 cents.

My sister also says Spanish is different all over the world, kind of like how English is, and that you just adapt when speaking to someone from a different place.

I am one of those people who studied languages (French and German) the traditional classroom way and got As, and learned to read pretty well, but never really achieved much fluency with speaking. So if there is a method that can help me do better, I find that particularly appealing. I can always pick up more vocab later--for me that is not the hard part of language learning. Even though I am liking it, the jury is still out about whether Pimsleur will ultimately help me achieve my speaking goals, since my Spanish study has been rather sporadic.

Sorry for rambling a little OT--HTH!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EFmom
I've been learning Mandarin Chinese w/ the Pimsleur series and it's been excellent. I've had Chinese people tell me that I'm very understandable, and I've learned far more with the Pimsleur CDs than I did taking private lessons.
I tried the mandarin pimsleur through our library network (FREE!
) and also really liked it. I am taiwanese american, and while I do know some mandarin, it's quite rusty, and I understand ok, but rarely speak, b/c we always answered our parents back in english, so I never got much practice speaking, only listening. So, I *do* know what it is supposed to sound like, and I was impressed with the mandarin pimsleur, b/c I felt that that they way they taught you to speak and accent was authentic, and I also found that the CD kept my interest and I felt I was getting good practice out of it. Now my problem is finding enough, "me" time to work on my mandarin. I'd like to know enough that I can teach my children. Right now my toddler loves his, "ni hao" video and has picked up a lot from that.
 

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We've had Rosetta Stone Mandarin, and just got Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish. Here are my rambling thoughts:

My kids like Rosetta Stone because it seems more like a computer game -- the little pictures flash on the screen, and you try to match them up with what the voice is saying. Of course, my kids are sort of computer-game-deprived, so they are perhaps more easily impressed.

Rosetta Stone Mandarin drove dh absolutely nuts because he wanted to know why you say certain things certain ways (like the number 2 -- there are 2 different ways to say "2", and Rosetta Stone doesn't explain which is which -- you're supposed to figure that out intuitively). So he really needed someone he could talk to about the program, or another program to fill in the gaps, or something.

But, as I said, the kids were absolutely comfotable with Rosetta Stone. Mybe it's because they're kids, and Rosetta Stone is set up to mimic how kids learn language. I got Pimsleur Mandarin CDs from the library and gave it a whirl ... the kids lasted maybe 3 minutes with it. Dh didn't try the Mandarin Pimsleur -- I had to return it to the library before he had a chance to use it. I think he would've liked it better. Really, though, I think he'd do best with a private tutor who could customize the lessons and put up with all his questions.


This week dh purchased Rosetta Stone Spanish for his own use. I think Rosetta Stone will work much better for him in the Spanish edition than it did in the Mandarin. For one thing, it's an easier language to learn since it "works" more like English; the grammar is similar, and both English and Spanish vocab derive much from Latin (hurray for cognates!). Also, there are so many other sources of Spanish practice available -- he goes to Mexico once a month, plus we can flip on Spanish TV any time or watch the Destinos videos online.

As the previous poster said, I wouldn't worry about Latin American Spanish vs. Spain. When I took Spanish in college they taught Latin American but used the Zarabanda series which is continental/Spain. In other words, they just threw it all together, and we did just fine.

In summary, I think kids might like Rosetta Stone better than Pimsleur overall, but that will vary from child to child. Obviously some adults think Rosetta Stone is annoying, but adults think and analyze differently than a lot of kids do, so I'm not sure adult experiences with these programs tell how a child will react. Also, I think Mandarin is a tougher language for many of us to learn than Spanish, and so we have to be more particular about the method we use to approach Mandarin, whereas with Spanish we can be a bit more casual.
 
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