I am going to learn Spanish with Babbel!

May 11, 2024 | Uncategorized

I am going to learn Spanish!
Most of us would love to be able to speak at least one or two foreign languages. We dream of one day going to a foreign country and be able to speak that language. For others, such as immigrants, it can make a huge difference to be able to speak the language of the country where you now live.
While growing up in Holland we had to learn several languages. Dutch is our language, but at the age of 14 in school, I also had to learn French, English, and German. I didn’t really learn any of these well while in school, and I considered myself not so good at any language. Math and physics were my better subjects.
Later I learned a much better way of learning foreign languages. At the age of 16 I studied in England for two years. There I did learn to speak and write English fluently within a few months. You see, I basically had to.
But for most of us, moving to another country to learn their language, is not an option.
Many years later I got married to my wife who was born in Mexico. Her first language was Spanish, and to this day she speaks Spanish with most of her immediate family and many of her friends. So I decided I should learn Spanish. One would think that being near family who speak another language, that you would somehow magically absorb that language. But for some reason that doesn’t seem to happen.
I think the reason is that you have to speak the language in order to learn it! There is no other magic method. That is why I never learned to speak those foreign languages that we had to study in school. In addition, starting at the age of 14, we also had Latin six hours per week and Greek six hours per week. I do not remember a single word of either language.
This is where Rosetta Stone, Babble and Duolingo come in. When first married I decided to learn Spanish using Rosetta Stone. Fairly quickly my vocabulary built up and my wife was very impressed. I was speaking words and sentences.
The difference with how I had been trying to learn languages in school, was that Rosetta Stone makes you speak it. The key is drill, drill, drill! Speak the words and sentences out loud. How precisely you pronounce the words is not so important. You can always improve that later, and it is kind of cute when you have an accent. People love it when you speak to them with an accent. And they are always impressed when you speak more than one language!
I asked ChatGPT: what is a good vocabulary? and it answered the following:
1. Basic Fluency: For basic fluency in a language, a vocabulary of around 2,000 to 3,000 words might be sufficient. This should allow you to handle everyday situations, engage in simple conversations, and understand common written texts.
2. Intermediate Fluency: To achieve intermediate fluency, a vocabulary of 4,000 to 7,000 words is often considered necessary. This level of proficiency enables you to discuss a wider range of topics, understand more complex texts, and express yourself more clearly.
3. Advanced Fluency: To reach an advanced level of fluency, a vocabulary of 8,000 to 10,000 words or more may be required. At this stage, you should be able to engage in discussions on specialized topics, understand nuanced language, and express yourself with a high degree of precision.
Ok, so after I had mastered about 200 words and sentences, using Rosetta Stone for a while, I got busy with married live, raising kids, working and so, and was too busy to continue. My wife and I speak English together. But I always had this desire to learn more Spanish. You see, I could not understand or be part of the conversation when she is around her family or many of her friends. She has the same when I am around my Dutch family. One of my sons speaks perfect Spanish as we had Mexican nannies while living in California.
And, of course, who doesn’t like to impress their friends with the ability to speak a foreign language!
At SmartBubbleGum we have reviewed several foreign language apps. Some of our favorites are: Rosetta Stone, Babbel and DuoLingo.
It is time to make New Years resolutions: One of them is that I am going to learn more Spanish! I will keep you posted how that goes!
To find the best foreign language Apps on SmartBubbleGum, click Subjects from the Home page. Next select Language. Next select Foreign Languages.
Hasta La Vista!