I know spanish pretty well, but people that speak it do so way too fast for me to understand what they are exactly saying. I need help improving my conversational skills. I have the vocabulary and most of the tenses down. When I sit down and watch the spanish news with my father I do not understand what they are saying, and because of that I get made fun of by the rest of my family. Help me learn spanish so that I do not disgrace my family when we all go down to visit the rest of our family in puerto rico. thank you!!!
Que extraño. Por lo general la velocidad a la cual hablan los presentadores de noticias no es muy alta, y además se preocupan de modular bien, (no digo esto para desanimarte, es sólo un dato) al menos eso me pasa con las noticias en inglés, entiendo gran parte de lo que dicen, pero cuando se trata de películas o series I get stuck. Si ya tienes un buen manejo de la gramática quizás debas practicar más la parte auditiva, con las transcripciones del material de audio que puedas encontrar en internet o los scripts de las películas o con audio books.
I wonder if there's some software that can fasten and slow down the speed of speaking of a sentence. It would be very useful.
BlanquitaI know spanish pretty well, but people that speak it do so way too fast for me to understand what they are exactly saying. I need help improving my conversational skills. I have the vocabulary and most of the tenses down. When I sit down and watch the spanish news with my father I do not understand what they are saying, and because of that I get made fun of by the rest of my family. Help me learn spanish so that I do not disgrace my family when we all go down to visit the rest of our family in puerto rico. thank you!!!
-Hey Blanquita, it's great to watch tv to get your ear into hearing. Could you tell more about which channel/program you are watching? I know that Maria Celeste on Telemundo, she's a redhead, talks a mile a minute! I finally can understand her, but at first, I couldn't catch one word she said. I don't know if you know it, but if your TV has a remote control, look under the menu button and see if you get captions (for the deaf). If so, choose CC1, and many of the programs will have the words for what is being said. I know for the telenovelas, it is almost the same second they say it. I had been listening for years, and not really picking out much... UNTIL I found out about the captioning. When I turned it on, I found out that many times when I thought the problem was that they were speaking too fast, it was really that they were mixing in words I didn't know yet, so there was no way I was going to follow them. The captioning helped me to find those words, and write them down so I could look them up. The other big thing was just matching the sounds with the words your brain learned. The captions helped my brain to know that the sounds I was hearing were the words I was seeing. My ability to understand the words being spoken jumped up 80% after using captions. I now can watch anything and understand most of it even without captions. But I still like the captions because I often check to see if they used subjunctive or not by checking the spelling. I also like to write down catchy phrases to practice saying them. At first I had to copy from the screen word for word. But now, I just glance at it and depend on my hearing more when copying down a phrase. I watch the morning soaps from Brazil that are redubbed into Spanish, as they are originally in Portuguese, and so the lips don't match either. But I make out great with them after my training with the captions!

About the news again, some parts may have captions and other parts not, so just leave the setting on and you will see whenever they come up. For me, the telenovelas were invaluable because they brought in real everyday language and phrases. Consider watching some just to pick up regular 'people' speech. I love them, as they are much more interesting to me than the English ones, and usually run 6 months, kind of like a really long miniseries! One that just started recently is La Tormenta on Telemundo, so you won't be too far out on catching up with what's happening. I also watch on Telemundo Señora del Destino, El Cuerpo del Deseo and Los Plateados. I give them all a big thumbs up on entrigue, and have my notebook handy and write like mad as they go on. At first, just words I didn't know, as my ability picked up, I was able to write without looking so much, so could write down whole sentences as the show went on. By the way, any thing you tape on a vcr will have the captions embedded, so you can go back and review them later. If your tv doesn't show captions, and one day you get one that does, they will still be on that tape to look at later.

Also, many dvd movies have a Spanish language track and or Spanish captioning! Please tell me which channels you get in Spanish Emotion: smile Last week I watched to great movies, one a romance/comedy (English title-Ever After, a Cinderellla Story) and the other "The Man in the Iron Mask. These usually don't have captions (I mean on tv, I can't remember if it was Telemundo or Telefuturo that had them), but they are redubbed in Spanish. I had no trouble understanding the whole movies with just a lost word here or there, because I have trained my ear and brain to recognize words spoken by using the captions Emotion: smile
I think using captions is a good idea. I try to watch my cartoon DVDs in Spanish (Shrek, Finding Nemo, etc), but the Spanish subtitles usually don't match the Spanish words because they are translated independently of each other. Do you know of any cartoon DVDs that have captioning instead of subtitles?
GraphicMD I think using captions is a good idea. I try to watch my cartoon DVDs in Spanish (Shrek, Finding Nemo, etc), but the Spanish subtitles usually don't match the Spanish words because they are translated independently of each other. Do you know of any cartoon DVDs that have captioning instead of subtitles?
hmmm..... It seems that movies are more often a little differently translated, but still helpful because if you can't understand what they are saying, you can pick up the main idea and pick out the important words with the captioning. I've even listened in Spanish and read English captioning, and believe it or not, even that works. Because you know what they are talking about and it helps you be sure of the word you 'thought' you heard in Spanish, and confirms it when you read the English. Now there is another function called SAP, and sometimes you set that on your tv (straight cable) and sometimes you set your cable/sat box. I have mine SAP(second audio) set on Spanish and get sitcoms and movies and also many of the disney movies on their channel come across in Spanish. Today The Aristocats is on at 5eastern, I don't know yet if it will be in Spanish or not. Lilo and Stitch were - they were GOOD! I'm trying to remember more, but brain is blank!
Close captioned should be word for word. That is more helpful because you can see exactly what you are hearing. You can learn the words and then listen for them. Using subtitles, which are translated differently from the audio tracks, this simply is not possable. Sure you will get the "gist" of what is being said, but it is not near as beneficial for learning. Unfortunately DVD's usually are not captioned, but subtitled.
GraphicMDClose captioned should be word for word. That is more helpful because you can see exactly what you are hearing. You can learn the words and then listen for them. Using subtitles, which are translated differently from the audio tracks, this simply is not possable. Sure you will get the "gist" of what is being said, but it is not near as beneficial for learning. Unfortunately DVD's usually are not captioned, but subtitled.

Well, sure, but you have to remember that everyone doesn't have everything. People have to use what tools are available to them. Some people are not in the position to be the one making the decisions as to whether they buy satellite tv and so can get captions. But they may be able to rent or check out of the library a dvd. Any tool one has at all is better than no tools, and people are wise to use whatever they can to increase their exposure. I've had Spanish with no words written of any kind - learned almost nothing but did develope an ear for what Spanish sounds like. And I've also had Spanish captioning, English captioning and subtitles on DVDs. I found they each did teach me something. I think the more someone already knows, the less likely they are to think they can learn from something that is not perfectly what they would wish for. But if you don't know so much yet, you don't have to theorize, you can see for yourself if it is helping you or not, and it did help me, no matter which form of words I got. And people are at different stages. If you don't know any words, the different mix up subtitle words and spoken words is going to be better than nothing, but if you do know something already, it's cool because you can see and hear 2 different ways to say the same thing at the same time. There are some movies that seem to be better at matching than others.

I'll try to review some of my dvds (in my spare time, ha, ha) and see if I can recomment anything in particular for having good matching between spoken and written words. Emotion: smile