Best Method Short of Living in a Spanish-Speaking Country

michaelI first became a student of Spanish when I met my wife who is Peruvian. In the beginning, I was just trying to learn hello, thank you, mostly to impress her. I found myself wanting to learn more. This was before Rosetta Stone was regularly available and I tried every method you can imagine from college classes, to tapes to watching kids programs in Spanish. I learned something from all of them but I feel I always learned the most in the times I was immersed. I tried personal tutors through immersion, but at the end of the three hour class, you mind switches back to English only.

Rosetta Stone is different and the retention I have experienced is far superior than I have experienced except for the time I spent 3 weeks in Peru. Now I find myself looking at an object in the dining room and thinking Mesa rather than That is a table=Etse es la mesa. I am thru level 1 and look forward to starting 2.

I would like to offer this disclaimer however. Rosetta Stone is good, but it is not magic. You still need to discipline yourself to do your lessons and more importantly talk with people other than your computers. In any small or mid sized communities, there are discussion groups, or talk to a local college Spanish club. I am fortunate that a lot of my wife’s family, do not speak English so I am forced to practice often. I caution people because a friend of mine met an Italian girl on line, bought Rosetta Stone after I recommended it but only spent about 10 hours with it and got frustrated because he thought he would be fluent immediately. Again, just remember, you did not learn English in 2 weeks, you will not learn any other language in two weeks either.

Dynamic immersion is great and by far the most effective method I have used but it is not magic. The decision to learn or not, is yours. Rosetta Stone is the tool.

– Michael T., West Hartford, Connecticut

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