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Danfun64

Any recommendations for learning Mexican Spanish (and possibly German as well)?

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My family is moving to Texas (from Virginia). I have a feeling that knowing Mexican Spanish would be fairly helpful. Can you point to some good free (and linux friendly) resources for learning Latin American Spanish? German might also be useful, as the town/city/county/whatever we're moving to has a large German community.

I specifically want Mexican/Latin American Spanish where possible, as I don't want to get confused by the different dialects, and to me learning European Spanish when I am American is the equivalent of learning British English in Mexico, it makes you feel like you belong to two different continents at once.

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Duo Lingo is an iPad app my wife uses often for learning French and she's speaking full sentences with ease now. I'm certain it would have Mexican Spanish as well, but I'm not sure if there's a Linux version.

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From my experience (I'm part Spanish and grew up in a bilingual household), learning just standard Spanish will help just as much. My grandma (Castilian Spanish) can understand people in stores (Mexican Spanish) and a friend of mine (Argentinian Spanish) just fine. But that's just me. Just carry around a dictionary.

As for Linux-friendly stuff, there's a flashcard program called KWordQuiz. Parley is another vocabulary tool. Also, KLettres helps with learning alternate scripts or syllables.

On a side note, when I was learning Japanese, I would practice by translating songs into English. This needs an understanding of the grammar, of course, but it's something to do later on. Also force your Linux desktop into Spanish for a while to learn some of the computer-related phrases (this helped with Japanese for me).

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Yeah, I think a very important thing here is to force yourself to deal with the language every day. I switched my iPod to Japanese, installed Japanese Firefox, I try to read Japanese labels on shampoos and stuff like that, etc. Basically try to accumulate as much of these little experiences as possible, and in the long run they will really make a difference.

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Just for the record, all variants of Spanish can understand each other rather easily, Latin American Spanish and European Spanish are generally regarded as the Standards.

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Spanish to me is easy to understand even though i don't speak it that much, probably because both Portuguese and Spanish are similar, as for German, i learn it via movies and stuff like that.
Although it's a shame that nowadays German being taught in schools is rare in my country.

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As others said, learning "just Spanish" is enough to communicate with basically anyone that speaks the language, differences aren't really important, it's like the difference between Australian, British, and American English.

That said, I'm from Mexico, so if you have any doubt, feel free to PM me, I'm always glad to help.

Good luck.

EDIT: Typo.

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I've learned a good amount of Spanish just from living in close proximity to large Cuban, and Ecuadorian communities for many years. I can understand much of it, but I cannot really speak it/read or write. The longer you live near Spanish-speaking communities, the more you will pick it up here and there. But with any language; I find, that endeavoring to speak it often, is the only real way to retain it fluently.

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I picked up "German For Dummies" a while back and found it helpful. Mein duetsch ist nicht gut, but I retained enough to be able to not be conpletely lost if I went over there.

Another thing that helps is nursery rhymes. Learn them in German and you'll be surprised what you retain. Hell, you could even listen to Rammstein and read the english translation as you listen to the song and hen just sing along. That helped me a lot, too.

As far as spanish goes...I flunked out of my high school spanish class. However, I am getting a poquiño bueno at it thanks to my girlfriend. She is Mexican, and English is her second language. Her house is Spanish speaking, and through being there as often as I am, I have simply picked up on it.

The human mind is a great thing. If you are going to be living in a predominantly spanish speaking area, you'll pick up on it in due time. Try making friends with Spanish speakers.

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Live amongst Spanish speakers who don't speak a lick of English and try to speak Spanish with them. In approximately six months to a year, you will be able to speak decent Spanish. At least that is how long it took me. Just learn basic grammar, basic vocabulary, and practice, practice, practice. It will take time for you to be able to understand what they are saying, but eventually you will be able to distinguish the words and understand it just like you understand English.

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Where in Texas are you moving to? You're not really stepping into a different country. I've been in DFW for the past 12 years and I've never needed more than "Hola." However, it does look damn good on a resume.

If you say "y'all" instead of "you guys," you're probably ready.

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Dude, if he says "y'all" instead of "you guys", I'm moving to Texas to kick his ass.

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