The big reason why I have chosen to learn Spanish is that most of Central and South America open up to me if I learn it.
Once I get over the big hump of language acquisition, I can comfortably travel to Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, Argentina, and many other places. Visiting, doing business, and living in these places all becomes easier if I am fluent. Learning Spanish is like a passport to the Latin world (starting with Colombia).
Plus, there are loads of inherent benefits in learning a foreign language… I can make friends I never would have had. I can entertain thoughts and new points of view I never encountered. I can interact with new and exotic personalities. I can open myself to new kinds of experiences… My world is greatly expanded.
I have all this to look forward to!
Where I Begin
Having not taken Spanish in middle school or high school (I took 6 years of Latin), I will essentially be starting from scratch. And I am not going to take any formal classes… this will be all self-acquired.
I wrote down the goal of completing Lessons 1-90 of Pimsleur’s Spanish by the end of 2010.This was better than writing down a vague goal like “learn Spanish” which is not measurable, attainable, or specific. There’s really no way of telling if I have “learned Spanish”, but if I can get through lessons 1-90, then I will have achieved my goal for the year. (Update: I did it! I accomplished my 2010 resolution. You can also read my definitive review of the Pimsleur program.)
I have also used LiveMocha extensively. Their basic courses are pretty good, and are free (if you attain a certain number of teacher points). It is a really good resource to practice your target language, improve your vocabulary, and help others learn. It is especially great way to meet native Spanish speakers.
Follow along on my journey to fluency:
Here are some notes I have made along the way to fluency in Spanish:
- How to Learn Spanish Intonation Without Boring Yourself to Death
- 5 Ways You Are Slowing Your Progress To Fluency
- How Fast Can You Really Learn Spanish?
- The Paradox of Motivation
- How I Accomplished My 2010 New Year’s Resolution and What I Learned In The Process
- Get Spanish Help Right Now Using These 2 Resources (They’re Free)
- 8 Reasons Why You Still Haven’t Learned Your Target Foreign Language
- How To Learn Spanish Fast
- Guide To Livemocha: How To Effectively Use The World’s Largest Language Learning Community
- Why Clicking Pictures Won’t Help You Learn A Foreign Language
- Fluency vs. Proficiency (And Why It Matters)
- Review Of SpanishPod101.com: Very Useful Once Beyond Beginner’s Level
- The Book Hack For Learning A New Language
- Pimsleur Spanish Program: The Definitive Review