questionswhich are the best books for learning spanish by…

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I have found that knowing all the vocabulary in the world doesn't help at all if you suck at grammar (like I do, sadly.) Look around some used bookstores and find some old college textbooks. They should be way better than the books you see on Amazon that only teach you vocabulary and a few random phrases.

Another thing to consider is learning from a book is going to teach you to speak the more formal versions of a language. If you want to sound natural, consider getting a Spanish speaking pen pal so that you can have real conversations.

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As for books, I'm not sure, but my wife has been using Rosetta stone and really likes it. It's a bit pricey, but if you buy it through them directly and don't like it, you can return it for a full refund within 6 months. Hope this helps.

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I live in a town which is 82% Hispanic, so you can imagine it's a bit of a liability not being able to speak it. Most of the people I know who have learned conversational Spanish did so by watching novellas (Mexican soap operas). Because they tend to be quite melodramatic, when you first start watching them you kind of get the idea what they are saying from expression and body language, and as you watch more and more you just start picking it up. It sounds crazy, but I know a number of people who are quite comfortable conversing in Spanish and that's the way they learned. They also tell me that the novellas are really pretty enjoyable, so it's a lot more fun to learn that way.

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@moondrake: try out caraycaray.blogspot.com...

my mom started it when she was learning spanish. It's got community volunteers all working together and producing often-humorous recaps of novelas.

Some of the shows really stink, but we've found a few that are pretty amusing (usually the comedy ones)

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2 solutions: Instant Immersion Spanish Pro, a 7-CD set you can often pick up used for less than $20.
Check your local city (and state university!)library system. We can stream Spanish lessons for free, and they're actually pretty decent.
Plus, you're already paying for it, might as well try it!

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Also I would recommend downloading an mp3 set like Pimsleur or something (I liked them better than rosetta stone). I'm doing a French one right now. I don't know how to spell anything, but the audio really helps. they do teach you some shocking things, though:

"ask the young woman if she would like to have a drink at your place: perdon, mademoiselle, escu vu vudrie boir quelque chose chez moi?"

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I would go with Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone...both are good for learning a language quickly.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/

Rosetta is a bit pricey, but there are a lot of free alternatives that offer the same services.

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@purplefeather: Thank you very very much, your answer is wonderful and really helpful for me... Much thanks!

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@havocsback: Amazing methods to learn Spanish, much appreciation...

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Oh, I didn't think about the novellas. Those are a great idea! Once you know a bit you can also go to the library and check out children's books written in Spanish. I think I've heard about people learning English that way. They're great because the language is simple. When I was learning Spanish I had a book about a little girl going to a tea party, with all of the adults giving advice like "Don't be rude." and "Don't talk with your mouth full."

I don't want to knock the people who say Rosetta Stone works, but I wouldn't go that route unless you actually HAVE to learn Spanish and have to learn it quickly. I think the software costs about $500 and for me, that's just too much money for something that I'd be doing on my own for fun.