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Tag: foreign languages

Learning Spanish Has Many Advantages and Can Be Easy to Learn If You Make the Right Decisions

by on Apr.06, 2012, under Travel

If you are debating the idea of learning a new language then might I spur you along by allowing you to read this article? The hardest languages to learn in the world are Chinese, Arabic and Tuyuca. English is also considered on of the hardest languages in the world to learn fluently. This is because so many people struggle with being able to pronounce the words clearly and accurately. The good news is that Spanish is one of the easier languages to learn, especially, if you are considering learning a new language for the first time.

Learning Spanish can be accomplished in as little as three months if you are dedicated and diligent with your time. Most people have really hectic lives and it will take probably twice as long. Before you start your studies you need to develop a study plan and decide what resources you want to use to learn Spanish. Developing a study plan is the most important part of actually learning the language you are interested in learning. If you think you’re going to study every day then the odds are pretty high that you will get side tracked start skipping study dates on a regular basis. When you develop your study plan, you need to pick the days in which you want to study and you need to set a side the same amount of time on each of those days to study. Don’t make you’re study guide an every day event because you do need that “me time” to keep yourself motivated and striving to reach your goals. Once you have developed your study plan you need to decide on what resources want to use to help you learn Spanish.

Traditionally, people would hit up their local college and take a college course to help learn Spanish. Don’t get me wrong because I do think that college courses are great but they do have many faults. Mainly, you are on a set schedule and you are limited in the pace of your progress. If you like to put the pedal to the floor board and listen to the engine roar then you really need to pick a different option! Another option is buying the textbooks that your local college would use and teach yourself. This is great and all but you will not realize where you are messing up and you may actually learn Spanish in a format that is nothing like the spoken language. Personally, I feel that your best chance of being most successful at learning a new language is buying a software program that teaches you the language. If you are wondering why you should buy a software program that will teach you a new language then hold on because I am fixing to tell you!

A language teaching software program is a great tool to use in your quest to learn a new language. This is because the software programs are continually being modified and improved for your use. For instance: speech recognition, progress tracking, and personal support staff. These are just a few of the tools available to individuals who choose to use a software program to help them learn a new language. In addition, you can learn at your own pace and test yourself on what you have learned on a regular basis.

There are lots of advantages to learning Spanish, find out how you can benefit by taking the next steps towards learning Spanish today!

Learning a new language can seem like an overwhelming task. You can learn more about several of the best language learning software programs by visiting the previous link. For additional information on other language learning software programs visit TopOnlineReviews4u.com.

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    Learn Italian: Easy Look at Vowels

    by on Dec.19, 2010, under Travel

    For most native English speakers, to learn Italian language pronunciation is a challenge within reach compared to many other languages. Only a small number of consonant sounds do not have direct English equivalents; however, the wide exposure to Italian cuisine, movies, and music has given a number of people at least some familiarity with these different sounds. As for the vowels, they all can be found in English! While there are five written vowel letters “a, e, i, o, u”, there are seven distinct vowel sounds. These other two sounds come from the “open” and “close” pronunciations of the letters “e” and “o”. What is an “open” or “close” vowel sound? Let’s find out by taking a closer look at how to pronounce all the Italian vowels.

    First, let’s begin with the vowels that always have the same sound. Whenever you see the vowels “a”, “i”, and “u” between consonants or alone at the beginning/end of a word, you’ll see that the “a” sounds like the “a” in the English word “father” as in gatto (cat), the “i” sounds like the “ee” in the English word “see” as in amico (friend), and the “u” sounds like the “oo” English word “food” as in uno (one). However, when vowels are next to other vowels, they sometimes can combine with their neighbors and form a new sound that is called a diphthong (two vowel sounds combined into one) or triphthong (three vowel sounds combined into one), but to go into more detail is beyond the scope of this article.

    Now, let’s take a look at the letters “e” and “o”. Both these letters have what is called an “open” and “close” pronunciation. These terms describe the position of the tongue in the mouth when the vowel sound is made. For an “open” vowel sound, the tongue is placed at the bottom of the mouth creating an open cavity for air to pass through. On the other hand, a “close” vowel sound is made when the tongue is raised close to the roof of the mouth minimizing the amount of air that passes and changing the sound of the vowel.

    In Italian, the open “e” sounds like the “e” in the English word “bed” as in bella (pretty). While, the close “e” sounds like the “ai” in the English word “maid” as in mela (apple). There are even some words that differ in meaning solely by the use of a close “e” or open “e”. For example, in Italian pronounce the word pesca with a close “e” and your Italian friend will think you’re talking about a “peach”. If you say pesca with an open “e” it takes on the meaning of “fishing.” Like the letter “e”, the Italian “o” has both open and close pronunciations. The open “o” sounds like the “o” in the English word “hog” as in forza (strength) while the close “o” sounds like the “oe” in the English word “toe” as in signore (sir; gentleman).

    So, how do you know when to pronounce an Italian “e” or “o” as an open or close vowel? Usually, in unstressed syllables you’ll only find close vowels such as the “o” in sabato (Saturday) and the “e” in nove (nine). However, in stressed syllables you can come across either the close or open vowel sound. Sometimes accent marks can be placed over the vowels to help you tell the difference in pronunciations. The upward angled mark (acute accent), as in “” or “”, designates an open pronunciation while the falling mark (grave accent), as in “” or “”, signifies a close pronunciation. While you may find these accent marks provided in dictionaries or even in written material when the author is clarifying homographs such as ancra (still) as opposed to ncora (anchor), you’ll generally only find an accent mark on the final syllable if it’s stressed like with perch (why), caff (coffee), and per (but).

    Even then, particularly in handwriting, many Italians use the accent mark only as a marker of stress and not to distinguish between the open and close pronunciations. So, you may come across a stroke above the letter that looks neither acute nor grave. Or, you may discover grave accents used for all cases. While these guidelines follow the pronunciation of the Tuscan accent which has become the neutral standard used in dictionaries and in the media, Italy is still a country with many strong regional accents. In some cases, the use of a close or open vowel for a certain word is the exact opposite usage of another region. Or, some regional accents may not make a distinction between an open and close vowel that another would. So,listen for the sounds of the letters “e” and “o” from the accent you’re trying to emulate. Get out there, have fun and talk to people! Ciao!

    For more on italian pronunciation audio resources try looking through this Italian pronunciation guide and consider learning on the go with mobile devices like that iPhone which integrate aural and visual stimuli.

    Polyglot and world nomad, PT Gardner loves Romance languages and can while away the day with a dictionary. You can find him blogging here.

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    Tips For Getting The Gender Of Spanish Nouns Always Right

    by on Oct.04, 2010, under spain

    Forgetting the gender of the Spanish nouns you’re supposed to know well is both frustrating and demotivating. Today I’m going to walk you through the main reason why those mistakes are made, and I’m going to give you an easy solution.

    In my experience as a Spanish teacher, the reason why you find yourself making gender mistakes is because of the way you learned the nouns when you first came across them, and the way you’ve reviewed them afterwards.

    Is there a technique for learning Spanish nouns that stops you from making gender errors? There is indeed, and it’s a simple two-step solution:

    1. Every time you come across a new Spanish noun, make sure you learn it with ‘el’ or ‘la’. Likewise, when you’re reviewing vocabulary, do so with ‘el’ or ‘la’ in front of all nouns.

    2. Learn Spanish vocabulary with audio flashcards recorded by native speakers.

    I’ve recommended this way of learning new vocabulary to my students for many years. It’s the fastest and most efficient method.

    It takes the same effort to learn Spanish nouns with and without their articles. Learning them with ‘el’ or ‘la’ will save you valuable time and disappointment. As an example, remember to avoid learning that:

    the word ‘flor’ means ‘flower’

    Remember to learn:

    the Spanish noun ‘la flor’ means ‘the flower’

    This will guarantee that soon you won’t need to ask yourself anymore whether ‘flor’ comes with ‘el’ or ‘la’, because ‘la flor’ now sounds right to you, just like it sounds right to a native speaker.

    Vocabulary audio flashcards are those that give you a list of Spanish words said by native speakers, and they also give you their English translation.

    Learning Spanish vocabulary with audio flashcards is faster and more accurate than learning from print. They work wonders for your pronunciation and allow you to review with ease. All the Spanish learning material that I’ve created over the years includes audio flashcards: my online course, podcasts, videos and apps.

    In brief, learning Spanish nouns with their articles and studying vocabulary with audio flashcards will greatly speed up your language learning results.

    Want to find out more about Maria Fernandez’s Spanish online course? Visit Spanish Bookworld to learn vocabulary with Maria’s Spanish audio flashcards.

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    Behind HJDS Travel Group Blog

    My name is Harry Delgado and I am a full time Internet and Small Business developer and marketer. Over 30 years in the Computer systems development, programming, hardware installations and support. Currently making a living from blogs like HJDS Computer Services , HJDS Investment Group and HJDS BlogBiz. You can connect with me via social media sites at Facebook - LinkedIn - Twitter - YouTube.