Want to learn Spanish without spending a lot of money?
Map of Countries with high Spanish use
The consensus that I have found is that the software called Rosetta Stone is the gold standard for learning foreign languages. I agree that this awesome software is worthwhile if you have the means to take advantage of it. The biggest downside is the cost of the software. I couldn't justify the cost for my own purposes so I kept looking for an alternative.
I have attempted to learn Spanish several time using Audio CD's. Sometimes I would get them from the library. Once I shelled out over $75.00 to purchase a set. I never had very good luck with this method. There was no interaction, just repeating what the CD told you to say and trying to memorize. It is definitely a useful tool but not optimal.
This is another method I had tried several times over the years. Whether you use the various lesson books available or a English - Spanish dictionary they all have their own failings. Again, there was no interaction and no one to correct your errors. This method works well for some people but not for me. Also with no audio component, you have no real way to know if you are pronouncing the word correctly.
This method has by far been the most successful for me. There are tons of apps available on the app stores attached to the various devices we all carry. Some are free and some are not. After trying out many, I found one called Duolingo. This app is great. It requires you to translate, pronounce, and write. It is very comprehensive and also fun. The way you have to gain points to progress to the next level almost turns it into a game. The best part is that it is FREE!!! I have been using Duolingo for a couple of weeks now and am starting to be able to interact with non English speakers at work and my job has become easier thanks to that. Another perk of Duolingo is that it is available for many different languages.
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