If you are interested in a new culture, then learning a new language can be part and parcel of learning about that new culture. I was quite interested in the films of Pedro Almodovar, and because of that I wanted to learn Spanish. The films created a curiosity of the Spanish culture that I felt would be even greater fed by learning Spanish. And I thought, since it’s so similar to English, that it would be a fun and easy way to have a new project.
The first thing I did was look into Spanish language learning software programs. These programs are a great way to learn at home if you don’t have the luxury of going to a class somewhere. The only downside of these programs is that you have to motivate yourself into learning. Sometimes this can be hard – it takes quite a bit of self-discipline to learn a new language. I often give people tips to get themselves on a schedule. Create a calendar and make daily goals. Then give yourself stars or stickers (hey, don’t be afraid to get creative with this one! Revert back to childhood if you must. Remember how exciting it was to get “gold stars” in elementary school?)
So now that you want to learn, I highly recommend doing some research into the best language learning software programs that are out there on the market. I am a huge fan of the Rocket Languages software programs. They are highly detailed, expansive, and the new 2017 versions have updated user interfaces and a dedicated iPhone app! They have made tremendous improvements to their software in the last few years, keeping it very competitive to higher priced solutions such as Rosetta Stone and DuoLingo.
If you’re interested in my take on the Rocket Languages software programs then you can check out my review over on my blog called Little Language Site. The link is: http://www.littlelanguagesite.com/rocket-spanish-review/
I pretty much go over the program, the different features, as well as the pros and cons of the program itself. It is for more traditional learning folks – which I think is most people. Where Rosetta Stone has a more non-traditional learning style (learning through audio only), Rocket Languages uses Audio as well as written words. I find the more traditional style to be better for me, but it might be worth doing a trial of the different programs in order to get a feel for how you think you would do with each different style.
The best thing to do is to just give a few programs a try. YOU have to be the one who enjoys it, not me or any other reviewer. It’s essential that you like the outline, presentation and style of the course that you choose.
One last word – learning a new language is TOUGH. Yes, you will really need to dedicate some serious time before you actually get anywhere. It’s quite a journey, but there is nothing more rewarding than getting in those first few conversations with native speakers. It’s what makes it all worth it!