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Old 08-02-2011, 06:45 PM
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
3,514 posts, read 5,996,012 times
Reputation: 2919


I recently saw this video of a girl from Alabama who says she used Rocket Spanish to become fluent (her actual words) in 2 months. Is this for real?

‪How i learned to speak spanish fluently online.wmv‬‏ - YouTube

To give you an idea...I am very good at learning languages (at least I THINK I am), I pickup stuff fast. I first started learning spanish when I took a semester of it in college. For the next 2 yrs or so I just learned by myself on an off, picking up stuff from songs etc., but not too seriously, although I picked up a lot I couldn't speak well.

Then here I am in South America...I did a month of immersion in Quito, Ecuador which helped immensely and after that I traveled across Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia and now Chile. My Spanish still sucks but I can communicate in a fair manner but still make tons of mistakes. Actually natives commend me on my spanish but I know they are being kind I mess up Imperfect/Preterite a lot and also Indicative and Subjunctive. Of course I am extremely "fluent" with basic tourist type spanish "I want, give me, where is, can I, when, what ..blah blah"...but that is hardly the full extent of the language so I cannot call myself fluent.

Also, here in Chile, I can comprehend some people just fine and others I can't understand at all, nothing at all...because of the way they speak.

I just feel I have SO much to learn, including the huge number of idioms and various structures that mean stuff (for instance volver + a = to do it again) it's a constant process yet I can't imagine how people are becoming fluent in 2 months, that too without even living in a Spanish speaking environment. Am I missing something

Another thing I notice is that people who can hardly speak any Spanish at all claim to understand a person who is speaking Spanish when I myself was having trouble understanding everything they said... now I was talking to the native person in Spanish all the time and the other person cannot even say 2 words in Spanish yet they understood it and I didn't. Then I asked them and it seems they just guessed what it was, it actually wasn't what the spanish speaker had said at all but in the persons mind they had understood it. No wonder so many people claim to understand Spanish without even knowing much vocabulary or perhaps they just pickup 1 or 2 words in the sentence that they understand and guess the meaning of the entire sentence?? It has always intrigued me.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:34 PM
230 posts, read 597,755 times
Reputation: 211
A lot of liars out there. I have students who have been very sad because people around them have told them they can understand everything in English but have trouble speaking it. Later I have met a few of these apparently amazing listeners and have spoken to them in English. Usually they can't understand crap. They will respond but in ways that make no sense and it is obvious they don't know what I am saying and it is not a matter of not being able to respond. If it were a problem of being able to respond they could do it in Portuguese because after having been here for almost 10 years I really can understand most but not all of what people say.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:44 PM
10,940 posts, read 5,576,382 times
Reputation: 3793
As a language fan, I don't buy it. Basic Fluency in Spanish in 1 year, sure, definitely doable especially if you live in a spanish speaking country. 2 months using one program, absolutely not unless she's a language savant. Rocket Spanish doesn't have sufficient material to reach fluency. She would need extensive native material to reach true fluency (although the meaning of fluency is highly subjective).
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:47 PM
1,486 posts, read 1,903,273 times
Reputation: 873
I skipped through a lot of the video but I didn't hear her speak one word of Spanish giving us "proof" she is fluent. It's a lie.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:46 AM
Location: western East Roman Empire
4,694 posts, read 7,870,117 times
Reputation: 3237
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
I recently saw this video of a girl from Alabama who says she used Rocket Spanish to become fluent (her actual words) in 2 months. Is this for real?
No, nor is Rosetta Stone.

I set the basis for becoming fluent in Spanish with six weeks of grammar study and one month of conversation study in Spain, but after about six years of Latin, a few years of French, university courses in linguistics, 20 years of Italian of which 10 in Italy, two years of Portuguese in Portugal, and four years of Greek in Greece (ancient classical, ancient koine, katharevousa, and modern). I have spent the last six years in mainly a Latin American Spanish-speaking environment. I would say that I am trilingual English-Italian-Spanish (understand, speak, read, write), can read (European and Brazilian) and understand (European) Portuguese (can't speak a lick of it any more), read French, and am intermediate in modern Greek (I do better at reading ancient koine Greek).

Therefore, based on my experience, if you had had many years of fluent experience in Portuguese, on the one hand, and French and/or Italian, on the other, then I would say yes, it is possible in two months, but based on your proven ability and experience, the fruit of at least several prior years, if not a decade or two, of rigorous preparation, and not based on some overpriced gimmick.

You say that you are very good at learning languages. So on the basis of which other languages are you already fluent in that you will become fluent in Spanish in two months?

If not, then, the best approach, in my experience, is rigorous study of grammar and in-country experience. The grammar study should be based on a simple, basic, no nonsense grammar book, no more than 1/4 inch thick and should cost no more than $10-$12. Anything more than that and you have overpaid for a gimmick and/or inane inefficiency.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:30 AM
Location: Barcelona, Spain
281 posts, read 530,508 times
Reputation: 240
Three words: no f****** way.

Incidentally, I am Spanish.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:51 AM
Location: Belgium
1,173 posts, read 1,274,865 times
Reputation: 1399
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
I mess up Imperfect/Preterite a lot and also Indicative and Subjunctive.
Same thing here. I speak decent Spanish after a year of study and lots of watching TVE and reading El País and all . But damned if I won't mix up those Imperfect/Preterite and Indicative/Subjunctive when I speak it. These things don't exist in Dutch, so it's not easy to know exactly when you have to use what.

But unless your some unreal wunderkind, I seriously doubt that you can go from nowhere to fluent in a mere 2 months, in any language.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:18 AM
999 posts, read 956,964 times
Reputation: 494
There is no way.

In two months you might be able to say quite a few sentences and also also understand a little bit, but I doubt you would be able to carry or understand a complete conversation. Impossible.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:06 AM
224 posts, read 488,526 times
Reputation: 156
IN TWO MONTHS. FLUENT no ****ing way.

Also what is fluency? Is it being able to "live" there using spanish. Meaning you could buy groceries and order colas?

Or is it understand everything said on tv and things spoken to you, also being able to articulate you exact thoughts in words.
Im sure you could learn the first one but thats not fluency. The latter is.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:10 AM
Location: Texas
35,117 posts, read 35,735,980 times
Reputation: 48978
Hm. To me, fluency is about not having to think before you speak. You just speak. I am like that with English and Spanish.

However, I was able to articulate basically all my thoughts in Russian, but I'd have to think about it along the way...

So does that mean I was fluent?
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