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Cuban Spanish lessons?

Seeing that I really enjoy my vacations in Cuba and don’t plan on stopping, it would be nice to learn some spanish.

I am looking for advise on where to start? For anyone that has studied spanish on their own, did you use a class setting, tutor, or some kind of online (or not) program. Was one form better then another? Why?

From what I understand, spanish is one of the easier languages to learn, so how long did it take you to learn enough to be able to communicate? speak well?


We are in classes at the local college, I don’t learn so well on my own. It’s going and I can probably understand and speak a little at this point.

I’ve been taking classroom lessons since the beginning of Spanish, because I need the structure and schedule. If someone speaks very slowly (despacio, por favor), I will likely be able to understand some of what they say, but I am by no means fluent after two months. It takes a lot of practice to learn a new language, especially, if like me, you have only ever learned English.

sincecure, how long have you been going to the class.?

We also took a course at our local college. Unfortunately, its a case of use it or lose it. Since we haven’t been using it much, its hard to remember. I can generally pick up a word here and there and get the gist of the conversation, but speaking it well? I did really well when I went to Cuba in the middle of the course but now?

Hubby and I usually practice a bit with each other to try and refresh before we go down and we have some books that we usually review as well. (This is spanish we’re talking about, I got thinking this sounded a little lewd :D)

It’s always fun to try and speak the language and the people really seem to appreciate our efforts.


Our class started in Oct. so only a few weeks old now.

If you are in Oakville, beginners classes start in a couple of weeks with Fanny Garcia and I believe the cost is only about $40.00 as it is done through the school board. I have had classes with her for about 5 years now.
Remends me… got to do my homework tonight. Class in the morning.

Hey Rainbow can you send me a PM with Fanny Gracia’s contact info if you have it. I am very interested in taking classes with her and I am in the Oakville/Burlington area too.
Muchas gracias

I’d say I’m “functionally fluent”. I read, read, read and watch a few hours of TV in Spanish every week. If you can, watch/read the News in Spanish. Barack Obama is the same in English, Spanish, French, German, etc.

The reading gives you context and vocabulary - the watching TV gives you pronunciation.

Then, when you get to Cuba, practice, practice, practice. :slight_smile:

I took some classes at the college, bought some CDs too. I speak with the Spanish-speaking people who clean our building at work, but I`m not satisfied with my progress, especially my oral comprehension.

Ive heard good things about the Rosetta Stone courses on CDs, but theyre very pricey. I`m thinking about that next.


I have a Rosetta Stone course and it’s OK but I find it very boring.

I have a large collection of Latin American music (lots of Cuban) and I have set up a play list for my iPod with songs that have clear lyrics, usually the slower ones. I listen to them when I walk the dog and try to comprehend. Every time I pick out a new phrase or word, I look it up in my books. I also have a home study grammar and verb book that I’m working through. This method is working VERY well for me. I remember what I learned because I’m listening to it over and over, and it’s in context. I love the material I’m working with, so it’s interesting. The only downside is that I have a weird vocabulary based largely on love, broken hearts, social injustice and how beautiful Cuba is. But that’s not a bad description of Cuba anyway, so it works. I had very basic Spanish when I started this project; otherwise, it probably would have been harder. But after 2 years of doing this, I am actually getting along very well with communcating with the Cubans (just got back 2 weeks ago). They keep telling me my Spanish is very good and I had some genuine in-depth conversations, with lots of laughs when I got mixed up.

I am now looking for a buddy with whom I can get together a couple of times a month for coffee to chat. There is a Hispanic food store on Main St. in Milton with a bulletin board; I’m going to put up a notice there. There is also a Halton Hispanic Association that I mean to investigate. (apologies to you readers who don’t live in the GTA).

And isn’t it SO much better to be able to talk to the wonderful Cubans?!

I don’t know Rosetta Stone, but I have used the Pimsleur cd course and think it is excellent. I illegally (?) uploaded it to my computer from the library cd’s, then downloaded it to my IPod so I walk around the streets of Vancouver seemingly talking to myself while listening to it, but it is clear, logical and repetitive enough for me to remember what I am supposed to be learning.

:slight_smile: I took a beginner course at our local university and really enjoyed it. Since then, however, getting to another course has been more difficult to work into my schedule, unfortunately.

One of our teachers married a Columbian man (she knew almost no spanish when she met him, he knew some english) so she HAD to learn spanish so she could keep up with the family conversations. She highly recommended watching movies and TV shows that are all in spanish, but also take some courses.

One of the books that was highly recommend by our instructor was a book called “Spanish Made Simple”. It’s kind of a work-book / story that is really easy to understand. Memorization is a key element.

As someone mentioned, however, use it or lose it. There are some great tips here (spanish tunes, books, TV, etc) and I think having some instruction is really a good “base” to get you started. :-*

Another good book is Como Se Dice and the prices for edition 7 are very reasonable on Ebay. I bought the work book, text book AND CD’s with shipping for $25.00 US.

We took a Spanish course at our Community College a couple of years ago.
The handbook they pushed was Spanish at a Glance
which was a good phrasebook and dictionary.
Although I am a bit old to be learning new languages,
if I were to do so, I would immerse myself in it completely…
no English. Speak or starve