I am retiring shortly and one of the things I would love to do is to learn a foreign language (probably Spanish). I don't ever think I could become proficient at it but would like to be able to hold simple conversation/request things in bars and shops. I always feel so ignorant when I am abroad that I can't speak any of the language. Has anyone ever used an on-line method to do this and if so which one? How long did it take you to become confident enough to start a simple request? Thanks
I didn't learn another language online, but when I suddenly had to use German for work, it was very nice to find so many good videos on Youtube and I also found a good homepage where I could rehearse German grammar.
Oh sorry, I should have mentioned, that I had studied German earlier and had been almost fluent but then hadn't used it for more than 20 years. That meant that I also spent some time watching vidoes, that were very basic. They rehearsed sentences like "This is my sister", "I would like to buy a beer" and "How old are you?".
I like YouTube videos such as lightspeed Spanish. You need to practise speaking and listening and common phrases whereas duolingo gets quite boring although it's good for testing yourself. I do evening classes as well - I'd never be motivated enough otherwise
I tried Duolingo, but found it very slow and repetitive. It didn't have any lists of conjugations etc so I never felt I got the proper foundations of a language, just umpteen repititions of asking for a coffee etc.
However, I've tried learning Polish through Duolingo and got reasonably far- because it was my entertainment on the bus to work. Now I no longer get the bus to work I can just about remember how to say "she is eating two apples", but nothing beyond that. For what it's worth I already spoke six languages to a reasonable degree of fluency and so am "good at languages"(TM), and I have dabbled in about twelve more. However, without any real motivation (or Krashen's "comprehensible input"- I'm a bit dubious on this), nothing has ever stuck. I am still a proud owner of "Teach Yourself Babylonian", though, and can still recognise a G-stem even if I don't know what it bloody means.