I’m just new to Say Something in Spanish. I love it. I am on Challenge 2.
To be perfectly honest I can hardly remember what the guy is saying in my own language, much less try to repeat what he is saying in my target language - Spanish!
Is anyone else having this problem?
I’m trying to remember what he is saying in my own language and before I get to translating what he is saying, the speakers are already translating. They are faster than I am.
How do I remember the sentence in my own language? It’s like a tongue twister. Makes me crazy - muy loco!
This is pretty common to begin with so don’t fret. Your memory will get stronger, and especially early on, just concentrate to saying something in Spanish in response! I know it sounds odd, but believe me, it will help de-stress you about the long sentences thing. Let us know how you get on over the next couple of Challenges.
Gracias Stu. I’m serious - much thanks. I thought I would try studying the vocabulary a little better thinking that might help. Is that what you have done - practicing your new vocabulary better before heading into listening and speaking??
No, this isn’t what I have done at all. I knew zero Spanish before starting out with SSiS (well, okay, I knew gracias and mañana and adios). SSiS is my primary way of learning, and it really does work, but you need to trust that it will work. The theory behind the method is sound and effective. Stick with it and do not get stressed about how hard it seems. Once you get to Challenge 5, go back and try Challenge 2 and it will seem easy. You will build vocab naturally and not have to sit there trying to memorise lists of words and verb conjugations, because you will absorb them in the same way you learned your mother tongue.
Regarding listening, this is much harder than speaking. However, speaking and listening are much more important right now than reading, so if you concentrate on them, it will pay dividends and you will be a competent conversationalist in Spanish faster than you ever thought possible. There is bags of support available to you on this forum, so come back and keep us abreast of your progress, frustrations and successes. Above all, keep going and don’t get stuck on playing any particular lesson over and over - a maximum of 3 times and then move on.
For inspiration, if you are able to, head over to the Welsh forum and look up Tatjana’s learning log (@tatjana) . She took an awful lot of convincing that the SSi method would work for her, yet now she is a great advocate of the method and recently spent an entire week in Wales on a boot camp where the only language allowed was Welsh - and she flourished!
Thanks Stu for your quick reply.
I’ve been digesting it. I went over to the Welsh community and well, to be perfectly honest, I am having a hard time being encouraged, so I tried to find some others who are learning Spanish. I went over to “Just Started” and found some encouragement there.
How does this forum work? I talk to you here, but you are over there too. Do I just start replying over there too?
Forgive me, forums seem complicated but I am sure it’s just me.
Thanks so much for your help.
For Spanish, just post on this forum. I happen to have learned Welsh to a good conversational standard using the SSi method, so yes I am on both forums. However, I currently working on Spanish pretty much exclusively so will be on tis forum most of the time, so post here. Is there anything in particular that I can help you with? I am happy to work with you in any way I can to support you through the process of learning a language using SSi…
Oh dear, I did not mean for that to sound like a complaint about the forum or anything to do with SSI.
My discouragement comes totally from myself. Here’s the story, I have been trying to learn Spanish for so many years and I don’t seem to get very far. In fact, I just started SSI last week and I’ve been studying the words and then I can’t even remember how to translate into Spanish what the guy is saying because some of the sentences are so long. BUT, with help on this forum I realized I was doing it possibly wrong. I shouldn’t study the words first. Because what I just realized today was that I was seeing the Spanish words in my mind while trying to remember what he said in English so I could repeat it back in Spanish. This is what was so discouraging. And going to see the success of someone learning Welsh on another forum was not encouraging to me. That’s all. I meant nothing negative to that forum or anything to do with SSI. In fact, the advice given to me to not study the words first was most helpful.
Please forgive me for not making myself clear. I hope this helps. And thank you for your quick concern to help. I appreciate that.
A lot of people find it hard to remember the English sentences in the beginning. There is so much going on in your head, but it does get easier. One trick I found when I started was to just focus on the first part of the sentence initially and ignore the rest. I worked on getting that out before the first Spanish speaker, then I just listened to what they said for the second half. I did that for a couple of times, then focused on the second half. I found by then I could just blurt out the first half almost without thinking, then get the second half out. A few times I had to pause the lesson and replay what I’d just said in my head as I was so surprised that I had just said it without thinking.
I only really had to do that for the first few lessons, then my short term memory seemed to improve and I could remember the English much more easily.
Keep at it, and avoid looking at the individual words beforehand. With the SSi method you learn the words in meaningful little phrases and you’re far more likely to remember them and use them naturally like that.
Totally agree. We all have ups and downs. Periods where we feel nothing is going well.
As @Deborah-SSi says go back and do an earlier lesson. You will find it easier.
Also if you get time try just ploughing on with a block of maybe 3, 4or 5 lessons done in one go or one day. Yes i am being serious. Then go back to the first of those 5 a day or two later. You will find so much has stuck.
I have learnt as much using this method as many traditional evening class learners have learnt in 3 years.
Try it. It sounds daunting i know, but if you can give it a go let us know how you got on.
Don’t worry, I didn’t take it as a complaint, I just wanted to make sure that we were doing everything we could to help…
Here’s the most important point of all:
Keep asking for help on the forum.
There is a wealth of experience on here - in this methodology and in language learning in general - and we’ll be able to help you find practical tactics to solve whatever problems you run into…
Talk me through your experiences with the very first session - did you play it all in one go? Did you use the pause button? Did you get some Spanish sentences out successfully? Did you have a pattern of not managing to - in other words, was it just the longer ones that were tripping you up?
This is great advice from Dee. Just say algo algo algo … to the rest of the sentence (then at least you are still speaking Spanish!) Most of all, don’t freak out - relax and trust that you will get this down pretty soon, as you get used to the lessons and the method, and as your short term memory improves. Don’t be surprised if the “problem” happens again though, as things get harder (last sentence of Level 2 Challenge 19, I am looking at you). It’s a “good problem” that is giving you all sorts of benefits, even if you are currently unaware of them. The enemy here is frustration and giving up in a huff. Be kind and patient with yourself.
“The guy” is Aran, Laura. Feel free to cuss at him under your breath when the sentences get long, but as I said above, they are doing you good in all sorts of ways, so they are actually a blessing in disguise. I have to admit though that sometimes they can be very challenging even if you are well versed in the SSi method. The key is to ride the wave and not get hung up on things like that :-).
You say that you have tried to learn before and failed. This is just like me with welsh, but SSi helped me to success where every other way failed. It proved to me that I can learn languages (on my 2nd now - Spanish), and I absolutely promise you that if I can do this, then you can too.
Wow, I feel so fortunate to have all of you to cheer me on. Thank you to all for your encouragement. I’m glad I’m not alone with a memory problem.
I’m actually starting challenge 6, but right from challenge 1 I couldn’t follow the longer sentences even in English. I mean, do we really talk like that? Just kidding, I think we do sometimes.
Anyway, I have already been doing some things Dee mentioned and it helps, And yes, I do get many sentences out with success, it’s just those long ones that make me think something is wrong with me. But I’m trying to relax with it. I sometimes stop after 8 minutes or so and start over, and I’ve stopped looking at the words. I’m focusing on listening instead to get the new words.
Overall, I really like this program. I just need to keep a check on my frustration levels.
Thank you to all. ️
I think you may have come across a common thing - many people expect themselves to be perfect. You don’t have to be. If you’re getting all the short sentences and at least part of the longer ones, you’re doing great. Even if you’re only getting around half of the shorter ones, you’re doing fine. This is a hard course. You are expected to not get every sentence. People who already speak the language are expected to stumble with some of the longer sentences. So long as you’re at least trying, you’re still learning.
I think you are right. I do expect perfection, Silly as it sounds, I can’t help it. I just want to get it right. But, it’s not possible 100% of the time so I will work on that. Thank you I appreciate your kind words.
Hi @LauraLupe. I haven’t started SSISpanish (just waiting for SSIThai ) but the best advice I can give for any SSI language learning is “Be kind to yourself”. Celebrate the sentences you get right, but don’t count them. Laugh at your mistakes when you have learned enough to understand that you have made mistakes.
Okay, great - this means, as Hector and Margaret have said, that you’re doing perfectly well…
Sometimes the longer sentences are a little bit too long - they’re aimed at forcing you to ‘chunk’ more and more of the language - but just hearing and trying to get part of them is very valuable for you.
One key understanding of the approach needs to be that you’re trying to go through the kind of practise that will get you speaking the language - this is NOT the same as needing to get every sentence correct. In fact, people who need to get every sentence correct usually don’t last the course, because it gets too frustrating.
Keep your eyes on the target - get yourself into some practice conversations as soon as possible - and don’t worry about the longer sentences - and you’ll get there…