When I was in college, I took Beginning Spanish*. I passed, but I think I did a mediocre job, as far as understanding it goes. I’m relearning it again, since I live in a multicultural nation, and I think people here should at least know a second language (whatever it may be). As a native English speaker, I thought Spanish would be easiest (going from one Latin-based language to another). These are my notes.

*Okok, I actually had to take it twice. The first time, I did pass, but wasn’t enough to graduate.

As far as learning it goes, I find that I do best when learning at my own pace. These are what I’m using:

  • Duolingo for practice
    • The site, duolingo.com is best out of all the mobile apps for learning grammar, exceptions to rules and such, but you’ll also have to read people’s comments on sentences if you’re confused.
    • The features of Duolingo are kind of scattered all over the various apps and site. D: The iOS version is the only one that seems to have the chatbots. The Android version I thiiink has all the features of the iOS version (excluding the chatbots and the instructional tips from the site), and just looks more polished and refined than the iOS one. The Windows Phone version (! yes, there IS an official Windows Phone app for Duolingo!) is very basic and lacks the speaking exercises, but uses the “hearts” feature, that’s apparently new.
  • r/spanish for helpful insights and a good place to get your questions answered
  • The Notes in Spanish podcast – I normally don’t listen to podcasts, since I have trouble following along, so I was only planning on listening to it to get used to hearing real Spanish! They discuss various rules and useful phrases (and when would be best to use them).
  • SpanishDict.com – it’s not only a Spanish-English dictionary, it will also show you the verb conjugations and examples of them being used in a sentence!
  • StudySpanish.com – Another helpful site. I don’t use it as much (though I probably should), but it comes in handy when I have some questions about some grammar (working with direct objects and indirect objects, etc).

Note: I have a very hard time remembering which characters are accented (which is very important, since it makes a difference in vocabulary), so GPORG automatically highlights all accented characters in the Spanish-related pages.