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Old 08-22-2015, 12:34 AM   #21
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Flying away. Right I can't understand those who speak at "normal speed" either. I think that's natural though. At this stage I will just be happy to be able to make the effort with waiters/taxi drivers/ staff at the condo that we rent. And they make the effort in return to slow down their speech. I will also appreciate the ability to shop in a supermarket and ask a few questions of the staff when looking for items. I have found it frustrating trying to differentiate between beef hot dogs and pork or chicken, or finding butter vs margarine.
OK, in Cancun, one day at the supermarket, the casher gave me one 100 peso bill for changes when he should give me two. So I told him "dos" and it worked.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:57 PM   #22
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Hi Ally;



I plan to do that as well but don't want to confuse myself at this point. I find that I frequently make mistakes by using a french word instead of spanish - like le instead of el for the masculine article. But I also notice on the plus side that many words I intuitively understand when first introduced because the french and the spanish are quite similar.

My husband is pretty fluent in Spanish and I've noticed that when he's talking to someone. I can understand a lot of what is bring said. There are many similarities.


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Old 08-26-2015, 11:44 AM   #23
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finding butter vs margarine.
A buddy came up with this: Butter is "meant to kill ya"! Usually sin sel. So look for con sel.

Also don't forget that people there speak Mexican, not Spanish. There are many subtle differences, and also regional dialects and slang.

Thanks for the lead.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:52 AM   #24
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OK, in Cancun, one day at the supermarket, the casher gave me one 100 peso bill for changes when he should give me two. So I told him "dos" and it worked.
This is a common trick used by cashiers to augment their income, una mas would also work. I always withhold the bill being used for payment until there are witnesses to the amount. Particularly prevalent at OXXO.

Also count your change before leaving the checkout. Don't be afraid of delaying others. Sometimes they will ring up the wrong amount too. Or add an item you did not buy.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:54 AM   #25
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Even Bill Gates said he tried Duolingo, but gave up. The ability to speak and understand another language is something you can't buy with an infinite amount of money.
In my experience, when it came to learning to interact with others in a new language, getting together on a regular basis with a friendly person and a couple of drinks was far more effective.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:34 PM   #26
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In my experience, when it came to learning to interact with others in a new language, getting together on a regular basis with a friendly person and a couple of drinks was far more effective.
Yes, agreed. It's important to learn pronunciation, preferably from a native speaker, or perhaps someone who really understands the correct pronunciation, and how to contort your mouth to try to make the sounds. It's hard for a computer program to teach this and give feedback. For example, the word "squirrel" for German speakers, and "Streichholzschächtelchen" for English speakers. It's nice to not sound to them, like Sergeant Schultz sounds to us.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:39 PM   #27
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A buddy came up with this: Butter is "meant to kill ya"! Usually sin sel. So look for con sel.

Also don't forget that people there speak Mexican, not Spanish. There are many subtle differences, and also regional dialects and slang.

Thanks for the lead.
Kcowan; I've noticed from past posts that you live in PVR half the year. Nuevo is our destination in the winter for two months. Love It!!!!
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:56 PM   #28
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Another good and completely free website is:
The Mixxer - a free educational website for language exchanges via Skype | The Mixxer .

The website is sponsored by a US university and is designed for a native speaker of one language to find a native speaker of another language in order to have a language exchange, typically using Skype. There is a lot of demand for native speakers of English, so it was easy to find partners. I exchanged messages and spoke with several native speakers of Spanish who wanted to improve their English, and eventually found an excellent language partner in Costa Rica. We speak on Skype once a week for about 2 hours, usually the 1st hour in Spanish and the 2nd hour in English. Sometimes it's just for conversation (we always correct one another), and often, each of us has specific grammar or vocabulary questions. We also help each other to improve our accents.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #29
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Kcowan; I've noticed from past posts that you live in PVR half the year. Nuevo is our destination in the winter for two months. Love It!!!!
Yes we have several friends and lots of monthly visitors who stay in Nuevo. We get up there a couple of times a month in the Jan-Apr timeframe. In late Apr-May, we often spend a few days on the beach near etc Beach Club in our friends' condo.

The Marriott had a fantastic deal last year at the rooftop restaurant.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:08 AM   #30
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Great thread. Of my post-ER "to-do's", becoming semi-competent in Spanish was one of the most important.

My first extended Baja stay (2 months?) starts in late October...so I really need to get on this. We do own the Spanish version of Rosetta Stone - which my wife has done TWICE already - and she also does a bit of Duolingo every night. I am way behind DW in my Spanish ability.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:52 AM   #31
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Yes we have several friends and lots of monthly visitors who stay in Nuevo. We get up there a couple of times a month in the Jan-Apr timeframe. In late Apr-May, we often spend a few days on the beach near etc Beach Club in our friends' condo.

The Marriott had a fantastic deal last year at the rooftop restaurant.
I can't think of where the Marriott is in Nuevo. Did you mean the Marival? They have a wonderful Sunday Brunch. We used to go into Puerto Vallarta frequently but between Nuevo and Bucerias there is so much of everything that we probably only go to Vallarta once a week. We still love it of course and have to do our Costco runs. Our fav restaurant in PVR is Hacienda San Angel (pricey but great).
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:09 AM   #32
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Greetings Jalisco/Nayarit residents. We bought a condo in PV last month and plan to spend 8 months a year there. Thus the need to ramp up the español.


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Old 08-28-2015, 07:16 AM   #33
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Greetings Jalisco/Nayarit residents. We bought a condo in PV last month and plan to spend 8 months a year there. Thus the need to ramp up the español. Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
Lucky you iac; I start thinking about our winter sojourn around this time every year. My fingers are crossed that "El Nino" doesn't interfere with the customary non stop sunshine that we have grown accustomed to every year. Me encanta el sol!
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:49 AM   #34
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I can't think of where the Marriott is in Nuevo. Did you mean the Marival? They have a wonderful Sunday Brunch. We used to go into Puerto Vallarta frequently but between Nuevo and Bucerias there is so much of everything that we probably only go to Vallarta once a week. We still love it of course and have to do our Costco runs. Our fav restaurant in PVR is Hacienda San Angel (pricey but great).
Yes specifically The Marival Residences. Lots of great restaurant choices in Nayarit now.

HSA is certainly among the best in PV. Vista Grill gives you the view from the other side of the river. Grand Miramar in Conchas Chinas has a great rooftop restaurant with good food and views. Cafe des Artistes is for food only.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:21 AM   #35
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Yes specifically The Marival Residences. Lots of great restaurant choices in Nayarit now.

HSA is certainly among the best in PV. Vista Grill gives you the view from the other side of the river. Grand Miramar in Conchas Chinas has a great rooftop restaurant with good food and views. Cafe des Artistes is for food only.
Yes - The Residences are great for Sunday Brunch by the pool. We love Vista Grill as well. Barcelona Tapas is also a favorite for view and food. We now have a Farmer's Market in Nuevo on Tuesdays behind the Casino, across the street from our condo rental, that rivals the market in PVR on Saturdays. The Fish guy is even there with wonderful fresh offerings of shrimp, tuna, mahi mahi and snapper. We also stock up with great produce, bakery items, fresh pasta and sauces as well, and only need to go to Costco for booze and steak runs
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