Language is hard, be it your own or (God forbid) someone else’s. However, without language we’re reduced to charades which is embarrassing and imprecise. This means language is essential, especially for non-mime travelers.

As followers of our Journey know, we have been slowly but surely chipping away at the Spanish language over the past year or so. First, there was Pimsleurs and we listened to lessons in our truck which we found mildly useful in a non-visual, purely audio way. The price tag can be a problem, however, and the haphazard hopscotch through the rules and principles of the language gave us a headache. Rosetta Stone? Too much repetition. Too much repetition.

Then we spent five weeks attending the IMAC language school in Guadalajara where we made some progress despite being frustrated and limited by the strict “no English” policy.

Lately, we’ve become aware of a new type of Spanish language learning program designed for travelers. It’s called Bueno Entonces (which basically means “Well, then” in Spanish) from a company called General Linguistics. You can take each lesson on your computer, iPad, iPhone, or iPod and, after quickly previewing the first level of lessons, here’s what we like:

  • lots of cheeky attitude (make us laugh and this whole process sucks a lot less)
  • snappy musical interludes
  • plenty of hysterical (one-sided) flirting between David and the teacher
  • a concentration on just the type of language and grammar skills a traveler would need in order to be understood and respected in a Spanish-speaking country
  • color-coded graphics that differentiate verbs from pronouns from adjectives in a given sentence at a glance
  • arrows (behind and ahead) indicating whether a verb conjugation is past or present or future tense
  • a simultaneous English translation of the lesson at the bottom of the screen which makes it easy to grasp how Spanish sentence structure differs from English sentence structure
  • rapid fire speech–this is the reality on the ground in any Spanish speaking country where people talk like the world is about to end and they only have 18 seconds to say what’s on their minds

Take a look at what the heck we’re talking about in this video.

 

We will be spending more time with our Bueno Entonces Spanish language program and we’ll report back as we learn more.

In the meantime, you can try Pimsleur Spanish I and Spanish II audio-only programs for $460 dollars at Amazon, or spend $149 on the audio and visual (and entertaining) Bueno Entonces program.