Fluenz Spanish is one of the best programs I have used for learning Spanish. I really admire their way of thinking about language learning and their methods of applying that to their courses. I also think that the multi-media aspect suits the popularity of computers. The programs also come with mp3 files you can listen to on a computer or with any mp3 player.
Here’s a list of Fluenz Spanish programs currently at Amazon, though for some reason a few other things are on the list too. No matter, this will show you all the different levels and combinations of levels, along with their prices.
Fluenz Spanish is for both Windows and Mac. It guides you step-by-step through a relatively small vocabulary but one that you know well by the end and that you know how to combine.
Here are the product features of the package that includes the levels from 1 to 5:
Rocket Spanish is a “learn Spanish” audio course, well-known for giving you a good start in conversational Spanish. It comes with a variety of useful add-ons, but I’d say that the heart of the program is the 31 mp3 files which you can listen to, on your computer, on CDs, or on mp3 players.
I’ve taken the course and say more about my experiences further down this Rocket Spanish review page.
In short, it is a practical, easy-to-use method to learn Spanish fast — you can get a lot of the basics in just a few weeks. I like it.
I think it’s especially good for you if:
Its core is the audio course of 31 Spanish lessons, each one about 20 minutes long. The discussions are between Mauricio Mauricio Evlampieff who is from Chile and Amy Waterman, whose first language is English but speaks a far better Spanish than I ever will!
At first I thought, “Gee, I’d rather hear two native speakers,” but as I worked with the course more, I realized that Amy became a kind of role model for me. This was useful in motivation, and she has a great accent.
An accompanying e-book gives you the actual transcript of the dialog, along with further comments and vocabulary.
There are several more e-books as well. The beginning and advanced grammar books are actually fun to read, as they are attractively laid out. A lot of care obviously went into making the lessons enticing.
There are also some enjoyable ways to enhance your vocabulary, an online forum, email support, and a 60-day money back guarantee.
My husband and I were both pleasantly surprised by how nicely Rocket Spanish is put together. We listened to a number of the lessons on a long road trip from central Mexico to the US. We picked up quite a few phrases and grammatical points, rather to our surprise. (The Rocket Spanish team was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of the program. My Spanish would not be called anything like perfect, but I am at a pretty advanced level, and I wanted to do a Rocket Spanish review here on the site.)
Pimsleur Spanish is a tried-and-true method for learning conversational Spanish. It’s essentially an audio course of half-hour lessons, developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur based on his research into how people learn languages. The Pimsleur Method is available for many languages, and millions of people have used it successfully.
You can learn Spanish — at least basic conversational Spanish and likely even more — with Pimsleur. Recently a friend came to visit us in Mexico. He had never before spoken Spanish, and I was amazed at how well he was doing immediately in conversation with Mexicans. His secret? Pimsleur Spanish, repeated many many times.
(He had taken high school Spanish several decades ago, and he thought that helped some too.)
I used Pimsleur myself to review my rusty Spanish before coming to Mexico over five years ago, and found it particularly good for pronunciation.
The Pimsleur Method is based on four ideas about learning language:
These four concepts are worked into the programs.
Rosetta Stone Spanish has been around a long time and it’s worth considering when you choose a program for learning to speak Spanish. It may well be the best-known Spanish language program.
Rosetta Stone is based on the idea that we adults can learn languages in the same way that we learned our first language as very young children. But current research shows that once past puberty, we don’t learn in the same way.
What this means in practical terms is that their software uses NO English to help you learn Spanish. In fact, everyone in the world who is learning Spanish via Rosetta is using the same program, no matter what their native tongue. The program uses images and Spanish.
Rosetta Stone uses the word immersion about their method, but the word is more commonly used to mean living in a foreign country at a school where you only speak the language you are learning.
Some Rosetta Stone Pros:
Rosetta Stone Cons:
I personally would choose Fluenz over Rosetta in the category of multi-media programs, but we are all different of course, and you have to go with your own sense of what will work best for you. I used to prefer Rosetta over Tell Me More, but I have been told by the Tell Me More people that the latest version is much improved.