A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

March 15, 2008 — Recently I received an email from a man who wondered if Rocket Spanish would be right for helping him learn Spanish.  (That link takes you to my review of the program on my website about learning Spanish.)

Last summer, driving from our home near Guadalajara to the US, my husband and I listened to the first lessons of the Rocket Spanish course. We are both way more advanced than that but we were really impressed with how easy they were to listen to and learn from. I think that a person could get a good grasp of a lot of what is needed to live or travel in a Spanish-speaking country. We even picked up some vocabulary.

The program consists of a bunch of mp3 files which you can put on your ipod or similar device, or use on your computer. There is a printable ebook which matches the mp3 files, having everything where you can see it. The lessons don’t just give you vocabulary– they stand out from other such lessons because of the cultural comments that explain usage. I really like those!

Topics covered include discussions, asking and giving directions, descriptions, shopping, parties, family life, and much more. Each lesson gives you some basic dialog along with additional vocabulary. I like the really attractive page layout of the ebook, which makes it easier to learn, and I also like the informal style of writing.

The mp3 files do not cover the past tense. They stay in the present with a little bit of future and conditional. Suitable for beginners. You can get a lot done in Spanish in the present tense! I’ve found Mexicans very able to understand when we foreigners use the present instead of the past when speaking of the past. Still do it myself when I don’t know a past tense verb.

But the package includes another nice ebook which is 176 pages and a LOT of that is about the preterit and past tenses. I think I am going to work through this myself. These people seem to know how to make the material lively and thus more learnable.

“Can one really learn Spanish from this course?” asked that email I got. My answer is that it is excellent for getting started if you will be living or traveling in a Spanish-speaking country. Many of the foreigners here at Lake Chapala don’t know near this much!

But if you need to learn Spanish for academic reasons, or if you already are very advanced, this wouldn’t be your thing.

Here is a link to the Rocket Spanish homepage. Take a look! They explain the various options and their money-back guarantee.

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