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Taking a Spanish Course

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by droshan, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. droshan

    droshan Waitlist King!
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    I know if I get into a school this year I only have 8 months till school starts. However, I really want to learn Spanish mainly for my career but also because it does help a little for admissions. I want your opinion on how to learn it best. I have some basic Spanish speaking skills from 4 years I took in high school but nothing really since then. I know the best way to learn is to live abroad in a spanish speaking country but that isn't possible for me. I was thinking of taking it at either a community college or at UCLA. Does it really matter which school i go to (to the admissions committee and quality of learning)? Would it be ok to take a course online? If you know of a good way to learn in Los Angeles on the westside please let me know. Thanks for the advice.
     
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  3. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    This may sound dumb but the computer program, The Rosetta Stone, actually works wonders. I already speak Spanish (I'm Puerto Rican and I took it in high school), but I fired up the Rosetta for Arabic and was able to learn a lot really quickly. It's just something you have to stick with and do every day because it works by immersing you within the language. I even did the last level of the Spanish version and I learned some new things. It sounds dumb, but if you're simply trying to learn the language and not have some sort of course to put on a transcript or something I highly recommend it. :thumbup:
     
  4. Valvool

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    If you feel you cannot cram another thing in over the course of the next eight months, then don't. Some of my classmates are taking college-level Spanish (auditing the course) as their required first year medschool elective. But, it is possible to learn Spanish even once you've begun medschool through a program like Rosetta Stone. One does have a bit of free time, especially during first year. You may be able to find a clinic in which you can volunteer where many of the patients are Spanish-speaking....its not a stretch that you could find a bit of time during medschool to polish up your Spanish.
     
  5. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Spanish school in Peru, Argentina, and Chile:

    www.ecela.com

    You need to be done with interviews before you go, but if you go you can definitely be fluent in 8 months. There are similar schools in all other South American countries, as well as Spain.



    If you have the money but need to stay in country, Berlitz or a similar course. http://www.berlitz.us/web/html/content.aspx?idTemplate=2

    It's pretty much an immersion course in the US. Executives use it when they need to learn the language in a hurry. Pricy, though.


    If you're both poor and homebound: rosetta stone.
     
  6. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Mannnn the last thing you want to learn is Peruvian, Argentinian, Chilean, or Spainiard Spanish :laugh: If you want to be able to speak with your clientelle here in America you got to be able to speak the gritty stuff lol
     
  7. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    No idea about Spaniard Spanish, but South American Spanish is pretty standardized these days. It's the television that does it: it's infected the rest of the South America with Mexican Spanish the same way the US television has taught everyone on the planet American English.

    Also, even before that happened, companies were sending their employees to Peru to learn Spanish. Peruvian is considered the closest thing to the universally intelligable Spanish accent adn dialect. Chile and Argentia are definitely a little more difficult to understand.

    Finally, you're not going to be speaking to your patients in their native slang. Your patients will know how gringos speak/hear Spanish and they're going to be working with you to get the point across. Trust me that if you're fluent in any form/accent of Spanish you're fluent enough for a patient trying to make him/herself understood.
     
    #6 Perrotfish, Dec 30, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  8. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Not true man. If you speak Spainiard Spanish nobody is gonna understand you. I have family members and friends (and myself) who are fluent and have to watch movies from Spain with the subtitles on because it is so different. :laugh:
     
  9. bodonid

    bodonid Dr. Spaceman
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    How about during med school? Is it futile to try to pick up some Spanish if I've already started? I just wonder when I'll have time, if I don't do it now.
     
  10. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    If you're committed you can pull it off. I dated a girl whose father was an Oncologist and he taught himself Spanish and Portugese through med school and residency and then continued through as he became an attending (he's pretty decent)....and last I knew he was teaching himself Russian. If you've got the passion and dedication you'll be able to pull it off :thumbup:
     
  11. Sangria

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    I think that at most schools students can arrange to take Spanish or medical Spanish


    Too bad you said that going abroad is not an option, it really helps, especially if you're living with a Spanish-speaking only family
     
  12. droshan

    droshan Waitlist King!
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    Wow that is impressive. I think I'm going to take a class at UCLA extension once a week for 3 months for intensive review. I'll definitely continue throughout medical school and beyond. I just think it would be so useful to be fluent and not have to ask others to translate. I wish I could go abroad!!
     
  13. vasca

    vasca En la era postpasambre
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    Hahaha, that is true sometimes. I understand spaniard spanish on television (I got addicted to their hideously lame but addictive gameshows) and their japanese anime dubs have come a long way from their gay Dragon Ball Z dubs from the mid 90's (I actually like Spain's dub of Basilisk over the Venezuelan dub for some reason). DBZ sounds freaking awesome in euskera though.

    However, I can't understand what the bloody hell a famous pop artist called Fey is saying when they interview her. When she sings, she sings like a mexican for the most part, but when they talk to her in person, she speaks this unintelligible gibberish blabber spoken at light speed to boot that is impossible for any normal human being to understand. And my spanish is really good (duh, ya me chilangué, a huevo carnal!!). My spanish spelling makes most mexicans looks real bad. :rolleyes:

    If you want to learn spanish, watch spanish language television shows. You'll be amazed to know how many Disney movies and american tv shows have spanish dubtracks and english subtitles. Hollywood movies generally have sucky dubs (though the dubs have become better over the years), but tv shows have good dubs. I don't like how the Lion King sounds in spanish, but most Disney movies have very good dubs, even the very old films. Pixar movie dubs are always pretty good. Be aware that some films like the Incredibles have more than 1 spanish dub. I saw it in Argentinan spanish and laughed my soul off with all of the lame jokes nobody understands.

    I kind of like how well House was dubbed to the language. I bet Mario Castañeda (a famous mexican voice actor) plays House, the voice is just too obvious.

    Wanna speak spanish like a real chilango? (that's how us people from Mexico City call ourselves). Watch Pokémon in mexican spanish, especially the later seasons when Team Rocket started to improvise 90% of the script for no reason. The script is plagued to your throat with more slang chilango spanish than what you'll learn even by immersing yourself in the country. A lot of anime fans HATE the dub because they don't get the jokes, but if you do, the show is freaking genius.

    The Simpsons in mexican spanish has a dub that's very close to the english version. They did remove some of the regional American jokes, but the non slang stuff is usually very closely translated. Avoid the new seasons, they changed dub cast to save $$$ even though mexican VA's charge pennies for the great work they do as it is and the new dub stinks. The episode where John Waters appears in sounds 100 times funnier in spanish than in english.

    Pinky & the Bran sounds freaking awesome in spanish. Venezuela is really good at dubbing American cartoons. They did a great job with Batman (and still do) and the old Warner cartoons are just geniusly dubbed. Pinky & the Brain sounds far better in spanish indeed.

    I also seem to like Avatar in spanish more than in english. It doesn't sound bad in english, but I'm just more used to it in spanish. Avatar is insanely close scriptwise to english so it's a good series to use. The dub doesn't use slang.

    As for non animation which is what I watch the most, go watch some mexican telenovelas. Rebelde comes subbed in R1 dvd which was hugely popular in Mexico for some reason (the show wasn't my cup of tea) and there's a ton of other novelas produced by Televisa that are available in the US in R1 with english subtitles (too bad they don't have spanish subs though). Rubí is a really good novela, it also features my favorite mexican actor, this guy who always looks constipated and acts horribly. For a really crappy novela, you could watch Mariana de la noche. It includes a 5 star hospital in a village in the middle of the jungle attended by hunky blond doctors (the show makes no sense whatsoever) and it has a guy who turns into a hawk for no reason. Craptastic. :laugh:

    I don't know if it's in R1 dvd, but there's a famous mexican sypcom from the 70's called "El chavo del 8" (the kid from the #8 apartment in rough english). My favorite characters are Don Ramón and Quico.

    Univisión features mexican soccer games. A big thing about Mexico is it's overrated soccer league. I still root for Pumas though. :smuggrin: Especially when Pumas creams America, most overrated team evar. There's a soccer comentator that works for Televisa (and thus for Univisión because Azcárraga owns both companies) called Bolañes or something. You know he's comentating the game when the GOOOL hollering lasts more than 2 minutes nonstop. That guy has a super human lung capacity...

    There's good and sucky spanish language cinema.
    Can't miss it: Pan's Labyrinth (though it's Spain spanish, not mexican).
    Good: Matando Cabos (Gotta love all of the chilango goodness swearing)
    Bad: Any El Santo movie (still great to watch because of their B-rated cheesiness).
    Horrible: Corazón de Melón or el Búfalo de la noche (two mexican movies that are beyond hideous).

    There's a new mexican movie called Rudo/Cursi (aka Tough/Corny in literally translated english) starring Gael García Bernal, I'm really interested in seeing it. :cool:

    You'll still have time to study languages even in med school. I sometimes study Japanese (I must sound like a stereotypical anime nerd). I actually did the JLPT-4 exam 1 day after my final semestral exams last year and epic failed it but had a great time. Had the exam been a few days later and I didn't suffer from study burnout I might have done better in it. It's still my fault in some sense, instead of studying for it I was playing Princess Maker in raw japanese all afternoon haha.

    I'd take Japanese classes, but I don't have the cash, the time and the courses on the subject in the north of my city are too basic. I'm way beyond knowing what hiragana is.

    Spanish is a very useful and fun language. It's great to swear in it and there's a lot of great anime dubs in the language to boot. No mexican can call themselves mexican without knowing what Caballeros del Zodiaco is jijijiji... :love:
     
    #12 vasca, Dec 30, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  14. dally1025

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    look around for a medical interpretation class or a clinic that caters to a hispanic population (if you already have a strong background). developing fluency in a language is not something you can realistically do without complete immersion, especially spanish. the regional dialects can be killer and there are a number of words that are used frequently in normal conversation in one country but are vulgar in the next (ie i learned/used the word coger regularly ecuador but i found out the hard way that it's quite vulgar in mexican spanish).

    i agree with vasca about watching tv/movies-i watch as many movies as i can (anything with gael garcia bernal is going to be good... love him!!! the simpsons are great in spanish, i love homer's voice!). i also listen to spanish radio stations, and read/watch the news in spanish . to keep up with my conversation skills, i made friends that are native speakers. i teach an english as a second language class for beginners, most of whom are latinos, and they've helped me with my spanish a ton. i learned the language by living abroad and although i'm by no means fluent i can carry on a conversation and get my point across. although taking classes helped my grammar it destroyed my accent. i came back from complete immersion abroad to listening to non-native speakers 9 hours a week and my somewhat decent accent was destroyed. since i graduated i haven't spoken to many non-native speakers so i'm slowly improving my accent (for some reason people mistake me for italian and not american...). reading spanish really helped me form phrases and learn grammar. i'm slowly making my way through all the harry potters in spanish and now i'm not so bad with the prepositions!
     

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