Rosetta Stone TOTALe Program, Week 7

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Rosetta Stone TOTALe Program, Week 7 Listen to this article

Buenos Noches.

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This week I began Unit 3, Lesson 1, and as had happened when I began the previous other two, I was immediately immersed into a new world where unknown words were being thrown at me as if I should understand their meaning and context. But this time was armed with something I hadn’t had before — an ever expanding vocabulary.

By paying attention to what was being written or said, even when I couldn’t understand much of it, I was able to pick out words I knew that helped put the unknown words into context, even when their meanings weren’t immediately clear. This made things go a lot more smoothly.Take this screen for instance. I’m shown pictures of people that are obviously either working or playing, but I don’t yet know the word for work [¡es trabajo!], and I certainly didn’t know all the ways and tenses to say and describe the word “play”, or “juego”..

I mean think about it: you can say play, playing, were playing, will play, have played, and you can even use play as a noun or a verb in English. Why would it be any different in another language? Evidently it is not.

So in the pictures we have a man working, two boys playing, three women working, and a little girl playing. I might not be certain about the words for working or playing, but I do know that the only picture that would fit with “Los niños” is the one of the two boys, therefore “Los niõs estan jugando [lohs neen-yos ehs-tan hoo-gahn-doh] must mean “the boys are playing.” When you approach it like that, it’s easy to tell that “Las Mujeres están trabajando” must mean ” the women are working,” and so forth.

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Of course, like other Spanish words I have encountered so far, there is a definite correlation between male and female words, but sometimes the words you think would be masculine don’t work out that way. So in the pictures below, we have a boy basically saying “I am playing in the park,” a girl saying “I am playing in the school,” a man saying “I work in the hospital,” and  a man saying “I work in a school.” But the girl doesn’t say “juganda”, it is still “jugando”, even though she is doing it in the feminine (notice the a?) school. Ah well, I am learning…

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I also learned that mañana does not mean “tomorrow” like I always thought it did; it means “morning”. “Mediodía” is “mid day” or “noon”, “tarde” is “afternoon”, and “noche” is “night”.

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Oooooh…complex sentences! I can do these! Roughly translated from top to bottom: “He has an egg but is not eating.” “He has an egg and is eating.” “The girl has a book and is reading.” “The girl has a book but is not reading.” Yeah baby!

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I also learned the numbers up to twenty, and they were a little tricky. To help, they used words I knew to guide me – like how tazas mean cups, so catorce [kah-tohr-say] tazas must mean 14 cups.

I’m not confident enough with the new numbers to rattle them off just yet, but give me another week…

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“Good day. How are you?” “Very good, thank you.”

“Good afternoon. How are you?” “Very good, thank you.”

See how polite I am learning to be? 😉

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Oh look! I am being interviewed!

“Where do you write?”

“In the morning, I write in the park” “in the evening, I write in the living room.”

That’s actually not too far from the truth, most days; even if the “park” is our back deck.

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“Where do you work?”

The guy in the lower right is the one to click, because he should be saying, “I work in a restaurant.”

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This is a little trickier; it’s not “where [dònde] do you work?” it’s “when [cuándo] do you work?”

“I work in the morning.” “I work in the afternoon.” “I work at night [Trabajo por la noche].”

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Then another new thing got thrown at me: “inside” and “outside”. Did you catch that? Look at the pictures and figure out the new words – they are “adentro” and “afuera”. Thanks to the pictures, it is obvious that…

“The man works inside.” “The men work outside”
“The women work inside.” “The woman works outside.”

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I haven’t really impressed you yet, have I?

Well, try to remember that everything I am working out is something that I’ve had to learn, bit by bit, with no English language to guide me as the pictures correspond with the words I’ve been given that I have previously been taught. I suspect that it’s similar to how a child learns language – you start with a couple of easy words [ie – mama, papa], and work your way up to an extensive vocabulary. See? This is no different.

It does seem a little trickier, however, because I no longer have a child’s blank slate of a brain.

One of the things that is giving me a little bit of trouble is grammar! I know the correct word, but sometimes I just don’t know which tense to use. I’m learning, I’m learning.

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This is the one that impressed Kevin. He didn’t know that “corbata” meant tie and “calcetines” meant socks…until I told him. It’s silly the little things that give me a sense of satisfaction, I’ll admit.

Oh, I also learned another new pair of words: “y” [ee] , meaning “and” and “pero” meaning “but” – but not to be confused with “perro”, which means “dog”. Got it?

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“[Do you] have shoes and socks?” <–Do you like how I noticed there was no “usted” or “you” in that question, and that I knew it was implied. 😉
“I have socks, but don’t have shoes.”

“[Do you] have brothers and sisters?”
“Yes. I have two brothers and two sisters.”

“Do you have a coat and a hat?
“I have a coat, but don’t have a hat”

This was obviously an exercise teaching the difference between “and” and “but”. 😉

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And that’s the end of Unit 1 Lesson 1. Nest week, I’ll do lesson 2.

Before I leave, I should mention that I got an update from Kim, my PR contact, who clarified how you earn stamps: “typically it is when you complete a specific action, take a Studio class and/or play a new game in Rosetta World.  Hopefully this clarifies the stamp question a bit.”

Indeed, it did.

Another thing I want to mention: Wayne’s girlfriend Jennifer was one of several people who’ve asked if I agreed to blog about TOTALe weekly in order to get to take the course for free. Not exactly, and I should clarify what happened right now.

Like many companies do, Rosetta Stone sent me an email telling about the new program, and saying they would love a review and could arrange for me to test the product. I’ve wanted to take Spanish for a while, so it seemed like a great opportunity. I naively wrote back and said sure, send the product and I’ll send an email once the review is posted (meaning like within a month or so). I even Googled “Rosetta TOTALe” and saw that was exactly what a few other sites had basically done.

Think about that for a moment.

Upon receiving the package and trying to work out how exactly I would conduct the review, I realized that I was being completely unrealistic. What did I think? That I would use the lessons for a week or two and be able to write a decent review about the process? Puh-leeze.

So I opened my big mouth and said I should turn it into a series, and I should post weekly. And that’s how this happened.

Something to consider here – I had no idea that the program would take about a year when I said this. But the best thing about knowing I have to get a post up weekly is that more than anything, it keeps me accountable. I have to stay on top of my lessons, because I said I would write about the results.

With that said, I am not sure if I will post weekly for the entire year (maybe I will eventually go in two week increments), but for now…weekly updates are the plan, even if they are late by a day or so every now and then. 🙂

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¡Adíos!

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.