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Learn Spanish Audio: My Consumer Advice
Wouldn't it be nice to learn Spanish quickly, with very little effort, and begin speaking it so confidently that people will laugh at your jokes and be actually interested in what you have to say? Of course it would. Unfortunately, a lot of audio programs out there provide very little in the way of helpful lessons. To be brutally honest, I believe that about 99% of them are total scams. Sure they fill up their hours with "lessons," mostly repeat-after-me nonsense. But they really teach you next to nothing, and what they do get you to say is downright cheesy. Like, people will cringe with disbelief that you actually would use such an outdated, dorky kind of phrase. Trust me, I've been there. On more than one occasion. Yes, I've learned the hard way.
To be sure, I had the best of motivations when I innocently started buying bad Spanish audio lessons. (That's right, I've been scammed more than once). Call me a hopeless romantic, but I wanted to impress this girl I was seeing, who is from Colombia. (Without giving too much away, I should mention that Marcela is now my fiancÚ). I didn't speak a lick of Spanish, and her English was not the best. She had a head start, and I didn't like that. I really wanted to speak in Spanish to her because I thought, and still think, that Spanish is such a romantic language. I also wanted to communicate better in general, because apart from her beauty I could tell she was a really interesting person, and I wanted to unlock that side of her personality.
But after buying three or four different audio programs, and wasting way too many hours on learning the wrong kind of Spanish, I was starting to get frustrated. A friend suggested that maybe I'm just not the type of learner who learns from Spanish audio lessons. But I knew that wasn't true, because a couple years earlier my dad had given me a whole audio course in cabinet building, of all things. Not one to turn down a challenge, I followed the lessons step-by-step and now have a beautiful cabinet set that I use every day. So it wasn't my ability to learn from an audio lesson that was in question. Nor was it my ability to learn in general. I've always gotten decent grades in most subjects, not because I'm some kind of genius but because I apply myself and tend to do a pretty good job on anything I set my mind to. So I was convinced that it just had to be the way these audio programs were "teaching" the Spanish. I wasn't going to give up. I wanted to get to the bottom of this problem. Was it just my bad luck, or were all language audio lessons out there total garbage? There was only one way to find out: by trying all the Spanish audio programs out there.
I'm no millionaire, mind you, so I decided rather than buy any more programs, I'd pose as a Spanish professor looking to make a large purchase for all the beginning students at my community college where I supposedly taught. My trick worked: once these audio vendors caught the whiff of a big sale, they sent me free sample copies of their CDs and programs so I could try them out and, so they thought, see if it was worth buying a big order of them. This is how I was able to listen to all the lessons, read any supplemental materials they had, and get online access to their member-only forums as well as the login to the supplementary Web lessons. I guess they figured that as the employee of an academic institution, I wouldn't pirate any discs. But really, no need for worry there, guys: most of the programs were so bad they weren't even worth the cost of a blank CD!
So my great discovery was this: it's a pretty dismal situation out there. Some of the CDs had the EXACT SAME LESSON. Yep, two completely different vendors were selling the very same trash. How does that even work? And then there were the forums, some of which were entirely full of pharmaceutical spammers, and broken links. Just really terrible Web sites. And the few member forums that did work were so full of unhinged ranting by irate and dissatisfied customers that it was almost amusing, in a twisted kind of way.
But I learned something else, too. There actually is hope out there. Not every last program is garbage. When sifting through all the nonsense, I found a few unique audio programs that had me reaching for the second and third discs before I even realized what was happening. I was actually having fun. Not only was I picking up new Spanish phrases, grammar fundamentals, and some cultural trivia to boot, but I wasn't even noticing the time go by. Yes, Mr. Critical Eye here was actually enjoying his lessons! And it can't be emphasized enough how crucial fun and entertainment are to making audio Spanish lessons work. I'd say the biggest problem with the lame audios is that they're BORING. These programs weren't. They were FUN. And another small detail: they WORK. That's why I recommend them.
I had to pick one, so I chose to go with Rocket Spanish. Now, to be honest, it took me a little longer than the six days they promised. But that was because three days into the Rocket Spanish program I took off to the coast for a romantic weekend with Marcela, and didn't bring the audios because I didn't want her seeing that I was practicing Spanish; I wanted to surprise her at the end. But I blew it. I just couldn't resist testing out my new conversational skills. She wasn't just impressed, her jaw dropped. In fact, she actually got kind of upset because she thought I'd been hiding my Spanish abilities all along. I had to swear on my Mother or something that I'd just started learning, and even then she wasn't convinced. That was our first "fight," and we still laugh about it today. In Spanish.
That's right, I speak Spanish so well now that I can be silly, make stupid puns, talk about past events, and discuss my innermost thoughts and feelings with the woman I consider to be my best friend and soul mate. This is not to say I don't get competitive with her; I never bothered to apply my diligence to finding a good English learning program for her, because frankly I wanted to be the one who learned her language, not the other way around. Basically, I won, and not only do I speak to her almost entirely in Spanish, but I can also have conversations in Spanish with her entire family in Colombia as well as her community of Spanish-speaking friends who live here in the United States. I am absolutely fluent in Spanish, thanks to Rocket Spanish.
But don't take my word for it, everybody learns differently. Try Rocket Spanish for yourself. You have nothing to lose, because they offer a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee. No questions asked. Of course, that's the one feature I did not get to try out first hand, because I got the audio for free. But I checked the user forums and actually found one customer who did use the money-back guarantee. That surprised me at first, but then I realized that he was not, in fact, a dissatisfied customer. Rather, he'd ordered the wrong language lessons. The only reason he used the money back guarantee was because it was just the simplest, easiest way to return the product, no questions asked, money immediately credited to his account. Which is pretty amazing, really, and I consider that to be a testament to the company's integrity. They're not out to scam or give you a hassle. They're just want to teach you Spanish, and they're really confident that you will be satisfied with their product. You will speak Spanish and be understood.
The really good news is that if you buy it right now, they will slash the price and throw in a free gift. You'll get a huge value, but only while supplies last. I can't tell you how long this offer will last. Buy it now because you have nothing to lose! So click here now to buy Rocket Spanish, get a FREE gift, and save money.
Or read this Rocket Spanish consumer review
Still not sure? Want more consumer advice on Spanish audio programs?
Here are a few of the other programs that I was able to review and I can
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