Forum Hola! Cómo estás?

Hola! Cómo estás?



Hello everyone,

I signed up for rocket languages today.  I start a new job in Spain exactly 3 months to the day so I am looking to achieve perhaps a basic communication level between now and then.  I would really like a vibrant community on here so I do not feel like I am on my own.  Please say hello/reply if you get the chance to read this.





Hello, Ben


RobertC106 has some very good advice for someone who's trying to learn a foreign language in quite a short time span, his commentary is in the “Lessons or tutor for Rocket Spanish users?” thread.


Some people you'll run across are those who'll get all wound up about whether one learns castilian or latin american spanish.


One native castilian speaker said something like “they're going to know you're a foreigner anyway.”


It's the same grammer with most of the same vocabulary, just like american english, british english and austrailian english.


Rocket Spanish seems to me to be a very neutral spanish. It's not throwing composite language on you, like nahuatl in mexican spanish, quechua in peruvian spanish, and Italian in argentina. Nor will the difference between Rocket Spanish and Castilian Spanish be like the “what the hell?” that would most likely ensue if spanish / spanglish speaking children of mexicans in the US were to be suddenly thrown together with spanish / spanglish speaking Puerto Rican islanders, both residing in US territory.


I've worked with a couple of puerto ricans on a specialty job. They didn't know english, didn't want to learn english by any means and demanded an interpreter.


So, the company hired a kid who learned at least minimal to effectively communicate mexican spanish from his parents in his urban socal home, along with all the greater LA region spanglish from the kids he was around.


It was a tough 2 or 3 weeks of confusion before they caught on to one another.


Learn vosotros. I think spaniards say “vale” like anglo canadians say “eih," it seems there is a lot of “venga” thrown around too.


After you learn enough spanish “español con juan” can teach you a lot. He will venture into explaining castilian coloquialisms, sometimes he does hilarious skits, occasionally involving his fictional free loading “brother” “pepe.” He's repetitious for a reason. All of his material is in spanish, no english. Originaly from granada, spain, he is a former, long time professor of spanish of a university in london.


His “Soy un giri” and “la mejor lección de mi vida” videos explore culture change and recent spanish history in his lifetime from franco's dictatorship to now, and “they” have never taught any of this in american schools.


“Extr@ en español” is slowed down, british originated, easy to to understand castilian spanish. It's cheesy enough I can't watch the first three cringy episodes anymore - the plot would appeal most to junior high kids - but the actors are talented far beyond the cheese they are smeared with and the spanish is good for learners. Plus, the actor playing “Pablo” is generally a very funny guy - even with all the cheese. 


I believe there is an incogruity in that the castilian spanish dialect speaking program is set in what I think is a catalan (northeastern spanish dialect) speaking area.


Northwest gallego spanish tends towards portugal, I believe catalan tends towards french, and that andalucia has some differences with northern castilian.


All of these dialects have influenced different regions of latin america, and a bit of the indian languages came back to the home dialects.


An interesting article:


Galician - gallego


“For Spanish learners, it is important to be aware of the differences between Castilian and Andalusian Spanish, as well as the other regional varieties of Spanish. While Castilian Spanish is the most widely taught variety, it is useful to be familiar with the other varieties in order to better understand and communicate with Spanish speakers from different regions.”



Español con Juan is usually easy to understand after you have some knowledge of Spanish.


He's generally a little slower in his speech, although he can rachet it up to quite fast in a skit.


The repetition is for learners to grasp how the language works, he's big on “repite repite repite.”


The reason for no english is after years of observing spanish teachers, even for foreigner(s) (giri(s)), sometimes a pejorative) learning in spain, of spending nearly the whole class speaking english. Which he feels is detrimental to the learners.


You see this in his spanish reader books, from A1 to at least B1. He's writes in the context of what he's familiar with, teachers and learners of spanish. He's written up to B2 for learners, but I don't have any of the B2 books.


He's a little harder for me to understand than Jim and May from the spanish and go podcast.


Jim is an american, which you can tell by listening to him. May is a native of colima state in mexico. Her spanish is very clear. Sometimes she rolls the “Rs” at the end of a word to sound like a cat purring. She also says “empe- saymos” rather than “empe-sahmos," and so on.


Most of the time they interview native speakers, sometimes of people who teach spanish to americans. Most of the guests are from Latin America.


Usually I understand what the guests are saying, or get the gist, but they had one guest that had to do with coffee beans, that woman spoke at about mach 3.





¡Hola Ben!


Congrats on the new job. Most of Level 1 is not that hard (direct and indirect object pronouns, I am looking at you!) but I would concentrate on vocabulary as much as the grammar. Level 1 grammar will get you through basic situations you will encounter, but you need the vocabulary to talk. 


Once you get to Spain, the immersion will be your best teacher and you can use lessons (maybe even with someone local) to strengthen your grammar, etc. 


Good luck!





I think that when you get to spain you're going to be very linguistically lost, that even if you understand individually the words flying past you, it will be too fast for your brain to process for understanding the liguistic picture. I believe that even the immersion courses in latin america have someone to coach you along, that's for a reason.


There have been english speakers living in spanish speaking countries for years believing that immersion was on their side who ultimately struggle with the language.


Japanese is the fastest native speaker language, spanish is second and english is eighth.


And Scott is right, RS module 5 with the pronouns is a rough one for an english speaker to wrap the head around. But, it's magically wonderful once you get the concept.


Regular verbs are the majority in spanish, but the ten most commonly used verbs that show up in every coversation are irregular verbs. You have to memorize those rather than use a formula.


And different verbs that are translated the same to english (such as ser and estar, preguntar and pedir, pensar and creer…) can have very different connotations in spanish.


Plus there's seemingly a bazillion tenses besides the present that can be difficult to sort out when to use them, and it complicates from there.


Check out RobertC106 suggestions, I think it will be very helpful to you in the near term.


There will probably be one resource or another locally available to you for learning spanish when you get there, probably paid.


If someone likes you quite well they might help you learn, otherwise, outside of the occasional correction, it's a lot of work to coach a foreigner out of incoherency.


While most people are well meaning and decent be prepared for misconceptions and prejudices against foreigners - even among well meaning and decent people.


I speak from both within myself and my experiences with the “other.”


Another option is baselang in addition to RS. For about 149.00 usd a month you have unlimited unscheduled zoom access to tutors maybe 12 hours a day 7 days a week. It seems most of the tutors are from venezuela with a scattering from other latin american countries. 


I think that venezuelan spanish is a neutral spanish, if you go with them tell them you need to learn vosotros. I don't know for sure but they may have some tutors who are proficient with castilian spanish. It wouldn't hurt to ask.


Nothing I have said here is to disparage Rocket Spanish. I believe it's a good, thorough program and well worth utilizing.


Besides, you already paid for it.


And, along with Scott, I wish you luck, que te vaya bien.






Suggestion for you guys listening to podcasts. I use which let's you pick from radio stations from all over the world. Very simple to use (drag the map under the circle) as long as you know to click on the little tab to expand the box in the lower left corner for more choices. I'm fortunate in that I've found a couple of stations that are very talk-oriented in France (France Culture and France Info 105.7). Your results may vary looking for Spanish-language chat.


Anyway, I suggest the following exercise that I call “the next word”. The idea is to only listen for the next word. Don't let anything distract you from hearing the next word. If you give any thought to what you've already heard you'll almost certainly miss the next word(s). I'm amazed at how many more words I hear, and as a consequence, how much more sense I'm able to make of what's being said without really trying - simply on the basis of hearing so many more words. It puts me into a trance (bonus).




Dear All,

First of all let me say a big thankyou (gracias!) for your replies.  I was not expecting to hear from anyone, let alone those of you who have wished me luck on my journey, and those of you who have written recommendations/long explanations etc. I really am grateful.  Estoy feliz!

I really am motivated to learn and you have given me more energy to do this.

A couple of questions - Is Espanol con Juan a websitE/YouTube? as you mention videos. Just so I can find this.  What about Extr@ an español? 


I am actually going to be a teacher in Spain, at a British school.  However, it is important to me that I fully immerse myself in the country I will be working in.  They are going to provide me with free Spanish lessons (however, the children are international and the expectation is that you speak in English with the children).


I researched quite a few different language programs before deciding on rocket.  The only thing which made me unsure on rocket was the Latin America side of the program but I think I can get passed that.  Also, if I am not happy, people on trustpilot say customer service is very good and you can get a refund if it is not what you want.

I do actually own Rosetta Stone, and I did start on that a couple of years ago but seem to have lost my motivation at the moment.

The other program I seriously considered buying was - I find it a really interesting way to learn, through the power of story and I was torn.  However, it doesn't have an App, and I have listen to 1.3/1.4 today whilst walking to and from work.  I did think the conversation was a little odd in 1.4 - basically a man insisting to a woman that he took a picture of her.  Sounded a little creepy to me!


I managed to get a good deal on the rocket language, including cash back so all good.


Thanks for reading, I really appreciated you taking time out of your day to formulate a response.

Hasta la próxima vez!




Did you search the internet? First hit is Español con Juan".


Definitely take advantage of the lessons offered when you get to Spain. That with immersion (it is embarrasing at first, but try to speak Spanish when you are interacting with local residents - you will get better the more you do it).


Yea, some of the scenarios are bit odd or forced, but remember, it was written by a Spanish speaker who comes from a different culture, so there are bound to be some situations that seem strange to us native English speakers.





An internet search will bring up both “español con juan” and “extr@ en español.”


Juan is also the creator of “1001 reasons to learn spanish,” a language learning program.


There's also “Destinos” by the (Annenberg project?)


Something about things that don't really fit in the real world in language learning courses or feel out of whack….


People who create language learning programs tend not to be either creative writers nor blockbuster movie producers.


They do the best they can to to create a product that teaches a language. I've seen a couple phrases or so in RS I don't think anyone would actually ever say in real life, but the point is teaching how to speak a language.


And, RS is way ahead of things like “the white cat saw the red ball” and the like.


As a creative tv series production, extr@ en español would have never made it past the cutting room, it sucks for something like that. But, spanish learners can listen to the language in a production the creators intended to be entertaining - it's great for listening practice once one buys into the cheese enough to listen


Ben, I saw “whilst” in your above post, are you british?


Robert, I checked out, it could very well work, and “the next word” trick does help thank you very much.


Have a good one all



Agree Extra is great for listening as the Spanish is somewhat basic and they definitely repeat things, which helps you. But it isn't for absolute beginners. I am a more advanced beginner (IMO) and I typically get the gist of what they are saying in Extra, but I definitely don't understand exactly what they are saying (without subtitles).



Yes I am indeed British! Well, English.





I get it, english rather than british…


I once confused a scot with being english,  considering how greatly offended the man was he was quite restrained in the way he scorched me. I'm quite sure he wouldn't identify as british.


But this makes my point about the languages.


You write in an educated manner, and by your writing you could be from almost anywhere in the former british empire.


There was a spanish empire too, and despite the modern colloquialisms, locally borrowed native words and local slang, It's the same grammar and the same underlying vocabulary.


The only thing that gave you away as being from the british isles is the word “whilst.”


The “Dear all” in context of “whilst” moved it on, since I don't believe most americans would use that exact salutation online, and "british school" sort of sealed it with a parallel proximity context of the US/latin america and england/spain.


However, without “whilst” the other two would have been largely meaningless for tying you to england.


I haven't read the 4 volume work, and I would like to someday, but Winston Churchill wrote “The history of the English speaking peoples,” not “the english people” nor “of  England.” I find the distinction interesting, and how much would that have to do with his mother being American?


And, without having read the work, would this include non european originated populations in former colonies such as in India, sub saharan africa and the caribean?


I am much interested in history, and that includes the british isles from prehistory to present


If I may ask, from what region of england are you?





Keep listening to extra and eventually you'll hear and understand it all, word for word. It won't take long, just watch an episode a day and repeat the cycle.


I guarantee it will work because of what you already know.


You have the visual context as well as the auditory speech in the program, and the characters evolve in the 13 episodes.


As I said, the actors are far more talented than the script, and one thing that really shines is how they can slow down the speech and still sound natural.


Lucretia, a veritable lunatic who is lola's tv news boss, is always applying her makeup or looking in a hand mirror, even while berating lola.  


Except for when she (lucretia) is shouting in reporter sam's earpiece (being sam's tv news boss as well) and having an almost orgasmic experience when sam's girlfriend ana smacks sam with a placard at a protest on live tv.


Lola, a perpetually angry, rather bitchy shouter who wants to be rich is actually a very nice person on the inside.


Ana is a sweet, insecure young woman, who's character evolves quite a bit around the episode where her long hair became short.

   Except for the last two episodes, I really like her character.


Pablo es pablo, as lola says. The actor plays the role of goofy idiot neighbor very well. He does some funny visual gags. And, he's agile enough he could be a professional dancer, a gymnist or a martial artist in real life.

  In one episode he busts a move, that while it's a gag, quite impresses me. The average guy in the streets isn't pulling that one off. The low stance, gliding feet on the floor resembles shotokan to me.

  As well, he shows instantanious, fast movement in some other episodes that untrained people usually don't have. It's brief, but you see it.


The actor playing sam is interesting. The character, from america, speaks his limited spanish with a noticable british accent for the first couple episodes or so. This is most pronounced in the scene in the first episode where sam mistakes pablo for being a bellboy and wants pablo to fetch his suitcases from downstairs. 


  The  uk english accent while sam is speaking spanish isn't so noticable in subsequent episodes, and in the last episode he sounds liké an american when he's speaking english to his mother - who doesn't sound like an american at all. She says “Barceloner” of all things. In her speaking mangled spanish it's a totaly destroyed “como te lahmers” for “cómo te llamas.” 

  Which could mean all sorts of things, perhaps including something about licking.


I believe the actor playing sam is from the netherlands and speaks several languages. He appears in the french version of extra.


The first three episodes are full of more cheese than the whole state of wisconsin, the english vacation and fanáticos de futbol episodes are almost as bad.


And, if in real life a woman gave me the passive aggressive silent treatment for days like in episode 12 or shook a knife in my face like in episode 13 she'd be out of my orbit faster than shit goes through a goose.


But, you can like the actors and extra will help you learn spanish.


As an addendum, I hope the actors went on to greater things.




Hi Alme,

I was born in Manchester but lived in London for 20 years. I currently reside in Chester, which is North Wales, about 45 minutes from Liverpool.




Ben, things have been off kilter for me the last few days…




I spoke with a gentleman who grew up in england but his mother was highland scot. He told me of the different names for parts or all of the islands that came about in different times, enough that I don't know if I'm using the right term at  any moment to describe what I think is the uk.


One of the names, which I haven't got sorted out, had to do with the grouping of england, wales, scotland and ireland.


I knew about the joined crowns of scotland and england, but he mentioned three crowns with wales and even four crowns with ireland.


While touching on the others, he talked mostly about scotland and england.


I knew some of the history, but the talk prompted me to check some more. There's a lot I didn't know, some of what explains events in the american colonies and whence our umbrella american culture or national character. The magna cart, the english bill of rights and and such is part of our heritage from england. And, what I believe to be the influence from not only the original puritan legacy in new england (from east england) (also cromwell's later legacy, from east anglia) but also presbyterian (scotland) influences in our revolutionary war from england.


One historian describes the english civil war (some of which reached the colonies), the revolutionary war and the american civil war as “the cousin's wars.” It's my observation that the confederate battle flag was derived in part from the scottish saint andrew's cross, which is also part of the flag of great britain.


The border peoples from between scotland and england were a rowdy bunch, and they wasted no time crossing the the appalachian mountains into what became much of our post colonial south.


Fascinating stuff.


The scot - english gentleman told me of the friction between scottish highlanders and lowlanders, which makes sense in the greater perpetual warring that seems to have gone on over who's going to control what on the island from maybe the romans before emperor hadrian until at least the battle of culloden in 1746.


I wasn't aware so much of the anglo normans who apparently colonized the lowlands after 1066.


One of the things he related was a highland pejorative for the lowlanders in particular and the english in general, sasanach or  sassenach. Which derives from old english seaxan, old saxon sahson, from the long knife - short sword the saxons carried around with them, the seax.


Thank you for inspiring my search.


Sorry about waxing pendantic, but history fascinates me.



Hey Alme,

Wow - I think you know a lot more about the history of the United Kingdom than I do.  

If I think of all the friends/family members I have and you asked them ‘Where do you come from?’ I'm pretty sure that on the whole they would all say ‘I come from England, or Scotland, or Wales".  They would not say Britain.  There is a perception that the Scottish and English don't get on, and I would not know whether that i true or not.  When it comes to football it's a huge rivalry and it is billed as ‘THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN’ whenever we play Scotland at football, especially in an international tournament.

I am currently on holiday in Gran Canaria.  The weather is not nice.  “No hace sol”

I have just completed 2.2 and been introduced to the phrase Tal Vez, which is useful to know.




Hey, Ben


The canary islands have an interesting history including their contributions to the americas.


The spanish king desired to populate his new spain texas frontier but, for several reasons,  no one wanted to go there.


So he promised some starving canary islanders that if they crossed the ocean and went to the texas frontier he would grant them the lower nobility title of hidalgo.


They were further assured there were plenty of indians to work their estates for them like in central mexico.


The cultural notion was that a gentleman directed the work and was the primary beneficiary of the work rather than risking (the horror!) the slightest dirt on his own hands - and you can still see the imperious nature of this concept in the historical mexican patron. You don't question the boss, and it often went way, way farther than that (it is to be noted that there are mexicans who treat their employees like family).


So to the canary islanders it was like being given an easy ticket to the sweet, sweet, good life.


When they got to texas the primary local indians they found were the few left who were fleeing the southern migrating comanches and the comanches themselves.


The comanches built their prairie empire with trading buffalo hides and horses and practiced slavery.


Their usual mode of raiding and warring was scorched earth while killing everyone and everything they didn't cart off. They long distance raided almost to mexico city and into jalisco to steal horses - it was quicker and more productive than breeding livestock themselves.


So, the imported canary islanders had to work the land themselves while fighting off the comanches, which is amazing they could do so against such odds.


It's unclear to me if any got the noble title of hidalgo.


Their descendants became tejanos, not to be confused with mexican, the reason being the same general isolation from central mexico as experienced by the nuevo mejicanos and the californios.


There's a lot the canary islanders / tejanos contributed to the character of texas along with american southerners, germans and czechs.


I think europeans as a whole tend to define themselves by the regions they are from rather than nationality. I believe this to be very true of italy, france, germany, spain and, of course, the balkans.


It cracks me up when a multi-generational american gets all puffed up about being italian. What part of italy? And if he were parachuted into any random place in italy, just which italians would bow to his self proclaimed italian-ness?


How is the canary island version of spanish? Can you pick out a few words? Have you got any highlights of your visit? Tell us about gran canaria.



I couldn't tell much difference as I cannot speak much Spanish yet, however I was able to ask for things, understand directions and I think one of the most important phrases I have picked up is Estoy aprendiendo… because they are really pleased when I say that and how I am moving to Spain for work so I want to learn.  They appreciate that.

Hmm what to tell?  There's a storm called Oscar at the moment so for over half the holiday I didn't see sun.  That was a killer. My boat trip(s) were cancelled because of this.

Major shopping centre called the Yumbo Center.  Tired, dated from the 70s but comes alive at nighttime 2200-0400.

I did the module one certification but did not pass.  I was quite happy with the grammar element of my attempt but I had not done modules 1.7-1.9 as they were based on grammar and introduced new vocabulary (e.g. rotten/behaviour/pencils) which I didn't know.  It is because I practised a lot in Spain without speaking into the microphone.  I did not want to disturb other holiday makers.



Also - what is ‘I don’t need a receipt' in Spanish?  There were other phrases I wanted to know whilst in Spain, I can't remember at the moment but if they come back to me I'll add them here.


PS The best words/phrases I have learnt so far and can use in Spain are (these are just from Rocket and no other program)

Estoy aprendiendo

Me gustaria

Es muy amable


Tal vez

Hable mas desapacio por favor




No necesito un recibo


Spanish translation:


Deepl is strictly translation

Spanishdict will get into conjugation and much more.


I don't feel so verbose at the moment, but the yumbo center intrigues me.


It seems the spanish in general are night owls. Is the yumbo more of a party venue in the hours you describe? Do they throw their trash on the floor in restaurants, bars and tapas joints? Or is that more of a stereotype from what you see on this trip?



Hi Team,


I hope you're doing well. I've seen your previous messages, and I'm glad to hear that you're motivated to learn Spanish. I wanted to answer your question about "Español con Juan" and "Extr@ en español".


"Español con Juan" is a YouTube channel where Juan shares videos in Spanish to help students learn the language. You can easily find it by searching for his name on YouTube.


"Extr@ en español" is a television series in Spanish designed for language learners. The plot may seem a bit odd, but it's a good option for practicing listening and improving your understanding of Spanish. You can search for the series online to watch the episodes.


Regarding your question about how to say "I don't need a receipt" in Spanish, the translation would be "No necesito un recibo". You can use this phrase in situations where you don't need a proof of purchase.


It's great that you're using your time in Gran Canaria to practice Spanish.

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