Thursday, 2 June 2011

Using Chat

Image: Michal Marcol /

Conversing in Spanish can be difficult - you have to think fast both to phrase your own thoughts and to understand the other person, and it can be harder to work out new words without seeing how they are spelt. Writing to somebody in Spanish gives you time to think, but it can be tedious. There is less leeway to make gramatical errors, and the lack of interaction and feedback can be discouraging.

Halfway in between the two is chat. Whether it is Facebook, MSN or any other instant messaging service it doesn't matter. If you get the chance to chat to a Spanish speaking friend then take it. It really is the best of both worlds. You get interaction, feedback and corrections for your mistakes. The grammar is less critical than in a letter. You don't have to think as quickly as when speaking, and you can see what the words look like. There are still a couple of downsides though - one is that it can be hard to enter special characters - ¿ ¡ ñ á é ú í ó. There are ways around this which I plan to cover in a future post. Other downsides are that you might have to get used to the Spanish version of text speak - q for que etc. and that it won't help much with your pronunciation.

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