What's the best way to learn Spanish?

I took 4 years of Spanish in college, but after graduation I could only remember the dirty words. My conjugations, grammar, and vocabulary were a distant memory -- all forgotten in textbook.

Then, I started dating a pretty Mexican girl who never spoke in English when she was with her parents. So if I wanted to converse with them, I needed the best way to learn Spanish, as a second language, a second time.

For me, immersion was the best way to learn vocabulary naturally in a foreign tongue.

For me, immersion was the best way to learn vocabulary naturally in a foreign tongue. I had friends who went to Spain and travelled abroad for a semester in college and came back rolling their Rs like a Spaniard.

The time they spend overseas was good for them (and for me) because their improved speaking skills also rubbed off on me. I learned more verbs, nouns, adjectives, and improved my conversational skills.

Unfortunatly, they retained the gift of gab in Espanol. I didn't.

Back to school?

I knew that I'd never be able to study a second language without instruction. I tried using free online resources but the Internet is like a card catalog with all the cards mixed up. I never could find logical steps for learning Espanol online.

So that lead me to buying a couple products to learn Spanish again. I tried two: Rosetta Stone and Rocket Spanish.

Each has their benefits and drawbacks. I learned the most from Rocket Spanish. They feature an almost week long trial period, which allowed me to get a feel for their program and test it.

Before I go into the details, watch the video above to see a sneak peek at the Rocket program.

Down to business

I like that I can go at my own pace to build my vocabulary naturally. The Rocket program does just that because it is self-paced.

It features audio files for pronunciation, which is beneficial. They are spoken slowly and not like a normal Mexican, so that's something to be aware of.

You have a couple choices when listening to the audio. You can listen right off your computer, or you can download the entire MP3 to your iPod and listen later.

There are text files that accompany the audio, which makes it helpful. You'll also find extra vocabulary and quizzes as part of this program.

The lessons provide useful conversational information. I remember back in college we'd have to say things like "Jose es alto." (Jose is tall.)

To me, that was silly. How often do you say those things when travelling in a foreign land. You are more likely to say things like "Donde el bano?" (Where is the bathroom?)

Practical information is important. You will be able to test yourself with the quizzes and flashcards.

One of the better features is the forum. Rocket offers a forum where other purchasers of this product can help each other along. What's best about it is that you can Skype with others and practice your conversation skills in Spanish online.

More often than not, most people need the conversational skills more than the spelling or grammar.

Happy with my purchase

I'm glad I used this product. It was a great supplement to learning Spanish from my Mexican girlfriend.

She would always tease me with my mispronounced words. Once I found out this product offered a free trial and a money back guarantee, I gave it a try and am glad.

It was more cost effective than taking refresher classes again. I looked into

Other tips for learning

Speak with other students. You may sound funny at first, but it's OK. You need to practice, practice, practice.

If you can afford a tutor to help you, that will accelerate your conversational skills. You will have to study the vocab, grammar, and verb conjugations if you expect to succeed, though.

You might be able to this for free if you are willing to teach a Mexican or Spaniard the English language in return.

I hope this helps you with the best way to learn Spanish.