Más despacio por favor
Filed under (Spanish Ear Training) by marcus @ 06:51 pm
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

At times Spanish just seems to fly by so fast.

The average is 4 words per second and sometimes it seems like some people speak even faster than that.

rat at tat tat

A machine gun volley of Spanish words flying at you so fast you start to feel lost.

What can we do?

Can anything be done?

Yes, there is a lot that you can do. The most important factor is the approach you take to learning.

Just like any skill, it’s how you learn that makes all the difference.

Let me explain…

I almost pulled my daughter out of her ballet class after watching her teacher chastise her and her little friends.

He’s Ukrainian, has lived in Mexico for 10 years, speaks great Spanish and English and perhaps more languages, he is a professional dancer in San Diego and looks like a ballet god.

so he has some gifts.

But teaching isn’t one of them…

Like many teachers, he blames the student for not learning.

I have taught language to students of all ages, social levels and education background, from factory workers to directors of big companies to PHD university students. While some people just don’t want to learn, most do want to get the thrill and reward of the result of learning how to do something… and its a shame when they aren’t able to learn because of a flawed approach.

Instead of complaining about the students as many teachers do, fixing the system, the approach or the method would be a better use of time and energy.

The ballet teacher’s approach may seem like it has nothing to do with learning Spanish, but it actually has everything to do with learning Spanish.

Here’s his approach to a problem, which is unfortunately quite common

1) chastise 3 and 4 year old girls with comments like;

pobre piso (poor floor)

bailen como elefantes

muy mal, niñas

2) Instead of fixing what they were doing wrong, go onto the next part of the lesson (because we have to do all the things in the lesson list in the allotted time).

I could have taught them better myself… There’s an image for you, me teaching ballet.

I could have taught them to improve what he was complaining about in a few minutes. Here’s what I would have done

1) I would have got them to slow down the movements

2) I would have broken the movements into pieces.

lift knee

step forward with same knee

lift other knee

step forward with same leg

3) Then all the parts in one movement, slowly.

4) Then speed it up.

Do you think that may have worked better than doing it full speed every time?

Instead of looking like they had some kind of muscular disorder, I guarantee within five minutes they would have made plenty of improvement and his pobre piso, wouldn’t have had to suffer las niñas elefantes anymore.

Why the long story, and what’s it got to do with understanding Spanish spoken quickly.

I hope you can see the parallel, learning any new skill, dancing, music, martial arts, driving a car… it doesn’t matter what it is…you need to first start slowly.

You didn’t learn to drive in the Indy 500 or the Monaco Formula One.

You learned to drive first, slowly, one gear at a time and without distractions (other cars).

To develop your ear for Spanish you need to do the same.

Break it into smaller pieces.

Slow it down

Learn in steps.

Clarify the confusing parts.

Then when you are comfortable with the theme, put it together in longer combinations

Speed it up

and get involved

Well what do you know… That blur of words is not such a blur anymore. You can actually start to make sense of it all.

I am very close to finishing the first installment of my new Spanish ear training audio newsletter, which will help you develop your ear for Spanish in an easy to follow systematic approach.

If you think your ear could do with a tune up, and you’d like to be able to keep up with people when they speak quickly, you can get on the audio newsletter list by adding your name and email below.


I’m very excited about this project, as it is something that has never been done before. This bottleneck that gets in so many people’s way and stops them advancing their Spanish has never been addressed until now.

I look forward to helping you advance in your Spanish in ways that significantly improve your ability to interact in the real world with real native Spanish speakers, which is the point of learning Spanish in the first place, isn’t it?I’d be delighted to hear your comments. If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment below.

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150 Comments posted on "Más despacio por favor"
Mitch SuttonNo Gravatar on September 24th, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

My wife is taking your course and has shown remarkable improvement in her Spanish. I learned Spanish and English at the same time, so would be considered a native speaker. Part of my job is to teach classes(not language classes)in both English and Spanish. but I shy away from teaching my wife in order to maintain peace in the home. I find your teaching methods to be excellent. I do have a question, in your translation of pobre piso (poor floor)would it be better to say bad step? because he is criticizing the action of the dancer, not the surface the dancer is practicing on.
Respectfully, Mitch


marcusNo Gravatar Reply:

A dance step would be “paso” rather than “piso”, no?


otahmanNo Gravatar on December 20th, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

holla carino, por favour hablar mas despacio


otahmanNo Gravatar on December 20th, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

Can’t quite keep pace with the speed !


Bobbe HelmerickNo Gravatar on December 15th, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

I’m not sure I’m ready for this yet?


Catherine DitomasoNo Gravatar on May 25th, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

I am learning with more confidence than ever before. I have made other efforts but let them fall by the way side. Your method keeps me encouraged. I use an mp3 player for the audio. Marcus, I am a little overwhelmed by your emails. I don’t want to miss anything but I am not exactly sure what or when to start on another of your offers. I originally signed up for Senergy Spanish and am only on lesson 6. I did buy Short cut to Spanish also but now when do I do it? When I recommend your course where should I suggust people start?


Brian WatsonNo Gravatar on November 6th, 2007 at 1:17 am #

I have pretty much the same problem as everyone else. I have learned to speak well, however i understand very little. A friend who does not speak any english tells me she cant understand why i can speak almsot perfect spanish, but not understand her. any chance on a synergy ingles course for her as well. (Smile)


Daria KirjanovNo Gravatar on October 30th, 2007 at 5:44 pm #

To Dafna Dafna RONN-OXLEY.
Hello, Dafna. Are you the Dafna of Virtus Institute ? Please email me at daria.kirjanov@snet.net


DeionNo Gravatar on September 19th, 2007 at 4:07 am #

Patiently waiting on the ear training program. Hurry!!


Dorothy NormanNo Gravatar on September 14th, 2007 at 10:23 am #

It would be nice not to feel intimidated every time a spsnish speaker reply to your greeting.Sometimes a word here and there is enough to understand the essence of what is being said but not enough to engage in conversation. Can’t wait


robert LanodNo Gravatar on August 20th, 2007 at 1:58 am #

A word here and there. I have convinced my Spanish family to write it down on paper. This way I see a picture and I am able to easily undertand their spoken phrases. I still need to work on thinking Spanish.
For sure, you are an inspiration.
Roberto Aug 2007


Derick In UKNo Gravatar on August 7th, 2007 at 3:06 pm #

I have pretty good verbal and reading skill for spanish but like you said Rat a tat tat and it sounds like double dutch so cant wait for ear training


Curt JohnsonNo Gravatar on August 6th, 2007 at 8:45 pm #

I could’nt bring up the last page also…Please sign me up…


LouiseNo Gravatar on August 4th, 2007 at 1:54 pm #

Your method is great for someone with one elementary Spanish class like me. It clarified some rules seen too quickly in class like the word para versus por and many other things. But please, try to put on a chat room. Practice is a must. It would be nice to have some real Spanish people in there. Just an idea. Bye!



steven ayalaNo Gravatar on July 30th, 2007 at 9:01 pm #

Could’nt bring up the last page–but ‘m interested… Sign me up!!!!!!!


PeggyNo Gravatar on July 30th, 2007 at 1:15 pm #



Geoff BennettNo Gravatar on July 29th, 2007 at 12:37 pm #

I would like to improve my spanish hearing.


Linda HermanNo Gravatar on July 29th, 2007 at 4:29 am #

I listen to the spanish radio, 93.1 Amor every day. I also listen to spanishes phrases from a cd I purchased over and over again. Then I try to see if I can hear the phrases and understand them when they speak on the radio. I find that learning words and then phrases helps tremendously with the speed. Don’t give up! Keep at it!


Phil SaleNo Gravatar on July 24th, 2007 at 8:28 am #

An excellent idea, I have always become disheartened, when I think I am progressing, and then I end up with the often too used phrase ‘ Mas despachio’. Hopefully this will help eliminate the need for this. Keep it up.


josefinaNo Gravatar on July 24th, 2007 at 4:57 am #

listening to all the audio that you are giving me i learn a lot that a friend of mine really got surprise when i send him a spanish e-mail


Latoya BrownNo Gravatar on July 22nd, 2007 at 10:40 pm #

Well, first of all i would like to say muchas gracias a ti, i find spanish to be very nice, but tricky and rapido. But i do my very best to understand it. I love the time u take to help out. May GOD continue to bless u. Adios


edna shurleyNo Gravatar on July 22nd, 2007 at 7:57 pm #

Sorry, I don’t know what the url is. I would like to be on your list for “ear training”. I have many spanish friends, and am learning spanish, but it’s still hard to follow the spoken conversations. Thanks for your help!


maggsNo Gravatar on July 22nd, 2007 at 5:11 pm #

hurry up . it seem like i`ve been waiting for ever,thanks for everything you have done up to know.maggs


Sal BeislyNo Gravatar on July 22nd, 2007 at 1:53 am #

I love the spanish course of yours I’m doing at the moment, its the best I’ve done and you teach the way its best for me to learn. So I’m very interested to hear anything you have to say re this subject. My biggest problem is hearing when people speak fast, so much easier to read than listen to Spanish! Thanks so much for this.


ElaineNo Gravatar on July 21st, 2007 at 10:32 pm #

I could not enter the info needed on your blog. Thanks for the email permitting access. Ear training is EXACTLY what I need…how did you know? (grin) Thank you. You’re the first to do something about this common complaint. Can’t thank you enough.


Peter DinglasanNo Gravatar on July 21st, 2007 at 3:12 pm #

This is what I am encountering now. It is not only the speed of speech but also the pitch, tone, inflection, volume, and accentuation that affect my listening clearly to what a native speaker. My dream is to not only hear everything clearly but to speak like they do in every aspect. Thank you for including me in your newsletter.


Constintina BaldreasNo Gravatar on July 21st, 2007 at 12:59 am #

For some reason spanish just seems to hard to learn


Jo LazenbyNo Gravatar on July 20th, 2007 at 9:29 am #

great idea,I`m sure it will help me a lot


Ajanaku Akinwale.ONo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 9:07 pm #

You´re a professional teacher,u´ve got the psychology of impacting the teaching of Spanish to Learners like me.What i gained from this bulletin is that one has to start slowly and gradually become fast,thumbs up for you


Glenroy PrattNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 5:03 pm #

Marcus, I look forward to this.


Mick ReillyNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 5:01 pm #



Terrie F. JonesNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 2:54 pm #

Mrcus, Thanks so much for your concern in helping me with my Spanish.
I am still struggling and I think most of my struggling is my fault. due to the lack of time,I have not given my spanish as much attention as I should. And you are correct the biggest problem for me is trying to understand what the spanish speaking population is saying when they are talking to me. Many of them speak a mile a minute and with different dialect as well as some with the use of slang and/or poor grammar. The conjugation of verbs as you mentioned in your newsletter is also killing me. However, I am able to understand most of what I read as oppose to what I verbally hear.


JohnNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

Great idea can not wait for your Spanish ear training

My other problem is the spanish Alphabet. Things like “y” “ce” “ca” “ci” “ga” “ge” etc. Do you do a Addio Lesson of the sounds of the Alphabet.



CaseyNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 10:58 am #

I have been learning Spanish for 18 months. My teacher is fantastic and on paper i am a whiz, but when it comes to speaking i freeze up and can barely utter the gretings. This sounds like what i need. ¡Muchas gracias!


JerónimoNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 10:19 am #

Hola Marcus:

Soy español, más concretamente canario. Estoy asombrado con su método de aprendizaje del español. Buscando por la red un método de aprendizaje del inglés, encontré su método de aprendizaje del idioma español el cual adquirí. Y, bueno, mi pregunta es: ¿tiene ud. previsto un curso para aprender inglés?.

Muchas gracias,


RooseveltNo Gravatar on July 19th, 2007 at 5:49 am #

Marcus: Thanks once again for your gift and love of teaching spanish for all people in simplicity and ingenuity.


Terry VannNo Gravatar on July 18th, 2007 at 10:34 pm #

Please hurry. I hope this will help. In the meantime, I watch Spanish television and with the benefit of DVR (or TiVo) I play segments over and over until I finally get the gist of the statements.


PaddyNo Gravatar on July 18th, 2007 at 9:43 pm #

Hallo Marcus
I listen to the Spanish radio, sermons in church, people at the next table etc. and think I can recognise most of the words. It’s just that I haven’t a clue what they are saying! By the time I have worked out who they are talking about (he, she or you)and waited for the subject to come at the end of the sentence (es rapido el coche)they are way ahead and I am lost. Help- I am losing confidence and feel foolish in front of my friends who think I have been studying long enough to be fluent.
Best wishes


Mandy GarlandNo Gravatar on July 18th, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

Hi Marcus, I’m enjoying learning Spanish and being able to communicate with my work colleges but it will be even more enjoyable when I can understand what they are saying to me, I look forward to the eartraining audios Thanks Marcus


Chris BarklemNo Gravatar on July 18th, 2007 at 6:08 pm #

I have been learning Spanish a few months now and live in Barcelona. I have two one hour lessons with a person professora. I never remember anything and never find the time to do any additional studies, however my knowledge of the grammer and verbs and adjectives are improving nice and slowly.

I have been a coach, a teacher and an instructor which gives me a good idea how to teach and which methods work better on the different skills. Dancing or any physical skill has to be brocken down into three steps to generate memory in both the mind and in the muscles. In a few hours its possible to teach a complete beginner how to paddle a canoe and master several strokes. With windsurfing it takes a little longer but this is due to the extremes of balance and the unpredictabe nature of the wind.

Language I find is easier if you break the rules apart and explain all of the regular methods then ove they make sense and the language is complete and mapped in the mind you can then go about memorising the irregular execptions and faults of the language.



Paulettte PaulNo Gravatar on July 17th, 2007 at 5:29 pm #

Looking forward to the ear training.


margaret ratcliffNo Gravatar on July 17th, 2007 at 10:20 am #

I have finished synergyspanish and found it very useful, and look forward to the ear training lessons. I also could not type in my details but you have them here.


ozNo Gravatar on July 17th, 2007 at 5:36 am #

definitely looking forward to help in tuning my ear to the language!


Lyn KellieNo Gravatar on July 17th, 2007 at 3:59 am #

Yes please send me your newsletter.


Brenda DodgeNo Gravatar on July 15th, 2007 at 10:49 am #

I was unable to enter my name and e-mail address in The Ear Training Box but would like to know more about it especially as I live in Spain. Thank you


Elsie SlightNo Gravatar on July 15th, 2007 at 9:01 am #

Marcus, I know it’s not about exams but I am sure I wouldn’t have achieved my GCSE (at the age of 68 in a class of 17-20 year olds. I was even able to pass on some of your tips. Look forward to your audio.


ShirinNo Gravatar on July 14th, 2007 at 7:36 pm #

Hola Marcus,

you’re doing a great job, I’m learning a lot. Keep up the good work.


Wai LinNo Gravatar on July 14th, 2007 at 5:14 pm #

I am interested to know your program of spanish listening.Thank you.


laura babaiNo Gravatar on July 14th, 2007 at 9:44 am #

enjoy your course and i too have problems understanding spoken spanish. I live in Israel and only in my class once a week do I hear Spanish but that too is not enough. Please help us out. Thanks


Julie RoseNo Gravatar on July 14th, 2007 at 3:26 am #

I need all the help I can get. Looking forward to your newsletter.


Elisabeth.No Gravatar on July 14th, 2007 at 2:49 am #

Interested. Like others are mentioning, I was unable to submit my email address in the alloted space to receive more info.


Evelyn CawthornNo Gravatar on July 13th, 2007 at 11:56 am #

Well Marcus all the comments you have received just proves what people want – so any negative remarks just need to be filed in the dustbin. I can’t wait for the newsletter – I love and understand your teaching methods because they work!


SimonNo Gravatar on July 13th, 2007 at 8:30 am #

Dear Marcus, I ‘ve learned Spanish much faster with your method of combining fixed word combinations.
Because in the heat of the battle, one can not concentrate on all that little details that makes any language so difficult.
One needs fixed drills, like in the army, when they teach you how to act under pressure.
It is called “muscle memory”and “drilling”.
Another method of my own is, as mentioned above, to watch soap series (telenovellas) to improve understanding of spoken Spanish.
Another method is listening to latin music, e.g. Ricky Martin, Shakira, or Aventura, even good old Julio Iglesias is perfect.
This helped me alot and it is fun.


Regina O'NealNo Gravatar on July 13th, 2007 at 4:34 am #

Can’t wait for your newsletter. It sounds like a great help. Sure hope its free. I’m broke.


Jack LarsonNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 5:50 pm #

Your program is really great and I have encouraged many, many people to sign up for it. Do you know of a similiar program for Mexicans to learn English?

Thank you so much,
Jack Larson


E BerglerNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 5:39 pm #

I agree that understanding the normal language is the last frontier. I can say all I want now, maybe not 100% grammar correct but people do understand and conclude its OK to rattle at full speed. THERE ARE TOO MANY SYNONYMS IN SPANISH!
My solution is to listen at least an hour a day to Telelatino news, watch plenty of spanish movies and read only spanish books to get a handle on the synonyms. Of course TV new anchors speak clearly, which I can’t say about people. But what do I do with my spare time once I am perfect? Learn russian?


FaizNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

tell me more about Spanish Ear Training.


VivienneNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 5:29 pm #

I have learnt so much from you and look forward to being added to your audio newsletter. Thanks


jeff sladeNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

Hi, looking forward to it!!
Wish I had more time.


Kevin DuffyNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 3:30 pm #

Please add me to audio newsletter


Penny FiresNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 2:06 pm #

I am interested in your ear training program. Please send more info. Also is there a program available teaching a simple way to speak in past tense (as you taught us a future tense using var a?)
Thank you,
Penny Fires


Penny FiresNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 2:03 pm #

I am interested in this program, please send more info. Also, when are
you going to have a program to learn a simple way to use a past tense?



Jennifer DayNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 1:29 pm #

This beautiful language does not release its secrets easily. I have to work for it, and appreciate all the help I can get. I love living in Andalucia, but the local accent makes ‘hearing’ difficult. Andalucians speak very fast, and I struggle along too slowly. Your teaching is quick and thoughtful, Marcus – I consider your lessons a major discovery in my quest to understand and be understood in Spanish. Thank you.


Eric SandersNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 11:04 am #

Another first from Marcus! Please add me to the list. I love your courses. You are so right about listening to Spanish at light speed when your ear only hears at the speed of sound! Two questiona. How do you survive with the little money you charge? Is it cheap to live in Mexico? Eric


larry phillipsNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 10:17 am #

please add me to the audio newsletter


sylvanoNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 8:47 am #

Hola Marcus!
This is just THE problem studying Spanish! Indeed, when you’re thinking you made just a little bit of progress, you start to speak with a real Spanish one and you understand … quite nothing anymore! I’m really excited to hear more of you!


JohnNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 7:42 am #

Please add my name to the list and many thanks for all the help you have given me in the past


Ann LloydNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 7:38 am #

Just what I need. So does my daughter. She is going to study in Santiago Chile for a year. Leaves in two weeks. Will recommend this to her.Thanks.


ChristineNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 7:20 am #

I have learn’t a lot of Spanish from your lessons, a big thank you for making Spanish easy and fun to learn. But my problem has been that I can’t understand spoken Spanish. I look forward to the audio newsletter.


Warren ThorntonNo Gravatar on July 12th, 2007 at 4:52 am #

eso es una buena idea. Please add me to your Audio Newsletter list.


EverettNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 11:39 pm #

I was unable to put my name on the space to sign up for this, but I really anxious to do so. Please sign me up for this
Thank you.


mel garrettNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 8:30 pm #

Thanks. looking forward to learning more about this.


marieNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 8:29 pm #

i am just getting the grip of the spanish language and you lessons are wonderful, so bring it on


Don ConnellyNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 7:47 pm #

Please send me audio newsletter


Dr. Ella MattheusNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 7:01 pm #

I think this is a wonderful idea. This is the biggest problem I experience at the moment. Just as you said – thought I’m going on well and then I listen to a Spanish speaker on the net and can,t understand anything. This is really disheartening. I live in South Africa and never hear the language actually spoken.


Donald ClarkeNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 6:41 pm #

This Seems A Very Good Idea Marcus.Good Luck On This Project.A More General Point, Most Of The Course I Have Bought From You Are In The Present Tense And Chance Of Something Similar In Past And Future Tense.Por Favor.


Ron KnappNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 4:38 pm #

Great. Please add my name to the mailing list.


StephenNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 4:17 pm #

Yes please, I will keep my ears open for the news


Maurice CornectNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 3:12 pm #

Yes, though I’m making good progress in speaking and reading Spanish, I’m still having difficulity in understanding Spanish when spoken at the normal speed. Certainly, help in that aspect of learning a language would be welcomed.


Tony PaganoNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:52 pm #

Look forward to this approach. Also, there are a few Spanish speaking TV segments, usually news programs, (you have to search around), where the speaker is clear & slow enough to pick up not only individual words but some phrases as well. With practice, it gets easier.


GerrardNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

Here are some suggestions that are helping me:

1) Watch Spanish Movies with Spanish Subtitles on.
2) Listen to Spanish Music – download the lyrics and follow along


Richard I.BaumNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

looking forward to training my ears!


Linda HainesNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:38 pm #

I love everything you send me and can not wait for this new installment.


DenNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:37 pm #

I bought your program for myself. I ended up sharing it with my college son. He needed one year of Spanish to graduate. After taking a long summer trip, listening to the audio for well over 6 hours, he was able to test out of have the year and progess to the next level. That saved so much time and money!
I look forward to your new project. Gracias!


Edna EvansNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

Dear Marcus
Great idea; At 76years I am managing the course well,especially the written,unfortunately my hearing is letting me down listening.


DonNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 1:44 pm #

Señor Santamaria,

Looking forward to seeing how your “project” will enhance our community (I’m in there) of learners experience. Very Much So!!!


Pat ClarkeNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

I find your approach to learning Spanish is so straightforward & I’ve found that just “having a go” with what I learn has helped enormously in communicating with everyone I come into contact with whilst living here in southern Spain. It really doesn’t matter if I don’t get everything right, I’m still enjoying being able to speak with people & they in turn are so kind & helpful. Looking forward to receiving your news letter.


ThereseNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

Put me on your list. I couldn’t enter the information to sign up for your audio newsletter.


Mohammad Reza ErshadNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:46 pm #

Sono persiano e parlo italiano e anche parlo un po spagnolo. vorrei imparare spagnolo di piu.


John GibsonNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:25 pm #

I could not sign on in the space alloted in your email for Spanish Ear Training. I am very much interested as I have bought most of your programs


Tina ThomasNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:23 pm #

looking forward to this opportunity


Ernest SagagaNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

Dear Marcus,

Terribly well done about this newsletter idea! I am so looking forward to learning some badly needed hearing skills in Spanish. I am very comfortable with grammar, vocabulary and reading but listening is proving a hard nut to crack, and it all boils down to the neckreaking speed of many Spanish speakers. For some reason, I am unable to enter my details in the box aboce but, please, do send me the newsletter anyway.

London, UK


anthony hartNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

Bueno idea! As veces tenemos que volver a los basicos, y pues podemos adelantarnos mas una vez – mejorados y con confienza. Gracias amigo.


Terry VannNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 11:53 am #

Marcus. I am glad you are addressing this. Thankk you.


LESLEY BOYCE (ENGLAND)No Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 11:19 am #

Hi Marcus, great to hear your latest comments (habla mas despacio, por favor). After using various books and c.d.courses, I finally found a course that concentrated on training you how to speak more quickly (yours!)
Living in England means I don’t get to hear any Spanish at all, which results in difficulty when I encounter people while on holiday in Spain. Your e-mails will be more than welcome. I like the fact that you stay in touch once the course has been purchased and I have been impressed with you regular new ideas. Thank you and keep up the good work. (One added note: could you mention if there is ever an instance where something is said differently in Spain to how it would be said in Latin America or Mexico? )


DianneNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 11:18 am #

Sometimes I wonder whether they speak that quickly on purpose to ensure that we never understand them.

Can’t wait to try this new program.


JeffNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 10:58 am #

Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a border town or a spanish speaking country, gaining fluency seems impossibe. Any help with deciphering rapid speech would be great!


Eamon McColganNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 10:38 am #

Marcus, you have done it again. As the proud owner of all your courses — and a few others — I looking forward to another learning experience that is both educational and thoroughly enjoyable. Like everyone else who has posted on the blog, I am eagerly awaiting the release of the Newsletter. Keep up the great work.


Peter VaughanNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 9:52 am #

Sounds like a great idea Marcus. I would say this is my greatest obstacle to conversing in Spanish. As you may remember I am married to Colombian and have great difficulty actually hearing her and her daughters’ Spanish. I know my hearing is’nt 100% but I always thought their Spanish sounded muffled, slurred and all run together. Turns out that even other Spanish speakers think the same. It is regional dialect thing apparently. Imagine my surprise when I learn that what I heard to be one word can actually be 2 or 3 joined together. Thats why reading is so much easier. It is not so much that it is fast I don’t think, it is just normal speed for them, but it sounds fast due to the unfamiliarity of the dialog and a comparively limited vocabulary. So any assistance in the hearing department will be very welcome.


Michael SonesNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 8:56 am #

Buena idea


Hilal MCDONALDNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 7:16 am #

I believe that your approach is excellent and would like to try learning to communicate in Spanish that way.


Keith EvansNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 6:55 am #

Any help in this aera would be greatly appreciated.


Andrew QuintNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 5:51 am #

Please let me know when your training software is ready


Judy AdamsNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 5:04 am #

Buena idea. Training the ear is exactly what I have tried to do, by listening..listening..LISTENING!


CraigNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 4:32 am #

Really looking forward to this Audio Newsletter! Hope it works:-)


Damion JohnstonNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 4:18 am #

Yes, Marcus. You’re approach is very good. Things that I started to pick-up on in my language classes in the Dominican Republic, you have brought together in a very concise and logical…and most especially EASY TO LEARN MANNER. This next phase is excellent.

Porque hay gente que pueden hablar como una MG-42!

Cheers Ustedes


lorene thiessenNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 3:56 am #

tell me more about spanish ear training.
I wasn’t able to put me name in the above spots.


RonnieNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 3:24 am #

Tell me something, Why don’t you try and get the Mexicon’s to learn English. That would help a lot. Thanks


HenriNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 3:06 am #

I think that you are pinpointing the real problem in spanish study.Thank you very much,you’re doing a fine job.Henri.


HenriNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 3:03 am #

You are pinpointing the real problem in spanish study.Thank you very much,you’re doing a fine job.Henri.


robert LanodNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:35 am #

It’s hard to say no! You are working your head off to promote your product, which appears to be top notch.
I hope one day I can make the move.
Learning Spanish is difficlt for my age ( 84). Maybe one day, I will achieve my goal.

Thanks for you constant updating of your product.

ciao for now,


DorothyNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:26 am #

I am so glad you are doing this. This is my number one problem is learning a language. It is easy to learn to speak, I can practice on my own all I want. But comprehension you have to do with someone else. Reading doesn’t help, because people don’t talk the way writers write. For my job, I don’t need a huge vocabulary or fancy syntax – I just need to understand people when they talk. When they talk to their kids, I understand perfectly. Adults who are learning a second (or third) language need that “bridge” that adults know how to give kids – but not other adults!


Jerroll FryNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:24 am #

You have the common sense approach. I’m eagerly awaiting your audio newsletter and your next study course.


CarolanNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:20 am #

Living in Arizona I wish to learn and understand the MEXICAN Spanish dialect. Do you cover that?


Janece McKinzieNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:18 am #

I need to have the words repeated sometimes ten times or more before I can ‘hear’ it. Will this help me with this problem?


Marg HumphreyNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:13 am #

I am looking forward to Spanish ear training, because that is exactly the problem. When my Spanish friends speak, they speak the same way I speak English — way too fast!. Thank you for catching this.


Gilles RhéaumeNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 2:00 am #

It seems logic and interessant.


dafna ronn-oxleyNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 1:48 am #

It is an excellent idea! I do hope you record real conversation between people on different subjects (not only airport, restaurant, etc.) from politics, to theater, to anything of which people talk, not recorded by teachers, but by “real” people without them knowing that they are being recorded. This would be real innovation and you’d be the first one to do it. Your programs are good, that would add the element of sponenaity, by the time we would be able to understand those conversation you would solve the problem which you so well describe. Thank you, and good luck.


sabrina howardNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:52 am #

Hola marcus,
Thank you for this great Idea,whenever I hear people speaking in spanish, I could only grasp some of the words, but could never really understand them,because they would rattle off at 1000 words per minute,you are so right,we have to have an ear..Im so excited and looking forward towards your newsletter.My goal is to talk as fast as them some day..its been my dream


bhagwant BorkarNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:46 am #

tell me more about spanish ear training


stanley harrisNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:34 am #

I think this is fabulous. I see spanish people all the time. I would love to be able to speak with them and understand their likes and dislikes. I am forty and I never knew how to speak spanish but i would love to learn. Is it to late for me. How do I get started and how do I go about taking the first step. You are amasing.


Frank ClarkNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:24 am #

I like the concept of listening to Spanish speakers and understanding them. The problem I have is that I have no one to practice with; hence I’m not learning to converse.


AgnesNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:23 am #

I like your approach to learning Marcus …. i think you are right on target


Fred YoungNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:21 am #

Dear Marcus:
Good idea!
I will be looking for your audio newsletter.
Fred Young


Karen BeazleyNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:16 am #

My best friend is Spanish speaking and was born and raised in Mexico. It is my goal to speak with her in her native language. This is the main problem I have right now is understanding when the words all run together. That, along with conjugation of verbs. I appreciate any help that I receive so I really appreciate the help these newsletters have given me.
Thanks so much.


David BarbaraNo Gravatar on July 11th, 2007 at 12:04 am #

I agree with you. I thing that this IS the problem for many of us. It sounds like a great idea. I suspect that, like your approach in the audio lessons you have done, this will be a very excellent experience. Thanks.


KarenNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 11:48 pm #

I’m so glad you are addressing this issue. It is so hard for me to understand native speakers who speak so quickly.
Thank you,


charles N BatesNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

Tell me more.I cannot access the link in the e mail.


AlisonCopeNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 11:06 pm #

Plese tell me more about Spanish ear training. I was unable to fill in the spaces above on this computer (which is not my own).
Gracias, Alison


Skip LepakNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 11:03 pm #

Oh yeah! I have learned to speak Spanish preyyt well- that is to make myself understood with your audio libros. However, I still cannot understand more than a word or two per sentence in “rapidfire mode”. I cannot wait for some ear training!


David StanleyNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 11:03 pm #

Marcus, I could not type in my name and address in the above box, but you have it in this one.


coleNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:53 pm #

I think (i know) my problem is the accent. Can understand a newscaster on univison or most novellas but mexicans on the bus my comprehension goes down from 90% to 5%. I don’t worry about it. Well a little.


RooseveltNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:50 pm #

I bough this blessing 2 months ago and I have to tell you it works !!!
I have been struggling with spanish for over 5 years but i learned an still retain more in the now than in the $ 800 and 5 years I have spent on classes and books …. Gracias ! looking forward to the audio NL


Joe FroioNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:43 pm #

Perfect! I can sometimes pick out a few words(during the machine gun blast)and get the idea. At other times – nada! Another good idea from Marcus!


Jason Della ValleNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:43 pm #

You are right on top of everything. I struggled with Italian for many years using the conventional approach to learning which I always felt was lacking and discouraging- Thank You


CharllesNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:42 pm #

Hi Marcus,

Tremendously well done!

Thanks for inspiring all of us with your insights.

I wish you a great progress with all your work.

All the best,



isaiah israelNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:37 pm #

keep up the good work


isaiah israelNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:35 pm #

great job Mr. SantaMaria


Tom MoenchNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:33 pm #

Well, you hit the nail on the head. I recently went to a Spanish immersion school in Mexico and did well on the written exercises and understanding conjugations and the like. Really enjoyed that. But as soon as someone spoke Spanish my ears seem to go on strike. The discrepancy I feel between knowing Spanish and hearing Spanish inhibits me from communicating in Spanish. I am just lost. Being able to actually train my ears would be great if true.


Kathy GeigerNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:29 pm #

Just had to say thank you for the wonderful lessons you’ve provided for my husband over the last year. I started learning spanish using a dictionary, a very good grammar book, two sets of lessons at the community center, and my Mexican neighbor Ely. I basically just need to keep practising and learning more vocabulary. My husband on the other hand really needed your help and that’s why I signed up for your lessons. We’ve BOTH learned so much and he’s even able to communicate with our vecinos quite well. Believe me when I say that Ely speaks very fast so these new lessons will be fantastic. When our neighbors aren’t around, we will practise our spanish with each other so that helps, but actually listening to real spanish conversations pushes the understanding to the next level. Thanks again for helping us learn an amazing language!!! Please keep the lessons coming.


HareshNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:28 pm #

Dear Marcus, you have aptly pointed out the main difficulty which I am actually facing: the speed of delivery. That is one reason some Spanish-learning software have a built-in speed control.
Your audio newsletter will be very helpful. Thanks. Haresh.


Edythe MillerNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:20 pm #

I find it helps to watch Spanish soap opera type programs. I can get the gist of the story and it is helping a lot.


terrieNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

Same reason that made me give up on sign language – it was relatively easy from my side but when I was ‘listening’ to someone else sign they seemed to go so fast I just felt defeated. That is how Spanish is feeling to me as well.


MoradaNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:10 pm #

When I read your blog, I started to feel like there was hope. I get so upset and tired of asking people to speak more slowly and to repeat what they just said. I can’t wait for the next blog posting.


j.martinNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:06 pm #

you say this is a ‘project’…please explain whether it is ‘pure research’ or just another ‘ad’


Judy CoyNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:04 pm #

I would like to hear more about the Spanish ear training, but was not able to enter name and email in the space – the cursor did not appear to permit that entry! I am learning Spanish as I work with your program – thanks to your methods. Thank you.


Michaela KapillaNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 10:02 pm #

Yes, I am intrigued. Thanks for all your help!


Paule CarrierNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 9:58 pm #

I am very exited about your spanish ear training
that is exactly what I need. Please hurry!!!


arnoldNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 9:56 pm #

In my case having attempted to learn from books for 1 year i find it impossible to string together words and vebs that i know to make simple conversation
I am like a 2 year old with a learing and speech problem!!


Charl CilliersNo Gravatar on July 10th, 2007 at 9:52 pm #

No puedo oir claramente cuando personas hablan espanol.


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