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My wife and I are wanting to move to Ecuador in a few years. Should I use Rosetta Stone to learn spanish or should I go there and learn on the fly?

How is the crime in Ecuador? From what I've read, it is the same as US.

Rosetta Stone.  At least 15 minutes a day for those "few years" before moving here. Of course, in my opinion your Spanish will still be awful when you get here, but you will be able to get by and ask for things.

Norman Bean :

My wife and I are wanting to move to Ecuador in a few years. Should I use Rosetta Stone to learn spanish or should I go there and learn on the fly?

Dear Norman,

Welcome to the Ecuador forum.

Forget the idea of learning Spanish “on the fly.”  That’s for the birds.  You’d be linguistically lost.

You’re better off with a structured approach, even it it’s building on your high-school English and looking up words in a dictionary or at word reference.com via tablet.

Utilizing Rosetta Stone and/or other recognized learning tools is an excellent way to get you going early if you are motivated to stick with the program consistently.

Once you’re here, you’ll have potential access to TV programs in English with Spanish subtitles.  With DirecTV / DVR, you can pause video and look up words.  This is primarily how I have built up my Spanish-language vocabulary and grammar skills during three years living here.

cccmedia in Quito

Norman Bean :

How is the crime in Ecuador? From what I've read, it is the same as US.

Whoever wrote that crime in Ecuador is “the same as the U.S.” gets this forum's prize for over-generalization of the year.

There is, however, this similarity:  the nature of crime varies by locality.

Most would feel safer walking around the González Suárez neighborhood of Quito than South Quito.

Safer in the center of Cuenca than the outskirts of Lago Agrio.

Safer in the leather-making, Expat-friendly town of Cotacachi than in Colombian border areas.

Outside the problematic places I just mentioned, crime in Ecuador is typically opportunistic and not violent.  It’s directed at easy targets and visible goals. 

For instance, targeted against Gringos wearing expensive watches and jewelry .. carrying big cameras and online devices or bags that appear to be holding such .. leaving a tablet or phone lying on a restaurant table where it could be snatched .. or wandering around town looking lost and vulnerable.

Other targets include a back-pocket wallet or an eye-catching purse.

cccmedia in Quito

I used Pimsler because it is more "conversation-based". See if you can find Spanish classes at a local community college or adult education. But most important, find native Spanish speaking people in your community and trade Spanish/English lesson sessions with them on an informal basis. When you start talking to yourself in Spanish, you'll be well on your way to immerse in a Spanish speaking culture.
As for crime, citizens carrying guns here is a rare thing...not like in the USA. Reasonable care to avoid flashing indications of wealth (expensive electronics, jewelry, large bundles of cash, etc.) will help you to avoid being a target of theft.

Spanish

If I knew what I know now, learning Spanish before moving here would have been a high priority. Use Rosetta stone, or any other source to learn it, even minimally. I am learning Spanish now throughout the day, and I mean that literally. Almost all my friends and acquaintances are pushing me to learn more and more because they are challenging me with conversation, and there is nothing I dislike more than replying “no entiendo”  (I don’t understand).

Having said that, my approach to learning Spanish is based on a structured program, but also my own fluid structure, I have excel sheets that lists vocabulary/verb conjugations, uses of “que”, “lo” (for example) pronouns, etc that are repeated often, while also being consistent even if slowly with a structured program.

My issue with structured programs is that I am far ahead in some aspects, and I need to be able to communicate now in conversations, and that’s where my own program works well for me. Maybe I’m impatient, but I see it as necessary. It is however a big commitment and requires a lot of sacrifice but well worth it. Loving to communicate with the local people will give you the drive.
 

Crime

Petty crime does exist.  But some people wrongly label Ecuador as dangerous and that is just wrong. Let’s look at the facts as some people on the internet are judging Ecuador by the past. The murder rate, which is the most hideous statistic of crime, in Ecuador was about 18 per 100,000 in 2009 (a high number btw). As a result the Ecuadorian government went on an ambitious mission to tackle crime and especially the murder rate. Subsequently the murder rate for Ecuador decreased from 18 per 100,000 to 6.39 in 2015.

Let’s put this number (6.39 per 100,000) in perspective. Ecuador is one of the safest countries in South America, and only Chile and Argentina have a lower murder rate. Quito which is wrongly bashed left and right for being “dangerous” has a murder rate of 4.74 per 100,000. Compare that to Chicago with a murder of 18+ or Miami 22+ or Boston with 6.2 murder rate, and it’s obvious that the dangerous label is unjustified because is Boston dangerous, or Orlando which has a similar murder rate?

Murder Rate in major Ecuadorean Cities

Quito 4.74
Cuenca  2.58
Manta 8.78
Guayaquil  8.54

Murder Rate of some cities in USA, Central/South America

St. Louis: 49
Detroit: 44
New Orleans: 39
Peru: 44
Brasil: 32
Mexico: 22
Panama: 19
Uruguay: 7.9


Sources

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016- … 978949.htm

http://expreso.ec/actualidad/los-homici … GR_8788941

vsimple :

Spanish

... my friends and acquaintances are pushing me to learn more and more because they are challenging me with conversation, and there is nothing I dislike more than replying “no entiendo”  (I don’t understand).

While you’re learning, V, here’s how to get out of the habit of saying no entiendo....

No lo capté. (kahp-TAY)
I didn’t get it.

Repite eso lentamente, por favor.  Repeat that slowly, please.

And for more advanced commentary:

Me gustaría oír esa frase otra vez.  I’d like to hear that sentence again.

  -- cccmedia in Quito

cccmedia :
vsimple :

Spanish

... my friends and acquaintances are pushing me to learn more and more because they are challenging me with conversation, and there is nothing I dislike more than replying “no entiendo”  (I don’t understand).

While you’re learning, V, here’s how to get out of the habit of saying no entiendo....

No lo capté. (kahp-TAY)
I didn’t get it.

Repite eso lentamente, por favor.  Repeat that slowly, please.

And for more advanced commentary:

Me gustaría oír esa frase otra vez.  I’d like to hear that sentence again.

  -- cccmedia in Quito

Thanks for the tips. #1 & #2 will definitely be helpful in my current level of conversation.

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