I was recently contacted by the folks at Miniature Studios about their new Spanish language learning product Bueno, entonces.
[Disclaimer: Miniature Studios did provide me with free access to the product in exchange for this review, but otherwise there was no payment for this review and there are no affiliate links in this post.]
Ever since my days implementing digital technologies in higher education I’ve been very interested in multimedia-based approaches to learning. There are different learning styles and some people learn better in ways that are different from others. Of course, language learning always requires a high degree of personal interaction to achieve any level of proficiency. But language tapes and computer-based approaches serve as useful starting points.
Bueno, entonces is a series of animated videos that replicate a one-on-one Spanish class. Unlike most learning Spanish resources online, Bueno, entonces is designed specifically for the person who wants to live in Buenos Aires, or at least have an extended visit to Buenos Aires and have a good time.
And the good time aspect is an intentional part of this approach in learning Spanish. Not only does Bueno, entonces adopt the local pronunciation and use of vos rather than tu, there’s a bit of Argentine slang that is covered in a humorous way.
The class is presented through the characters of David, a dorky British guy who just arrived in Buenos Aires from London and Jimena, a sexy, young Argentine that is teaching him Spanish.
David is a caricature of the twenty-something guy that we’ve all met who comes down to Buenos Aires to hang out. There’s a lot of flirting and sexual innuendos from David as he tries pathetically to seduce Jimena in the class. That light tone to this series actually makes for a more entertaining experience than that offered by most language learning audio tapes and computer-based approaches, which are generally dry monotones.
If you don’t know Spanish and you are planning to come to Buenos Aires, but have not yet arrived, then Bueno, entonces is worth investigating. If you’re already in Buenos Aires, then you’ll probably just want to sign up for a real course here or find your own one-on-one instructor. Of course, the expats I know that speak the best Spanish always seem to be the ones that have a boyfriend/girlfriend that does NOT speak English. Perhaps Bueno, entonces can give you the language basics that you need to find to find the Argentine of your dreams in Buenos Aires.
Bueno, entonces is certainly better than most language learning audio tapes on the market, other than Pimsleur which I’ve always thought are by far the best audio-only approach though the monotone of Pimsleur’s speakers gets boring after a while. And, personally, I like images to go along with audio and that’s a niche that Bueno, entonces fits. Plus, the video is optimized for the iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s really cool.
And, if you’re interested, you can hop over and follow the Bueno, entonces blog.