Amazon NowNow Gives Politically Incorrect Answer on Where To Learn Spanish

The Amazon Kindle mobile reading device comes with their NowNow service included, where you can ask any question you like and you get a response from a paid human researcher. I asked a question and got the unexpected answer below.

I do believe this was an honest mistake by a researcher trying to be helpful. NowNow is a useful and good service.

Update: Amazon resolved the issue. See their follow up responses that I’ve posted in the comments section below.

[rating:3.5/5]

—–Original Message—–
From: NowNow [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tue 1/22/2008 10:48 PM
To: Rajiv Pant
Subject: RE: What are some good places to learn Spanish in evenings and/or weekends in Manhattan New York City?

Your Question:
What are some good places to learn Spanish in evenings and/or weekends in Manhattan New York City?

Answer from NowNow:
Get a job at any restaurant and work in the back.

Get a job in the back of a restaurant and you will make money and learn spanish from your co-workers.

Source:
Opinion

NowNow, let us be politically correct :-)

If they had said instead a Spanish or Mexican restaurant, that would have been acceptable, but in the back of any restaurant? That’s presumptuous.

If you’d like to suggest a better answer to my question about learning Spanish, please feel welcome to leave a comment here.

7 Replies to “Amazon NowNow Gives Politically Incorrect Answer on Where To Learn Spanish”

  1. I do feel that the answer above was an honest mistake from a researcher who was trying to give a helpful answer. When I asked a similar question about French, I got the following response. (Yes, I am interested in learning Spanish and French. :-)

    —–Original Message—–
    From: NowNow
    Date: January 27, 2008 7:04:57 PM EST
    To: Rajiv Pant
    Subject: RE: What are some good ways to learn French in New York City on evenings and weekends?
    Reply-To: NowNow

    Your Question:
    What are some good ways to learn French in New York City on evenings and weekends?

    Answer from NowNow:
    I heard you may have gotten a racist answer to this question before…

    I can’t be sure if you’re the same person who asked this before, but I read a blog where someone complained about the answers they received from this same question. So if that was you, I’d like to apologize on behalf of the other NowNow workers here who tend to be more polite.

    I’d like to recommend the Rosetta Stone software which I’ve used, not for French, but for Japanese and I’ve found it to be very useful. I’d also recommend using Pimsleur’s French audio CDs. They put out really good products.

    There are lots of schools in New York where you can take French classes. A good resource is here:

    http://www.learn4good.com/great_schools/usa_new_york_french_lessons_private_classes.htm

    And there are also several free online resources you might want to try, and there are some good suggestions here:

    http://french.about.com/od/lessons/ss/learnfrench.htm

    Good luck!!

    Source:
    http://www.learn4good.com/great_schools/usa_new_york_french_lessons_private_classes.htm

    ———————————————————————————–

  2. … and they sent me another well researched answer for my question about French. Amazon NowNow is a very useful and practical service.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: NowNow
    Date: January 27, 2008 7:12:29 PM EST
    To: Rajiv Pant
    Subject: RE: What are some good ways to learn French in New York City on evenings and weekends?
    Reply-To: NowNow

    Your Question:
    What are some good ways to learn French in New York City on evenings and weekends?

    Answer from NowNow:
    French Institute Alliance Francaise

    Private French Lessons (On-site / Off-site)

    Starting any time during the year, we provide individual instruction to learn French as a second language. Lessons are tailored to address your particular needs.

    – Lessons can take place at the French Institute Alliance Fran?aise or in your home or office

    – Lessons may be taken one-on-one or in groups of two or three

    – Flexible daytime and evening schedules

    – Intensive and immersion programs available for all levels

    – Registration for private lessons entitles you to our membership privileges.

    Request Private French Lessons ? Marianne Simeoni, our Private Lesson Coordinator will contact you after reviewing your request. You can contact us at 646 388 6615 or [email protected]
    Details & Fees:

    Lessons in French are available for adults, adolescents and children.

    * All levels of conversation, grammar, reading, writing and business French
    * Preparation for business or leisure trips to France and other francophone countries
    * Preparation for Advanced Placement test, college prep courses and Regents exams
    * Literature and composition classes in French for adolescents enrolled in French-speaking high schools and at the Lyc?e Fran?ais

    Students are required to take a written placement test and should bring in their test on the day of the first appointment. A program of studies is decided according to level, interests, goals, and future projects.

    Private Lessons
    (One on One)

    On-site at FIAF

    Off-site
    Regular Courses $75 per hour (minimum of 5 hrs)
    $804 (for a series of 12 hrs)*
    $1800 (for a series of 30 hrs)** $90 per hour (minimum of 5 hrs)
    $984 (for a series of 12 hrs)*
    $2250 (for a series of 30 hrs)**
    Customized Courses $85 per hour (minimum of 5 hrs)
    $960 (for a series of 12 hrs)*
    $2250 (for a series of 30 hrs)** $95 per hour (minimum of 5 hrs)
    $1080 (for a series of 12 hrs)*
    $2550 (for a series of 30 hrs)**

    * to be used within 4 months
    **to be used within 8 months

    Note: Discounts are available for group lessons.

    Regular Courses: General French, Conversation, Grammar
    Customized Courses: Phonetics, Translation, Legal French, Business French, French for Tourism, Computer Sciences, French History

    Source:
    http://www.fiaf.org/frenchclasses/privatefrenchlessons.shtml

    ———————————————————————————–

  3. Interesting… and two new replies to the original question about Spanish also came in. Here is the first new reply:

    —–Original Message—–
    From: NowNow [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Mon 1/28/2008 10:09 AM
    To: Rajiv Pant
    Subject: RE: What are some good places to learn Spanish in evenings and/or weekends in Manhattan New York City?

    Your Question:
    What are some good places to learn Spanish in evenings and/or weekends in Manhattan New York City?

    Answer from NowNow:
    See inside

    http://www.languagetrainers.com/spanish_courses_new_york.php

    Spanish Courses in New York
    All classes are taught by qualified, native speaker Spanish trainers* and can be arranged at your office or home** for any day of the week (including weekends) in the morning, afternoon or evening. Your first coursebook is provided by Language Trainers.

    *Where a native speaker is not available, your Spanish trainer will be a qualified trainer fluent in and experienced in teaching Spanish – of course, it is your right to refuse a non-native trainer if you so wish.
    **If there is a reason why your office or home is not suitable, it may be possible to arrange tuition at the trainer’s office.

    1-on-1 Business
    Spanish Course in New York
    Our One-on-One Spanish courses are perfect if you need or would benefit from a new language for business. Typically, the first things you learn will be greetings and basic business etiquette, leading on to reading and writing skills. Typical students include those involved in international negotiations and acquisitions, import/export, people seeking work or advancement within multinational companies where an additional language is required. Many learners are those working with international colleagues, in academia and government, for example. After studying our course for Beginners, students should expect to leave the course with basic Telephone Spanish and e-mail Spanish skills for communicating as well as Survival Spanish required for a short visit to a Spanish speaking country.
    1-on-1 General
    Spanish Course in New York
    Our General Spanish courses are great for learners with a whole range of needs. All beginner level students can expect to cover Survival Spanish – great for a short visit to a country where English may not be spoken and/or you want to make good contacts within the local community. After learning the basics, your course develops according to your needs. Language Trainers’ typical students include those buying property overseas, spouses of people originally from overseas, people about to set off on that long-awaited world trip and those who wish to pass a particular Spanish examination.

    Course Length
    Typical course length:
    . 30 hours per level (classes are usually
    2 hours each)

    We also offer packages of:
    . 20 hours
    . 50 hours
    . 100 hours
    (with discounted rates)
    Typical cost of our Spanish courses
    One-on-One:
    General $65
    Business $70
    Two-on-One (per group):
    General $70
    Business $75
    GROUP with 3 Students (per group):
    General $75
    Business $80
    GROUP with 4 Students (per group):
    General $80
    Business $85
    GROUP with 5 or 6 Students (per group):
    General $85
    Business $90
    GROUP with 7 or 8 Students (per group):
    General $90
    Business $95
    GROUP with 9 or 10 Students (per group):
    General $95
    Business $100

    2-to-1 and Small Group
    Spanish Courses in New York (closed group)
    Our Spanish courses are also available for small groups studying together (Two-to-One Spanish Course or In-Company Small Group Spanish Course). All participants must have the same language needs, be able to study at the same time at the same place and be at the same level. All participants should be booked at the same time. Language Trainers do not recommend group classes of more than 8 students although we can run In-Company Taster Spanish Courses with up to 12 people.

    How to Book
    Your Spanish Language Course in New York
    1. Have a go at our Spanish Language Level Test (this is not necessary if you are a Complete Beginner).
    2. Fill out our Spanish Language Needs Analysis – this will help us determine the right course and trainer for you, at a time and location that suits you.
    3. We then contact you with a quote (number of classes and cost). A typical course lasts 30 hours per level (classes are usually 2 hours each). For the typical price of our Spanish courses…
    4. If our quote meets your approval, we take a deposit (payable by check or credit card).
    5. We then confirm the time and location of your classes and send you the details of your Spanish language trainer.
    6. Your Spanish course materials are prepared by Language Trainers and sent to you together with your invoice.
    7. Your Spanish training begins.
    8. After a reasonable amount of time has passed, we contact you and your trainer to make sure that everything is working out. Where necessary, we will change the focus of the course and/or the trainer (this is not very common).
    9. After finishing your course, we present you with a course attendance and completion certificate.
    10. We review the course and propose future learning opportunities including self-study, Spanish courses in other Spanish-speaking countries and more advanced Spanish courses with Language Trainers.

    Source:
    http://www.languagetrainers.com/spanish_courses_new_york.php

    ———————————————————————————–

  4. … and the second new reply to the Spanish question:

    —–Original Message—–
    From: NowNow [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Mon 1/28/2008 7:35 PM
    To: Rajiv Pant
    Subject: RE: What are some good places to learn Spanish in evenings and/or weekends in Manhattan New York City?

    Your Question:
    What are some good places to learn Spanish in evenings and/or weekends in Manhattan New York City?

    Answer from NowNow:
    The best language lessons I’ve had are on the Coffee Break Spanish podcast.

    I’m assuming you would like something cheap or free, and would like something that can be fit around whatever work schedule or family obligations you already have.

    My favorite place to learn language is actually wherever I happen to be, while listening to the Coffee Break Spanish podcast on my iPod or on my computer. I find that practicing Spanish in the privacy of my own home and then being able to reinforce that learning while I’m commuting to work is wonderful! Coffee Break Spanish organizes the Spanish lessons into short 10-25 minute segments, and they are logical and progressive from lesson 1. The stuff I learn is practical and useful in conversation. It’s nice to be able to practice anywhere and to hear the Spanish accent. Best of all — it’s free. I highly recommend this program, which is available both through iTunes and through the Radio Lingua Network website.

    A second option is to find an informal conversation partner — someone who speaks Spanish but wants to learn English — and to spend some time speaking to him/her in both your language and his/hers. Or you can find a group that meets up and speaks Spanish at lunch or at coffee — you can usually find these groups through college and university language departments, but you can also find them through craigslist, or advertise and start a group of your own! Good luck!

    Source:
    http://www.radiolinguamedia.com/cbs/www/index.html

    ———————————————————————————–

  5.  

    Learning Spanish is one of the important
    things I would like to consider. When travelling, it is very essential to have
    knowledge on how to speak the language of a nation so that it is easy for us to
    communicate with others. I really love to learn Spanish language too.
    Learn Spanish Phrases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.