Spanish is a wonderful language, and it’s not as hard to learn as you might think. In the US, it’s basically a second tongue, and there are a number of benefits that come with learning Spanish.
Whether you’re learning Spanish to improve your business, or you want to be able to communicate with those in Spanish speaking countries, these tips for improving your Spanish are sure to help you learn in the most effective way possible.
Speak Spanish as Much as You Can
One of the best ways of learning Spanish is to speak it as much as possible! When you're alone and need to speak out loud, do so in Spanish. You should even try to think in it, as this will help the vocabulary to stick in your mind.
If you know people who speak Spanish, or you are in a Spanish speaking country, take every opportunity you can to speak the language.
The locals will appreciate it, and you will pick up fluency much faster. In fact, those who live in foreign countries and learn the language often find themselves practically fluent after three months learning Spanish.
It can be pretty nerve-wracking to speak another language in front of native speakers, but they will often be happy to help you improve if you are struggling, and will be incredibly supportive.
Former NBA great, Kobe Bryant, even took the plunge and decided to speak Spanish in front of all his fans. If he can do it, you definitely can.
Visit the Country When Learning Spanish
If you want to really improve your Spanish, you should take the first opportunity you can to visit it and learn about the culture. It’s the best way to improve learning Spanish; your speaking, listening, and reading all in one go.
After all, you will have to listen to the local people, speak to them, and read signs, as well as other things in order to understand where you are going or what you want to buy/order.
It also means that you can get a feel for the local people and their culture, learning how they live their daily lives and any traditions or routines that are different from your own.
Fluency and improvement in language is often aided by an understanding of the culture that you are trying to become a part of. Learning Spanish is no different. Take the time to immerse yourself in Spain, Colombia, or Argentina and you will find that the language comes that much easier!
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Listening is one of the keys to success when learning Spanish. Much of the time, people find speaking and reading much easier, but listening can be a challenge.
To overcome this, listen to Spanish speakers as much as possible. Whether you are sitting at a coffee shop listening to passersby, or you are watching television, you should always take the time to listen as well as possible as this will help you to pick up the language.
Listening means that you can get used to the ways others speak, different accents, and also distinguish tones of voice. Being fluent in a language is not just about being able to speak it, but also understanding how it works. When you reach a decent level learning Spanish, you'll notice that accents vary greatly according to region and country.
Surround yourself with Spanish television, radio stations, music, and literature. Everything you watch, read, and listen to should be in Spanish. At first, this might seem a little frustrating as you attempt to read in broken Spanish, or can barely understand the show that you are watching on television. Don’t give up.
As time goes by and you find yourself watching more Spanish TV and reading an increasing number of Spanish books, you will notice that your general understanding is much better than before.
By surrounding yourself with the language when learning Spanish, you are telling your brain that it is important that you understand it, and you are retaining information at a faster rate. With this, you will be fluent in no time at all.
Social media is also a great tool. You can join Spanish groups and pages that interest you in order to meet like-minded people who are also learning Spanish, with which you can share interesting conversations.
It will boost your confidence, allow you to practice your writing skills, and could even see you make some lifelong friends as a result. The internet is an amazing place when it comes to learning, so you should take the opportunity to use it to your advantage.
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This might sound a little odd, but taking the time to teach a Spanish speaker English can actually help you to improve when learning Spanish. After all, teaching someone requires communication with them, and when it comes to teaching another language you will need to speak in both Spanish and English in order to get your point across.
In many ways, this also allows you to help each other learn, as where one struggles the other can come and lend a hand.
It’s like mutual learning, and it allows both of you to benefit. Plus, if you are teaching each other then it can also help to save money that would have otherwise been spent on tuition with a professional teacher.
Create Your Own Phrasebook
This is a fun and innovative way of improving while learning Spanish. Instead of purchasing a traditional phrasebook, you should consider making your own.
Whether it is digital or physical, you can fill it with words and phrases as you learn them, as well as create a quick reference section filled with essential phrases for when you get stuck.
As well as being handy while you are traveling, your phrasebook will also help you to remember the words and sentences that you have recorded.
As you are the one who wrote them and has re-read them many times, it is more likely to stick in your mind than if you were reading a normal phrasebook. Couple this with repetition of words and phrases, and you will find yourself remembering more and more in no time at all.
Focus on the Easiest Parts First
Focusing on the easiest parts of the language first when learning Spanish will do you a lot of good. If you learn the easy parts first, it will boost your confidence and self-esteem, which can make it simpler to learn the areas that are a little trickier to get right.
By giving the easy sections all of your attention, your learning rate will often be faster, and you will find yourself benefiting massively in the long-run.
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Hopefully, these little tips for improving when learning Spanish will help you on the road to becoming a fluent speaker. It’s not a difficult language to start learning, and with this advice, you are sure to pick it up faster than you expected.
Eldon Mirjah is the creator of Gritty Spanish. Gritty Spanish is a set of ultra-realistic urban stories voice acted by eccentric Spanish speaking people from the Spanish speaking world. You can also read these stories using a side by side PDF document in English and Spanish. To learn more, visit www.grittyspanish.com.