In all honesty, Spanish is the second-most communicated in language on the planet.Developing your Spanish-talking abilities is an incredible method to meet new individuals, speak with Spanish speakers, and drench yourself in another perspective. On the off chance that you need to communicate in Spanish, start by learning the regular expressions and jargon terms. When you feel somewhat more OK with the language, you can gain proficiency with significantly more by inundating yourself in the language, taking classes, and rehearsing every day to create familiarity with the language.
Learning Common Phrases
Memorize the common introductions so you can say hello. One of the easiest things to learn is how to greet others. This is a good introduction to the language since it gives you a foundation for a basic conversation. While you’ll have to do some memorizing, you can easily commit these basic introductory phrases to memory in a day or two.
- ”Hola” (OH-la) means hello in Spanish. Other common greetings include “buenos días” (booEHN-os DEE-as), which means “good morning,” and “buenos noches” (booEHN-os NO-chehs), which means “good evening.”
- Following a hello, you may say “¿Cómo estás?” (KOH-moh ess-TAHS), which means “How are you?” This might be answered by saying “estoy bien” (ESS-toy bee-EHN), which means “I’m fine.”
- You may also reply with “mucho gusto” (MOO-choh GOOS-toh), which means “nice to meet you.” Then learn how to say “my name is” by saying “me llamo” (meh YAH-moh). Put them together, and you might greet someone in Spanish by saying, “Mucho gusto, me llamo Juan,” which means, “Nice to meet you, my name is John.”
- Making a list of Spanish words that you already know can be a good way to build your Spanish vocabulary. This will give you a solid, basic foundation.
- For example, there probably are a number of Spanish foods that you already know, such as “taco,” “avocado,” and “burrito.”
- There also are a number of words that are the same in Spanish and in English (although they may be spelled or pronounced differently), such as “animal” and “chocolate.”
- Unlike many other languages, there is no version of “it” in Spanish. All nouns have a gender, and even inanimate objects are referred to with gendered pronouns. The third person pronouns are “el” (masculine), and “la” (feminine). Words that end in -o almost always use “el” while words that end in -a typically use “la.”
- Keep in mind that the gender you use must match the gender of the word, not the gender of the thing. This can be an issue when the thing you’re talking about is an animal. For example, if you’re talking about a dog, you would say “el perro” (ehl PEH-rroh) even if the dog was female.
- For example, if you want to say you want something, you could say “yo quiero” (YO kee-EHR-OH), which means “I want,” but you could also simply say “quiero” and the pronoun would be understood.
- Spanish pronouns include “yo” (I), “nosotros” (we), “él” (he), “ella” (she), and “ellos” and “ellas” (they). Use “ellas” if you are referring to a group that is entirely feminine and “ellos” for a group that is either all male or a mixed-gender group.
- The plural of you (meaning “you all”) is “ustedes.” In Spain, there is another familiar form of the plural you: “vosotros” or “vosotras.” In other Spanish-speaking countries, only “ustedes” is used.
Tip: Spanish has two different forms of the pronoun “you.” Use “tú” if you are speaking to someone with whom you’re familiar. For older people, people in positions of authority, or people you don’t know, use the formal “usted,” which is more polite.
Understand the basic sentence structure of Spanish. While the basic sentence structure in Spanish is quite similar to many other languages, there are some key differences. Getting the sentence patterns down will make it much easier to learn Spanish. For many learners, the hardest part is remembering to put adjectives after the noun they describe, which is uncommon in many other languages.
- Like English, Spanish sentences are formed with a subject, followed by a verb, followed by the object of that verb. For example, suppose you said “yo quiero un burrito.” This means “I” (subject) “want” (verb) “a burrito” (object).
- Unlike English, Spanish adjectives usually go after the thing they describe. For example, if you were talking about a red book, in English you would put the adjective (red) first. In Spanish, you would be talking about a “libro rojo” (LEE-bro ROH-ho), which literally translates to “book red” in English.
- There are exceptions to the rule. For instance, demonstrative adjectives (such as ese, este, and aquel) and possessive adjectives (including mí, tu, and su) come before the thing they describe.
- Think about words or phrases that you say frequently throughout your day. For example, “por favor” (pohr fah-VOR), which means “please,” and “gracías” (gra-SEE-ahs), which means “thank you,” are essential phrases in basically every conversational setting.
- If someone says “gracías” to you, you can respond by saying “de nada” (deh NA-da), which means “you’re welcome” (literally “it was nothing”).
- You also want to learn the Spanish words for “yes” and “no” early on, if you don’t already know them. They are “sí” (see), for yes, and “no.”
Immersing Yourself in the Language
- The process of immersion may be the quickest way to learn any language. If you think about it, that’s the way you learned your first language.
- Foreign exchange and study abroad programs are a great way to immerse yourself if you’re in school.
Tip: Immersion is a great option if you want to be conversational in a language. However, it will not teach you how to read and write. You still will have to learn spelling and grammar, but this might be easier if you already know how to speak.
- Talking and listening to Spanish speakers can help you better understand the flow of conversation. Native speakers also can correct errors you’re making before you embarrass yourself or end up committing errors to memory.
- As you get better at the language, add Spanish subtitles while listening in Spanish to train yourself to commit the words and sounds to memory.
- Depending on where you live, you may even be able to find a Spanish-language radio station on the AM or FM dial.
- Apart from radio, you can easily find Spanish music online.
- Find some songs you like, then do an internet search for the lyrics. That way you can read along as the song plays to better connect the written and spoken word in your mind.
- Many websites and social media platforms also allow you to change your default language. You could even change the language for your web browser, or use a translate plugin to translate web pages into Spanish.
- You also can look for Spanish-language websites and try to read those. Many news sites will have a video along with a transcript of the video, so you can read and listen at the same time.
- Make sure you’re using an adhesive that won’t peel paint or damage the item you’re labeling, since you’ll probably want to take it off later.
- Don’t try to label everything at once. Start off with 5-10 items, look up the Spanish word for those things, and label them. Once you know those words, take the labels off and move on to a different set of items. If you forget a word, simply go back and do it again.
Taking a Class and Practicing
- The benefit of having a coach or tutor is that you have someone else who is holding you accountable.
- If you can’t afford to hire someone yourself, or don’t have the opportunity to take a class, consider learning the language with a friend so the two of you can hold each other accountable.
- Sites like OpenLearn (https://www.open.edu/) and Open Yale (https://oyc.yale.edu/) have free online classes you can take from the comfort of your own home. You won’t get any one-on-one practice or feedback, but these courses are great if you’re looking for something free!
- Websites and mobile apps are good for drilling vocabulary and basic phrases, but you’ll end up with a pretty scattered understanding of Spanish if you rely on them alone. Be prepared to do some immersion (either at home or abroad) if you want to become truly fluent.
- Set a notification on your computer or phone to go off at the same time every day and remind you that it’s time to practice.
Tip: Always spend the first 5-10 minutes of your practice sessions reviewing the material from the previous day. You’re much more likely to retain the information if you revisit what you just learned before starting on something new.
- For example, you may set the goal of memorizing the Spanish pronouns in one week, learning the words for common foods in two days, or writing a paragraph in Spanish at the end of your first month.
- Write your goals down and evaluate your progress each week. If you fail to meet a goal, try not to get too down about it. Simply reassess and figure out what went wrong. If it’s something you can correct by making an adjustment, make that adjustment and try again next week.