Spanish is the world’s fourth most spoken language and it has native speakers on all continents. Being fluent in this language could open many doors for your career or business. On top of this, it is a beautiful and romantic language that most people enjoy learning.
Many adults fail at learning new languages and some don’t even make a genuine attempt. They may be embarrassed by their inability to communicate in a different language.
Learning Spanish does not need to be painful. Read on for the five best ways to learn Spanish as fast as possible.
1. Memorize the Most Frequently Used Words
The most important aspect of learning a language is to know a lot of vocabulary. However, most native speakers only use a fraction of the total vocabulary available. So to achieve fluency you may only need to learn a few hundred words.
Tim Ferris states that only 300 words are used in 65% of all written English and the same pattern can be found in Spanish. You also already know several Spanish words. You probably just don’t realize it.
This is because Spanish has the same etymological origin as English so it has many cognates (words that are similar to English). A list of Spanish cognates is easy to find, just google ‘Spanish Cognates’ or ‘Spanish English Loan Words’. Also, do a google search of the most spoken Spanish words and try to learn all these words as soon as possible.
Language teachers recommend using flashcards to learn vocabulary. With the advancement in digital technology, you can find free flashcard apps that can help you memorize Spanish words. Choose the apps that use a spaced repetition system (SRS) as this will make it easier for you to learn words.
Whenever you learn a new word, practice it’s pronunciation too so that you eventually speak like a native.
2. Use Technology For Language Immersion
One of the best ways to learn Spanish quickly it is important to surround yourself with the language. This is why some experts recommend staying in a Spanish speaking country for an extended time. The constant exposure to the language helps you learn.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a ticket to Spain so technological immersion is the next best thing. Here are some examples of doing so:
- Listen to Spanish radio stations and podcasts online
- Listen to songs in Spanish
- Watch trending videos from Spain on YouTube
- Watch Netflix movies in Spanish
- Buy your favorite movies or series dubbed in Spanish
- Subscribe to the most popular Spanish newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites
3. Converse With Native Speakers Often
Most Spanish learners are hesitant to practice speaking with native speakers due to shyness and embarrassment. However, it is best to practice speaking with a native Spanish speaker as soon as possible.
This is because you’ll be able to pick up on subtle nuances, such as proper accents. They’ll also be able to correct you right away and teach you idioms and slang phrases that don’t translate word for word. You can find cheap language teachers online that would be willing to speak with you for an hour a day or even more if you want to learn faster.
Many successful Spanish students have credited their online tutors as the most important factor for their success. Find a speaker that will strictly speak Spanish and completely avoid English.
Initially, you can have a cheat sheet of common phrases that you can refer to while practicing with your teacher. However, soon your speaking and vocabulary will increase, so ditch the paper.
Having Spanish conversations daily will force you to pick up common words. Try to have a varied range of topics to talk about each day so that you can explore a wide range of words. Make sure to mimic the intonations and pronunciations of your native Spanish speaker so that you can sound like a Spaniard. You can ask your speaker to correct your accent and intonation whenever it sounds off.
4. Use Free Spanish Language Resources
You do not need to pay any money to learn Spanish thanks to the internet. There are many free resources online that can teach you Spanish to fluency. An example is the Duolingo app, which has comprehensive Spanish lessons.
Some authoritative sites like the BBC also offer free Spanish lessons. YouTube is another treasure trove of free instructional videos whereby there are hundreds of channels offering free Spanish classes. Take advantage of different online resources for cross-referencing and various teaching methods.
5. Read And Write in Spanish
Reading Spanish books will quickly expand your vocabulary as well as help you internalize Spanish grammar. You could start by reading children’s books as these would be easier to get through. As time goes by and your language ability increases you could then tackle adult books.
A good idea is to read your favorite books in Spanish. Since you already know the plot, it may be easier to follow the story in Spanish. To prevent getting overwhelmed try reading for only five to ten minutes a day.
You will find yourself looking forward to your reading sessions since the time taken is short. You should also test your vocabulary by spending another ten minutes or so writing in Spanish. If you have a daily journal, consider writing it in Spanish to train your brain to start thinking in this language.
Traditional methods of memorizing vocabulary and practicing grammar fall short because they don’t apply the language in a normal setting. However, reading and writing in Spanish will make your abilities grow in leaps and bounds as you are forced to use your language skills.
Try These Tips for the Best Ways to Learn Spanish
The reason many people fail at learning Spanish is that they start with a lot of energy but give up after only a few weeks. These tips for the best ways to learn Spanish can help you pick up the language quickly and at a steady pace.
The most important tip for success is to be consistent and practice some Spanish every single day. Studying as little as 15 minutes a day is better for your language skills than two hours once a week. Keep this up for at least a year and you will be surprised at the level of fluency achieved.
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