How to Learn Spanish Fast and Easily
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How to Learn Spanish Fast & Easily
1. Learn the most useful words first
This might sound obvious, but you should learn the things that will be most useful first. If you learn things that you’re not going to use, it will cause you to lose motivation.
Think about when you last travelled to Spain and think about the sorts of things you wish you could say. These should be what you learn first. By learning what you will use straight away, you’ll be able to practise as soon as you get to Spain.
2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Every single person who has ever learnt a language has made a thousand mistakes. It’s inevitable.
The only way you will get good at speaking Spanish is by using it, getting it wrong and then trying again and again and again until you get it right. As awful as it feels when you think you’ve made a fool out of yourself by saying something wrong, the feeling of joy when you say something and you’re understood is unparalleled.
3. Prepare a list of things you can say without thinking
The best public speakers are those that have rehearsed what they’re saying over and over until they can say it without thinking. They speak naturally and without notes. This isn’t only true with public speakers.
Think about somebody you know who is good at talking. Somebody who can keep a crowd in awe as they speak is usually somebody who has plenty of stories or anecdotes to tell. Generally, they have told the same stories lots of times, so they are well rehearsed, and know exactly how to tell their stories, where to pause for laughs and where to expect a shocked face.
Well, this is what you need to do in Spanish. You need to write a list of things to say that you can rehearse over and over until they come out of your mouth without thinking.
1. Hello, I’d like a table for three people, please.
2. Could I see the wine list?
3. That was absolutely delicious, please tell the chef everything was perfect.
The three sentences above are examples of things you could say in a restaurant. The first one is indespensable and you can easily change the number. The third one is less vital, but it is good for making yourself sound like an advanced Spanish speaker. If you learn that one off by heart, you can whip it out at the end of any meal and impress the waiter and everybody around the table!
Any sentences you prepare, you must practise over and over and over until you can say them fluently. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to use them. You don’t need too many sentences, just a good handful for a few common situations. They’re good for getting into a conversation and for breaking the ice. Once you get the ball rolling, it will make you feel more relaxed and you’ll be more likely to carry on speaking Spanish. A good place to put the things you want to say is on a set of cue cards that you can easily carry around with you.
4. Tune your ear into the language
Finally, the thing that everybody dreads is not understanding what is being said back to you. And of course, the first few times you speak Spanish to somebody, the odds are you won’t understand even one word of what they say to you. But that’s normal and you shouldn’t panic.
The more you practise, the more you’ll understand. At first, it will sound like whomever you’re speaking to is talking very fast, but the more words you know, the slower it will sound.
There are plenty of ways that you can get used to the Spanish language and tune your ear into the intonation. One amazing resource is YouTube. Just by passively listening to Spanish TV shows or radio shows, you will be amazed at how much you pick up. Just a few minutes each day of listening to something in Spanish will do wonders.
As well as YouTube, you can use Spanish TV websites like http://www.rtve.es/, which are great places to visit. Or, you can listen to Spanish audiobooks on Audible.