Learning Spanish? 10 Top Tips to Learn Spanish Fluently
|February 15, 2013||Posted by Omowali Isidore under Learn Spanish, Tips|
Are you looking for tips to learn Spanish fluently? Learning Spanish is not so hard as you might think. However, it can be if you don’t go about it the right way. Although there are so many language courses, language software and other effective methods to learn Spanish, there are mainly 10 tips to learn Spanish that I want to highlight.
First, take advantage of flash cards. You can make some by yourself using index cards or unas hojitas de papel (pieces of paper) if you don’t want to buy any from the store. Just simply print on one side the Spanish term and on the back the English equivalent. When you start your day, have down time, breaks at work or even before you go to bed, practice reading & pronouncing the Spanish words as much as you can. The more you use the flash cards, the easier it will be to commit to memory new words. Flash cards with images are better. I say this because most of the times our brains connect words with images. By having perhaps a Spanish term on one side along with an image, this will also help you to learn Spanish.
Second, hangout with natives. Natives are better because they can correct you right on the spot when you do not pronounce words or expressions correctly. You can also learn something that many textbooks don’t contain and that’s different idiomatic expressions or sayings that are used in various countries. This helps to open your mind beyond the Spanish from “Spain” or “Mexico” that is often emphasized in schools today. There are different accents and modismos used that may not always be common if you just learn Spanish from the books. This helps to widen out and expand your horizons.
Third, try to talk and practice speaking alone. No, I not saying that you are crazy by talking or having conversations with yourself. However, what I am saying is that when try to speak as much you can the things learned, it helps to process the information. Don’t be an introvert and feel like you have to be a “know it all” before you speak. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes and misconceptions that many many have when learning a language for the first time.
Fourth, use sticky notes. Yes, the old trick still works. Try it to learn Spanish phrases and vocabulary by placing sticky notes everywhere in the house. It might look a little weird if a friend visiting you, but it’s only temporary until you feel comfortable identifying objects without any help. Of course, once you finish and little by little understand and know how to say everything in the house, then remove them.
Fifth, treat it like a job. learning Spanish or any language should be treated like a job. You get up everyday and go to work day after day with the same goal to get paid on Friday. Dedicate time each and everyday to learn something new in Spanish. The more you learn each day, the fresher the information stays in your mind to then be able to speak. Consistency is the key and not allowing a day to pass by without listening, reading, writing, or speaking Spanish.
Sixth, try to be patient with yourself. Remember that learning Spanish is not something that you can do overnight, nor in 10 days. Rather it is a commitment of time that you must dedicate to really arrive to fluency and proficiency with the language. Try not to get frustrated if you don’t understand grammar or Spanish conjugations. This is something that happens and should be expected because it’s not yours yet.
Seventh, try to listen to audio to fine tune your listening skills. Often learners focus to much time on reading material that sometimes the listening aspect is overlooked. You can listen podcast online to hear news, music learn more about Spanish culture and life. It’s to read words, but to hear them in action will definitely help you learn Spanish better. You can also checkout audio Cds at the library to listen while driving or relaxing at home. The audio you hear, the better you see how Spanish words are pronounced.
Eighth, stop trying to be a perfeccionista! We are not perfect by a long shot and being that a person was not born speaking Spanish means that it will be hard to fully develop and train the your tongue and muscles to correctly pronounce words. I have found that natives are proud to see someone making an honest effort to learn Spanish. They will sometimes even help you. If you try to be un perfeccionista, you might let yourself down to easily. Language learning again is not an overnight process. It takes time. So don’t be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes..which brings me to my next point..
Ninth, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. As mentioned in part on point 3, it’s okay to make mistakes. Remember that they come with the territory. In fact making mistakes helps you to learn Spanish and progress remembering things even better sometimes.
Tenth, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy learning Spanish. If you don’t have fun, you might see it as a chore and get bored. If you can, try to travel to other countries where you can build relationships with others that speak Spanish. You can enjoy other cultures and ways of living and Spanish food. Let’s not forget about that. When you branch out and get to know other natives and perhaps live in other countries, you come to embrace the language faster. Use language games if you can because they are also fun to use to learn Spanish.
By learning Spanish, you will able to communicate with a whole different world of beautiful people. More than 350 million people speak Spanish as natives and millions more as a second or even third language. This new community will be open to you along with many other benefits of being bilingual such as increased salaries in the work force and more. It’s definitely worth your time and efforts. By applying this tips to learn Spanish you will be on your way to becoming part of the Spanish speaking world.