24 Spanish Tips
Start Speaking Spanish in The Shortest Time Possible
– and Have Fun Learning
- USE REPETITION
- LISTEN CLOSELY TO WHAT PEOPLE SAY BACK TO YOU
- FOCUS ON LISTENING AND READING FIRST AND THEN PRACTICE SPEAKING.
- USE MEMORY AIDS
- USE FLASHCARDS FOR LONG TERM REMEMBERING
- LEARN AND ENJOY READING IN SPANISH
- READ KIDS BOOKS
- FOCUS ON ENJOYMENT
- SET MEASURABLE GOALS
- HAVE FUN
- JOIN A LIBRARY
- LEARN 3 WORDS EVERY DAY
- LISTEN TO SPANISH MUSIC
- GOOD THINGS ARE WORTH WAITING FOR – DON’T TRY TO GO TOO FAST
- AVOID GRAMMAR CLASSES
- LEARN TO RECOGNIZE AND USE COGNATES
- MAKE FRIENDS WITH A SPANISH SPEAKER
- GET A GOOD BILINGUAL DICTIONARY
- DON’T BE TOO GRINGO – SAY SPANISH LIKE SPANISH NOT LIKE ENGLISH
- STOP SPENDING TIME ON INEFFECTIVE STUDY
- LEARN THE MOST IMPORTANT FREQUENCY WORDS FIRST
- FOCUS ON THE VALUE SPEAKING SPANISH WILL BRING TO YOUR LIFE.
- IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SPANISH
- DON’T IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SPANISH
“Repetition is the mother of learning” Tony Robbins
The martial artist practices his kata, the musician practices scales, the soldier drills shooting his gun. If your ultimate goal is Spanish fluency you will need plenty of practice too.
Important to your practice is spaced repetition – a little everyday is better than a lot once a week – flashcards, reading in Spanish and audio lessons are easily available and give you the repetition you need to master Spanish.
If you listen closely, you will notice Spanish speakers will repeat what you say when you make an error. They repeat back to you what you said with corrections. They are really just looking for confirmation that they understood what you meant.
Get in the habit of tuning into what people say back to you. Maybe try it out with a waiter in a Mexican or Spanish restaurant. It’s like having personal Spanish coaching from a native speaker.
Your mind is like a computer and reading and listening to Spanish will program your mind. After all, can you say a Spanish word if you have never heard it or read it?
So as well as practicing speaking Spanish, also get plenty of Spanish reading and listening practice to make your mind a Spanish computer.
There is no better memory aid than mnemonics. Here’s a fun one (apology for the crudeness)
The Spanish word for pool is piscina (piss een a)
Well some people do piss in a pool
I am going to ask you later for the word for pool. I bet you will remember. In fact I bet if you see the word piscina next year you will remember what it means.
Get some cards and write Spanish words on one side. On the opposite side write the word in English.
On the next day look at your cards. Look at the Spanish word and try and remember it’s meaning in English. Turn over the card and check your answer.
Once you have mastered Spanish to English go the other way. Look at the English, and try and remember the word in Spanish. This is harder. Once you have mastered English to Spanish you will be amazed how well you remember the word.
Reading is a fantastic way to build your vocabulary, knowledge and understanding of Spanish. Spanish is a phonetic language so once you know the sounds of Spanish you can immediately pronounce any new word you read.
As you are reading you can often guess and learn new words from the context. This means you are constantly increasing your Spanish.
If you are a beginner why not read kids books. Don’t feel shy, some kids stories are a good laugh. Kids books usually have a lot of pictures, which means you can often easily guess new words.
Children learn language really well, really fast and they have a fun time doing it. If your study time is a headache you will shut down you ability to learn. Learning doesn’t need to be hard work to be effective. So have fun and look for Spanish you can enjoy.
Why not indulge yourself and read a gossip magazine in Spanish. You can also read kid’s books the sports and entertainment sections of Spanish newspapers. You can Work out he lyrics to a sensual Latino song. Find Spanish you enjoy and relax and have some fun.
To say “I want to speak Spanish” is not a measurable goal.
I was disappointed in my first year of Spanish. I set a goal “to speak Spanish by Christmas”. Even though I made great progress, I felt I had not achieved anything because my goal was unclear – speak at what level.
The next year I set a measurable Goal – to read 10000 pages of Spanish and learn 5000 new words. I failed on the reading goal. I only read 5000 pages that year. But my Spanish improved out of site and even though I missed my goal I felt great about reading 5000 pages of Spanish.
If you can put a number to your goal such as number of hours, pages, words, etc. you’ll feel better as you progress and the consistent practice will ensure your Spanish will improve dramatically.
Frustration, boredom and stress will slow down your learning and shut down your brain. You will succeed faster when you’re doing something that you love. Look for classes or study methods you enjoy and go to them with an attitude of fun.
If you live in the USA, especially California, what a wonderful resource you have. Free libraries with thousands of books in Spanish. Kid’s books, sports books, cooking books, novels just about anything that interests you is available to you. Expand you Spanish while you enjoy exploring your favorite topics.
Anyone can do this. If you learn 3 words a day that is more than 1000 words in a year.
If your learn, or even better, master the most commonly used Spanish words, your little bit of daily effort will pay great dividends in your Spanish communication.
I bet you know the words to Frere Jacques even if you don’t speak French.
You don’t know it!
Well what about songs that as soon as you hear the music you immediately remember the words. And you never tried to learn the words.
Music has a wonderful way of seeping into your memory and staying there. Take a little time to translate the lyrics (you can usually find song lyrics with a quick search on goggle) and learn some Spanish while enjoying music.
“The mind is like the stomach. It is not how much you put into it that counts, but how much it digests.” A.J.Nock
Even children take until they are 4-5 years old to speak well. And you know what, even though they speak well they have limited vocabularies of just 4-5000 words.
What can we learn from the kids?
First a little vocabulary can go a long way.
Second if it takes nature 4 years to teach a kid why be disappointed if you don’t learn fluent Spanish in 3 hours. If you use effective learning strategies and keep learning a little every day you will be communicating in Spanish before you know it.
If you want to learn to drive a car you don’t learn by studying the motor. If you want to swim you have to get wet. If you want to speak Spanish sooner or later you’ll have to practice it.
I have never seen a beginner that benefited from classes that were completely grammar based. Sure a little grammar can be helpful to decipher the Spanish code. But too much grammar just seems to inhibit and block the natural flow of communication.
Spend your time richly involving yourself in Spanish that’s comfortable for you and I guarantee you will get better, faster and more enjoyable results.
If you have followed my body of work you will know that I like to give my students Spanish that is instantly understandable. I begin by focusing on the similarities between Spanish and English and not the differences. The similarities are much easier and faster to learn.
In Shortcut to Spanish, I teach 31 categories that make 3013 Spanish words you can use instantly.
For example words that end with ize in English usually end in izar in Spanish. For Example
There are 31 categories that make the easiest 3013 Spanish words you will ever learn.
A great way to meet people and get some Spanish speaking experience is to join a community group, a cooking or dance class or chat on the net with a Spanish speaker. And if you are single having a Spanish speaking boyfriend or girlfriend is better than any class or book. Good Luck!
The little pocket dictionaries are good for travel. I prefer a more extensive dictionary. I still use and like one called pocket Collins. I don’t know exactly whose pocket they think it will fit, maybe Shaquille O’Neal’s pocket. It is a little bigger than most pocket dictionaries but I like it because it includes a lot of Spanish expressions.
A software program I have on my computer is word magic. It is an excellent dictionary with literally thousands of expression. Very expensive but a great resource if you want to go on to Spanish mastery. Otherwise you can use a free online dictionary at www.spanishdict.com
Get ready for a lot of blank stares if you don’t take the time to learn Spanish pronunciation. Fortunately Spanish is beautifully consistent. You only need to learn one sound for each vowel and Spanish is written exactly as spoken.
If you haven’t downloaded my Spanish pronunciation course, Click here to get the “How to Speak Spanish and Be Understood” audio course – Free.
Spanish is a beautiful and expressive language, so why not learn to say it well.
One great way to save time is to stop wasting it studying with methods that don’t work for you. If you’re not reaching your goals, then your learning strategy needs to be revised. Make sure your study time is focused on studying the things that really help you learn.
One great way to focus on something that really helps you learn is to learn high frequency words first. Did you know that just 100 words make up 50% of all written Spanish? Just 1000 words make up 70% of all written and spoken Spanish. If you learn the most common words first you will progress much faster.
“A different language is a different vision of life.” Federico Fellini
Don’t focus on this week. Instead think of constructing a lifetime skill. One that will allow you to enjoy other people, other cultures and brings unforeseen opportunities to your life. You can learn to get by in Spanish fairly quickly but mastery takes time, think of the big picture.
“What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.” Aristotle
Obvious but it doesn’t always happen. How can you learn Spanish if you don’t practice and get plenty of exposure to Spanish?
Isn’t this a big contradiction of number 23!
You see, you definitely need plenty of exposure to Spanish. However if all the Spanish you encounter just goes by too fast for your ears, you won’t learn anything.
Take a step back and get as much Spanish as possible at a level that is comfortable for you. Even if it is kids stuff, games, a tabloid magazine, a few words to a Spanish speaker, it doesn’t matter as long as you are getting the idea of the Spanish and it is comfortable for you.
Follow this advice and you will avoid frustration and you will make progress. Soon it will add up you will have a solid foundation for your Spanish communication.
For one of the easiest ways to get a solid step-by-step foundation in Spanish that never leaves you dazed and confused check out Shortcut to Spanish – Everything You Need to Start Speaking Spanish
* Do you remember what piscina means.
Everything You Need to Start Speaking Spanish
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