Learning to Speak Spanish: The Ultimate Guide

Spanish is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, second only to Mandarin Chinese. According to recent statistics, a huge 572 million people around the world speak Spanish, and this number is expected to reach 754 million by 2060. This means that learning Spanish is a phenomenal investment for both personal development and work.

Yet what is learning to speak Spanish like? Is it a difficult language to learn? 

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what learning Spanish is like and give you some helpful Spanish tips that will help you hit the ground running with this beautiful and useful language. 

Are you ready to find out more about how to learn Spanish and what it’s like? Then vamos, read on!

Is Spanish Hard to Learn?

If you’re thinking of learning Spanish, you might be wondering how difficult it is. This is a common question and it’s very understandable: some languages are a lot harder than others, after all.

The good news is that Spanish is not too difficult to learn for English speakers. It’s a European language, for a start, which means that it shares some vocabulary with English. 

One key difference that it has to English is that it’s a romance language, which means that it is primarily descended from Latin, just like French, Italian, and Portuguese. If you speak one of these languages, it’ll be a big help! English is a Germanic language, mostly descended from Anglo-Frisian: however, a large percentage of English words also have Latin roots, so you won’t be left behind if you only speak English.

Spanish’s grammar is a little different from English, but its word order is the same. English is a subject-verb-object language, and so is Spanish. So, for instance, you would say “Joe plays soccer,” in English, and in Spanish that would be “Joe juega al fútbol.”

Pronunciation varies according to dialect, with the hardest element of pronunciation for many English speakers being the hard “j” sound of words like “José” or “juego.” However, with practice, your Spanish pronunciation will come on fast!

In short: Spanish is not a difficult language to learn for English speakers. It’s around as easy as French, and easier than German, for most English speakers.

Spanish Tip #1: Schedule Study Time

Whether you are learning Spanish in a group or private lessons, you’re going to need to do your homework. Leaving it until the night before a class is not the best way to make great progress. Instead, you should schedule time outside of class to study Spanish, and make it a part of your regular schedule.

Consistent practice is absolutely key when learning a language. Leaving too long between studying can make it a lot harder to remember words and grammatical conventions.

We’d recommend that you set a goal during your study. For instance, you could try to memorize a certain number of words per session, using flashcards to help you. 

Spanish Tip #2: Understand Your Goals and Motivations

Learning a language has its ups and downs. Sometimes, you’ll feel like everything is going smoothly and you’re an aspiring polyglot. Other times, you’ll feel as though every new word you learn forces another one out of your head.

What can help during these bad times is knowing precisely why you’re learning Spanish. Some common motivations for learning a language include:

  • Learning it for work purposes
  • Learning a friend or loved one’s native language
  • Wanting to move to another country
  • Personal development
  • Wanting to enjoy foreign-language media

There are as many reasons for learning Spanish as there are second-language Spanish speakers. Think about what your motivations are and write them down on a sticky note and put them on your mirror, on your textbook, or somewhere else where you’ll see them regularly.

Spanish Tip #3: Immerse Yourself

Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country might be quite difficult at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t immerse yourself. Immersion is a great way to get your language skills up to speed, and you can immerse yourself to a great extent without leaving your home.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself is by enjoying Spanish media. You could watch a popular telenovela, read a work of Spanish literature (look for a translation that features both the original and the English translation), or listen to a podcast in Spanish.

If you want to take it slower and don’t feel up to trying Spanish-language media yet, you could also try sticking Spanish labels to your belongings. So, for instance, you could write “refrigerador” on a note and stick it to your refrigerator. 

Spanish Tip #4: Dedicate Yourself to Learning the Most Common 1000 Words

It’s easy to get sucked in to the Spanish dictionary or a Spanish book, and learn some very abstract words that are only used in niche conversations, but these won’t serve you as well as learning the most common words in Spanish.

The most common 1000 words of any language will make up the bulk of conversations, which means that learning these words gives you access to a huge world of people and conversations that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

You can combine this with the scheduled study that we mentioned earlier. You could, for instance, try to memorize 50 of the most common words per week using flashcards.

Learning to Speak Spanish: Sin Problema!

Learning to speak Spanish can seem like a very difficult task before you start. However, once you get started, you’ll find that you make progress quickly and that it’s probably nowhere near as hard as you thought it would be.

If you want to learn Spanish efficiently, the best way to learn is with a teacher. We offer group and private classes, so you can pick whichever you feel more comfortable with.

If you have any other questions about learning Spanish, we’d love to help you. You can contact us here or through the form at the bottom of this page!

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Don’t just learn Spanish! Embrace the Spanish Culture!

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