Are you currently thinking about going to Spain? Whether it's simply as a holiday destination, an internship or even a full-time job; those who speak Spanish have a clear advantage here! Even though the international vibes of the city will help you to get along perfectly with people around your integration and chances of building more meaningful relationships will be higher if you learn the beautiful language of Spanish.
Many say that Spanish is a rather easy language to learn for several reasons. Of course, there are tricky aspects like slang vocabulary and other things, but Spanish is much easier than many other languages. First of all, as with all Romance languages, there is a lot of common vocabulary with languages like Portuguese, Italian or French. Spanish has the advantage that, unlike French, for example, the spelling is very consistent. The vowels are pure, there are no diphthongs. Put your doubts and excuses aside now and let’s get you started with Spanish now!
Here are 8 tips to help you learn Spanish faster and easier
1. Make learning and repeating part of your routine
Don't just learn Spanish; live your life through Spanish! Research shows that listening is the key to effective learning. By listening to the same information over and over, you can also learn vocabulary and grammar patterns subconsciously.
You can also make a game out of it. Pretend you are a native speaker and immerse yourself in the Spanish language by speaking, reading and listening to it regularly. This strategy not only reinforces the skills you have learned but also improves your familiarity with the rhythm and cadence of Spanish.
Be aware, however, that you will not understand everything at first. However, if you simply surround yourself with Spanish and make it a central part of your life, you will learn the language more quickly.
2. Start speaking in Spanish, step by step
It’s easier to say than actually doing it, we are fully aware of it! Don’t forget that learning Spanish is not just about acquiring grammar and vocabulary. Language is first and foremost a means of communication and purposeful interaction between people. If you start speaking Spanish right away, using it primarily as a form of communication (and not just as a static learning tool), you will become fluent more quickly.
In fact, your ultimate goal is to learn Spanish in order to speak to others. Get out of your comfort zone and dare to speak to anyone who will listen to you. Repeat phrases in front of the mirror, with family and friends, or even with your pet. Record yourself and play it back to a Spanish friend so you can correct your pronunciation.
Accept that as a beginner you will make mistakes when learning Spanish. Despite the discomfort, encourage yourself to remember that the more you practice and keep at it, the easier it will get!
3. Learn and use new Spanish words every day
After you have spent some time summarising all the words you know, it is important to put them into practice. If you know single words that you have learned through studying, you can easily lose them in your brain. Therefore, it is very important to connect them somehow
Try to learn and use some words in context. Reading and hearing words in sentences, and forming them yourself as early as possible, will help you become fluent more quickly.
4. Learn pronunciation early
Getting to grips with the sounds of Spanish is very important. As you practice your pronunciation, you actually tune your ear to the sounds of Spanish. For example, you can hear the difference between the Spanish "a" and the English "a".
This way, your ears expect to hear the right sounds, which is imperative if you want to understand people (especially if they speak quickly). That's why it's always better to start as early as possible!
5. Advantage of living in the country
Another good way to consolidate your Spanish is to practise it with Spanish speakers. If you're adventurous and you're open to moving abroad, why not choose Spanish-speaking destinations?
Living in Spain would be perfect for practising Spanish. There are many job opportunities in Barcelona that can help you settle in, make new native Spanish-speaker friends and live with an international vibe. Take the opportunity to move to a city like Barcelona where you can get the best of both worlds.
6. Watch series and movies in Spanish
In the last few years, Netflix has expanded its international range enormously and you can now find titles from almost every Spanish-speaking country in the world. It's best to start with English subtitles, and when you hear which words refer to which meaning, switch to Spanish subtitles, and if you feel really confident, turn them off altogether!
Netflix has also recently released a cool new feature that allows you to slow down the playback. This will definitely make it a little easier for you in the beginning!
7. Try to understand the fast conversations
This point is probably the number one frustration for anyone learning Spanish. The standard recipe for this is more listening practice. But that's not really the problem.
The reality is, even if you know everything someone has said, if you have to translate, you will find it very difficult to keep up. To understand fast speakers, you need to understand Spanish - not English you can translate Spanish into. Most importantly, you need to keep up with how fast native Spanish speakers talk!
The more you listen to fast Spanish conversations, the faster you will begin to understand what is being said. At first, it might feel a bit strange because you feel very lost, but believe me, it will get better and better!
8. Stay constant and be patient
When we have a goal to achieve, we usually start with a lot of enthusiasm, but over time we lose intensity and eventually our interest. One of the keys to learning Spanish is consistency.
It is not necessary to study Spanish every day, but it is necessary to study at a steady pace that allows us to reach the level of Spanish we want. A few times a week is usually enough. You should also remember that patience is a basic ingredient.
There will be days when Spanish seems very complicated, but there will also be days when you speak and write Spanish with confidence. Persist and you will see the language gradually begin to flow.
Spanish course recommendation in Barcelona if you are living in or thinking about moving here:
Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain and you can get by quite well with English but you will hear two dominant languages in every corner here. Yes, Catalan and Spanish. If you want to listen to the stories of the locals, have a nice chat with the shop assistant at the bakery, understand the history of Spain better or get to know the locals and learn and live the culture, then it is a good idea to attend a language course. Of course, if you plan to live here longer our suggestion would be to master both languages but for a shorter term let’s get you first speaking Spanish!
Our insider tip is the Spanish language school Linguaschools in Barcelona!
The courses at Linguaschools take place both on-site in the classes and online. We definitely recommend that you attend either an intensive Spanish course or a semi-intensive Spanish course.
Intensive Spanish Courses
If you have a few days/weeks buffer before you start your new job, one of the intensive Spanish courses is a good choice. Intensive Spanish courses are taught in small groups. In the units you will learn all aspects of the language: conversation, grammar, vocabulary, listening and reading comprehension and writing. The courses have a communicative character and are designed to learn and improve accuracy and fluency. As a rule, the intensive courses take place in the morning.
Semi-Intensive Spanish Courses
But not everyone has time to attend an intensive language course. Therefore, Linguaschools also offer semi-intensive courses. These are especially suitable for people living in Spain such as professionals, Erasmus students, interns, au-pairs. Again, the class consists of a small group. This stimulates the learning environment and provides plenty of opportunities for conversation. The courses have between 4 and 10 lessons per week. So fewer lessons don't mean that the classes are less intensive. On the contrary! Self-study of the language leads to remarkable progress.
Good luck with your Spanish adventure!
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