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Learning Conversational Spanish Quickly

Updated on June 12, 2011

Help in Learning Conversational Spanish Quickly

Learning a foreign language is difficult for many people, and learning another language even conversationally can be very hard for individuals. I'm not a person who is naturally adept at linguistics - I'm one of those who has to work twice as hard to remember half as much. I might never be completely fluent in anything other than American English, but I have found some tricks that work for me in getting conversationally fluent, or at least tourist passable, very quickly. I studied Spanish for 4 years in high school, and a year in college. That was a full ten years ago, but I've found that in re-learning Spanish, or in the process of learning conversational French, there are some tricks that help me to not only retain the language I learn, but speeds up how quickly I learn the basics of whatever language I'm learning. If you'd like some tips or advice on how to learn conversational Spanish more quickly, then read on!

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5 Tips for Learning to Speak Spanish Fast

As with anything else, to some extent natural talent is going to make a difference in how quickly you can learn basic Spanish. Still, following a few basic tips or strategies has consistently helped me learn language more quickly and I'm hoping these tips will help any of you who are working to learn conversational Spanish.

Spanish language learning tip #1: Visual with audio. There is absolutely no question in my mind that the combination of hearing the words with a visual focus accelerates the learning process. Hearing the word manzana is one thing, but to hear and say manzana while actually holding or eating an apple will really make the word stick in your head. Using more than one sense at the same time will definitely speed up the process of learning Spanish and help you retain that information.

Spanish language learning tip #2: Concentrate on phrases that you're most likely to use. The more obvious it is to your mind that a piece of information is important, the more likely your mind is to store that information consciously instead of subconciously. This is why many people who have never even studied Spanish know the phrases "Donde esta el bano" or "Dos cervezas, por favor." If you work on phrases that are more useful to you, then the retention levels go up. This is how I still remember the phrase arroz con pollo years later, but can't tell you what the words for juice, beef, or vegetables are.

Spanish language learning tip #3: Study daily, at least once, sometimes twice. Having two study sessions of four hours each isn't going to do you a lot of good - you'll just burn out. Having two twenty minute study sessions a day at different times of the day can help immensely. This habit gives you constant times of review throughout the week, keeps you from forgetting information over long periods of not studying, and also helps you to only study during the amount of time when your brain is most active in learning.

Spanish language learning tip #4: Sesame Street. It makes sense, doesn't it? See if you can find a channel that shows Sesame Street in Spanish, or if you can even find DVDs or videos of Sesame Street that are in Spanish. It's a great way to learn the basics.

Spanish language learning tip #5: Don't be afraid of help. A good language learning program can speed up the process. This is especially helpful if you need to become fairly thoroughly fluent in a language. Another help is tutors. Especially if you live near a college campus, you'd be amazed how far $10 and hour and some pizza or home cooked meals can go, and everyone's happy. Getting help and guidance is never a bad way to go, especially when you're just getting started.

These are just a few of the tips that have helped me with quicker language learning. I hope that using these tips can help speed up your process of learning Spanish quickly, or learning any other foreign language, for that matter.

What you need to learn language fast

Some Basic Spanish Phrases

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Some of My Favorite Tourist Spanish Phrases

I think part of the reason that the best way of learning Spanish is different for other individuals is not only that we all learn differently, but also because "important phrases" are going to vary from person to person. A phrase asking for beer is going to be a lot more important to me than to someone who doesn't drink at all. The following are a few of the most basic words and phrases that I am sure to remember in espanol.

Dos cervezas, por favor. Two beers, please. Why drink alone when you can drink with a buddy or a pretty seniorita?

Donde esta el bano? This one is maybe the most important phrase in any foreign language: where is the bathroom?

Por favor - Gracias/Muchas gracias. Please, thank you/thank you very much. Politeness never hurts.

Donde esta la embajada americana? Where is the American Embassy? This is a good one to know in case of emergency - or switch out American with whatever nation you're from.

Quien tiene la mejor comida en la ciudad? Who has the best food in town? I know this is a "caveman Spanish" way of saying it, but it's pointed me to some of the best eating I've ever enjoyed.

Usted tienes ojos increĆ­blemente hermoso. You have incredibly beautiful eyes. I don't think I need to add any commentary to this one...

Those are just a few of the best phrases. Always learn basics like directions, basic numbers, and the appropriate greetings. These are always useful in any language. I hope these tips and these phrases have helped you out at least a little, and helped make it faster and easier for you to learn some conversational Spanish.

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Thoughts or Comments on Learning Spanish?

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    • profile image

      7 years ago

      Another tip: speak Spanish. You need to find intercambios (meetups to exchange language) if you are not currently immersed in a Spanish-speaking country, whether in person or via Skype or Google Talk. You have to speak it if you want to get better.


    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Good advice there, and I speak from experience!

    • Marktravels profile image

      Marktravels 8 years ago from Ukraine

      Very nice, I managed to teach myself Russian and many of the same tips apply across all languages.

    • Jerry G2 profile image

      Jerry G2 8 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Thanks for the comments. I definitely agree with the immersion whenever possible. I was 16 when I first went to Mexico, and in only ten days my comprehension easily doubled or tripled, and my vocabularly easily doubled. When you're surrounded by a language, you really learn to pick things up in a fast manner. Thanks for the comments!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      good stuff. I am a big believer in living in the language you are wanting to acquire. That is extreme visuals and leaves you no outs to use spanglish.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      Great information---thanks for sharing.