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Top 10 Things You Need to Learn Spanish

Updated on May 13, 2009

Getting Started

Learning Spanish isn't difficult. Anyone can do it. But you'll need a few things to help make the learning process as quick and easy as possible.

In this hub I've ranked what are, in my opinion, the top 10 things you will need to learn Spanish. You may not need all 10 of these things. But I hope this list will give you some ideas of ways you can study and learn Spanish more effectively.

1. Spanish-English Pocket Dictionary

A good dictionary is the most essential tool for learning Spanish. There's no need to get a heavy, full-size dictionary. A simple pocket dictionary will do the trick. On the rare occasion that you encounter a word that's not in your dictionary, you can check the meaning online at SpanishDict or any other online Spanish-English dictionary.

2. Grammar Book

To master Spanish you're going to need to learn some grammar. There are a number of good grammar textbooks on the market such as "Practical Spanish Grammar" or "Spanish the Easy Way". If you're the kind of person who prefers to learn using the computer instead of a book, you may want to download a Spanish course. Here's a comparison of the best Spanish courses that you can download.

3. Spanish-Speaking Amigos

Spanish is widely spoken in many countries around the world so you can probably find a few Latin buddies in your area. Or you could consider a language exchange.

4. Cards or Paper for Making Flashcards

Flashcards are super-effective for building your vocabulary and for practicing verb conjugations. Use them regularly.

5. Desire to Learn

Do you have a particular reason to learn Spanish? What is it that made you decide to learn the language? Without the desire to learn it will be very difficult to forge your way through all the work you're going to need to do to become fluent.

6. Television for Watching Spanish Shows

Watching Spanish-language television shows helps tune your ear to the sounds of spoken Spanish. Try watching Spanish shows with and without subtitles.

7. Post-It Notes

Here's another good way to build your vocabulary: attach post-it notes with the corresponding Spanish word to everything -- and I mean everything! -- in your home, car, office, etc.

8. Verb Conjugation Software

Verbs present a difficult challenge. Fortunately there are quite a few software programs designed to help you learn and practice Spanish verbs in all their different tenses. Some of these programs are freeware, others are shareware, and others are commercial products. The best is probably Verbarrator (here's a Verbarrator review) but any good verb program will help.

9. Time and Money to Travel to a Spanish-Speaking Country

I don't think there is any doubt that full immersion is the most effective way to learn any language, if you can afford it. Mexico is a great place for Spanish immersion. So are Spain and Buenos Aires.

10. Latin Music

I've heard stories of people who have learned basic Spanish simply by listening Latin music. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But I do know that listening to Spanish music (and singing along) helps improve both your comprehension and pronunciation skills. 

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