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How to Learn Spanish - Guides and Advice

Updated on October 23, 2011

Spanish Travel and Culture

Why learn Spanish?

Spanish is the second most popular and spoken language after English in Europe, and the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world (English, Chinese, Hindustani, Spanish).

Spanish is a popular choice of a foreign language with an average of 400 million Spanish speakers. But, that doesn't answer the question of why you should learn Spanish does it?

Well you may consider some of the following thoughts as to reasons you may want to learn how to speak and understand Spanish.

  1. Learning Spanish will give you a better understanding of the English language, as both languages have similar roots.
  2. Because Spanish speaking countries are very close to the United States, it may help you get to know your neighbors.
  3. Because it is a widely spoken language, learning how to speak Spanish is important if you decide to travel to countries such as Mexico and Spain (2 of the more popular tourist countries who's main language is spanish).
  4. Learning Spanish can help you understand other cultures because being able to understand the language broadens your literature library in which you can understand.
  5. If you plan on learning other languages, as well, Spanish can give you a head start when learning other Latin-based languages such as French and Italian.
  6. Learning Spanish can, also, broaden your employment opportunities because there are so many native Spanish speakers in the U.S., having knowledge of the language may put your resume above someone elses. This skill is great in the medical field, international trade, communications, and tourism.
  7. It's fun and easy! Because the Spanish language has similar roots as English, many people tend to pick it up easier.

Maybe now, you've made the decision to learn Spanish. If you're not quite sure how to go about it, you should continue reading in order to find advice and guides to learning Spanish.

Learning Spanish

With the numerous resources available today, it is possible to learn how to speak Spanish in just a few months. Just make sure that throughout your studies, you keep a positive attitude because as soon as you start to get frustrated, understanding the language becomes harder.

There are several different ways that you can learn Spanish. You can try using flash cards, audio tapes, online websites, software and cds, and tutors.

Each method of learning will not work for everyone. In order to learn the language and to fully comprehend a conversation, you will need to find the method of learning that works for you.

Pay close attention to the keys to learning Spanish towards the bottom of the page to help give you more tips and suggestions about learning Spanish.

I applaud your interest in learning a second language, or maybe you are bilingual already, and you just want to expand your knowledge about foreign languages. In any case or scenario, make the experience fun.

Learn Spanish with Flash Cards

A great tool, that's actually rather simple to use is flash cards. You may remember them from school. The basic concept of using flash cards, is to write the English word or phrase on one side, and the corresponding Spanish word or phrase on the other. Flash cards are a great way to learn and understand a number of topics, to include learning a new language.

You can group the flash cards into related topics. This will actually help you understand and learn the language faster because you will use association to group the words in order to help you remember what's what. For example, you could group together table, refrigerator, microwave, chair, stove, and oven, in a kitchen group. You can group foods, clothing items, other room specific items (bedroom, bathroom, living room, etc), gardening, animals, family, and other groups that you will be able to associated. Create groups that will be easy for you to put together.

Once you learn a particular group of words and phrases, you may want to try using them in simple sentences. This will help you get a better understanding of how to use the words and their different tenses.

You can, also, carry your flash cards or even a smaller set of cards with you. That way if you have a break at work, the ride up the elevator, lunch breaks, or just any spare moment, you can go over a few words and phrases. The more you look over the information, the quicker you will begin to catch on.

Learn Spanish with Tapes

Learning a new language with audio tapes and disks, you can hear how the pronunciations are to be accented and how the words are to be properly pronounced.

Many disks are set up so that the new lessons are repeated. This can help any learner a great deal because repetition is a wonderful tool when learning a new language. Plus because you are hearing every word and syllable, you may intake the information better.

In most cases the tapes are sectioned so that similar material is presented together. The tapes are filled with understandable explanations so that you are able to fully understand what's going on in the lesson.

Language learning CDs and packages, are filled with pauses and breaks so that you can practice the material that was just covered.

Learning a language on tape may not be for everyone, but for many people it is a fast way to learn any language and understand it enough to be able to use it in a conversation. Those people who learn best by hearing the information, may want to invest in a set of disks to help you learn the Spanish language.

Spanish is just one of the many languages that you can learn via disk sets.

Learn Spanish Software

Once you've decided to learn Spanish, you may want to invest in a how to software set.

These Spanish software sets are interactive, so that you not only are able to read the information and hear it, but you are able to practice it. These are three major keys to learning. So no matter what type of learner you are, learning software tends to be beneficial to everyone.

Because you're not sitting in a class room, but the comforts of your own home, you don't have to pressure yourself to understand the information at its first hearing. With software, you are able to replay the information until you feel that you fully understand it.

The Spanish software sets, allow you to learn one subject, or topic, at a time. You do not have to move on until you grasp the information. And, at any time you feel like you need to back up a step, you can.

You shouldn't move to the next step, unless you think that you've grasped the full concept that was discussed it the previous lesson. As each lesson builds upon the previous, if you skip lessons of miss a factor in a lesson, you may not understan a concept in the followin lesson to come.

Along with you Spanish software, you may want to keep an English-Spanish dictionary on hand.

Learn Spanish Online

Learn Spanish Online

There are programs online to where you can find tutorials, help and assistance, as well as other guides to aid you in learning Spanish.

In some cases, these online guides are not 100% free of charge. The website may off books, CD-ROMS, and other sources of help to assist with the lessons, which must be paid for.

Sometimes, online websites will offer one free course, but in most cases any lesson thereafter must be paid for.

I would not discredit any of these online sources, as in many cases, they are credible resources to help you learn Spanish. I would make sure that any website you decide to spend money at, you make sure that you are putting your credit card information into a secure site, which can be denoted by a lock at the bottom of the internet browser or an "S" after the "http" in the URL (example: https://www.learnABCs.com).

Keys to Learning Spanish

Because you're interested in learning the language, you must realize that it's one thing to understand a few words and phrases, but it's an entirely different story to being able to speak, write, and read it with full comprehension. So, this endeavor may not be so simple.

Keep your attitude positive.

Set realistic goals that you can keep.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

The more your speak Spanish, the more you read it, and the more you write it, the quicker you will begin to comprehend the language.

You may want to take on this journey with a friend or with a group. That way, you can have people to practice with and to study with. Plus, the more the merrier.

You may want to even get in contact with a Spanish tutor or teacher at a local college. This way you can get other tips and tricks for learning Spanish that an audio CD, online program, book, or software, cannot teach you.

Throughout this endeavor, you want to make things FUN! Experience the Spanish culture more than just its language. Try new Spanish dishes. Get your family involved. Rent documentaries about the culture. Find out where things originated. The more you know about the culture, the more interested you may become in learning their language.

Learn Spanish- Accent Rules

Learn Spanish- Adjectives and Pronouns

Comments

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    • Sondra_Roberts profile image

      Sondra_Roberts 

      8 years ago

      Thanks I am a spanish teacher, and am always interested in what others have to say about spanish teaching methods,

      Following you from now on

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      I am new to hubpages and am really enjoying my time reading as many hubs as I can. This was such a professional, thorough article. My first hub (out of only 4 so far) is on the same subject;learning Spanish. I am a teacher of Spanish and was very impressed by this article.

    • Star22 profile image

      Star22 

      8 years ago

      Awesome hub. I also made a hub to help people learn Spanish! Some jobs even pay more for being bilingual!

    • profile image

      Jose 

      9 years ago

      Online courses are very good way to learn any language but if you want practice all you know, the best way is to speak it with people that is native in the language, the same occurs with spanish, maybe you can do that in latin american countries like Peru, check this wiracochaschool.org

    • EllieP profile image

      EllieP 

      9 years ago

      Woah! I love it. I've been learning Spanish for ages but I still found loads of interesting stuff here.

      I've found Spanish to be useful in learning a bit of Italian and Portuguese too. I guess that's cos they're all related to Latin.

    • fastlearn profile image

      fastlearn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Witney, an awsome site, I love the way you have laid it out, how long did it take you to do?, and all the hubs, wow, I am currently learning spanish, I started my own blog to record my experiences over at fastlearnspanish.com, If you have any tips can you send them my way. Keep up the great work, ps.. I found your hub via amazon, awsome stuff.

      Chris

    • profile image

      Jacob Lumbroso 

      10 years ago

      I love Pimsleur and the Topics series; I used them for Hebrew and French. I think the critical thing to remember that podcasts and other approaches should be viewed as the entry point to get to the starting gates of learning Spanish or any language. A one on one dialog is I think ideal but not always realistic given time constraints or location. That being said Pimsleur definitely an excellent starting point.

    • profile image

      Spanish Express 

      10 years ago

      Do you want to learn Spanish?Schools in London or Barcelona.spanishexpress.co.uk

    • seamus profile image

      seamus 

      10 years ago

      Nice hub! I wrote one on a similar subject. I thought I was so orginal. LOL

    • profile image

      Jose Molina 

      10 years ago

      Check out this great new free website and please add it to you list:

      spanish5000.com

    • profile image

      Small Business 

      10 years ago

      Very nice work and a lot of sound advice and information.

      Thank you.

    • vaidy19 profile image

      vaidy19 

      10 years ago from Chennai, India

      Very elaborate and informative.

    • profile image

      Brittany 

      10 years ago

      Great Hub! keep it goin.

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