Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
How to Learn Spanish by Yourself in 18 Simple Steps
There are tons of ways to learn Spanish, and the reality is there isn’t a singular method that is better than the other. It’s about finding what works for you, what matches your goals and what you need to do to reach those goals.
But no matter if you go down the DIY route like I did or opt for something a little more structured like a course, there are a couple of things you have to maintain throughout your Spanish learning journey. And those two things are immersion and consistency.
By learning Spanish, you’re welcoming a change in lifestyle, which means that you have to surround yourself in all things Spanish. It’s like all five of your senses have to be saturated in the language, which can be done by moving to a Spanish-speaking country, or by following the steps I’ve outlined below.
Consistency is also a huge factor. Regardless if you study on your own or through a class, nothing will stick in the long run if you don’t practice on a regular basis. Doing a little bit every day is way more effective than having an extremely long review session every weekend.
So whatever you decide in terms of learning methods, just remember that the name of the game is consistency and immersion. When I struggle with either of these two areas, I always look to FluentU for some help.
With features such as authentic Spanish content and a progress tracker, FluentU has allowed me to explore the Spanish-speaking world through my phone while helping me stay on track with my daily learning goals—but I’ll talk a little more about how this worked for me later!
How To Speak Spanish: What You’ll Learn
Learning how to speak Spanish means getting to know all the components of the Spanish language: pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, among others. Each is essential in its own way to mastering Spanish! Keep reading to learn more.
How To Speak Spanish: Spelling And Pronouncing Spanish Words
One of the most important things to do when you want to know how to speak Spanish is to learn about Spanish pronunciation. After all, you can’t actually speak the language if you don’t know how to speak Spanish out loud!
Luckily for those learning how to speak Spanish, each letter of the Spanish alphabet typically has one and only one pronunciation. This makes Spanish spelling much more uniform than that of English, which can be inconsistent and totally nonsensical sometimes. (Think about how a non-English speaker might struggle with words like “cough,” “colonel” and “knight.”) That makes it easy to know how to say a Spanish word aloud just by looking at it.
There are some sounds in Spanish you’ll need to learn that don’t exist in English — like the rolled rr sound. And there are a few spelling rules that require a little extra practice, too, like how certain letters change sounds when combined with other particular letters. (For example, the letter g before a, o, or u sounds like the hard “g” sound in the English “gate,” but it sounds like the “h” sound in English when before e or i in words like género or girafa.)
How To Speak Spanish: Vocabulary In Spanish
Learning a new language means you’ve got to get really familiar with the words that make up that language. If you want to know how to speak Spanish, you’re of course going to have to get familiar with Spanish vocabulary. After all, you can’t actually use a new language without knowing the words, expressions and phrases that make up that language! The more Spanish vocabulary you know, the more you’re able to talk about everything in your world — from what you do for work to your hobbies to your favorite colors and foods to the weather outside and everything in between. Plus, if you know authentic Spanish phrases, you’ll sound just like a native speaker.
The most effective way to remember Spanish vocabulary and phrases is to focus on the words and expressions that interest you the most instead of wasting time on vocabulary you find boring or will never actually use. You can tailor your Spanish vocabulary to your careers, hobbies, passions and everyday experiences and fill in the gaps where you want more words. This could include Spanish for business or the medical profession. Or perhaps you like talking about sports, the entertainment industry or politics. You can create your own specialized Spanish vocabulary depending on what’s important to you in your learning journey.
How To Speak Spanish: Grammar In Spanish
Learning the grammar of any foreign language can be tricky, especially if it’s very different from the grammar of the language or languages you already speak. Naturally, if you want to know how to speak Spanish, you’re going to have to get to know Spanish grammar. Luckily, many parts of Spanish grammar are easy to understand once you get a grasp on them.
There are, however, some elements of Spanish grammar that are known to be more difficult for learners than others are — especially those elements that are more unfamiliar to native English speakers, like complex verb conjugations or the subjunctive mood, tricky concepts many Spanish learners have trouble mastering.
You might struggle with some aspects of Spanish grammar and breeze through others. A lot of what you’ll find easy depends on the language or languages you already speak and how similar they are to Spanish. And you can’t forget that everyone learns differently, so the parts of Spanish grammar that give you trouble might be a piece of cake for someone else, and vice versa.
How to Pronounce Words in Spanish
One of the most critical aspects of learning to speak Spanish has nothing to do with grammar rules or vocabulary lists. It’s about pronunciation and being able not only to mimic the accent of a native Spanish speaker but to understand a real-world conversation in Spanish . One of the most common complaints of those who have learned a language in a traditional academic setting is that, when faced with actual conversations, it can be a struggle to understand native speakers who are using different dialects, slang, or speaking too rapidly. That’s why language learners have to get very comfortable with pronouncing and understanding Spanish words.
Practice does make perfect, but without feedback, it may be hard to correct your pronunciation. That’s why successful language learning programs incorporate the ability to practice speaking and to receive feedback in order to create confident Spanish speakers who are comfortable with using the language in everyday interactions . While there are accent or diacritic marks in Spanish to guide pronunciation, it can be tough to tell if you are rolling your r’s or stressing the right syllables.
Rosetta Stone has designed a Spanish language learning program that encourages beginners to speak from the very first lesson as well as incorporated the ability to get feedback on your pronunciation. TruAccent is the adjustable patented speech recognition engine that is built into every exercise and compares your accent to that of thousands of native Spanish speakers, enabling you to fine-tune your pronunciation before moving on to the next language learning unit.
Speaking Spanish has major benefits
Being able to speak with over 570 million Spanish speakers
Spanish is the 3rd most spoken language worldwide, so you’ll definitely have a lot to gain by learning conversational Spanish. For example, you’ll be able to interact with people anytime you visit Peru, Argentina or Spain.
Traveling to Spanish speaking countries gets way better
Whether you plan to travel to Mexico, Spain or Colombia, speaking Spanish will enhance your experience significantly. You will be able to experience Spanish speaking countries like a native and have an authentic experience in the process.
Speaking Spanish can save your career
Being able to speak Spanish increases your employability significantly and makes you stand out from the crowd. This means that you will have better chances of getting a well paid job in the first place, better chances of getting promoted or getting a better job in a Spanish speaking country.
Speaking Spanish makes you smarter