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Picking up a new language can be difficult, especially if you’ve never been exposed to it before and you’re trying to learn quickly in time for a trip. But with a few tips, Spanish will feel like your first language.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
It cannot be stressed enough how necessary it is to practice speaking Spanish if you want to improve and eventually speak fluently. Start off saying words to yourself, to make sure you’re pronouncing everything correctly. Be sure to focus on accents and sounds that are not the same in English.
It is important to practice speaking WITH someone so you may get into the habit of stringing words into sentences and sentences into conversations. If you’re separating grammar from vocabulary and never considering how they will be used together in a conversation, you’ll never be able to have a conversation. Look on Meetup.com to see if there is a conversational Spanish speaking group in your area.
The Spanish taught in textbooks and learning materials is the formal Spanish that should be used in theory, but is not used in practice. It is important that if you’re planning on engaging in conversational Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, you learn some of the words that they substitute, like how we say “yeah” instead of “yes” or “ain’t” instead of “am/ are not.”
4.Listen to Spanish
It is proven that listening to another language can help your brain begin to make sense of different words and conversations. Listening to Spanish music, audiobooks or watching a Spanish “novella” before you go to bed will help you to connect words and understand how they work in full conversations rather than just in sentences.
5.Read Spanish literature
Reading Spanish literature can help you get a feel for how people who speak Spanish fit their ideas and concepts together to not only form coherent thoughts but also in ways that others praise for being artfully created and worked. For this reason, reading Spanish that has been written by a praised Spanish author can help you make connections between English and Spanish and ultimately, remember concepts better.
6.Write in Spanish
Move past writing subject-verb sentences and start writing sentences that you will eventually go on to use in conversation. Writing things down makes connections to speech and once you get good at writing in Spanish, your speaking will improve, as well.
Never miss an opportunity to practice your Spanish. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect!