No saber ni papa de algo in Spanish is literally translated to not knowing a potato about something. This can be used when talking about something you have no clue about. In this case, it may or may not be the Spanish language you have no clue about. But do not worry, the famous saying bluntly paraphrased to ‘even the longest journey begins with a single step’ might just come in handy in this case.
Learning Spanish will be of your advantage, whether you are already pursuing your qualifications in Spain, are planning to do so in the future, or you simply want to learn the language, because, honestly, being bilingual (or multilingual) is just so much fun! Nowadays, we have access to endless possibilities, whether it is learning a new skill, a new language, or making new friends (across the ocean).
Sometimes, ‘a journey of a thousand miles’ begins with a single search online. Luckily, the search has brought you to this article, so keep reading to find out how to learn Spanish quickly!
Why Learn Spanish?
First and foremost, why learn Spanish? The list can go on and on. Spanish is a beautiful language and knowledge of Spanish will open so many doors for you, whether professionally or personally. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers. Besides, experts suggest that Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers, taking around 6 months to reach professional proficiency, and a lot less to reach social proficiency (conversational level).
There are two main reasons why you should learn Spanish:
- Professional growth.
- Personal growth.
1. There are 22 Spanish speaking countries in the world, with Spanish being the official language in populous countries like Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru. This means your professional opportunities will span beyond your home country, and you have larger chances of employability in these countries if you speak the language. Besides, knowledge of a second or third language is quite an advantage in the labour market, especially in a globalized world.
2. Speaking Spanish means you will get to build bridges with the millions of people who also speak Spanish. You will have the option of creating friendships and making connections with Spanish speakers, getting to know different cultures, customs and ways of life. Speaking a second language means broadening your horizons and getting out of your comfort zone. It will basically turn you into a better, more knowledgeable, version of yourself.
How to Learn Spanish Quickly?
Initially, it depends on how you define the word ‘quickly’. For example, for some, quickly may mean a month, for some it may mean half a year, while some might define it as a whole year. Sometimes, it also depends on the context. You might be starting university in Spain next autumn, and you want to learn the language during the few months before you take off or during the summer. Or, you are in Spain as an international student, for a few months, and you want to make use of the fact that you are surrounded by Spanish speakers and learn the language. It all just depends on how much you commit to it.
But, there are ways you can speed the language-learning process. Keep reading to find some of them:
1. Be Consistent
If you have ever heard of the saying “Consistency is key”, you will know why this step is essential when it comes to learning a language. Understand what your goals are, how quickly you want to learn the language, and commit towards achieving those goals. Begin with a positive attitude and stay consistent, you will find that this step plays a crucial part in your language acquisition. If you want to practice at least two hours per day, make sure that by the end of the week you have actually achieved 14 hours of language study. Do not make irrelevant excuses and work towards the one goal you have set for yourself.
2. Practice as Much as Possible
Practice does not simply mean conversing with other Spanish speakers, often it means giving language-learning top priority. Switch the language on your phone to Spanish, interact with Spanish speaking social media community, read the Spanish newspaper, listen to Spanish songs, watch TV shows and movies in Spanish, even start writing a journal in Spanish. There are so many ways you can surround yourself with the language you are trying to learn, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be in Spain or surrounded by Spanish speakers.
You may also choose to download one of the many language learning apps available, whether you are learning the language through a course or online, a language learning app is always an advantage (some apps can really make language learning a fun activity). Your smartphone/tablet/PC can give you numerous possibilities to learn the language, it just depends on your way of learning and how much of your time you commit to learning.
3. Hire a (Online) Tutor
If you do not want to learn the language on your own, then you may also choose to invest some money on an online tutor. Having individual language classes can really help when it comes to learning Spanish quickly. The attention will be on you and you will have a sense of responsibility, even if you are tempted to skip classes. You will likely have homework and it is a good way to stay committed and practice with another Spanish speaker. You can even find an excellent tutor who will only charge as little as $10 per hour.
4. Create a Plan
Depending on your schedule and the time you plan to spend practicing Spanish per day, it is important that you create a plan. Whatever your plan might look like, make sure you put it in writing and, possibly, leave it where you can see it. Whether it is the lockscreen of your phone, your desktop background, or the walls of your room – remind yourself that you have a plan and you plan on accomplishing it.
Your plan could look something like this:
- Every morning, I will spend 30 minutes reading the Spanish newspaper/Spanish articles.
- While getting ready/commuting, I will listen to music/podcasts in Spanish.
- After work, I will spend an hour attending language classes.
- Every night before bed, I will watch an episode of a Spanish (TV) show.
You may also create a reminder on your phone, just in case you forget.
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