Learn Spanish: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Spanish FAST
“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?
Being the second-largest language in the United States, Spanish is a great asset that many other leading countries would appreciate. Your resume will unquestionably be more attractive to future employers. As a matter of fact, you will be more competitive in the workplace if you are multilingual.
Apart from getting to know the Hispanic culture from near, you are prone to communicate with Spanish speakers freely and without language barriers. By learning Spanish you will also be able to travel and experience the Iberian Peninsula and the whole Latin America with a mouth full of Spanish words.
According to psychology, the human brain tends to forget things as we age. Learning a foreign language means that you are sharpening your memorization skills as well as accommodating new knowledge that will help you trade with unmet innovative ideas.
Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, with nearly 500 million speakers. Thus, it increases the chances of getting employed in every corner of the world. In a nutshell, learning Spanish makes you more employable.
By learning a new language, as cliche as it may sound, you will build a better character. And why is that so? Well, you get to see the uniqueness of other cultures, and that is perfectly spotted once you learn their native language. One of the most significant advantages of learning Spanish is that you will have access to an unrivaled world of rich Hispanic culture. Watching famous films in their original language, such as Pan’s Labyrinth, is more entertaining than watching with subtitles.
Is Spanish Hard to Learn?
Being a widely spoken language, Spanish is easy to learn especially if you’re an English speaker. Because of its practicality and extensive reach, Spanish has long been a go-to language for English speakers to learn.
When English speakers claim that Spanish is simple to learn, it is true because it is a phonetic language. Spanish pronunciation is likewise quite simple. Since it is a phonetic language, that means that the majority of its words are spoken the same way they’re written. But on the grammatical aspect, you should know that there are several distinct verb tenses and exceptions to grammatical norms in Spanish, which might be perplexing. However, the tenses are mostly the same as those used in English, so they’re not as tough to master as you may imagine.
Once you’ve mastered the simple principles and how to pronounce the letters, you’ll be able to read Spanish aloud and be understood. There are also a lot of cognates, so it’s simple to pick up a lot of vocabulary early on in the learning process. Verb conjugation in the present tense requires some thought, but most students have a firm handle on it after about a month of study. With a devoted concentration on remembering vocabulary and practicing fundamental grammar, one may travel on vacation to one of the world’s 20+ wonderful Spanish-speaking nations and get by.
But… if you aim to learn Spanish for discussing profound topics and elaborating more insightful thoughts, then Spanish gets harder to learn. One of the most difficult ideas for English speakers to grasp is the right and comprehensive usage of the subjunctive. It is also one of the most crucial concepts required for any genuine and beyond-the-skin-deep communication. There is also the use of the passive voice, which must be acquired in order to be proficient in Spanish, although it is frequently discouraged in English and therefore “beaten” out of us.
Here are the top three reasons why Spanish is not hard to learn:
- The Latin alphabet. The Latin alphabet is used in the Spanish language, therefore there is no need to learn a different alphabet or characters, as in other languages.
- Similar pronunciation to English. Almost half of the letters in the Spanish alphabet are pronounced similarly to those in the English alphabet.
- Words are read as they are written. Words in Spanish are read as they are written, this means that pronunciation doesn’t change.
How to Learn Spanish
The very big question that every beginner makes to himself/herself is how to actually learn Spanish. Depending on your intention of learning Spanish, you can pick different methods of learning it. For example, if you intend to just know some basic words and ask for directions as a tourist then the effort might not be global.
Apart from personal motivations which everybody should have before starting to learn the Spanish language, it is equally important to be determined to keep going and not give up on it. If you’re really a toddler at learning the Spanish language, then for obvious reasons you should take the toddler’s steps. You can begin by learning the alphabet, which consists of simply one additional letter to the English alphabet, the ñ letter.
Here are a few ways to learn Spanish:
- Get Spanish books for beginners.
- Buy a Spanish–English dictionary and carry it with you.
- Download a language app on your phone or tablet.
- Watch Shows that are dedicated to people who want to learn Spanish, such as Destinos.
- Download or subscribe to podcasts.
If you’re financially capable of paying for a language course then this is most definitely the best option to learn the Spanish tongue. There is no denying that enrolling in a Spanish class will keep you accountable and devoted to learning the language. Whether you sign up for a beginning, intermediate, or expert level, having a teacher to assist you, a group to practice with, and homework to reinforce what you learn is a major benefit.
A useful and adequate way of learning Spanish is by traveling, but you surely should know the basics. You can take advantage of the right approach and just let the words flow like a river. More often than not those who are just acquiring a new language feel hesitant of speaking. This is the reason why it stops them from developing their language skills as well as broadening their vocabulary.
Speak with confidence and be open to being corrected in order to have a refined vocabulary.
Immersion, solely speaking in the language you are attempting to learn, is the best way to learn as much as possible as rapidly as possible.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Spanish?
According to the Language Difficulty Rankings tool of the US Foreign Service Institute, it is stated that the English language speakers will learn Spanish in about 24 weeks or 575-600 hours. If your native language is drastically different from Spanish, then the learning process might take a little longer.
This question depends on a number of factors, your determination, mother tongue, method of learning, as well as the kind of resources you plan to use, and how frequently you plan to practice. For example, if you study Spanish consistently and devote an hour every day to it, you will undoubtedly become a competent speaker of the language within at least a year. This implies that you are attending Spanish classes at least twice a week and spending the rest of your time completing homework and reviewing what you have learned.
Spanish, as the language of summer songs, is not as easy as it may seem. But there are always some paths that deliver you to the “acquisition” of this language and those include:
- Moving to a Spanish-speaking country.
- Speaking Spanish with online friends or family members.
- Attempting a job that does not need significant Spanish language skills.
A cool tip to learn Spanish faster is to not stick to only one method of learning and use a variety of resources. With the right motivation and time management strategies as a committed learner, you may reach an intermediate level of Spanish in a few months.
How To Learn Spanish Fast
Starting to learn a new language can appear like a daunting process, especially as a beginner. Depending on why you choose to learn Spanish, you can become impatient and frustrated if it takes longer than expected.
That’s why we are here to help you ease and speed up the learning process of Spanish, by teaching you the most effective methods. Planning your learning methodology beforehand, staying consistent, and making it a fun learning experience for you, are just a few of the steps to take for a great outcome.
Here is how you can learn Spanish fast:
Create a Study Plan
A study plan is a must! This is the main reason why beginners climb the ladder of success when acquiring a new language. There are numerous benefits to using a study plan, one of them is keeping your schedule organized. This specific element of your study plan will leave you accountable and have you find more time to learn Spanish.
Have you heard about OKR? This is an effective technique that expands to Objectives and Key Results and helps you tackle your personal goals. This technique itself is based on objectives and key results. Objectives are the final outputs you wish to achieve, whereas key results are those specific things you are doing to undertake in order to achieve your objectives.
This Weekly Language Study Planner is ideal for language learners:
|E.g. To speak Spanish smoothly with my best friend on New Year’s Eve.||Spend at least one hour a day for each activity type in the study plan.|
|Study Spanish — Weekly Study Plan|
|Things to Have:||This GUIDE | This Study Plan | Laptop, Tablet, Phone | Flashcards | Spanish Online Newspaper | “El principito” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | Spanish Short Stories | Pens | Notebooks | Online Tests | Other|
|Reading||Read one or two articles out loud.
Write down new words.
|Read an online daily Spanish newspaper.
Ask yourself questions to determine comprehension.
|Read at least 5 pages of a Spanish novel.
Write down new words.
|Writing||Write down at least 15 conversation starters.
Note down any new words.
|Write a journal entry about learning Spanish.
Note down learning weaknesses.
|Write down a simple description of the novel you have chosen to read.
Note down weaknesses.
|Listening||Listen to an introductory podcast of the Spanish language.
For example, A Zero to A Hero.
Note down understandingg weaknesses.
|Listen to at least five songs in Spanish with both Spanish and English lyrics.
Note down understanding weaknesses.
|Watch a Spanish language show/episode, preferably with spoken Spanish and English subtitles.
Note down any weaknesses.
Try to use new words in sentences.
|Study the Spanish dictionary and note down words you may find useful.
Try to use them in sentences.
|Practice the new words you have learned up until now.
Try to use them in sentences.
|Speaking||Talk to Spanish-speaking online friends.
Try to make use of everything you have learned.
|Read out loud! It could be anything: articles, stories, song lyrics, etc.
Note down your weaknesses so you can go back to them later.
|Watch a movie or tv show episode in Spanish.
Try to imitate the actors’ acting and lines.
Make sure you pronounce words correctly.
|Other||Learn a new idiom.
Practice conversation starters.
|Learn at least three new Spanish slang words.
Use them in sentences,
|Practice the alphabet.
Spell out words.
|Practice Spanish grammar.||Practice Spanish numbers up to 100.||Practice food and color names in Spanish.|
|Hours Planned||At least one hour for each activity type, as noted on the schedule.
You can always spend more time studying per day, depending on your goals.
|Notes||Rest at least one day of the week, depending on what is convenient for you.
It does not have to be Sunday!
|Hours Achieved||___ Hours||___ Hours||___ Hours||___ Hours||___ Hours||___ Hours||___ Hours|
How to Create a Study Plan
1. Start With Small Steps
Remember that you have to set out your goals as clearly as possible and be patient throughout the process of learning Spanish. To attain a goal, in this example, learning a new language, you must alter your everyday routine. That is why, rather than preparing for an entire month or year, it is better to plan for each week. This makes your objectives seem more manageable, feasible, and less intimidating.
2. Keep Your Objectives in Mind
As the OKR technique puts in focus the objective and key results, you should be respectful of your set up goals. Everybody finds it easy to move fast forward once their goals are clearly defined. All ambitious objectives, however, require practical measures, which is where your main outcome comes in. To reach your goal, you may opt to combine up to three important results. Common goals might include:
- Move to a different nation.
- Pass a B2 language examination.
- Develop your professional skills through conversing with clients, coworkers, and consumers.
3. Adapt Your Template to Your Specific Lifestyle
By using the above Weekly Language Study Planner, you will be able to keep track of the time you intend to study as well as the time you actually spend studying. Having in mind that we all have other daily stuff that needs to be done, it is handy to write down the realistic goals that you can meet and leave space for studying the Spanish language. This template has the advantage of allowing you to evaluate if you’re accomplishing your goals or whether you need to ease off on yourself.
Consistency is the only parameter that lets you move forward and be victorious in any area of life or any goal that you have set for yourself. Sometimes, the motivation isn’t there and when you decide to hang on to it you see your road switching to underground, that’s why you have to create the habit of being consistent in learning and not letting the motivation beat your big aspirations.
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to be consistent and build strong study habits such as learning at the same time every day, creating a distraction-free study area, and so on. With a job, family, and other duties calling, those aren’t practical for most individuals.
Here is some advice that you can follow for a concentrated and consistent study of Spanish:
- Devote yourself to the Spanish language. Adapt to unexpected occurrences and always take advantage of the little free minutes you have to read, listen, or communicate in Spanish.
- Set up reminders. The reminders will push you to study at a specific time and you should respect them if you aim to make learning a form of habit. In fact, this strategy is highly efficient and allows you to achieve your objective of learning a new language in a proper manner.
- Take Spanish classes as a fun escape from reality. This mindset will help you memorize new words, new ideas, and the whole language itself. More often think of yourself as a singer or actress, as you speak Spanish. Remember that you are aiming to reach greater results, which will eventually be speaking the language fluently.
Read Spanish Books
Reading books is one of the best ways to get to the core of the language you intend to learn. Besides the most obvious benefits of reading which is expanding your vocabulary, you will also learn how to think independently in your target language. You cannot find any greater way to learn a language than that of reading books.
As a beginner you should put small steps, thus it is better to evaluate yourself and see what kind of books you are capable of reading. It is highly recommended to start with elementary books, be it for children or schools reading books.
Think of the book’s pages as website’s pages or even the feed of any social media, be ready to read anywhere and everywhere. It’s simple to open a book, grab a tablet, or flick through a magazine to immerse yourself in your target language, no matter where or when.
If you’re wondering what are some of the best books for learning Spanish then here are the top 5 books you should consider reading:
- Complete Spanish: A Teach Yourself Program by Juan Kattan-Ibarra.
- Short Stories in Spanish: New Penguin Parallel Text ed. John L King.
- The First Spanish Reader: A Beginner’s Dual-Language Book by Angel Flores.
- Papelucho by Macela Paz.
- La Vida Imaginaria by Mara Torres.
There is no need to limit yourself to only reading books because audio materials are equally essential for developing the foundation of your language abilities. The most essential thing to remember is that if you want to understand a language, you must have a lot of exposure to it.
Overcome the “Intermediate Plateau”
Remember: Many students remain stuck because they believe they are not progressing quickly enough. And this may happen regardless of how long you’ve been studying a language. This concept is known as the “intermediate plateau,” — when you feel like you are not progressing as much as you did in the beginning, simply because in the beginning you have so much to learn, and it is easier to see progress!
So here’s the next tip: Read a lot in a foreign language. Read about a variety of subjects. Learn a lot of new vocabulary. Keep your end goal in mind and the results this goal will bring! Think of the sense of achievement you will feel once you accomplish your goals! These are some of the most effective ways for breaking through the intermediate plateau.
Create a ‘Spanish’ Lifestyle
Here are some tips that will help you adapt to the Spanish lifestyle:
- Listen to Spanish music. By doing this, you will be able to quickly learn how to pronounce various words.
- Watch movies with Spanish subtitles or in Spanish. Reading the subtitles will help you comprehend better if you miss any words.
- Change your phone language to Spanish. You will soon learn to recognize the words required to communicate with your phone effectively.
- Play Spanish learning games and video games. This helps you learn and master Spanish faster and improve overall comprehension.
- Browse Reddit. Create an account to explore subreddits that are thematically oriented to one specific region, thus targeting the language you want to learn.
- Converse with native speakers. Find friends online and use chat messengers and video conferencing to converse with native speakers.
- Learn recipes in Spanish. Try to learn recipes in the Spanish language, in this way you will learn the names of foods, vegetables, fruits, and many names of herbs and spices.
Make Spanish Memorable And Fun
There are a lot of ways in which you can learn a language and at the same time find it enjoyable. Let’s say for example that you want to explore foreign restaurants and try pronouncing Spanish dishes’ names. It is fun and exciting to go to a Spanish restaurant with your friends and order in Spanish. A little acting as the famous Antonio Banderas with your friends would go along quite nicely.
You will naturally sound more like a Spaniard if you constantly emphasize accurate word pronunciation and ensure that you are pronouncing them correctly.
Here are some tips on how to make Spanish memorable and fun:
- Learn Spanish idioms. The Spanish language has tons of funny idioms that will leave imprints on your mind, and even be long-lasting. Some of them have straightforward translations in other languages, while others are very hard to interpret. When we hear these Spanish terms in context, we may sometimes infer what they imply. However, even if you speak Spanish fluently, it is often hard to grasp them if we haven’t heard them before. Here are some Spanish idioms you can start with.
- Learn simple jokes. Spanish jokes are a great way to learn about the language and culture. You may learn to tell jokes in Spanish in addition to hearing and comprehending them. Learning a language is a long-term undertaking, and it can be difficult for beginners to remain motivated. You are far more likely prone to continue studying if you are having fun and laughing. Here are some Spanish jokes to begin with!
Easiest Way to Learn Spanish
The easiest way to learn Spanish is by speaking and listening to Spanish daily, regardless of your beginner status. Immerse yourself in the Spanish language. As cliche as it may sound, it is true! Doing something repeatedly will make you an expert.
You must not rush yourself into the fantasy of learning the Spanish language as fast as furious. Take it day by day! Longer lengths of time are great for focusing on vocabulary and learning Spanish pronunciations. And all language learners benefit the most from sessions that include plenty of immersion interactions with native speakers.
Here’s the easiest way to learn Spanish:
- Practice on Monday.
- Practice on Tuesday.
- Practice on Wednesday.
- Practice on Thursday.
- Practice on Friday.
- Practice on Saturday.
- Practice on Sunday.
Even if Sunday is your rest-day, try to listen to Spanish music while driving the car, doing chores, or taking a walk. Watch a Spanish movie or tv show. Play online games and set the language to Spanish. Speak to native speakers online. There is so much you can do to not make learning Spanish seem like a chore!
Can I Learn Spanish Online?
In today’s era, there isn’t almost a single thing you cannot do online, and yes you can learn the Spanish language online. Although it’s never simple to learn a new language, you can find some online Spanish schools which provide you with plenty of opportunities to practice speaking. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and a passion for Spanish.
It takes effort to learn Spanish for beginners, but online Spanish lessons may be both achievable and pleasant. The greatest online Spanish classroom allows you to communicate, play games, and interact. You may strike up a conversation, debate concerns, and find cultural connections.
Here is how you can learn Spanish online, from the comfort of your home:
Hire a Spanish Tutor
Hiring a Spanish-speaking tutor always makes sense, they will guide you on many subjects of the Spanish language. There are always complex parts of a tongue, grammar, syntax, lexicology, and everything in between. The effectiveness of acquiring a new language will be determined by two major factors: the actions taken by you and the methods utilized by the Spanish tutor.
The actions that you demonstrate when practicing consistently, the investigation that you conduct on your own rather than being assigned by your tutor, and the research for additional material that will help your learning can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of how much you’re actually understanding and applying in real-life situations. In other words, your personal learning passion has a direct impact on your effectiveness.
Here’s why hiring a private native Spanish tutor makes sense:
- Spanish is part of their personality.
- Phrasing, jargon, and other terms are a breeze for them.
- They have first-hand cultural knowledge i.e.:
- Gastronomical variation,
- Musical diversity,
- Tourist attractions, etc.
Take Online Courses
Online courses are more flexible than traditional courses. You can learn a language at your own pace, have a more structured class and make use of unlimited resources. In absence of in-person learning with an actual certified course teacher, online courses give you the freedom to use the sources and choose the ideal study methodology that best suits your schedule and budget.
For a faster and more effective outcome, you should decide beforehand on the level of language proficiency you want to achieve in a certain period.
Here’s how to decide on the best online course:
- Understand your learning style and your focus points (speaking, listening, reading, or writing).
- Choose whether you want a one-on-one with an online instructor or self-learning courses.
- Test different online learning courses and see which one is right for you based on the structure, tasks, and intensity of the course.
Here are some of the best Spanish online courses (for free or on a budget):
- Coursera. One of the most popular online learning courses for becoming fluent in Spanish and improving both your vocabulary and grammar. Although the courses are free, you need to pay to be fully certified.
- Alison. This online course is best for those who want to focus on their basic communication skills, such as tourism. Plus, it is completely free.
- edX. Ideal for those interested in a more efficient and professional language level outcome. Offered by Harvard and MIT, it provides learners with advanced courses in Spanish. However, you need to pay for a final certificate.
Purchase Books in Spanish
Another great resource for making the most out of your Spanish learning experience includes reading books as was mentioned earlier in the article. Depending on your hometown or the country you are currently living in, you may not have easy access to books in Spanish, so the next best option is purchasing books online.
Online reading can also be beneficial if you do not wish to spend a lot of money and time searching for the book you want. Buying books online can be much cheaper than hardcover, and there are rental options available on various websites.
Below you will find some of the most popular websites to buy books in Spanish, including children’s books for beginners.
- Lee and Low Books
- LA Liberia
- Books del Sur
- Cinco Books
Download Spanish Language Apps
We have been making use of the advantages that modern technology and smart devices have to offer. Learning a new language has never been easier with all the online applications available, especially one of the most entertaining languages: Spanish.
Below is a list of some of the most popular and efficient Spanish language apps to consider:
- Duolingo. Both entertaining and an efficient learning app that offers a wide variety of tasks through games and activities. Most importantly, you can easily track your progress and go back to finished lessons for more practice. For a more advanced program, you have to subscribe monthly to Duolingo Plus.
- Babbel. This app offers monthly or yearly subscription plans, depending on the level you want to achieve your goals. Babel is known for its expertise in offering the fastest methodologies for learning Spanish.
- FluentU. Ideal for those whose learning style is through audio and visuals. You can choose original videos and/or podcasts and select your favorite. The first two weeks are for free.
Here are some other language apps that might interest you:
- Brain Pop: Película del Día
Can I Learn Spanish Online For Free?
As mentioned earlier in the article, the Spanish language is one of the world’s most popular spoken languages. This makes it easier for online learning websites and applications to incorporate the language in their lists. Almost all free language learning apps have Spanish listed as the top three languages available for free.
Except for free Spanish learning apps, you have access to multiple audiobooks, YouTube videos, music, and movies, etc. Read more below for further details on how to get free access to any of the above-mentioned Spanish learning sources.
Free Apps to Learn Spanish
Considering our lives are surrounded by modern technology and you can learn about anything and everything through free apps, the Spanish language is no different. Many language apps have developed to the point of awarding Spanish learners with certificates after a certain amount of tasks, exams, and evaluations, which makes nearly no difference to traditional learning.
Here are some of the most popular free Spanish learning apps:
- Rosetta Stone
Learn Spanish Through Podcasts
Everyone has different learning styles, depending on the objective of learning a new language. One of the most common learning methodologies for auditory learners is podcasts. Similar to reading books, some learners may prefer audiobooks as the most effective way to grasp the language.
The benefits of podcasts are endless, including the multitude of subjects that they offer, the ability to multitask while simultaneously learning Spanish, and you will most likely learn pronunciation faster than usual.
The following are only a few of many podcasts that can help you become fluent in Spanish:
- Audiria. You can have access to their podcasts both through their website and app store —for free— as of March 2021. It offers all levels of language learning, from beginner to advanced levels. From film reviews and vocabulary audio lessons to audiobooks about Spanish history and culture, Audiria has it all.
- Coffee Break Spanish. It offers more than 200 free podcasts available on Itunes, Google Play, Spotify, and the official website. Depending on your language proficiency, this app offers four seasons divided into four main language levels. It is suitable for quick and efficient learning with their 20-minute episodes.
- Spanishland School. This podcast, in comparison to others, offers lessons for intermediate and advanced Spanish learners. Their main purpose is to help learners go through the intermediate plateau and achieve language fluency faster. The complete episodes focus mainly on vocabulary and grammar lessons.
Learn Spanish Through Youtube
Pronunciation in Spanish can be a problem for most speakers, therefore it is best to learn through easily accessible videos and listen to real-life conversations. As such, YouTube can be a big educational resource if you want to improve both your listening and speaking skills.
Here are the top free YouTube channels to learn Spanish from.
- Butterfly Spanish
- The Spanish Dude
- Español con Juan
- Maria Español
Learning Spanish through YouTube channels can prove to be beneficial and convenient. You can watch YouTube videos in the comfort of your home, while traveling, as long as you have internet access. It offers the freedom to multitask and watch videos according to your schedule by pausing the video, and at the speed you prefer.
Learn Spanish Through Movies
It is common knowledge that everyone loves watching movies in their free time and incorporating learning at the same time can be a great way to speed up your language learning process. Plus, if you enjoy telenovelas or soap operas, this is the best method for you to learn Spanish and enjoy it at the same time. You can even start with cartoons, as a more relaxing option, such as the popular kids’ show “Peppa Pig”.
Learning through Spanish movies allows you to read the actor’s body language and facial expressions to help you understand their social behavior and how they respond to certain situations.
Although it may sound more helpful to watch native-language movies with Spanish subtitles, we advise you to watch Spanish movies with Spanish subtitles also. This is to increase your focus and naturally adapt to Spanish through the movie plot.
Learn Spanish Through Music
Spaniards tend to express themselves and their most heartfelt emotions through their music and lyrics. They mostly listen to traditional music such as Flamenco and classical guitar, introducing their people as romantics and full of life.
After Spanish movies, Spanish music is the next best free method of improving your comprehension and listening skills. Moreover, Spanish music is broadcast worldwide and they have the most catchy and easy-to-remember songs: a fun and effortless way to learn the language.
Here’s a list of Spanish songs for learning Spanish:
- “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
- “El Perdedor” by Enrique Iglesias & Marco Antonio Solis
- “Vivir La Vida“ by Marc Anthony
- “Propuesta Indecente” by Romeo Santos
- “Perdóname” by Pablo Alborán and Carminho
- “Darte un Beso” by Prince Royce
- “Todo Cambio” by Camila
- “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias – ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona
Learn Spanish Through Conversation
Conversational skills are one of the most important aspects of learning a new language, including Spanish. When you learn to speak a language you have already learned all there is to it. If possible, it is advisable to meet Spanish speakers and try to converse with them in no other language than Spanish, as it requires a lot of concentration and remembering, it helps you gain communication skills easier and faster.
Practice makes perfect! By joining a conversation in Spanish as often as you can, you can practice your pronunciation, vocabulary, listening and speaking skills all in one activity.
Here are more tips on how to practice Spanish through conversation:
- Watch Spanish TV. Watch the news and political debates in Spanish.
- Explore your interests. Discover what subject or topic interests you the most and learn the Spanish terms for it.
- Repetition. Practice daily writing in the form of a diary and repeat it out loud.
- Integrating Spanish into your daily routine. Try to respond in Spanish in your daily conversations with friends and family.
- Meet new learners. Join online chats with people who are also learning Spanish (make sure you speak Spanish).
Take Online Spanish Quizzes
Mix traditional and modern language learning by surfing the web for online Spanish quizzes as a method of self-learning and evaluating. There are endless Spanish quizzes available online for free. Quizzes can be in any topic or form that you like, whether they are questions about your everyday life or for more advanced topics.
Online Spanish quizzes offer questions and answers in three different levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Through these quizzes, you can measure your progress and take notes on what you have learned and what needs more practice.
Spanish Language Grammar
Grammar of any language can be intimidating, especially when you are a beginner. However, rules are there to help you master the language in the most professional way possible. If you are a native or fluent English speaker, you will be happy to learn that Spanish grammar is much simpler and you can take advantage of the flexibility that it offers.
Here are some essential Spanish grammar facts you should know:
- The most important grammar rule to introduce yourself to, is the simple word order: Subject, Verb, Sentence. Example: Me llamo Mondly – My name is Mondly.
- All Spanish nouns have a gender, both feminine and masculine. They use definite articles in front of the noun to define gender. El and un for masculine nouns; la or una for feminine nouns. Example: el perro – the male dogs; la gata – the female cat.
- On the contrary to English grammar, adjectives in Spanish are used after the noun they modify. Example: La nina alta. – The tall girl.
There are 12 subject pronouns in Spanish that are used instead of nouns and names to avoid repetition. Examples:
|Vosotros/Vosotras||You (plural) (male/female)|
|Ustedes||You (formal plural)|
There are a total of 18 tenses in Spanish, and we have listed them below together with their English equivalents.
|El Presente||Present/Simple Tense|
|El Presente Progresivo||Present Progressive/Continous|
|El Pretérito Perfecto||Present Perfect|
|El Pretérito Imperfecto||Imperfect Past|
|El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto||Past Perfect|
|El Pretérito Indefinido||Simple Past|
|Los Pasados Progresivos||Past Progressive/Continous|
|El Pretérito Anterior||Past Perfect|
|El Futuro Proximo||Near Future|
|El Futuro Simple||Simple Future|
|El Futuro Perfecto||Future Perfect|
|El Presente de Subjontivo||Present Subjunctive|
|El Pretérito Perfecto del Subjuntivo||Present Perfect Subjunctive|
|El Imperfecto Subjuntivo||Imperfect Subjunctive|
|El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo||Past Perfect Subjunctive|
|El Condicional Simple||Conditional|
|El Condicional Perfecto||Past/Perfect Conditional|
To master the speaking aspect of the Spanish language you must learn how to pronounce the words. That is made possible by learning the basics first, such as the alphabet and how the letters sound. You must know that after learning the alphabet it will be easier for you to also improve your writing and spelling skills.
Officially, there are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet and they include a,b,c,d e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. There are also three unofficial letters: ch, ll, and rr. Below you will find a table with the alphabet letters and how they are pronounced.
As with any other language, the introductory lessons include learning the numbers and how to count in Spanish. Learning how to count in Spanish is a crucial but very easy and quick task to learn. You want to start with the first 10 numbers to make your journey simple and take it step-by-step.
Here is how to count to 10 in Spanish:
|1 – Uno*||6 – Seis|
|2 – Dos||7 – Siete|
|3 – Tres||8 – Ocho|
|4 – Cuatro||9 – Nueve|
|5 – Cinco||10 – Diez|
*Uno changes to un when you put it in front of a noun: un perro (a dog).
You should know that it is better to learn how to count to 15 and remember them by heart, after which you can form the rest of the numbers to 20 by adding 10 (diez) + number. For example:
|11 – Once||16 – Dieciséis|
|12 – Doce||17 – Diecisiete|
|13 – Trece||18 – Dieciocho|
|14 – Catorce||19 – Diecinueve|
|15 – Quince||20 – Veinte|
After 20, you can follow the tens pattern you learned at the beginning of your counting lesson and add to the following:
|30 – Treinta||70 – setenta|
|40 – Cuarenta||80 – ochenta|
|50 – cincuenta||90 – noventa|
|60 – sesenta||100 – cien|
Listed below are numbers until 1000:
|100* – cien / 101 – ciento uno||600 – seiscientos|
|200* – doscientos||700 – setecientos|
|300 – trescientos||800 – ochocientos|
|400 – cuatrocientos||900 – novecientos|
|500 – quinientos||1000 – mil|
*After 100, the word cien changes to ciento. And after 200, we add an “s” to make it plural.
If you wish to become fluent in no time in Spanish, and be able to understand the daily spoken language, learning the most-used phrases is the way to go. It is always advisable to start with some basic expressions so you can be able to communicate easily with Spanish speakers and navigate easily through Spain if you ever have the opportunity to.
Except for Spain, there are 20 other countries in the world where Spanish is the main spoken language. Whether you are traveling as a tourist, for work, or for different reasons, learning a few Spanish words and phrases can only benefit you.
Here are some basic phrases in Spanish to get you started:
- Hola – Hello
- Adiós – Goodbye
- Por favor – Please
- Gracias – Thank you
- Lo siento – Sorry
- Salud – Bless you (used after someone sneezes)
- Si – Yes
- No – No
- Quién? – Who?
- Qué? – What?
- Por qué? – Why?
- Dónde? – Where?
- Buenos días – Good morning
- Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
- Buenas noches – Good evening
- Hola, me llamo Juan – Hello, my name is John
- Me llamo… – My name is…
- Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
- Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you
- Cómo estás? – How are you?
- Estoy bien, gracias – I’m well thank you
- Disculpa. Dónde está el baño? – Excuse me. Where is the bathroom?
- Qué hora es? – What time is it?
- Cómo se dice ‘concert’ en español? – How do you say ‘concert’ in Spanish?
- Estoy perdido/a – I am lost
- Yo no comprendo – I do not understand
- Por favor, habla más despacio – Would you speak slower, please
- Te extraño – I miss you
- Te quiero – I love you
Spanish Conversation Starters
After learning the basic words and phrases needed for basic communication and comprehension, you can actually initiate a conversation as a form of “breaking the ice” with those who speak only in Spanish.
Here are some of our favorite conversation starters:
Hola! ¿Sabes a qué hora cierra este lugar? – Hello! Do you know what time this place closes?
Está desocupada esta silla? – Is this seat taken?
Sabe qué hora es? – Do you know what the time is?
Sabe dónde está el/la [place]? – Do you know where the [place] is?
De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
A qué te dedicas? – What do you do for a living?
Qué estudias? – What do you study/What’s your major? (if you’re a student/speaking to a student)
Qué te trae por aquí? – What brings you here?
A quién conoces aquí? – Who do you know here?
Vienes seguido por aquí? – Do you come here often?
Funny Spanish Words
In the process of learning a foreign language, regardless of the reason, there is always the curiosity to find out what are some of the funniest or funny-sounding words. You usually look for these words or phrases in the daily spoken language of native speakers that may sound funny in English or in both languages.
Below are some words and phrases that you may find odd or funny.
- “No saber ni papa de algo.”
Literal translation: Not knowing a potato about something.
Meaning: To not have a clue about something.
- “Tirar/Botar la casa por la ventana.”
Literal translation: To throw the house out of the window.
Meaning: To spare no expense when you are organizing a big party or celebration.
- “Ponerse las pilas.”
Literal translation: To put in the batteries.
Meaning: Someone tells you to “wake up” when you appear not focused.
- “Ser pan comido.”
Literal translation: To be eaten bread.
Meaning: When something is easy to do. “A piece of cake”.
- “Tomar el pelo.”
Literal translation: To take someone else’s hair.
Meaning: Used when you are teasing somebody. “Pulling your leg.”
- “Que pedo!.”
Literal translation: What fart!
Meaning: Depending on the tone it can either mean “what’s up?” in a nice way or “what’s your problem?” when something doesn’t feel right.
- “Creerse la última Coca-Cola del desierto.”
Literal translation: To think of oneself as the last coca-cola in the desert.
Meaning: To describe someone who is full of themselves. Believe they are more important than they actually are. “Stuck-up”.
The better you become at the Spanish language, you start to familiarize yourself with the native speakers. All foreign languages have their own expressions and traditional sayings which are impossible to understand if you do not integrate yourself with the culture. As such, idioms are the most convenient method to fully incorporate Spanish into your everyday life.
Although all languages have their idioms, in Spanish they may differ according to the region. However, we have listed below some of the most often used idioms in Spanish, to help you feel like a true native speaker.
|Idiom||Literal Translation||Meaning||English Equivalent|
|“Buscar el príncipe azul”||To look for the blue prince||To look for the perfect man||To look for Prince Charming|
|“Meter la pata”||To put the leg on it||To make a mistake||To put your foot in it|
|“Ser un melón”||To be a melon||To be not very intelligent||To be a blockhead|
|“Estar como una cabra”||To be like a goat||To be crazy||To be mad as a hornet, to be crazy as a bat|
Every country and culture has its own slang/everyday expressions that get updated often. If you are on a work trip in Spain, visiting or going on a study abroad program, you want to learn how to speak like the locals.
We are here to help you with some of the most common Spanish slang so you can be prepared beforehand.
|Slang||Literal Translation||Meaning||English Equivalent|
|“Mucha mierda”||A lot of crap||Wishing someone good luck||Break a leg|
|“Ponerse las pilas”||Put batteries on||When someone doesn’t get a joke||Put one’s skates on|
|“Hablar por los codos”||To talk through the elbows||To say someone speaks a lot.||To be a chatterbox|
|“Echar una mano”||To throw a hand||To help someone out||Lend a hand|
|“En un abrir y cerrar de ojos”||In an opening and closing of eyes||When something is done fast||In the blink of an eye|
When you like a joke you definitely want to hear it again and again. The action of repeating will definitely help you memorize and learn it. Even when you listen to a joke you try to memorize it with the intention of telling it to someone else and making him/her laugh.
In Spanish, there are several varieties of jokes. Some are based on a word’s dual meaning. Other jokes make use of how sounds mix or how the meaning of a term changes when its gender is altered. There are other jokes that focus on individual characters or structures. A nice example of a character is Pepito jokes. Jokes with three sections, Primer Acto – Segundo Acto – Tercer Acto, have a similar pattern to knock-knock jokes in English.
Here are some examples of Spanish jokes and their English translation:
1. The Lazy fish: Qué hace el pez perezoso? ¡Nada!
Translation: What does a lazy fish do? Nothing! Or he swims!
Explanation: “Nada” in Spanish can be used for both “nothing” and for third-person “to swim”.
2. The Dancing Bee: Qué hace una abeja en el gimnasio? Zumba!
Translation: What does a bee do at the gym? Zumba!
Explanation: Zumba is the sound that the bee makes.
3. A beach saying hello: ¿Qué dice el mar a la playa? ¡Ola!
Translation: What did a beach say to the ocean? Hi!
Explanation: “Ola” in Spanish means wave and “Hola” means hello. Beach says hi to waves.
- The talking roof: Qué le dijo un techo a otro techo? Techo de menos.
Translation: What did one roof say to the other roof? I miss you.
Explanation: “Techo” means roof, and sounds similar to “te echo menos” which means “I miss you”.
Spanish people are known for their passion for food and you will leave the country with more than one favorite dish and restaurant. Whether you are visiting Spanish-speaking countries for fun or you just want to know more about the Spanish culture, knowing their typical food names is also a fun and educational way to learn the language.
Here are a few of the most known Spanish foods:
- Gazpacho. Is a kind of soup with red ripped tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers, and cucumber which are served in a bowl or glasses. It is most common in southern Spain.
- Paella. Famous in the Valencia region for being one of the most traditional dishes. Ingredients used include chicken or rabbit, saffron, runner and/or butter beans.
- Fideuà. Not many tourists are aware of this dish. It resembles Spanish pasta however it includes mostly seafood and it is most popular in Catalonia and Valencia.
- Tortilla. The famous Spanish omelet is also included in the traditional foods of Spain. It usually consists of chorizo, peppers, and onions, however, you can add other ingredients as you prefer. To make this dish the original way, you must flip the pan and shout “Ole!” to feel like a true Spaniard.
- Croquetas. Served on small plates, this dish is made of bechamel sauce with breadcrumbs and is usually served with a cold beer in bars.
- Migas. It mostly consists of dry breadcrumbs, fried according to preference and served with bacon.
- Leche frita. A famous Spanish dessert made from frying milk together with egg yolks and flour. After letting it chill for a couple of hours, they usually dip it in breadcrumbs to finally fry it again.
Color Names in Spanish
Last but not least, to make your Spanish learning journey even more enjoyable you must add a little “color” to your vocabulary, literally. Understanding the colors in Spanish improves your basic vocabulary skills and helps you in your daily conversations.
We have provided a list of the most common colors and their English equivalent.
- Blue – Azul
- Red – Rojo
- Pink – Rosado
- Orange – Anaranjado
- Green – Verde
- Purple – Morado
- Yellow – Amarillo
- Brown – Marrón
- Black – Negro
10 Common Spanish Mistakes to Avoid
Considering you are here to take tips on the quickest way to learn Spanish, there is also the possibility of making mistakes along the way. However, there is no need to worry, as the famous saying goes “You learn from your mistakes,” since learning a foreign language is never a simple task.
So, here are the 10 most common mistakes you can make while learning Spanish:
- The incorrect verb usage after the noun “Gente” (people)
Although the noun “people” in English is plural, in Spanish it is singular and the suitable verb for it is “es” not “son.”
- Difference between “Muy” and “Mucho”
The English equivalent of “Muy” is “very” and it is usually used in front of an adjective or adverb. In comparison, “Mucho” has two uses: “a lot” and “many.”
- Corres muy rápido. – You run very fast.
- Tienes mucho potencial. – You have a lot of potential.
- Difference between “Moño” and “Mono”
Moño translates to a “bun” – putting your hair up in a bun.
Mono translates to a “monkey.”
- Difference between Uña and Una
Uña translates to “fingernail” or “toenail.”
Una is the feminine form of the number one.
- Difference between “Pollo” and “Polla”
Polla translates to “chicken.”
Pollo translates to a male organ.
- “Embarazarse” does not mean “I’m embarrassed”
“Estoy embarazado/a” translates to “I’m pregnant” and not to the popular belief: “I am embarrassed”. “I am embarrassed” translates to “Estoy avergonzado /a.”
- Difference between “Hambre”, “Hombre”, and “Hombro”
Hombre translates to “man.”
Hambre translates to “hunger.”
Hombro translates to “shoulder.”
- Don’t say “gracias para..”
A common mistake for foreigners learning Spanish is using “por” and not “para” when saying “Thank you for something”.
- The translation of “I don’t understand”
Most people believe that saying “No comprendo” means “ I don’t understand”. However, the more natural and common translation is “No entiendo”. You can use “No comprendo” in cases when you have difficulties with comprehension.
- Pronouncing the letter “H”
When foreigners speak Spanish, one of the most common mistakes in pronunciation is saying the letter “H”. It is considered a silent letter so you should act like it isn’t even there. For example: Do not say “Hospital”, instead say “Ospital”, and remove the H. This applies in speaking only.