Learning any language can be a tricky business and the truth is that there is no perfect substitute for getting out there and practising with native speakers. Spanish, like any other language, requires time and dedication to master and if you don’t find yourself completely immersed in the culture, then you’re going to have to try even harder to get to grips with this new skill.
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to boost your chances of success and we are going to take a look at some of the most popular and a few that you might not have considered before.
Listen to podcasts
One of the hardest things about learning a new language like Spanish is trying to separate the words as a native speaker is talking. Naturally, they speak incredibly fast and you’re not accustomed to where one word ends and another one begins.
Audio recordings like podcasts are often done at a much slower rate in order to get the information across to the listener, so it is completely different to a conversation. You can take time to listen to these on a variety of different topics, so you’ll always have something that interests you.
Play video games in Spanish
If you enjoy playing video games or slots, then it may be possible to change the language settings at the site where you access these games. You can usually head to your player profile and look for the available options.
If you are just getting started with slot sites, then it’s a good idea to check out low wagering casino bonus offers to get things underway. Low wagering options mean that any bonus credit you secure when creating a new account doesn’t have to be played through an excessive number of times. You will get the full enjoyment without having to spend an extensive period of time playing games to satisfy this caveat.
Change TV series and movie audio
When you are just starting out, it can seem a little daunting trying to watch a film in another language. And the truth is, you aren’t going to understand very much for quite some time.
Rather than diving straight into a long film and simply changing the audio to Spanish, try watching something you’re familiar with and also use subtitles to help you along your way.
Many learners will choose to start with a series they know, such as Friends for example. They know the dialogue very well in English, so they don’t feel lost when trying to watch in Spanish.
Change tech languages
This might seem like a bit of a punishment rather than a learning curve, but it can be an effective method for helping you out with day-to-day tasks. Changing your TV, mobile and other gadgets into the target language will force you to learn how to achieve things in another way.
Again, you will be familiar with many of the settings in English and should have a good idea of what they will be in Spanish. This repetitive type of task is good for getting the information to stay in your brain where you need it!
There are many different apps available for you to download to your mobile and they can help get you started with Spanish. Brands such as Duo Lingo are easy to find and most have a free trial or a basic version that are free or low-cost. Many people would agree that it’s a good way to build a foundation, as you’ll get to learn new constructions and vocabulary but you will reach a point where you need to practise what you learn.
Listen to Spanish radio
This can be another effective way to tune your ear into another language such as Spanish. However, most radio shows are fairly fast-paced in order to keep the listener energised. A fast-speaking Spaniard on a crackly radio might not do you any favours if you are a beginner!
Read Spanish books
Reading in another language is the perfect way to build your vocabulary and also increase the range of topics that you are able to understand. But don’t begin with Don Quixote and expect to enjoy the learning curve!
Instead, go for something a little more lowbrow with simple verbs and adjectives that you won’t need to research every 5 seconds. It is important to enjoy and understand the storyline without going backwards and forwards to a dictionary. Underline the words that you don’t understand and then check them all out at the same time later on.
In the beginning, learning grammar and vocabulary from a textbook is a great idea, as they are very structured and will help you build a decent foundation. As you progress with the language, you might find textbooks are less useful to you unless you are studying for an exam.
A language like Spanish is built on very specific rules that anyone can learn—such as changing the ends of verbs to agree with the subject. It takes a little time to master but it is something that you can do ‘parrot fashion’ to help you. Regardless of where you are, you can repeat the various endings to try and get them to stick. You may get a few strange looks while sitting on the bus, but everyone will understand what you are doing!
If you don’t find yourself living in a Spanish-speaking country and completely immersed in that way of life, then the next best thing is to find someone to practise with in your hometown or online.
There are various websites devoted to matching people up with someone who is trying to learn your language and can also help you out with their language in exchange.
You can meet up and spend a little time practising in both languages, but make sure that the other person doesn’t dominate the conversation.