Some Tips to Help You Speed Up Your Spanish Learning
Although this article is not a complete guide on ‘how to learn Spanish fast’ the few tips and ideas outlined below could go a long way towards speeding up your Spanish language learning efforts. Described in this article are a few simple ideas for those who are trying to learn Spanish quickly.
Whether you want to learn Latin American Spanish, Mexican Spanish or Castilian Spanish and are wondering ‘how can I learn Spanish fast’ then this article is for you.
Even though these tips and ideas may help to reduce your learning time the hard truth is that if you are intent on learning any language in a hurry you will need to be highly motivated and possess a good level of self-discipline. Time and effort will be required!
Full Spanish Immersion without Leaving The Country
The majority of modern researchers tend to agree that a total immersion in the country of your chosen language is the quickest way to learn and achieve fluency in that language. By being ‘thrown into the deep end’ of the Spanish language you would be forced to absorb the culture and translate the daily necessities of life from your native language to Spanish and thus learn to speak fluent Spanish very quickly – the old ‘sink or swim’ idea.
Now this is all very well if we have the necessary resources to travel to and spend time in a Spanish speaking country. For the large majority of people this is not an option. It is possible however, if we apply ourselves, to immerse ourselves in the Spanish language without having to leave the country.
By ‘thinking in Spanish’ as much as possible on a daily basis it is possible to go some way towards immersing ourselves in the language. We can do this by translating the things around us into Spanish as much as possible – our conversations, the things we see and the things we do.
We could start with the first part of our day. For example the first conversation we might have with someone on any given day could involve the simple greeting “good morning” – translated to Spanish we have “buenos días”. The first thing we do in a day might be to prepare and “eat breakfast” – “desayunar”.
By starting in the morning and translating our whole day into Spanish it is easy to see how quickly we could build up our vocabulary and our conversational abilities. Basically when we walk, talk, eat, sleep and think in Spanish we soon learn to speak Spanish.
If you really need to learn how to speak Spanish fast, of all the tips in this article this first one is probably the most useful. If you apply this technique you will certainly learn Spanish more quickly. Taking a pocket phrase book with you everywhere and using the google translate tool will help you a lot!
Learn Only What You Need To Know And Forget The Rest Till Later
There is no doubt that learning a new language can be overwhelming. A good tip here is to focus on exactly why you are learning Spanish. It may be to get that new promotion that only a bilingual employee will be hired for, or it may be to speak without embarrassment when on an upcoming trip to Mexico or Spain. Perhaps you have met that someone special and their family are all native Spanish speakers.
The recommendation here is to first learn the basics of what you will really need right away. Basically you focus on the vocabulary and conversational Spanish that you will likely encounter the most.
If your reason for learning the Spanish language is for business then you may need to know how to greet people, get them to the right department or ask them important questions regarding their visit or the particular project being worked on at the moment. You will need to focus on learning what you could call ‘Business Spanish’.
Perhaps you are entering a career in the medical profession. This is one area where a huge volume of very specific vocabulary will need to be learned. Again your focus should be on learning ‘medical Spanish’ and building up your vocabulary in this area as fast as you can.
If your reason is an upcoming vacation or other trip abroad then learn the essentials, vocabulary you might need at the airport, what to say to a taxi driver or maybe how to ask for directions.
Focusing on why you are learning Spanish and then concentrating your learning efforts on the topics, vocabulary and conversations specific to your reason will help you to achieve a basic building block of language in a surprisingly short space of time. With this ‘building block’ of Spanish under your belt you can then quickly add to it and fill in the rest as you go.
Find An Outlet To Practice Speaking Spanish
One of the most important phases of learning any language is the act of physically speaking that language and being able to listen to and understand when it is spoken back to you. This is one of the reasons why immersion works so well.
The more you practice actually having conversations in the Spanish language and listening to it being spoken back to you the faster you will learn. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect“. If you can listen to or engage in conversation with a native Spanish speaker so much the better.
This is all well and good if you live in an area that has numbers of Spanish speaking people in the community or if you have some Spanish speaking friends you can practice with. Even if you don’t there’s still a way you can practice your Spanish speaking using the internet.
There are a number of online meeting places which are geared specifically towards people from all parts of the world getting together to practice the various different languages that they are trying to learn. Many of these meeting places are attached to a forum so a google search for language learning forums would be a good place to start.
Once you’ve found a good online meeting place the thing to do is sarch for a native Spanish speaker who is trying to learn English. By getting together online you can listen to each other’s pronunciation and then correct or make suggestions to each other. This is like having your own Spanish tutor without having to pay for it.
Finding a good and reputable online meeting place may take some research though. Meetup.com and language-exchanges.org are two good places for people like you wanting to learn another language to start.
If you can find one or two reliable partners to practice speaking with you will be able to really fast track your conversational Spanish abilities.
Take Your Lessons With You Every Day And Everywhere
Today, in our busy lives we often say things like ‘if only I had the time’ or ‘I’m way too busy for this’. If you’re a person with a hectic lifestyle (or not) and would like to learn Spanish quickly you may find yourself becoming frustrated by the perceived lack of time you have to engage in your language learning lessons. However, it is very likely that you have more time than you realise – you just need to ‘think outside the box’ a little.
If you really think about it there are probably many times during your day or week when you could squeeze in a little Spanish learning. When we have the motivation to do something we may be surprised how just a few minutes here and there can really add up!
Try downloading some Spanish audio lessons onto a small MP3 player and taking that with you everywhere you go. You’ll be amazed at just how many opportunities present themselves for you to spend a few minutes learning Spanish.
For example, if you drive to work it could be the perfect time to pop in an MP3 and take a Spanish audio lesson. You may have time at the gym while on the treadmill – you could easily squeeze in half an hour there. Your daily commute – what about the subway, train or bus, these could be a great times too.
Another great way to take your Spanish lessons with you is by purchasing a book or magazine in Spanish. Are you a fisherman, a gardener or golfer? – whatever your interest there are Spanish books and magazines available on the subject! By getting your hands on some books or magazines on subjects you are keenly interested in you will be much more likely to put in the effort required to take them with you to read and translate.
Yet another option for taking your Spanish learning with you is to avail of one or more free Spanish learning apps for your smart phone or tablet (if you have one). Some of these apps may have a small charge after a few lessons are completed but by then you will know if you like the format or not.
One of the keys to learning Spanish fast is using your time wisely. As you can see there are many ways to do this. The few ideas listed above should give you some food for thought and help you to identify some of the times in your own busy life where it might be possible to squeeze in some extra Spanish lessons. By consistently doing so you will greatly reduce the time it takes to learn the language and even a complete beginner will advance quickly.
Learn to Speak Spanish Quickly And Have Fun Doing It
We like to think of ourselves as adults that can learn with no need to have some fun. Well, while this is true, if we can introduce a little fun into our learning it will make that learning a more enjoyable experience overall and one that we are more likely to make some time for.
When we try to learn something in a hurry (Spanish in this case), we undoubtedly put ourselves under a certain amount of stress or pressure – especially if we are complete beginners to the Spanish language. One of the quickest ways to relieve this stress is to engage in some light hearted or fun activities. So, how then do we have some fun while learning Spanish?
Many modern Spanish courses both online and offline include some sort of learning games. A typical game might involve the use of flash cards where you score points for guessing the correct words that should go with the pictures on the cards. Another game involving cards requires you to choose a card from a number of cards which are laid out face down on a table and then try to choose a second identical card either from memory or by guessing. These kind of games are great for quickly building up your vocabulary and the Spanish phrases you know.
A number of the more popular online Spanish courses have Spanish learning games built into their software. These kind of games will often put you under the pressure of time to figure out some Spanish vocabulary or grammar before you loose a life – or something like that. This is great for helping you to practice and learn some Spanish in a more light hearted manner. Also if you use a smart phone you will find that there are a number of Spanish learning apps which include games of one sort or another.
If you enjoy a hobby of some kind – let’s say you’re a fisherman, then an enjoyable way to learn some useful Spanish would be to read some Spanish fishing magazines or even find a good Spanish fishing blog. By learning all of the Spanish words, phrases and vocabulary associated with a subject you are keenly interested in you will be doing some learning that feels less like work and more like play!
The truth is that if you want to learn to speak Spanish fast it will take a good deal of work on your part. Any activity that introduces some fun and interest into this ‘work’ can only be a good thing. It will help you to do some learning when maybe you are tired and don’t really feel like ‘working’. Make sure to include some ‘fun’ in your Spanish lessons – over time it will help you to grasp the language just that little bit more quickly.
Know Your Learner Type
This is something that very few people ever think about or are even aware of. When we learn something new we generally learn in three different ways. We learn from what we see, from what we hear and by what we do. Most things we learn will involve a combination of these.
The fact is that although we all use the three different ‘senses’ to learn, some of us lean more heavily on one specific sense. What this means is that most of us can be defined as a specific type of learner. We have people who learn better by seeing – ‘visual learners’, people who learn better by hearing – ‘auditory learners’ and people who learn better by doing or feeling – ‘kinesthetic learners’.
If you know your specific learner type it can help you to choose methods of learning that will work better for you and avoid those type of lessons that you might find more difficult. For example, if you are a visual learner who is trying to learn mostly by listening to audio lessons you might find it slow going. If however you have the written transcripts of the content of those audio lessons in front of you so you can also read the words you are hearing you will most likely learn that much faster.
As you can see knowing your learner type can be a big advantage when you are trying to learn something quickly. Also, not knowing your learner type could in fact slow you down and have the effect of holding you back from learning rapidly.
Since knowing your learner type is such an advantage to anyone trying to learn Spanish we have dedicated a whole article to the subject on another page of this site. If you would like to find out more about the three different learner types and discover which one you might be then I strongly recommend you read this other article here.
Is This The Fastest Way To Learn Spanish?
Applying any one of the tips listed in the article so far will undoubtedly help you to speed up your Spanish language education. If however you are really motivated and implement all of the ideas described above then your learning time can be seriously reduced.
In order to put into practice all of the ideas given to you in this article you will need to be very motivated and it goes without saying that quite a lot of effort will be required on your part. What if there was a way to take some of the ‘work’ out of this. Well, the good news is that many of the modern online Spanish courses are designed with features and content that allow you to easily implement all of the tips described above and as such learn as quickly as possible.
The more popular Online Spanish Programs typically have the following features:
• Downloadable audio lessons you can take with you anywhere.
• Voice recognition software so you can check your pronunciation.
• A forum or learning centre where you can access a Spanish Tutor via Skype.
• Interactive learning games.
• Learning modules geared towards everyday life eg. at home, at work, at the restaurant, etc.
• Reading material you can download, print out and take with you.
As you can see a good online Spanish course will usually have all the Spanish learning material you need to help you learn as fast as possible and all in the one place. The well laid out structure of these programs is also particularly good for allowing beginners to learn Spanish quickly.
Not all courses have all of the features listed so you’ll need to do a little bit of research to find which one is the best program to learn Spanish fast for you. Four good courses worth checking out are Rocket Spanish, Rosetta Stone Spanish, Pimsleur Spanish and Fluenz Spanish.
Quick Summary – ‘How to Learn Spanish Quickly’
• Immerse yourself in Spanish as much as possible.
• Focus your learning on what you need to know the most.
• Practice speaking Spanish with a native Spanish speaker as much as possible.
• Take some learning material with you everywhere and every day.
• Make an effort to introduce some fun into your language Learning.
• Find out what your learner type is.
• Find a good online Spanish course for your main source of learning material.
If you use all (or any) of the tips given in this article, the time it takes you to learn the Spanish language will be somewhat reduced. Although these tips will help you to learn Spanish more quickly there is no escaping the fact that motivation, discipline and hard work will be required.
A good place to start on your quest to learn Spanish fast would be to check out some of the online courses mentioned earlier. Rocket Spanish in particular has a very useful six day free trial which you can sign up for at this page.
How to Learn Just About Anything Fast
Although the video below is not at all about learning Spanish but more about learning a new skill, some of the ideas could still be applied to your Spanish learning and might just help to shorten your learning time.
The speaker in the video makes a very interesting claim that you can learn just about anything in just 20 hours – that’s just about 40 mins a day over the period of one month. He talks about how to focus, removing distractions and researching the best ways to learn.
Some Related Articles
You might find these articles useful. The first one listed gives a brief description of the Online Spanish Programs mentioned in the article above. The second one listed discusses the different ways to go about learning Spanish and evaluates the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of each.
Popular Online Spanish Programs – Read it HERE
Do You Know the Different Ways to Learn Spanish? – Click Here to Read