Spanish is the 2nd most natively spoken language in the world. It’s incredibly useful to learn for work if you’re living in the United States, or if you want to travel abroad and explore Latin America or Spain.
Learning a new language can be tough, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and efficient. Here at Refold, our mission is to help learners reach their fluency goals. Here are some tips and tricks to help you understand Spanish faster than you can say “ferrocarril.
For many, this may seem counterintuitive. How are you supposed to learn a language if you don’t practice speaking it? Rest assured, by focusing on comprehension, you’ll find yourself able to speak more and more naturally, without having a speaking-intensive approach. Your speech won’t be perfect (at first), but by understanding what you read and hear you’ll find it easier to navigate abroad, immerse in your target language, and even make friends!
Immerse, immerse, immerse!
Immerse! What does that mean? It means submerging yourself in the language.
How? Throw yourself into the juicy drama of a spicy telenovela. Sing along to your favorite reggaeton music. Watch sitcoms and read comics in Spanish. Make friends at the local Mexican restaurant. Go to the country or a local barrio where Spanish is spoken.
Can’t go to the country? With a little thing called the internet, you can bring the country to you! Immersing from the comfort of your own home has never been easier. Want to learn how? We wrote a guide about how to do just that. Read it here.
The great thing about Spanish is that it shares a lot of words with English. These “shared words” are called “cognates” and you don’t need to learn them. In fact, of the top 5,000 words used in Spanish, 2700 of them are cognates and another 1000 of them are derived from other common words.
That means you only need to learn 1300 words to reach that 5000-word mark and understand REAL Spanish conversation.
Make Spanish a part of your life.
Sure 30 minutes of study a day adds up, but once you get to the point where you can enjoy the language stop studying the language and instead study in the language. Once Spanish is part of your life, it gets easier and easier to spend more time in it — without it feeling like work. Take classes on italki, hang out with your Spanish-speaking friends, and binge-watch your favorite novela or Spanish-speaking YouTuber. The possibilities are endless.