Is learning Spanish really easy? It depends on how you look at it and how you choose to reach your goal of learning the Spanish language. If you think that you will have to spend many hours memorizing Spanish grammar and vocabulary rules, learn long lists of Spanish words and fear being laughed at by others as you twist your tongue into unfamiliar positions trying to pronounce Spanish phrases, learning Spanish can be quite difficult for you. You must change this way of thinking. Think about how learning Spanish is going to enrich your life and how you will benefit from it. If you welcome new opportunities. If you are curious and like to learn new things and learn about different Hispanic people, food, music and cultures, learning Spanish can be easy and even fun.
I am not a native Spanish speaker. In fact, in high school all I knew how to say in Spanish was “tacos” and “tortillas”. However, I was able to teach myself how to read, write and speak Spanish well enough to eventually become an English-Spanish interpreter and even help others in their quest to become Spanish Speaking. How did I do it? Below you will find some tips that helped me and without a doubt will help you too to make learning Spanish easy.
* Watch Spanish TV Shows
A good strategy to help you get used to hearing the Spanish language is watching Spanish TV programs. Watch Spanish news channels, documentaries and history programs to learn the correct Spanish pronunciation of the most common Spanish words. Watch Spanish soap operas, comedies and movies to learn more about Spanish culture, jokes, slang and other idiomatic expressions.
How is it possible to learn Spanish from TV shows and programs without understanding the language? The point is to just get started watching and listening even if you understand 0% of what you’re hearing.
Many days and weeks can go by where you believe that you’re not making any progress but believe me, the brain is “learning” even though you don’t realize it and without much conscious effort on your part. This is some of the “easy” in learning Spanish but it takes time.
This is where many people become discouraged after a while. They cannot “perceive” any advancement in their ability to understand Spanish and the brain wants to revert back to the “familiar”. It takes some discipline in the beginning to listen to a foreign language for long periods of time without understanding anything because it feels like being lost somewhere on the highways of a strange big city during rush hour. People just want to go back home to a place they already know and love and that feels “safe” to them: Their own native language. Hang in there, you will reach your goal of becoming Spanish Speaking if you persevere. Don’t give up!
* Listen to Spanish Music
Another useful tip in learning more about the Spanish language is to listen to Spanish music. Using music to learn Spanish phrases and eventually become fluent in Spanish is very effective because the lyrics of songs are usually repeated over and over again. This repetition in itself is a strong way to reinforce the learning of Spanish vocabulary, or anything else for that matter, and the repeating of Spanish sentences to the melody of music is even more powerful. Just think about all those commercial jingles you can still remember and all those musical nursery rhymes you learned as a kid… How could you ever forget them?
If by chance some Spanish words or phrases were not clear to you the last time your heard the song, just play the CD or MP3 all over again and again.
* Read Spanish Publications
You might ask, “How can I read Spanish words or any literature in Spanish if I don’t know Spanish yet?” The answer is: It’s easier than you might think. The Spanish language is different from English in that the letters in Spanish words are always pronounced the same way every time you see them, so all you have to do is learn a few simple rules of letter pronunciation and you will be able to “read” almost anything in Spanish even though you can’t understand the full meaning of all the words and sentences yet.
This will help you greatly because you will be able to practice and improve your Spanish accent as you read out loud while learning to become familiar with Spanish words in print. You will also recognize and be able to pronounce words and sentences you are hearing and learning as you watch those Spanish TV programs and listen to Spanish music which I talked about in an earlier article.
You will see that some words are used a lot more than other words, and others hardly at all. It will become like a giant jigsaw puzzle and little by little the pieces will slowly start fitting together.
* Carry an English / Spanish Dictionary
Having an English / Spanish Dictionary with you helps you to look up unfamiliar words quickly. Words you look up can be used immediately or they can be jotted down for later study. Get a small one to carry around with you and a large one for your office or workplace.
Be curious and look up many of the unfamiliar and interesting words you hear and see in the dictionary.
Another thing I did when I was learning Spanish is, I carried a traveling notebook with me that I would use to write down words in Spanish I was unfamiliar with. I also wrote down phrases and words in English that I wanted to find the Spanish equivalent for. This will be more of a help to you as you become more and more advanced in learning and speaking Spanish.
* Use Learning Guides
Do all those “learning Spanish books”, Spanish videos and Spanish audio CD’s, DVD’s and MP3’s really work to make learning Spanish easier? I always tell people, that they’re like all the different kinds of exercise machines and gadgets available on the market today. Some are better than others but most of them will work for you if you can stay motivated enough to keep using them.
These were just a couple of tips on how you can make your goal of learning Spanish easy. Get started today and take your first step towards learning Spanish the easy way.
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