Are you fluent in Spanish?
Have you ever wondered why you could not fully understand a native Spanish speaker, after completing a spanish course?
Here’s what I’ve learned after spending loads of money on a Spanish course, countless books, dvds, and cds. Yes, loads of money. Smile. You can learn to read and write in Spanish—but what good is that if you are not speaking it fluently, right? I’m just joking (Solo bromeó), there is some good in that because if you happen to visit or move to a Spanish speaking country you will need to know how to get from point A to point B by reading maps, street names, booking a hotel room and finding airport information. iLove Puerto Rico 💕💕💕💕💕🇵🇷 Ha! one would also need to know how to order food in Spanish from a restaurant menu and es importante (that’s important). Some key things to know about learning Spanish, if you haven’t taken any classes, is to first know how to pronounce words in Spanish. I know that’s a no brainer. Smile. That being said, one would need to thoroughly learn the Spanish alphabet and I stress thoroughly because it helps one speak and read Spanish effectively. Begin with memorizing and saying the Spanish alphabet aloud and you can find numerous free tutorial videos online related to the Spanish alphabet that could help you in that area.
A few years ago, I learned to speak Spanish through interactive videos online pertaining to all things related to Spanish grammar and I memorized the Spanish alphabet. I’m just going to pause right here for a second and state, “by no means am I a certified Spanish educator and I think you should take a formal class to learn Spanish; I am just sharing what helped me learn Spanish.” Thank you for understanding that I had to make that statement. Back to sharing, after you learn the alphabet, try building basic sentences with words such as: I have, you have, I need, and you need. For example, if you were using the word “I need” it would translate to “Necesito” in Spanish then you could build a sentence by adding “to drink water” (beber agua). Then I would make a list of all the things one could possibly need and my list would be written in Spanish and English, in order for me to learn the word meaning. Quite often, I found myself using the translation app or going through SpanishDict.com (I have no affiliation with them), to translate English words into Spanish. Here’s another example, I need to go to the store is translated in Spanish, like so: Necesito ir a la tienda. After practicing and building good sentences, I would then practice speaking Spanish with my family and friends.
When I wanted to further my learning, I would write it down in a notebook and build conversations on my own by using a language translator app and I would then record myself speaking in Spanish. That is were my memory was put to the test after listening to myself speak Spanish, on my voice recorder. The key here is training your ear to be able to understand Spanish by building strong listening comprehension skills. Constantly, immersing oneself with listening to Spanish on a regular basis by playing your recordings of speaking Spanish builds your vocabulary and helps one speak with ease—that has been my experience. I also, found that you could turn learning a language into a couples or family game night by simply making flash cards that contain English/Spanish phrases and words on them and then place a large dry erase board onto an easel, in order to write the words on it. Next, coordinate teams and use the flash cards to write the word in English/Spanish on the dry erase board and the selected team members have to say and guess the word in Spanish or English within a certain time period that you set. Fun times. And I’ve always wanted to learn how to speak Spanish after meeting my wonderful Sunday school teacher back when I was 10 years old. She was such a Blessing!
Another way I’ve actively learned Spanish was by reading a Spanish newspaper (periódico) online and by following a Spanish speaking country (país) social media news page. Some of the pages have where you can click on the translation button and see the caption in your language. Once you have become familiarized with reading aloud in Spanish it is best to subscribe to a Spanish speaking podcast and this is another way of building Spanish listening comprehension skills. That’s it, listening comprehension is the missing key! While in college or learning on your own, one will definitely have the reading and writing comprehension down; but most likely you will not have the listening comprehension part mastered. Actively listening to Spanish that is spoken within your level—helps one build a strong listening comprehension skill. If you want to know your level, there are free Spanish proficiency tests online and you could find out your level within the same day.
Currently, I am conversing in Spanish more with my family and friends. When it comes to listening to Spanish, I am subscribed to several Spanish speaking podcasts which are: News in Slow Spanish, Notes in Spanish, and Coffee Break Spanish. Cheers to everyone (saludos a todos) who are on a journey to becoming fluent in speaking and understanding Spanish. Staying immersed into listening and speaking Spanish helps me maintain my ability to converse with others in Spanish. I stay immersed by listening to several Spanish speaking podcast, conversing with family, friends, and a native Spanish speaking tutor from iTalki.com I hope this has helped someone or better yet inspired someone to learn a new language. Please share in the comments section some of your Spanish speaking strategies and if you tried any of the methods I’ve used. Thank you for tuning in. Peace & Blessings.
I’ve included a brief list of Spanish books that I used throughout my journey of learning Spanish and for a limited time a few of them are on sale. Enjoy!
If you are interested in learning a new language and/or want to practice your listening comprehension skills, try iTalki, and you will not be disappointed. With iTalki you can Skype with a professional teacher and/or tutor for rates as low as $7.50/hr -$20/hr You get to decide on which option suits you best.
And if, you rather learn Spanish on your own then I would suggest learning with Babbel by downloading the app below and you will not be disappointed: