Tips to learn Spanish as fast as possible
I was reading a few articles online about how others learned Spanish as fast as possible. Most articles I found were from a site called Fluent in Three Months. This guy had all these tips on how he was able to learn Spanish really fast, even before arriving in Spain. His blog also includes articles from several other people who’ve attempted this feat successfully, including a link to a YouTube video from two guys who aimed to learn Spanish in 11 weeks.
I’m combining everything I read from all of these articles and blogs and also linking to some of them on this article so that you can resource the originals. Some of the articles I didn’t link to but if you go to the fluentinthreemonths web site and do a search there for Spanish, you’ll find everything you could ever need about learning the language fast.1 The first thing that most of these people had in common was creating a rule for themselves to stop speaking English immediately (or as much as possible) once they landed in their country (or once they decided to learn Spanish). If ruling english out completely proved too difficult, some assigned certain days as “Spanish only” days. This was not only in instances of conversation, it also included watching TV and visiting websites.
They said that your initial frustration for not knowing how to say something in Spanish will slowly dissolve but in the meantime, you have to push through it. Maybe think of yourself as playing the Taboo game, everyday.
Also, when it comes to ruling out English. The guys said, “do not apologize for trying to speak, for not knowing a word or for stuttering. Just keep speaking in Spanish.”
The most important thing that everyone has said across the board – was to not worry about frustrating Spaniards with your attempt to speak. And do not try to be a perfectionist. Just keep going at it no matter your level, or your perfect understanding of conjugations, or irregulars. Pretty soon, your Spanish will pick up quickly.2 On top of the above, everyone suggests to start speaking Spanish immediately. No matter the size of your vocabulary just start speaking. 3 Immersion is always the best way to learn spanish as fast as you can. FluentIn3Months.com explains that this also means changing your thinking as well. To not only attempt Spanish when you are just forced to, but to try to listen to the radio, podcasts, watch films and talk to strangers (intentionally and constantly). He also explains how to get around the impossibilities of immersion when you’re trying to learn a new language in your own home town when it may not ‘traditionally’ have a lot of natives. He shows a really great video of a guy that he met in Ohio (or some non-major state like that) that goes to the mall on daily basis and he attempts to start conversations with any random person that he hears speaking a foreign language. It’s so fun to watch him do. I can’t seem to find this video again but when I find it,I’ll relink it here. 4 I also read a post from one guy who said that since he was a better writer in Spanish he would write what he wanted to say and then speak it, after a while into the conversation, his brain switched and he was better able to think of the words and verb tenses faster out loud with less brain hesitation. To that same principle, there is a guy that says creating video diaries was a huge factor in helping him to speak Spanish better and faster. I could see how this would work because you aren’t inhibiting yourself from saying anything (like you do when you feel self-conscious speaking to a native). You kind of reinforce what you learn to yourself out loud. 5 Free apps. For us, we really wanted to brush up on our Spanish fast so that we could get apartments and get by in Salamanca, fast. To do this, we downloaded RosettaStone on our Nook (or iPad) and went through the courses there. Even if you already know most of the basics that the free lesson is giving you, the app gives you some confidence to speak.
Something else that Benny recommends on his site is changing your iTunes country to spanish. Once you do this a ton of Spanish-english how-to podcasts pop up and are really great to listen to.
Intercambia exchange. Where you get to practice speaking with someone that wants to improve their english while you improve your Spanish. Here are the two sites that I use, LanguageExchange and mylanguageexchange.com. I get a lot more hits on the my language exchange.com link. Then I get to practice with native speakers. Couchsurfing might be a good place to start to because you don’t necessarily have to host your place, you can meet up with someone that might be stopping by your city for a quick language exchange over coffee. Oh! Also meetup.com has Spanish language exchange options, for example, I know they have a coffee meet up in Spanish every Wednesday morning in Denver.6
Spanish music movies and TV. Everyone says that movies helped them learn english, especially slang and conversational versus textbooks. The Spanish school in Salamanca, Dice, recommends singing Spanish music to perfect your Spanish pronunciation and learn new verbs.
Here are few artists that have great music in Spanish that I like to listen to. You can list to some of their music in the article titled: My favorite Spanish songs.
Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera, Gaby Moreno, Si*Se, Lhasa,
I’d like to compile a list of Spanish movies as well… when I have some good ones.