Do you want to learn Spanish faster?
Hey, Rocky here.
Today we’re going to talk about three things that can help you learn Spanish faster and better.
Before I get into those three things, I have a really quick story for you.
I recently went to Medellin, Colombia with three of my friends.
Two of us speak Spanish and two of us don’t speak Spanish.
Now with one of my friends that didn’t speak Spanish, he had the mentality of, “Whatever, I’m not trying to learn Spanish. Y’all can translate for me. I’m just trying to have a good time.”
My other friend was determined to learn Spanish.
He said that he was going to do whatever it took to learn Spanish and test it for this trip.
I asked him if he needed any help and he said,”Nah, I got this.”
Well, alrighty then…
He’s taken Spanish in school, but that was years ago and he forgot everything he learned in school. Typical, right?
He said he was going to train with some Spanish apps…
I don’t know which ones he was using but he said he seemed to be excited about the trip and determined to test his Spanish.
We land in Medellin, get off the plane and we’re walking through border control and he’s already having trouble understanding the security guards that are asking him questions.
Boom, it’s like an immediate punch to his confidence.
Throughout the trip in Colombia, he received more punches to his confidence.
That’s because he had trouble understanding Spanish there and speaking it.
He often froze up when being talked to and eventually got to the point where he was like, “Okay, forget this. Y’all can just translate for me.”
In today’s article, I want to give you three tips that can help you kind of avoid that situation.
So you can avoid preparing the wrong way in Spanish.
The first tip to keep it simple and relevant to your situation.
If I was my friend going to a Spanish-speaking country for the first time and I didn’t know Spanish, I would prepare by trying to think about what are the situations I’m going to be in.
They’re going to ask me things like ‘why am I here?’
I would have studied how to say that properly.
I would have studied how to say, “I’m here for vacation.”
Keep it relevant.
If you know you’re going to have to go to the grocery store or restaurants, which we all do when we travel, then figure out how to say simple things relating to that.
Study how to properly order food, think about what the waiter would be asking you in Spanish.
Keep it simple, keep it relevant.
What I mean by keep it simple is for example, I did a recent video on should you use the future tense or should you use the Ir + Infinitive?
In the video, I made the argument that if you’re new to Spanish, you should use the Ir + Infinitive because that doesn’t require you to learn as many conjugation rules.
If you simply know the conjugation of the IR + Infinitive then you can easily speak in the future.
It doesn’t require you to learn all the future-tense conjugations for every verb, you simply know Ir + Infinitive and then you add the verb after that.
That’s an example what I mean by keep it simple but also keep it relevant to your situation and your needs.
The next thing I would recommend that you do is try to find similarities in between your language and Spanish.
I have a friend from Italy…
He was recently at my house for a few weeks and we talked about Italian and Spanish, and he let me listen to some Italian music and I was able to understand some of it simply because some of the words sounded like Spanish words.
If you speak English, try to find those same similarities with English and Spanish.
Words like chocolate, which is the exact same in Spanish just pronounced differet…
Or like the word car, which is “carro” in Spanish.
Try to find words that are very similar in both languages so that you can understand the context that they’re used in or you already know how they’re used, now you just have to learn the Spanish way to say it.
Learn those similar words and then really learn how to pronounce those words properly so that you are learning Spanish sounds…
And then when you hear those words, it’s easy to pick them out.
The better you can do this, the better you’ll be able to speak and comprehend Spanish when you get in those situations.
The last thing I will say, remain consistent and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
There’s this thing called the dip, Seth Godin talks about this dip.
Whenever we want to learn something new, we are at the start of the dip.
We’re excited to learn something new but then we realize that it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take some time, so our confidence and excitement drops.
That’s what happened to my friend.
Over time, as you get better, you’ll regain that confidence and then you’ll surpass it.
It might take time, because learning to speak a new language doesn’t happen overnight.
You’re going to go through this dip, but just know that if you continue to practice, you’ll be far better than you ever thought was possible.
But you have to remain consistent, and you can’t be afraid of making mistakes.
That’s how you learn. The only way to grow is through learning from your mistakes.
Don’t worry about people making fun of you or anything like that.
For the most part, native speakers won’t make fun of you, they will be happy.
I could say this as a native speaker, we like when non-natives attempt to learn our language and converse with us in our language.
It’s a form of respect, especially when you got to these other countries and they see you trying to speak their language instead of thinking you’re too BIG for them and they need to be speaking your language.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
If you’re really serious about skyrocketing your Spanish speaking and comprehension ability, you should check out our Seven Day Spanish Course.
Rocky is the founder of Speak Spanish Faster. He’s helped thousands of students all over the world speak Spanish faster through his proprietary methods of training.