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How To Learn Spanish — Is This The Best Way To Do It?

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If you want to know how to learn Spanish then you’re in the right place. 

Today I want to walk you through a few of the best strategies that we’ve come across to help anyone learn Spanish easier and faster.

Take a look at this picture really quick…

I snapped this picture in Madrid, Spain just minutes before writing this article for you. Madrid really is a beautiful place. You should definitely visit here to "test" your conversation skills after I get you speaking Spanish fluently 😉

Quick story for you…

It was May 8th, 2014 and I had just quit my job as a Spanish Interpreter for the United States Government.

Although I enjoyed decoding and translating all different types of Spanish, I fell in love with something else along the way and that was helping people like you learn to speak and comprehend Spanish faster.

Being a Native Spanish speaker, I always have friends and even family members come to me wanting to learn Spanish…

It’s kind of a unique combination, not only being a native English and Spanish speaker but also having studied both languages in college and actually graduating college with a degree in Spanish…

It allows me to look at learning Spanish through a different lens than most people can. It’s funny because one of the most common things I hear from friends is,

“I took a few years of Spanish in school and don’t remember anything.”

Or even better…

“I was using Rosetta Stone or [INSERT any Language App] but I’m still not fluent. I can just say a few words here and there.”


While I don’t hate the way they teach Spanish in school or on those Apps (the apps are essentially traditional school Spanish made to look cool with gamified power-ups)…

I think they are highly flawed and not very effective at training students to become conversationally fluent.

Think about it…

Have you ever met someone that learned to speak Spanish fluently through traditional school teaching or one of the Language Apps?

I didn’t think so…

The problem with these methods is that they omit the most important ingredient to becoming conversationally fluent, other than actually having conversations.

Sure they teach you tons of relevant grammar and vocabulary (which is very important)…

And that’s cool and all… 

Until you get into a conversation with somebody and freeze up like you’ve just passed your ex in the mall, while walking with your new partner. (Not speaking from past experience or anything lol)

I remember in some of my classes in college, there were non-native Spanish speaking students that knew all the grammar rules better than I did…

They knew all the advanced words, conjugations and could write a paper in Spanish far better than anything I could ever write…

But when it came time to speak or be spoken to in Spanish, everything changed. 

It’s like their brains just stopped functioning…

Or maybe went into overdrive and then self destructed.

What Happens to Most People When They Try To Learn Spanish

What usually happens is, their brain is trying to decode what it just heard (in Spanish) translate it (to English), then think of what to respond (in English) and then translate that (to Spanish)…

To say it more simply but harshly, they choke.

It’s really no different than athletes coming up short in the big moments.

For some reason, their practice and preparation didn’t prepare them for their big moment… which in Spanish is actually conversing with someone.

I’ll tell you the real reason why this happens in a second but first I want you to know that if this has ever happened to you, it’s not your fault…

It’s not that you aren’t good at learning languages…

It’s not that you don’t have a language learning gene or that you’re even too old to learn a new language (In fact, they’ve done studies to prove that adults learn language to fluency nearly as well as children… Go figure!)

It’s simply because you haven’t been exposed to the “right” way (in my 100% honest opinion) to learning Spanish.

A way that prepares you for practical conversational situations rather than an end of the week test or quiz.

A way that allows you to impress your friends and family with your new Spanish speaking ability.

Imagine going to eat at the local Mexican restaurant with your family…

It’s time to order, and everyone is ready… you still don’t know what you want yet so you decide to go last…

Really, you know what you want but you just want to impress everyone at the table.

So one by one your family members order their food, saying the meals awkwardly in a super “gringo” accent, not sure if they should try to say the word in Spanish or just say it in English.

(The little girl in this video pretty much breaks it down perfectly LOL, click play to watch it)

Let me have a Ta-Ko with Arose and Frihol-ez

“Sí, Señor un taco with arroz con frijoles for you,” says the waiter just before he looks at you, “And for you my friend, what would you like?”    

Now it’s your chance…

And you do not disappoint…

You order your meal fully in Spanish, “Sí, dame un burrito de pollo. Que el arroz y habichuelas estén aparte, por favor,” the words flowing off your tongue as you pronounce every word perfectly.

“¿Quieres algo más?” replies the waiter, not shocked at all by your Spanish. It seems as if he just assumes you’re a Native speaker.

Without hesitation you reply, “No gracias,” because you don’t need anything else.

No brain damage, no self destruction.

As the waiter walks away, your family sits there wide eyed, wondering what in the hell they just witnessed.

I’ll be honest, this is 100% possible for you but it’s not going to be easy…

I wish it was, but it won’t be.

It’s not going to happen overnight…

I wish it did, but it doesn’t.

But if you follow what I show you today then you’ll be well on your way to being able to speak and comprehend Spanish much better…

And I think you’ll be shocked at how fast you can go from where you’re at now to becoming conversationally fluent.

One thing is for sure, two things for certain…

Our training allows you to be fully confident in your Spanish learning so you won’t have to worry about wasting your money or time on methods that don’t help you move closer to your goal of speaking Spanish.

Let’s continue…

Learning Spanish Is Like Building A House

Let’s start with the foundation…

As you probably know, before you build a house you have to first put down the foundation.

The stability of the house depends on it, so if the foundation is poor your house won’t be standing for very long…

But if it’s good then you can feel safe and confident knowing you’re in a house that will last.

Building a good foundation requires a lot more than digging a hole and pouring some concrete into forms. 

It must be tailored to its site like a custom suit, taking into account soil conditions, water tables, even the quality of the backfill.

The same thing goes with learning Spanish…

And the foundation to learning any language is to learn the vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, etc.

Each individual resource is only as good as your ability to combine them together. That’s where traditional school Spanish and Apps get things wrong.

While they teach you tons of vocabulary and grammar, they are missing many other pieces to the puzzle…

And it’s why, like I mentioned earlier, students can have memorized thousands of vocabulary words, know all the conjugations and be able to write the best A+ paper in Spanish…

But not be able to understand a simple sentence from a Native Spanish speaker, much less organize their thoughts in a timely manner to be able to respond.

One of the pieces to this puzzle has to do with something that I call Rhythmic Reinforcement Training or RRT for short.

Here's What RRT Deals With:

Taking relevant conversational Spanish words and phrases -> learning and mastering their proper pronunciation -> hearing them spoken properly -> Hearing them sped up much faster as it would sound when a Native says them.

In school and in the language apps, they throw a bunch of words and phrases at you, tell you to memorize them and then move to the next section.

Very little focus is on pronunciation, which is the first piece of the foundation…

And I don’t mean simply being able to say it once so that the App allows you to move to the next lesson… 

But ACTUALLY knowing and becoming comfortable with the word and its every syllable.

Learning the RIGHT way to pronounce the words helps you sound more native when you speak… 

And it also tunes your ears to the sounds of Spanish.

This allows you to hear the difference between the Spanish “e” and the English “e”, for example… 

In this way your ears expect the correct sounds.

Once you become accustomed to this, it makes it easy to know all the syllables and words being used when spoken to you.

This is when you’ll understand the phrases spoken to you at average speeds.

But we can’t stop there…

That’s because Natives don’t speak at average speeds, do we?

Why Native Spanish Speakers Talk So Fast?

Not only do we speak fast… 

But we cut letters and put together words to make life a living hell for non-native speakers… 🙂

Only kidding… 

Well we do actually do this… 

But not because we want to make life hard for non-native speakers, but because we are lazy and want to make life easier for ourselves.

Let me give you an example…

I’m currently teaching my girlfriend Spanish…

And because she’s getting rather good at it, sometimes I’ll say something too fast for her to understand. 

She’ll tell me to slow down and say it again.

Then after that she’ll ask me to repeat the original way I said it…

Only then does she hear the sounds.

So the other day, the garbage disposal for our sink was acting up and I quickly said:

Did you understand what I said?

I said: “Oye queeh loque ta’ pasando con eso.”

That will probably sound and look like gibberish to you, just as it did for her…

So I slowed down and said:

“Qué es lo que está pasando con eso?”
Translation: What’s happening with that?

Major difference, right?

Same thing being said…

Essentially the same words being used (minus a few cut letters and a few jumbled together) but completely different sound.

Now obviously my accent and dialect will be different than other people’s (I’m Puerto Rican)…

But regardless of which country you’re in, conversational Spanish will feature many of the same aspects.

My family is from Puerto Rico…

I’ve lived in the Dominican Republic…

I’ve visited Spain and Colombia.

I have Venezuelan and Cuban friends in Miami… 

I have El Salvadorian, Honduran, Panamanian, and Mexican friends here in Washington, DC… 

And I can truthfully say we all do similar things when we speak Spanish…

Think about when you speak English…

How often do you speak in a way—whether it’s really fast or you chop a word like “Sup?”— that a non-native English speaker would have trouble understanding?

Pretty often, right?

This is the same exact thing that happens in Spanish.

Now I want you to imagine hearing the first audio again, for the first time… 

But this time in a crowd of people talking… 

Or when there’s music in the background… 

Or when there are cars honking and sirens in the streets…

You can probably imagine that things can get pretty difficult…

The thing you need to do is to continue with this Rhythmic Reinforcement training

Which again, is to take relevant conversational Spanish words and phrases… 

Learn and master their proper pronunciation… 

Hear them spoken properly… 

And finally hear them sped up much faster as it would sound when a Native says them.

The more you accustom yourself to hearing Spanish like this, the better you’ll understand it and be able to respond to it.

This will help you build the foundation that you need to become conversationally fluent.

But that’s not all…

How To Learn Spanish With Artificial Immersion

In addition to this Rhythmic Reinforcement training, you also need to be actively trying to immerse yourself as much as possible.

There’s really no better way to learn to speak Spanish than moving to another country and “actively” trying to learn.

I say actively because just moving to another country doesn’t mean you’ll learn the language.

I’ve met many expats in the countries I’ve visited that can’t speak the language of that country even though they’ve lived there for 5-10 years.

I say this so you don’t think that you have to move to another country to learn the language.

In fact, that option usually isn’t even a valid one.

Most of us have lives and families that we can’t just pick up and move to a Spanish speaking country to simply learn the language.

So the next best thing that we can do is actively try to learn Spanish at home (RRT) and try to immerse ourselves as much as possible.

One great way to do this is through “artificial immersion.”

Here’s a list of some things you can do to artificially immerse yourself:

¡Converse!

At then end of the day, you have to go out there and speak Spanish.

No matter how much practice and training you do, at some point you have to play the game.

The game in this instance is actually partaking in conversation.

No matter how much time you spend studying, if you don’t have lots of conversations, you will NEVER become conversationally fluent.

Don’t worry about making mistakes when you speak.

Just say it, put it out there, keep the conversation going.

It is so much fun to have an interchange, to understand and be understood.

The point is communication, not perfect correctness.

The more you communicate, though, the more correct your speech will become.

Words and phrases will stick in your head because you associate them with people and events.

Believe me when I say, that as Natives, we love when non-natives take the time and effort to communicate with us in our language 🙂 .

This is the way we attack learning Spanish here at SpeakSpanishFaster.com.

And this is only the beginning…

I’ve just created a brand new free training detailing my 3 biggest secrets to continue to rapidly improve your Spanish speaking ability. Click here to learn more. 

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