Language is much more than structure, speech, and script. In order to learn Spanish, you have to learn all about the pronunciation, different dialects, jokes, jargon, people, and the culture around it that make up the language itself. But how do you learn Spanish fast?
To learn Spanish fast, become immersed in Spanish culture and language and gain a wider understanding of it. The more someone is immersed in a culture and surrounded by people speaking a language, the faster they will learn the language.
Here are some things to note about immersing yourself in Spanish culture and language so you can learn the language quickly.
It is so important to mess up in front of people. Everyone does. You did when you were learning your first language, even though you probably don’t remember doing so. Even now, people stumble on their words and don’t use proper grammar much more frequently than we are consciously aware of within our first languages.
Don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes while learning Spanish, especially when you are first starting out. Learn from your mistakes and move on. When you make a mistake, you have the chance to learn what is correct, which will help you learn Spanish quickly.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
It seems scary, but it is really important to venture outside of your comfort zone when learning a new language. This means accepting imperfections and sometimes not understanding what is going on around you. Since speaking Spanish is new to you, you’ll have to get outside of your regular habits and try new things that you have never done before.
To learn Spanish quickly and immerse yourself in the language, do the following:
- If you can, going to a place where Spanish is the primary language being spoken is ideal. Here, you will be surrounded by everything you could hope for to be immersed in a culture. People around you will be speaking the language, you will be forced to interact with others in Spanish, you will hear Latin music, and you will be presented with opportunities to try new things.
- Even if you can’t go to another country, you may be able to visit another city or town with a rich Latin heritage where most people speak Spanish!
- Visit Latin Events, Activities, and Festivals:
- There are many fun opportunities to experience Spanish heritage within the United States! By simply making a quick search, it will be easy to find a way to participate in some type of celebration or tradition that will better your understanding of the language.
- Hang Out with People:
- Go to your friends’ and neighbors’ houses or invite them to yours and learn about their Spanish origins. Help them make their favorite foods, participate in their traditions, and let them enjoy yours as well. Make friends and build relationships. The true vision of learning a new skill is to build community, broaden your knowledge, expand your mind, and open up your world to have positive connections.
- Try New Foods:
- When you learn new recipes that originate from countries that use Spanish as their primary language, you become more immersed in the language and culture.
- As you familiarize yourself with the traditions and foods of Latin cultures, you are more prepared to relate to the language and understand the people who speak it. This will also help you as you have conversations with others in Spanish.
Engage in Latin Media
Learning Spanish should be fun! After all, the end goal of learning it is so that you can use it in your everyday life, right? So, why not start by using it in everyday life scenarios? Engaging in media is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in a language because it stimulates all of your senses while educating your mind, helping you learn and better remember new things, all while associating them with pleasurable memories.
- Try watching movies you already know, but this time, watch them in Spanish. You can use English subtitles, but this will help you hear words and associate them with familiar contexts.
- If you want to watch a new movie, watch it in English but use Spanish subtitles.
- Sometimes, push yourself a little harder- even and especially when you don’t feel ready- and watch a new movie in Spanish! It’s okay to use English subtitles- there’s no wrong way to immerse yourself.
- Feel free to test your limits and try watching an entire film in Spanish with Spanish subtitles.
- Branch out into ‘foreign’ films that are Latin or have been made by those with Spanish or Latin origins. This will not only teach you more about dialect, structure, and the rules of Spanish, but it will also give you more insights into the cultures surrounding the language!
- Similar to movies, read books you are already familiar with side by side: one copy in Spanish, and the other in English.
- For more of a challenge, try reading a book you are familiar with without an English copy. You may not understand everything, but that’s okay- you’ll be surprised at how much you are learning!
- Listen to Latin music! There is so much out there, and there are so many different genres! You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the people who speak Spanish, and you’ll have a better grasp of the different sentiments behind the meanings of the words, making translations easier.
- By listening to Latin music, you will be able to hear Spanish being used in many different contexts and will learn new vocabulary words. You will also find relating to the culture easier.
- Because the phrasing and timing of lyrics are so different than when people speak, you’ll also be able to pick up on different words faster and in more awkward tones. This will help prepare you for real-world conversations.
- Social Media:
- Follow accounts that are run by Spanish-speaking creators! Follow accounts that post things you are already interested in, things that you would like to be interested in, as well as some that teach topics you don’t know about.
- Follow educational social media accounts that teach Spanish grammar and have tips on how to learn Spanish. Some accounts provide daily challenges, keep you accountable, and even help you find a community of other learners.
- Watch YouTube videos and other casual content made by Spanish-speaking creators. Seeing the language being used in everyday settings will make it more relatable and easier to understand.
- Watch educational videos and tutorials on platforms such as YouTube as well.
- Smart Phones:
- Most phones and some computers have the option to add an international keyboard in their settings. Install the Spanish version and find ways to use it.
- Change the settings on your phone to be in Spanish for a day, a week, or a set amount of time
Try Different Learning Strategies
In order to learn Spanish quickly, you will need to study the language. The main things to focus on are vocabulary, structure, grammar, and vocabulary.
- Use a workbook to learn lessons and then test your skills. Through this process, you will be able to try and select the correct sentence structure options, fill in the blanks, or try different exercises that will allow you to apply your understanding. You will be able to check your answers and go at your own pace.
- Use a Spanish to English dictionary.
- Have a list of words from a certain topic and try to translate them into Spanish.
- Try translating a sentence or a song into English or Spanish
- Learning Apps:
- DuoLingo and other tools that you can download help you increase your vocabulary, teach pronunciation, give you chances to speak the language, improve, and they also keep you accountable. They give you daily reminders and help you stay engaged in keeping your Spanish-learning habits.
- While it’s likely not quite enough to teach you how to be fluent in a language, these apps teach you progressively and it is an excellent decision to take advantage of them.
- Tutoring or Similar Programs:
- There are people who teach Spanish for a living, and others who offer their services for free! There are group tutoring options as well as one-on-one choices available. If you can, this is a great way to have a customizable education that will help you on your journey to learn Spanish.
- This approach will give you someone to speak Spanish with, assignments specific to things you can personally improve on, an individual you should feel comfortable asking questions to, and a consistent timeline to follow for practicing the language.
- Online Sources:
- We all know and love the University of YouTube. There are many extremely educational videos and courses online that are completely free and will help teach you the Spanish language in modules that are comprehensive. The comments given by people below can also be extremely beneficial.
- There are many courses that can be purchased online which have been created by experienced instructors and have helped many people in their journeys to learn Spanish. Investing in one or several of these can speed up your process in knowing how to better immerse yourself into the culture in ways that you understand.
- Because they are online, you are able to go at your own pace and cruise through the immersion of Spanish at a quicker rate.
If you want to be able to speak Spanish, go out and speak Spanish! It doesn’t matter how unprepared you feel, just use what you can. Incorporate every letter or word you know. Keep in mind it is okay to make mistakes.
The entire purpose of language is to communicate a language effectively. If someone understands the point you are trying to make, you have completed your mission and can count it as a success. The more you allow yourself to able to try and communicate with others, the quicker you will be able to speak coherently with them.
- Have Conversations with Native Spanish Speakers:
- By speaking with people whose first language is Spanish, you will be able to hear proper dialects and pronunciations. You will be able to ask questions and receive helpful critiques. You will also be able to hear how to phrase words, what tones to use, which words are better to use than others in different scenarios, and more.
- The more you reach out to ask for help, the easier it will become to speak to others, and who knows? You might even make a friend!
- Speak with Other Learners:
- This will help you feel more comfortable when making mistakes and will also give you a support system in learning the language. You’ll be able to make friends and know that others around you are also learning at the same levels as you.
- Only speak Spanish for a Day or a Set Period of Time:
- This will be challenging, but it will push you and help you remember and learn vocabulary words you wouldn’t otherwise know. The more often you do this, the better you will retain your knowledge.
- Make New Friends:
- Make friends who are learning Spanish. Building relationships with like-minded people will help motivate you and make it easier and more fun to keep going!
- Make friends who speak Spanish. Getting to know people who know more than you and might be from different cultures or backgrounds from you will help you learn more about the world, learn more about others, and ultimately become a better person. It will also be more fun to learn as you hang out with someone who can teach you while having fun with you.
- Join Clubs and Other Groups. Gaining an appreciation for the Spanish language and learning the culture, as has been established, is extremely crucial in understanding and learning a language in a more natural and quick way. Joining these sorts of clusters of people is another great way of finding people who can mentor you, have fun with you, and interact with you more frequently and therefore help you learn Spanish faster.
Spanish is a fun, beautiful language, and there are tons of resources and people out there who can help you learn it quickly!