Spanish is truly one of the easiest languages to learn, yet everywhere I go it’s quite common for someone to say, “you speak beautifully… I wish I could.” You can speak Spanish, it doesn’t take years to learn Spanish
just a little will power and patience with yourself, that’s all. I’m gonna tell you how I learned Spanish, I wasn’t born speaking Spanish and I didn’t hear people speaking Spanish around me, I had to learn.
I admit, I wasn’t even interested in speaking Spanish until I was about nineteen years old. I bought a couple of used textbooks at yard sales and glanced at them a few times, I never really got into it though. As the years passed by, as I began to see the need for translators all over the place, my interest was still peaked and one day I just decided I was going to learn one way or another. Once I made up my mind, it was over!
I pulled those old books out and I gave myself homework. I know how I learn, personally association works really well for me and that’s what I did. I picked out the words in Spanish that were really similar to the words in English. Here’s list of words that I started out with, you can clearly see the similarities and some are spelled the same, only pronounced slightly different.
Virtually anyone who uses those ten words as a part of their vocabulary, can learn those same ten Spanish words in a week or less. Move along at your own pace, don’t overload yourself with more than you can handle but make sure that you are learning everyday. The more you expose yourself to Spanish, reading it, writing it, listening to it and verbally saying the words, the easier it will be for you to be able to speak it.
There are a lot of “language systems” on the market, some inexpensively priced that will contain audio so you can listen to the pronunciation of Spanish words, which is a good idea but it may depend on what type of Spanish you wish to learn. A good example would be English! In the U.S. of course we speak English, however in England, so do they….. it’s a little different though. People in Spain and Mexico, speak Spanish, they are a little different too. Make sure you know what type of Spanish you want to concentrate on.
After you have learned some simple words that you can make associations with, build and get braver. Throw in some different words from time to time and challenge yourself. Here are some of the words I played around with to challenge myself.
When learning new words, don’t forget that the alphabet sounds different. Amarillo for example, the “ll” sounds like “y” in English. Most English/Spanish dictionaries provide a useful pronunciation key and a list of language rules to follow. Read them and make sure that you understand. Don’t worry if you don’t mimic an expert Spanish speaker at first, you’ll get it if you practice.
After I had picked up a lot of words, I began building sentences which was a little difficult at first but every person I saw that spoke Spanish, I was tripping over my shoe strings running to strike up conversations! It didn’t happen overnight but I learned and I know that you can too. I’m a believer that if you can speak, you can learn language and Spanish is so easy to learn, if you only try. Don’t talk yourself out of trying, if you want to learn….. just do it.
I’ve spoken with many parents who want their children to learn how to speak Spanish, in my own experiences these children love it when mom and dad get involved. One family had “fiesta night” every Friday, they ordered pizza, spoke with a Spanish accent and played Spanish word games. I borrowed their idea and put it to a full test in my own home, my kids loved it. We had so much fun, even my four year old has picked up so much as young as he is but I know that he will be bilingual. Try it with your family, friends, co-workers or anyone willing to learn with you.
I’ve had so much fun giving you some tips on learning Spanish but ultimately you must take the initiative and jump in with both feet.
As for me, now I’m a translator and I help many people in my community, which I am so very proud to do. I help pregnant mother’s communicate with doctors and nurses, children who need a little help to learn the basic daily functions of school, I’ve helped employers find employees who are bilingual and best of all, I love helping. Every time I hear a six-year-old child recognize the letter “A” that we’ve worked on for two weeks, I feel remarkably blessed. Learning Spanish has turned out to be one of the best things that I’ve ever done.