Learning Spanish isn’t easy. Reading, listening, speaking and writing this language all require different skills and if you’re struggling to understand, you may need some simple tips to help you progress your learning. Here are a few words of advice that can point you in the right direction.
But wait! Before we start I want to thank Juan from Tilers Darwin. Without him and his encouragement, I would be writing this post.
Develop Your Spanish “Ear”
Languages are, first and foremost, all about oral communication. The written alphabet is just a set of symbols that you use to represent the language’s sounds. Therefore, you need to develop your Spanish “ear”. Listen to spoken Spanish as much as possible. You can achieve this by watching movies in Spanish, listening to Spanish music or watching Spanish TV.
Masculine And Feminine
In Spanish, words have their own gender. While this is tricky to get used to, there are basic principles that go along with it. Remember that masculine words tend to end with “o” while feminine words tend to end with “a”. This principle will set you in good stead with your speaking and writing.
All Romance languages suffer from verb issues. You need to learn verb conjugations and these can be difficult to remember. There are websites out there that feature all of the conjugation tables that you could possibly need. Although it may be dull, if you refer to those sites regularly and concentrate on learning and memorising those tables you’ll find that you have a much stronger grounding when it comes to writing and speaking Spanish.
Estar and Ser
Unlike English, there are two words in the Spanish language that mean “is”. This is very confusing but there’s a clear different between them. Something that you permanently are will require you to use the verb “ser” whereas something you are now but might not be at a later time requires you to use the verb “estar”. So, for example, you are male or female, so you would use the verb “ser” but you may be happy now but sad later, so the verb “estar” is used.
When you write or read exclamations or questions in Spanish you’ll notice an unusual feature of the language – the upside down question marks and exclamation marks that appear at the front of the sentence as well as the standard ones at the sentence’s end. While this looks strange, it’s just something that you have to bear in mind, especially when you’re writing Spanish yourself. You’ll soon get used to this little idiosyncrasy!
Although Spanish, like any language, has its own unusual features, you will soon become used to them and they’ll eventually become second nature when you’re reading or writing. You should focus your attentions on reading and listening, learning more useful vocabulary and just enjoying learning the language.
There are plenty of resources out there that make it engaging, fun and interactive to get to grips with learning this wonderful language and if you make the best use of them and commit time and effort to your study, you’ll soon find that you’re making good progress. With a structured and sensible approach, you’re sure to find that learning Spanish isn’t the chore you feared that it would be!