Some people want to learn Spanish… but not quite. While these students want to speak Spanish when they travel or to speak with customers, for example, they are not interested in grammar or in writing. If you are one of those students, we’ll guide you through 4 steps that can help you become conversational in Spanish and speed up the process.
Get your ‘ear in’
The most essential skill to learn conversational Spanish is having a trained ear. As soon as you understand how Spanish sounds and the differences between phonemes, you will pick up on new words easily and quickly. Once you can actually understand a good percentage of what is said, even things like grammar will come naturally. In a way, you gain a sense of what ‘sounds right’ and what doesn’t.
Train your throat
Muscles are muscles: you can train them, increase their elasticity and get them to reach new goals. So when you are learning a new language, it’s essential to train your throat and muscles to produce different sounds. In the case of Spanish, these are the sounds you will need to work on: rolled rs (how to roll your Rrs), the ‘ch’ sound, the letter j and the letter b. Learn where you make these sounds (back of the throat, tip of the tongue, etc.) and work those muscles.
Learn something new every day
Are you committed to learning conversational Spanish, make an effort to learn new words every day. If you can only study a few minutes per day, settle on 5 or 10 new words a day. On the other hand, if you are betting on an intensive training, raise that number up to 50. Try to learn by themes - learn fruits and vegetables one day, clothing in another, and so on. Remember: nouns are easier to learn, because you can learn adjectives and verbs afterwards.
Find creative ways to practice
If you are set on training every day, then try to find creative ways to do it. With the help of dozens of apps out there, learning Spanish can be a “game” like any other. You can start with the famous Duolingo (Spanish Gurus Duolingo integration), but there is also Memrise, Lingvist or Babbel. Memrise is based on memory cards while Duolingo is divided into several levels: pick the one that works best for you. Your vocabulary will increase quickly, we’re sure.
Being conversational in Spanish ultimately comes down to practice, practice and more practice. You need to hear, speak out and get better as you go.