When it comes to language learning, there are a number of things that you need to be aware of. Anyone can learn a language, but they will need the right mindset, and the right conditions to do so. When it comes to English speakers learning a language, some languages are naturally easier than others.
A foreign language that uses a different alphabet, such as Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, or Russian will cause more problems to an English native speaker, than if that person wants to learn Portuguese, French, or Spanish.
According to the Foreign Service Institute, these are Category I languages meaning that they are supposedly the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. But any learner who wants to learn a new language, wants to know how long it will take.
Unfortunately, there is no real answer to this question. It will depend massively on each individual person, their ability to learn a foreign language, and how they set about undertaking the task.
We can, however, look at what you can do to learn a new language quickly. And the good news for those of you who want to speak Spanish, there are plenty of things that you can do to become bilingual.
How Long Will it Take to Be Fluent in Spanish?
We have already said that there is no simple answer to the question: how long does it take to learn Spanish?
But there are certain things that we can point to which will quicken the process of learning a foreign language such as Spanish.
The Importance of your Attitude and Motivation
You can sign up for all of the language courses in the world, but if you are not motivated during your Spanish classes, your language skills will not improve at the rate that you want, and therefore you will take a lot long to reach fluency.
When it comes to learning languages, there are many reasons why your attitude and motivation are important, and Spanish is no different.
First of all, if you have a positive attitude towards learning Spanish, you are likely to find it more enjoyable. This will help you learn faster not only because you will dedicate more time to it, but also because you will more focused on understanding the more difficult parts of learning a new language, such as grammar and memorising long lists of vocabulary.
What's more, a positive attitude and motivation are important to keep you progressing when you have difficult moments. And you will have difficult moments whilst learning Spanish.
Learning a second language is no mean feat. If it were, everyone would do it. You will have moments where you think you aren't progressing, or where you want to give up because something is too difficult. Having a positive attitude and staying motivated will help you move past these moments during your studying of the Spanish language.
Defining your Goals
One way of staying motivated is to keep yourself focused on your goals. It is therefore well worth defining some goals or targets for you learn a foreign language.
In doing so, your language lessons will seem more applicable, and you will be able to measure tangible progress towards what you want to achieve.
If you don't define your goals, then you risk aimlessly moving through the language learning process, and spending time on things that you don't enjoy and may never end up using.
Examples of goals could learning enough words and phrases to be able to communicate with the locals in their native language on a trip to Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, or one of a whole host of other Spanish speaking countries.
Do you Speak Any Other Languages?
Speaking another language will mean that you will familiar with how to learn a language. What's more, if you learn a language that has similar roots to Spanish, this could help you learn the language of Cervantes a lot quicker.
This is because you will already have some knowledge about how certain grammatical structures work, and some new words won't actually be that new to you as well if they are consistent in different languages.
When it comes to Spanish, one such language springs to mind in this context; French
Learn Spanish Quickly: Can Speaking French Help?
There are undoubtedly certain languages that can help you learn Spanish quickly, but how similar are French and Spanish?
French and Spanish both share similar roots because they both, along with certain other languages, stem from Latin.
This means there are certain similarities between the two, such as:
- The use of several forms of the past tense
- The use of the subjunctive mood in similar scenarios
- The adjective often being found after the noun
- The “you” having multiple functions
If you speak French, you will also notice that some of the vocabulary is very similar with Spanish. Having a good knowledge of French can therefore help you progress towards becoming fluent in Spanish a lot quicker.
Even if the pronunciation of certain words is different, you will notice that the spelling is either identical, or very similar. For example:
- Un accident = un accidente
- Vendre = vender
However, caution! This doesn't mean that French speakers should add an "o" or an "a" to the end of French words to try and create Spanish words. Often this will lead to you making up complete gibberish!
How to Speak Spanish Fluently: Some Tips
To learn the Spanish language quickly there is no secret, it is necessary to practise and train! But what tips are there to help you learn the language faster?
Start Learning Spanish from an Early Age
Starting to learn a new language from an early age. You could reach a fluent level when you are younger and therefore make more use of your new skills, as well as using this ability on your university application forms.
Language learning is of the utmost importance across the globe, and there is therefore no surprise that schools world are matching this with the emphasis that they place on learning languages such as Spanish.
As a young beginner to the Spanish language, you will start by learning the following things:
- The alphabet and its Spanish pronunciation
- Talking about basic personal information (name, age, where they live etc)
- Numbers in Spanish
- The construction of basic Spanish sentences
- Spanish linguistics and its culture via easy Spanish classes
But don't underestimate the importance of practising at every available opportunity. It has been proven that young learners pick up languages quicker than adults, but this does not mean it will happen without effort and practice!
Learning the Language on a Study Trip
Learning Spanish in a Spanish speaking country such as Spain, Peru, Uruguay, or Chile, is the most effective way to progress in the language.
A linguistic study trip can scare even intermediate Spanish speakers, and it's normal to get the jitters. Before leaving, we advise you to take a look at an English-Spanish dictionary as to get familiar with some keywords for your trip. This will greatly facilitate your learning once you arrive in your chosen country.
Travelling in a Spanish speaking country will allow you to learn Spanish through direct immersion in the culture of that country, as well as the common language of Spanish.
As soon as you arrive, enroll in intensive Spanish classes to deepen your linguistic knowledge faster. With this system, you will quickly learn the basics of the language, which will be ideal to start speaking and communicating in Spanish.
Irregular hispanic verbs will no longer hold any secrets for you!
Once you feel confident about your basic speaking skills in Spanish, reduce your course time and try to find a little job. Working in Spain will allow you to be confronted daily with the language and to progress faster.
Going to supermarket or ordering a coffee will become opportunities to practise and learn.
For living arrangements, choose a flat-share to reduce costs and share your experience with native Spanish speakers who will teach you a lot about the language and culture, as well as some useful everyday expressions. You won't find this is the kind of knowledge in a business environment, or in your private lessons.
Progress Quickly in Spanish with a Private Tutor
If you want to learn Spanish quickly, you should also take private Spanish tutoring lessons.
It is a suitable solution for students who wish to progress quickly with teachers whose mother tongue is Spanish.
Aimed at both beginners and experienced students, Spanish tutoring sessions given by private tutors allow students to learn Spanish and improve their Spanish language skills quickly through grammar and vocabulary oriented classes.
The advantage is that the Spanish teacher will be there along the way to guide you with your learning adventure. You will have support over time in the form of revisions and tests in order to monitor the language learning and its progress.
On Superprof, you can find many Spanish teachers in your local area who are ready to guide you on this new adventure. They often offer the first class for free so you can see if a particular teacher is a good fit for you before committing to paying for a certain amount of lessons.
Can You Learn Fluent Spanish Online?
Is Spanish available to learn online via trustworthy websites?
Today, the web has a lot of websites and applications devoted to help you learn Spanish online.
Learn Spanish Easily with Specialised Sites
Their use remains simple:
- courses and lessons in Spanish,
- multiple choice tests,
- Spanish-English translation tools free of charge for visitors.
Some websites offer fun and educational Spanish lessons in the form of podcasts or MP3 lessons.
Learning Spanish online is one thing, but is your progress monitored during the learning process? Or are students not left to fend for themselves?
You aren't monitored in the traditional sense of the word--but most sites offer discussion forums where students can interact directly with Spanish teachers or native Spanish speakers.
The content is accessible via a monthly subscription, but some do allow for free learning of the Spanish language.
Here is a selection of the main websites to progress in Spanish:
How Can Your Smartphone Help You to Learn Spanish?
It's been tried and tested, most people have their smartphone on them at all times. When it comes to teenagers, it's even more than "at all times"!
So, if your smartphone never leaves your side, why not learn to speak Spanish with it? This will be very exciting to the younger generations, who have tons of experience with apps. But it will also be intriguing to older generations, and you can't beat learning on a smartphone or tablet that could travel with you to a Spanish speaking country where you can continue your learning.
Foreign language learning applications have revolutionised the sector by making teaching fun and interactive.
In addition to finding traditional courses online in order to revise your Spanish conjugation for example, there are many fun new methods such as being guided by a native Spanish voice or setting up your own Spanish "life" like you would do with the SIMS video game.
The leaders of Spanish learning apps on smartphones and tablets are:
With a little effort, using these websites and applications allows for a very easy progression in the language of Cervantes.
Spanish is therefore within all of our reach. Whether you are more interested in private lessons, online courses, or language courses, there are many solutions in order to learn the language of the Pablo Picasso.
Why should you learn Spanish?
Beyond adding to your knowledge and personal awareness of other cultures, learning Spanish may help you with your professional career.
Spanish is one of the most used languages in the world of international business, and mastering the language could open doors for you with positions in large international companies.
You now have all of the tools to learn Spanish easily. With seriousness, dedication, and hard work, you can quickly get ahead!
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