Posted by: sbilingual | February 22, 2010

Learning Spanish – Some Learn to Speak Spanish Essentials

When you are learning Spanish, there are a number of items which you need to address to successfully learn to speak Spanish properly, or conversationally. After all, it is of no use, except perhaps for examination preparation, to know a large vocabulary if you have not mastered the skills and knowledge necessary to form those words into sentences, and engage in a proper conversation, however basic.
In learning Spanish, the major areas of focus have to be:
1. Developing a Vocabulary
This is important as individual words are the foundation of any language. However, the words you choose to learn initially should be carefully selected. You should ask yourself the reason why you are learning Spanish, and tailor your initial vocabulary to those circumstances. That stands to reason. If you are going on a vacation, the ability to order food, or ask for directions is important. Less important might be knowledge of technical terms related to medicine, or engineering, or some other topic. However, if you are a medical professional going to a Spanish-speaking country to do some volunteer work, or someone who is going to work in construction, then your initial vocabulary choices should be influenced by that.
2. Understanding Verbs and Conjugation
Spanish, like any other language, has verbs and tenses. Most verbs are regular, and follow a general set of rules. Some, however, are irregular, and simply need to be studied and learned. And some verbs are used more than others, so it is wise to draw up a list of basic verbs and master those first. Being able to say “I want” or “I need” is more relevant than being able to say “I consider” or “I anticipate”. You get the point. Listen to an English conversation with your friends, and draw up a list of the 15 to 20 verbs which recur most often. Learn those first, in all the persons, and in all the tenses.
3. Sentence Structure Considerations
This is where many language programs do not give you the best guidance, as they focus too much on words and verbs. Some, like Rocket Spanish Premium, have excellent immersion simulation tools, and this should be an important consideration in selecting which language program you choose, if it is your intention to use one of these excellent resources to learn Spanish. You will learn to speak Spanish better and faster if you pay attention to Spanish sentence structure.
One of the best ways to do this is to listen to a native Spanish speaker who is in the early stages of learning English. Why would you do that? Well, they might ask in a restaurant for “one beer cold”, because in Spanish that is the word order they would use. Or “two coffees hot”. First you will smile at their basic English, but then you will realize that it is really helpful to you in learning Spanish. You will also realize that if you use the same word order as English when trying to speak Spanish, they will be smiling at you also, because your word order is all messed up.
You also learn from that example that there is no real concept of “a”. They ask for “one” rather than “a”. And to further complicate matters, even inanimate objects like beer or water have a gender. And the gender of the word will influence the pronunciation and spelling of associated adjectives.
This sounds hard and counter-intuitive to us English-speakers. And this is why there is such great value in using a learning Spanish method which focuses on immersion and real conversations. It also is why it is important to listen to a native Spanish speaker trying to speak English.
For specific recommendations on Learning Spanish, see the author’s Learn Spanish program reviews.

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Responses

  1. I am interested in your Learn to speak Spanish classes. Please provide more information regarding your upcoming classes.


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