Wanting to learn Spanish is an excellent thing because this language is still spoken by more than 500 million speakers in the world.
But are you one of them? The fairest question would be: would you like to be part of it?
Of course, there are Spanish classes, such as those you may have taken in school or those you have received at the university.
Some of you may have attended some trainings, workshops with evening classes, or started learning by themselves, in front of their computer screen by following online Spanish classes or video in Spanish.
But do you have the right intonation, the good Spanish accentuation? Are you understood when you speak Spanish? These are important criteria for improving in Spanish…
Facing such questions, it is not obvious to answer yes everywhere, because learning Spanish is often passive.
Another solution is available to you now and will make this learning alive: watching movies in Spanish.
By combining pleasure and work, you will boost your level in Spanish without even realizing it.
You don’t believe me ? So read this story…
For over a year and a half, I’ve been learning Spanish.
I grew up in a Spanish speaking environment and learned Spanish, just as many of my classmates did in high school. Even if I can say that I have a certain advantage in learning Spanish, it is really during 1 ½ years that I really decided to learn this language more actively, not limiting myself to videos made for learning Spanish on Youtube for example.
As far as my skills are concerned, I can say now that I really speak Spanish without having made a linguistic trip and that I can hold a conversation in this language and still feel at ease.
Of course, I still have other things to learn about this language, especially regarding the different conjugations, but the Spanish vocabulary will come as the language is used.
A complementary method for Spanish with Rosetta Stone
I used the Rosetta Stone software a couple of times which seemed a quick learning method of Spanish until I discovered the method of “hacking” a language according to Benny Lewis on his website “Speaking From Day 1”.
His method may seem really simplistic because according to Benny Lewis, you just need to speak Spanish to learn the language.
An explanation: the more you speak with the words you already know, the more you will be able to learn new ones and connect them with those you already know.
You will enrich your vocabulary and improve your oral comprehension.
I am lucky because I have a girlfriend with Mexican origins and although we are always speaking in my native language, she remains an invaluable source for my Spanish learning.
Speaking is truly the most important thing when you learn a foreign language and this should be your priority.
Imagine one thing: why should I read texts on Pole vault and wait to be able to practice it by simply reading a book? Or should I try martial arts only by reading two books and then going to the ring? To learn to fight you must practice, not only read.
What is the difference with learning a foreign language like Spanish? You have to talk, books (although it’s a guide to hacking a foreign language by Benny Lewis) are complementary to the Spanish pronunciation but they do not replace the living experience. And the Spanish feature films are perfect for this reason.
Another incredible resource to complete your learning of the Cervantes language is to watch movies in Spanish.
This is not a new fad from a magician’s hat, movies in original version can help you with your listening comprehension, your Spanish pronunciation, but also to understand a conversation in Spanish because you hear concrete words with the appropriate intonations.
I remember when I started watching movies in Spanish, my girlfriend told me I looked like a radio host or a narrator.
My accent was good but when I spoke, my personality did not come off at all (make sure to talk with patient and understanding people who will correct you as soon as you make a mistake).
I knew my accent was correct because I was imitating the native speakers according to the Rosetta Stone method, still without a Spanish teacher or intensive classes to learn this Latin language.
I then began to look particularly at some of the outstanding scenes of certain Spanish films or TV series, to learn by heart the reference scenes of the 7th Hispanic art – on Netflix not to name it – and I even found some interesting.
The House of Cards show in Spanish.
Since then, my Spanish learning has greatly improved and I cannot do without it.
So if I had any advice to give you, it would be:
As you can read, you have to spend a lot of time watching a movie with subtitles, maybe tens or even hundreds of times!
Oral comprehension is therefore strongly solicited here, a bit like with podcasts in Spanish.
During your learning, you have undoubtedly learned new Spanish grammar points.
And during your screenings of Spanish movies, you must have better understood some things that used to be confusing to you.
Learn the basics of Spanish grammar.
How many times have you told yourself “Oh, now I feel I know when to use that expression!”
With the viewing of Hispanic movies, you will be able to use the grammar with confidence, as if you had taken free Spanish lessons, but you would surely have spent more time if you had studied Spanish in a more conventional way. An essential step to direct you towards Spanish bilingualism.
Obviously, the contribution of vocabulary through movies in Spanish is undeniable.
You have always heard hundreds or even thousands of times using the same words: in fact, for the word “lunch”, you had to learn to say it once and for all with the word “amuerzo” but this may not be the proper word.
Depending on the context and the time, it can take on different meanings and its translation then changes. Talk about lunch? Breakfast? A working lunch?
Movies in original verison are one of the infallible tricks to learn Spanish, they bring you this precision that will help you find the right word.
With the best of Spanish movies, you can now associate an image with a word, a sentence and enrich your vocabulary according to the situation.
It is easier to discover and remember the meaning of a word by immediately remembering a particular scene or a shot of a movie.
Let the Spanish Force awaken in you!
This is especially the case for words in slang.
It is not in a book or a Spanish textbook that you will learn this kind of vocabulary.
Now with Spanish movies you can control any conversation in Spanish and you have exactly the context in which to use your vocabulary and your idiomatic expressions.
If you are in your car and start speaking to yourself in Spanish, you will then have a great ability to repeat dialogues of Spanish movies, you can practice Spanish and make your accent extremely convincing after a certain amount of times.
By using this new technique of teaching Spanish with learning movies, you will feel more confident and more natural than if you stay all day listening to a guy repeating “Me llamo Edgar, como esta usted? (My name is Edgar, how are you?).
It is a safe bet that what you learn with this method will probably be more useful than what you have learned in a book.
Share a beer with your Hispanic friends!
To learn Spanish is to be able to share and communicate with this living language.
Of course, Spanish language classes are not excluded, they will be an excellent starting point and will provide you with a solid foundation but to enrich your Spanish vocabulary, to speak fluently, to progress in terms of Spanish oral comprehension, you must immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of the people who speak the language.
Knowing how to speak like them, using the same idiomatic expressions, helps to enrich your vocabulary and better integrate you.
Seeing action movies, romance movies, adventure films or comedies in Spanish will give you the opportunity to hear this language in various contexts, with accents and varied intonations. You will understand some jokes and adopt new cultural references.
So what will be your next movie in Spanish?