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The Beginner’s Guide to Learning Spanish

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Spanish > Tips for Getting Started in Spanish

The Spanish language is not the worst to learn when you’re a complete beginner Spanish learner.

The many similarities with English make it possible to make rapid progress.

You know of the Spanish culture and are interested in taking language lessons? Rest assured, you dear apprentices, you who are launching yourself in this daunting challenge.

If you are here, it is because your approach to learning Spanish is launched!

By reading this article, you will know which route to take.

All the more so that, in order for you to do things well, Superprof.fr offers you its guide of the student to learn Spanish starting from scratch.

The similarities between English and Spanish

Even though, the two languages English (Germanic language) and Spanish (Romanic language) are not in the same language family, there are plenty of similarities between the two. First of all, the Spanish alphabet is the same!

There are thousands of similar words (Cognates) in the two languages. This is the biggest plus in learning this new language – an abundance of cognates. You can get entire books that give you long lists of Spanish cognates and include usage tips and important warnings about false cognates or false friends as they are often called.

It is therefore very practical for an Englishman to take Spanish courses.

What is the resemblance between American english and spanish? The similarities between the two languages

For you who are starting from scratch, consider at the outset that you’re not starting from scratch in Spanish, since you already come with some facilities. You should be able to learn to speak Spanish fast.

With such a global resemblance, your first Spanish lessons will strike you as you will quickly understand words, snippets of sentences, even whole sentences!

Therefore, up to you to remember these resemblances and the words that translate to the identical or almost. You will see that your Spanish will progress quickly from the start.

Taking individual Spanish lessons to become more fluent

Let us assume that your school career has not led you to Spanish courses as a second language.

Let’s also assume that you will not be able to take Spanish lessons at school.

You would nevertheless like to learn the language, for professional or very personal purposes.

Therefore, at Superprof.fr we readily admit that immersion abroad is an excellent solution.

However, you will acquire only one part of the language: oral.

What will happen to the written Spanish learning?

How to write the Spanish words you hear?

When is it also grammar and “literary” Spanish.

To learn a language completely, it is necessary to consider all of these aspects.

Get private lessons with particular teachers A student and her private teacher

The best way for you to learn Spanish from then on and therefore to take private Spanish lessons with a private teacher. Use the methodology and knowledge of the latter to make rapid progress in Spanish. By giving you the basics to assimilate the language, your level will increase immediately.

Learn Spanish Phonetics

Starting speaking Spanish is actually realizing the multiple resemblances between the two languages, which can be very comfortable.

But it is still trying to assimilate a new phonetic. By not doing so, it is possible that you try to utter certain words without making you understand.

Be aware, for example, that the “c” and the “s” do not pronounce in the same way. The “s”, for example, requires you to place your tongue a little closer to the front teeth.

In addition, the “z” and the “j” are pronounced differently as well. For this last letter precisely, it is necessary to evoke the “jota”. The “jota” or the “j” requires you to say it with your throat.

Here is a video that will help you to better understand these specificities:

The Spanish pronunciation is guttural. No way you’re going to say “j” like in English! The Portuguese are like us, but not the Spaniards. Beware that pronunciation differs within Spanish speaking countries. Sometimes even the Spanish vocabulary will vary. Make sure you are aware of this when you study Spanish.

Know how to count in Spanish

Obviously, your learning Spanish will also involve the learning of the numbers.

Difficult to desire to speak a language without going through the numbers box. They will allow you to express a lot of things when you are in a Spanish-speaking country.

Learn the numbers in Spanish to count Counting in Spanish

In addition, you will discover with them other aspects of Spanish phonetics.

Like diphthongs and other triphthongs, for example. They are in fact syllables with double or triple sounds, as in the number “veinte” (20). It is a feature that is also found in the English language and is an essential part of Spanish.

Knowing the masculine and feminine genres

Have you ever taken French classes? Spanish and French are similar on this point.

The two languagues require that the names be identified by a masculine or a feminine gender. Whereas English completely got rid of this particularity, French and Spanish impose it.

For a foreigner, in addition to learning the rules of grammar, phonetics or conjugation, it is essential to look at the question of genres!

What does Spanish consider as a feminine word? What makes this word, a masculine word?

It does not always have logic, as in French, but every Spanish learner must learn it and thus know what represents for him “an irregularity”.

Take for example “the word”. The Spanish translates it as “la palabra”. A feminine word therefor. The examples are unfortunately quite numerous and an assiduous practice and an attentive listening of the language will allow you to memorize them little by little!

Assimilating Basic Vocabulary

Why not make small cards summarizing the basic vocabulary to know? Try to learn the maximum nouns and adjectives.

For example, a fact sheet on food to understand what there is on a Spanish restaurant menu.

Learn the words for the best food in the world! Food in Spanish

This way, you can learn several new words each day, memorize them one after the other.

It’s a very basic method to learn Spanish, but it’s still one of the best when you start.

And to learn to speak or write the language, you will need to know the basic verbs. As such, it is essential for you to know the difference between “Ser” and “Estar”.

Afterwards, linger on the action verbs: ir (go), llamar (call), poder (power), ver (see), oir (hear), comer (comprar) to build your first phrases!

A fundamental vocabulary is then to be constructed: everyday life, colors, dates, objects, fruits and vegetables, parts of the human body

So be sure to make a small list of the ones you use most and translate them into Spanish. This complements the work done in Spanish.

How to ask a question ?

This is one the the basics: knowing to ask a question. The Spanish grammar is thus made that the way of constructing a question in this language is different from the English method of doing so.

Not always, but on some forms this is indeed the case. The different forms of questioning are therefore to be learned.

Como, Qual, Que, Cuanto... learn all the questions in spanish The interrogative form in Spanish

Moreover, the words of questioning are also to be known. Like in English, they are not numerous. This task will not be very difficult for you: que, cual, porque, cuando, como, quien, cuanto…

The conjugation

So here’s a bit of bad news in this guide of learning Spanish for students starting from scratch: the complexity of the conjugation… Indeed, unlike English, but in the image of French, the conjugation Spanish is quite difficult to master.

It is composed of a multitude of tenses, as well as irregularities to be known absolutely.

There are regular verbs (comer [com], come, comemos, comeis, comen), verbs with orthographic modification (Ser [be]: soy, eres, es, somos, sois, sound), verbs to diphthong (Jugar [play]: juego, juegas, juega, jugamos, jugues, juegan) and many other special tenses you need to know and learn by heart!

Pronouns and other demonstratives

In parallel to your learning of conjugation and Spanish courses, you will also discover pronouns.

From “I” to “they” or “them”, they will allow you to conjugate your verbs, even if you discover that they are not always indispensable to the conjugation precisely…

You will then pass through the possessive pronouns and you will discover this time how much they are used in Spanish (in the image of French and unlike English).

Finally, you will have to complete the whole by the demonstrative ones: esta, este, esa, ese, estos, estas … Theses will be particularly very useful to you!

Practice spoken Spanish

Oral precisely, we wanted to complete this guide of the student wishing to learn Spanish by addressing the topic of oral expression.

Why not learn how to speak Spanish? Speak Spanish!

All that has been stated above is part of the ABC when starting Spanish. They represent a very solid foundation on which to rest and then deepen your knowledge.

Furthermore, in our opinion, it is necessary to use these fundamentals orally very quickly.

In this way, you will develop your faculties in phonetics and start conversations.

Learning a foreign language can not be done without speaking, so we encourage you to speak Spanish!

You’re still wondering why to learn Spanish?

Now you just need to decide what will be the best medium for you: free spanish classes with online lessons? having a private lesson? Learn Spanish with textbooks? Or going to Spanish classes? The important thing is that you have both an oral and writen learning. Try to meet up with Spanish speakers, read the news, and quickly become an advanced Spanish student!

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