Confucius would have said: “To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge. “
This quote perfectly translates the advantages of learning foreign languages, such as the Spanish language, for example.
There are many ways to improve your Spanish on a daily basis. Anyone who embarks on this mission will realize that.
But not all tricks are sufficiently effective.
Learning Spanish when it is not your mother tongue is never an easy thing.
Because a language barrier remains present and to learn it requires certain linguistic skills.
For example, you should at least know the Spanish alphabet, Spanish grammar and have had some spanish lessons.
The official language of Spain is a Romance language (or Latin language). It’s an idiom very close to French, Italian or Portuguese.
In addition, there are many academic exchanges between these countries and Spain (the University of Madrid, Barcelona or Salamanca, to name just a few) so people who come from there could tell you it’s easier than what it could actually be for you.
However getting started and progressing easily in Spanish is easy, if you compare to other more foreign languages.
How? By following our advice.
Don’t start with an intensive Spanish learning.
It is only over the course of the weeks that you will feel more at ease with the sounds and words of the Castilian language.
Afterwards, after a few months of work, you may be able to start reading Don Quixote to improve your vocabulary, but give yourself some time.
To improve your Spanish, Superprof has drawn up its best tricks, from reading to conversation, writing, listening or spoking Spanish in the mother land.
To perfect your level, start by reading Spanish newspapers! Not that easy, some will say. And they’d be right. But who said that learning Spanish was easy?
Traveling in Argentina. Reading information in a newsstand, an effective way to learn new words from the Spanish dictionary.
These articles will be available in newsstands, or why not in pdf format on their respective websites.
For those who love sport, why not start with a sporty, and therefore more accessible, reading?
We naturally direct our sports readers to the well-known “As” and “Marca”. These are two titles that are also true European references in terms of football news and analysis.
For those who would like to test out other types of reading, more oriented towards Spanish, international, political, economic or cultural news, it will be necessary to turn to other press groups:
Reading these newspapers daily will quickly confront the reader with a rather sustained and even academic Spanish. And also to a journalistic writing, specialized or technical, more in phase with your desires to progress in Spanish, and to tend towards an excellent level.
While this may seem hard at the beginning, progress in written comprehension comes rather quickly. Don’t hesitate therefore to couple this by watching YouTube videos in Spanish to give you the oral skills you need.
The advantage of reading an informative medium in a foreign language is that one is not prey – or at least, less so – to the differences of opinion in the diverse editorial lines.
Someone who thinks and votes for the democrats, for example, will be able to read a right-wing liberal press written in Spanish, without making them stand on end. And fortunately, the reverse also works!
Everyone is not necessarily equipped to read Spanish newspapers every day. You have to go to a newsstand on a daily basis, which isn’t easy, and you have to live in a big metropolis…
Moreover, this also requires a certain daily cost, and therefore a small budget.
Thus, to reduce your fees but continue to improve your Spanish quickly, it may be good to turn to websites to learn Spanish for free.
You will find the same articles, as well as others more oriented towards a web writing. We mean shorter and more visual articles: with photo and video reports.
Try first to read the Spanish front pages on a digital kiosk!
The reading will therefore be only more fluid. Progress will be more linear. According to us, the best way to read daily Spanish articles on the internet is still to subscribe to a media on Facebook. The news feeds will appear several times a day on your timeline.
Then why not read the news from Google News?
Available wherever you get internet access (wifi, 4G, cable connection), Google offers the possibility to read the digital press from many countries around the world.
This will provide access to information from all Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, from Mexico to Chile. Unfortunately, Google News Spain services were closed.
Some American newspapers are also sold and translated abroad, such as the New York Times.
He who wants to improve his level certainly can not tackle today a completely new novel.
Whoever feels the ability to do so shouldn’t hesitate a second. However, there is a risk of total misunderstanding and discouragement.
Re-read the famous Harry Potter trilogy and stories about the Hogwarts castle in Spanish to improve your level and practice.
How can you avoid this?
The trick is to search and find your favorite books in Spanish.
Already read several times in English, you maybe know them by heart, from the least disturbing element to the famous punch-lines that have marked us.
This makes it possible to try reading in the language of Cervantes, to memorize new Spanish words!
By knowing the story on the fingertips, you will no longer withhold the frustration of not understanding much about the overall frame. The learner will then be able to concentrate on Spanish translation, syntax and vocabulary.
In parallel of readings the newspapers, websites and other novels, it would be quite interesting to also write. Writing will make it possible to master a maximum of vocabulary and new syntax.
The next step is to get to lay out all this new luggage on a blank page, all in a correct Spanish.
This writing exercise will oblige the person writing to think completely in Spanish. We must therefore forget the English grammar so that we can immerse ourselves 100% in Spanish.
Why not start keeping a diary?
To write down everything that you’ve done in your day or write your dreams, to create stories derived from your imagination in the Iberian language will present a double advantage. On the one hand, this linguistic gymnastics will help to think better in Spanish. On the other hand, a vocation as writer or translator may emerge from an activity that seemed initially banal or innocuous!
When we were in elementary school, our teachers found correspondents. Young French, Spanish, Italian or German children sometimes stood at the other end of the pencil, and would write back to you and maybe sometimes a friendship would spring out of this.
Twenty or thirty years later, in 2017, things have evolved, Superprof will not advise you to find a Spanish-speaking correspondent to send letters to…
Note on paper the new words sent by your Spanish correspondent: “Qué tal?”, ” Como te llamas? ” to properly memorize them.
The Internet revolution and its infinite possibilities make it possible to find this correspondent with whom to exchange, to progress rapidly, informally and without having the feeling that you’re working.
How do I find that person?
By seeking a linguistic tandem on sites specialized in cultural and linguistic exchange, forums, etc.
Speaking regularly in Spanish through the linguistic tandem will help you make enormous progress.
And in particular with the “every day” Spanish.
It would be an opportunity to learn a Spanish language closer to the social realities of the street and everyday life, with all the Spanish expressions and words related to it: a very practical solution!
Just as you can find someone the write to, you should try to find a Spanish person to speak with (with the difference that here we are moving to a whole new stage of your program: speaking in Spanish.) This can be online, but it can also be within your city. Try some couchsurfing if you have some extra place at home, or international exchange student events.
The next step after reading and writing – very important – it is a matter of confronting yourself now as close as possible to the language: to speak, to understand and to discuss.
This is obviously the most difficult step to take. But it is also a fundamental basis for achieving your goal.
Many american students often make speaking the most important part of classes, but to be effective you need to be in a small group which is not always a possibility. However you learn a spectific spanish – usually the one spoken in Spain. As a result, once in Spain or Latin America, it can be a shock. The misunderstanding of this language that we thought we knew…
Bar tango, latino, cuban, salsa bar, tapas bar or an establishment run by Spanish speakers, can usually be recognized from a distance.
You can’t miss them, they often have yellow and red terraces, bright colors that contrast with their neighbors. In America of course you’ll find more of the Mexican restaurants than the Spanish ones.
A poster by Ernesto Che Guevara, a cup of mate, jerky music and tango dancers: no doubt, this Argentine-held bar is great for progressing in Spanish!
There are not any in all cities, but they are still quite numerous.
So go in search of one of these Spanish-speaking establishments for night owls. Parties, music and drinks are often excellent vehicles for engaging in discussions! It is the cocktail of perfect ingredients to untie the tongs! You gain confidence and are more eager to express yourself without fear of making mistakes.
Take advantage of the local Spanish-speaking clientele to work on your spoken Spanish!
To party as a duty… there are worse kinds of advice…
For those who live in student cities and towns, take advantage of it.
Universities have the opportunity to host students from all over the world during the year. This is achieved through international or European exchange programs such as Erasmus.
It is therefore very common to find in universities young Spaniards or Latinos Americans, who can be recruited to learn their mother tongue.
They won’t hesitate to share their knowledge of the language of Cervantes to finance their studies, to round off the ends of the month or simply to learn english in exchange.
The deal is simple: in exchange for conversations in Spanish – often less expensive than a private classes – informal conversations are also made in English.
A practical solution to improve your Spanish, which is found especially in the classifieds of the universities.
It is now time to perfect your ear, to optimize your oral comprehension.
Watch TV in Spanish to progress and stay entertained.
Because speaking Spanish is one thing, but getting to understand what we are told during a conversation is another. It is therefore essential to have an oral understanding of Spanish.
There are several ways to do this, starting with television. Among the channels open to television or internet subscriptions, look for example at:
BEWARE: the only difficulty will be to make a choice among all the regional channels of the country.
Rather than losing yourself to trying to decipher an ultra-fast Spanish on the radio, prefer slower music instead.
This is also what teachers often offer at school to learn Spanish.
Have you not learned in Spanish “Clandestino” or “Me gustas tu” from Manu Chao?
The songs of Manu Chao initiated to Spanish many young people for whom the Spanish music also represented the alternative or even protestant culture of South America…
Spanish music is very rich, often very melodic, sometimes engaged or romantic, or very rhythmic (tango, salsa, bachata).
It is enough to find the artists that are best for the learner to sing and learn their words by heart.
In a context of unbridled globalization, music is also – sometimes unfortunately – a commercial product that is exported enormously, even better than material goods.
Thus, in the mid-2000s, we discovered Argentine culture through the electro-tango, a tasty mixture of modern electro-music – and tango – style invented at the end of the 19th century – by a group whose global reputation is no longer to be made: Gotan Project.
There are not many lyrics in their songs, so it’s easy to practice to recognize the Spanish words and then sing them!
If the Spanish music is of great richness, what about its cinema and its most beautiful films?
From Pedro Almodovar to Penelope Cruz, including Antonio Banderas, Alejandro Amenabar, Luis Bunuel, Javier Bardem, Sergi Lopez, Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril …
Many of these famous names are as well known as our American directors and actors!
Sometimes political, sometimes poetic or absurd, the Iberian cinema can greatly improve your Spanish.
Watching Spanish films in their original version allows for a playful, interactive and progressive exercise.
Yes, because at the beginning, the learner views his film with subtitles in English.
It performs a process of identification and auditory memorization of the words heard, and their translation makes it possible to associate them with a visual memorization.
After a while, subtitles in English will become less and less important!
Another way to have regular conversations in Spanish: taking Spanish lessons through the Superprof platform.
In all the large American cities, one can find a multitude of teachers of native Spanish ready to move to give lessons in their mother tongue.
The proximity to Mexico makes this altogether easy to find and important to go through with, since a major part of the population speaks Spanish and it is the second most spoken language in the country. Teachers are often native or bilingual teachers, who are sometimes even specialized in oral expression.
To improve your Spanish quickly, all that remains is to find a teacher nearby and to set up with them a daily learning and revision program.
A majority of home teachers will also be able to adapt to all levels of practice: from beginner to intermediate and advanced.
From oral expression, to listening comprehension to writing comprehension, Spanish courses are the key to progressing at high speed.
If the Spanish-speaking student does not just want to speak or listen, but wants to do a general review of the Spanish language and culture, it will be necessary to let the professor know.
Some professors can not assume such a mission.
Reviewing grammar, conjugation or translation may sometimes be too complicated for some of them.
Be careful to find the right person because taking Spanish classes does not necessarily mean studying Spanish civilization!
We can explain: a native Spanish speaker can learn how to speak his language, but he will not necessarily be graduate in Spanish language and civilization, or indeed in language or letters.
Go to Barcelona to progress in Spanish, for a real linguistic and cultural immersion, visit a historical country and to become bilingual.
Obviously, to work in depth your level of Spanish, what better than linguistic immersion? Go to Madrid or Barcelona for example.
Immersion in a linguistic environment that is 100% foreign will awaken all senses and abilities.
To progress or become bilingual in Spanish, there is no better way than traveling in Iberian lands: discover Spain and its cultural specificities, from Andalusia to Catalonia, from Galicia to Arragon, the ideal to strive towards Spanish bilingualism!
Although it’s quite far from home…
With 567 million Spanish speakers in the world, Spanish is the third most used language group on the planet. This makes a pool of more than 500 million potential teachers in dream destinations, from Mexico to Argentina.
Rather Argentina, Mexico, Chile… ?
Therefore, going to improve your level of Spanish in South America will be much more efficient than listening without practicing long Spanish programs. Only a couple hour flight (or drive, depending on where you are) from America’s main cities, Mexico is a great country to visit with strong cultural depth and an easy way to make fast progress.
It is therefore very formative and it also helps to leave your comfort zone.
So, from Argentina to Bolivia, through Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico to Central America, or even Peru, immersion will be total, especially since the Latin peoples are not known to be good English speakers!
By speaking only the Spanish language, the progression will be only rapid, real and tenfold!
Remoteness helps, the learner will soon have to blend into the local population, work or make friends.
The best way to work daily in Spanish!