Spanish is a relatively easy language to learn, especially for any European. The common base of Latin means that many words or expressions may sound familiar to speakers of other languages, like French, Italian or Portuguese. It is possible to acquire a good level of Spanish in a short time if you put effort and patience. However, nowadays there are so many resources to learn a language that it is difficult to know where to start from. In this article we will see all you have to know to learn Spanish as a beginner:
- The reasons why it is important to start learning Spanish as an adult;
- Where to start to learn Spanish;
- The basic grammar rules you need to start with;
- Learn the basics of Spanish with General Español, the best online resource.
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Why is it important to start learning Spanish as an adult?
Wondering if it is hard to learn Spanish and how long it takes to learn it is legitimate, but answering these questions is difficult. It’s sure that learning Spanish as a child, and any other language, is easier, but it’s never too late to start!
There are many reasons and advantages of learning Spanish and opting for the Cervantes language, but here we want to show you only the most important ones.
Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world, behind English and Mandarin Chinese. It is spoken in Spain, in the Caribbean Islands (Cuba and Puerto Rico), in the Dominican Republic, in North America (Mexico), in Central America (Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) and in South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador). Spanish is also the second most widely spoken language in the United States. Move to one of these countries to learn Spanish in a very short time!
The extensive Hispanic culture
Studying Spanish will help you enjoy the work of Master of Literature, cinema, and culture. The works of Garcilaso, Quevedo, Bécquer, Cervantes, García Márquez, Allende or Neruda, as well as Almodóvar, Saura or Médem can only be appreciated in their original language in its entirety. And in addition, the film and television industry are increasingly important, with actors such as Benicio del Toro or Antonio Banderas, or directors such as Alfonso Cuarón or Pedro Almodóvar.
To study abroad
Learning Spanish offers you the opportunity to study in other countries such as Spain or all Latin America. In many universities and other training centres, it is necessary to have knowledge of Spanish to be able to study in one of its courses, Master’s degrees, etc. If you speak Spanish, you can learn about other cultures and make Hispanic friends for life.
Learning Spanish will offer you enormous advantages at work level, especially if you have to work in a foreign or international company, since there are many jobs where knowing Spanish is a fundamental requirement. If you are going to travel to a Spanish-speaking country for vacation, work, or study reasons, speaking this language will help you greatly and an intermediate level of Spanish will be absolutely sufficient.
It will help you with other languages
Modern Spanish is part of the languages derived from Latin. In addition to Spanish, the languages that are part of this group are: Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian (including the Moldovan dialect), Catalan and Galician. Thus, if you already have a medium level of the language, you will know the grammatical structure of Romance languages.
#1 Start to learn Spanish with the basic vocabulary
There is basic Spanish lesion such as the alphabet, introductions and greetings, or the animals that are very important to know at the beginning of learning the language and that will help you improve your written Spanish ad well as your listening, reading and speaking skills.
The Spanish alphabet is one of those subjects that you must master first when learning this language. It is quite simple to remember, and it is very important to master it in order to have good spelling. he Spanish alphabet, often called “Abecedario,” is made up of twenty-seven letters. As in English, the Spanish alphabet contains 5 vowels: “a, e, i, o, u” and they are divided into strong vowels (a,e,u), and soft vowels (i,u). Check out everything you need to know about the Spanish alphabet.
Introduce yourself, greet and say goodbye
Saying hello and goodbye are the first-learned expressions in almost any language. They are expressions that are used formally or informally depending on the different parts of the day. Let’s see some basic expressions in Spanish:
Hola (hello, hi): this is the most popular and most used greeting.
Adiós (bye): it is the most used expression to say goodbye. Also, the expression “Hasta luego” (see you) should be used when you will see that person later the person. In practice the two terms are used synonymously.
Buenos dias (Good Morning): from sunrise to noon (7.00-13.00)
Buenas tardes (Good afternoon / Good evening): from noon until dark (13.00-19.00 approx.)
Buenas noches (Good night): after dark (20.00-7.00)
Hasta mañana (See you tomorrow): if you are saying goodbye until the next day, the correct thing to do is to use the expression “Hasta mañana”. For example, it is very used with people at work.
Por favor: please
Gracias: thank you
De nada: you are welcome
Mi nombre es … (My name is …)
Soy de … (I’m from…)
Perdona, hablo poco español : Excuse me, I speak little Spanish
Here is a basic list of some of the animals you should know as a beginner in Spanish:
#2 Study the basic Spanish grammar rules
Spanish grammar can be understood like the infrastructure of a language and sometimes it can be the least entertaining part to learn, as the rules completely differ from one language to the other. On the Internet, you will find many online resources to practice your Spanish grammar.
The articles always accompany a noun with which they agree in gender (masculine, feminine) and number (singular, plural). In Spanish, there are two types of articles: indeterminate articles (un, una, unos, unas) and definite articles (el / los, la / las, lo).
In Spanish the adjectives define a name (la casa naranja, el tren rápido). The adjectives always have the same gender and number with the name that they are referring to. Plus, they are used to compare in which way they are describing a quality. (la mejor, más lenta que…)
There are plenty of verbs in Spanish. One of the big complications when studying the Spanish grammar is the big list of verbs you must face. That is why it is important that when you are beginning to study Spanish, you start knowing how to use the verbs Ser y Estar, Haber y Tener. Also, the gerund, reflexive verbs, the passive, the imperative, and the modal and changing verbs.
There are three verb conjugations in Spanish which you need to learn from the beginning to be able to speak and spell correctly:
- FIRST CONJUGATION: all verbs that end in “-ar” in the infinitive.
- SECOND CONJUGATION: all verbs that end in “-er” in the infinitive.
- THIRD CONJUGATION: all verbs that end in “-ir” in the infinitive.
#3 Focus on listening and reading more than on other skills
There are plenty of resources to learn Spanish, but two of the fundamental ones that you should focus on to learn the language in a proper way are listening to music and reading.
You can listen to any style of music in Spanish, there are thousands of options. Explore, listen, and try to find a song or group that you like and sing along. It does not matter that you do not understand the whole letter, but this way you will practice pronunciation and surely you will learn some new words.
Read, read, and read! Books, articles, novels … whatever is related to a Spanish-speaking country in which you are interested. It doesn’t have to be in Spanish, you can read in your own language, and you will learn a lot about culture, history, gastronomy or lifestyle.
#4 Prepare with a teacher: at the beginning it is good to get help
Especially at the beginning, to learn Spanish with a teacher’s help can let you better-know the language in a better way and in a shorter period of time. Nowadays you don’t even need to move from home, you can find most of them online with interactive classes.
What can a teacher give you? A teacher is like having a personal trainer: they want you to succeed and offer you motivation. Teachers have comprehensive knowledge of both Spanish and English grammar, so they can explain and help you understand the difference between the two languages. Plus, they quickly figure out your strengths and weaknesses and come up with a learning plan just made for you.
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