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The Best Way to Learn Spanish

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From my experience, I think the best way to learn Spanish is through, well... experience. I think it's great to learn from some kind of software or written source and cannot hurt you at all. However, practicing and hearing that language being used over and over again is undoubtedly the best way to learn. This could be as easy as going to the gym and using the vocabulary and phrases you have learned with a native speaker, to having full conversations with a coworker who is also learning. I used to take classes with native speakers as the teachers and they would enforce the "Spanish only" rule, and this really helped just because my classmates and I got used to hearing the same things over and over. What do you think is the best way to learn Spanish?

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I agree with you, I actually learnt English entirely on my own that way; by just using the language. I used it daily as much as possible, I first had to pay a lot attention to what people said tho, I had to learn a few phrases and then start to use them to communicate with others. I made a lot mistakes, but it was thanks to that I could learn it.

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Exactly. Generally, the best way to learn anything is through application. When it comes to learning a language, the biggest obstacle I have faced is not having anyone to communicate with using the language I'm trying to learn. It kind of gets boring practicing on your own, so having a buddy to chat with in a foreign language helps a lot.

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The way you see it would advisably be the best. When you have others around you that you can correspond in the language with over and over you are better able to master the language and do so in a much shorter time.

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I think Duolingo can be a good start, just to get the feel of the language. It would be of course better to speak with native speakers, but not everyone has that option. For the introverted llinguaphiles, having an app that teaches them without the need of unnecessary interactions might be a better choice.

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If you do not want to spend any money Duolingo is a good option. Also BBC website posts really interesting videos.

However, a teacher and a book are always much better! Even online lessons

www.hablayaprende.es.tl

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I'm not nearly fluent in it. I'm still a novice. And so far I haven't applied myself intentionally to a regimen or process for learning Spanish. But here is what I've done so far:

I took several classes (6-8) and this helped me get a ¨base¨ in Spanish. Once I got to a certain level, I didn't lose it.

Last year I started keeping a language notebook. This was primarily for conjugations of the verbs. It helped a lot for my writing.

I didn't do this last one much, but occasionally I would watch Spanish language shows/news on TV. I need to start doing this again because my listening is terrible, whereas I can speak and write Spanish fairly well for my level.

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Yeah, I agree, but it would probably be a good idea to learn some basics first, so that you can build a foundation and progress. I've heard of people who couldn't speak a word of a countries' language going to that country and picking up the language because they had to, there was no other way to communicate.

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Aside from the suggestions mentioned above, I think that learning Spanish can also be made easier by listening to songs of Spanish artists like Enrique Iglesias or Selena, basically any Spanish speaking artist that has a Spanish song. Also, watch movies and tv programs in Spanish, that can help you with the pronunciation too.

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Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn. So as not to feel burdened by the amount of words you have to learn, you first need to understand the structure of Spanish sentences and the rules and regulations that govern it. For instance, when describing something, the adjectives always go after the noun. Like when you say el hombre gordo (a fat man).

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I agree with the OP. There's no replacement for real-world experience when learning a language and ideally, we'd be immersed in a Spanish culture where the language was spoken all the time around us. I know for me, when I visit my family on my mom's side who are all Spanish and speak "Spanglish" a lot of the time, I pick up all kind of words and phrases from them. More often than I not, I feel I learn more in a week from visiting them than I do in a semester in school.

Unfortunately though, getting that level of immersion just isn't possible for most people, so we have to make do with our teachers and online programs and try to learn that way.

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I agree with the first part of what you are saying, but not the "Spanish only" part.  If someone is having trouble understanding certain parts of Spanish, why can't they ask in English how to say it in Spanish?  I think that only creates confusion.  My French teacher used to have the class mostly in English, but would also carve out some French only time.  It would only be a few minutes.  The class was not allowed to make anyone feel inferior if they were having trouble, but encouraged to help each other out.  I loved that class.  I learned so much.  Of course it all went downhill after I was out of the classes and had no one to speak to in French.

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I first started with some audio lessons, then I used Fluenz to get a bit more interactive. I think you have to start with a basic vocabulary and later slowly upgrade to a more diverse one. I think watching movies/series and listening to music in the language you're learning really helps you understand the flow and pronunciation of the words. When you come across a word you don't know, you look it up in the dictionary and write it down, so you'll remember it easily. Reading books or magazines is also a good way to learn the language and come across new words. When I don't know how to pronounce something, I use forvo.com, a great website where you can listen to words being pronounced by real native speakers around the world. And that's how I usually do it, a little bit of everything. Still, nothing beats being immersed directly into the culture of the language you're learning and embracing it all. That's why I hope next year I'll be able to visit South America during the summer for a couple of weeks, and attend a Spanish language course.

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On 8/9/2014 at 7:58 AM, Kektheman said:

I think Duolingo can be a good start, just to get the feel of the language. It would be of course better to speak with native speakers, but not everyone has that option. For the introverted llinguaphiles, having an app that teaches them without the need of unnecessary interactions might be a better choice.

Wish there was a better option for the shy or introvert language learners, but I haven't found that many.  I'm afraid those who really want to master a language will have to interact with a native or at least an advanced student at any point in the road.  With every language is different, I had the same with English, but will have to do the same with dutch, and it feels as scary and as new as it did with English, but I guess much less anxiety inducing. 

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For me, the best way to learn Spanish  is to first master the basics: the alphabet, pronunciation, numbers, telling time and date, measurement, colors, introductions, weather phrases, and other survival phrases. That's because there's hardly any Spanish speakers in my country and to learn it, you have to consciously take an effort. In lieu of listening to Spanish speakers around, I'll recommend listening to audio recording of Spanish conversations. Applying it by speaking and using the language daily is a must if you want to retain your learning and that should be difficult if there are no other speakers around. Thankfully, the internet offers many resources for connecting with fellow language learners. 

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So far I have only dipped in with Duolingo, which has been great for vocabulary, but not so much for learning grammatical rules. I want to work up to the point of being able to speak directly with people because I do agree, using it as frequently as possible is the best...but getting to that point at all has been a hang-up for me. 

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The best way to learn spanish is through something that is coherent with your habits. You can learn a language by singing and playing the piano if you enjoy performing, or watch tons of T.V shows by mimicking the speech of your favorite characters if you enjoy spending hundreds of hours watching thru a screen. There is not other way to reach an informal, but actually working, level of a language proficiency. For an academic level of fluency, you shall attend a school or look for a tutor in order to master advanced grammar and other fancy stuff.

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I actually enjoyed using my book from school when I was studying it back then. I read the book when I was at home, and didn't have problems pronouncing each word that I read, it was so easy once you understand how Spanish is spoken.

 

I think that many people should buy a Spanish book for their homes, and study it because they can learn a lot. I believe that books can sometimes be better teachers because they get to the point, but when things get more complex, then that's when you should start working with a translator.

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7 hours ago, lingvo said:

The best way to learn spanish is through something that is coherent with your habits. You can learn a language by singing and playing the piano if you enjoy performing, or watch tons of T.V shows by mimicking the speech of your favorite characters if you enjoy spending hundreds of hours watching thru a screen. There is not other way to reach an informal, but actually working, level of a language proficiency. For an academic level of fluency, you shall attend a school or look for a tutor in order to master advanced grammar and other fancy stuff.

This is a good point.  I was going to come here and just say that general immersion and getting out there and in the middle of it all is the best approach, but I think that this really takes it one step farther, and in a good direction.  Find something specifically that you enjoy and it will just make it that much easier to do this, and you will have that natural effort and motivation which certainly leads to better results, in most cases anyways.  Interesting stuff and very good point, and thanks for sharing.

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Learning by Software's are good , but I think if you really want to learn Spanish fast and you want to speak it well you have to be around other people who speak Spanish well. I think we all know at least one person that's mexican and speaks fluent Spanish, or if you have friends who speak Spanish just ask them questions and have them help you out in certain things. And also if you can listening to Spanish music that might even help you pronounce words better. 

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