Spanish is a widely spoken language, and also one that can be learned relatively quickly. Most people know a few words in this language but may want to know how to learn conversational Spanish?
While there is no one correct method, one of the most effective options is to speak with a native Spanish speaker.
While you should also be spending time learning the individual words and grammar, learning how the language forms sentences and the different phrases that are commonly used will help you turn basic knowledge into being able to speak the language correctly.
If you’re just getting started on your journey speaking Spanish, these tips will help you turn your basic knowledge into greater fluency over time.
Create Your Phrasebook
Although having a Spanish-English dictionary is a great way to get started, you’re going to find that you often rely on some of the same phrases when speaking.
Think about the common phrases that you say in English. Although you may have an excellent knowledge of your native language, most of us repeatedly use some of the same phrases.
The same is going to be true when you learn a different language. A Spanish phrasebook will be of limited benefit since it will have a considerable number of phrases that you probably won’t use.
Instead, consider developing a list of words and expressions that you say on an everyday basis.
These are going to be different for each person, but there are a few main things that you may want to write down. For example, a phrase about your job or profession is always a good idea to learn a necessary sentence or two about what you do with your time.
You may also want to write phrases about life experiences, your hometown, education, and hobbies or interests.
As you start to speak with others in Spanish, you’ll find that there are other words or phrases that you want to add to this list. You can develop your list over time, adding other phrases that you learn.
Learn How To Connect Sentences and Phrases
If you pay attention to conversational Spanish, you’ll notice that it’s different than written Spanish. This can be a problem if you’re studying books written in Spanish and then trying to mimic what is written.
If you decide to talk the way people write, your speech will sound robotic and will limit your conversations.
Spoken Spanish uses phrases that allow you to bridge ideas and phrases or simply add space to the conversation.
Even in English, we use these when we need to give our brains time to catch up to our mouths. These are some handy ways to make sure that you sound more like a native speaker.
There is no one type of connector that you should focus on, but you may find it helpful to look up and try to use them in everyday life. For example, filler language such as “as a matter of fact” can be useful in your speech. You can also use phrases such as the following:
- That is a good question
- To tell the truth
- Recently, I heard that
- By the way
These connectors will help you to bridge the gap between written and spoken Spanish. They’re a great asset when you’re trying to become more fluent.
The good news is that you don’t have to memorize all of these at once. Pick a few and then use them as quickly as you can. These connectors are one of the best ways to get them into your memory.
Chat with Native Speakers
Chatting with native speakers is an essential tip that’s going to help you with fluency. To become fluent, you should try to speak Spanish daily.
The goal of using the language as much as you can, and as often you can, is the key to success. You may be thinking that your location is a barrier to speaking Spanish daily. However, that’s not a reason to avoid pronouncing the language well.
With a wealth of information and resources online, you can use this method to broaden your horizons.
Many sites connect native Spanish speakers to people wanting to learn. Look for these opportunities. Some of them may come with a cost, but it’s usually less than you would pay for Spanish lessons.
Besides speaking with native speakers, make it a habit to talk to yourself. We all have an inner dialogue that occurs as we live out our day to day lives.
Why not put this to good use. When you start this dialogue in the morning, try to translate what you’re thinking into Spanish. You may not always know the right words or phrases to use, but getting into this habit will help cement the ideas better.
Start doing this as much as possible. Engaging in this self-talk is an effective method of internalizing Spanish and starting to think in this language.
Additionally, if you’re listening to Spanish without interaction, such as a lesson or books on tape, don’t be a passive listener. It’s easy to let the language simply fade into the background without absorbing what you’ve learned.
Listen to a sentence or two and then pause the audio and try to duplicate what you hear. Listening and repeating is how people learn different accents, and it’s a great way to become familiar with cadence and pronunciation.
This type of active listening will help you speak more like a native quickly.
Becoming Fluent in Spanish
Now that you have the building blocks to improve your Spanish understanding, you simply have to follow these tips.
The goal of all of these tips is to immerse yourself in the language until it becomes easier to speak and understand. This comprehension won’t happen overnight, but it will get easier the longer you work at it.
Overall, Spanish is a great language to speak, so you’ll find value in learning it.