Here you can find a 100% free Spanish guide to quickly learn Spanish. We only included what could be very useful to the learner who wants to speak Spanish in a short time, while still touching many areas as possible. But before starting to learn it, let.s go over how important Spanish is.
Spanish is the official language of Spain and 19 Latin American countries. It is spoken as a first language by about 330 million peeople and as a second language by about 50 million more. Spanish can be easy to learn compared to other languages. In the United states over 17 million people speak it as their native language.It is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.
Its vocabulary is basically of Latin origin. However, it contains many loan words from other languages, especially Arabic, French, and Italian.
There are numbers of dialects such as Castilian and dialects of Latin America, having some minor differences between them. Nevertheless, it is still considered by some a very easy language to learn compared to other languages. On our site, you can find grammar and vocabulary and also how to write letters.
Common Mistakes Made by English Speakers When Learning Spanish
Learning another language is a rewarding endeavor. It broadens the amount of people with which you are able to communicate and it gives you insight to other cultures that you may not have known about previously. The Spanish language is no exception. Spanish-speaking countries have rich and unique cultures as well as a beautiful language to accompany their fascinating ways of life. Luckily for English speakers and other Romantic language speakers (not to suggest that English is a Romantic language, but we do share roots), Spanish and English share many cognates – that is to say, there are many words that are spelled and pronounced similarly with similar meanings attached the them. For example, “connection” in English is “conección” in Spanish. While learning and speaking Spanish can be easy for English-speakers at times, there are many challenges that arise throughout the process.
1.) The pronunciation of the letters “r” and “rr”.
It is a fact that some people are born with the ability to roll their “r”s. This is done by placing the tip of the tongue behind the front teeth at the top of the mouth and aspirating strongly over the tongue to cause it to vibrate rapidly. This explanation may sound simple, but for many people, it is very difficult to execute. While some people may not be able to roll their “r”s, those same people can still make the simple “r” sound that Spanish requires. The strongest native English-speaker-speaking-Spanish mistake is the mispronunciation of the “r”. To form this letter, flap the tip of the tongue lightly against the roof of the mouth. Imagine you are making a soft “d” sound, like in English. This is the proper way to pronounce an “r” in Spanish. If you are one of the those people who cannot roll their “r”s, try the simple “flap r” approach so that you are not using the default, English, retroflexive “r”, which sounds very out of place in the Spanish language.
2.) The misuse of prepositions.
As it goes for Spanish-speakers learning English, English-speakers learning Spanish have the same problem with prepositions. It is difficult to break the habit of a person’s “go-to” preposition phrases, such as “think about”, “depend on”, etc. The best advice to avoid misusing prepositions is memorization. Language learners do not like hearing this advice, but this is a situation in which there are not many other options. Memorization of the correct prepositional phrases will have you saying “pienso EN” and “depende DE” in no time.
3.) How and when to use the word “que” meaning “that”.
There is a scene in the movie Spanglish in which one woman is translating for another woman in Spanish and English. The woman who cannot speak English is in a job interview and her friend is interpreting between the potential employer and the potential employee. When the potential employer decides that, yes, she will hire the employee, the interpreter turns to the employee and says “…que sí!”. For a native English-speaker learning Spanish, this doesn’t make sense. An English speaker would say “…yes!” not “…that yes!” and it is difficult to rationalize why the Spanish-speaker says “…that yes!”. This example is a small but perfect example of English-speakers needs to realize the frequency and use of the word “que” in Spanish. It is used in many situations that do not seem natural for English-speakers, but it is important to listen for this word specifically to help you form phrases more correctly in Spanish.
4.) The overuse of cognates.
Just as Spanish-speakers use cognates (words that look, mean, and sound similarly from one language to another) frequently to communicate in English, English-speakers overuse cognates to communicate in Spanish. As mentioned above, this can be a beneficial tool for Spanish-learners, especially at first when communication is limited and difficult to come by. However, after a period of time-well-spent learning Spanish, a Spanish-learner should not heavily depend on cognates anymore to get by in conversation. Learning, memorizing and utilizing the appropriate vocabulary in Spanish is essential to one’s ability to communicate to the fullest and richest extent of the language. Without non-cognates, it can be very difficult to express your desires or needs in any given situation while speaking with a native Spanish-speaker. Do not heavily depend on cognates to get by in Spanish. Take the time to learn synonyms and wide variety of vocabulary so that you can experience the fullness of expression the language has to offer.
While these four complications tend to rise while English-speakers are learning Spanish, do not feel disheartened. These weaknesses can easily be turned into advantageous tools of learning a new language, especially one as beautiful and musical as Spanish. Also, I recommend the movie Spanglish for some insight about communication between native English and Spanish speaking people.
I hope these pages will help you learn Spanish fast. Good Luck!