Learn Spanish Fast: what are the best ways? In this article you will find numerous hacks to learn Spanish fast. If you want to speak Spanish quickly, it’s important to have the maximum exposure to the Spanish language and not only hear Spanish during your lessons.
So if you want to improve quickly, use all 20 hacks or pick a few of the best ways to learn Spanish Fast. You will practice your speaking, listening and reading to get as much exposure as possible to the Spanish language. Increase your knowledge, abilities and everyday skills with this article: Learn Spanish Fast: the Best Ways.
Let’s get started!
1. Listen to Songs in Spanish
There are many different Latin music styles including Tango, Salsa, Flamenco Bachata, Reggaeton, Cumbia and rock to name just a few. The best part about studying Spanish with songs is that it’s fun. Put away your books and learn new Spanish vocabulary and expressions through unconvensional but more fun methods.
Make your own Spotify or YouTube playlist and read the lyrics while you are signing and make sure to look up any words you don’t know.
Step 2: sing along with karaoke videos on Youtube. As music sticks in your memory with ease, you´ll be surprised to see how you can remember the Spanish lyrics! You can even listen to Spanish songs while you are walking, jogging, commuting, biking, or while cleaning the house!
Bonus tip: try out the app Lyricstraining to learn languages through music.
2. Spanish Learning App
Start with some fundamental vocabulary on a (free) Spanish learning app such as Duolingo. It’s fun, easy to follow and encourgaging as you will get positive feedback for every little bit of effort.
t’s so simple to download the app, and you can start right now “to learn Spanish in five minutes per day” with Duolingo.
3. Learn Spanish Vocabulary for the Field(s) You Are Interested in
Once you’ve got basic vocabulary and Spanish phrases under control, continue to expand your vocabulary with words in Spanish about topics you enjoy.
If you enjoy cooking, start with ‘kitchen tools’ and the names of food products in Spanish (fruits, vegetables, meats, dishes, etc.).
If you love sports, hiking, biking, art, painting, or gardening, start from there!
Using flashcards is always an easy way to get exposed to new words. Or label items in your house to start visualizing the words as part of your everyday routine.
Don’t forget to use your new vocabulary outloud any chance you get!
4. Ask yourself: Why do I learn Spanish?“
Why do you want to learn Spanish? What is your number one motivation?
Benefits like: a resume boost, career advancement, impressing people, passing an exam, crossing off an item from your bucket list are all great examples of motivations to learn Spanish.
If you think about it a bit longer, you may even find ‘deeper motivations’ that will help you when you struggle to stay motivated.
When you have a real passion to learn a language , much more than just “I need to learn this language for school or work” you will feel that learning the language is not a burden. and you start to care for the language itself!
Use Spanish as a bridge to communicate with people, get to know the culture, make friends. Then you are off to the best start you could ask for.
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5. Write in Spanish
Whenever you learn a new word, make sure to write it down; not only the correct spelling and the pronunciation but also the definition in your own language.
You can record a local person saying the word for your own recollection. Then, use the word in a sentence to give it significance, importance and context. You can even make funny sentences to remember the words more easily and with a good laugh. Putting the language into context is so important to remember the vocabulary.
Keep this language notebook as a journal as well, adding your own images, colors and memories, especially when traveling through the country where the language is spoken. Journals can help you stay organized and build stronger associations to the words you are learning at any given moment.
For example, if you learn the verb “to hike” while you are hiking in a new place you can take a photo of the location and maybe even paste a small item from the location in your journal to remember.
Or if you are walking through a new market in a different country and you come across a new food, fruit or vegetable, take a photo of the market and draw the new food item you discovered.
These collections of memories in your multisensory notebook will help you to connect all your senses to make for a better retention of new words.
If you don’t like journaling, you can make any sort of list to help remember new vocabulary!
Remember that your notebook should be small enough to carry around with you everywhere you go, and if you are tech savvy feel, free to use your phone. Then, when you discover a new word in the language you are learning, you can write it down with the date and context!”
6. Watch TV in Spanish
Watching TV in Spanish is one of the best ways to learn Spanish fast and to discover the culture of the country. Univision is a big Spanish language television network in the U.S. where you can watch various shows, news, sports, weather and so much more!
If you are looking for Spanish TV, TVE is the best. It has lots of free content like cooking shows, news, technology, music, sports, movies, etc. and there is also a radio station you can access from their website.
If you’re looking for series or movies only, Netflix is a great option!
7. Describe everything
This is one of our ultimate suggestions for how to spend your free time. If you have a free moment during your day – which we are sure you do, even if it’s just for a few moments – describe everything around you including what you see, hear and feel. You can also describe what you did, what you plan to do or what other people are doing! If you don’t know a word you can look it up on your phone to build new vocabulary!
The best method is to talk out loud and use full sentences when you are describing things and not just single words. For example, “I am walking home from work and there are 10 cars on the road. Tonight for dinner, I am going to make lasagna with salad. Tomorrow, I am going to wear my favorite shirt to Sharon’s birthday party.”
This is one of the most stress free ways to practice speaking because you never have to worry about making mistakes or feeling embarrassed!
Just make sure you compliment this method with talking to real native speakers to help you fine tune your language skills.
8.Watch Movies in Spanish
Start watching movies in your native language with subtitles in Spanish. Watching movies in your native language with Spanish subtitles is a great way to unwind while learning a bit of Spanish. It will also help you to make connections between Spanish and your own language.
Step 2: watch movies in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. This alloww you to listen and read simultaneously.
Step 3: watch without subtitles, to see how much you can grasp.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t recognize every word. You don’t have to. Many times, especially if you already know the movie, you will be able to guess the meaning of the words from the context. This is excellent practice too, as you will use this skill in real life when talking to people in Spanish.
Bonus tip: the best Spanish Movies to practice your Spanish.
9. Talk to people who will correct you
You can’t underestimate the power of a conversation with a native speaker. We recommend before you begin, even if you are friends or just meeting, to ask the native speaker to kindly give you pointers and correct your mistakes.
Even if you are a great speaker, chances are you’re making small grammatical mistakes when you speak. Some people don’t like to correct language learners because they don’t want to be rude, so that’s why it’s important you tell your conversation partner, “It’s ok to correct me! Please let me know when I’m making a mistake.”
The more you practice speaking and the more your partner encourages you and helps you with your mistakes, the more you’ll improve. Before you know it, you’ll be fluent!
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10. Record yourself reading
The great thing about reading modern books, news or magazines is that they help you stay up-to-date on events and trending words or vocabulary. While you are going over these articles record yourself reading the entire article.
After, you can listen to your own voice. (I know, I don’t like to listen to my voice either, but trust me – it’s super beneficial!) You will begin to notice your strong points, the tone of your voice and your pronunciation. Actors, politicians and others who frequently have to speak in public have even used this tactic.
Does your accent make you feel shy or embarrassed when you try speaking? Having an accent is nothing to be ashamed of as long as you speak clearly and master tough words!
Have a native speaker that you trust go over the recording with you and correct your pronunciation together when needed. It’s very common to mispronounce words that you have only seen written down.
11. Prepare a Spanish / Latin American Meal
If you love cooking, watch a cooking video, read a recipe, and prepare a Spanish or Latin American meal! Making a meal using a recipe in Spanish will help you master your cooking vocabulary as well as your knowledge about ingredients. If you use a recipe of a dish you´ve never prepared before, you´ll be forced to learn the new words, and it will be a fun challenge!
12. Improve your sleep
One of our Spanish students, Margaux, says: “I’ve always found it difficult to focus on a project when I was sleep deprived. If I’m tired all I can think about it resting and not about the materials I am working on. I always need a good night’s sleep to help with my memory and attention. That is why I try to go to bed and wake up at around the same time everyday, even on the weekends in order to get my 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I also focus on my language learning at the time I am most focused, which for me is in the early morning until lunch. It’s best to get to know at what hours you have your highest level of concentration! Don’t forget you can always take a power nap to help you feel more refreshed and energized.”
13. Play games in Spanish
Digital Dialects is the go-to place for Spanish learning games. Here you can pick many different games; each game covers different topics for beginners in Spanish like numbers, colors, basic phrases, food and so on. Each game also has a second level option: “more games” where you can continue with more advanced and challenging games at an intermediate level of Spanish.
14. Eliminate distractions
Well, this may seem a bit obvious to some people. We have found distractions to be the hardest aspect to reaching our language goals. And trust us, blocking out distractions isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s very easy to underestimated just how many distractions there are in our daily lives.
Start keeping a journal to keep track of all the distractions and interruptions you can face in just 1 day, including roommates, children, loud co-workers, cell phones, phone calls and the TV to just name a handful. We also found that it takes about 20 minutes or more to get our concentration back after facing one of these distractions.
We highly recommend keeping a journal to stay aware of what distractions you come across the most during the day. After you name the distractions you can more easily assess how to eliminate those distractions before sitting down to work.
Our recommendation is to set a specific time to be left alone. Let everyone know that that period of time will be your study time and ask for no interruptions. You should use a private room in your house or even a quiet coffee shop to study. Keep your phone in your bag or pocket so you are not tempted to check emails, messages or other notifications.
15. Don’t worry about polishing your pronunciation too much!
While improving your pronunciation can help you in countless ways, including your confidence, landing a new job or generally making you sound intelligent and refined, you should always hold onto your own charming quirkiness that makes your own way of speaking unique.
Focus your efforts into learning how to pronounce new or difficult words correctly. If you focus on being perfect you will be wasting a lot of time and energy. Even native speakers don’t use the correct pronunciation sometimes.
16. Learn to listen
Have you ever noticed how so many words sound almost exactly the same when people are speaking? This is when your listening skills need to come into play. There are many word pairs, called minimal pairs, which are only separated by one sound. To a non-native speaker these can be so hard to hear. If you can learn to hear the difference you will be able to speak the difference.
Our recommendation would be to listen to podcasts, songs, native speakers and movies and take minimal pair quizzes! On these quizzes you can click on each word to hear it in a full sentence and then quiz yourself.
17. Take risks
Don’t hold yourself back. Even if you’re not 100% sure you have the correct word, or the correct pronunciation use it anyway. If you only use language that you know and are comfortable with you won’t gain new vocabulary or grammar skills. Our greatest recommendation is to not be too serious when you speak, people are not robots and conversations are about making human connections, not being perfect.
The best part about having a Spanish teacher is that they can help you feel braver and more comfortable to speak. So if you’re looking for judgment free learning and guidance, a professional language teacher is the way to go!
18. Shadow listen
Shadow listening means when you listen to the media you like once or twice and then you listen again, but with pauses after each sentence. You should say each sentence out loud exactly as you heard it, or to the best of your ability.
Focus on how the native speaker says each sentence including the pronunciation, intonations, and rhythm or how fast they speak. This can even help you to sound more natural when you speak.
You can do this with your favorite audiobooks, Netflix series, movies, podcasts, TED Talks or songs to name just a few options.
Shadow listening is also great to do in your spare time because you can listen whenever you want – at the gym, on a walk, when you are traveling to work or school, etc.
19. Look at new vocabulary again after 24 hours, after one week and after one month
Our Spanish student, Maddie, says: “There’s been a lot of time in my language studies where we discussed a word and then never went back to revise or use that word in conversation, so it was simply forgotten. What I like to do is use these new vocabulary words as often as possible, but I always revise the word after 24 hours, after one week and then again after one month to move the information into my long term memory.
I call this dynamic repetition and here’s how it works:
- I start by going over a language topic as I normally would (read a text, listen to an audio, etc.)
- I then wait 24 hours and return to the material. When I return to the material I use a different approach. If I read a text the first time, I would then listen to an audio. If I listened to an audio I may try to write out the new vocabulary by hand.
- I then wait a few more days (1 week) and return to the same vocabulary again and I try another approach to learning.
- Every time I return to the vocabulary I try to learn it in a new and unique way. This process always helps keep me interested in the learning process. I can easily review the same vocabulary a dozen times before I get bored.”
20. Study Abroad
If it is an option for you to travel to a Spanish-speaking country to learn Spanish for an extended period of time, take this chance. An immersion course is the funnest and fastest way to learn Spanish.
Here you can read why Peru is considered one of the best places to learn Spanish.
Apart from Peru, there are many Spanish schools in Latin America, and in Spain you can choose from.
Traveling and living in another country is, of course, not a “free resource.” But, after so much learning (and no traveling), how great would it be to practice your Spanish in a country where the language is actually spoken and to feel and breath the culture in real life?
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Best ways to learn Spanish Fast