If you're only fluent in your native language, learning Spanish may seem like a formidable task. It's likely that you were told to start with Spanish because it is supposed to be easy to learn. The secret is that almost all languages are fairly easy to learn, you only need to decide what tricks to use for learning. Lots of suggestions and helpful tips are available to help you learn Spanish much easier. Here are a few tricks that you can try:
First, be sure to get a CD course. If you're feeling shy about learning a new language, CDs are great to use. You can just listen to the words, and then hear how they're used in full sentences. With a CD, there will be no worries about mistakes in front of others, plus the material is of equal quality as found in a classroom. And it's great because you can listen to your CD just about anywhere. You can just use a CD player, or you can download lessons on an MP3 player and you're all set! You'll never be restricted to where you can learn. Teach yourself to think in Spanish. It may not be easy when you first try, but take any thoughts you can and turn them into Spanish. You won't be able to do this very well at first, but be patient. In your everyday life, consider how various phrases that occur to you would sound in Spanish. This is an ability you will improve at the more you practice it. You will be surprised at how fast you will be able to do this translation process once you practice it for a while. Then, one day, you may suddenly realize you were thinking in Spanish on your own. The next stage is to take your internal thoughts and speak them out loud, so you learn how to converse in Spanish.
If you plan on using your new language by visiting a country where Spanish is the dominant language, learning to speak in the local dialect will help you communicate with the people you meet! More importantly, a tutor can tell you about the casual uses of the words you will be learning. A book or CD will normally teach the formal usage of language. However, you can learn slang from a tutor. Try to make yourself think in Spanish as much as possible. You have to use an internal translation process, where you take your thoughts from one language and put them into the new one. You will need to start slow with this. The idea is to take any internal dialogues you might have into the Spanish equivalent as much as possible. Like any skill, you can become better at it the more you try it. As you practice, you will notice that you can translate words faster. There will come a point when this will become automatic, and you'll think in Spanish without trying. Of course, you also want to say some of these thoughts out loud, so your ability to speak improves as well.
Even if stumbling through the new language out loud makes you uncomfortable, it's still a good idea. There's no better way to learn it because everyone is making mistakes, as well! You can stumble over the words together! And you must admit it's much better than learning in the real world where your mistakes could be an insulting comment!
Try reviewing your vocabulary by using flashcards. This may seem very simple, but it works well. Language is largely about memorizing, and these cards help you do just that! Use them to learn about using verbs in different tenses, correctly applying grammatical rules and so forth. You can use flashcards almost anywhere you go, as they are portable. It can also be useful to work with someone else and have them test you with the flashcards. All you have to do is use one side for Spanish and the other for your first language; it's that easy! If you research the subject, you'll find that there are a wide variety of methods that can help you learn faster. There's no reason not to take advantage of the many sources of help that are out there today. One reason there are so many methods is that people have different learning styles. Test many learning strategies until you find one that appeals to you. Be patient with yourself and use the tools that work best for you; sooner than you think, you'll find that you can speak, read and understand Spanish.
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