17 Tips and strategies on how to learn Spanish fast
Learning Spanish, spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, has benefits for people with all kinds of goals. Although learning the language is an exciting and rewarding journey, it isn’t always easy.
Whether you’re learning Spanish for academic, professional, or personal reasons, this article will share effective tips, techniques, tools, and online learning resources to help you make the greatest language gains. A guide on how to learn Spanish fast and steadily.
How To Learn Spanish – Overview
Why learn Spanish?
Spanish is among the most spoken languages in the world, so it’s no surprise that it opens opportunities for all kinds of people. Some learn Spanish to gain a useful work skill, while others want to be able to read Spanish literature, travel the world more easily, or better communicate with family members. Whether you have professional, academic, or personal motivations for learning Spanish, you’ve come to the right place to get started.
What Makes Learning Spanish Tricky?
There are several difficulties and factors that can impact Spanish learning. Some of the most common obstacles include:
- Anxiety or fear
- Lack of Spanish immersion
- Navigating differences between accents and dialects
- Lack of consistency
- Gendered words
- Verb conjugations
But not to fear- there are even more ways to navigate these obstacles! This article on how to learn Spanish fast will help you understand how to surpass your language goals and help get you to at least the intermediate level in Spanish.
No matter how you plan to learn Spanish, there’s no way getting out of vocabulary and grammar memorization. However, the following strategies ensure that your Spanish learning journey is fun, enjoyable, and exciting, so it won’t feel like a test.
Let’s jump in! Here are some tips and techniques on how to learn Spanish fast.
1. Learn Spanish – Vocabulary Tips
First things first, creating a basic vocabulary is fundamental to being able to communicate in Spanish. According to fluentu.com, many new Spanish learners struggle to speak because they simply lack the vocabulary for it.
You might feel intimidated by the thought of learning thousands of words in Spanish, but you probably already have more knowledge of Spanish than you think. Chances are, Spanish is all around you. Just look for it and embrace it when you see it.
For example, you might meet people with names with Spanish meanings, like Luna (moon). Look for places, street names, restaurant names or song titles in Spanish. If you live in the U.S., you can easily learn some Spanish words from state names like Colorado (colored) and Nevada (snowy).
Another simple step to boost your Spanish vocabulary is to look for cognates. According to study.com, cognates are words from different languages that originate from the same root word and thus have similar spelling, meaning, and pronunciation. For example, “organization” and “organización” are cognates, as are “family” and “familia”.
Keep an eye out for words in Spanish that look like English, but make sure to check in a dictionary that the words have similar meanings. There are a few words that seem to be cognates but are really “false friends”. The Spanish verb “recorder” might look like “to record”, but it actually means to remember.
Although these “false friends” certainly exist, Spanish words that look similar to English are cognates more than not. Cognates are easy to remember, so they’re a good thing to look for when you’re learning Spanish.
Most words aren’t cognates, though. That means you’ll need to implement some more traditional modes of study to build up your vocabulary.
Flashcards are a great place to start. You might learn best if you create flashcard sets by theme, such as greetings, family, household objects, and weather. Quizzes are beneficial in tracking your progress and are readily available online with a quick Google search.
2. Learn Spanish – Grammar Tips
There are some aspects of Spanish grammar that are tricky for native English speakers to grasp, like the subjunctive, “ser” vs. “estar”, and “por” vs. “para”. Below are some tips to help you tackle these challenges of the Spanish language.
It’s important to learn Spanish grammar correctly, so an important piece of advice is to learn it from a native speaker or a teacher. Watch YouTube videos of professional teachers who explain grammar in a captivating way.
Write to native speakers and ask them for grammatical corrections. If you don’t personally know any native speakers, try a language exchange app. Language exchange apps such as HelloTalk allow users to chat with native speakers around the world, so they’re a wonderful opportunity to ask for grammar corrections that will help you become fluent.
Additionally, you can read Spanish news articles while paying close attention to grammar structures that you struggle with.
Make sure that you always ask questions when you have a doubt. Native speakers or teachers can help you when you aren’t sure if you should use the subjunctive or the indicative mood. They can also help you reformat a phrase to sound more natural. If you don’t have access to a teacher or know a native speaker who can answer your questions, you can search for online resources or consult a Spanish grammar book.
A final tip on how to learn Spanish grammar fast and correctly is to practice, practice again, and then practice again. It’s unlikely to perfect your grammar without constant practice, so don’t slack off! You can do grammar exercises and revise your writing to make progress, but it won’t stick around long-term unless you practice consistently.
Tip: Not the right language? Browse our lists of best Italian courses or German courses or English courses or French classes or Portuguese classes or Mandarin classes or Japanese classes or Russian classes online.
3. Learn Spanish – Reading and Writing
It can be hard to jump into Spanish reading and writing right away, but it’s best to start as soon as possible. If you’re worried that you don’t have enough of a grasp on Spanish vocabulary and grammar, remember that reading and writing are activities that will help you learn new words and grammatical structures.
Always use a reputable Spanish dictionary to look up unknown words in readings or words that you want to use in your writing. Spanishdict.com is a great resource here.
If you’re a beginner Spanish student, try reading bilingual books. Bilingual books have Spanish text on one page, and an English translation of the text on the other page (or vice versa). These are great tools for individuals who are just starting their Spanish journeys because readers can just glance across to see the English meaning when they’re stuck.
If bilingual books still seem a bit intimidating, you can also try starting with children’s books in Spanish. Once you’ve reached the intermediate level, try reading books in Spanish only.
Besides reading books in Spanish, you can read magazines, newspapers, online articles, and signs in Spanish. If you encounter a word that stumps you, add it to your list of Spanish vocabulary words to memorize and take it from there.
A useful activity for strengthening writing skills is daily journaling. Just jot down what you did at the end of each day. As your vocabulary expands, you’ll be able to write more in-depth entries as time goes on. Remember to keep a record of when your entries are written so that you can see how far you’ve come.
4. Learn Spanish – Improve Comprehension
Because Spanish is everywhere, it’s easy to find resources to help improve your comprehension skills. Let’s learn about some strategies to best put those resources to use!
Spanish music might be one of the most used means to practice comprehension skills. But simply listening to music isn’t going to drastically change your ability to understand Spanish. One good approach is to listen to music and try to write down the lyrics.
Afterward, compare what you’ve written to the real lyrics and listen to the song again to hear the difference. Another strategy to learn Spanish comprehension is to search for Spanish covers of songs that you know in English. When you listen to the Spanish versions, you can guess what the Spanish means and train your brain to understand it.
TV shows are another option to learn Spanish fast and better your understanding skills. Try watching shows in Spanish but with English subtitles. Telenovelas, Latin American serial drama series, are perfect for learning about the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in addition to the language. Netflix also has some great Spanish series in various genres.
You might have seen a TED talk in English, but there are also plenty in Spanish. Listen to TED en Español talks on topics that you’re interested in. Try to summarize what you’ve heard and write questions that you would ask the speaker.
5. Learn Spanish – Improve Speaking Skills
Speaking is often described as the hardest part of learning a foreign language. In addition to thinking about sentence structure and vocabulary, you’ll also need to focus on pronunciation. The following tips will help you learn Spanish conversation and polish your speaking skills to really implement your Spanish speaking.
Chatting with native speakers is your best bet to learn Spanish fast and steadily. Finding private tutors or teachers to speak with is an optimal way to practice talking. If that’s not an option, look for community groups, clubs, or classes that encourage active participation. Whoever you’re speaking to, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make mistakes.
Another way to strengthen your Spanish speaking skills is to record yourself and listen. If you’re just starting to learn Spanish or just want to work on pronunciation, you can read a section of text (like lyrics, a book, or a poem) out loud.
If you want to practice improvisational speaking, you can speak on the spot. When you’re done, listen to your recording and see what words or sounds you can improve.
Lastly, consider looking for a Spanish pronunciation coach to help you nail your Spanish words. Some Spanish words and sounds are a bit tricky, but an accent coach will help develop a natural accent.
12 Practical Tips To Learn Spanish (Fast)
6. Join a Local Spanish Meetup Group
Since Spanish is such a commonly studied language, there are probably other learners in your community. You can search for local Spanish meetup groups to practice understanding and speaking. Plus, since these groups usually consist of people who are also learning, you might feel less anxious compared to speaking with perfect speakers.
7. Travel to Spanish-speaking Countries
Traveling to destinations in the Spanish-speaking world allows you to immerse yourself and practice conversational Spanish. Spain and Latin America (except Brazil) are wonderful destinations to improve your speaking and understanding while picking up some regional slang words. Just keep in mind that different countries and areas have different Spanish vocabulary and accents.
8. Study or Work Abroad
Studying or working in Spain or Latin America is a great way of how to learn Spanish fast and profoundly and also spend ample time getting to know the language and culture. There are plenty of study abroad programs for college students, entire degree programs open to international students, and job opportunities open to foreigners. Remember that these routes often require visas and extensive application processes.
9. Volunteer Abroad
If you want to avoid the hassle of navigating tricky processes for applications, visas, and immigration, an easier way to go abroad might be volunteering. There are several volunteer platforms that provide food, housing, and opportunities for cultural and linguistic exchange to not only learn Spanish but also other languages. WWOOF, Workaway, and Worldpackers are some of the most popular and trusted platforms.
10. Use Language Learning Apps
Perhaps you’re familiar with Duolingo, one of the world’s most used language learning apps. Duolingo certainly helps users with vocabulary, grammar, speaking, and listening, but it’s not the only app out there. Other useful apps include Babbel, FluentU, or Busuu.
11. Go to Your Local Mexican Market
Going to a Mexican (or any Latin American or Spanish) store in your community allows you to interact with native Spanish speakers. It also gives you exposure to the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. If you want to learn Spanish fast, this is often an excellent opportunity to do so without traveling far.
12. Read Spanish Ingredient Labels
If you picked up some ingredients or foods at the Mexican market, chances are that the ingredient lists will be in Spanish. Reading the labels (especially out loud) will help you expand your Spanish vocabulary.
13. Look for Instructions in Spanish
Reading instructions in Spanish is a fantastic way to improve your Spanish vocabulary while going about your everyday life. Look for Spanish instructions on medication bottles, cleaning supplies, and anything else that has directions. Implementing the language in your daily routines is one of the best strategies of how to learn Spanish fast.
14. Try a Recipe Written in Spanish
Following a Spanish-written recipe will help you learn vocabulary related to food, cooking, and measurements. If you can, look for a recipe for an authentic dish from a Spanish-speaking country for a cultural learning bonus.
15. Change the Language on Your Phone to Spanish
Did you know that you change the settings on your smartphone so that everything is in Spanish? If that seems a bit overwhelming, you could alternatively add a Spanish keyboard. That way, when you’re typing in Spanish, autocorrect can assist you with vocabulary and grammatical errors. It s another great way to learn Spanish fast and intuitively and without much hassle.
16. Write Your To-do List in Spanish
If you want to practice writing short phrases, writing your to-do list in Spanish is an easy activity to incorporate into your daily life. You could also write your grocery list in Spanish if you don’t make to-do lists. while this is certainly a technique for more advanced learners, it helps not only learn Spanish fast but also ingrain it deeply into your daily life.
17. Play Games in Spanish
Playing word games is a great way to test your progress without it feeling like a chore. Scrabble, for example, is a great opportunity for you to test your vocabulary and practice pronunciation. Lotería, sometimes referred to as “Mexican Bingo”, is another great option that also gives you insight into Mexican culture. You can try games from any other Spanish-speaking country of course.
How To Learn Spanish Fast – eLearning Resources
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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
Please browse our list of online Spanish classes for more comprehensive coverage. These are the best online resources to help you learn Spanish fast and in a guided way.
Rocket Spanish (visit website) helps users perfect their Spanish pronunciation, practice speaking, and understand other cultures while learning vital vocabulary and grammar. There are three levels to choose from depending on your starting knowledge of the language, and they all include lifetime access. If you’re new to Spanish, start with Level 1.
According to Elayaa (visit website), users can reach fluency in 3 to 6 months, depending on personal commitment. Classes cover all levels starting from level 0, so they’re ideal for those who are brand new to Spanish. Elayaa courses include 100+ video lessons, exercises, quizzes, tests, graded readings, vocabulary sheets, and more. It is one of the best options to learn Spanish fast and easily.
Udemy, a global online platform for teaching and learning, offers a variety of Spanish learning resources. You can choose from different levels and teachers depending on your goals and preferences. Most programs are for complete beginners, but there are also some geared toward learners with previous knowledge.
How To Learn Spanish Fast – Last Bits of Advice
Wrapping our tutorial guide on how to learn Spanish fast.
Learning Spanish fast is no easy task, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Being able to speak this language, spoken all around the world, has a multitude of perks. During your learning process, some of the most critical methods and tips include staying consistent, practicing with native speakers, and actively absorbing Spanish media.
It’s never too late to start learning a language, but if you start today and use the tips in this guide on how to learn Spanish fast. You’ll be on your way to proficiency in no time. Furthermore, here are some last bits of advice to get you started.
Don’t Wait to Start Speaking
A common mistake that learners make is that they wait speaking until they have learned more words and grammar. Start speaking from day one. Pronounce words out loud and talk with others in Spanish, even if your knowledge is initially limited. “Hola” is a good start!
If you’re scared to make mistakes in front of others, don’t be. Although it can be daunting, remember that mistakes are opportunities for learning. When you realize you’ve used a so-called false friend or the wrong verb conjugation, take the time to reflect on how you can avoid doing so in the future.
If a native speaker gently corrects you, take the constructive criticism and apply it to your Spanish. This will help you become fluent and confident more quickly.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Learning Spanish but also any language takes dedication and time, and even if you feel like you aren’t improving despite your consistency, you likely are. Try to think positively when you get stuck, and don’t let yourself give up.
How To Learn Spanish Fast – Tips
- Vocabulary tips to learn Spanish
- Grammar tips to learn Spanish
- Reading and writing tips to learn Spanish
- Improve Spanish comprehension tips
- Improve Spanish speaking skills
How To Learn Spanish Fast – Free Video Resources
- Butterfly Spanish – YouTube – View
- Spanish with Vicente – YouTube – View
- Maria Español – YouTube – View
What is your Spanish learning journey like? Please let us know in the comments below, or contact us via email for questions. If you like this guide on how to learn Spanish fast, please share it on social media or help spread the word.
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