Learning Spanish: What to Look Forward To

When trying to learn Spanish, it is good to first get the basics down. Some of the first things people start with when learning Spanish are the days of the week and the bathroom. However, there are many other basics parts of Spanish that a person trying to learn Spanish needs to know. The basic things you must begin with in order to learn Spanish are as follows:

First you must learn how to ask, where the bathroom is.

This is an important question, because if you ever travel to a Spanish speaking country, you may be surrounded by people who do not know how to speak your language. You may find it difficult to point and make gestures that demonstrate that you are looking for the bathroom. Therefore, if you do not know how to ask for what you want, you may find yourself in a flurry of ridiculous motions that do not get you anywhere. On the other hand, if you simply get down the word “lavabo” then, you will be on your way to getting rid your natural urge quickly and easily.

Next you must learn to ask how to catch a cab or bus.

As you learn Spanish, you may want to begin traveling to different Spanish-speaking parts of the world, and maybe even parts of your neighborhood. When doing so you should be careful because even in certain parts of your neighborhood or city, you may run into large groups of people who only speak Spanish. Therefore, it is essential that as you learn Spanish, you learn to ask where a cab or bus is. If you learn these questions, you certainly will not find yourself stranded in the middle of a neighborhood that you are not familiar with.

Next, you must learn the days of the week.

The days of the week are important to learn in any language, and as you learn Spanish, learning the days of the week will become a great asset to you. Finally, if your teacher asks you what day your next class is, you will be able to answer marvelously in Spanish.
Then, you must learn small verbs.

Why learn Spanish if you can’t even build a sentence? Learning small verbs will make Spanish much easier for you in the beginning. The small verbs you should learn are “is” “are” “the,” and “they.” Learning these words will help you to put together a sentence like “Where is the bathroom?” or “Where is the bus?”

Lastly, you must learn “yes” and “no.”

Sometimes, when people learn Spanish, they are not taught how to say “yes” and “no” for a long time because the Spanish-speaking teacher wants them to learn how to answer his or her questions with complete Spanish sentences. However, it is good to pick up these words as soon as your teacher begins to mention them because they will be the key to getting what you want and getting rid of what you don’t.

Learn Spanish through Immersion Studies

It isn’t easy trying to learn Spanish without talking to people who actually speak the language on a regular basis. Spanish teachers whose first language is English may know their subject very well. Yet, they can’t give you the understanding of the language you will get if you experience it firsthand.

Immersion study means staying in a place, such as a Spanish speaking country, where people speak a language you are trying to learn. You put yourself in a position where you have to conduct all your business in that language. Your social life will revolve around speaking that language. It will be challenging to learn Spanish this way.

However, the payoff is that, as you are forced to use it constantly, you learn Spanish much faster. You will have no choice but to learn Spanish if you are to understand what is going on around you. It is a great motivational tool.

At the same time, you are in an atmosphere where you can pick up hundreds, if not thousands, of bits of information about the language every day. You learn Spanish in much the same way as a child will learn Spanish.

You will imitate the way those around you speak. You will intuit the meanings of words and phrases by the way they are used. As you go through the days, you will gain knowledge of social language and customs. Learn Spanish this way and you will remember it for life.

The best way to enhance this learning is to go to Spanish classes or to have a tutor. This way you can clarify any questions you have. You can also learn Spanish from the tutor by having him/her correct any misconceptions that you have about grammar and usage.

You can make the arrangements to do immersion study on your own. Rent an apartment or home in a Spanish speaking neighborhood or country. Sign up for a class or with a tutor. Then, get out, interact with people, and let nature take its course.

There are also companies that will make the arrangements for you to learn Spanish this way. They will set up those living arrangements. Instead of living on your own, you might opt for the company to send you to a host family to live with as you learn Spanish.

This is total immersion in the language and culture of the country. You will be in a position where you are making polite dinner conversation over every meal. You will be included in invitations to social functions that you might otherwise have missed. You might learn Spanish during your time inside the home in an informal way that you would never have thought possible.

Universities and colleges also offer immersion studies for students. It doesn’t matter if you are a young student or someone going back to school. You can take a semester abroad to learn Spanish through one of their programs.

Immersion studies have always had some of the best results for people who wanted to learn Spanish. Foreign exchange students have been doing it for years. Now, the option is available to anyone.

Is it Good for Small Children to Learn Spanish?

Nowadays, Spanish is being taught in grades k-5. It also is being taught in junior high school, high school, and college.

However, many people are undecided on whether it is actually beneficial for small children to learn Spanish since at such a young age, they may not retain much and will most likely not be able to speak the language on any advanced level.

Children at this age may use the language for entertainment purposes. They may find the exercises fun and motivating. But are they really learning or is it a waste of time for small children to learn Spanish? There are a couple of different sides to this issue.

It is good for small children to learn Spanish because it teaches them about diversity. While many schools have many races attending them, there are still other schools around that are not very diverse at all due to the neighborhoods where the schools are located. Therefore, when a small child has the opportunity to learn Spanish, he or she can be exposed to a culture and race of people other than his or her own.

When a child learns about different cultures and races, he or she becomes more well- rounded and may become more likely not to have incidences in his or her life where he or she accidentally discriminates against someone of another race.

Also, small children who learn Spanish will most likely learn about Spanish food. Learning about different kinds of food from different cultures is valuable because it makes it seem as if other food exists besides unhealthy fast food or even the fried snacks found in school lunches. Learning about Spanish food may prompt a child to want to learn how to cook this type of food. If as an adult, the grownup child cooks Spanish food, soon his or her own children may start cooking the same food, and another culture may be spread amongst a household.

Learning Spanish will teach children more about the English language. Both Spanish and English have Latin roots. As a child learns Spanish on the basic level, he or she may be able to make connections between the Latin similarities in both Spanish and English. Such a connection may prove valuable later on as the child progresses to higher levels of learning and begins to grasp complex Spanish or English vocabulary. For instance, he or she may notice the similarities between Spanish the word “lavabo” and the English word “lavatory.”

In spite of all of the positive reasons to learn Spanish, there is also a case for not teaching Spanish to small children. These reasons can all be summed up into asking, “Is the child actually learning to speak a language or is he or she just learning cultural values that can be taught in a sociology class? Certainly at such a young age a child will not become fluent in the language. However, the jury is still out, and in any case, these kids are getting a head start on the many language requirements they will have to fulfill at the higher levels of learning.

How You Can Learn Spanish Better Through the Arts

Do you want to learn Spanish and enjoy yourself at the same time? There are many ways to do this. If you’re a person who enjoys the arts, a good way to learn Spanish is to take pleasure in the arts of Spanish speaking countries.

There is a great deal of very good literature that comes from Spanish cultures. You can go to the libraries in cities and even larger towns to find Spanish literature in its original language. Ask the librarian or do a search in the computerized catalog under Spanish language writers.

If you take time to learn Spanish to a certain extent before you try this, you will have the best results. This is a practice that is mainly meant to improve already existing language skills. After you check out a book that seems interesting, begin to try reading it. You will come to words and phrases you don’t understand.

This is when it is good to have someone who will help you learn Spanish by answering your questions. If you don’t have someone like that, you can sometimes get into a discussion group, whether in person or on-line. This is also a good way to learn Spanish culture because there are novelists and poets from virtually every Spanish speaking country.

Another way to learn Spanish through the arts is by watching Spanish language movies. One way to learn which movies are good is to find out which have been nominated to win foreign language Academy Awards. There have been some very moving and sometimes funny movies that have been acknowledged.

When you watch the movies, there are often subtitles. Don’t take these words as an exact translation. They usually are just an approximation, and sometimes not even that. As you listen carefully to the words, you will find the subtitles hilarious at times in their inaccuracies. Watching a movie gives you context for language and makes it easier to learn Spanish.

Even Spanish language television, although perhaps a lower form of art, can help you to learn Spanish as well. The nice thing about television is that there is a constant supply of programs. You can watch and learn Spanish every day.

There are different types of programs. There are many Spanish soap operas. This might not be the type of program you would normally watch. However, you will find a lot of common usages that will help you learn Spanish. There are also dramas, game shows, and even sit-coms.

People who aren’t even trying to learn Spanish have been doing it for years through listening to Spanish language songs. The trick is to find a song that has lyrics clear enough to understand completely. Then, sit down with a recorder and tape the song.

Once you have the song recorded, you can go through it a phrase at a time. Write down each phrase as you hear it. Then use the Spanish you know along with your Spanish-English dictionary to translate it. Pretty soon you will learn Spanish from the song enough to sing it as you work.

If you learn Spanish better through the arts, you will have enhanced your language skills while gaining a deeper understanding of life. After all, that’s what the arts are all about.

How to Learn Spanish with a Tutor

Some companies hire tutors for certain employees so they can learn Spanish for business dealings. You might also hire a tutor to get personal instruction. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get a one-on-one tutor to learn Spanish with, you should be able to progress quickly. This is even truer if you know how to take full advantage of your tutor’s knowledge.

When you first sit down with your tutor, before you begin to learn Spanish, ask about his/her background. Ask questions about where they grew up, where they went to school, where they have worked, and especially, what language they spoke in all of these situations.

Make sure the tutor you have selected has something to teach you. Think of it this way. You can learn something from anyone, but no one can teach you everything. Learn Spanish with someone who can come as close as possible.

Once you get a feel for where your tutor’s talents lie, you will be able to glean from their wisdom all they have to offer you. If the tutor has lived in a country that interests you, you will have a great resource to learn Spanish in that dialect. You can also learn about the culture of that country.

If the tutor has worked in a field that is similar to yours, that is helpful. It means that they will know technical words that you deal with every day. It also gives you something in common to talk about as you learn Spanish.

Show up on time to your tutoring sessions. If the tutoring takes place in your home, be there and ready for your lesson. Don’t make the tutor wait for you to finish watching a television program before you will begin to learn Spanish, for example. Besides that, you should offer a soda or coffee, since all the talking can dry out the mouth.

When you’re working with a tutor to learn Spanish, one advantage you have is that you can ask all the questions you want. Use this knowledge to the maximum. When you’re having your tutoring sessions, ask every question that pops into your mind.

Don’t let the questions end with the lessons, either. Keep jotting down your questions in between lessons so that they can be answered when you meet again. When you get the answers, write them down or record them. This kind of interaction makes you more involved and enthusiastic about your quest to learn Spanish.

After you’ve learned the basics with your tutor, make a list of things you need or would like to learn. If you work in a field with a lot of technical jargon or specialized tools, you can make a list of these words you need to know. Your tutor will help you learn Spanish names for the items on your list.

The right tutor can fulfill your need to learn Spanish with ease. Treat your tutor in a respectful way and you can expect to develop a strong working relationship. If you have a choice, opting to learn Spanish with a tutor is a wise move.

How to Learn Spanish by Getting the Most Out of Classes

After you enroll in a Spanish class, you expect to learn Spanish right away. You might leave it up to the teacher to drill the words and conjugations into your head. You will get more out of it, though, if you do your part to get more out of the class.

As soon as you enter the room for the first time, begin to get to know the other people. You might not think this is necessary to learn Spanish. After all, you didn’t come to socialize, right? The truth is that knowing these people will make it easier to interact and communicate with them. Your learning experience will be much more pleasant.

If the class goes in the traditional way, the teacher will start with a few basic Spanish words. To learn Spanish, begin thinking correctly about these first few words and you will set a precedent that will carry through all your language learning.

To do this, look at the object and think the Spanish word. Don’t think the English word and then translate it in your head. That’s a bad habit to get into and it won’t help you learn Spanish much either. If you start out learning correctly, the rest will go much smoother.

Some things when you learn Spanish are just easier than English. Your teacher will soon get into going through the alphabet. Pay attention. The sounds of the Spanish alphabet go by very strict rules that rarely change. If you want to learn Spanish, it’s easy to spell if you have mastered the alphabet rules.

To learn Spanish, you must learn to conjugate verbs. Learn the standard conjugations once. As you learn new irregular verbs, write down their conjugations. Then, assume that every verb is a regular verb unless you know otherwise.

Many classes these days, especially adult classes, are conversational classes. It is an advantage to learn Spanish this way because you are prepared for dealing directly with people when you finish. There are some ways to make your conversational class go better.

Listen to the other speakers when it isn’t your turn to talk. People often make the mistake of thinking so hard of what they want to say that they get lost to the conversation that is going on. If you listen, you will have to speak without premeditation, but this may help you to think faster in any situation as you learn Spanish.

Remember, even though it’s a conversational class, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take notes. You won’t want to spend much time with them. Focus on the conversation to learn Spanish, but take the time to doodle words or phrases that you want to remember. You can write them down later, or better yet, speak them into a recorder.

Merely being enrolled in a Spanish class doesn’t guarantee that you will learn Spanish. You need to bring your whole self into the process and be ready for anything your teacher throws at you. If you are, you will no doubt learn some Spanish by the end of the class.

How People Learn Spanish in Conversational Classes

The traditional way to learn Spanish has been to start where a first grader would start. You learn the Spanish alphabet, learn simple Spanish words, and learn simple Spanish grammar. You advance in the same way throughout your studies.

The trouble is, it seems that after a course like this, people may learn Spanish to a degree without ever learning how to hold up their end of a conversation. Speaking in an informal setting is very different from speaking in a formal class.

For this reason, many people who give courses for people to learn Spanish have changed. They now give what are called “conversational Spanish classes.” These classes, by their nature, must be taught by someone who is extremely fluent in conversational Spanish.

Purists would have you dive right into a conversational setting, stumbling as you find your way. Generally, though, you will learn Spanish words that are necessary parts of a conversation first. These can be small words like “and, or, she, what,” and so on.

After you have that basis, you will usually be given a thin volume of conversational topics. These have about two short pages for each topic. Words related to that topic are given. Then, some questions are given as conversation starters.

When you use topics like this, you use the book as a starting point to learn Spanish rather than as the point of the class. You might, for example, have a topic about going on a trip in a car. There will be words that denote different parts of the car, such as the trunk. Then there will be words about stops you make along the way, like gas station.

You use the conversation starters to get you going. In this instance, a question might say, “How did you get your car ready for your last trip?” The students can all use the topic words, along with the small words they know, to answer the question and learn Spanish.

Everyone will get a chance to answer the question eventually, but the conversation should be a lively interchange of ideas if the facilitator is any good at all. As you learn Spanish more, you will have even more to say about each topic. You can draw on words you have learned in other lessons.

Once you have a few lessons under your belt, the facilitator might have you set aside the book for some lessons. During these times, you can talk about yourselves. You can get to know each other. As you learn Spanish, you will also find out what your classmates do and what they like.

Of course the topic words will not give you all the words you need to carry on a normal conversation. They are just a starting point after all. This is where the facilitator comes in. You try to use Spanish words that you do know to describe what you mean. When you get your point across, the facilitator will supply the word.

In conversational classes, the facilitator helps you out, but classmates also help each other. It’s a group effort to begin and sustain a conversation. As you learn Spanish, you will find that it’s less effort than pleasure.

Business People Learn Spanish for Work

People have various reasons to learn Spanish. Some just want the satisfaction of knowing another language. However, in the business world, it is becoming more and more advantageous to learn Spanish.

If your business has bilingual employees, the Spanish speaking community won’t hesitate to do business with you. You will be able to service their needs without making them feel out of place or unwanted. It will help you immensely if you have several employees who learn Spanish.

Running a grocery store or a department store is much easier if you have employees who will learn Spanish. Questions come up as to price checks or damaged merchandise, to name a couple. It helps you to make your business friendly to the Spanish speaking community if you are ready with answers.

If your business involves financial contracts, you can explain your services completely so that everyone involved understands what is being agreed to. You can help the person understand the contract and make sure it’s what they want. To do work like this, your employees will need to learn Spanish in depth.

Sales are a big area of business in any country. If you don’t speak a person’s language, you’ll never know what they are looking for. You might try to sell them something that is out of their price range. Or, unluckily for you, you might sell them something lesser than what they came for. This is where having employees learn Spanish pays off.

Many companies in the US do international business. They need to speak to their business associates on the phone, by email, or even through video conferencing. You will not want a receptionist handling such matters. For this reason, it’s necessary to have people of importance to the company learn Spanish.

Sometimes Spanish speaking people from businesses you work with will come directly to your office. If this happens, you need to have people who have taken the time to learn Spanish to greet them. They should be able to conduct business with the visiting associates. If you don’t learn Spanish yourself, you can at least have employees who can translate for you.

So, having established that it is important to your business for employees to learn Spanish, how can you make that learning available? One way is to hire a company tutor. This person can come into the office several times a week and work with selected employees to help them learn Spanish that relates to the office environment.

This is an ideal set-up because it takes little time from the workday to learn Spanish, yet it ensures that employees will attend. It keeps the material geared to the specific needs of your company. It also guarantees as small a class size as you dictate.

Having employees learn Spanish can be a great boon to your business. It is well worth the trouble and expense of making learning materials and teachers available. If you own a business, consider going bilingual and you won’t be sorry you did.

Books and Other Tools to Help You Learn Spanish

If you want to learn Spanish without taking classes, you can make a lot of progress on your own. There are CD’s and audio-books to aid you. There are plenty of books you can buy to help you learn Spanish more easily, as well.

A nifty book to have as you learn Spanish is 1001 Most Useful Spanish Words (Beginners’ Guide), by Seymour Resnick. This book lists words by categories such as food, time, and family. The words are also in a dictionary type listing alphabetically. The words are defined and used in a sentence. Popular phrases using the words are given. It is helpful to anyone trying to learn Spanish.

Sticking with the numbers theme, there is another book you can get tremendous help from as you learn Spanish. It is called 2000+ Essential Spanish Verbs: Learn the Forms, Master the Tenses, and Speak Fluently, put out by Living Language. This book makes it so easy to learn Spanish verbs; you’ll wonder why you ever thought it would be difficult. It covers conjugations, irregular forms, and teaches you to form tenses. It has answers to many tricky questions on verbs.

If you’re a busy sort, maybe you have free time in your car. Learn in Your Car Spanish Complete Language Course is a tool to help you learn Spanish, written by Henry N. Raymond and Oscar M. Ramirez. You just play the CD’s in your car, or anywhere else you’d like to, and repeat after the speaker. The CD’s progress from the easiest to the most advanced. You will learn enough about basic Spanish dialogue to begin to join in conversations with Spanish speaking people.

If you’re a stickler for details, you might be interested in a book called Spanish Grammar for Independent Learners, by Arie Vicente. This book covers everything you need to know about grammar. It has all the information neatly arranged for easy access. As you try to learn Spanish, you will come across sentences you just know you don’t have right. This book has a system to troubleshoot your language and help you figure out what you mean to say.

For a taste of Spanish literature, try First Spanish Reader: A Beginner’s Dual Language Book, edited by Angel Flores. You will find stories old and new within its pages. You can learn Spanish almost effortlessly by reading these short stories and proverbs. The easiest ones are first, and more difficult verb tenses are used later on. The stories are interesting and make it fun to learn Spanish.

The Language Heretic’s Super Crash Course in Spanish Conversation and Culture: GET BY in Spanish in One to Three Weeks is a unique book by L. Adams. It cuts through all the technical aspects of language learning in short order. The focus of the book is simply to give you enough language skills to get you into conversations so that you can learn Spanish from there. It never claims to make you a scholar.

With all the books and CD’s on how to learn Spanish, you should be able to find books that will make your study easier. You can check them out at a library, but to get the most good out of them, you usually need to purchase them. However, that’s not much to spend if you want to learn Spanish.

How to Learn Spanish: The Greetings

In your first attempt to learn Spanish, the first thing you will be taught about is greetings. What do you know if you don’t know how to say “hello?” Learning the greetings will help you to learn Spanish in its simplest form because you don’t have to worry about too many verb agreements or word orders. The greetings are taught in simple phrases. No extra words need to be looked up or added. As I said before, as you learn Spanish the first phrase you need to know is “hello.” In order to say that in Spanish, you would say, “Hola.”

“Hola” can be used formally or casually to say hello to anyone you might run into. If you are trying to say hello on the phone, you might use “bueno” or “diga. ”

If you would like to say “goodbye” in Spanish, you would say, “Adios.”

If you would like to say, “How are you?” you would say, ” Como estas?” To say, “Good afternoon.” you would say, ” Buenas tardes.” To say, “Good morning” or “Good day,” you would say, “Buenos dÌas.” “Good night” in Spanish is buenos noches, and to ask what someone’s name is, you would say, “Como te llamas?”

Once you get these down, you will think it’s a breeze to learn Spanish, but you are in for some more complex terms a bit later on down the road. Other basics that you can start mastering are numbers, the alphabet, telling time, asking directions, gender, color, body parts, and family.

Learning these types of everyday terms will help you learn Spanish faster because you will able to practice these words everyday. People say hello and good night all of the time so you will feel comfortable practicing your Spanish often.

Later on, you will be able to form more complex greetings such as, “Hello, how are you are you doing?” or “Hi, the weather is pleasant today, isn’t it?”

You can begin to get a little more advanced by asking “What’s up?” or “What’s new?” To say that in Spanish, you would say “QuÈ hay?” If you want to say, “How’s it going?” you would say, “QuÈ pasa?” If you would like to say “nice to meet you” you would say “Mucho gusto.”

Those are just a few of the more intermediate level greetings that you will help you to learn Spanish while getting to know many different people.

In Spain, it’s often a common thing for people to kiss each other on both cheeks when they meet. However, men will usually shake hands. Even though people kiss each other often when they meet, they don’t do it all of the time. For instance in the context of a business meeting, you would not catch people kissing each other on the cheeks.

If you are in America, you may not want to try kissing anyone as you learn Spanish, even if it’s another Spanish person. Most people of different cultures have gotten used to the American culture, and American’s usually don’t kiss when they first meet. However, should you visit Spain, you may want to try this. It will add to the fun as you learn Spanish.