Here’s my philosophy on learning Spanish (or any language really). Take it for what it’s worth.
1. Aprender un idioma requiere tiempo. / Learning a Language takes time
So you’re learning Spanish or wanting to learn Spanish. You’ve stumbled across this site and are wondering how you can become fluent in Spanish.
I believe that anyone can learn a foreign language. The key ingredients will be effort and work. And you won’t become fluent overnight.
I hope that in my videos, you can learn vocabulary and sentences that will open doors for conversations with Spanish-speakers.
2. Practica cuando sea posible. / Practice whenever possible
The ‘Spanish sickness’ as I call it hit me in Spanish II of high school. When I heard songs on the radio I would start trying to translate them in my head. When people would be speaking to me, I would think about how that would sound in Spanish.
Every opportunity I could as a young Spanish student, I would try to converse with people in Spanish. I would attempt to speak to my friends who were in higher level Spanish and learn new things. As well, I would use Spanish as much as possible in the classroom. I Spanish II, I bought my first Spanish-English dictionary and that became one of my best resources even in college.
Even if you don’t know of many Spanish-speakers in your area, there are many videos on youtube these days and you can even watch full television shows on youtube.com from foreign countries.
You might also try to read the periódicos (newspapers):
People en español
3. ¡No tengas miedo de equivocarte! / Don’t be afraid to make a mistake
I can’t tell you how many opportunities for conversation with people I have wasted now that I know enough to know I don’t know enough. All because I was afraid to make a little mistake and prove to them that I wasn’t an expert at Spanish!
Guess what though, it’s obvious if a person is not Spanish-speaking. As soon as you speak it will be obvious. But most Spanish-speakers I’ve met are encouraging when you try their language and might even help you! Often, people are surprised when the ‘gringo’ or ‘gringa’ throws out Spanish phrases because the typical ‘American’ does not know much Spanish.
Also, don’t worry about making mistakes. In everyday life, we constantly make mistakes. Making mistakes is what helps us to grow as people and even moreso as Spanish speakers. Sometimes, a mistake we make might become a funny story later in life.
4. ¡Disfruta! / Enjoy!
Learning Spanish or another language is an opportunity for you to enjoy yourself, expand your understanding of the world as well as other people. You will also have doors opened for you in conversation and in ways to help people!
Chances are, if you enjoy it, you’ll be more inclined to remember it.