If you've been itching for a quick way to learn the fourth-most-spoken language on the planet, you've come to the right place. Whether you're about to take a trip abroad or want to impress your Spanish-speaking friends, let's talk about the quickest way for you to learn Spanish on your own.
While learning a language can be intimidating (especially if it's your first time), there are many things you can do to start speaking Spanish immediately. You may not attain the same level of fluency as native speakers, but you'll be able to speak a bit of Spanish in no time.
How to learn Spanish quickly? Here are some tips to help you get started!
Tips to Learn Spanish as Quickly as Possible
Focus on the Vocabulary You Need to Learn Spanish
Vocabulary words are the building blocks of every language. If you want to master Spanish learning, you will need to master the vocabulary. One way to learn Spanish word is to create a vocabulary list.
Start by writing down words and topics you think will be helpful to learn in Spanish fast. Include words you frequently use in English, then look up and learn the corresponding term in Spanish. If you listen to native speakers, jot down familiar words that you hear often. These are likely things you're going to need to learn further down the line.
After building your list, start practicing a few minutes every day. Daily drilling works--making flashcards is possibly the quickest way to learn Spanish terms.
Work on Spanish Pronunciation
As in many other languages, pronunciation is vital for Spanish fluency. The goal is for native Spanish speakers to think you're also from a Spanish-speaking country. But how do you learn and master the beautiful Spanish cadence?
For starters, you'll need to hear yourself speak. Recording your voice and listening to playbacks helps you hear your Spanish skills firsthand. This technique is crucial if you want to stop sounding like a "gringo" (foreigner).
After you have recorded yourself talking, give it a listen to see how natural you sound. Record a native speaker saying the same sentence, then compare the two recordings. Now you'll have a better idea of how you should sound.
Bear in mind that Spanish has ten major dialects, so mastering the basics is just the beginning. Sure, you may be able to communicate easily with Westernized locals in the big cities, but how will you do against people in rural areas who rarely encounter foreigners? Well, amigo, learn how to speak with a passable Spanish accent, and your life will be easier when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries.
Use the Spanish Language As Much as Possible
Believe it or not, burying your face in a textbook isn't the fastest way to learn Spanish. If you want to learn a language fast, you need to speak it as much as possible. Immersion is the most action-oriented approach to learning any language. By continually exposing yourself to Spanish, you'll be able to train your brain to respond to Spanish words.
Here are some ways you can quickly start using your new language on a daily basis:
Make Use of Technology
In our world of smart devices, anything we want to learn is at our fingertips--including exposure to the Spanish language. Whether you're watching Spanish movies or listening to Spanish music, using your smart device is a convenient way to practice and speak Spanish every day. Also, you can download many apps to boost your Spanish comprehension.
Visit a Community Culture Center
If you live in the United States and want to learn Spanish, you're in luck. Over 41 million native Spanish speakers are living in the U.S., and you can find many Spanish cultural and community centers. Here you'll find bilingual people who are more than willing to introduce you to the Spanish-speaking community. Not only is this a great place to speak Spanish, but you'll be able to learn more about different cultures and make some new friends in the process.
Create a "No-English Policy"
When you're around native Spanish speakers, try and establish a "No-English Policy" for yourself. You'd be surprised at how well it works as it helps you build more confidence and constrains you to apply everything you're learning. You may talk less, but at least you'll only be speaking Spanish.
Visit A Spanish-Speaking Country
Not everyone has the resources to travel abroad frequently. If you do, however, get the opportunity to travel, even to Hispanic communities within your own country, be sure to make the most out of your trip. Going to a Spanish-speaking country will give you more intensive exposure and plenty of chances to speak Spanish--from ordering food and asking directions to having conversations with locals! You can also learn local dialects and slang, which is a massive step towards fluency.
Resources to Help You Learn Spanish Quickly
Here are some of the best resources that will move you along from "gringo" to almost-native speaker:
20+ minutes a day
Rocket Spanish is a part of the language-learning platform Rocket Languages. It's their best selling course--and rightfully so. It's the perfect tool for those wanting to learn natural, conversational Spanish. Rocket Spanish starts you out mastering things like essential grammar and vocabulary and gradually immerses you in more complex lessons.
Rocket Languages isn't as glossy as corporate language giants Rosetta Stone or Duolingo, but it still fares quite well against competitors.
Some of its critical features include:
Interactive Audio Lessons
The first thing Rocket Spanish sets you up with is its interactive audio lessons. You can download these courses onto your smartphone or computer, and they're perfect if you want to learn while driving or walking.
This part of the Rocket Spanish course includes 31 interactive audio sessions, each averaging around 20 minutes long. The lessons focus on conversational Spanish. You listen to a conversation, and then the instructor will break it down and explain the meaning and pronunciation of the content.
The initial conversations are extremely basic, such as "Hi, how are you?" and "My name is..."--but the conversations get more challenging as you advance through the course.
Rocket Spanish takes a context-based approach to learning grammar and vocabulary. This method is a far more natural way to learn Spanish since it helps you build a casual tone. With patience and a will to learn Spanish fast, you'll benefit significantly from these interactive audio lessons.
Language & Culture Lessons
Rocket Spanish goes beyond the learning-by-ear method. Its language and culture lessons provide textbook-style content to supplement the interactive audio lessons.
Though this section isn't the lifeblood of learning Spanish on the Rocket platform, it's still helpful. You might get bored after the first couple of lessons, but we recommend that you stick with it.
Rocket Reinforcement Tools
Who doesn't love a pop quiz? The Rocket Reinforcement tools are there to test what you learn in the core lessons regarding reading, writing, speaking, and memory. The purpose of these game-like tests is to help pace yourself through the course. One of the worst things you can do when learning a language is to move too quickly.
Rocket Spanish is a great resource if you want to start learning Spanish right away. The platform is especially useful for teenagers and people already taking formal lessons. Results come quickly, and the functionality of the site and app is adequate. If you're about to travel in a Spanish-speaking country, download the app for a fast introduction to the local language.
Many users claim that Rocket Spanish helped them with better pronunciation and more confidence.
From $4+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Spanishpod101 is a quick and interactive way to start speaking one of the most romantic languages in the world. It has one of the most sizeable collections of audio-learning sessions on the internet. You also get a 7-day free trial, so you can start learning Spanish risk-free.
After that, Spanishpod 101 works on a "freemium" pricing model: it's free to sign up, but you'll need to pay if you desire to access the more advanced content.
Spanishpod 101 organizes its lessons according to level, and each level contains roughly 25 sessions. This equates to hundreds of lessons, making it one of the most extensive Spanish-learning programs on the market.
Here are some of the critical features of Spanishpod 101:
All the lessons may overwhelm you in the beginning. That's why Spanishpod 101 offers unique learning paths to help get the ball rolling. For example, you can choose “Going Shopping (Mexican Spanish),” “Traveling Around (Latin America),” or “The Ultimate Guide For Brand New Spanish Learners.” This is an effective way to learn Spanish with podcasts that precisely aligns with your goals.
Large Lesson Library
You'll never run out of lessons with Spanishpod 101. Overall, the entire course contains hundreds of hours of video and audio sessions, covering a broad range of topics. It's tough to find a lesson library this vast on any other course.
Spanishpod 101 breaks down each lesson into three parts:
Full Lesson Audio
The host provides an English translation of the dialogue, along with cultural insights about the tones or sentence structure. In each lesson, you're learning new vocabulary and essential grammar rules. Users say the large lesson library is one of the major benefits of the course.
Minimal English Used
One cool feature of Spanishpod101 is the way the use of English decreases as you advance through the course material. This engages you in the lessons and makes Spanish increasingly more natural to you. The host gradually makes Spanish the primary language during explanations.
The gradual phasing out of English is the best way to go about language learning. It gets you out of your comfort zone and allows you to break through the beginner's barrier as you're learning the language and move you one step closer to fluency.
Additional Learning Tools
Other than the extensive audio and video courses, Spanishpod101 provides you with useful learning tools such as flashcards, vocabulary lists, pronunciation reviews, and lesson notes.
The flashcards are a fun way to expand your vocabulary, an excellent tool for training your brain. Pronunciation reviews are there, too, to help you master the right accent and cadence. The proper pronunciation is everything if you want to speak Spanish casually
$14.95 per month
30 minutes a day
We won't sugar coat it; the Pimsleur learning method isn't for everyone. However, although a few users find it boring, they attest that it does work. So if you have the discipline to complete the Pimsleur course, you'll be able to speak and use Spanish at a more advanced level. This course is beneficial for people who are beginners that want to take their Spanish language abilities to the next level.
Pimsleur is a household name in the language-learning industry. Applied linguistics scholar Paul Pimsleur created the Pimsleur method to revolutionize the way we learn languages. His approach relies entirely on audio learning, but it's much different than traditional "listen and remember" techniques (Which is also great for practicing Spanish in the car).
The Pimsleur method focuses on responses. For example, you listen to a phrase in the target language, then the translation, and finally, you repeat back the sentence. The phrases use spaced intervals to help with memory drilling.
What makes this course useful is that it forces you to recall bits and pieces of each lesson in order to advance further. That's why we only recommend the Pimsleur method for people who are serious. If you're a spatial-visual learner, you might be better off with another language-learning method.
Up to you
Learning the sound system of the target language is crucial if you want to sound like a native. The Mimic Method focuses on the "learn by ear" approach, which has proven to be a highly effective way for people to learn any language. This approach was developed by Idahosa Ness, a language teacher and a student who learned over five languages as an adult.
The course focuses mainly on audio learning. The modules gradually become more challenging as you advance through the course. One of the most useful things about this course is the homework assignments. You can download the assignments and work on them to help apply what you've learned so far.
Since you don't need to rely on a computer to complete this course, the Mimic Method is a great course to take with you on your commute or when traveling to a foreign country.
The Mimic Method allows you to start learning Spanish for free with its Spanish language introductory course, so you can get a sliver of what things to expect in the full program.
$6+ per hour (varies between teachers)
30 minute or 1 hour lessons
If you're looking for an affordable tutor, Italki is the right place to look. It's a vast marketplace of language teachers from all around the world. One thing we love about Italki is its flexibility. Are you seeking a specific language style? Do you have a tight schedule? Well, Italki has a teacher for you.
When it comes to language learning, having a personal interaction with your instructor can help boost your confidence and maximize your results. But hiring a private 1-on-1 tutor can be expensive, especially in the United States. That's where Italki comes in handy. You can find professional-grade language-learning professionals at an affordable rate.
The process of choosing a tutor is straightforward. Each teacher's profile showcases that person's strongpoints, hourly rate, and availability. If you find a teacher who appeals to you, you can book a 30-minute trial session, which is usually half the price of a full hour.
If you're interested in a fast method for learning Spanish but need the extra accountability, you can't go wrong with Italki. It's the best way to find a dedicated teacher who matches your goals, schedule, and budget.
*with a purchase of $20 or more. After your first purchased lesson a credit of $10 will be added to your account
Mastering a foreign language isn't easy. Luckily, there are many resources out there to set you in the right direction. We hope this post helped you find the best way to start learning Spanish fast. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Find a bilingual friend and ask if they will have Spanish conversations with you as you're learning.
Go see a film from Latin America or learn a Spanish song. Watch shows on Spanish-language television channels. Find a foreign-language magazine from a newsstand and learn by reading as much of it as you can. Challenging yourself is the best way to learn. Soon, you'll be able to understand, read, and say things you never dreamed of.
Remember, these language-learning tools are there to help, but learning a language depend upon your discipline, motivation, and work ethic. Learning Spanish is no different.