Everything You Need To Learn Spanish
Spanish is the official language of twenty-one countries, most of which are in the Americas. With over 400 million speakers worldwide, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Spanish is a Romance language that belongs to the West Iberian subfamily of languages, which also includes Portuguese, Catalan and Galician. It is also closely related to the other languages descended from Latin: Portuguese, Romanian, French and Italian.
Spanish and Portuguese share roughly 90% of their lexicon, and the two languages are somewhat mutually intelligible, with studies showing that a speaker of one can understand about 70-80% of the other language.
Spanish is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. It’s said that Spanish and English share about 40% lexical similarity. Also, Spanish is phonetic, meaning that words are pronounced exactly how they’re written.
As Spanish is one of, if not the most, studied languages in the world, learning resources are infinite. You’ll find plenty of materials to get you from beginner to fluency in no time.
Spanish Language Learning Books
The best place to start your studies is with a good Spanish language course book. Typically, you’ll start out with common vocabulary and grammar concepts, then progress from there. You’ll learn all the basics of the language, which will give you a strong foundation upon which to build.
Every Spanish learner needs a concise Spanish dictionary. There are many types to choose from, including Spanish picture dictionaries and English-Spanish dictionaries. All have their unique benefits. Consider opting for one that presents not only the words and their translations, but shows examples of different usage.
Spanish grammar, particularly for beginners, can be tricky. That’s why you should think about getting a Spanish grammar guide to break all the concepts down for you.
If you’ll be traveling to a Spanish-speaking country some time soon, a Spanish phrasebook will be a useful addition to your collection. It’s ideal for quick reference in an emergency, or when you’re trying to learn a few basic phrases.
Spanish Children’s Books
Don’t underestimate the power of reading children’s books in Spanish as a means of learning the language. Spanish kids’ books are a fantastic resource for beginners, as they’re written in simple and clear language, include plenty of helpful illustrations, and expose you to lots of everyday Spanish vocabulary.
The awesome thing about many of the books on this list is that they’re English-Spanish bilingual stories, meaning you can use the English text to aid you in understanding the Spanish one. No need to keep looking up words in a dictionary!
Improving your reading and overall comprehension further can be achieved by reading some Spanish books for older readers.
These types of books use more advanced language, cover a broader, more complex range of subjects, and will considerably enhance your vocabulary.
Spanish Movies & TV Shows
There are Spanish language learning DVD courses available that are aimed at children but are just as effective for beginners of all ages. These usually use animations and songs to teach basic Spanish words and phrases in a fun, memorable way.
Another great way to strenghten your skills is by watching Spanish-language movies or TV shows, or movies with Spanish dubbing. By watching enough of this content, you’ll start to pick up on the language as it’s spoken in everyday situations, and learn things like slang, idiomatic expressions, etc.
Spanish telenovelas are, by far, some of the best pieces of content to watch for boosting your language skills. There’s plenty of repetitive language in them, and the storylines are always very entertaining.
Spanish Digital Courses
You don’t have to stick to study books to learn the language. Spanish e-courses are readily available from all of the major digital language program providers.
What’s good about these types of courses is their focus on nurturing your Spanish listening and speaking skills. They’re mostly made up of audio or video lessons, and introduce you to grammar and language structure in an organic way. You’ll be able to learn proper pronunciation, and generally gain confidence in using the language.
Udemy offers several Spanish digital courses, but there’s one in particular that truly stands out. It comes jam-packed with a staggering 109 hours of video lessons, dozens and dozens of downloadable worksheets, lifetime access to it and all future updates, and it can be used on any smart device.
SPANISH UDEMY COURSES
SPANISH AUDIO COURSES
As for audio courses, Spanish for Dummies, Pimsleur Conversational Spanish, Rosetta Stone Spanish, and Learn Spanish with Paul Noble all come packed with hours of audio-only lessons, and aim to get you to at least conversational Spanish level without you ever having to pick up a book.
Spanish Flash Cards
Using Spanish flash cards can come in very handy for reviewing and memorizing what you’ve learned, or for learning common, everyday Spanish words in a fun way. This method of studying provides variety, is quick and easy, and could be more effective for retaining what you’ve learned.
Gaining fluency in Spanish requires you to fully immerse yourself in the language, in every way you can. You could get some Spanish posters to stick around your house, so you can be reminded of basic vocabulary every day.
Or perhaps you’re trying to teach Spanish to your children, in which case a bilingual English-Spanish kids’ tablet or computer would be a great addition to your household.
Free Spanish Worksheets
Practicing your language skills is important. That’s why we’ve created these free downloadable Spanish worksheet PDFs for you to print off at home and complete in your own time.
With a Spanish word search puzzle, you can learn some new words; and with Spanish writing prompts, you’ll be able to practice building your own sentences.