How to speak Spanish
Want to speak Spanish? Excelente! Because there are many opportunities that will help you learn, understand and enjoy the language. But first, to get you even more in the mood, some interesting facts about Spanish.
Spanish is the official language of 20 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. And, although not an official language, Spanish is commonly spoken in the United States, Belize, Andorra and Gibraltar.
Over 400 million people have Spanish as their native language which makes it second only to Chinese as the most spoken language on earth. That’s a lot of people for you to have potential conversations with. Not all at once, obviously.
The language is also known as Castilian in much of Spain. Historic evidence suggests that Spanish originated in Spain’s Castile region, hence the name.
Common difficulties when learning Spanish
Spanish and English belong to the same family of languages. English speakers who want to learn how to speak Spanish recognise nearly 3,000 words because of their knowledge of English.
People who want to speak Spanish are lucky because it is considered one of the easiest languages to learn. It’s a beautiful language, but, as a non-native speaker, you could still find some of its grammar and rules slightly tricky. And, like learning any new language, you might make some embarrassing mistakes along the way (which is all part of the learning!).
Most people trying to learn Spanish are troubled by the several tenses and the gender agreements that are unusual for English. Verbs have different endings for each tense, which may seem a bit overwhelming when you start to learn the language.
Different ways to learn Spanish
How you choose to study Spanish is the key to learning how to speak it properly, especially if you are a beginner. Some methods will work better than others for you, allowing you to begin communicating very quickly.
Online courses and resources, apps, ‘traditional’ classes, books, private tutors - you have a lot of options to choose from! Usually, there is no single ‘best way’ to learn, and the best approach is often a combination. It doesn’t have to be one method or the other. Each of these options come with advantages that are worth considering when trying to learn Spanish.
Online courses and/or apps are the most convenient choice. You choose when you study, where you study and you set your own pace. Perfect if you need to fit your learning around a busy work or family schedule. Many people go for this option.
Traditional classes have the added benefit of a teacher in the room. For some learners, having someone to provide personal instruction is very important (and cheaper than a private tutor). Although it’s useful to remember that, with bigger class sizes, the teacher has to split their time equally so every student gets the attention they need.
There are also many other fun (and often free) resources online to help you get a grasp of the language in addition to your main course. YouTube videos, podcasts, blogs, Spanish films/series (with or without subtitles), social media accounts and more. Even articles to help you sound authentic with those all-important Spanish slang words.
Whatever option(s) you choose, you’ll be surprised how much you can learn in such a small amount of time. You’ll be chatting away in Spanish before you even realise it!
Learn how to speak Spanish with Babbel
Why learn something you will likely never use? That’s why, when you learn Spanish with Babbel, the focus is on practical, real-life conversation. From ordering at a restaurant to asking for directions, we quickly get you talking with confidence.
From food to theatre, you give boredom the boot by choosing lesson topics that matter to you. The things that you find interesting and useful. And all content is crafted and tailored for English speakers by our in-house team of expert linguists. Our language superheroes.
Time is a precious resource, we know. Luckily, Babbel lessons are only 15 minutes long on average. That’s short enough for most commutes or your lunch breaks. And a perfect activity for the plane (when you download lessons in advance). Even one lesson a day makes a difference!
Give Babbel a go and start your Spanish language adventure today. Your first lesson is free!