In 2012, I decided it was time for me to learn Spanish. I purchased several Spanish education books to help me learn this new language. All the books were confusing, complicated, and soul crushing. The task I had set for myself seemed insurmountable. Then, as fate would have it, I met a co-worker who had the same goal as mine. This gentleman had been studying Spanish for 5 months and he was already fluent. I asked him how he did it and he was kind enough to share his secret. Four months later, I was fluent in Spanish and was helping others learn the language. Today, I will share these ancient secrets with you.
- Best Book On The Market: Practice Makes Perfect, Beginning Spanish. ISBN 978-0-07-163865-4. This book is the easiest one I found. It is simple and straight forward. Every chapter introduces new concepts along with simple homework. Each chapters holds a word bank that you can easily memorize.
- Memorize 10 words a day. Think about that. After a month you will know 300 words. After 4 months will have 1200 words locked inside your brain. That is more than enough to get by on a day-to-day basis. Use flash cards and write the Spanish word you are learning on one side, and the English definition on the other.
- Verbs are action. The Spanish language has 3 types of verbs; those ending in: Ar, Er, and Ir. Learn and memorize how to conjugate them in the past, present, and future tense. This is the most challenging part of learning Spanish in my opinion because you may memorize a verb, but you may not recognize that same verb if it is conjugated in a different tense. For example, the verb “comer” means to eat. If I want to say “you eat” the present tense will translate as: “Tu comes”. However, if I say it in the past tense (you ate) it will translate as: “Tu comiste”; which is not easily recognizable to a novice. Therefore, learn how to conjugate the verbs.
- Watch TV. That’s right. You need to watch at least an hour of TV every single day because your ears need to get attuned to the rhythm, the slang, and the pronunciations. This was though for me cause I don’t like watching TV. I resisted this step for weeks, but once I applied myself, the benefits were tremendous! I recommend watching Novelas because the girls are hot, and the story lines are so basic that you’ll be able to follow even if you don’t understand a word. But rest assured, one day you’ll wake up understanding it all. If you don’t have time for TV, listen to the radio or a podcast.
- Human Interaction. Lucky for me, I’m fortunate to have friends of all gender and races. My Latino friends were cool enough to help me out. They corrected me when I made mistakes and they were patient enough to listen to my broken dialect. Without these cats, I wouldn’t have learned as quick. So be humble, and find someone willing to put up with your baby talk.
Learning Spanish takes discipline. It’s not going to happen over night. It’s going to take action and consistency. The process is like staying in shape. It’s mental calisthenics. You’re going to have to put in those reps to learn it in 4 months.