How to Think in Spanish – 6 Tips!

Being able to think in Spanish is an important step to becoming fluent. To get to this stage takes a lot of time, work and effort.

Even though you may have learnt the verb endings for all the key tenses, you can write and understand Spanish, when it comes to thinking in Spanish this is a whole different level.

The good news is there are a few simple tricks you can use to train your brain to think in Spanish. This is the aim of this blog post – to teach you the techniques to help you think in Spanish.

1. Set aside “Spanish only” thinking time each day

Start with just a few minutes each day when you only think in Spanish. After a few days or weeks slowly increase the amount of time until you are able to you can choose to think about anything you like. It could be re-telling events from your day, telling a story, singing a song, thinking about your plans for the following day and so on.

2. Use pictures to memorise vocabulary

When trying to learn words for items with flashcards, use pictures instead of words to show you the meaning. By associating words with feelings to convey their meaning you are more likely to remember what the word means.

3. Watch real Spanish television / read about real news stories

If you try to watch and read without translating word for word, this will go a long way to helping you think in Spanish. By hearing and reading words and expressions that you use in everyday life, but in English, you will be able to relate to them more easily and hopefully think about them in real life situations and when talking to native speakers.
Bonus tip: Get yourself a good Spanish dictionary rather than a bilingual Spanish-English one. This way you will not be translating back and forth with the languages.

4. Set your computer language & social media to Spanish

If you are seeing the Spanish terms for everyday language you will absorb it naturally without even thinking about it or struggling to remember. We are all addicted to social media so why not change your settings to the Spanish version, post in Spanish and follow other Spanish accounts on Instagram or Twitter and join facebook pages/groups.

5. Talk to yourself in Spanish

You may feel a bit stupid doing this with other people around but this is a brilliant way to start thinking in Spanish naturally. For example, when driving, say the directions you are taking in Spanish, read out the car’s colour and registration plate in front of you. When doing jobs around the house talk about what you are doing, what you are going to do, need to do, what you like/dislike and so on. This will also help your pronunciation in Spanish.

6. Write in Spanish

Try to write about your day every evening in a diary. This will get you to use everyday language regularly so that they become second nature to you and in future when you need to use a particular word, you will not have to think hard to recall it. You will also learn new words that you may need to know if you were talking to someone about your day.

As you can see, it is all about training your brain to switch to Spanish mode naturally. At first it may seem difficult, but the more you force your mind to do it, the more natural and easier it will become. If you put the above ideas into practise on a regular basis you will become much better at thinking in Spanish faster than you think, which will without a doubt help you to become fluent much sooner too.