As all learners of Spanish know, Spanish people speak incredibly fast. Spanish is the fastest speaking language in Europe. This is why when in a group of Spanish speakers you also need to speak quickly to keep up with the conversation. This post will give you a few handy tips to help you speak more quickly in Spanish.
You will probably have discovered from listening that often two words are joined together. This can be done in the following instances:- If one word ends with the same letter as the next word, you can join them together.
e.g. los suegros > losuegros (the in-laws)
– when one word ends in a consonant and the next begins with a vowel:
e.g. son altos (they are tall)
– when one word ends in a vowel and the next word begins with a vowel:
e.g. Ha ido enseguida (He has gone straightaway) would become haidoenseguida
In certain areas of Spain and also in colloquial Spanish another way they speed up their speaking is by deleting syllables and joining the shortened word to the next word:
e.g. Para (For) is often shortened to pa’ and the next word is joined to it.
e.g. Para allá (Over there) becomes “Pa’llá”.
This is really common in everyday speaking and if you can do the same you will sound much more Spanish.
e.g. helado (ice cream) becomes “helao”
e.g. pescadito (fried fish) becomes “pescaito”.
– In certain areas of the Spanish-speaking world you will find that they remove the “s” sound:
e.g. Estación (station) becomes “etación”
e.g. Estoy (I am) becomes “etoy”
Identify the tricky sounds you find difficult to pronounce in Spanish and find tongue twisters that include these sounds.
Practising the ñ
Del codo al caño, del caño al codo. (From the elbow to the spout, from the spout to the elbow.)
Practising rolling your r
Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril. Rápido corren los carros, sobre los rieles del ferrocarril.
(R with R cigar, R with R barrel. Quickly run the carriages on the rails of the railway.)
Practising s and th
La sucesión sucesiva de sucesos sucede sucesivamente con la sucesión del tiempo.
(The successive series of events follows successively with the succession of time.)
Practising the Spanish lisp
A Rosa Rizo un reto le dijo que rezara en ruso, y aunque fue confuso, Rosa Rizo reza en ruso.
(A challenge told Rosa Rizo to pray in Russian, and although it was confusing, Rosa Rizo prays in Russian.)
Practising g and j
Juguemos al juglar, si al juglar jugamos, al jugar al juglar jugaremos.
(Let’s play juggling, if we play juggling, playing juggling is what we’ll play.)
Find a list of questions to answer and time yourself speaking them. You can also record yourself and listen to it back to hear how native-like you sound. Try to improve your speed, fluency and pronunciation as you speak. Post to social media for native speakers to help you.
By practising speaking on your own to start with you will gradually build your confidence to start talking to native speakers or setting up sessions with a language exchange partner.
Remember that fluidity and sounding more confident is more important when talking to native speakers and joining in on conversation than grammatical accuracy. Later on you can listen back to yourself when speaking your answers to note down where you have made mistakes with your use of the language.
Hopefully there are a few tips to help you work on improving your accent and speaking skills in Spanish.