Did you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese? Currently, more than 577 million people speak it. This includes about 400 native speakers, but also a little less than 200 million those who learn it as a foreign language.
Despite the popularity of Spanish, some people still experience difficulties with it. Why? It’s mostly due to the way they approach the language, as well as the culture. Use these 8 tips to bypass any obstacles on your road to Spanish proficiency.
When you’re a beginner or intermediate speaker of Spanish, you need practice. Sure, you may have taken Spanish up at the college, or you’re taking private classes, but that’s not the practice we meant. To be able to understand and master the language, you need to use it in its truest form. Spanish in real life is much different from the Spanish we encounter in the classroom.
Travel to Spain and meet interesting people. Find someone you like and offer to do a language exchange – you can teach him English, whereas he can give you Spanish classes.
Summer English courses are a great way to learn Spanish. What did we just say? Yes, you read that right. Signing up to be a TEFL English teacher in Spain is a great way to develop your Spanish. Why exactly? These are just some of the following reasons:
● You will be able to use Spanish to explain phenomena and rules in English, thus strengthening your Spanish knowledge
● As a resident of Spain, you will use the language in everyday life
● It’s a great chance to meet the culture behind the language you love and study
You often hear about people saying that Spanish speakers from different parts of the world don’t understand each other. While there are significant differences between dialects, every Spanish speaker can understand another. No matter which part of the world you’re travelling too, you can easily get by with standard Spanish.
Sure, people in Guatemala or Peru might look at you strangely, but you won’t have any difficulties communicating with them. Anyone you talk to will gladly talk slower when they notice that you’re a foreigner. Plus, you can enrich your Spanish knowledge with some spicy local phrases, too.
When you’re learning Spanish, it’s tough to let go of your fears and use it in real life. A great way to stop being scared and immerse yourself into using Spanish is to apply for a job that requires Spanish knowledge.
Many Spanish entrepreneurs who want to expand their business into the English-speaking world, and Spanish students who study in English-speaking countries use custom-written business proposals and assignments from a professional essay writing service.
Outsourced proposals, university assignments, resumes in high-quality and professional-level English send out a good impression. Some of the best writing services are:
● Assignment Masters. An excellent tool for content. Turnaround time is really quick.
● BrillAssignment. They specialize in different research projects and allow you direct communication with a writer.
● Proessaywriting.com. Another excellent option to get English assignments done.
● A-writer.com. A versatile service. They can help you in breaking onto the English market with their amazing research papers.
In English, when we talk about liking something, we assume that we’re talking about all items of the same sort. Therefore, we don’t use any articles to express this feeling.
● I like ice cream.
● I don’t like football.
One of the most useful tricks about using Spanish is not to fall a victim of linguistic interference. Spanish has different rules – you must use a definite article (el, la, los, las).
● Me gusta el presidente. (I like the president)
● Odio las manzanas. (I hate apples)
To use Spanish more naturally and let natives know that you’re truly knowledgeable, you have to know some colloquial habits. One of them involves using indefinite articles to emphasize a feeling or any other notion.
Tengo un dolor. – This literally translates to “I have a hurt!”, but it’s a step up from “Tengo dolor,” which means “I’m in pain.” Therefore, you can add “un” to make the sentence into “I feel so much pain!”
The same goes with “Tengo un frio” (I feel so cold!) and “Tengo calor” (I feel so hot!).
It’s five o’ clock. This seems like a regular sentence in English, right? Sure, it does. However, this habit of telling the time without articles, both definite and indefinite, presents a problem. Those who are learning Spanish need to remember that time always goes with definite feminine articles.
● Son las cinco de la mañana. (It’s five o’clock in the morning.)
● Son las nueve de la tarde. (It’s nine o’clock in the evening.)
Why is this the case? It’s because hour is “la hora,” which is a feminine noun. The full form of the previous example would be “Son las cinco horas de la mañana.”
Here we have one more key difference between English and Spanish. In English, we find it normal to say things like:
● I’m a scientist.
● She is a Muslim.
However, since Spanish has a rule that all professions, nationalities and religious groups go without articles, it would be something like this:
● Soy científico.
● Ella es musulmana.
Spanish is full of rules that make it different from English. Remember to face your fears, learn colloquial expressions and focus on the way different articles are used. With constant practice, you will become fluent in no time.
Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger. She is interested in education technologies and is always ready to support informative speaking. Follow her on Twitter.