What is the most important thing to do when learning Spanish?
Spanish, Español, is a Romance language (Indo-European family) is a Romance language with approximately 470 million speakers, 410 of whom speak it as a first language, while the remainder speaks it as a second language.
A significant number of people also speak Spanish as a foreign language. The language is known today as Spanish is derived from a dialect of spoken Latin, which was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans during the Second Punic War, beginning in 218 BC, and which evolved in central parts of the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century. A written standard was developed in the cities of Toledo (13th to 16th centuries) and Madrid (from the 1560s). Over the past 1,000 years, the language expanded south to the Mediterranean Sea and was later transferred through the Spanish colonial empire, most notably to the Americas. Today it is the official language of 20 countries, as well as an official language of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations.
Spanish is spoken in Spain and 22 other countries including Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, the USA and Venezuela. In the early Estimated Spanish speakers in 21st century (both using as a first language and as a second language) are as follows, in order of numerical importance: Mexico, 110 million; Colombia, 41 million; Argentina, about 40 million; Spain, more than 38 million; Venezuela, some 27 million; Peru, 26 million; Chile, more than 16 million; Ecuador, more than 14 million; Cuba, some 11 million; Guatemala, almost 10 million; Bolivia, more than 8 million; the Dominican Republic, more than 8 million; El Salvador, some 6 million; Honduras, 6 million; Nicaragua, almost 6 million; Paraguay, more than 4 million; Costa Rica, about 4 million; Puerto Rico, more than 3 million; Uruguay, more than 3 million; Panama, 3 million; Equatorial Guinea, 627,000 (mostly second language). There are 100,000 to 200,000 speakers of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino), mostly in Israel.
In Spain, this language is generally called Español (Spanish) when addressing the modern form of the language or when contrasting it with languages of other countries, such as French and English, although the Castilian dialect is conventionally considered in Spain to be the same as standard Spanish, when contrasting it with other languages spoken in Spain, such as Galician, Basque, and Catalan, it is called Castellano (Castilian, the language of the Castile region). The language is spoken in Castile during the Middle Ages, or the subdialect of Spanish spoken in northern parts of modern day Castile is also addressed as Castilian. The name Castellano is widely used for the language in Latin America. Some Spanish speakers consider Castellano a generic term with no political or ideological links, much as “Spanish” in English. The dialect arose in Cantabria in the 9th century around the town of Burgos in north-central Spain (Old Castile) and, as Spain was reconquered from the Moors, spread southward to central Spain (New Castile) around Madrid and Toledo by the 11th century. In the late 15th century, the kingdoms of Castile and Leon merged with that of Aragon, and Castilian became the official language of all of Spain. The regional dialects of Aragon, Navarra, Leon, Asturias, and Santander were crowded out gradually and today survive only in secluded rural areas. Galician (a language with many similarities to Portuguese), spoken in northwestern Spain, and Catalan, spoken in eastern and northeastern Spain, were also much reduced but began a resurgence in the late 20th century.
The “first written Spanish” was traditionally considered to have appeared in the Glosas Emilianenses located in San Millán de la Cogolla, La Rioja from the 11th century and by the 12th century, law codes (Fueros) were being translated into Spanish. Spanish prose flowered during the reign of King Alfonso X the Wise of Castile (1252-84), who in addition to being the king and a poet, also found time to write an encyclopaedia in Spanish called Las Partidas, which contains laws, chronicles, recipes, and rules for hunting, chess and card games. The first Spanish grammar, by Antonio de Nebrija, and the first dictionaries were published during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Let's now look at a few important things that a learner must do when Spanish language.
1. Set realistic learning goals for yourself. Figure out how much time you can devote and accordingly how much do you plan to accomplish. Don’t try to overdo things in excitement. It may burn you out!
2. Use authentic resources. There are several learning resources available online. I recommend a learner to stick with resources that are relevant and authentic rather than slipping in for all those that are classified free!
3. Immerse yourself in Spanish immersion by travelling. If you have the time and resources I would recommend you to travel to a Spanish speaking country. You could take admission in a Spanish learning course, stay with the locals, learn their way of living, their accent and master the spoken language.
4. Indulge in Spanish immersion methods to learn at home. Label objects in your home with their respective Spanish names to act as visual cues and remind you of your goal. Make a small Spanish in your house, decorating it with pictures from Spain, that are labelled in Spanish so you can connect to them through their Spanish names avoiding translation in your head!
5. Rekindle your focus by watching a movie in Spanish every now and then or listen to Spanish podcasts and music to understand the language better.
6. Write a journal or a diary with commonly used phrases, fillers, conversation connectors to be able to put together your first simple sentences. Keep a grammar book handy. Learn words that tie to your native language or are the same across languages.
7. Practice your skills daily. Build your verb vocabulary further through apps such as Memrise, Clozemaster etcetera.
8. Read aloud and repeat topics you have completed, practicing regularly on a daily basis, even if it can only be done during a short time span. It will be much more effective, than trying to cram tons of new words at one go in your brain.
9. Find a native Spanish speaker to interact with such as Hello Talk. Seek feedback on the accent, tone, pitch and other nuances to learn Spanish better.
10. Explore your options well online or offline, full time or distance learning! Use a targeted program such as Busuu/ Duolingo.
11. Should you lack concentration or will to learn anytime, rework your attitude and motivation with lighter things to keep you glued.
12. Use the Pomodoro technique to learn. Invest in several small learning intervals of half an hour to an hour of studying each day of the week is much more effective than studying 5-6 hours of intensely on weekends.
Language learning is fun for all, and Spanish is no exception. In the era of globalization, knowing your native language is not enough. So if you’re thinking about living in the USA, then that’s a perfect reason to learn Spanish. There are multiple reasons to explore since the Spanish speaking continent offers varieties of beautiful places to travellers and one of the most underrated destinations. So what’s stopping you?
There’s an amazing new way to learn Spanish! Want to see what everyone’s talking about!