Thinking about learning Spanish?
Spanish is one of the most useful second languages to learn in the United States. There are parts of America where you are actually in the minority if you do not speak Spanish. For that reason, a larg...
Spanish is one of the most useful second languages to learn in the United States. There are parts of America where you are actually in the minority if you do not speak Spanish. For that reason, a large portion of the English speaking population in America, have tried to learn Spanish at some point in their lives. Although most Americans do have the option of learning Spanish in school, few are able to hold a basic conversation in the language.
Most people underestimate the amount of work it will take to acquire a new language. Spanish is no exception. However, as an English speaker, you have the advantage of having words in your vocabulary that will seem very similar in Spanish. Words like ‘acción’ and ‘solución’ have very similar equivalents in English, which makes picking up a language like Spanish, easier. However, Spanish has certain concepts that are quite strange to English speakers. The following are some of them:
· All nouns are either masculine or feminine. This means that even a door or a computer is either male or female.
· There are two words in Spanish that mean ‘to be’. It depends on whether you are something temporary (e.g. sick or sad) or something that is more permanent like being a doctor or a parent.
· To express the fact that you like something does seem like a complicated construction. Instead of saying ‘I like the movie’ you would say something that translates roughly as ‘the movie gives me pleasure’.
These are just a few of the topics that can give English speakers quite a headache. There are other topics like the subjunctive mood that take the confusion to a whole other level. The important thing is not to get discouraged. If you get stuck on a topic like the subjunctive mood, take a break and get back to it. Your brain sometimes needs a bit of a break to assimilate the knowledge you have already acquired.
A variety of sources are now available, that can help make learning Spanish easier and more enjoyable. Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur can be quite effective (although pricey). However, if you find yourself financially constrained at the moment, there are free courses available on the internet like http://www.learnpracticalspanishonline.com/. All the content is free and there are plenty of examples to help clarify most of the topics that students of Spanish find tricky. Use this site to supplement a class or any other learning materials you may have obtained through your local library.At some point it would be a good idea to find someone to interact with in Spanish too. However, http://www.learnpracticalspanishonline.com/ and your local library would be a good place to start.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CR Desouza, the author, has devoted much of her time finding better ways to learn languages and has created the following website to help Spanish students of all levels: http://www.learnpracticalspanishonline.com/