That could be hard to believe, but there are more Spanish speakers in the world than English ones. Spanish is the second language by the number of speakers and is going right after Chinese. It is spoken worldwide, especially in the USA, Mexico, Morocco, Latin America, etc. So knowing its popularity, it is obvious why there is a need to learn it.
In the text, you will get new basic words and phrases in Spanish, which would be useful not only for travelers but also for all those who are starting to learn this beautiful language.
Useful Spanish: Pronunciation Tips
Learning language usually starts with the alphabet and pronunciation. The good news is that Cervantes' language is simple to pronounce. Therefore, you can easily start to speak it without transcription. However, there are a few features to keep in mind before reading or learning words:
- the letter "h" is never read;
- the letter combination "ll" in most cases is pronounced as [j];
- the letter "j" is read as [kh];
- letter combination "ie" - as our [a];
- one "l" is pronounced softly;
- "z" is read as [s], while "g" is read as [kh] if stands before "i", e in the word.
You will get it easily after you start listening to some basic dialogues. At the same time having a rather simple pronunciation, Spanish has complex vocabulary and grammar. These features would be unusual for English speakers. Therefore, studying language, especially at the beginning of it, it is much better to do with a professional. Well-educated and exercised tutors can be easily found at Upskillstutor. From hundreds of them, you will find those who are experienced in achieving your goals. But some other tips for a good start could be found below.
Key Spanish Words
As Spanish speakers are usually very expressive and use a lot of body language, you probably would not have any problems understanding them even if you don't know Spanish at all. However, to be polite, you can learn some basic vocabulary.
If you want to agree to a proposal, for instance, "¿Quiere algo más?" (“Would you like to order something else?”), a polite response would be “Sí, por favor” (“Yes, please”).
And if you refuse an offer, say "No, gracias" ("No, thanks"). Here you see that “Thanks” would be Gracias, and “You are welcome” would be “De nada”.
If you need to apologize, use "Perdón" or “Disculpe”, to which the Spaniards usually respond: "No pasa nada" ("It's okay").
If you have to greet someone, you will probably use one of these:
¡Hola! - Hey!
¡Saludos! - Hi!
¡Buenos días! - Good morning! or Good day!
¡Buenos tardes! - Good day! or Good night!
To say “bye” politely, you should use ¡Adios! (Bye!) as well as:
¡Hasta pronto! - See you soon!
¡Hasta luego! - See you!
¡Hasta mañana! - See you tommorrow!
¡Nos vemos! - See you!
¡Qué tengas un buen día! - Have a nice day!
The next vocabulary is for personal pronounces, which is significant for small talk as well as for thorough conversation. Note that most forms in Spanish are differed by gender:
yo - I;
tu - you;
el - he;
ella - she;
nosotros / as - we (male), we (female);
usted - you (one person);
vosotros / as - they (male) or they (female).
ellos - they (a group of men or men and women);
ellas - they (only women);
ustedes - you (many people).
How To Ask a Question in Spanish
The questions below are the basic.
¿Qué tal? - How is it going?
¿Cómo estás? - How are you?
¿Y tú qué tal? - And what about you?
¿Y tú?- And you?
¿Qué te pasa? - What is going on here?
¿Qué vamos a hacer? - What are we going to do?
¿Сómo se llamo? - What is your name?
¿Cuántos años tiene? - How old are you?
¿Dónde vive (usted)? - Where do you live?
¿De dónde es usted? - Where are you from?
¿Habla/hablas español/inglés? - Do you speak Spanish/English?
¿Podrías repetírmelo, por favor? Can you repeat, please?
Dónde esta...(place)? - Where is (place)?
Cuánto vale? - What is the price?
How to Introduce Yourself in Spanish and Make an Acquaintance?
There are some useful phrases:
Me llamo… - My name is…
Yo soy… - I am…(name, nationality, occupation, etc.)
Escantado/a - Nice to meet you!
Escantado/a de conocerle. Nice to meet you! (formal)
Escantado/a de conocerte. Nice to meet you! (informal)
Useful Tips for Beginners in Learning Spanish
- Better study 15 minutes daily than 2 hours once a week. Spanish language, as well as any foreign language, is not mathematics or physics, where you memorized one formula and memorized it for life. A language is a living tool that needs foremost to be used daily. In order not to spend a lot of time studying Spanish, you just need to add another habit to your usual way of life: get up in the morning, do bath procedures, have breakfast, and exercise for 15 minutes. This process should become as vital for you as brushing your teeth.
- Do not cram! This is the worst thing you can do when learning a language because when you memorize certain words and phrases in Spanish, your brain will remember them for a while and then forget them forever. That is why when learning new words, the best method is to use them. For instance, to create stories with those, to model some situations using new vocabulary, to write down any sentences, even absurd ones are okay. In such a way, not only your brain remembers the information in the context, but also your Spanish speech became more natural and fluent. And that is probably the main goal of learning any language.
- Try not to translate everything you want to say in your head! When you try to translate what you would like to say, your brain performs two tasks at once, which slows down the pace of your speech, so that concentrating and expressing your thoughts became more difficult. Moreover, the translation makes a big mess of words and languages, so you begin to lose words that you know really well. So try to think like you are Hispanic using typical constructions and sentences. Then you see how fast the learning process will go.
- Don't be afraid of mistakes! No one is perfect, so don't even try. Fluency is just a matter of experience, so being a perfectionist would be not just useless, but even harmful. Everyone is familiar with the situation when someone approaches you and asks you something in a foreign language, you get the message perfectly, but you cannot say a word because you are afraid of making mistakes and that you will be misunderstood. However, do not worry. Your mistakes are the last thing that will worry your interlocutor. The main purpose of communication is to understand each other. Even if you say something wrong, you will be questioned and then finally will be understood properly. The best experiences and knowledge are those we gain through trials and mistakes.
- Enjoy your study! The best thing you can do while learning Spanish is to enjoy the process. Imagine the final result of your work, feel the taste of success, and get inspired to go forward. Maybe you want to travel more, learn new cultures, expand your business, find foreign partners, or just want to meet people from all over the world? Just close your eyes and imagine that you can do it now. You will be inspired to change something, to know what you have wanted for so long. Motivation is essential because it is scientifically proven that a person who does something in a burst of inspiration will be more successful, and will overcome any difficulties in its path than those who force themselves and hate what they do. Watch movies or TV series, read books and magazines, play various games, visit foreign language clubs, and find a buddy who is a native speaker of the language you are learning or is a student of it just like you are. Do what you love, but do it in a foreign language. And you will definitely rock it.