13 May 2018

Speak Spanish like a local: 7 tips to help you become fluent

Learning Spanish, like any language, takes time. The easiest way to pass this time is by having fun! If you are enjoying yourself while learning, it won’t feel as agonizing as sticking your nose into a textbook or writing out countless lines of conjugations. Here are our tips to get you speaking Spanish like a local.

Speak Spanish like a local: 7 tips to help you become fluent
Speak Spanish Like a Local, image from Freepik

Get social

One of the best ways to become fluent in Spanish is to surround yourself with locals. If you’re living in a Spanish-speaking country, this is easier than you think. Think of the hobbies or activities you usually enjoy and try to find them around you. You can go to meetups, sign up for classes, join different fitness groups. Meetup is a website and mobile app that helps you find groups in your area in any category that interests you. Whether you like cinema or hiking, business or crafts, there is something there for everyone. Attending social activities like these will help you meet local people and build a new social group. If you live outside a Spanish-speaking country, you can still use Meetup to find social groups that interest. The more people you meet, the more likely it is you’ll find people you want to stick around and spend time with!

Talk, talk, talk

One of the most common grievances coming from people that are learning a new language is that they understand everything, but they cannot speak. The solution? Speak! Speak as much as you can. It doesn’t matter that you don’t sound refined and polished; your main objective is to be understood. If you live in a Spanish-speaking country use your skills to order a coffee, ask for directions, greet your neighbours in Spanish. The more you speak, the more confident you will become! If you don’t live in a Spanish-speaking country, go to a language exchange, meetup or try to find a friend you can practice with.

Read yourself fluent

Reading is one of the best tools to help you become fluent in a new language. It’s also the biggest vocabulary builder. If you already know some basics, you can try reading the news in Spanish, children’s books, magazines. This website Practica Español, created by the Instituto Cervantes, has a variety of new articles and videos sorted by level.

Baby steps

Don’t underestimate the importance of chatting with children. Unlike adults, they are still learning and developing their own language skills, knowledge and vocabulary, just like you! Kids speak simply, using basic words and grammar structures to get their point across. By hanging around the little locals, you’ll start to pick up the basics and maybe even some expressions that they’re just learning, too. It’s a great way to train your ear if you’re still struggling to understand the rapid-fire way that Spaniards naturally communicate.

Take a class

Modern technology has developed amazing tools that can help support language-learners. Mobile apps or computer software are an excellent supplement, but nothing is more valuable than learning the basic grammar rules in a classroom with a teacher who can answer any questions you may have. If you’re interested in learning Spanish at Speakeasy in the heart of Barcelona, check out our courses.

Use your ears

Music is another way to get a real feeling for the language. As Spanish is spoken in 20 countries around the world, you’ll have an endless supply of music to choose from. Look up the lyrics to songs you enjoy and follow along with the words. Hearing Spanish songs will help you learn new vocabulary and get used to the pronunciation of words. Check out Lyrics Training, a website with music videos designed to help you practice your listening skills. As the video plays, you fill in some words or phrases.

Watch it all

Movies, TV shows, Youtube are all excellent ways to consume Spanish video content. If you’re a beginner, watching children’s TV shows or films will help you train your ear and take in basic conversational patterns. Watching the news will help you see more formal Spanish in use, while TV shows or Youtube channels may open your ears to some Spanish slang and colloquialisms.