Hello all, I want to learn spanish, and I sometimes have trouble trying to memorize some of the words, even the small words, like para, por, que, cuando, mande, ellos/ellas, con, tiempo, todo, mas, etc. and I want to be able to learn how to put them together so that I can converse properly. And there are most words that I have trouble with like a word like work is trabajo, we could say go to work as 1 word, work (command) as 1 word, and a few others to different entences like trabajo, trabajar, etc. And I would like to know, what is the best way to learn, like how to memorize words? My grandpa is a native speaker, and he told me that if I am to learn it, that I'm constantly to put English (my primary language) aside. Can you guys help me? Thank you.

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I suggest you that learn mainly watching draws, cartoons, and listening short stories for kids.
Alex - I learned Spanish completely alone, without any classes. For me the most useful thing was reading, I used to (try to) read the newspaper, but children's books may be better. Be prepared not to understand much at first, be satisfied with understanding the gist and guessing the meaning of a few words. Your dictionary will come in handy here but don't be tempted to use it for every word you don't understand. It's good to use tapes or CDs from the beginning so you can work on your pronunciation - the earlier you work on this the better.

As for learning vocab, the best way is NOT to write a list with the translation. Try pictures, diagrams, example sentences (with real examples relevent to you), recording it onto a tape or dictaphone, whatever works for you. Try making your own "phrase book", a different topic for each page and you can add to it as you meet new words and phrases. Rember it's often much more useful to learn a whole phrase than the seperate words. Writing short stories with new vocab is also very helpful, if the story is really stupid even better, it will help you remember! Oh, and buy a learner's dictionary - that is not a translation dictionary but one written in Spanish for learners of Spanish.

I agree with your granpa, it's best not to translate if you can help it. However don't worry if you're thinking in English, this is normal, you'll start thinking in the new language in time.

Hope that helps.
thank you Valia, so I can tell that you're really fluent now..do you still remember how long it took you to start thinking and speaking in Spanish?
Make it a part of your life. When I logged in I typed "Ken en San Jo". Español es mas que fascil que ínlges, no? My spelling is not good still. sorry........ but it is not good in English either............. But really, I think Spanish is easier to learn than English.

¡Hasta pronto y buenes suerte!
To really get to grips with Spanish (or any language) I believe you have to immerse yourself in it completely. The most successful approaches all try to make you learn Spanish in a natural way, comparable to how you learnt your native language English as a child. Whilst another post said they learnt without any lessons, that's fine, but may not be the quickest way or the best way for you. Lessons with a native teacher can be fun and really useful. (the advice you have been given about forgeting the translation approach is totally true it will only slow you down)

Think about what you want to be able to do with the language. Most people want to learn Spanish so they can hold a conversation and understand Spanish people. Therefore you must practise speaking and listening (preferable with native speakers) as much as possible, and learn how to construct sentences rather than sitting down with a list of vocabulary. I personally started with an Audio course 'Spanish with Michel Thomas' and found it very good indeed. I then took a Spanish course in Salamanca where the teacher only spoke in Spanish and I was amazed at my progress, as I had never taken to languages at school.

It's about finding something that keeps you interested and gets you thinking in Spanish. Whether it's an audio course and teacher led course or just by reading. Throw out the vocab lists though, they only serve to frustrate you. If you are like me you can look at a list of Spanish words every evening for a week, and still only remember half of them, however use them in context in a sentence when speaking to someone and you'll never forget them.
Hi Anon,

If I were in your situation (in a situation that you know nothing about the language), I would go to an academy (just to have an idea). In my opinion it is the best way to start!
However, you can also learn at home (self-study) with a book. Anyways, you´re able to ask all your doubts in this forum, as everybody will try to help you!;)
I´m sure you´ll learn easily if you make effort and if you really want to learn it!:D, Spanish is an easy language to learn, the only difficult thing are the verbs, but don´t worry about them at first since tons of native speakers use them wrongly!;)

Good luck!:D

I began studying Spanish at 6th form level and I really found this website useful. One of my teachers suggested it to me. I find it very useful especially when using verbs ([6]) where I'm a real disaster. So, why don't you take a look.........no harm done ! Emotion: big smile

http://www.learnspanish.com /

http://www.learnspanish.com /
Nice site Malta!:D
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