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5 Spanish Speaking Hacks For When You’re Totally Lost in a Spanish Conversation

February 9, 2023

5 Spanish Speaking Hacks For When You’re Totally Lost in a Spanish Conversation

5 Hacks For When You’re Totally Lost in a Spanish Conversation

As you practice speaking, listening, and having real-time Spanish conversations, don’t fret if you start feeling lost. Get back on track with these tips from tutor Simion G.

If you’re learning Spanish, it can be intimidating to converse with native speakers. After all, they’ve been speaking the language their entire lives, while you’re still trying to master it! 

For those moments when you find yourself totally lost in a Spanish conversation, don’t worry – we have five Spanish speaking hacks that will help get you through. 

What is the Fastest Way to Learn to Speak Spanish?

Learning Spanish can be an intimidating prospect to many, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips:

  • Immersion is the quickest way to become fluent – the more you listen and speak, the quicker your comprehension and speaking ability will improve. 
  • A great way to achieve this is by conversing with a native speaker or enrolling in courses that focus on active listening and practice. 
  • Using applications such as Duolingo or Rosetta Stone are also effective ways to improve vocabulary and grammar quickly. 
  • Employing strategies like writing down key phrases and saying them out loud can help cement important language fundamentals into your brain. 

With dedication and hard work, anyone can learn Spanish in no time – ¡buena suerte!

There are countless hacks to speaking Spanish, but if you want to avoid having to take any shortcuts, the very best thing you can do is to make sure you know as much about the language as possible. Sign up for Spanish lessons! You can learn more about the benefits of doing so by watching the video below: 

Spanish Speaking Hacks to Get You On the Same Page

Have you ever been chatting with someone in your non-native language, when suddenly you find yourself struggling to keep up? It happens to us all, from beginner language learners to fluent speakers and everyone in between.

Even I, as a Spanish tutor, still have moments when I completely lose track of what is being discussed.

But if (and when) it happens to you, don’t feel embarrassed. Take a deep breath, regroup, and get yourself back on track. Not sure how to do that? Here are my tips…

1) Acknowledge your Position

Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself you’re feeling lost. Sure, it can be frustrating, especially if you’ve been studying Spanish for a long time. But don’t allow this to destroy your confidence. As a matter of fact, realizing you’re lost will get you one step closer to learning something new!

2) Inform your Conversation Partner

Next, make sure you let the other person know! It’s better for the other person to know you’re struggling rather than think you understand. Don’t be embarrassed! Here are some phrases you can use during your Spanish conversation practice:

If you think you know, but the conversation is moving too fast:
“Perdón, no entiendo. ¿Podrías repitir?” (Excuse me/Sorry, I don’t understand. Could you repeat?)

If you’re certain you don’t know the word or phrase:
“Lo siento, no sé la palabra/la frase. ¿Qué significa?” (I’m sorry, I don’t know the word/phrase. What does it mean?)

If everything is scrambled eggs and you just want it over-easy:
“No comprendo nada. Estoy perdido.” (I don’t understand anything. I’m lost.)
“¿Puedes ayudarme a entender?” (Can you help me understand?)

3) Recall the Tense

Are you hearing words that sound familiar, but aren’t quite what you remember? Chances are the tense of the conversation has shifted.

Conjugation indicates the differences between what happened in the past, what’s happening today, what will happen in the future, and what could hypothetically or possibly occur. It can also indicate who the verb refers to (he/she/we/etc.).

The only way to combat this is to study the different tenses and conjugations in Spanish, so I recommend finding a well-structured conjugation chart to have on hand. Or, create your own! Writing the charts out with pen and paper was the best method for me when I was first learning Spanish. The process of making the chart yourself will engrave it in your mind, forever making you a conjugation wizard.

4) Don’t Panic. Focus.

If you’ve followed the previous steps and still feel lost, don’t sweat it. Take a deep breath (or three) and relax. When trying to convey a word or phrase that you can’t remember (or don’t know), or making sense of what someone has said to you, the solution is simple: resort to the basics. You may want to memorize a few conversational Spanish phrases that can help you understand or describe what you mean, even if you can’t remember the exact words.

For example:

When describing what you know:
“Significa la materia verde encima de la tierra.” (= “Césped”)
(It means the green stuff above the soil = Grass)

When figuring out what someone else has said:
“¿Es significa al amigo mejor de los humanos, un animal domesticado?” (= “Los Perros”)
(Does it mean human’s best friend, a domesticated animal? = Dogs)

Other Spanish phrases:
“¿Estás hablando sobre…?” (Are you speaking about…)
Es en relación a… (It’s in relation to…)

5) Speak with Confidence

You know the saying, right? “Assumptions, they need to be made.” Well, sort of.

This should never be the first option when trying to pull yourself back to the light of a conversation, but there are situations when it’s beneficial. This route can actually provide a subconscious alternative to learning.

Assume what you’re about to say is right and say it with confidence, even if you know you may be wrong. There’s a high chance of someone providing a correction, or just make a mental note and look into it in the near future. Either way, this will provide an experience that’s more likely to stick in your head.

How Can I Get Better at Speaking in Spanish?

From immersing yourself in a new language to understanding the culture, these tips will help get you on the path to becoming fluent in no time. These aren’t hacks for speaking Spanish – they’re just some solid advice!

Listen and Repeat

One of the most important steps for improving your Spanish speaking skills is simply listening and repeating what you hear. When it comes to learning any new language, mimicking native speakers can be a great way to learn pronunciation quickly. You can practice with songs, television shows, films, or even conversations with native speakers. 

Read & Speak Aloud

Reading aloud is an easy way to practice your pronunciation and intonation in Spanish. This can also help improve your vocabulary and grammar by introducing new words and constructions into your speech. To make this more effective, try reading stories or articles out loud so that you can hear how each word sounds when spoken fluently. 

Have Fun with It

Learning a new language should be fun! Trying different activities such as singing along with music or playing word games with friends can make it easier for you to retain what you’ve learned while having fun at the same time! 

Understand the Culture

Knowing the culture behind a language is just as important as knowing the language itself! Understanding why certain terms are used or why certain phrases are said in certain contexts can give insight into how native speakers use their language on a daily basis – which means that you’ll be better equipped to understand them when they speak back! 

Use Mnemonic Devices & Flashcards

If memorizing vocab words isn’t really your thing, then using mnemonic devices and flashcards might just do the trick! Mnemonics are memory aids that use vivid imagery and associations to help you recall information more easily – while flashcards allow for multiple repetitions of words so that they become ingrained in your memory over time. 

Take Online Classes

If all else fails, then taking online classes might be the best option for sharpening up your Spanish speaking skills! With classes tailored specifically towards beginners or advanced learners, finding one that fits your needs shouldn’t be too hard – plus there are plenty of free resources available online as well!

Practice Conversation Daily

One of the best ways to improve your conversational skills is simply by practicing every day! Even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time, carving out some time each day for conversation with native speakers can do wonders for improving both your pronunciation and comprehension skills over time!

Spend Time Abroad

Immerse yourself in a new culture by spending some time abroad! This will not only give you an opportunity to brush up on your Spanish speaking skills but also introduce you to different dialects and regional variations within the language itself – making it easier for you to communicate with people from all over Latin America without missing a beat!

Watch Movies & TV Shows in Spanish

Watching movies and TV shows not only gives you exposure to real-life conversations but also helps familiarize yourself with common slang terms used among native speakers – allowing for smoother conversations down the line. Plus if subtitles are available (which they usually are), then reading along while watching makes it easier for beginners grasp concepts faster than before!

Keep Track of Your Progress

The final step towards improving your Spanish speaking skills is keeping track of where exactly you stand at any given moment – this way, not only will it be easier for you determine what areas need improvement but also provide incentive for pushing further when things get tough!  

Spanish Speaking Hacks Can Help You Become a Better Speaker

Becoming a proficient Spanish speaker is no small feat, but with some help it may be easier than you think. Learning new languages can be intimidating, but there are several intelligent ways to hack the process and maximize results. 

By utilizing Spanish speaking hacks, you’ll be able to adjust your study habits and become a better speaker in less time. 

I suggest practicing these tips whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Practice them not only in face-to-face conversation, but also while watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a book.

As my 7th grade science teacher and cross country coach would say when I forgot my homework or cramped up in a race, “Proper planning prevents pitiful performances.” It sounds harsh, but it’s a saying that’s maintained truth throughout my life. Learn these tips before you get stuck, and you’ll know just what to do!

Whether you’re studying for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica or trying to add another language to your resume, these helpful tricks can definitely give you an edge when learning Spanish. Spend some time researching the various speaking tips and exercises online and let the tools work their magic – your conversational skills will thank you soon enough!

Want more Spanish conversation practice? Check out our free Spanish classes to chat with a tutor and other learners in our live, online classroom!

Post Author: Simion G.
Simion G. teaches Spanish, guitar, and music theory in Seattle, WA and online. From beginners to higher education students, Simion is able to teach all levels of Spanish speakers. Learn more about Simion here!

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