Whether you speak multiple languages or are just starting to branch out, Spanish is an excellent option for you. It’s the second most commonly spoken language in the United States, and it’s not a difficult language to learn.
Keep reading to find answers to some frequently asked questions when starting to learn to speak Spanish. We’ll share how long the language takes to learn, how often you’ll need to practice, and more!
Spanish is a fairly easy language to learn. The Spanish language only has 10 vowel sounds in comparison to English’s 20. Spanish words are written as they sound and there are less irregularities than in other languages.
Lastly, the Spanish alphabet doesn’t vary much from English’s, with only one extra letter and five additional sounds (ch, ll, gu, qu, and rr).
When the right study methods are used, a basic level of Spanish fluency can be accomplished within three to six months for the average language learner. This estimate can vary due to the frequency of lessons and the amount of practice a student is willing and able to put in.
Learn more about how long it takes to learn Spanish here.
You’re never too young or old to start learning Spanish. Although younger students have a slight advantage in terms of memory and accent acquisition, adult students have some of their own advantages too.
Adult Spanish learners have a stronger ability to comprehend difficult concepts quicker, and understand cultural nuances better. Students of all ages are encouraged to join our online Spanish classes!
Learning Spanish has many personal and career-related benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits of learning the Spanish language.
- Job opportunities - Speaking Spanish makes you eligible for thousands of additional jobs in the United States. For example, businesses often hire freelancers for short-term projects, such as a translating a document or presentation into Spanish.
- Better communication skills - Since Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the U.S., learning the language will enable you to better communicate with your customers, coworkers, or employees. And they’ll respect you more for it!
- Higher income - In many fields, knowing how to speak Spanish automatically warrants higher pay. As a valuable Spanish speaker, you’ll save your employer from needing to hire a translator.
- Volunteer opportunities - Knowing how to speak Spanish opens the door to volunteer opportunities at numerous charitable organizations, both national and global. Local food pantries and shelters are always looking for volunteers who will be able to make a stronger connection with the individuals they’re serving.
- Better travel experiences - Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country is more adventurous and affordable when you speak the native language. Rather than using a travel guide in English, you can simply ask the locals for advice on their favorite spots. You can also negotiate with merchants to avoid inflated tourist rates.
- New relationships - Speaking Spanish enables you to make new friendships and networking opportunities. You can get to know the people around you in new ways, whether it’s a coworker or your in-laws.
- Improved mental health - Studies have shown that learning a new language such as Spanish can help prevent or delay signs of dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease. It can also improve your ability to focus and problem-solve.
The cost of learning Spanish will vary depending on your method of learning. Lessons with a private tutor can range from $15 to $50 per hour, with the cost typically being based on a teacher’s level of experience.
Group Spanish classes at TakeLessons Live are only $19.95 a month for new students, making them an easy way to cut down on costs. Plus, your first month is free!
Using software like Rosetta Stone can end up costing over $600 as you advance in proficiency. The downside of learning this way is that you don’t have the advantage of a teacher correcting any pronunciation mistakes you may be making.
Classes at a local community college are the most expensive option for learning Spanish. Since these classes usually only meet once per week, you will need to look for more ways to practice Spanish outside of the classroom.
The only absolutely free way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the culture of a Spanish-speaking country, although not many people are able to easily move to another country. If you don’t have a solid foundation in Spanish yet, this can be a more difficult option.
At TakeLessons, we believe the best way to learn how to speak Spanish is by frequently taking classes or lessons, whether online or in-person. You’ll get the most out of having the personalized instruction and attention of an experienced language teacher.
A qualified Spanish teacher will be able to create a plan specifically tailored to your unique learning style. A teacher will also be able to catch mistakes you’re making in both speaking and writing in Spanish.
Overall, taking Spanish classes or lessons will save you time and money on your way to becoming fluent.
Learn more about the best way to study Spanish here.
Depending on how you’re learning Spanish, the necessary materials will differ, but you shouldn’t have to purchase many supplies. A private tutor may require you to purchase a textbook and workbook, but if you’re taking group Spanish classes, you’ll probably just need a notebook or journal to take notes in.
If you’d like to supplement your learning with Spanish language apps, you’ll need a smartphone and up to a few dollars per app.
Like most other skills, regular practice is the key to learning Spanish. You should practice Spanish as often as you can, but we suggest a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
It’s important to keep in mind that when practicing Spanish, quality is just as important as quantity, so make sure you’re covering all your bases - including speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish.
There are dozens of ways to practice Spanish throughout your day that make learning fun. Include these activities in your daily schedule to become fluent in Spanish even faster.
Call up a friend on the phone and tell him or her how your day went in Spanish. Listing out all of your daily activities is great pronunciation practice.
One excellent way to reinforce what you’ve already learned is to teach it to someone new. For example, ask a curious family member if you can explain a difficult Spanish concept to them.
If you live in a diverse community, chances are there is a Hispanic supermarket near you. Visit one for practice reading labels in Spanish and make small talk with your cashier.
Watch TV on Spanish-only networks as a way of immersing yourself in the language. Netflix and Hulu now offer programming in Spanish as well. If you need to turn subtitles on, don’t hesitate!
Create a Spanish playlist for your commute to work or trips to the gym so you can learn the lyrics and sing along. There are also many Spanish-language podcasts available for download.
For practice reading Spanish specifically, go to your phone or laptop’s settings and change the preferred language to Spanish. This is one way to immerse yourself in Spanish vocabulary on a daily basis.
See if your local library has any books in Spanish. You may have to start with children’s books if you’re a beginner, or you can check out a Spanish newspaper if you’re more advanced.
Whether you’re writing your shopping list, or you have a personal blog page, challenge yourself to write in Spanish more often. You can even look for a Spanish-speaking pen pal online!
Download a Spanish trivia-style game on your phone for extra vocabulary practice when you’re on the go.
Here at TakeLessons, we offer a wide selection of group Spanish classes. Group classes are a fantastic way to practice your pronunciation and conversation skills. Even better - you can try it out for free for 30 days!
There are many apps available that can help supplement Spanish classes or lessons. Downloading one or more of the following apps will allow you to practice anytime, anywhere - whether you’re taking a break from work or are stuck in traffic.
- Duolingo is a free language-learning app that provides a game-like way of learning, similar to Rosetta Stone.
- Fluent U is an app that introduces Spanish “in context,” where you can watch engaging videos and listen to audio dialogues.
- Memrise has several free Spanish courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels.
- Pinterest is an overlooked app for language learning, but a fantastic place for visual learners to find charts and infographics explaining vocabulary and grammar.
- Open Language allows you to learn the Spanish language from real people. It’s an easy way to get some hands-on learning experience.
- iTranslate lets you translate on your phone by voice. Simply say what you want to translate and your phone does the rest.
- HiNative is an app that gives you the opportunity to ask native speakers questions and get answers in real time.
- TakeLessons is our very own app for you to instantly get connected with Spanish teachers, whether you’re looking for private lessons or online Spanish classes.
As you study Spanish, it’s smart to take advantage of as many different resources as you can! Try connecting with other Spanish speakers and learners on the internet to practice your skills. You can use any of the following language exchange platforms, chat rooms, or Facebook groups.
Note: Be aware that using any website to meet other people (even for learning purposes) has its risks. Avoid giving out any personal information and do not allow children to use these sites unattended.
If you want to practice Spanish conversation skills such as introducing yourself, then language exchange platforms are a good option. Many of these websites are similar to a social network, where you set up a profile with details about yourself and then search for friends to practice your target language with.
It’s important to keep in mind though, that you’ll most likely be practicing with other Spanish learners, so these platforms are not a substitute for Spanish classes or lessons.
- Tandem Exchange allows you to easily search for other language learners online for some mutually beneficial practice.
- HelloTalk puts you in touch with over five million native speakers worldwide.
- Wespeke uses an app to match you up with language partners. You can practice your Spanish here via text, audio, or video.
- Speaky is home to a community of language lovers speaking more than 100 different languages.
- HiNative is a Q and A platform where you can instantly find the help you need when you have a difficult Spanish question.
Spanish language chat rooms are a good resource for practicing written Spanish in your free time. Remember to be aware of the risks we mentioned above, but overall, most users are genuinely interested in improving their Spanish.
- My Language Exchange is an online community where you can practice Spanish with a native speaker.
- Espanglish Chat is a free English/Spanish bilingual chat room where students can practice either language.
- El Chat is an all-Spanish option where you’ll find more native speakers. You’ll be able to see how Spanish speakers communicate in casual conversation.
- ICQ works a lot like Skype with free messages and video calls. You can find Spanish chat rooms here and converse with both speakers and learners.
If you have a Facebook account, consider joining a Spanish group. Information shared in these groups often includes images, charts, and Spanish speaking tips. They’re also a great place to ask questions in between classes and practice communicating in written Spanish.
A less interactive option is Facebook pages. The pages in this list often share helpful information, such as proper ways to use vocabulary words, commonly confused words, and spelling help. You may also be able to ask questions, depending on the page’s settings.
Learn more about conversing in Spanish here.
If we were to list every country where Spanish is spoken, we’d run out of room! But here is a list of countries where Spanish is known as the “official language.” If you plan to travel to any of these nations, you’ll be able to get by speaking Spanish.
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea