Spanish tips

Spanish tips and techniques

Here you'll find a selection of articles around tips and tricks to save you time and effort when you learn Spanish. We've picked these up over our time studying and teaching English and Spanish - if you have any tips you'd like to share from us we'd love to hear them! Feel free to comment in the articles to share your Spanish learning tips.

A (very short) linguistic history of Spanish

Every language has evolved other languages, and Spanish is no exception. From its roots as a Vulgar Latin dialect in Castilla to its current status as a global language, Spanish has been heavily influenced throughout its history by many other languages. Modern-day Spanish is a fascinating reflection of a multitude cultures and histories, from ancient Greek to English (and even Hungarian!).

Falsos Amigos: False Spanish Cognates you should avoid like the plague

Falsos Amigos

“Falsos amigos”, or literally, “false friends” (also referred to as “false cognates”), are words which sound like they mean the same thing in English as in Spanish. This is the case with true cognates, such as horrible, which does in fact mean “horrible”. However, does carpeta really mean “carpet”, and is it a good idea to say that you are “embarazada” if you feel embarrassed? Read on to find out the top “falsos” amigos that you should avoid like the plague!

5 inspiring polyglots share their language learning secrets

In recent years, there have surfaced a number of “hyper-polyglots” – people who can speak a large number of languages – on YouTube and other social media. There are plenty of videos of these guys speaking 8 different languages in one conversation. Pretty impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree. Fortunately for us, they are also very forthcoming with their advice about how to learn languages.

How to really learn Spanish in fewer than 10 minutes a day

Learn Spanish in fewer than 10 minutes a day

Let’s face it, if you’re an adult with a job, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. You’ve got all sorts of projects and plans for things that you’d like to do “one day”, but just can’t really get around to it – learn the violin, take up painting, learn Spanish… All of these ideas you have live and die in our imaginations as we just can’t find the time to do them. However, learning Spanish when you have no time is still possible, and in this article we want to show you how.

How to Break into Spanish Fluency

How to achieve Spanish fluency

You probably know the feeling. You’ve been learning Spanish a decent amount of time, and you’ve got the basics – no doubt about that. You’ve studied all the tenses, have a good stock of vocabulary and you’re probably quite pleased with how your Spanish accent’s been coming along too. Then you hang out one evening with a Spanish-speaking friend, and try speaking Spanish with them a bit. You can understand everything they say, but your responses feel laboured and you can hear the mistakes you make before you even speak!

How to Learn Spanish: A Beginner’s Guide

We’d like to be the first to congratulate you on deciding to learn Spanish. You’ve already taken the biggest step, and if you approach learning Spanish in the right way you’ll enjoy a fruitful journey to fluency. You’ll broaden your universe, be able to communicate with 406 million new people across the world, and connect with entirely new cultures. In this guide we give you a primer for everything you need to get started with this beautiful language. Ready?

Why you should join an intercambio

How do you practise Spanish? Do you practise in a class, with a Spanish friend, when you go to Spain? Or, perhaps, you don’t actually practise at all… Getting Spanish practice (AKA talking!) is crucial – it’s the reason we learn Spanish, and it has no substitute. Yet many of us struggle to actually use the language we spend so long studying. One solution is the “intercambio”, where speakers of both languages come together to practise each other’s language.

37 practical and effective activities to boost your Spanish

Learning by yourself is the most effective way to learn Spanish, but can be difficult without guidance. If you learn by yourself, you’ll be familiar with the feeling that you’re not quite sure you’re on the right path.  To learn autonomously you need both motivation and a good idea of what to actually do, and where to focus your efforts.

8 reasons why learning a language is like learning an instrument

Aside from language, one of my (Rob) principal joys is of playing the piano. Having started at six years old, music has consistently been a part of my life since then. It wasn’t easy to learn, and I feel that I’m still learning and will do as long as I continue playing. I don’t believe there’s any point of perfection whereby you can learn no more, which is what makes the whole process so enjoyable. When I started learning Spanish, I saw various parallels between learning language and learning music, with a broad overlap in necessary skill-sets.

Español de la cama: Does a Spanish girlfriend really help you learn faster?

“Oh, you’re learning Spanish? Well, in that case, get a Spanish girlfriend! You’ll pick it up in a couple of months!” That was advice from my friend Maria, given to me soon after moving to Valencia. It took me over a year (sniff!) to manage to follow through on her advice, and I have to say that Maria wasn’t wrong. I was pretty competent in Spanish by that time, but hooking up with a Spanish girl definitely put me on turbo charge.

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