Considering native speakers alone, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. Learning it opens the doors to great traveling experiences in 20 beautiful countries, such as Spain, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. But there’s more to Spanish than just a nice vacation. Besides the usual benefits of becoming bilingual, learning Spanish also expands your career options. Since 16% of Americans speak Spanish, companies are increasingly looking for people who understand it. And, of course, learning the language lets you understand your favorite Spanish songs without going over translated lyrics, and you’ll be able to sing along with perfect pronunciation. Finally, studying Spanish opens the way for you to learn other Romance languages since you’ll have an easier time tackling Italian, Portuguese, French, and more.
Why Learn Spanish With Language Learning Software
There are a lot of strategies, tricks, and tips for learning Spanish. In fact, there are so many that a complete beginner might feel lost and give up before starting. Even students who already know a bit of Spanish will still spend a considerable amount of time developing a good study plan. But language learning software offers structured Spanish courses that teach you everything in a logical order. Additionally, you won’t have to jump from one platform to another, as language learning apps provide all types of classes and exercises.
Spanish is a complex language, and it’s essential that you understand its grammar. Language learning software has exercises just for that. For example, if you try to learn Spanish just by watching TV shows, you probably won’t get the full picture of the language and will find it very hard to create sentences on your own. Last but not least, these platforms make a game out of learning vocabulary and offer interesting cultural trivia about Spanish-speaking countries.
Recommended Language Learning Apps for Spanish
If you’re looking for an engaging way to learn Spanish, Babbel is the app to try. It offers a diverse Spanish curriculum that includes video classes, fun exercises, podcasts, and more. The platform is also intuitive and slowly builds up to an immersive experience. So, by the time you get to the more advanced lessons, everything will be written in Spanish. Babbel’s immersion helps speed up the learning process, as you have to focus on the language completely. Although there’s a specific course structure in place, Babbel encourages you to take your studying path into your own hands. It allows you to jump around exercises and provides various extra courses that focus on specific situations, such as traveling or business.
Although Busuu follows the trend of using flashcards to teach vocabulary, it stands out from the competition by offering speaking exercises where you follow dialogues read by native speakers. You can also find pieces of cultural trivia to know more about Spanish-speaking countries. Additionally, it’s possible to take advantage of the built-in social platform to meet fellow students or native speakers – perfect for honing your skills while making long-lasting friendships. Busuu’s Spanish course only goes up to B2 level, which means it isn’t recommended for those who already know advanced Spanish. Even so, everyone can use Busuu’s limited free version to their hearts’ content.
For those who prefer live classes, Lingoda offers a straightforward platform where it’s easy to book one-hour sessions with teachers 24/7. The app follows a meticulously structured curriculum that has you book sessions based on what you need to learn rather than which teacher you prefer. This allows you to find individual or group classes whenever you want and have a smooth journey from A1 all the way up to C2 level. At the end of each section, Lingoda gives you a Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) certificate to show your progress. The best part is that you can take the full course entirely for free, but only if you complete Lingoda’s 90-day challenge.
The Challenges of Learning Spanish
If you don’t know how to speak another romance language fluently, Spanish is going to be challenging to grasp. Let’s start with articles. In English, you have one definite article – ‘the’ – but that’s not what happens with Spanish. Instead, the article you use depends on the gender and number of the object. For example, you say ‘el niño’ to describe a boy and ‘las niñas’ to refer to a group of girls. Things are even more difficult when you try to imagine the gender of the ocean (it’s considered male in Spanish) or add the neutral article ‘lo’. The verb conjugation is also hard to memorize, as Spanish uses far more verb forms than English. By offering step-by-step grammar exercises, language learning software lets you pick up all of these important details easily.
Getting the right pronunciation is also tricky, especially because of the hard ‘R’ sound and diacritics not used in English. But other words are also hard to master since Spanish pronunciation is so unique. In this case, you can use language learning apps with speech recognition that tell you if you’re pronouncing words incorrectly. They also help with the various Spanish dialects, as you can choose which one you want to learn.
Best Ways To Learn Spanish Online
Language learning software helps you understand Spanish tremendously. But after you learn the basics, there are a few things you can add to your study plan to achieve your objectives faster. Spanish music is a good example of that. From Shakira to Enrique Iglesias and Luis Fonsi, there are many singers to listen to and learn from. Although music won’t teach you grammar, it’s a fun way to improve your speaking skills.
The same can be said about watching subbed Spanish TV shows. For instance, La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) is a worldwide phenomenon that you can watch on Netflix. Meanwhile, Mexican telenovelas are known for being overdramatic and fun to watch. Reading is another good way to hone your Spanish skills, and there are plenty of Spanish-language novels. But for those who enjoy following the news, we recommend reading the popular newspaper El País.