If you’re just starting your language-learning journey, you might ask yourself: Is Spanish hard to learn?
Spring Spanish (a project I’m a co-founder of) gives you 5 reasons why Spanish is DEFINITELY easy to learn, especially when you are an English native speaker! Check out the video to learn more!
Unfortunately, there’s no short answer to this BUT we have some great tips on how you could make learning Spanish easier!
1. Why Spanish? Exploring the world’s second-most spoken language
Exploring a new language is always an exciting challenge!
With over 7,000 languages spoken in the world, choosing which one to learn can be quite daunting!
But learning Spanish is an excellent choice because it is the second most spoken language in the world.
Spanish is the official language of 21 countries, and over 500 million people speak Spanish. In Europe, Spanish is predominantly spoken in Spain, with nearly 47 million people speaking it as their first language. According to the Instituto Cervantes, roughly 455 million people in Latin America speak Spanish as their first language!
Many people also say that Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn, and it’s often a gateway language to other languages.
With so many fun facts already, you’ll soon see why it’s such an engaging language to learn!
2. Top 5 benefits of Spanish learning
Based on the statistics we just shared, you can imagine that learning Spanish can open up a wealth of opportunities, both personally and professionally!
- Being bilingual or multilingual is a valuable skill in various industries, such as international business, healthcare, education, and tourism.
- Knowing Spanish as a traveler enhances your experience in Spanish-speaking countries. It helps you connect with locals, appreciate their culture, and navigate with ease.
- Learning Spanish provides a gateway to the diverse and vibrant Hispanophone cultures. Explore Spanish literature, cinema, music, and culinary traditions for a deeper cultural understanding!
- It also opens a gateway to understand and learn other Romance languages like Italian, French, and Portuguese.
- Learning a new language as a leisure activity can provide intellectual stimulation and numerous cognitive benefits. These include improved memory, problem-solving skills, and even slowing down cognitive aging.
Learning Spanish is like discovering a treasure full of possibilities!
3. Why is the Spanish learning process easy?
After reading all about the benefits of learning Spanish, you might want to ask yourself: Should I start learning Spanish right away?
And the answer is:
Spanish is often considered one of the easiest languages to learn, and has remarkable attributes that help you in the language-learning process.
The linguistic structure of Spanish is relatively simple:
- consistent pronunciation rules
- easy to learn sentence structures and
- English and Spanish similarity
will help you along the way.
All of these combined together will further accelerate your comprehension and fluency.
Let’s dive deeper into the factors that make learning Spanish a smooth and enjoyable journey!
Spanish is a phonetically transparent language
Spanish is considered easy to learn because it follows consistent pronunciation rules.
Every letter in the Spanish alphabet has a specific sound, and words are pronounced as they are spelled.
This makes it easier for everyone, including English speakers, to learn and say Spanish words correctly.
Spanish and English share a lot of vocabulary
Both Spanish and English have borrowed numerous words from Latin.
There’s a considerable overlap in vocabulary, known as cognates, which makes it easier for English speakers to learn Spanish.
Here are some examples of words that exist in both English and Spanish:
Sentence structure similarity
While there are some differences, Spanish and English share a similar sentence structure, which is subject-verb-object (SVO).
El perro (Subject) come (Verb) un hueso (Object). – The dog (Subject) eats (Verb) a bone (Object).
This grammatical similarity can make learning Spanish more comfortable for English native speakers as they can translate many Spanish sentences directly to and from English.
4. Is Spanish hard to learn? Top 3 challenges of the language-learning journey
Despite the above-mentioned advantages, some aspects of learning Spanish can pose challenges. Learning it can be challenging!
Maria from Spring Spanish lists you 5 reasons on why it’s so hard to study it but also on how to master it anyway!
We think that the 3 tough nuts to crack are:
The use of gender
Spanish, like many other Romance languages, has a gender system where nouns are classified as either masculine or feminine.
This can be a little bit confusing to English speakers as they need to memorize the gender of each noun and make sure that adjectives and articles match the noun’s gender.
|Masculine Nouns||Feminine Nouns|
|el libro (book)||la mesa (table)|
|el sol (sun)||la luna (moon)|
|el árbol (tree)||la flor (flower)|
|el coche (car)||la casa (house)|
|el amigo (friend)||la amiga (friend)|
Nouns are typically accompanied by definite articles, so it’s best to learn them this way! Another possible solution could be to use Conversation Based Chunking where you pay attention to native speakers and learn chunks instead of separated words.
This way, you’ll get used to the language in no time and won’t have to think about the definite articles in front of the nouns.
In Spanish, verbs change based on the subject, tense, and mood, presenting a myriad of different forms for each verb.
This requires a lot of practice.
One solution could be – again – the use of Conversation Based Chunking method. This method involves learning phrases in chunks, as they appear in everyday conversation, instead of memorizing solitary words or verb forms.
Here are some tips:
- Listen and Repeat: Start by listening to Spanish conversations, either through language learning apps, podcasts, or videos. Pay close attention to how verbs are used in various contexts. Repeat these phrases out loud to get accustomed to the pattern.
- Learn in Context: Instead of learning individual verb forms, focus on entire sentences! Instead of memorizing that the ‘yo‘ (I) form of ‘hablar‘ (to speak) is ‘hablo‘, learn the whole sentence ‘Yo hablo español‘ (I speak Spanish). You’re learning the verb conjugation in its natural context!
- Practice Regularly: Make it a habit to use these chunks in your daily conversation. The more you use them, the easier it will be to remember and the more natural your language will sound!
- Flashcards: Use flashcards to review these chunks of phrases. Write the English translation on one side and the Spanish chunk on the other.
- Get Feedback: Have conversations with native Spanish speakers and ask for their feedback.
Across Spanish-speaking countries, there are notable regional variations in vocabulary, pronunciation, and even grammar rules.
These differences show the rich diversity of the Spanish language, with each country having its distinct linguistic characteristics.
From the colloquialisms in Mexico, and special Puerto Rican slang to the formalities in Spain, exploring these nuances adds depth to the study of Spanish.
Lucky for you, we have an article on country-specific Spanish slangs that you could learn in no time and tackle this potential barrier!
5. Different types of apps and resources that can make learning Spanish easier
As you can see, learning Spanish can be hard and easy at the same time.
Ultimately, it’s up to your motivation and dedication. Try to build good and healthy language learning habits and you already made the second step to Spanish-speaking fluency!
The first one was when you decided that you want to learn this beautiful language.
The good news is that there are infinite possibilities to learn Spanish for free with different apps and we also have a dedicated piece on the best online Spanish courses.
These apps and courses come in various formats, including vocabulary builders, grammar tutors, and interactive video lessons!
You can also combine different approaches such as learning Spanish with SpanishPod101 and Conversation Based Chunking!
6. Practice section – Spanish grammar tasks
I. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of ‘hablar’ for each subject pronoun.
7. Learn more with Conversation Based Chunking to speak like a native
When compared to learning other languages, Spanish is often perceived as one of the easier languages for English speakers to pick up.
But like all languages, fluency requires a deep understanding of cultural context.
Learning Spanish, much like any other language, requires dedication, practice, and immersion. Especially when you would like to learn the hard Spanish words! This vast diversity within the language itself makes learning Spanish an exciting and rewarding journey.
If you’re looking for an effective way to get started on your language-learning journey, then check out the Conversation Based Chunking Starter Pack.
This comprehensive program will get you speaking confidently from day one and help you stay consistent! Don’t wait any longer – start learning Spanish today!