How to Start thinking in Spanish

Today theSpanish & Valencia” team will share with you the secrets of how to start thinking in Spanish, instead of translating phrases from English into Spanish.

This is a fairly common problem among foreign language learners. And we’ll try to explain how it can be solve.

First of all, we must accept the fact that learning a foreign language, in this case Spanish, is a long process that takes time. In order to learn something new or become better at this sphere, you need to practice a lot. You need to practice in order to develop your language habits: speaking and learning. Secondly, to start speaking Spanish as a native speaker, you need to practice and speak with a native speaker. Otherwise, it may happen that you will only speak with the learned phrases from the textbook and will not be able to advance further in your ability to communicate in Spanish. To make this happen, you can find the person you are talking to online and start improving your Spanish with them. However, if your language level does not yet allow you to express your thoughts, you can start online with a Skype tutor who will help you get started.

Let’s talk about the wrong way to learn Spanish. The first way is to learn Spanish as a student who will do test assignments. When the test day comes, you have the answer options before your eyes, you can think, choose the right one, remember some rules, choose the right or wrong answer… In real dialogues, you don’t have that time to think, you need to talk, talk wrong or right, otherwise your conversation partner won’t know your point of view or the answer to the question he asked you.

Do not learn Spanish to pass the test, learn Spanish to use it every day.

That’s why you need to stop learning Spanish as a student and start learning Spanish as a native speaker.

One of the best options is to start learning what you love. Improve your knowledge of something by listening to lectures or talking to a Spanish-speaking professional in the field. For example, you like Spanish culture. So, listen to lectures on youtube, read reference materials or websites, read expert opinions, but only in Spanish. Find phrases and expressions, write down and memorize, copy what you have heard, comment using the phrases you have learned. Try to understand what is being said from the context. Change the phrases you learn to use in new expressions of your thoughts in different sentences.

What you heard once, starting with simple structures, try to use in your speech.

Change the phrases you’ve learned. Changing the phrases in small steps will increase your level of Spanish more and more. Constantly ask yourself a question by learning a phrase, how can I use it in my normal life, how can I use it when talking to my Spanish Skype tutor or my foreign friend…

In order to speak without embarrassment or hesitation:

  1. Learn what you love or what you’re a professional at, but in Spanish.
  2. Practice.
  3. Change and adapt the phrases.
  4. Apply the learnt phrases in different situations.

By applying these tips more and more often, you will be translating from your native language into Spanish less and less often. This is how the old habit of translating from English into Spanish is replaced before you say anything in Spanish.And this habit will allow you to speak fluent Spanish.

Try it and you’ll definitely make it!

We look forward to seeing you among our students on our “Spanish & Valencia” online courses!

Text: Mariia Lisafina

Photo:  Martin Péchy