Have you ever felt that you knew what the right answer was, but you were too afraid to say it? or maybe you felt like you had the answer right under your nose, and you couldn't understand why you didn't think of it?Have you ever felt like you would sound ridiculous when saying anything in a different language?
If you answered "yes" to any of the previous questions, you're not alone. We all make these specific mistakes when learning a language, which can put up barriers to learning. So, read on, and let us know in the comments which of these you are guilty of!
While grammar is important, it can be overwhelming to focus too much on it. It's like getting lost in a maze of verb conjugations and noun genders. You might feel like you're the grammar police, but your Spanish might sound robotic. Just try to remember when you were in high school trying to figure out the grammar of your own language. To avoid this, try to find a balance between grammar and practice. Sometimes it's better to use your intuition. Think of grammar as the seasoning to your Spanish learning meal.
If you're translating everything to your native language, you might feel like you're lost in translation. It’s like going on a date with someone who speaks another language, and you spend the entire evening translating every word they say. Instead, try to associate Spanish words with images or emotions. So, when you think of the word “gato” (cat), you picture a cute furry friend or think of your favorite animated movie character. It'll make your Spanish learning experience more fun and memorable.
If you're not practicing your Spanish pronunciation, you might end up sounding like a gringo or gringa. It’s like trying to whistle when you've never done it before. To avoid this, practice your pronunciation regularly. You might feel like you're singing karaoke, but you'll be surprised at how much your accent improves. In fact, singing is an amazing exercise! Find your favorite Shakira song in karaoke and sing it until your husband screams "Please, no more!"
Many people brag about how many achievements they have in their language learning app, yet they can't put two words together to say anything in that language. Don't get me wrong! Apps for learning Spanish are great as a supplement. However, if you're not actively engaging with the language, you might end up feeling like a Spanish spectator. It’s like watching a Spanish telenovela without understanding what's going on. Instead, try to engage with the language by speaking, writing, and practicing with others. It's like learning to dance Salsa; you can't just watch other people do it, you have to get on the dance floor and move those hips.
"It's like jumping into a pool; you can't just dip your toe in, you have to take the plunge."
If you're not immersing yourself in the language, you might end up feeling like a tourist. It’s like going to a Spanish-speaking country and only speaking English. To avoid this, immerse yourself in Spanish as much as possible. Look for the Spanish channels, no matter if you can't understand what they are saying. Find YouTube channels in Spanish. As a past-time, look for articles in Spanish and try to find familiar words. It's like jumping into a pool; you can't just dip your toe in, you have to take the plunge.
And one last thing to remember, even though you might feel ridiculous when trying to speak Spanish, the best way to learn is to not be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are the most natural thing a language learner does. Think of babies. Have you ever seen a baby learning to talk? They don't really care how it sounds, they are just trying to imitate what you say to them until they finally speak clearly.
It's like learning to ride a bike; you might fall a few times, but eventually, you'll get the hang of it. So, keep practicing, keep making mistakes, and keep having fun!
By the way, did you noticed babies take at least two years to learn to speak their native language?
Here at Lengualista, you don't have to be afraid of making mistakes. We encourage them! Otherwise, how are we going to help you correct them?
Send us a note and let us know how you want to learn your Spanish. We will be happy to create a custom course for you and, or your business. Our classes include stories, games, songs and much more entertainment, you won't even realize you are learning!
At Lengualista, Learning Spanish is fun. Come add some Spanish Spice to your life.