Is Spanish hard to learn? If the Spanish talking speed makes you dizzy, but you dream about being able to understand every word in Despacito by Luis Fonsi, keep reading this! I’m here to answer all your questions and remove doubt from your mind about the process of learning Spanish. I will tell you all the difficulties, obstacles, and delights this language offers.
If you’ve reached this article is because you want to learn Spanish and want to know the effort you’ll have to put into learning this beautiful language that sounds beautiful coming out of the mouth of Spanish speakers, right? Well, you can relax. I’ve put this guide together that will help you decide for yourself! ¡Vamos! Let’s go!
Is Spanish Hard To Learn?
Let’s start with the good news: Spanish is considered one of the easiest languages to learn by English speakers. It is one of the world’s oldest and most spoken languages, being the official language of 20 countries, with more than 500 million native speakers all around the globe (the majority in Latin America). This number is growing by the minute as more and more people are interested in learning Spanish and admiring literary pieces of art like “Don Quixote de la Mancha” in its original language.
So why would you believe me when I say that Spanish is muy (very) easy to learn? It is because it may not seem at first, but English and Spanish have many similarities. Although Spanish is a Romance language and English, on the other hand, is Germanic, they both come from the Indo-European family of languages, and both have been heavily influenced by Latin and French.
This means that both languages share “cognates,” words that look similar and convey meaning. A very simple example is the word ¡No!, which means No in English.
But be careful! You may feel comfortable to start talking in Spanish because you stuff yourself in tacos, burritos, or tortillas every week. Still, it is a small step (or a small dose of margaritas) for you to start mixing Llama (flame) with Lama or telling your partner you are embarazada (pregnant) just because you spilled sauce on your shirt! Some words are similar but mean the opposite completely!
Spanish Is Almost Similar To English
Another point for the pros team: sentence structure in Spanish is very similar to English. Spanish and English are called SVO languages, meaning that the subject comes first, then the verb, and lastly, the object. So, if the structure is the same, how would you translate the phrase “Carlos found a card”? It would simply be Carlos encontró una tarjeta.
If this seems straightforward, let’s try with a more complex phrase: “If I’d win the lottery, I’d never work again.” As in the example before, conditional sentences also share the structure in both languages. So, this phrases would translate to Si ganara la lotería, nunca volvería a trabajar. If you’d win the lottery, I bet you’d learn to say it in every language, so here is one of those ways!
If this wasn’t enough, plurals in Spanish are made by adding an S at the end of the noun, just like in English. For example, manzana (apple) is simply manzanas (apples) in the plural form.
To top it all off, although you may be unfamiliar with some sounds produced by words with j, v, ñ, ll, or r, like justo (Just), llegar (to arrive), or zorro (fox), everything in Spanish is said just like they are spelled.
Look For The Patterns
Just like English, Spanish is filled with rules with tons of exceptions. Nevertheless, both languages have plenty of patterns that will make your Spanish learning process much easier once you identify and assimilate them.
One example you’ll probably identify pretty fast revolves around the gender of nouns in Spanish. Nouns that end in -o are often masculine, while nouns that end in -a are often feminine. In this case, even the exceptions have patterns, such as nouns that end with -ema are always masculine, like poema (poem). Find the regularity in the irregularities, and you’ll breeze through Spanish.
Difficulties In Learning Spanish
1. Accent May Be Tricky
Ok, this might be a challenge, especially if you come from a country with a powerful and thick accent. In these cases, catching the rolling R’s or L’s of the Spanish pronunciation may be tricky. One tip is to walk, put a Spanish podcast on, and be enchanted by the charming accent.
2. Dark Side Of Grammar
In Spanish, there are four ways to say the simple word “you”: Tú is singular and informal. Usted is singular and formal. Vosotros is plural, informal, and ustedes is plural, formal. The good news about this is that Latins often choose to use informal expressions and don’t mind if you use them as well. So focus on those, and you’re covered for almost every occasion, except if you meet the Spanish Kings.
Furthermore, unlike English, Spanish nouns have assigned genders. In the beginning, this will take some getting used to. Why is this important? Because the gender of a noun affects words around it, like adjectives and articles.
3. How Many Types of Spanish Are There?
Spanish is spoken in almost every corner of the world, so it is normal that, with time, new expressions, slang words, and synonyms were created worldwide. This means that, for example, a Mexican-speaking Spanish may say things in a way while an Argentinian-speaking Spanish may say them differently.
Learn More Spanish With Us At Ling
If your goal is to go to your favorite Mexican joint and make your order in perfectly spoken Spanish or surprise your Latin girlfriend by learning Spanish, then you’re on the right path. However, there is still much to learn.
By this point, you’re not fluent in Spanish yet, but you’re one step closer to it! You don’t have to be fluent to communicate in a second language. You just have to have the foundations that allow you to understand and be understood. Learning a new language is complex, and we’re not here to hide that fact. However, we want to give you the best tools to learn Spanish as fast and efficiently as possible.
This is where Ling enters, just like a knight in shining armor coming to aid! Ling App is a language learning app filled with vocabulary and grammar tips that will help you master any language in no time! With this application, you’ll learn Spanish through motivation, engaging, and relevant lessons.
This little app fits perfectly on your smartphone, going with you everywhere you go. Whether you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment, commuting to your job, or just chilling around in your house, Ling App can help you learn Spanish any time you want! With only 15 minutes per day, you will see high progress daily.
Besides all this, as pronunciation is as important as writing and reading to speak Spanish, this application is filled with audio files and conversation examples to help you say certain words and phrases and hear the accent of certain words yourself. These tools will speed up your learning process and allow you to improve your Spanish skills.
Taking this step means being even closer to having a full conversation with a Spanish speaker in Spanish! How proud would you be if you could have a real talk in a new language?
Your Spanish learning journey is only at the beginning, and oh boy, what a ride it will be!
Download Ling App and start learning Spanish today!