Asking questions is a great way to find answers. If you are ever in a situation where you are with someone who speaks only Spanish, you can use question words and pointing to communicate a lot!!
The question words in Spanish are the same as in English:
¿Por qué? Why?
If you learn these simple words, you will be able to ask a lot of questions. If you have the opportunity to speak Spanish with someone, try asking them things using these questions.
Notice that in Spanish, every question word has an accent mark, and every question begins with an upside question mark. That’s just how Spanish is. It’s not super important to know for speaking, but it does matter for writing and it’s just good to notice differences like that!
¿Qué es esto?
Another helpful question to learn in Spanish is ¿Qué es esto? It means “What is this?” You can pretty much add in words that you know to this question, and to any of these question words. If you use them to talk to someone they will be able to figure out what you are trying to say. They will often correct you and you will easily learn how to say things!
Kids are especially good at this sort of thing- finding the answer to their question is more important than saying it correctly. Speaking and trying is the best way to learn and improve your Spanish.
Sometimes it’s hard to find someone patient enough to practice with. But if you are serious about learning Spanish, I suggest you try. You can offer to help someone with their English if they will help you with Spanish. You can join Spanish learning groups online. You can practice writing to people through text or other messages. Or you can even make a point to just talk to yourself. When you don’t know how to say something, look it up!! Google Translate is a fast and efficient resource for looking up how to say things!
And when you practice, use these question words!! Also, repetition is key in learning languages. You may think you know how to say something, but think about how many times you have said things in English over and over again. The more you say things in Spanish, the easier and more familiar it becomes. I don’t think you can say anything too much!!
Some Resources and Examples
There is a new practice website that my husband built which may also be helpful for speaking practice – sayitspanish.com .
The phrases in the Kids Speak Spanish book are always good to practice, as well as the lessons in my course. If you will make a point to say all the things I teach in there, they will become second nature! My kids have been practicing along with me in the videos and they feel like they now know the Spanish alphabet as well as they know the English one. They know all the numbers and all the colors and they are able to call each other names, and we have only finished lesson 22! Sometimes they don’t want to do it and sometimes they think they don’t care to learn Spanish- but they are making more progress than they realize!!
Keep At It
So keep at it, keep listening to Spanish media and watching kids’ shows on YouTube- one day you will realize you understood way more than expected and that is how it starts!
And even if it seems like you aren’t making progress- just wait til you meet someone who only speaks Spanish. These phrases and words will come back and you will find yourself speaking. Plus there are a host of other benefits to studying another language besides being able to talk to speakers of said language.
So keep going!! ¡Buena suerte!