If you’re reading this, then you’re probably lucky enough to be jetting off to Spain at some point in the not-too-distant future. And, credit to you, you want to pick up some language skills before you go. You need to learn Spanish fast.
If you’re still unconvinced as to whether it’s really worth learning any Spanish before you head off down south, then read on for some of the reasons you should learn holiday Spanish.
If you’re already determined to work on those language skills and want to learn Spanish quickly then feel free to skip ahead to the next section for a few tips on how to do that thing.
Last but not least, we’ve rounded off with a bit of advice on ways that you can practice your basic Spanish language skills when you’re there so that you get a confidence boost and are motivated to keep the learning going.
Reasons you should learn basic Spanish for travel
Us native English speakers are incredibly lucky. By some fluke of history, English is currently the language that most of the world uses as a common foreign language.
But, on the flipside, that also make us unlucky. It means that we can just delude ourselves with the idea that ‘everyone speaks English’, and many of us never experience the joy of learning a second language.
There are all kinds of reasons why learning a foreign language is an incredible thing. These are just a few of them.
Learning a foreign language means you can get under the country’s skin
Perhaps most importantly, learning a language gives you an insight that you’d never otherwise get into the culture of those that speak it. It opens doors and means you can speak to people you’d never be able to communicate with otherwise.
Benefits of learning Spanish: Not everyone speaks English
Those working in hospitality in tourist-trap towns on the Spanish coast will probably have a good grasp of the language, but if you venture away from tourist central then that won’t necessarily be the case. Being able to do basic things like check into a hotel or ask where the bathroom is will make life an awful lot easier.
Knowing basic Spanish phrases is a good safety measure
Being able to speak even a few words of Spanish could mean the difference between you being able to ask for directions when your phone battery dies and being stranded in a strange city.
Learn Spanish for travel so you know what to expect
No English menu? No problem. If you learn basic Spanish for a holiday it’ll be sure to include useful food words, so you know what you’re ordering from the menu at restaurants and tapas bars. This is particularly good motivation for vegetarians or those with food allergies to learn Spanish fast.
How to learn Spanish fast
Everyone learns languages differently, but you should find at least one of these tips helpful.
Learn basic Spanish phrases with Duolingo
The Duolingo app is an excellent way to get started with language learning or supplement your other methods of study.
Grasp important Spanish vocabulary with online language academies
Whether it’s Rosetta Stone or Babbel, there are dozens of language learning tools out there, so it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Many offer free trials, so give them a go and figure out
The fastest way to learn Spanish might be private Skype lessons
If you’d rather do something a little more personalised but still want to keep it virtual, you can find private Spanish teachers in groups on Facebook who will give you one to one sessions for very reasonable rates.
Take an evening class in the Spanish language for beginners
Go for the classic method and sign up for a weekly or bi-weekly language class.
Pick up simple Spanish words and phrases by watching kids TV
Yes, this is your excuse to spend your days watching cartoons. Kids TV is a great way of picking up basic Spanish conversation phrases.
Practice common Spanish phrases for travel at language exchanges
There are bound to be local language exchanges in your area. Have a search online and see what comes up. Once you’ve picked up some basic Spanish grammar and expressions go along and try them out to boost your confidence.
Learn Spanish in Spain: Practice when you’re there
It might seem like it would be easy to practice your Spanish in Spain, but in order to make sure you have a chance to use the useful Spanish phrases for travel that you’ve learned or have basic Spanish conversation, plan your trip carefully.
Don’t plan on spending all your time in places that you know are tourist-heavy, like popular beach resorts. Waiters are busy people, so if they speak better English than you, they probably aren’t going to have the patience to wait for you to remember the words. Plus, you’ll be tempted to just give up and speak English.
In more rural, off the beaten track spots, however, especially in the beautiful Spanish countryside, you’ll be forced to use the basic Spanish greetings and phrases that you’ve picked up and learn Spanish fast.
For even better practice, take to social media and find out if there are any language exchanges going on in the place where you’re holidaying.
If you really want to commit and learn Spanish fast, then you could even go along to Spanish classes as part of your holiday. There are plenty of academies all over Spain dedicated to teaching the language to foreign visitors as well as making sure that everyone has a good time.