Making the decision to move to Spain can be daunting for many people. It’s a big leap for anyone to go from their home country, where they’ve grown up and spent many years, to another foreign land. However, as the thousands of happy ex-pats who make the move each year can attest to, it’s a plunge that is often worth taking.
Getting to expand your cultural horizons, visit places you haven’t been, and meet many new people is a liberating experience. Not to mention the potential of having pleasant weather year round, which makes a change from the wet winters of the UK.
One of the surest ways to get the most of the new world around you, is to make sure you can converse with the locals. Unfortunately, learning another language can be an exceptionally difficult undertaking, especially for those attempting it later in life. There’s no need to worry though, as nowadays there are multiple options allowing you to practice and develop your foreign tongue.
Here’s our top tips, then, for brushing up on your Spanish speaking skills.
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are a brilliant way to engage your mind whilst you do other tasks. For many, they’ve transformed the tedious performance of housework and domestic chores into a cherished moment where you get to feed your brain with some funny or interesting distractions. Well, the good news is that podcasts can also be a way to help hone your Spanish. Our pick of the bunch for this, is News in Slow Spanish, which is basically exactly what its title suggests, the current news being read slowly in Spanish.
That might not sound that captivating, but it’s a fantastic way to further submerge yourself in the world of Spanish speaking if you already have a basic understanding. It lets you listen to a weekly summary of the news, first in simplified Spanish that is spoken at an easier to understand pace, and then once you feel you have a grasp of it, you can listen to it again at a ‘normal’ speed to see how much you can still comprehend. This will develop your ear to become better accustomed to the language at the fast speed that’s actually spoken in Spain.
Turn Subtitles On
Using a streaming service to watch shows is one of the three things most of us use technology for every single day. Well, you can now stream all your favourite shows guilt-free, as we’re going to tell you a way that can turn them into helping you improve your Spanish. All you need to do is turn on the subtitles and then select them to be shown in Spanish. Then you can happily watch English shows, and down at the bottom of the screen, text will be exposing you to the Spanish translation of everything being said.
This allows you to pick up on repeat words, and quickly grasp other words through context. Plus, if needed, you can pause the screen to get a better look at the phrasing, or even to look up words you don’t fully understand. Suddenly watching repeats of ‘The Office’ just turned into numerous Spanish lessons, enjoy.
Use Online Games
If you have a computer with an internet connection, then you have access to a whole world of online games at your fingertips. Most of these are designed purely to entertain, such as popular titles like Candy Crush Saga, or even online gambling sites like the ones found over at VegasSlotsOnline.
They have the best online gambling sites available in the UK, which also includes a great guide that handily explains everything you need to know to get started, allowing you to then play with confidence and freedom. There’s also masses of exclusive promotions for both new and returning players, and simple speedy and secure banking options, meaning you can just focus on the massive selection of gambling games.
However, there’s also a whole range of online games that are designed on an educational basis, with many being geared towards learning a new language. Duolingo is the most renowned of these, enabling its users to have short bite-sized lessons each day, where you can even dip in for only five minutes a session, and come away each time with more knowledge.
The sessions are intended to be as fun-filled as possible, using engaging exercises and playful characters, to help you remember key phrases and sentences. Plus, it’s completely free to use, and there’s even an app that you can download to your phone that lets you learn on the go.