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Why Is It So Hard To Learn Spanish?

Why Is It Important To Learn Another LanguageAlong with English, Spanish is one of the best languages to learn if you are looking to broaden your horizons and maximize your appeal to employers. Learning any new language is a challenge, but there are certain difficulties that seem to affect all Spanish language learners. If you know what difficulties might arise, you will be better prepared to confront them and possibly avoid them completely.

Sentence structure

While learning to speak another language, most go through the motions of memorizing vocabulary and verb conjugations. While it is important to know Spanish vocabulary, it does not help you put sentences together correctly. A huge problem that English speakers have in trying to speak Spanish is that they often use the correct Spanish words, but put them in the wrong order. Each language has its own grammar rules which dictate the order of words in a sentence, among other things. It is imperative to listen to other native Spanish speakers, either in person or through the television or recordings, in order to understand the proper verb-noun-adjective sentence structure. Mixing the order of the sentence often can drastically change the meaning of the sentence, making it nonsensical.

Fluidity and speed

Another problem with English speakers who try to learn Spanish is that their Spanish is often choppy and slow. Many times, this is because English speakers are forming their sentences in English first and then translating them into Spanish while speaking. This is the worst practice for anyone learning any new language. As difficult as it may seem, it is imperative for the English speaker to try to think in Spanish. Form the sentences in Spanish instead of English. This will greatly increase the fluidity and speed of speech.

Accent

The most commonly known problem for English speakers trying to learn Spanish is having an English accent. Anyone speaking a non-native language will have an accent. There are techniques to help lessen an accent and help a person sound like a native Spanish speaker. The fastest, most effective way is to practice Spanish with a native Spanish speaker. Listen to how they pronounce every word, listen to where they give extra stress and where they slow down or speed up within the sentence. then try to respond and have the Spanish speaker critique your pronunciation and accent. Don't be shy or embarrassed; it is the only way to learn. Imitate what you hear and repeat the words various times to lock in that accent in your mind. You will be amazed at how quickly you will lose the English accent and begin sounding like Spanish is your native tongue.

Sentence structure, fluidity and speed, and accent are some of the most difficult obstacles for an English speaker learning to speak Spanish, but there are tricks to help overcome these hurdles. Try to think in Spanish, rather than translating sentences from English. Practice speaking Spanish to a native Spanish speaker and listen carefully to their accent and pronunciation. Soon enough you will sound like a native Spanish speaker!

By Renata Yvonne - Renata Yvonne is a Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics and freelance writer for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. She is an Arts and Entertainment Featured Cont...  

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