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I'm beginning from literally zero in learning Spanish. My native language is English but I'm fluent in French after a years of intensive personal study. I want to know from Spanish learners what they would like any beginner to know early on the learning process. What, when or how do you wish you had learned something? How could you have done things more effectively? Please note that I already know the value of practicing speaking very early. That's one advice people give a lot and I can truly relate. In this case I'm looking other very practical tips.

Gracias de antemano por su ayuda! (I googled this, though)

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    I’m voting to close this question because advice about learning languages is off-topic in a language forum. – Lambie Mar 28 at 18:21
  • My tips would be 1) to start learning about how to use the subjunctive correctly from early on. My experience/observation is that the topic is left until later, by which point it has almost turned into some kind of mountain that has to be climbed. Beginning to use it in simple phrases and examples (eg spanishdict.com/guide/…) would help to take away some of the ‘terror’. And 2) learn the prepositions associated with a verb when you learn the verb, not afterwards as a separate exercise – Traveller Mar 29 at 8:49
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    This is off-topic here, however you've already leaned French and the exact same advice you would give someone that want to learn French will apply since there are many things in common for learning French or Spanish. – DGaleano Mar 29 at 12:54
  • It's always good to google words that you don't know in spanish. After a few times of googling the same word, you will memorize it. – FairOPShotgun Mar 30 at 1:11
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Here's an extract from my blog post for everyone.

  1. Check out YouTube pages for some basic 101’s to help you get started.
  • Spanish Dict – Loads of free videos.
  • Butterfly Spanish – Anna is very quirky but I really like her videos.
  • The Spanish Dude – A recent discovery for me, I really like the way he explains things.
  1. DuoLingo – It just works, it feels repetitive but the words you learn on here stick. Now the courses go all the way to B1 (intermediate).
  2. Find a good school/teacher – In class/zoom teaching is invaluable as you get to ask all the questions and have other people to practice speaking and listening with.
  3. Watch and listen to as much TV and Music as you can, there are plenty of Spanish shows on Netflix.
  4. Enjoy the process, it’s supposed to be fun. This isn’t at school where you have to pass the exam and graduate. Take holidays in Spanish speaking countries, learn Salsa dancing, enjoy the TV shows, all will enrich your experience.

Hope that helps, love to hear your feedback.

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I am also a Spanish learner. I have been learning Spanish for quite some time. If there was anything that I wished I had done better, is learning the grammar first. Reading Spanish articles and conjugating verbs won't make any sense if you don't know the grammar behind it. I recently learned that putting an object pronoun as a suffix to a verb shows that you want them to do something. Words like duérmete(duérme + te), in some articles, made no sense to me before I learned about this. Some tricks to learn grammar are; borrowing a book about Spanish grammar from your close library, looking up a grammar book pdf, etc. Another trick on learning how to conjugate verbs(after you learn the grammar) is going to a website called Conjuguemos They offer an excellent amount of practice techniques and games to keep you on your toes. I hope this helps and you continue your journey to Spanish success!

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  • Thanks, Ethan. I'll take your tip. I've already got a few pdfs but I don't they're good enough, I'm afraid. I struggled with scant info from books in my early days of French learning before I stumbled upon one very good grammar book and it made all the difference. If you've got some very good books you could send them to this e-mail – Bruce Mar 28 at 12:01
  • Any of the "Practice Makes Perfect" series are a good choice for beginners. – FairOPShotgun Mar 28 at 13:00
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Three differences from either English or French

1 - do not use subject pronouns unless for emphasis. I love/j'aime is amo, not yo amo whatever your book says

2 - direct objects which are specific people are preceded by a. I am looking for Juan = Busco a Juan

3 - word order is more flexible

And you need to decide which country you are going to visit as there are dialect differences in Spanish at least as great as in English

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  • Gracias. I'll keep those in mind. – Bruce Mar 28 at 16:53

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