learn conversational spanishHow To Learn The Spanish Language In A Way That Is Fast, Easy, and Fun... (Start With Conversational Spanish!)

Hi, my name is Steve and I'm a fellow Spanish language student.  So you want to learn conversational Spanish?  If you do, then you've picked the most logical place to start.  If you are going to learn the Spanish language, then it makes sense to learn conversational Spanish first and begin using it right away.  Spending days, weeks, and even months doing exercises in a workbook will give you some head knowledge, but it's more important to use your Spanish skills to actually interact with other Spanish speakers and students.

Before you begin your journey to learn conversational Spanish, there is one basic concept that you must be aware of before you start.

Build a foundation of accurate pronunciation.  This is especially important since you want to learn conversational Spanish, meaning that you want to actually use your Spanish in a conversation.  Part of learning a language and learning it well is to be able to speak it like a native speaker.  Think about it.  When you meet someone who's mother tongue is something other than English, but yet when they speak English they sound like any other English speaker, it is very impressive.  On the other hand, when someone comes to the United States, learns English and after 10 years they are still unintelligible and speak with a thick heavy Russian accent, it is not impressive at all.

The same goes for Spanish.  Nothing sounds worse than an English speaker speaking Spanish with an English accent.  It just sounds plain dumb.  So it is very important that you practice your pronunciation.  Pronounce the language they way it is intended to be pronounced.  Do not look at Spanish words and pronounce them as if they are English words.  Remember, part of mastering a language is being able to speak it with the proper accent.

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Take Advantage Of The Spanish Vocabulary You Already Know

Learn Conversational SpanishWhen you begin to learn conversational Spanish, not only will you be practicing some basic grammar rules, but you will also be trying to build up your Spanish vocabulary as much as you possibly can.  Well, believe it or not, you have a large Spanish vocabulary at your disposal already.  You just don't know it yet.

There are words in both English and Spanish that are spelled exactly the same and others that are spelled almost exactly the same.  These words are called cognates, and I will list some examples for you further down the page.

Cognates that are spelled exactly the same are called 'perfect cognates' and cognates that are spelled almost, but not exactly the same, are referred to as 'near cognates'.  When you want to learn conversational Spanish, it is important to take advantage of as many of these cognates as possible so you have the largest vocabulary at your disposal that you possibly can.

Let's look at some perfect cognates.  While perfect cognates are spelled exactly the same in both English and Spanish, they are pronounced differently.  It is important that you know and understand the rules of basic Spanish pronunciation so you can pronounce these words properly in Spanish.  

Here are some examples of perfect cognates:  

                    taxi, plaza, fiesta, motor, hotel, chocolate, tropical, sociable, natural,
                    radio, banana, soda, doctor, color, terrible, popular,
and horrible.  

These aren't all of the perfect cognates, but are just some examples. Let me write the phonic pronunciation of a couple of these words so you understand how they are pronounced differently in Spanish. Example:  terrible is pronounced 'teh-REE-bleh' with the accent on the second syllable in Spanish.  Another example:  tropical is pronounced 'troh-pee-KAHL' with the accent on the last syllable.  Learning perfect cognates will be very helpful for you as you are learning conversational Spanish.

Okay, now let's look at some near cognates.  There are many many more near cognates than there are perfect cognates, so this list is by no means complete.  Here are some near cognates:  

                    americano, delicioso, diferente, excelente, importante, interesante, 
                    necesario, posible, presidente, restaurante, medicina,
and persona.  

As you can see, even though these words are not pronounced exactly like their English equivalents, they are close enough that you can probably understand what they mean.  Allow me to give you a couple of examples of pronunciation of these near cognates.  Example:  delicioso is pronounced 'deh-lee-see-YOH-soh' with the accent on the second to last syllable.  Another example:  importante is pronounced 'eem-por-TAHN-teh' with the accent on the second to last syllable.

Become Proficient With Basic Greetings

Learn Conversational SpanishIn order to learn conversational Spanish, you will need to be proficient with basic greetings. These are words and phrases, such as hello, goodbye, how are you, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, what is your name?, my name is, please, and thank you.  Many of these you are probably already familiar with, but I will list them here.

hello ¡hola!
goodbye adiós
how are you? ¿Cómo estás?
good morning Buenos días
good afternoon Buenas tardes
good evening Buenas noches
what is your name? ¿Cómo se llama?
my name is Me llamo
please por favor
thank you gracias

Surprisingly, these few words and phrases will go a long way when you are interacting with native Spanish speakers.  Be sure to be so familiar with them that you can use them without having to give it any thought.

How To Choose The Best Spanish Learning Resources

learn conversational spanishI hope that this page about how to learn conversational Spanish is helpful to you, but I'm sure that by now it is becoming obvious that you will never be able to adequately learn conversational Spanish from one or many web pages.
It will be necessary to invest in some kind of other Spanish learning resource.

There are numerous products out there: books, tapes, CDs, mp3 lessons, video games, software programs, and packages that combine all of the above.

I have invested in a whole variety of Spanish learning products, so let me try to give you the big picture.

Books are nice, and everyone should have at the very least a Spanish / English dictionary and perhaps maybe a Spanish phrase book. However, in my opinion, you will get the best value for your money when you purchase a package that combines all of the various media types that I've listed above.  In other words, the best type of product to go for is one that provides you with workbooks, audios, computer software and even computer games that help you practice your Spanish skills.

When you start looking at the Spanish language products that are available, you will find that they are basically broken down into two categories.  There are the cheapie products and the very expensive products.  The cheapie products are okay, but they won't take you very far.  The expensive products are excellent, but they are just that: expensive!  I don't know about you, but personally I can't afford to drop over $300 on a Spanish learning package.  So, I set out to find a product that provided better quality than those cheapie department store products without having to spend a fortune.

What I found is Rocket Spanish Premium.  In my opinion it is as good or even better than those expensive products like Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone.  Rocket Spanish Premium is produced by a company called Rocket Languages and they make language products for numerous languages: French, German, Russian, you name it.  Okay, now get this:  the reason they can offer a product that exceeds the quality of those expensive courses is because they offer the entire package in a digital / downloadable format.  Now don't get me wrong here:  Rocket Spanish Premium is not in any way inferior to the expensive products just because it's all downloadable.  As a matter of fact:  you can get Rocket Spanish Premium as an actual physical product delivered to your house, but it will cost nearly as much as those expensive products if you purchase it that way (as a physical product).  

Let me tell you what sweetened this deal for me even further.  When I looked into Rocket Spanish Premium, I discovered that, at the time, they were running a half off promotion on their downloadable product.  Yeah, that's right, 50% off the regular price!  

Rocket Spanish Premium is not just a bunch of audios that you listen to in your car.  It's also not a boring Spanish grammar software package that makes you do repetitive grammar exercises in some kind of workbook.  Instead, Rocket Spanish Premium is a Spanish language course that is computer based, interactive, multimedia rich, and is comprehensive enough to meet the needs of both beginning and advanced students.  Not only that, but the way that the material is presented makes it fun, interesting, and motivational.

The truth is, after seeing all that Rocket Spanish Premium had to offer, combined with their half off promotion, purchasing it was a no brainer.  There are so many benefits that Rocket Spanish Premium offers above and beyond those $300 courses that it's difficult for me to relate all of them to you here, but I'll give it my best shot.

How To Take Your Spanish To The Next Level

learn conversational spanishWhen it comes down to how much you get for your money, nothing delivers like Rocket Spanish Premium.  Like I said, it's going to be difficult to share all of the many benefits of Rocket Spanish Premium with you, but I will do my best. 
  • Would you like to be able to try a product before you buy it?  Yeah, me too.  Well, the makers of Rocket Spanish Premium offer a free 6 Day course, so you can get an idea of what you will be getting when you purchase the full package.  You won't be able to try before you buy with any of those $300 courses.
  • After you purchase Rocket Spanish Premium, you will have access to all of the materials online for life. What does that actually mean for you?  You will have access to all future enhancements and improvements to the product absolutely free.  Try getting that from any of those other expensive Spanish language software packages.
  • Rocket Spanish Premium comes with these cool computer based games that help you reinforce what you've learned.  They've got Mega Vocab, Mega Audio, and Mega Verb.  Mega Vocab helps you increase your Spanish vocabulary by showing you pictures out of its database of over 1000 everyday items. Then you have a choice of words to match the item and you get points for selecting the correct word.  Mega Audio helps you develop your ear so you can understand the spoken Spanish of native speakers, and Mega Verb approaches the thorny area of verb conjugation in a systematic way that makes learning easy.
  • Rocket Spanish Premium will provide you with access to a learning community in the form of an online forum that will keep you motivated and help you through any rough patches you may encounter in your learning process.
  • Rocket Spanish Premium comes with a complete money back guarantee.  If it doesn't work for you, or for some reason you change your mind, you can get a complete refund, no questions asked.  I don't know about you, but I can't stand dealing with a company that doesn't stand behind what they sell.  Fortunately, the makers of  Rocket Spanish Premium do not fall into that category.  On their website, they tell you exactly what you can expect from the course, and they deliver on their promises.
When it comes to value, Rocket Spanish Premium leaves other software packages in the dust.  And there are more benefits than what I've listed here, but the Rocket Spanish website explains it all much better than I can.  If you're looking for a course that will make it easy to learn Spanish at home quickly, then I recommend you go take a look at the Rocket Spanish website.

And right now, they are still offering the full course at half price.  I'm not sure how long this discount will last, so take advantage of it while you can.
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