Spanish learning tips Learning Spanish is not very hard, unless you have not been acquainted with some Latin-based language in your life (French, Italian, or even English) one way or the other. However, learning another language takes some real work however gifted you may be. This is especially true if you are past 13 or 14 years old. According to studies, these are the maximum ages when a person has no difficulties in learning another language. Through the years, people have accumulated some study techniques. These techniques can help any Spanish language student. We have compiled some practical questions and their answers from students and teachers respectively. Question: What is the best way to learn Spanish? Answer: Nothing beats living in a Spanish-speaking country. It is so much better if you are studying there. You can practice your language skills with just about anybody in or out of class. Today, there are also many ways of supplementing your lessons: the Internet, magazines, watching Spanish-speaking TV stations and films, language tapes, and audio books, etc. Question: In Spanish class, the sentences are worded like in English. But in written Spanish, the sentences sometimes seem out of order, with verbs sometimes coming first. Answer: Generally, it is correct to write sentences with the common word order in English. In English, variations are done for poetic effect or for questions. In Spanish, depending on which element is emphasized, ordinary statements can start with any of the three: subject, verb and object. In both languages, emphasis is also done by way of intonation. In questions, the subject almost always comes after the verb. Question: How do you practice your Spanish? Answer: First, practice at all times possible – with a classmate, a teacher, or with a friend. Reading is just as important, so try to get your hands on books and some recent magazines. One tip: try to read your materials aloud, if possible. Chat rooms are also good places to practice reading and writing with other Spanish speakers. Question: Any tip on better Spanish dictionaries? Answer: If you are starting out, a pocket dictionary is good enough. But you need to invest in a decent dictionary, a big hardcover dictionary if possible, as you go up in your class level. El Diccionario de la Lengua Española is one of the best. One tip: Make it a habit to look things up. Soak up on their Spanish definitions rather than looking up for their simple translations. Question: How much time do you spend studying Spanish? Answer: Learning a foreign language needs a regular study timetable, like a few minutes (5 to 15 minutes) a day everyday. The short daily routine keeps your interest active. Longer sessions, especially on your own and not in a class, have a tendency of making you lose your interest. Shorter periods feel like reviews and they stick better in your brain. Question: I understand enough Spanish to talk with people but it takes me longer to answer because I tend to think my answer in English first and translate it into Spanish. Any tip? Answer: Begin “thinking” in Spanish when answering. It takes a while to begin this habit, but once you develop this, your brain is forced to look for the words and thread them together. Once done, you will discover learning Spanish is not that hard after all.