If you want to learn Spanish — or any other language — you’ve got to read, and read a lot. Reading lots will give you a huge amount of exposure to the language, and with that comes more vocabulary, more comprehension, more enjoyment, more confidence and, consequently, better Spanish.But what if you pick up a book and the vocabulary in it seems overwhelming…?
Here are two tips on how to read Spanish easier. We’re assuming that you already have an intermediate level of Spanish…
1)Don’t resort to the dictionary:You could also turn to a Spanish dictionary (possibly an online dictionary) — but we suggest that you don’t. Dropping the book and ploughing through a dictionary is a sure-fired way to spoil the story, so try to work it out from context first.
2)Be like Grissom: Reading in a foreign language is a bit like playing at detectives: you’ve got clues, and a few red herrings, and basically you’re trying to piece together understanding from what you know and what you can make guesses at.
You watch CSI? Reading is a bit like being Gil Grissom: it looks like he knows, but really he’s only making smart guesses based on the evidence in front of him…
Differences and similarities that Spanish Beginners must know between English and Spanish as a language: As Spanish language beginners, one quick key to expanding your Spanish vocabulary is learning to recognize the word patterns as seen in many English- Spanish cognates. In a sense, English and Spanish as languages are cousins. They have a common ancestor known as Indo-European. Sometimes the English and Spanish meanings can overlap. For example, an argumento in Spanish can refer to the plot of the story. Words that are alike or similar in the two languages but have different meanings are known as false friends. Many English words that have a “ph” in them have an “f”in the Spanish version: photo – foto, metamorphosis – metamorfosis, graph – gráfica.
Beginners Spanish Lesson One The Basics: If you know the alphabet in English you can easily learn basic Spanish lessons. Spanish alphabets are very similar to the alphabets of most European languages. a- z make up Spanish alphabets which are similar to English ones. Spanish alphabet has an additional “ñ” which is known as an “acute accent”. As far as the alphabet in Spanish and its pronunciation, there are only a few letters or characters we have to be careful with:
The G in the Spanish word ´genio´ is pronounced like the H in hello. The G in the Spanish word ´guarro´ is pronounced like the GW in Gwen. The G in the Spanish word ´gafas´ is pronounced like the G in gag. The H is always silent. The Ñ in the Spanish word ´otoño´ is pronounced like the first NI in onion. It may interest you to know that as recently as 2010, the Spanish alphabet, as recognized by the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise), included two other letters, ch and ll, which were considered separate letters. They continue to have distinctive pronunciations (just as do “ch” and “sh” in English).