It’s best to learn at least some Spanish language before you come to Spain as this will give you a head start when you arrive. It’s not possible to become fluent in any language without speaking face to face with native speakers so you wont start learning for real until you live there.
There are YouTube videos out there which will tell you you can learn a language in 4 weeks or even 2 days! Not a reality, it takes time and patience and practice. Lots and lots of practice!
It takes at least a year to learn a language and that is by spending many hours every week studying, speaking and listening. There is no shortcut!
The only YouTube video we have seen which is honest about this was by a Language Teacher who learned Arabic in 1 year. (click here for video) He suggests there are 3 key steps.
- 0-3 months. Desk top studying of apps, books, videos and tapes to get your basic vocabulary to about 4000 words (equivalent to a 2 year old) About 6 hours min per week.
- 3-6 months. One-on-one speaking and listening face to face with a native speaker using picture books and magazines to use as conversation pieces. About 6 hours min per week.
- 6-12 months. Live in the culture and speak to as many native speakers as possible to increase your listening and speaking skills.
Learning to speak and listen is the best way to learn. Writing and reading skills can be learned later. This is how a child learns, they don’t go to school until 4 years old!
However there are some great apps for our mobile phones which can teach you some of the basics you will need to get started and which will mimic the steps 1 to 3 as listed above.
Here are our favourites
This is our favourite and one of the most popular. Lots of different styles of learning including reading, listening, speaking, spelling, grammar tips, short stories and much more.
You can get the app for Apple or Android, or you can use the website version.
There are points and awards given and you can compete against other users in the League Challenges.
You can set your daily goals from easy to intense depending on your aspirations.
We liked the video clips on this app of people talking in the street who are all native speakers. Its not as long to complete all the levels as it is on DuoLingo but the videos and speed tests will suit some people. web version here
Includes audio lessons and a translator function. you can chat with real people in the messenger section. website
This app enables face to face video chats with native speakers which is free. There are also paid teachers on there who you can pay for 1-on-1 lessons over video chats. website