Spanish

Spanish words for tango lyrics

7 essential Spanish words for understanding tango lyrics

7 essential Spanish words for understanding tango lyrics

 

When you are dancing in milongas, have you ever wonder what those tango lyrics you are listening to are about? While understanding the whole Spanish lyrics often requires a near-native level of Spanish, which we may not be there yet, knowing some words that frequently appear in the lyrics would definitely help us to get a feeling of what the song is about, and makes it easier for us to get into the mood while dancing to it.  

In this blog post we have compiled a list of 7 common Spanish words in tango songs, each with its explanation in English, and an example of a tango song in which the word appears.

 

1. Amor

Amor” means love, and perhaps the central theme of all tango.

One representing tango song that contains this word is “Hasta Siempre Amor” (Farewell, love) (Music by Donato Racciatti; lyrics by Federico Silva). The song has been interpreted by many different orchestras, such as D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, and Salamanca.

When we listen to the song, we will hear the phrase “hasta siempre amor” being repeated many times in the lyrics, for example:

 

“Hasta siempre, amor,

(Farewell, love,)

cuando sueñes conmigo

(when you dream about me)

en las noches de frío

(on cold nights)

ya no estaré…”

(I will no longer be there…)1

 

Click here to listen to the version by orchestra Juan D’Arienzo and singer Jorge Valdez.

 

2. Abrazo

Abrazo” means embrace, the essential element of tango. The verb form of the word is “abrazar” (to hug).

We can find the word “abrazar” in “Volvamos a empezar” (Let’s start over again) (Music by Daniel Álvarez; lyrics by Eduardo Maradei):

 

“Mirá…

(Look…)

Nuestro cachorros como ayer

(Our kids (puppies) are just as before (yesterday))

Mirá…

(Look..)

Como me abrazan otra vez…”

(How they hug me once again…)2

 

Click here to listen to version by orchestra Alfredo de Angelis and singer Óscar Larroca.

 

3. Despedida

“La despedida” (Farewell) is a recurring theme in tango.

The song “Fueron tres años” (3 years have passed) (Music and lyrics by Juan Pablo Marín) describes the heartbreak of a man separating from his lover:

 

Aún tengo fuego en los labios,

(I still have fire on my lips)

del beso de despedida.

(from the farewell kiss.)

¿Cómo pensar que mentías

(How could I think you were lying)

si tus negros ojos lloraban por mí?”

(if your dark eyes were crying for me?)2

 

Click this link to listen to the version by orchestra Jorge Dragone and singer Argentino Ledesma.

 

4. Mentira

Mentira” means lie, and “mentir” is the verb form (to lie).

The song “Y todavía te quiero” (And still I love you, music by Luciano Leocata; lyrics by Abel Aznar) tells the torture and pain of a man being repeatedly deceived by the one that he loved:

 

“Sin embargo… ¿Por qué yo no grito   

(But … Why I don’t cry)

que es toda mentira, mentira tu amor

(it’s all lies, your love is a lie)

y por qué de tu amor necesito,

(and why I need your love,)

si en él sólo encuentro martirio y dolor?”

(if in it I only find martyrdom and pain?)1

 

Click here to listen to how the song was interpreted by orchestra Di Sarli and singer Jorge Falcon.

 

5. Corazón

Corazón (heart) is an important word in tango. How can you dance without your corazón?

In the song “Corazón ”, the lyricist Hector Marcó told a story via the lyrics how a man talked himself (his heart) to get over from a girl who had betrayed him:

 

“Corazón,

(Heart,)

no la llames

(don’t call to her)

ni le implores—

(don’t beg her for anything—)

que de tus amores

(from the ones you love)

nunca has merecido

(you have never deserved)

tanta humillación.”

(so much humiliation.)3

 

The song was written by Carlos Di Sarli, let’s listen to how his orchestra and singer Roberto Rufino interpreted the song (Click here).

 

6. Adios

Adios” means goodbye, another frequently appear topic in tango lyrics.

In “El adios” (Music by Maruja Pacheco Huergo), the lyricist Virgilio San Clemente wrote about the sorrow of parting from a lover:

 

“El sueño más feliz,

(The happiest dream,)

moría en el adiós

(died in the goodbye)

y el cielo para mí se oscureció

(for me, the sky became dark…)1

 

We have selected “El Adios” (The Goodbye) by orchestra Pugliese and singer Jorge Maciel for you, a powerful and sorrowful interpretation of the song (Click here to listen to the song).

 

7. Dolor

Many songwriters expressed via tango lyrics their different kinds of “dolor” (pain) in life: the pain of losing a lover; parting from their family or being betrayed.

In this song “Lejos de Buenos Aires” (Far from Buenos Aires, music by Alberto Suárez Villanueva), the lyricist Oscar Rubens wrote about the pain of an old person recalling what he had abandoned: his family, his girlfriend and everything back in his native city Buenos Aires in order to chase after his dream, and at the end feeling lonely and regretful of staying on a foreign land where nobody cares about him:

 

“Lejos de la gran ciudad

(Far from the great city)

que me ha visto florecer,

(that witnessed my flourishing)

en las calles más extrañas

(in these strange streets)

siento el alma oscurecer.

(I feel the darkening of my soul)

 

Nadie observa mi final,

(No one notices my ending)

ni le importa mi dolor,

(nor care about my pain,)

nadie quiere mi amistad,

(nobody wants my friendship,)

sólo estoy con mi amargor…”

(I am just alone with my bitterness…)2

 

Click here to listen to the interpretation of the song by orchestra Miguel Caló, singer Raúl Berón.

 

Interested in learning Spanish for tango? Check out our Tango Spanish Course, or get a copy of our book Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips on Amazon!

 

 

References (Tango lyrics and translations)

The lyrics and translations of tango songs appear in this blog post were adapted from various online and published sources:

1. “Tango Lyrics page in Spanish with English translation” maintained by Alberto Paz: https://letrasdetango.wordpress.com/

2. “Tango words-a guide to tango lyrics with English translation Vol.1” by Manuel Garber: http://tangowords.com/

3. Poesía de gotán: The poetry of the tango”: https://poesiadegotan.com/2009/04/09/corazon-1939/

 

Present Simple Tense

The Spanish Present Tenses made easy! (I)

If you’re planning to start learning Spanish grammar, we recommend you start with the present tenses! There are several present tenses, and in this lesson we’ll start by explaining the Simple Present Tense (or in Spanish “el presente simple” or “el presente del indicativo”).

When do we use it?

In general we use it:

  • To talk about habits and routine.
  • To talk about universal truths and facts.
  • To talk about permanent things.

For example:

  • Los lunes voy a clases de piano. On Mondays I go to piano lessons.
  • El sol nace en el este. The sun rises in the East.
  • Yo soy uruguaya. I’m Uruguayan.

How do we form the verbs in the present simple tense?

Let’s start by taking a look at the regular ones. There are three types of regular verbs, according to their endings: ar, er and ir.

This chart will help you to form the AR verbs:

Subject Pronoun

Verb in the infinitive HABLAR – to speak (The stem is “habl” and the ending is “ar” – What we modify is the ending, but we keep the stem).

Yo (I) Hablo
Tú (you-singular, informal) Hablas
Él (he) , Ella (she), Usted (you-formal) Habla
Nosotros/as (we) Hablamos
Vosotros/as (you-plural, informal – Only used in Spain) Habláis
Ellos/as (They), Ustedes (You-plural, formal in Spain and both formal and informal in Latin America). Hablan

Now let’s see the “ER” verbs:

Subject Pronoun

Verb in the infinitive COMER – to eat (The stem is “com” and the ending is “er” – What we modify is the ending, but we keep the stem).

Yo (I) Como
Tú (you-singular, informal) Comes
Él (he) , Ella (she), Usted (you-formal) Come
Nosotros/as (we) Comemos
Vosotros/as (you-plural, informal – Only used in Spain) Coméis
Ellos/as (They), Ustedes (You-plural, formal in Spain and both formal and informal in Latin America). Comen

and finally, the “IR” verbs:

Subject Pronoun

Verb in the infinitive VIVIR – to live (The stem is “viv” and the ending is “ir” – What we modify is the ending, but we keep the stem).

Yo (I) Vivo
Tú (you-singular, informal) Vives
Él (he) , Ella (she), Usted (you-formal) Vive
Nosotros/as (we) Vivimos
Vosotros/as (you-plural, informal – Only used in Spain) Vivís
Ellos/as (They), Ustedes (You-plural, formal in Spain and both formal and informal in Latin America). Viven

Take a look at these examples:

AR verbs:

  • Juan llora cuando mira un drama. Juan cries when he watches a drama.
    • The infinitive form of “to cry” is “llorar”. The stem is “llor” and the ending “ar”. Can you see the rule being applied in this example? The same happens with “mirar” (to look/watch). The stem is “mir” and the ending “ar”. The right ending for “He” is “a” = llora, mira.

ER verbs:

  • Nosotras siempre entendemos la clase. We always understand the lesson. 
    • The infinitive form of “to understand” is “entender”. The stem is “entend” and the ending “er”. The right ending for “we” (nosotros) is “emos” = entendemos.

IR verbs:

  • Nosotros partimos al trabajo todas las mañanas a las ocho. We leave to work every morning at eight.
    • As you’ve noticed, most of the “er” forms are the same as the “ir” forms, except for “nosotros” and “vosotros”. The infinitive verb “to leave” in Spanish is “partir”. The stem is “part” and the ending “ir”. So the right ending for “we” (nosotros) is “imos” = partimos.

We hope this first introduction to the Present Simple Tense has been helpful for you, stay tuned for the next lesson, in which we’ll introduce the irregular “yo” forms of present simple verbs.

Speaking Spanish like a pro

Speaking Spanish like a Pro

A FREE Spanish learning eBook for all of you!

To celebrate the First Anniversary of Master Spanish Now, we have a gift for everyone who likes our FB page!

Speaking Spanish like a Pro ebook is for those who:
-Have been learning Spanish for years but still can’t speak fluently
-Have a busy schedule and need effective strategy for study
-Want to learn Spanish slangs and sounds more like a native

To download the book, please:
1. Like our Facebook page!

(we have daily update of useful Spanish tips)
2. Go to http://masterspanishnow.com/SpeakSpanishPro

You would need to subscribe to our email list for downloading the book, and it may take a while for your book to arrive at your email address.

If you can’t download the book, please drop us a line at admin@masterspanishnow.com

Enjoy the book!

 

 

Spanish Proverb

Spanish proverbs of wisdom

9 Spanish proverbs of wisdom

 

Learning Spanish proverbs not only helps us to learn the language, but also gives us valuable insights of life. In this blog we have compiled 9 Spanish proverbs that descend from old wisdom:

 

1.”Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.”

-Tell me who you walk with, and I will tell you who you’re.

 

We always absorb the way of living of people close to us.

So stay with the right crowd of friends, keep them close and don’t ever let them go!

 

2. “A mal tiempo, buena cara.”

-In bad weather, put on a good face.

 

While we may not be able to do much to change the situation, we can always change our attitude.

 

3. “Desgraciado en el juego, afortunado en amores.”

-Unlucky in games, lucky in love.

 

We don’t usually get to have everything we want in our life. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, why don’t we be grateful of having people who love us?

 

4. “Más ven cuatro ojos que dos.”

-Four eyes are better than two.

 

When we are about to make important decision, it is usually good to have a second opinion. People out of our situation may offer insights that help put things in perspective.

 

5. “Muchas manos en la olla echan el guiso a perder.”

Too many cooks spoil the broth

 

It is good to get people’s help in getting work done, but let’s not overdo it. Getting too many hands involved may sometime complicate the work and make it harder to finish.

 

6. “Dios los cría, y ellos se juntan”

-Birds of a feather flock together

 

This proverb means people of similar characters or backgrounds usually go together. It usually carries a negative connotation referring to people sharing negative characters would go together (like gangs).

 

7. “A la ocasión la pintan calva.”

Opportunity knocks only once

 

We should always prepare ourselves for opportunity. When it come, catch it tight and don’t let it go!

 

8. “A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda”

-God helps those who get up early

 

This is perhaps the most well-known Spanish proverb. The early bird gets the worms. Early to bed and early to rise would make one healthier, and get more things done!

 

9. “Al fin es debido el honor.”

-All is well that ends well

 

As long as the result is satisfactory, the problems and misfortune along the way can be forgotten.

 

Though we may have errors that are silly and embarrassing, but at the end it is still the result that people remembers.

 

Want to learn some Spanish slang? Check out

10 Super Spanish Street Slangs

Tango-Spanish

Why learn Spanish for tango?

4 reasons why learning Spanish makes one an advanced tango dancer

 

When we start learning tango we usually focus on steps and techniques, which are essential for being a good tanguero/a (a tango dancers). However, if being a real advanced dancer is your goal, then learning Spanish will be an essential step for you. In fact, the tie between Spanish and tango is so strong that it is impossible to learn only learn the dance without Spanish, and speaking Spanish would make tango learning immediately easier.

 

One may argue that in tango many people get by without knowing Spanish. But what if one day you dance with a porteño/a (people from Buenos Aires)? Or if you decide to take a further step to join a competition which is very often judged by an Argentine master? How could you convince them you know the songs, and you are interpreting them through your dance ?

 

In fact, learning Spanish will immediately take your dance to the next level, and the followings are 4 reasons why:

 

1.Helps remembering essential tango keywords

 

During tango class one would often come across names of techniques which are all Spanish words. Many of my non-Spanish speaking classmates have a hard time memorizing keywords like “ocho cortado”, “giro” and “sacada”, and I have seen people dancing for years stumble on pronouncing words such as “cabeceo” and “enrosque”. For someone who speaks Spanish, remembering the words would be straightforward: “ocho cortado” means “cut eight” and “giro” is “turn”.

 

The same goes for remembering the names of orchestra and songs. For someone who doesn’t speak Spanish, it would be hard to talk about tango music, say, telling people that they like “Esta noche de luna” or “Verdemar” by orchestra Di Sarli.

 

2. Better understanding of Argentine culture

 

Tango and Argentine culture go hand-in-hand. Learning Spanish would allow one to understand the unique Argentine culture. A good Spanish teacher from Argentina would be able to point out the cultural influence, for example, the use of Lunfardos (an Argentine slangs) in tango lyrics and explain to you the meaning behind.

 

Check out our blog post  7 essential lunfardos for tango.

 

3. Better connection to the music and lyrics

 

For those who dance to tango music and doesn’t under the lyrics, they would be blind to the context. For one who knows some Spanish, even though they might not understand the whole lyrics, they would be able to pick up keywords such as triste (sadness), te quiero (I love you), mentiras (lies) etc., and this would immediately give them a feeling of the song and make them more connected to the music.

 

4. Avoid awkward mismatching moves

 

“You know, I have seen many people dance to sad songs with happy moves, and this looks really funny.”

 

An Argentine master once told me over a dinner.

 

Indeed, one of the trickiest things in tango music is that we cannot always accurately judge the mood of the song without knowing the lyrics. Sometimes the rhythm and melody of a song may appear to be light hearted, but the lyrics might tell a completely different story.

 

An example would be “La bruja” (The witch) (by orchestra D’Arienzo) which is a popular song in milonga. This is a song which sounds bright and lively, but it tells a story of breaking up and revealing of true color:

 

Ahogando este grito

que sube del pecho,

y llega a los labios carga’o de rencor,

yo vuelvo a tu lado, atadas las manos,

pero pa’ decirte que todo acabó…

 

(Drowning this scream

that rises up from my chest,

and arrives on my lips charged with malice,

I return to your side, with my hands tied,

but only to tell you that everything’s over…)

So how could we begin learning Spanish for tango?

 

What would be better than learning with an Argentine Spanish teacher who is a tanguera herself?

 

Check out the profile of our Argentine teacher Marcela, who is specialized in teaching Spanish for tango, and has been helping many tangueros – including champions in tango contests – learn  the language!

Adults learning

4 tips for learning Spanish for adults

“I am too old to learn Spanish” –that is a lament I would occasionally hear from my grown-up friends.

One thing that holds many adults back from trying to learn a new language is the belief that we can’t teach an old dog a new trick- As we grow old, we become forgetful and it seems more difficult to get things in our head. But would these really make learning Spanish a mission impossible?

The good news is that, as an adult we have many advantages over kids that makes us more efficient language learners:

1.The choice of learning is ours

Unlike kids who are bound by their school syllabus, or are being forced by their parents to go language classes, we learn Spanish because we want to.

2.We pick our style of learning

Compared to kids whose only option is going to class, as a grown-up we are free to choose whatever means that we see fit and enjoy most, be it movies, videos, apps… etc.

3.We decide our pace of learning

Unlike schools that have a rigid syllabus, we decide for ourselves how fast or slow we learn.

When we get overwhelmed, we are free to take a short break and get back on it later.

Here are our 4 tricks for adults learning Spanish:

 

1. Use Anki

Need help in memorizing Spanish words? Anki will be your great companion.

Anki is an app which you can use as a flash card on the go on your smartphone. It is designed based on the principle of spaced repetition: showing you the words that you need to remember over and over again, in increasing intervals, so that they will be committed to your memory.

You can create your own set of Spanish flash cards using Anki, or you can download for free Spanish flash card created by the others (For instance, search “1001 most useful Spanish words and Sentences” on the App!).

      

2. Mixing learning with fun

Feeling bored of studying with your textbook? Why don’t you learn by doing something that you enjoy?

If you like films, watch an Argentine movie and pick up some Argentine slangs!

Enjoy cooking? Try some new recipes from a Spanish cookbook!

Mixing your Spanish learning with something you have fun out of will keep you hooked and engaged.

 3. Give yourself a purpose

Setting a goal would give you something to aim for, and help you to keep motivated. Planning to travel to Spain and need to talk to the locals? Want to read a Spanish novel in its original text? Watch a Spanish movie without the need of subtitles? The gratification of achieving your goal will be the greatest reward for your effort.

       

4. Taking private Spanish classes online

For adults, taking traditional group classes for learning a new language might not be the best option-you are bound by a fixed schedule without much flexibility, and more importantly, you teacher might not have much time for your questions as he/she will be busy with taking care of the needs of the whole class.

On the other hand, taking private classes online will give you the freedom to choose when and where will you will be having your class, and your Spanish tutor will become your private language coach who would devote all his/her attention to your learning, and tailor your class so that it will match perfectly with your level and your pace of learning.

A great news is that online Spanish classes are now very affordable starting at  USD15 per class. Check out Master Spanish Now for details!

practice writing Spanish

Write to speak fluent Spanish

Writing is perhaps the last thing we would practice when we learn Spanish.When we start learning Spanish we usually focus more on getting fluent. Practicing writing is not as fun and glamorous as practicing speaking-we usually think about it as a tedious, boring and lonely chore.

However, writing is an essential step leading to fluency, because:

 

1.Practice writing Spanish is a far less intimidating way to practice than speaking

Have you ever felt tongue-tied when you speak? Not having the right word on your tongue? Feeling your grammar all over the place? Speaking happens in real time and requires instantaneous response, while during writing you can take all your time to build your sentences and even look up the right words in the dictionary.

 

2. Practice writing helps to structure your sentences faster

Have you ever stumble on putting the verbs and adjectives in the right order when you speak? Struggle with the right gender and the right article to go with? Getting your sentences written down on a paper would help you to see more clearly how sentences should be formed, and help you to get it right faster the next time you speak.

 

3. Writing helps you to build vocabulary

Writing helps you to learn new words, and by using them and practicing them in writing you start memorizing them.

 

So how can we get started? There are 3 fun and easy ways to practice:

 

1. Write your to-do-list, memo, grocery list and schedule in Spanish.

Start with something simple, short and daily would help us to turn it into a habit.

So instead scribbling “Dinner with Jean Friday 8pm”, start writing “Cena con Jean viernes a las 8pm” on your schedule!

 

2. Write your diary in Spanish

Writing down a few sentences of your thoughts everyday would help you to learn how to express yourself in Spanish, and it is a good way to vent your emotion and keep secret thoughts to yourself (Works perfect if your family or your significant other doesn’t speak Spanish!).

 

3. Write your Facebook status in Spanish

After you have been doing the first 2 things for a while you might feel more daring to make your writing go public. Impress your friends with your new Spanish skills by writing your Facebook status in Spanish! When you gained “likes” you will feel more motivated to keep going.

 

Want more serious practice and feedback on your writing? Book a Skype Spanish class with our native Spanish teachers!

4 steps for an effective Skype Spanish Class

Taking a Skype Spanish Class with a native teacher is a definitely a more effective and efficient way to learn Spanish than taking traditional group class: you can book a class at any time when you are free; you can take the class anywhere at your comfort -your home, your office etc. and save travel time; you can have the whole attention of your teacher dedicated to your language needs; and the price of a Skype Spanish class is so affordable (as low as USD15/class) that it beats group classes.

 

So you have scheduled your first class with your Spanish teacher, what next?

 

In this blog post we will walk you through 4 steps that help you to maximize your gain from the Skype Spanish Class:


1. Check your internet connection and Skype sound quality

An abrupt disconnection is perhaps the most awkward thing that can happen during your class. A poor sound quality would also make you and your teacher unable to hear each other. So the first thing you may want to do before your class is to check your internet connection and Skype sound quality.

To check your internet connection speed click here

 

The recommended download/upload speeds for Skype are as follow:

Calling: 100kbps/100 kbps

Video calling/Screen sharing: 300kbps/300kbps

(From Skype help page)

 

To check the Skype sound quality, open “contacts” on your Skype and you will find “Skype test call” which allows you to make a test call to test your sound.

 

2. Know your goal and level of Spanish

 

One major difference between Skype Spanish classes and traditional group classes is that it has no fixed syllabus. Your teacher will design your syllabus based on your need(s). So it is important for you to have thought of your goal for learning: do you want to focus more on grammar or on practicing conversational Spanish? Do you have a special aim for learning Spanish, such as for travel or business?

Knowing your level will also be helpful for you to know what your next level to achieve would be. Have you studied Spanish before? How long have you been studying? Have you taken any Spanish exams like DELE? All these information will be helpful for you to gauge your own level.

 

3. Communicate with your teacher

 

Talking to your teacher about your goal and your level would be very helpful for your teacher to prepare appropriate teaching activities and materials that help you to achieve your goal. Write your teacher an email a few days before the class!

 

4. Giving feedback

 

After the first lesson,  it would be good for you to write to your teacher and give him/her some feedback. Telling him/her what you like about the class, and what you think can be improved.  Your teacher would appreciate your feedback, and it would also help to work out a learning method that suits you best in the future lessons.

Other than your language gain, Skype Spanish classes can help you to build local contacts in Spain or Latin America, and your teacher can be your important source of information for travel and local culture!

 

Enjoy your first Spanish class!

 

Click here to book a Skype Spanish class with our native teachers from Spain and Argentina.

 

3 free and fun ways for practicing Spanish!

 

Romantic Spanish for lovers

12 Romantic Spanish Phrases for Lovers

Valentine ’s Day is coming, are you looking for romantic words to say to your sweetheart? Spanish is known to be the most passionate and sexy language, why don’t you learn a few cute Spanish phrases so to spice up your love life; to surprise and win the heart of tu amor(your love), telling him or her that “Te quiero” (I love you)?

 

In this post we have assembled 12 romantic Spanish phrases to say your novio/novia (boyfriend/girlfriend)!

 

Here comes our top Spanish love phrases:

 

1.Te quiero

I love you

 

The literal translation of “Te quiero” is “I want you”, but in fact it is a common way of how Spaniards say “I love you” to their loved one.

 

2. Te amo

I love you.

 

This is a more formal way of saying “I love you”.

 

3. Estoy enamorado(a) de ti.

I am in love with you.

 

Enamorado means “in love”, and this adjective needs to match with the gender of the speaker. So if you are a man, say “estoy enamorado”; if you are a girl, it would be “estoy enamorada”.   

 

4. Te quiero con toda mi alma

I love you with all of my soul.

 

5. Eres el amor de mi vida

You are the love of my life.

 

6. Cada día te quiero más

Each day I love you more.

 

7. Eres mi todo

You are my everything.

 

8. Besarte es como ver las estrellas

To kiss you is like seeing stars.

 

9.Quiero estar contigo para siempre

I want to be with you forever.

 

10. Te amo desde el fondo de mi corazón

I love you from the bottom of my heart.

 

11.Te amo, tu me complementas

I love you, you complete me.

 

12. Tu eres mi alma gemela

You are my soulmate.

 

Which romantic phrase you like most? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

Want to practice and perfect your pronunciation before saying the love phrases to your lover? Book a lesson with our native Spanish teachers!

 

 

 

 

4 tips to get fluent in Spanish

Why did I start learning Spanish?

 

It was because I want to explore Spain and Latin America.I want to chat fluently in Spanish with anyone I run into. I want to make as many Hispanic friends as I can who would be embracing me as their family. I want to know everything about this fascinating Latino culture.

 

I want to, if chance permits, land on a job in a Spanish-speaking company, or be an entrepreneur and start a Spanish-related business.

 

Did you start off learning Spanish with similar dreams? I think many of us do, but after a while it is easy for us to get frustrated and give up halfway.

 

Why?

 

Because we find it so hard, so frightening to initiate a conversation in Spanish.

 

Why would we get nervous even before we start to speak?

 

Because talking is an event that happens in real time, and we are easily overcome by the fear that we cannot sustain a conversation that we begin, and make a fool of ourselves. We would worry that we do not have enough vocabulary, messing up the tenses and gender etc…This forms a vicious cycle: the more we fear of embarrassing ourselves, the less we speak, and the further we push ourselves away from the goal of getting fluent.

 

So how can we beat this fear and get ourselves out to start speaking Spanish? Here are 4 tips that I have picked up on my own journey of learning Spanish:

 

1.Accumulating a bank of stock phrases

Memorizing a few common phrases for different life situations would help you feel more prepared. And you know you would never get wrong, for example, closing the conversation with a phrase like “¡Qué tengas un buen día/noche!” (Have a good day/night!).

 

You can find all these useful phrases in a phrase book, or you can pick up through the next tip:

 

2. Practice with an interactive video

Learning through an interactive video would be a fun way for practicing speaking.  Each video would usually cover a specific topic; useful phrases and words would be introduced as the video plays along. Therefore, you can practice reading out the phrase displayed on the screen for a few times, and compare your pronunciation with that by a native speaker.

 

“Mi vida loca (My crazy life)” is an excellent free resource by BBC. It is a fascinating video drama on a mysterious adventure in Madrid broken down into 22 Ten-minute episodes.

 

The series is great for absolute beginners, for picking up some basic Spanish phrases, but even if you have been learning Spanish for a while, you will still find it useful for practicing listening – there are lots of conversation between the native Spanish actors in the videos, and all videos come with a transcript.

 

3.Find a language partner

If you find speaking Spanish to random people you meet on the street too intimidating, perhaps you can start by practicing with a language partner.

 

Check out italki and Hellolingo and look for Spanish speakers who are learning your language.  Get their contact and start connecting with them. Throughout the process you will be able to make foreign friends, share progress and frustrations of learning, and get the rapport from someone who is also experiencing the same struggles and up-and-downs as you!

 

4. Find an online Spanish tutor

But what if you can’t find a serious language partner who you can work with?  Finding an online Spanish tutor would be an ideal solution.

 

I have been taking Skype Spanish lessons with a few native tutors for over 6 years and it has been the most effective way to help me to get fluent. It actually creates an environment for me which make me feeling safe to speak freely and make mistakes, knowing that my tutor would not be judging, instead he/she would be there to help by telling me the correct or better way of speaking. The best thing is that all lessons are 1-to-1, meaning that I would have the tutor’s full attention at all time, and staying silent is not an option!

 

Check out Master Spanish Now for their team of experienced native Spanish teachers who are friendly and willing to work with you to improve your fluency. They would tailor the lesson so that it will be of the level just right for you!