Wouldn’t it be nice to have a conversation with someone else using a language other than your own? Of course it would! It’s always exciting and sometimes nerve wracking to learn new things, but the accomplishment of actually following through and learning is so rewarding that it makes it all worthwhile. While it may not be feasible to think that you can learn several new languages right now, it could be nice to know how to say hello in Spanish and maybe a few other words. After all, your next set of new neighbors might speak Spanish fluently!
One of the first points that you may be happy to find out is that learning to speak Spanish isn’t as difficult as learning certain other languages. The grammar and spelling rules are pretty straightforward. Once you learn those, you should be able to speak Spanish at least on a casual basis. Here are a few tips to make it easier for you to learn not only how to say hello, but how to say so much more in Spanish.
Start with the Spanish Alphabet: Did you know that the Spanish alphabet is only slightly different than most European alphabets? The only real difference is that it contains one extra letter – ñ. Of course, if you want to sing the alphabet song, you’ll need to learn how to pronounce each letter in Spanish first.
Learn How to Enunciate Each Letter Properly: If you want to learn the Spanish language, getting the enunciation down pat is critical. Borrow language tapes from the library, use an online translator, or buy your own set of tapes and see how you do.
Learn Each Lesson Completely before Moving on: Languages are best learned with a sequential approach. In fact, language textbooks, tapes, and videos typically present their information in a series of building lessons ranging from basic to intermediate to advanced in difficulty. If you don’t fully grasp the initial lesson, it will be more difficult to understand and benefit from the next language lesson.
Repetition is Your Friend: Repeating what you have learned is one of the best strategies that you can take when trying to retain Spanish vocabulary and grammar rules. Practice in between lessons.
Take Advantage of Additional Opportunities to Learn the Spanish Language: As you begin your learning experience, borrow a few children’s books teaching the language. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and your Spanish vocabulary at the same time. You can turn on the Spanish channel to become familiar with the Spanish accent, take out Spanish videos or music CDs from the library, or find an online website that is presented only in Spanish.
Incorporate Simple Phrases into Your Life: Saying hello in Spanish is as simple as saying ¡Hola! and pronouncing it oh-lah. Learn how to say everyday phrases in Spanish and practice using them each day with family and friends. The more you use it, the better your pronunciation and understanding of the Spanish language will become.
Here are some Spanish words and phrases that would be useful to know:
- "Hello"- "Hola"
- "Goodbye"- "Adiós"
- "See you later"- "Hasta Luego"
- "Thank you"- "Gracias"
- "Can I see the menu, please."- "Quiero ver el menú, por favor."
- "Do you have a table for two?"- "¿Tienes una mesa para dos personas?"
- "Can I have...(your order) please?"- "¿Puedo tener...(your order) por favor?"
- "Could I have the bill, please."- "La cuenta, por favor."