When learning Spanish, in particular when you are just starting your journey of learning Spanish, I can tell you that there are probably going to be days when you feel you’re just not progressing. You might even feel that you’re wasting your time and energy, and just want to give up.

 

Please don’t! These feelings are completely normal. I can assure you that if you persevere, you will have times when feel completely the opposite, when you suddenly understand and can say so much more!

 

Do not waste ‘battling’ why something is different to your first language. Spanish is a different language, it is not better or worse, it is simply a different language. There are for instance similaririties with English but also differences. Think in these terms, when you find similarities that’s great – it’s a bonus; and when you find differences, think: ‘ok, that’s different, that’s something I have to pay attention to’ and actually “pay attention to it” and keep moving forward.

 

For example, you might hear a Spanish speaker using the expression “pena ajena”. This relates to the embarrassment you feel when watching someone else doing something inapropriate or humiliating for them. Such subtle concepts are difficult to translate because sometimes they just doesn’t exist in another language. Sooner or later, you give up trying to translate and just become satisfied that you know and understand a concept that previously didn’t exist for you (or which you didn’t have a word for!). This is one of the most fascinating parts of learning another language – the opportunity to learn different and new ways of looking at the world.

 

So, there will always be differences and challenges, and it will naturally be your first language that seems the most logical. But remember that Spanish speakers learning English will also be thinking about how strange and illogical English sometimes seems to them! Keep a positive attitude and embrace the differences! For more ideas and tips check our previous blog ‘Learning Spanish online – Taking your Spanish to the next level’ and ‘The best ways to learn Spanish’.

 

Julian Correcha – The Spanish Kangaroo

"Technical writing and editing — Australian engineer and technical writing colleague
Working with Louise, I was impressed by the depth of her knowledge of the rules and conventions..."
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