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Confessions of a Spanish Newb

By Memrise Team

Tips and thoughts from a language learning rookie.

New to language learning? Me too. This was me on the day that I decided to learn Spanish:

I’ve been learning Spanish on Memrise for a couple of weeks now and I’ve picked up a few pointers for us newbs. Maybe they can help you, too!

Find a person (or thousands of people) to hold you accountable

If nothing is at stake, you’ll feel less motivated to continue. Now, you don’t have to do what I did and tell the whole internet about it. But if you can tell a friend who can hold you accountable, you’ll find yourself more motivated than ever.

Headphones are your friends

I don’t have time to go to language classes, so it’s been brilliant transforming my normally dull commute into Spanish learning time (genial!) Get yourself a pair of headphones and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn just on your commute. I certainly was!

Of course, you can learn a lot during toilet time too, but I won’t get into that… 

A bit every day

Some days, I only manage to get 15 minutes in. But I’m finding it more beneficial to spend a bit of time every day rather than binge learning with more time in between. This kept my mind thinking of (and in) Spanish, which really is the key to learning the language. You know that streak counter on the top right? Turns out it’s there to keep you motivated to come back for good reason!

But don’t stress if you’ve broken a streak. Keep going as consistently as you can. Slow and steady wins this race. 

Make the worst movie ever

Rather than trying to learn as many words as possible in my first week, I tried to make a few phrases meaningful to my everyday life. That way, I would stop treating Spanish as some strange code that I’m trying to crack. I replaced common words I would use with Spanish words – “Muchas gracias” instead of saying thank you, “lo siento” instead of “sorry”, “por favor” when I need to say “please”. While at times it felt like I was making the worst movie ever with a script of 3 Spanish words, this allowed me to start contextualising those phrases without needing someone to speak with. 

Got any good learning tips? Find us on social media @memrise and share them with us!

~ Ant