Working with thousands of students, we have compiled 6 Simple Learn Spanish Hacks. Be sure to save this book so you can refer to it again in case you forget - there's a TON of good stuff and resources here.
I’m David, the founder of Visual Spanish. I’ve spent the last 15 years helping people learn Spanish. Especially people that have tried all the regular ways and struggled.
People like me.
Working with thousands of students, we have compiled 6 Simple Learn Spanish Hacks. Be sure a bookmark this page so you can refer to it again in case you forget - there's a TON of good stuff and resources here.
But first let's get in the right headspace. On the next page are a couple of funny things you can watch to make you feel better about your own Spanish.
Ok, so here is your first hack...
Most of us think that great things - like learning a foreign language - should be hard.
Eat your vegetables. Run your laps. Study for that exam.
That's true for most things. You should eat your vegetables. 🥕
But learning languages is a little different.
When you learned English - it was a blast! You started off knowing nothing and unable to communicate with anyone. But every day you learned more and more. Your baby curiosity was unquenchable. Your brain ate it up like chocolate.
Or, more accurately, dopamine. 🧪 Dopamine is the chemical released in your brain when you are having fun. When you were a baby. you got lots of dopamine when you listened to songs, or when your parents talked to you.
Even when they read you stories. You got the dopamine hit even if you didn't understand everything.
And that dopamine made you crave learning to speak and understand English more and more. Pretty soon you were fluent.
When you use boring apps and do repetitive drills to learn Spanish, you are trying to get your brain to focus without the dopamine. So, your brain WANTS to be distracted and find more interesting things to remember.
But when the class is fun and interesting, your brain releases dopamine and WANTS to remember it.
I learned this when I moved to Argentina at 30 years old without knowing a lick of Spanish. I tried every method I could find - books, audio CDs, and podcasts. And, of course, I tried apps like Rosetta Stone, Duolingo and Babbel.
And none of them worked for me. I felt really stupid watching all my friends excelling at Spanish, and I barely spoke a word.
Then I met Jimena, my Spanish teacher. I’ll tell you a LOT more about her in the next few days, but the main thing to learn is that she was fun, and funny.
I wanted to make her laugh. And, because we were laughing and having fun, I actually learned and remembered. For the first time, it was easy!
More about Jimena and my Spanish journey later.
So the 1st hack is simple - stay away from any language learning activity that is boring or hard to focus on. Instead, find activities that are fun and engaging.
Check out this music video we made of a super fun, catchy Spanish song "Pasos de Gigante."
We used our patented visual method to teach you the lyrics. Watch it one time. I guarantee you'll learn AND REMEMBER more actual Spanish than if you spent 2 hours doing drills on your phone.
So... how’d it go? Fun, right? Do you remember some of the lyrics? I bet you did!
But before we get to that, have you thought about what it will be like when you can speak Spanish? Did you know that people who speak Spanish:
✔️ have better experiences when they travel 🌎
✔️ have more opportunities with business and personal relationships 🤝💏
✔️ have healthier brains and live longer! 🧠 (it’s true - look it up!)
So I know it feels overwhelming and impossible sometimes, but stick with us. We’ll help you get there. Let’s get started.
Check out the funny Spanish cartoon on the next page.
So the joke here is that "nada" in Spanish has two meanings. It means "nothing" like:
"What are you staring at?"
It is also the verb nadar, "to swim" in the imperative - like maybe "SWIM!"
Context is important.
Some people are visual learners. Some people are audio learners. Most people are both, and need both.
I remember when I was first trying to learn Spanish I listened to a podcast while I was driving. I listened to it over and over and memorized some sounds, to be sure.
And for months afterwards I was surprised that a sound that I thought was one word was actually two - or three. And that things were spelled COMPLETELY different than I thought. Or that a word I thought was a verb was actually a noun - or the other way around.
I needed BOTH the visual component AND the audio component to really make sense of Spanish.
Then I started watching the Simpsons dubbed in Spanish with the English subtitles on. Suddenly it clicked. I started to SEE how words were spelled and how sentence structure worked.
Your eyes and your ears are built to work together. When you SEE something that makes sense with what you HEAR you are 10 times more likely to learn and remember it.
Imagine me, a big gringo who spoke no Spanish, at 30 years old in Buenos Aires. Lots of people I knew seemed to learn Spanish effortlessly. I thought I was pretty smart, but it made me feel dumb.
They all left me in the dust. I am a classic procrastinator. So, instead of learning Spanish (which was hard), I started researching WHY it was hard for ME to learn Spanish. (I’m a sucker for scientific research)
I’d learn a few words and phrases really well by repeating them over and over. But, when I would try using them in a regular conversation, I’d get lost and frustrated in less than 2 minutes.
And then I’d get discouraged and it would be hard to go back and try to learn any more.
The purpose of learning Spanish, to me, was to actually talk to native Spanish speakers - not to a robot on my phone.
Most learn Spanish apps and audiotapes teach you what we call "robot Spanish."
"Hola. Me llamo David."
"El gato está debajo de la mesa"
How often do you think you are going to need to say “the cat is under the table?” Trust me, it's not that often.
All those receptive drills make you feel good, because now you know individual words.
But that's not how normal people talk. If you learn from a robot, you'll speak like a robot...
The rhythm and flow of normal conversation doesn't work like that. Ends of sentences get cut off, people talk over one another, they use phrases, leave out words.
That's why you have to repeat yourself like an idiot every time you ask Siri or Alexa anything
When we started building the Visual Spanish course, it was with that exact idea in mind.
TV show…Added a visual framework
that makes absorbing the language 10x faster and easier…And packaged it up into a course that will have you speaking conversational Spanish in just 5 weeks.
The Simple Learn Spanish Hack #4 is below.
Have you been thinking about how things will be different when you can speak Spanish?
Think about how powerful you will be. To be able to speak to another BILLION people on the planet, and be confident doing it.
Imagine what this can do for you. Whether you are beefing up your skills on your resume, or getting ready for a big trip. Or just looking to connect with people. You’ll be smiling and closer than ever to your goals.
Now, this won’t all happen tomorrow. The first few days you’ll feel a little bolder. You will start understanding common phrases you’ve heard a million times before.
But after a week or two you’ll start making real connections in your brain. Now everything you learn opens up 20 more things. You'll start understanding what people are saying, even if they speak at normal speed.
And after a month or two you’ll start noticing the difference in your paycheck or relationships. A whole new world of understanding will open up. You’ll start to get the cultural details and nuanced expressions.
Now you’ll start learning just from having conversations with native speakers. And you won’t be able to get enough.
You’ll have a lifelong skill that will be part of who you are - something you can be proud of and use to make your life better.
It sounds grandiose, but that’s what being bilingual does for you.
And it’s important to keep that in mind, because a lot of people never get to that point. Why?
How many times have you started a new diet or exercise plan and quit after just a few days? Yeah, me too.
What most health experts say is that the best plan is one that you'll stick to. Walking 20 minutes every day for 9 months is better than running 5 miles a day for 2 weeks and then quitting.
Learning Spanish is the same. It's hard! And the older you get, the harder it is for your brain to latch on to things like new languages.
For some people that's reading the newspaper in Spanish. For some people it's having an international penpal and exchanging emails in Spanish.
Or maybe you want to watch a steamy Spanish language soap opera... like “Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso” (it’s totally bananas - Google it)
The important part is - it's better to find something you will do every day without fail, than to try something really ambitious... but maybe in the end unrealistic.
That's why we made Visual Spanish so much fun - so it doesn't seem like work. It's more like binge-watching a TV show. Which is something almost everybody does everyday anyway.
And, we stuffed in hundreds of jokes, double entendres, easter eggs, and other surprises. So when you watch it the second (or third, or fourth) time, you'll not only keep laughing, but keep finding new things.
This is the whole reason we created Visual Spanish. It's fun and doesn't seem like work, so you’ll actually want to do it every day. It's more like binge-watching a TV show, which is something most people do every day anyway.
But first, I have a question for you to think about.
Which of the following is most like you:
Your answer will determine how you move forward with your Spanish learning.
So… on to the 5th hack.
You know how hard it is to put down a good book in the middle of a chapter, or turn off the TV in the middle of a good movie?
Ask any writer and they'll tell you the secret is to make the reader want to know what's going to happen next.
Humans are curious! We naturally WANT to know.
This hack is all about leaning into that natural curiosity to help you learn to speak Spanish.
When you are binge-watching a great TV show, every episode ends with a cliff-hanger, right?
Because when the hero is hanging off the edge of a cliff, we want to know if she is going to fall and die or be saved somehow.
You can use that natural curiosity to help learn a language. One of the things I like to do is watch an episode of a good true crime show, For the first ten minutes, I'll watch it in English. For the rest I'll watch it with Spanish dubbing turned on.
I'm always super curious to find out what happens at the end - like who the killer was, and why, and how he got caught. And subconsciously, my brain will work overtime to try and figure it out.
I'll pay a lot more attention than usual, and I'll always learn some new words and phrases.
Give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how fast your brain will switch to learning mode when it wants to figure something out.
When we built Visual Spanish, we made it like a funny telenovela. We even hired Florencia la Rosa, a famous Argentinian telenovela writer, to help us with the story.
Each class is like a 45-minute TV show. There is even a "will-they or won't-they" plot line that constantly keeps you guessing.
And, in order to keep up with the funny, wacky story, you have to constantly learn. Over the 30 episode arc you'll learn enough to speak conversational Spanish.
You watched Friends or the Office, right? A little sexual tension goes a long way in building addictive storylines. Just wait until you meet “Jimena” and “David…” (Don't worry, we hired actors to play us!)
Have you been thinking about what your life will be like when you can speak Spanish? It’s pretty exciting, right
But here’s the thing. If you’re like most people, you probably won’t do it.
I mean… you’ll download a free app on your phone. Maybe you’ll try out a couple of these amazing hacks. But in a couple weeks you’ll forget and for the rest of your life you’ll always think that...
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Right now, today, I’ll give you two really good reasons to be one of the few people that actually learn to speak Spanish. Instead of one of the many who only WISH they did.
The first reason is the 6th Hack right below. The second reason is an amazing deal (very limited time) that I’m going to give you on our Visual Spanish program. Check it out at the end of this book...
Check out this cute Spanish cartoon.
Can you figure out what it means?
In Spanish, "campo" means "farm." And "nudo" means "knot."
That's what we call a false friend - the word "nudista" is Spanish for "nude."
You don't want to mix those two up or you could get into uncomfortable situations... but I bet you'll never forget it now, right?
Think about it - how many funny lines do you remember from your favorite movies and TV shows?
How many of these can you name:
You probably read some of those in the voice of the character who said it, right?
Laughing makes learning easier. When we developed Visual Spanish, it was with exactly that in mind.
We wove a language course around hundreds of funny, witty or sometimes outrageous situations. One that will make you laugh - but most of all, make you remember.
There's hundreds of inside jokes…
Easter eggs, and other surprises in the series.
So when you watch it the second (third, or fourth) time, you'll not only keep laughing but keep learning new things.
When we created Visual Spanish we took the best aspects of a binge-worthy TV show. Then we added our patented visual framework. The combo makes absorbing the language 10 times faster and easier.
Thousands of people have learned to Speak Conversational Spanish with Visual Spanish. You can too.
Any questions? We are happy to help!
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