What does it take to succeed in this dive?

Like studying any foreign language, to succeed with Spanish, you will need to spend a lot of time reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These four skills together will help you to master Spanish.

This shouldn’t be too hard to learn because Spanish is considered easy for English speakers. The only thing you might have trouble with is the conjugation, which changes to match the context of the phrase. It may seem like a pain to remember all of them, but there are patterns to follow. In addition, like all romance languages, there is gender: some words are masculine; others are feminine. 

For those who really wish to master the language, you should make the commitment to make the pursuit of Spanish a lifelong hobby.  Every day, more and more people are learning Spanish, so it will be time well spent.

You will have to find good study materials, good teachers, and good practice partners. Most importantly, you will have to find the discipline to study and practice and improve regularly. If you don't study regularly, you won't make much progress, or worse, you'll make lots of progress and then forget what you've learned!

The secret to fluency (since we know you want to know) is quite simple: master reading, master writing, master speaking, master listening, improve your pronunciation, and improve your vocabulary. The issue is that most people don't actually do any of these tasks well.

You see, most people only focus on one or two of these skills, or they focus on all six, but at a very cursory level. If you wish to become fluent, however, you need to focus on all six, all the time, and spend enough time with each so that you see regular progress.

Bottom line, if you want to become fluent, do this:

  1. Read 20 minutes a day in Spanish, and from varying sources

  2. Listen to Spanish TV and radio every day

  3. Write a new essay or short story every week and get it corrected

  4. Speak weekly with others, and ideally those who can correct your mistakes

  5. Make sure your pronunciation is as spot on as can be

  6. Improve your vocabulary constantly