Fastest Ways To Learn Spanish

Here are 15 tips and tricks to help you learn Spanish fast.

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By Emily Duncan · March 14, 2024 · 14 minute read

Want to uncover the fastest way to learn Spanish? You’ve come to the right place.

While how long exactly it’ll take you to learn Spanish can vary based on many different factors (read more about that in our guide to how long it takes to learn Spanish), these handy study tips can help you speed up your learning.

According to language experts, the fastest way to learn Spanish (or any language!), is to approach it like a child. But what, exactly, does that mean?

While age has some bearing on your brain’s ability to learn a language, it’s not as significant a difference as you might think. The key differences between child and adult language learners are in the amount of time spent learning, level of motivation to learn, and resources available.

For you as an adult learner, this means you should try to be curious, get motivated to communicate in Spanish, find ways to immerse yourself in the language, and don’t be afraid to look silly or make mistakes.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to learn Spanish fast with 15 different tips and tricks you can put to use straight away.

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Discover the fastest ways to learn Spanish

While you may not find that all 15 of these ideas work for you, if you want to know how to learn Spanish fast, these tips can get you started on the right path.

1. Pick a linguistic lane

Whether or not you’ve already started learning Spanish, you’ve probably noticed that there are differences between the Spanish spoken in Spain and Latin America. To make your learning journey a little easier and faster, we recommend choosing either Spain or Latin American Spanish, at least when you’re getting started. Since vocabulary and pronunciation differ between these two dialects – much like the differences between US and UK English – you can avoid confusion by learning one version of Spanish like a native speaker would, at least to start.

But which to learn? That’ll depend on your personal reasons to learn Spanish, like where you are in the world, whether you know Spanish speakers from Europe or the Americas, and your travel plans. The good news is, whichever you choose, you can learn with Busuu, since we have dedicated complete Spanish courses for both kinds of Spanish.


2. Start with the basics you actually need

Many language learning programs start you off with nonsense phrases you’ll never actually use. While tackling basic sentences can help you build your basic vocabulary and your understanding of Spanish grammar and pronunciation, too much time spent learning how to tell someone whether or not a horse eats apples can be demotivating.

Instead, look for courses or resources that drop you right into Spanish you can actually use. That time spent studying the eating habits of horses can be better spent on simple phrases you’ll use often, and you’ll feel like you’re making progress sooner. You can even start trying out simple phrases right away if you’re around Spanish speakers. Isn’t that more fun?

When you learn Spanish with Busuu, you get useful phrases from the start and lessons tailored to real conversations and situations. And if you’re only looking to learn the basics, you can even take a special mini-course just for those who want to learn Spanish for travel.


3. Structure your learning

The truth is, if you really want to, you can create your very own Spanish-learning lesson plan. The internet has tons of incredible Spanish-learning resources, and you can easily buy workbooks and textbooks online. But if you’re wondering how to learn Spanish fast on your own, choosing an online structured Spanish course designed by language-learning experts, like Busuu, is going to be way faster and likely more effective.

Online courses and apps allow you to learn Spanish on your own, at your own pace – but they take out the leg work of figuring out everything you need to learn, what order to learn it in, and how. In short, don’t reinvent the wheel if you want to learn Spanish fast!


4. Make it a habit

Consistency is a big part of learning a language. Adding language lessons into your routine can be challenging, but you’ll be more likely to make progress if you regularly set time aside for learning. To speed up your Spanish learning, create a habit around learning – or better yet, tie your Spanish lessons to something you already habitually do. This’ll make it easier to remember and to fit into your schedule.

For example, if you have a cup of tea every day at three, make it tea and a Spanish lesson. Or if you commute on public transit, you could make a lesson part of your ride to or from work.

You can learn offline and take your lessons anywhere with the Busuu mobile app, so whatever your day-to-day looks like, you can make Spanish lessons part of your routine, whenever and wherever it makes sense for you.

5. Start speaking Spanish out loud right away

If you want to learn to speak Spanish quickly, you’ll need to build your confidence by practising Spanish out loud as you learn.

Many learners find that going from learning to actually speaking and using a new language is the hardest part, in large part because they lack confidence. That’s why we recommend starting to use your new language as you learn it. You can use these tips for practising Spanish conversations to get started.

Speak out loud as soon and as often as you can: say new words as you learn them, read texts out loud, and practise responding to learning exercises out loud as well as in writing.

And, when you learn with Busuu, you’ll be prompted to practise speaking Spanish out loud with exercises where you record yourself speaking. You’ll practise pronunciation within your Spanish lessons and get tips and feedback from native Spanish speakers on exercises using Conversations.


6. Make Spanish part of your downtime

When you’re thinking about how to learn Spanish fast at home, you might not think of your TV, but you can put it to work to help you learn! Consume Spanish content like TV shows and movies to build your Spanish skills while you relax.

Watching Spanish movies on Netflix (or wherever you get your shows!) can help speed up your learning by building practice into your downtime and help you gain listening skills. Spanish TV and movies can also help you learn to recognize different Spanish accents, solidify vocabulary you’ve learned, and get used to how Spanish is used by real speakers.

More of a podcast person? While the lack of subtitles can make Spanish-language podcasts challenging for new learners, you can listen to Spanish learning podcasts like Busuu’s Learn Spanish Podcast for the same purpose.


7. Incorporate Spanish into your daily life

To speak Spanish sooner, start to use the language in your day-to-day life, even if it’s just with yourself. For example, you can switch your phone’s default language to Spanish, narrate your day to yourself, and so on. Think about your daily interactions and consider how you would say the same things in Spanish.

Using what you’ve learned and applying it, even if it’s just in your head or spoken to yourself at home for now, will help build your Spanish-speaking muscles.

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Learning is better when we learn together! Learn on Busuu and you can get feedback from native Spanish speakers and support from learners like you. And best of all? You can start for free right now.

8. Make mistakes with abandon

Want to learn how to speak Spanish fast? Studies say the best thing you can do is make mistakes, and lots of them. Remember when we said the fastest way to learn was to learn like a child? This is a big one.

Think about how and why small children learn their first language. They have a strong need to communicate, and the goal of learning to communicate is more important than getting everything right on the first try. If you can do the same – learn with curiosity, a strong drive to communicate and less fear of failure – you’ll make speedy strides in your Spanish learning.

9. Get help from Spanish speakers

When you learn a language, usually the plan is to eventually use it. That means learning not just the basics of the language but how people use the language in the real world – and getting comfortable using it yourself.

One of the best ways to build your conversation skills and confidence (and improve your accent!) is by getting help from native Spanish speakers. After all, if you want to know how to speak Spanish, they’re the experts!

The good news is, there are lots of ways to do that. Since Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, wherever you are, you can find someone who speaks Spanish and is willing to help. You can go to events for Spanish speakers or Spanish learners in your area, speak to anyone you know who speaks Spanish, or make a point of befriending members of your local Spanish-speaking community. Or, of course, you can use online resources.


To dip your toe in the water, you can start by sending Spanish exercises out to the Busuu Spanish-speaking community, thanks to our Conversations feature. With Conversations, you’ll be asked to respond to a prompt, and then native Spanish speakers also learning a language on the app will have the opportunity to offer corrections, constructive suggestions for other ways to phrase your answer, or congrats on a job well done.

In turn, you can help learners working on learning your native language, making new friends and joining a community of over 120 million language learners like you!

10. Focus on the things that challenge you

If you want to make progress in Spanish quickly, you’ll need to make a concerted effort to spend time on the areas where you struggle. That means identifying vocabulary, grammar concepts, or skills that trip you up and drilling them until they’re second nature.

It’s one of the harder parts about learning a language – we all like to focus on the things we’re good at or that come easily! But tackling tough things can also be very rewarding when you get it right.

To make this easier, Busuu’s online lessons automatically capture things that give you trouble, keeping track of them with Smart Review. That means you can easily practice just the grammar and vocabulary you’ve struggled with in the past.


And if you need a hand, you can always find an online Spanish tutor to help you wrap your head around the Spanish you find most challenging. A tutor can also help you practice your Spanish speaking in real time.

11. Expand your vocabulary through reading

Want to know how to learn Spanish fast? Read, read, read!

Reading Spanish-language books is a speedy way to expand your vocabulary. Look up every word or verb tense that’s unfamiliar (there may be a lot at first!) and you’ll build your knowledge quickly.

By reading books from different genres, you can get a sense of different voices and time periods in Spanish, from formal Spanish to slang, and get exposed to tons of words you might not otherwise see until you get into advanced lessons.


12. Use the news to grow your knowledge

Another way to build vocabulary that you’re likely to hear among Spanish speakers – but less likely to learn from a textbook – is by reading, listening to, or watching the news. You can start learning how to talk about current events and tackle technical terms from different industries.

This is a great way to get new learning materials daily, and it can teach you a lot about Spanish society in Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries, depending on which news you use.

That’s why, in addition to Busuu’s Complete Spanish course, our Spanish lessons include a dedicated course for advanced learners using the Spanish newspaper El País.


13. Set specific goals

If you’re looking for the fastest way to learn Spanish, this is important. To make progress quickly, you should set specific and attainable goals and hold yourself to them.

What does that mean? It means you should create a study plan, preferably with details about what you’ll study and when, reaching toward a specific goal. Make it something you can handle and that works with your schedule.

Scheduling time to study Spanish and setting a goal with a timeline can really help you stay on track. On Busuu, we’ve found that users who create a plan using our Study Plan feature are five times more likely to stick with it and reach their goals.


14. Make Spanish fun

When the going gets tough, learning a language can start to feel like homework. Stay motivated by keeping your eyes on the prize – a future where you can speak Spanish – and, more importantly, by having a little fun with it! If you feel yourself starting to slow down, try switching up your learning strategy for a few days.

Here’s a tip for how to learn Spanish fast for free and have some fun with it: use social media! There are tons of great learning resources on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok (like the Busuu TikTok!) that won’t feel like homework at all.

Don’t be afraid to use the Internet to connect with Spanish teachers, other learners and new Spanish-speaking friends and tackle lessons from another angle.

You could also watch a TV show in Spanish, workout while listening to Spanish music, or take yourself out to a Spanish or Latin American restaurant. You could even cook from a Spanish-language recipe!


15. Put your heart into it

Last, but certainly not least – what is the fastest way to learn Spanish? Make it matter to you. Travel, volunteer, join a Spanish-speaking community, learn with (or for) your friends and family. Give yourself goals and celebrate when you reach them.

The more you care, the more you’ll be motivated to keep learning, even when grammar gets tricky or new words just won’t stick.

Now you know the fastest ways to learn Spanish

In short? If you want to learn Spanish quickly, the best thing you can do is make it a part of your life instead of a chore or item on your to-do list. The more you integrate learning and speaking Spanish into your day-to-day life, the more naturally it’ll come to you and the less you’ll have to think about when and how to learn.

When you’re motivated to communicate in a new language and willing to make mistakes to get there, you’re more likely to reach your goals with speed.

Ready to get started?

Learn Spanish with all the tools you need to reach your goals, like structured lessons designed by experts, a rich variety of resources and exercises, and a supportive Spanish-speaking community, all yours when you learn with Busuu.