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Best Way to Learn Spanish On Your Own

The Spanish language is the 2nd most spoken language in the United States. While the best way to learn Spanish is to immerse yourself fully into the language,  many working professionals do not have the time or energy for this. With this being said,  there has been an increase in quality language learning software,  apps and online programs to help people learn Spanish.

Table of Contents

How many people speak the Spanish Language?

Ranked as the 2nd most popular language in the world, slightly ahead of English, there are approximately 400 million Spanish speakers in the world.  The Spanish language continues to grow, as it is one of the few languages that is spread to all parts of the world. Besides Central America, the Spanish language is used as the predominate language in Southern America and parts of Europe.

Where is Spanish the official language?

While most Americans instantly relate Spanish to Mexico and other Central American countries, there is a long list of countries that claim Spanish as their official language.  Below is a list of these countries.

spanish speaking countries
Map of Spanish speaking countries
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Spain
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Besides this official language list, Spanish is spoken in various parts of the world including large parts of The United States,  Europe and sporadically in other countries.   Many Spanish speakers learn their language from home and move into areas within other countries with others who speak Spanish.

Where is Spanish spoken the most?

When looking at the statistics of where Spanish is spoken the most, Mexico is clearly the largest Spanish speaking country in the world.  Surprisingly the United States has the 2nd most Spanish speakers in the world and the trend continues to grow on a yearly basis.  Let’s take a look at what countries speak Spanish the most.  

  • Mexico:  111 Million Spanish speakers
  • The United States:  51 Million Spanish speakers
  • Spain:  46  Million Spanish speakers
  • Columbia:  45 Million Spanish speakers
  • Argentina:  40 Million Spanish speakers

Difference Between Spanish and the English Language

Many language learning specialists predict that the Spanish language will bypass the English language as the most talked language in the United States by the year 2050.  With that being said,  Spanish is by far the most taught language throughout United States school and universities.  Learning Spanish is a huge asset for employers as they tend to hire more and more employees that can speak Spanish,  this is especially true in the Southwest portion of the United States where many American businesses work with business owners who primarily speak Spanish.  Besides this, many schools hire dual language speakers to work with the large population of Spanish speaking students that enroll in U.S. schools each year.  Let’s take a look at the English vs. Spanish language in terms of learning the language.

Spanish Nouns have a gender attached to them:  El and la are the two most common words to accompany a noun, but nouns come with a gender attached to them.  As a rule of thumb, words ending in o are masculine and words ending in a are feminine,  but like any other languages there are many exceptions to these rules.

Adjectives typically come after nouns:  In English we typically use adjectives before the nouns they are describing, which is the exact opposite in Spanish where adjectives come after the nouns.    For example  “the white cat” in English would translate into “el gato blanco” in Spanish where gato = cat and blanco = white.

The Spanish language uses less prepositions:  Prepositions such as across, behind, over, under and many more are commonly used when speaking English.  The Spanish language simplifies the use of prepositions by having a few words stand for many different meanings.  Let’s take a look below at how certain words can represent many different meanings.

  • En – In, On, At
  • De – From, In, Of

Typically Spanish words are spelled like they sound:  One of the reasons why many Spanish speakers struggle learning English is that the English language tends to have multiple sounding words that sound differently (think words such as pear/ fear).  In Spanish, words are typically spelled how they sound minus a few exceptions.  

Best Way to Learn Spanish On Your Own

More and more people are learning to speak Spanish on their own than ever before.  Many younger English speaking students are now starting Spanish classes in elementary school.  Like learning almost any skill,  the younger a person learns the more success they tend to have. For those who did not take a formal Spanish class, fret not as there are now better ways to learn Spanish than ever before.   While many websites and online learning programs focus on teaching Spanish, the one we feel works the best for people is Rosetta Stone.  Let’s take a look into how Rosetta Stone has added more and more concepts to its program and how it has become the best software to learn Spanish.  While immersing yourself into a language fully is the best way to learn Spanish on your own, most people who are learning a new language in 2017 are self taught through either books or a software program.  

Best Software to Learn the Spanish Language:  Learn Spanish with Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone has many people that like and dislike the program for a number of reasons. Because of this Rosetta Stone is constantly evolving and adding more programs to adjust to various learning styles of their clients.

  When looking into the various online programs and software to learn Spanish it was important for us to research a program that was useful for all types of learners.   We looked at learners old and young and also at the way people learned.  Let’s dig into how Learn Spanish with Rosetta Stone has evolved and why people feel that this is the best program to learn Spanish.  

1.Use of context clues:  Context clues (clues to figure out words in a sentences) are very useful tool when learning a new language.  Fortunately,  The Rosetta Stone Spanish program utlizes these in their program.  

2. Voice recognition software:   One reason that people love using Rosetta Stone is that it has great voice recognition software.   With the voice recognition software users are able to work on sessions faster and it help you practice the vocabulary words that you learn.

3. The TOTALe difference:  Perhaps the main difference that Rosetta Stone has added in recent years is TOTALe.  TOTALe allows users to work online with Spanish speaking users and it helps them overall in grasping the language.  Many people have started Rosetta Stone specifically for the TOTALe program.  

Researching Before You Buy

As with any language learning program, we feel that the best method to choose a program is sorting through online reviews of people who have really purchased the program. Amazon is our go-to source for online reviews and we feel that reading “verified” buyers reviews is the best source for information on whether or not Rosetta Stone is right for you.   Below we have created an easy link to the Rosetta Stone Amazon page where you can read through hundreds of online reviews.

Basics of the Spanish Language

For those who come from an English background,  learning the Spanish language is said to be one of the easiest languages to learn as it way more straightforward than English.  Let’s take a look at some of the basics of the Spanish language.

Spanish Colors

Like stated previously, Spanish adjectives are gender specific depending on the gender of the noun.   This is true for SOME colors too.  Below you will see the masculine version (o) and feminine version (a) or if they don’t have a gender specification they will be just one word.

  • Black – negro, negra
  • Blue – azul
  • Brown –  marron
  • Gray –  gris
  • Green – verde
  • Orange –  naranja
  • Pink – rosa
  • Red – rojo, roja
  • White – blanco, blanca
  • Yellow –  amarillo, amarilla

Spanish Nouns

Similar to the English language, Spanish nouns can be singular or plural.  For instance English words such as dog/ dogs will translate to perro/perros in Spanish.

Masculine Spanish Nouns

Most masculine nouns in the Spanish language end in o.   While a small percentage of these nouns in an accented letters á, é, í, ó, ú.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of each.   Even non-gender nouns are given a masculine or feminine form to make sense when they are put in a sentence.

  • Boy – Chico
  • Boys – Chicos
  • Dog – Perro
  • Dogs – Perros
  • Hammer – Martillo
  • Hammers – Martillos
  • Man – Hombre
  • Men – Hombres  

Spanish Feminine Nouns

While masculine Spanish nouns typically end in o, feminine Spanish nouns typically end in the letter a minus a few exceptions. Like masculine nouns, Spanish feminine nouns can be singular or plural.  Here are a few of the most common Spanish feminine nouns used in daily speech.

  • Girl – Chica
  • Girls – Chicas
  • Female cat – Gata
  • Female cats – Gatas
  • Grandmother-  Abuela
  • Aunt-  Tia

Spanish Verbs

Spanish verbs typically end in three different patterns of conjugation  (-ar, -er, -ir).  Here are some of the most common Spanish verbs.

  • Walk – Caminar
  • Drive – Manejar
  • Throw – Lanzar
  • Sleep – Dormir
  • Leave – Salir

Spanish Adjectives

One of the main differences between English adjectives and Spanish adjectives is that Spanish adjectives must match the noun or pronoun.  That is a feminine adjectives matches a feminine noun/pronoun and a masculine adjectives matches a masculine noun/pronoun.  Like nouns, masculine adjectives typically end in o and feminine adjectives end in a.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common Spanish adjectives.  

Masculine Spanish Adjectives

  • Long – Longo
  • Short – Corto
  • Skinny – Delgado
  • Fat – Gordo
  • Ugly – Feo

Feminine Spanish Adjectives

  • Long – Longa
  • Short – Corta
  • Skinny – Delgada
  • Fat – Gorda
  • Ugly – Fea

Spanish Adverbs

Like English Adverbs, Spanish Adverbs are used to describe details of an action.  Spanish adverbs are used to modify sentences and add a different meaning to some sentences.  Like -ly is a popular adverb in the English language, the most popular Spanish adverb is -mente.   Spanish adverbs tend to change more often than English adverbs.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common Spanish Adverbs below based on how they change the sentences.  

Spanish Adverbs (Manner):  These are the most popular adverbs and are used to describe how and what.   Spanish adverbs follow the verbs that they describe.  Here are a few of the most used.

  • Quickly = Rápidamente
  • A lot=  Mucho
  • Briefly= Brevemente
  • Completely=  Completamente  

Spanish Adverbs (Modifiers): One exception to adverbs coming after verbs are Spanish modifier adverbs.  These adverbs usually come before verbs and add emphasis to the verb.  Here are some of the most common Spanish modifying adverbs.

  • More= Más
  • Quite= Bastante
  • Too= Demasiado
  • Muy= Very

Spanish Adverbs(Point of View):  Point of view Spanish adverbs are exactly what they sound like, they add a point of view to a sentence.  Spanish point of view adverbs are primarily used at the beginning of a sentences.  Here are some of the most common Spanish point of view adverbs.

  • Obviously – Evidentemente
  • Personally – Personalmente
  • Perhaps – Quizás

Spanish Adverbs (Place):  Spanish “Place” Adverbs describe where something will happen.  Here, There,  Over there, etc.

  • Far – Lejos
  • Inside – Dentro
  • Upstairs – Arriba
  • In Front – Enfrente

Spanish Adverbs(Time):  Spanish Adverbs related to time tell us when something happens.  Here are some of the most popular Spanish Adverbs of time.

  • Already – Ya
  • Early – Pronto
  • Later – Tarde
  • NeverNunca
  • Tomorrow – Mañana

Spanish Prepositions

Preposition describes the place of a noun.   They also indicate relationships between noun, verbs, adjectives and a noun.   

  • After = tras
  • Against = contra
  • Between = entra
  • For = por
  • Under = bajo
  • Until= hasta
  • With = con

Spanish Pronouns

Like the English language,  Spanish pronouns are used quite often in speech and writing to replace nouns.  The best way to learn Spanish pronouns is to see how you can replace a common noun in a sentence.   Here is a look at some of the most common Spanish pronouns.

Singular Spanish pronouns

  • He – Él
  • I – Yo
  • She – Ella
  • You (familiar) – Tú
  • You (formal) – Usted

Plural Spanish Pronouns

  • They – Ellos (masculine),  Ellas (feminine)
  • We – Nosotros, Nosotras
  • You – Vosotros (Familiar),  Ustedes (Formal)

Spanish Phrases

Below are some of the most common Spanish Phrases that are useful if you would travel to a Spanish speaking country.

  • Excuse Me – Disculpe
  • I Don’t Understand – No Entiendo
  • Do You Speak English? – ¿Habla usted Inglés?
  • How Are You? – ¿Cómo estás?
  • What is your name? – ¿Cuál es su nombre?

Spanish Curse Words

While some Spanish learning tools avoid curse words, we feel that these are an important part of the language.  In fact, most of our inquiries and searches have to do with finding out Spanish curse words.  Here are some popular Spanish swear words.