If you want to say, “Are you tired?” in Spanish, you would simply say, “¿Estás cansado?*”, when referring to a man. If you are referring to a woman, you would say “¿Estás cansada?”. This is distinct from *“¿Tienes sueño?” or ¿Tienes sueña?”, which is asking someone if they are sleepy.
Picking up some basics in Spanish is often simple for beginners, especially those who speak languages like English, French, or Italian. Languages from the same family often share words that are cognates or have distinct similarities because they are derived from the same mother tongue (root language). This is why you’ll find English words like “city” that sound remarkably similar in French (cité/ville), Italian (città), and Spanish (ciudad). In addition to familiar-sounding vocabulary, you’ll quickly notice Spanish also has a clear system of pronunciation, far fewer irregularities than many other languages, and an alphabet that’s an almost exact match to the English one. There are just three additional letters you’ll need to master: ch (chay), ll (elle), and ñ (eñe).
words. What makes Rosetta Stone effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. That way, you’ll be ready to handle any situation with ease and confidence.
Many people decide to learn Spanish because they so often encounter the Spanish language in their everyday life. Plus, Spanish is prominently featured in popular music and restaurant fare. Other people choose to learn Spanish because they have plans to travel to or work in one of the 20 countries where Spanish is the official language. Whether you need Spanish language skills for everyday life, leisure travel or business, you will be off to a great start by familiarizing yourself with some basic Spanish words and phrases. Learning Spanish words and phrases is essential, because the grammar alone will not help you understand how the language is used by the estimated 437 million Spanish speakers throughout the world.
The key is to focus on pronunciation instead of vocabulary acquisition. This approach will help you to speak Spanish with confidence. It’s common for language learners to get distracted trying to master long lists of phrases or memorize flashcard decks full of words. As a result, many find themselves without an ability to understand or be understood in actual Spanish conversations. This is why learning to pronounce and understand commonly used phrases in Spanish is so important in helping you gain comfort and confidence engaging with locals.
As you may have noticed—Spanish does have a few crucial differences in pronunciation that can make it a bit of a challenge for some learners, at least early on. One example is found with the letter r which is pronounced differently and takes some practice for most new learners. This distinct sound is formed by tapping the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, about a third of the way back in the mouth. Some Spanish language experts counsel new Spanish learners to practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.
Developing accurate pronunciation depends on getting feedback, making corrections, and practicing, until your mouth gets used to shaping the distinct sounds that make up the Spanish language. Rosetta Stone embeds TruAccent, our patented speech-recognition engine, into every single lesson. TruAccent provides instant feedback to help you align your accent with that of fluentSpanish speakers. TruAccent was developed by scanning and integrating the speech of both native and non-native Spanish speakers and can be very effective in helping you learn to understand and be understood in Spanish.
Once you have learned the basics that are the building blocks of speaking Spanish, it will be a natural transition to the longer phrases that are the backbone of Spanish conversations. Rosetta Stone’s 10-minute lessons are built in just this way, leading to your ability to speak comfortably and confidently in context with real-life situations. When you’re ready to move from beginner to intermediate language learning, it will be very helpful to focus on specific tactics that can accelerate your understanding of Spanish.
Surround yourself with Spanish whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.