If you want to say the phrase “good afternoon” in Spanish, you would say “buenas tardes.” Like “hola” (hello), “buenos días” (good morning), and “buenas noches” (good evening), it’s one of the most useful greetings in the Spanish language.
Getting Spanish down feels doable to many—especially for those who speak languages like English, French, or Italian. When languages come from the same family, they often share words that are related to one another (cognates) or have noticeable similarities because they are directly linked to the same root language. While English is technically a Germanic language, it’s been heavily influenced by Latin and related languages. That’s why you’ll find English words like “activity” that sound remarkably similar in French (activité), Italian (attività), and Spanish (actividad). In addition to familiar-sounding vocab and spelling, you will notice Spanish also has a clear system of pronunciation. There are far fewer irregularities than you’ll find in English and many other languages. The Spanish alphabet also has the 26 letters you already know, with just three more you’ll need to remember: ch (chay), ll (elle), and ñ (eñe).
What makes Rosetta Stone effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your real world. You’ll learn the language, not just the words, with our immersive approach. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. With practice, you’ll be ready to handle any situation with ease and confidence.
People choose to learn Spanish for a variety of reasons. Some people make the decision to learn Spanish because they find that they often hear it in pop culture, music and everyday encounters. Other people make the commitment to learn Spanish because they have upcoming plans to work or travel to any one of the 20 countries around the world in which Spanish is the official language. Whether it’s for reasons of work, leisure travel, or everyday convenience, you can get off to a strong start by first familiarizing yourself with the most commonly used Spanish words and short phrases. Focusing first on these basic Spanish words and phrases is quite important, because it’ll help you to quickly become confident in everyday conversations. Alternatively, focusing on Spanish grammar and vocabulary acquisition alone won’t be of much use in helping you to understand and be understood by any of the 437 million speakers around the globe.
Focusing on accurate pronunciation before embarking on extensive vocabulary acquisition is the most important key to learning to understand and be understood in Spanish. All too often, new language learners get sidetracked trying to memorize extensive lists of words and phrases. This approach can lead to situations in which new learners find themselves unable to communicate effectively in everyday Spanish conversations. That’s why it’s key to understand and accurately pronounce the most commonly used Spanish words and short phrases. Learning everyday words and their proper pronunciation before taking on extensive list memorization will go a long way towards helping you feel comfortable and confident engaging in conversation with native Spanish speakers.
It’s important to note that Spanish does have some unique pronunciation distinctions that can make it challenging for language learners. As one example, the letter r 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.
Your ability to acquire accurate pronunciation skills requires that you receive immediate feedback on your efforts. Immediate feedback will give you the guidance you need to make corrections to your pronunciation. From there, you can practice with accuracy, until you are able to naturally shape the sounds that make up the Spanish language.
Rosetta Stone integrates the TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine into every language lesson. This speech-recognition engine provides you with immediate feedback to help you align your pronunciation to that of fluent Spanish speakers. TruAccent was developed by carefully scanning and analyzing the speech of native and non-native Spanish speakers. You will find that TruAccent can be an extremely helpful tool as you learn to speak and understand the Spanish language.
Once you have the ability to understand and pronounce basic words and short phrases in Spanish, it will be a natural transition for you to move onto learning the longer phrases that comprise much of everyday conversations in Spanish. Rosetta Stone’s brief, 10-minute language lessons are designed to help you learn in just this way. The lessons focus first on Spanish conversational basics and pronunciation and then move onto Spanish vocabulary acquisition, always in context with everyday, real-world situations. Rosetta Stone’s strategic and successful approach to learning will help you to become a confident speaker of the Spanish language.
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.