If you’d like to refer to “South America” in Spanish, you could say either “Sudamérica,” or “América del Sur.” And if you’re speaking about “North America,” you can use either “Norteamérica” or “América del Norte.”
The basics of Spanish can often be picked up—especially if you already speak related languages like Italian and French—or even English. Both Italian and French are closely related to Spanish, with all three coming directly from Latin—whereas English language makes extensive use of many Latin/French/Italian words and phrases that are cognates (linguistic cousins with similar spelling). That’s why you’ll frequently notice that there are a significant number of English words like “simple” that look and sound either similar or basically identical in languages like French (simple), Italian (semplice), and Spanish (simple). Many new students of Spanish also find that the language has an incredibly easy system of pronunciation system.
Unlike English, there are only a handful of irregularities. This is notably unlike in English which is considered to be among the most difficult to master. The Spanish alphabet is also closely related to English and most other languages in Western Europe. There are only three more letters you’ll need to remember: ch (chay), and ll (elle), and ñ (eñe).
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just the words. What makes it 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.
Very often, people decide to embark on learning Spanish because they find that they frequently encounter the language in their everyday life. This should come as no surprise, because the Spanish language is spoken across the United States and pops up in movies, TV, music, and restaurant fare. Others make the decision to learn the language because they have plans to work, volunteer, or vacation in any one of the 20 countries worldwide for which Spanish is the official language. Regardless of whether you’ve made the decision to learn Spanish for reasons of travel, work or everyday life at home, you can get off to a fast start by familiarizing yourself with basic words and their pronunciation. By focusing on this first, you will be better positioned to understand how Spanish is spoken and written in everyday situations—by the approximate 437 million Spanish speakers around the world.
Sometimes, new language learners get bogged down trying to memorize long lists of Spanish vocabulary. This can lead to frustration when they find that they don’t have the skills to participate in real-world Spanish conversations. That’s why it’s crucial that you learn to understand and pronounce basic, commonly used words and short phrases. This proven approach to learning Spanish will allow you to quickly develop the confidence to comfortably engage in conversation with locals.
It’s worth pointing out that the Spanish language does have some unique characteristics that can make properly pronouncing some Spanish words challenging for new language learners. As one easily recognized example, the letter r in Spanish is pronounced differently than it is in English, and may require practice for beginners to learn to properly pronounce. The unique sound of the Spanish r is produced by tapping the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, just about a third of the way back in the mouth. Some Spanish language experts suggest that new learners practice by producing the English “tt” sound, as in the English word butter.
Developing the skills to properly pronounce Spanish requires immediate and precise feedback on your pronunciation efforts. This timely and specific feedback will allow you to make corrections to your pronunciation. From there, you can practice speaking.
Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.
After you have learned basic, frequently used Spanish words, short phrases, and their proper pronunciation, you can move onto learning longer Spanish phrases that make up much of everyday Spanish conversation. Every one of Rosetta Stone’s brief and highly digestible 10-minute language lessons is designed to help you learn in exactly this way—first teaching basic words and short phrases, then moving onto longer phrases, always emphasizing proper pronunciation. Rosetta Stone language lessons will help you develop the skills you need to comfortably and confidently understand and speak 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.