If you want to say the word “the” in Spanish, you would say, “la” (the feminine form—for almost all words ending in the letter “a”) or “el” (for masculine nouns). When speaking in the plural, you would use “los” (the plural form of el, masculine) or “las” (the plural form of la, feminine).
Mastering the ins-and-out of “the” in Spanish can seem tricky, but the basics are actually pretty simple to get a handle on–particularly if you already speak related languages like English, Italian, or French. It’s also far easier than German, which has an extraordinary number of variations on “the”. German aside, Italian and French are historically related to Spanish in the same “romance language”/Latin family–while English uses many French and Italian/Latin words that we call cognates (lingual cousins of one another). That’s why there are many English terms like the word “enter” that sound remarkably similar in French (entrer), Italian (entrare), and Spanish (entrar).
Many learners also find that Spanish has a conveniently easy to understand pronunciation system, but for a few irregularities in pronunciation. This is, fortunately, unlike English (one of the most difficult languages to master). Additionally, the alphabet is a near-match to English and other major European languages. There are only three additional letters you will need to learn: ch (chay), ñ (eñe), and ll (elle).
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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 and sound great doing it.
Like anything worthwhile, there are few shortcuts, but if you combine individual practice in the Rosetta Stone award-winning mobile app and practice with other Spanish language learners in Live Tutoring, you can have absolute control over your learning speed and, ultimately, your long-term progress.
There are basic conversational building blocks that make for a great place to start. Essential words and phrases like hello, goodbye, thank you, please, etc. greatly simplify your entrance into everyday conversation in Spanish.
It’s important to note that Spanish does have some pronunciation distinctions that can make it a challenge 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 suggest new Spanish learners practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.
Acquiring the skills to accurately pronounce Spanish requires immediate feedback on your pronunciation efforts. Rosetta Stone helps you get the pronunciation just right in a snap with TruAccent. Our patented speech engine instantly compares your voice to native and non-native speakers, so you get real-time feedback for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to fine-tune your accent. TruAccent is among the most powerful tools for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.
Once you have the basics covered, it’s natural to transition to the even longer phrases that form the backbone of daily conversations. Rosetta Stone’s short and targeted lessons are purpose-built with this in mind, moving you fluidly towards speaking with confidence by always guiding you into acquisition of essential vocabulary in true-to-life contexts with immersive, real-world situations. To continue to progress with Spanish and move from the newcomer/beginner stage to an intermediate level, it will help to focus on tactics that accelerate your understanding of the Spanish language. Rosetta Stone makes that process feel more than natural.
As a trusted language-learning company, Rosetta Stone has experience developing language programs that build confidence. Learn the language in an order that’s tried-and-tested to ensure better understanding of how to communicate effectively in Spanish. You’ll learn the foundations of the Spanish language and develop vocabulary using Rosetta Stone’s award-winning mobile app. Engage with Spanish at your own pace, on your own time, and start speaking Spanish from day one.
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