If you’d like to say “to help” in Spanish, you’d generally want to use a conjugation of “ayudar.” However, if you are speaking about helping oneself to something, you’d use “servirse.” And if you’re talking about helping someone out, then you’d use “servir.”
Even though the nuances of Spanish verbs may seem tricky, always remember that you don’t have to tackle them all at once. Even with something like “to help,” getting a handle on handle on the most basic option, “ayudar,” will likely work well in many circumstances. After you get a grip on that verb, you can slowly incorporate others with more nuanced meanings.
For all the complexities of Spanish verbs, learning Spanish isn’t as difficult as many may think—especially if you already speak another western European language or if you have had even casual exposure to Spanish. Because English, just as French and Italian, has deep roots in Latin, these languages all share thousands of words with Spanish. These shared words are called cognates—words that have significant similarities in spelling and/or pronunciation. This is why you’ll find English words like “excellent” that look and sound nearly the same in French (excellent), Italian (eccellente), and Spanish (excelente). Aside from the many similarities in spelling, you’ll find that Spanish also has an extraordinarily simple system for pronunciation. Unlike English, with all of its notorious rules and silent letters, there are only a few irregularities. The standard Spanish alphabet is also a near-perfect match to English. It just has 29 letters instead of the 26 you’re used to. The extra three are: ch (chay), ll (elle), and ñ (eñe).
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just the words. What makes this approach so 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. It helps you get ready to handle any situation with confidence.
Spanish is spoken throughout the U.S., and is featured prominently on TV, in movies, and in music. This encourages many to begin their journey in learning Spanish. Other people make the decision because they have plans to work, vacation, or volunteer in one of the 20 countries around the world for which Spanish is the official language. Whether your reason is for leisure or employment, you can get off to a great start by first familiarizing yourself with the pronunciation of some basic Spanish words and phrases. This will help you understand how the language is actually used in everyday situations by the estimated 437 million Spanish speakers around the world.
More often than not, new language learners get caught up in efforts to memorize long lists of Spanish words and phrases. Then they find themselves frustrated, unable to understand or be understood in everyday, real-world Spanish conversations. That’s why it’s important to learn to pronounce and understand commonly used Spanish words and phrases, so you can feel comfortable and confident engaging in conversation with locals.
Spanish does have a few pronunciation distinctions that can make it a bit of a challenge for new learners. One well known example—the letter r is pronounced differently and usually 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 learners to practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.
Getting immediate feedback is critical in developing accurate pronunciation. Rosetta Stone helps you get it right 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.
Once you have acquired basic words and their proper pronunciation, it’ll be a natural transition to learn the longer phrases that make up so much of everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief, 10-minute lessons are built in exactly this way—teaching the basics first, then moving onto longer phrases. This approach helps you acquire the skills to understand and be understood in Spanish with confidence.
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.