First I want to thank you for all of the comments and suggestions that you send every day. We try to respond to all of them as quickly as we can.
Many of you have asked me what the best way to learn Spanish at home is. And while there are a variety of ways to learn a language, I believe that one of them is very important and complements the Spanish book you have at home: listening to music. I say that it complements a book, because you only learn listening, vocabulary and pronunciation from music, but not grammar. So a book or Spanish classes are always fundamental to your Spanish learning.
But the best way to learn listening, vocabulary and pronunciation from is listening to and singing songs in Spanish.
I recommended this method to my private students, and nearly all of them improved their listening and pronunciation, and best of all, they had fun while doing it.
So, I will teach you the steps to improve your Spanish from home. Try to follow all of the steps without skipping one.
Go to YouTube, and choose a song in Spanish whose beat you like. Try to find a slow song, so it’s easier to hear the words. If you’re an advanced Spanish speaker, then you can find a more challenging song. In this example, we’ll choose the singer Luis Miguel, because he has very slow songs. If you don’t know any singers, I’ll give you a few well-known Spanish-language singers: Mana, Ricardo Arjona, Luis Miguel, La Quita Estación, Enrique Iglesias, Carlos Vives and Shakira. The song I’ve chosen is “La Incondicional.” You can search YouTube for the song with lyrics, but if you don’t find one, you can search for the lyrics on Google. Important: sometimes people who upload these songs don’t spell the words correctly, so the words could be misspelled.
- Here’s a link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIb8ehEasUo Listen to the song without looking at the lyrics and try to pick up what words you can. How many words did you hear? 20? 5? 2? If you didn’t hear much, don’t get discouraged—you’ll see that you’ll feel much better at the end if you complete all of the steps.
- Now, listen to the song while looking at the lyrics. (I’ve included the lyrics below.) You’ll surely say, “Ahhh, so that’s what he’s saying!” In these moments, you’re learning listening.
- Now it’s time to learn new vocabulary and slang words. You need to translate the words that you don’t know. You can use an online dictionary or one that you have in your house. And start translating! Remember that there are phrases that can’t be translated literally, especially in songs, because the writers sometimes speak metaphorically. (Below, I’ve included the translation of this song.) In these moments, you’re learning new vocabulary.
- Now that you know the meaning of the song, listen to it again, but this time, sing it! So now, you’re practicing pronunciation.
Sing the song several times. Soon you’ll realize that you’re singing the song without looking at the lyrics!
Are you excited to have learned so much from a song? Search for some more songs! It’s fun!
Tú, la misma siempre tú
Amistad, ternura, qué sé yo
Tú, mi sombra has sido tú
La historia de un amor
Que no fue nadaTú, mi eternamente tú
Un hotel, tu cuerpo y un adiós
Tú, mi oculta amiga tú
Un golpe de pasión
Amor de madrugadaNo existe un lazo entre tú y yo
Nada de amores
Nada de nadaTú, la misma de ayer
La que no espera nada
Tú, la misma de ayer
La que no supe amar
No sé por quéTú, intensamente tú
Soledad, cariño yo qué sé
Tú, mis horas bajas tú
Un cuerpo de mujer
Un par de rosas blancasNo existe un lazo entre tú y yo
No hubo promesas
Nada de nada
You, always the same, you
Friendship, tenderness, how could I know?
You, you’ve been my shadow, you
The story of a love
That was nothingYou, mine eternally, you
A hotel, a body and a goodbye
You, my secret friend, you
A strike of passion
A love of dawnThere exists no bond between you and I
Nothing of love
Nothing at allYou, the same as yesterday
Who doesn’t expect anything
You, the same as yesterday
The one I didn’t know how to love
I don’t know whyYou, intensely you
Solitude, affection, how could I know?
You, my lowest hours, you
The body of a woman
A pair of white rosesThere exists no bond between you and I
There were no promises
Nothing at all