You’ve been working hard at your Spanish and really look forward to practising, but when the moment comes… you get blocked, the words won’t come out and your frustration leads to discouragement.
Has this ever happened to you? If this is the case, here are 5 practical tips for how to deal with conversation overwhelm.
This is where a lot of people struggle. When the focus is on not making mistakes, it is very easy to get blocked because as soon as we don’t know how to say something “properly”, we’re out of sorts.
Instead, when the focus is on communication, we allow the language and the conversation to flow much easier.
Any practice, no matter how little, is better than nothing. This will help with confidence and familiarity as it will reduce the feelings of stress at the thought of speaking with someone in Spanish.
¿Te gusta el café? - Do you like coffee?
If the answer is yes, then Spain is the right place for you because Spaniards LOVE coffee! And knowing how to order coffee in Spain is an essential part of daily life.
Whether you’re on the go or have time to sit and enjoy a coffee in a local “cafetería” or “terraza” (definitely the preferred options in Spain), it is a good idea to know exactly what you’re ordering, and what your options are in case you want to change things now and again!
So, what types of coffee are most popular in Spain?
A strong espresso shot, typically taken after the main meal in the middle of the day. It is sometimes offered instead of a dessert as part of a "menu del día".
This is the closest to filtered coffee that you’ll find in Spain.
This is an espresso with a splash of steamed milk.
Once you’ve got to grips with the basics of Spanish, and you’re ready to move it on to the next level…
The world of street slang is waiting for you!
This is a really fun part because it helps you get beyond the more formal side of the language and connect with people more casually. Everyone uses slang when speaking their own language, so it makes sense to learn some words and phrases in Spanish too.
Here are some of the most common Spanish slang words used in Spain.
To say that something is great informally.
Ex. ¡Qué guay! me encanta el plan - How cool! I love the plan
Tapas are a huge part of Spanish culture, and Spaniards go out for tapas so often that there’s an actual verb for it!
Ex. Este bar es un buen sitio para tapear - This bar is a good place for tapas
This is a very natural way of...
Having phone conversations in a different language is one of the hardest things to master, particularly if it’s with people we’ve never met or spoken to before and it’s an important call.
Because over the phone, similar sounds are more difficult to distinguish, and also, we miss all forms of non-verbal communication (like reading their lips, facial expressions and body language).
However, if you can remain calm and put into words what’s happening, you’ll get through the situation successfully (ie. Hay mala cobertura, ¿te puedo volver a llamar en 5 minutos? There’s bad reception, can I call you back in 5 minutes?)
Here's 8 super helpful phrases when there is a problem while you’re on the phone in Spanish for all levels that you can use any time:
As you know, here at Your Spanish Dreams, we’re all about helping you integrate in Spain and communicate easily and naturally with the locals.
And one of the best ways to know what’s going on is by understanding the colloquial expressions used on a daily basis. Some expressions can be guessed because there may be a similar version in English. But, if you hear people saying…
Madre mía, he estado trabajando todo el fin de semana y estoy hecho polvo -...
If you want to sound more natural and spontaneous in Spanish, you’re about to learn a huge trick on how to do just that!
Many people think that the ultimate way to sound fluent and native means learning more grammar, vocabulary, etc (which of course is necessary). However, that on its own won’t give you the native distinction.
These are little words and noises like “erm”, “so”, “well”, “I mean”, “right”, “you know” in English... They’re called filler words because we use them to fill in the gaps while we’re thinking about what to say next.
Well, in Spanish, there’s a whole set of them too!
And the good news is, these words are quick to learn and will instantly help you sound and feel more native, whatever your level.
Because they give a sense of...
Is the Spanish in your head, but when someone asks you something, you can’t bring it out? Do you sometimes freeze and cannot formulate an answer?
If this is happening to you, keep reading, because there's light at the end of the tunnel!
I know how extremely frustrating and discouraging this is because it happened to me when I was learning English. It seemed so easy for some people to just flow and have no problem responding with ease, that I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to do that considering how much I had been studying. I had no idea what I was doing wrong…
In this video, we openly share what it takes to develop the speed of thought that you need to be able to answer questions without thinking and we explain the 3 key areas you can start working on today so you develop this skill much quicker.
And the truth is that no matter your level, it’s not too late to turn things around.
Do you often rehearse in your head how to say something, brace yourself to speak to a Spanish person only to be met with “¿qué?” or what’s worse, they respond in English?
I know, it can be really discouraging.
However, there’s always something that can be done to make things better and get past these obstacles
Because if you can hear a sound in Spanish and know how to make it yourself, you have better chances to understand it when Spanish people use it too.
And improving your pronunciation and sounding more clear means that the language is more familiar and natural to you, rather than foreign.
In today's video, we give you simple ideas on how to do just that.
By following these...
This is one of the most frequent difficulties that I come across.
And the interesting part is that most people including myself when I was learning English ... think that the reason why they don’t speak better is because “they need to know more” before they can finally put it all together and speak more confidently.
More grammar, more vocabulary, more expressions…
Do you think so too?
Well, in today’s video we explain the reason why that is not the case and what you need to focus on instead if you want to be more confident when speaking Spanish:
Here's a simple, but very powerful exercise that you can do after a conversation in Spanish (no matter how big or little) to shift your focus and help you see your small wins. For example:
This expression refers to keeping a positive attitude despite adversity. It’s not just “putting on a brave face”, but more an attitude of optimism and hope.
The equivalent in English would be “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So while you may not be able to change the situation, you can definitely change your take on it.
Fun fact: The Spanish word “mal” (bad) can also be placed at...