Tips to Improve Your Conversational Skills in Spanish (2023)


Want to thank me? Buy me a coffee
The Book That Propelled my Spanish


Hey everybody Q RuPaul here if you've been studying Spanish for a while and you're frustrated, because you're still having trouble carrying on a conversation with someone, Beyond, just basic greetings and small talk, then this video is for you I'm, going to explain why this might be happening to you, because this is actually really common and I'll be walking you through a technique that will really boost your ability to be conversational in Spanish, oh yeah, and in case you can't tell I'm filming this on my morning: walk because I'm really busy and I'm trying to lose 10 pounds that I put on at two all-inclusives in Mexico recently and uh.

Well, just trying to consolidate my time all right.

Let's get started to be able to carry on a conversation in any language, you're going to need to be able to do two things.

One understand what the other person is saying: AKA, listening comprehension and two be able to create sentences in real time to keep up with the flow of the conversation.

This video is going to focus on the latter I plan on doing another video to share tips about how to improve your listening, comprehension be sure to subscribe.

So you don't miss that one.

So, let's talk fill in a hole, so let's talk about being able to create sentences and spit them out in real time in Spanish.

If you're struggling with this, especially in cases where the sentence may be longer or the conversation is uh, possibly more advanced- and you just can't translate fast enough, I'm telling you you're not alone.

This is super common, it's even common for people who may be considered high intermediate or even advanced in Spanish.

So why is this well I mean it could be a variety of different factors, but I have found a Common Thread in people over the years that I've tutored or tried to teach Spanish to, and that is they have developed the habit of trying to translate the entire sentence in Spanish in their head before they spit it out.

So why is translating your head first, a bad idea! Well, I'm going to do a little demonstration to show you why but I'm actually going to use English to do it.

As I said what I'm talking about refers to any language.

So in this one Paul one is a native speaker of English speaking English at a normal rate.

Paul 2 is an advanced speaker of English, but he has the really bad habit of translating an entire sentence and head before.

He spits it out and I'm going to simulate that by just saying the sentence to myself before I say it hey, Paul, how's it going good.

How are you not bad? Not bad! Hey, I, didn't see you this last weekend uh.

What did you end up doing? Well, my wife wanted to go shopping, but I convinced her to go to the movies.

Oh, that's great! That's great! What ended up seeing I! Don't remember the name of it! It's that one where Tom Cruise he's a pilot.

So do you see why that doesn't work? The gaps in the conversation are just too long and if you factor in that you're going to be trying to translate in a foreign language in your head, that's going to add some time to it.

It just it doesn't work and people get stuck, they Plateau at that level and they never become conversational.

So, what's a solution to this? Well, it's actually a two-prong approach.

The first prong is to start viewing the language as a series of sentence, fragments or phrases strung together instead of individual words strung together.

This means that you're actually going to start studying some of these things as phrases and then, when you're spitting them out.

It's not like you have to think of a word.

The next word they're coming out as a phrase, and it's giving you the time to think of the next phrase to stick in after it.

Here's some examples of those sentence, fragments or phrases or some people call them chunks.

Regarding, in reference to what you told me yesterday, to be about to do something I'm about to do exercise to feel like doing something.

I, don't feel like doing exercise.

How about how about we stay home? This is bringing us to the second prong in our strategy, because we know we can no longer try to translate the entire sentence in our heads before speaking right.

We got to stop doing that so I like to think of it like your sentence or even your paragraph.

Whatever is kind of like a train and you need to get it moving.

You need to get that locomotive out because conversations are time sensitive.

That locomotive is that first phrase or word or something so the other person knows you're speaking and then what you do is you start popping in other phrases or words, to make a train so you're effectively building your sentence as you're speaking, and this is very different than what you've probably been doing before.

You know, I'm going to give you some examples as we go through now, sometimes the conversation's going, and you don't even have that initial phrase.

Yet for that locomotive to even start your train, there's a couple things you can say to slow.

The conversation gives you a moment to think, and then you can start popping in your train cars.

Here's some of my favorites.

You know what gives you time to pause right: okay, I believe that or I think that hmm gives you time to think and if you take pauses between these train cars, it's not a big deal unless they're really long like they were in the example.

But if you say, okay, foreign I think that we should go to the movies you're still conversational.

It's not so awkward that you just derailed this entire thing.

Another good sentence started to just pause for a bit is SK.

It's just that.

If you need a lot of time, you can pop the truth in front of that.

The truth is that that one gives you a lot of time to think so, let's say we're in a conversation somebody's talking to us.

We can use a few of these hello.

You know what the truth is.

I don't feel like doing it.

That was just me stringing phrases together.

You know with this technique: you're not limited to just creating like one sentence kind of like you were before you know.

You actually may end up spitting out several sentences before the person ever responds.

Here's an example using some of the phrase I just showed you I'm, going to go ahead and put in some pauses like I might, if I had never made this type of sentence before you know, I'm just kind of building these in my head.

What you're doing effectively is using deductive reasoning to be able to speak Spanish.

You may actually make a sentence of something you've, never heard or read in your life Isn't that cool encuanto, uh foreign.

In reference to what we talked about yesterday, the truth is I'm about to move to Mexico, so I don't feel like doing it since I'm, using a set of phrases when I have words like you know, to move to a place, it's giving me time to just kind of plug those in that's what I'm doing I've created like formulas and I'm, just plugging in other vocabulary.

That's what allows me to say a wide variety of things.

Utilizing these same phrases, you know, I've taught this technique for years and I've had students tell me Well what if I get the sentence wrong, and you know right from the beginning and it just kind of Fizzles out.

In other words, you know like the train derails.

So what then, what do I do? Well, you do the same thing you do in English.

When that happens.

You know you just recover and start again.

That's that's.

Never happened to you in English.

Well, yesterday told me well, I saw Jim at the market and he told me see that was a train derailing and uh got back on the tracks.

I mentioned this technique in a video earlier this week about how I became fluent in Spanish my journey about that it was near the end of the video, so I know from the Google analytics that only about 33 percent of the people who saw that video made it to that part about these techniques.

That's one of the reasons why I decided to dedicate a separate video to the topic several of the people who actually did watch the entire video asked me where they can find lists of sentence, fragments or phrases to use chunks whatever you like.

Some reason with chunk.

I keep thinking food like I, don't know chunky, chocolate, chip, cookies or something sorry about that.

I went off on a tangent there that went longer than that.

One of the places you can find information is obviously on the internet, but you got to know what to look for.

What we'll be looking for is something called locusion or locusiones, and what elocution is is exactly what I've been talking about.

It is a sentence fragment mint, consisting of say two or more words that are put together in Spanish that have a particular meaning.

It is exactly what we're looking for when you type in locusiones you're, going to get a lot of different sites, including examples here of some of these fragments.

If you're at a high intermediate or advanced level, then these spanish-only sites are probably fine for you.

If they're, not, then you may have to try to find some English sites that share some of these I.

Don't have any links for you.

There are different types of locusiones.

There are some that deal with adjectives, adverbs nominal ones, conjunctive ones, so you can put sentences together.

There's all these different kinds, so jump up here to adjective so you have here me compre de segundamano de so gundamano is a location.

It's three words together.

That mean second hand.

So when you learn it now, you're, like oh I, know secondhand is once you find a section.

You like you can do a specific search for that.

You know like let's say: I look up, lucusiones and I get here.

Here's 50 examples of those click on that scroll down.

Ah, we get a whole bunch of them here again more for our intermediate Advanced folks, because there are not English translations here, but there are a lot of great lucusiones here.

I, like the second one, I gotta go.

They means in charge of like quienista cargo de projecto who's in charge of the project come down here apart.

It's like beginning from or from this point forward, like apart beginning from today, great sentence, starter happy Saturday in spite of tons of them here.

Another option you have is to follow this channel I.

Do a lot of videos about certain sentence, fragments, especially those that trigger the subjunctive, so you'll know when to use it every single time.

For example, I recently did esmejor que plus subjunctive it's better that something it's better.

We moved to Mexico I, also plan to do some videos just focusing on the different types of locusiones, which is a word you just learned today, be sure to subscribe subscribe.

If you don't want to miss any of those and uh I, think that's about it for today.

Until next time, hasta luego.


How can I improve my Spanish conversational skills? ›

Nine Ways to Improve your Spanish
  1. Watch Movies and Shows in Spanish. ...
  2. Listen to Music and Podcast. ...
  3. Practice Writing. ...
  4. Immerse Yourself in the Culture. ...
  5. Use Apps. ...
  6. Live in a Spanish-Speaking Household (if studying abroad) ...
  7. Put your Phone Language to Spanish. ...
  8. Join Spanish Cultural Groups Online.
Jan 7, 2020

How can I speak fluent Spanish without hesitation? ›

6 Tips for Speaking Spanish with Confidence
  1. Love Your Mistakes. Don't let perfectionism hold you back from achieving your language learning dreams! ...
  2. Ask More Questions. ...
  3. Take Baby Steps. ...
  4. Watch Body Language. ...
  5. Take Control of the Conversation. ...
  6. Practice Regularly.
Jun 6, 2022

How can I get better at Spanish as a Spanish speaker? ›

5 Ways To Improve Your Spanish Speaking Skills
  1. Read out loud. If you're listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. ...
  2. Prepare things to say ahead of time. ...
  3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them). ...
  4. Review again and again. ...
Sep 17, 2015

How can I become bilingual in Spanish fast? ›

How to become fluent in Spanish: Takeaways
  1. Try a Student Exchange with a Spanish Family.
  2. Take Spanish at School or College or even a Spanish language course.
  3. Travel to Spain or South America.
  4. Live abroad (temporarily or permanently)
  5. Make Spanish friends in person or online.
  6. Listen, speak, read and write as much as you can.

Why can I understand Spanish but not speak it well? ›

Receptive multilingualism occurs because there is a radical difference in the cognitive efforts required to undertake the brain activity of comprehending a language and speaking it. If you've been exposed to a language for a sufficient period of time, understanding it is easier and faster than communicating in it.

What's the quickest you can fluently learn Spanish? ›

Summary: According to FSI, if you spend 3 hours per day learning Spanish, you'll achieve fluency in around six months. Reduce your Spanish time to one hour a day and, according to FSI, it will take about 1.5 years to learn. As you can see, Spanish is one of the most accessible languages for English speakers.

How long does it take to learn Spanish fluently? ›

If you start out as a beginner and manage to spend an average of 1 hour per day working on your Spanish, you should be able to reach conversational fluency within 8 – 12 months. That translates to about 250 – 350 hours spent. But remember that consistency is key here.

How many hours does it take to improve Spanish? ›

If you start out as a beginner and spend an average of 1 hour per day working on your Spanish, you should able to reach conversational fluency within 8 – 12 months. That translates to roughly 250 – 350 hours of time spent.

How do Spanish speakers speak so fast? ›

A Spanish speaker would almost always link the vowel sounds and pronounce the whole thing as a single word: Todoestoestaquí (To-does-toes-ta-quí). This is another factor that makes Spanish seem faster than English. The sooner you embrace this reality, the better you'll get at teasing words apart.

How long does it take to become fluent in conversational Spanish? ›

How Many Hours Does it Take to Be Fluent in Spanish? If you start out as a beginner and manage to spend an average of 1 hour per day working on your Spanish, you should be able to reach conversational fluency within 8 – 12 months. That translates to about 250 – 350 hours spent.

How can I improve my conversational language? ›

But like any other skill, you can improve your spoken English if you practise regularly and follow these simple techniques.
  1. Listen. The first step in improving your speaking skills is actually working on your listening. ...
  2. Imitate. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Reflect. ...
  5. Prepare. ...
  6. Speak. ...
  7. Practise.
Oct 18, 2021

How can I speak Spanish fluently in 6 months? ›

The only way to learn Spanish in 6 months, and ultimately attain fluency, is to use Spanish in your daily life and to use it all the time. Read in Spanish, watch Spanish TV, follow your passion (in Spanish) and make friends with Spanish people.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 18/08/2023

Views: 5257

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.