How to Build a Strong Spanish Vocabulary

Building up a strong Spanish vocabulary is important to improve your ability to understand conversations that happen around you and to make you sound like a smart cookie when you speak or write in Spanish. There are many different ways that you can strengthen your vocabulary, try using a few of the following techniques and you will be impressing people with your vast lexicon in no time.

A Spanish vocabulary notebook should be one of the first things you do when you set out to improve your vocabulary. Each time you encounter a new word include it in your notebook, along with a definition, the type of word it is (adjective, noun, verb, adverb, idiomatic phrase etcetera) and an example of it in use. Studies in brain cognition have shown that you are far more likely to remember things when you read it, write it and say it.

Making word family trees is also a good way to expand your vocabulary when you are beginning to learn Spanish. These can help you to make connections between Spanish words. For example you can make a tree with all the living room vocabulary you know, or all the greetings that you have learned. To make vocabulary trees you start with the theme or subject written in the center. On branches that radiate outwards write all the words you currently know relating to that theme. On the flipside of the paper re-create the tree in your native language. By comparing the two you can uncover gaps in your vocabulary knowledge.

Prioritizing your learning is an important part of remembering vocabulary. There is no point learning a whole lot of slang or idiomatic expressions before you learn to use more basic vocabulary as you will not use it and you will quickly forget it. Learn vocabulary for everyday situations first and then build up to more complex ideas and themes.

Reading much and often is an essential part of building a strong Spanish vocabulary. Make the Internet your best friend and check out Spanish language newspapers and other Spanish language websites. There are also online newsletters that will email a new phrase or word everyday to your inbox. Why not use Spanish language search engines when you are surfing the net and try clicking on websites in Spanish?

There are thousands of Spanish language websites that have free vocabulary exercises and word games on line. Try to visit one of these sites each day. By setting aside just a few minutes to do this you will build and refresh your Spanish vocabulary.

If your current Spanish level is intermediate, then try visiting your local library and borrowing Spanish language books. There are some amazing Spanish and Latino writers and it is always best to read in the original language. Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia and Isabel Allende are just a few shining literary lights in Spanish. Pablo Neruda’s poetry is simply sublime when it is read in lilting and romantic Spanish.

Listening to Spanish music on line is another great way that you can improve your listening and expand your vocabulary. Once you have listened to the song search for the lyrics in Google and you are sure to learn lots of new words and phrases.

When watching DVDs switch on the Spanish subtitles that are included on many movies and you will get to learn new words, many of them slang.

There are many different techniques you can use to build a strong Spanish vocabulary. By utilizing just a few of the ideas in this article you will be able to understand others better and wow people with your vast grasp of the Spanish language.

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