Survey: The challenges of learning Spanish.

Hi everyone!

Soon we will publish the first out of a series of posts about Spanish grammar to help our English-Spanish users learn the language even faster. For that purpose, we would like to gather some preliminary feedback from you.

As we know that most of you already have a good grasp of Spanish, we would like to ask you about the areas of the Spanish language that you find most challenging. This will help us add more specific contents to our future posts.

We would love to hear from you!

¡Feliz aprendizaje!

last edited by Javier

Areas of Spanish that are the most challenging for me:

  • ser vs. estar
  • por vs. para
  • cuál vs. qué
  • deber & all its tenses vs. tener que vs. poder (i.e. must vs. may vs. could vs. should vs. might vs. will have to, etc.)
  • dealing with false cognates
  • remembering low frequency words
  • idioms (Example: "¡Pudiste hacerlo y no te dio la gana! → You could have done it but you didn't want to!")
  • the subjunctive - uggh!
  • the passive voice
  • word selection - sometimes several words mean the same thing but even though they may overlap in meaning, one word is usually the best choice for the situation context.
  • pronouns can be confusing... sometimes 'with' isn't 'con' but rather 'de' and there are so many other exceptions like that
  • que can show up in some of the weirdest places where it wouldn't be there in English. (Example: "Haces que los anteojos parezcan más tontos. → You make the glasses look dumber." You wouldn't think you'd need the que in this sentence.)
  • being able to think in Spanish (this is the ultimate goal of fluency, right?)
  • being able to comprehend spoken voice at normal spoken pace
last edited by Frank

Dear Frank,

First of all, thanks a lot for your in-depth reply! We will definitely take into account all of your input!

Regarding the areas you have mentioned, we will add some comments that we hope you find useful:

  • You can find some helpful tips in our Grammar Hints section (ser/estar, por/para, prepositions, pronouns...). Soon you will find more information available in there as there are other hints we are in the process of creating (the passive voice, subjunctive mood and tenses, pronominal verbs, etc).

  • As for the idiomatic expressions you may find on the cards, we would like to encourage you to try to understand them in their specific contexts, taking their meaning from the usage/literal translations provided. It is not necessary to focus all of your attention on them at this point, as they will distract you from acquiring the vocabulary and structures that you will need to "decode" them in the future.

  • You might have not realised, but the fact that you are able to point out such specific areas of language makes you already an advanced learner! Don't worry too much, just keep learning and practising at you own pace: comprehension and mastery will come naturally in time :-D

We're creating a lot of new content both on Lingvist and The Forum. Stay tuned and remember that you can count on us to help you along your language-learning journey!

¡Feliz aprendizaje!

last edited by Javier

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