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Spanish Beginner Kit

Learning vocabulary

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Vocabulary is the foundation of language, and it’s essential to have an effective approach: learn the most frequent and relevant words first, use cognates to your advantage and work on the sentence level, not with isolated words. Lastly, add a Spaced Repetition System for remembering the vocabulary in the long-term.
Frequency list of Spanish words
2000 most frequent words
With this list of the 2000 most common Spanish words and their translation, you can get started by learning the vocabulary that you’re more likely to encounter. We are also including example sentences, but those might be too complicated as a beginner.
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Cognate list
Cognates
Cognates are words that share linguistic family in two languages. Sometimes they these words are identical (perfect cognates) and other times they're very similar. Here's a list of English-Spanish cognates that will kick start your vocabulary. You'll realize how many words you already know!
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Flashcards
Flashcards and spaced repetition
The most effective tool to acquire vocabulary are flashcards, ideally using full sentences instead of isolated words. Also, a Spaced Repetition System automatically shows you the relevant cards at the right time to avoid forgetting. Anki is the most sophisticated option, but Quizlet is more user-friendly.

Getting input

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It's essential to get a lot of input to learn a language. The content should be comprehensible for your level to be useful and to keep you motivated. Aim for resources that you can understand at least 80%, so you can attempt to deduce the rest from context.
DreamingSpanish website
DreamingSpanish
Excellent platform with hundreds of videos for different levels (including a SuperBeginner one), that heavily uses visual cues and a slow pace to enhance comprehension. They also have a YouTube channel, but the website allows you to apply filters and track your watching time.
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Language Transfer app
Language Transfer
This audio program, where a teacher guides a student through different Spanish lessons, uses cognates and etymology to make concepts more meaningful. It teaches you a new way of thinking about the language.
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Graded reader cover
¡Hola, Lola!
Reading is the most effective way of acquiring vocabulary. Most beginners make the mistake of starting with children's books. It's much better to use graded readers, text aimed at adults but with very simplified language. ¡Hola, Lola! is a perfect example, it has a lot of repetition and is the best place to start.
Purchase book
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Grammar resources

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Paying attention to the structure of the language and being aware of its logic will help you make sense of the input you receive. However, don’t obsess over memorizing rules, that doesn’t help your communicative competence.
Sentence structure chart
Spanish sentence structure chart
A comparison and analysis of the most common sentence structures in Spanish and English, so you can get an idea of how to form sentences.
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SpanishDIct guides
SpanishDict guides
This guides present you grammar concepts in a easy-to-digest format, as well as a number of interactive activities to reinforce the theory you have just learned.
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Grammar textbook cover
New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish
The most comprehensive textbook on Spanish grammar for English speakers. It’s just theory (they sell a workbook separately), but it goes very in depth into the structures of the language. We only recommend this for students really interested in grammar.
Purchase book
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Producing output

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You need to put everything you're learning to use. In the beginning, of course, you will have a hard time speaking or writing, but we recommend getting into the habit of producing language as soon as you can. This solidifies the concepts and vocabulary and gets you ready for what's to come.
LangCorrect website
Write: LangCorrect
Here you can write about anything you like and then have native speakers of your target language provide feedback, for free, in an intuitive interface.
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Online tutoring: LanguaTalk
Find native online tutors for 1-on-1 lessons, at very affordable prices. Once your Spanish get better, having a professional to practice with that can provide you feedback is invaluable.
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Language Exchange: lingbe
This app allows you to find native Spanish speakers that want to learn your language and spend half the time with each, for free.
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Study template

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As you can see, there are lots of resources out there. Learning a language is a challenge and there are many aspects involved. That's why a good plan can help you put some order into the chaos. Here you have a template you can use to define what activities you're going to do and how you're going to distribute your time.
Study plan
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Other tools

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SpanishDict
Bilingual dictionary

We've mentioned this website for its grammar Guides, but it's mainly a Spanish-English dictionary. Provides details about different meanings, pronunciation, example sentences, and even expressions!

DeepL logo
DeepL
Translation tool

The most accurate translation tool on the internet. It also provides the option of clicking on a particular word in a sentence to get alternative translations.

A better alternative to Google Translate.

WordReference logo
WordReference Forums
Forum

Very active forums to ask anything about Spanish: what does a word in this context mean, how to say something in a particular way or clear up any grammar rules you're unsure about.

Forvo logo
Forvo
Pronunciation

A repository of audios recorded by native speakers that show you how to pronounce certain words and even sentences. With Spanish, you can filter by country too.

Reverso logo
Reverso
Translation tool

This Google Chrome extension allows to to click on any word inside a website and get its translation, as well as examples. Very handy for reading articles or any kind of text online.

Language Reactor logo
Language Reactor
Subtitles

This tool allows you to have subtitles in two languages simultaneously when watching Netflix or YouTube. You can also click on words to show translations and examples.

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