Let’s have a chat.
In English, that’s not too daunting, right?
But in Spanish, it can be much more intimidating, especially if you haven’t practiced your conversational skills.
Conversational Spanish simply refers to the ability to converse in Spanish using complete sentences. You can understand short sentences (and sometimes longer sentences when used in context) and can respond appropriately.
This usually ties in with the intermediate level of learning since you’ll need the basic grammar ground rules along with some vocabulary in order to hold an actual conversation in Spanish.
Being conversational is an important skill in any Spanish learner’s tool set. After all, most communication ends up being verbal. But conversing in Spanish is also often intimidating since it’s more difficult to prepare for than reading, writing or even listening.
That’s why practice and awesome resources are essential.
Studying ahead of time can prepare you for whatever conversational situation you might encounter. It can give you key phrases and help you think out what you may need to say, all while building your confidence.
Once you’re comfortable with Spanish conversation, you might even throw in a few juicy conversation phrases. As your skills grow, you’ll want to add some more color to your communication!
Practice makes perfect, so be sure to use your favorite resource often and practice Spanish conversation like a rock star.
These helpful resources will give you the skills and practice you need to participate in engaging Spanish conversations!
Why Improve Your Conversational Spanish?
One popular reason to improve conversational Spanish skills is to travel. The ability to hold a conversation in Spanish is a very helpful skill if you’re traveling to any Spanish-speaking country. Whether it’s ordering at a restaurant, shopping or making friends, you’ll encounter situations in which conversational skills will improve your overall travel experience. Basic Spanish phrases will certainly help, but being fully conversational will provide you with more opportunities.
You might also want to improve your conversational skills to meet new people. In addition to meeting people internationally, learning small talk and politely conversing in Spanish will open doors to getting to know people in your community. Spanish is widely spoken in the US and abroad, so knowing it will let you interact with a lot of different people and forge relationships you may otherwise have missed out on.
Finally, learning conversational Spanish is helpful because you never know when you may need it. There are a lot of Spanish speakers, and chances are you’ll need the language when you least expect it. A lot of us can think of a time when we’ve said (or heard someone else say), “I wish I spoke Spanish!” Being prepared can help save you a lot of stress and awkwardness down the road!
10 Engaging Resources to Upgrade Your Conversational Spanish Skills
1. Practical Spanish
Practical Spanish is a free website designed to help you improve your Spanish skills.
Practical Spanish offers a free online course that gives you everything you need to be able to converse with Spanish speakers: grammar structures, vocabulary and practice. It does this by putting grammar rules in context with examples so that you know how to apply the rules to actual conversations.
Practical Spanish offers lessons for beginning through advanced students in addition to extra resources. However, the beginning lessons focus on laying the ground rules, so the real conversational material doesn’t start until the intermediate level.
To improve your conversational Spanish, select the most appropriate level for you. Be sure to check out the audio, videos and Facebook page for examples that you can apply to real conversations.
2. Fastbreak Spanish
Fastbreak Spanish is an available course you can access through Udemy. This free course offers over three hours of video content accessible through your mobile device or TV. Plus, you can get a certificate of completion once you’re done.
If, however, you’ve already got a lot of Spanish under your belt, you might search for a particular topic of interest by scrolling through the videos to find what you need on the Fastbreak Spanish YouTube channel.
Regardless of whether you choose the course or YouTube, Fastbreak Spanish offers useful videos focused on teaching you to speak and understand conversational Spanish. It aims to expose you to different possible scenarios, improve your pronunciation and teach you basic grammar. Plus, dialogues and drills help reinforce your learning.
FluentU is a website and app (available on both Android and iOS devices) that provides a truly unique experience for today’s learners.
FluentU has a variety of engaging videos covering topics like soccer, TV shows, movies and even magical realism.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
FluentU is highly recommended for people who are audio-visual learners and want to learn more about Spanish-language culture.
4. Conversational Spanish by BuscaOficio
Conversational Spanish is for Android devices and focuses on teaching travelers common Spanish phrases to use in different situations. It’s designed to help beginning through intermediate students improve their skills.
Information is grouped thematically with categories like pronunciation and prepositions to help you get the basics of the Spanish language down and categories like night out and dating to help you learn more conversational phrases. Audio of the words is useful for improving your pronunciation or simulating a conversation—just play a phrase and respond in your own words.
5. Spanish Phrasebook: Conversational Spanish by Batoul Apps
Spanish Phrasebook: Conversational Spanish for iOS is aimed at beginning and intermediate Spanish students who plan on traveling to Spanish-speaking countries.
This app offers over 800 words and phrases grouped thematically into 28 categories. This phrasebook can provide you with essential greetings, apologies, expressions of appreciation and more—all the things you’ll need to hold a basic conversation.
The app offers audio, which you can use to practice your own pronunciation or hold a mock conversation between yourself and the app.
As an added bonus, you can bookmark phrases for easy studying or practicing.
6. Gritty Spanish
This is a resource that’s sure to add some spice to your Spanish learning routine. Gritty Spanish teaches you the language you need to describe those not-so-pleasant situations you find yourself in. It’s perfect for conversational fluency (don’t look here if you’re looking to hone your academic vocabulary!). This resource is engagement in the truest sense, appealing to the pre-teen learner in all of us who giggles if any word sounds slightly dirty.
Fair warning, this is not for those who are easily offended. This is one of those instances where the title tells you exactly what to expect: when they say gritty, they mean it! Even if the language you hear might not be your cup of tea, it’ll come in handy when you’re traveling abroad and overhear something not so proper (it’s going to happen).
With a purchase of this resource, you’ll get access to audio and PDF transcripts. To get a taste of everything they have to offer, check out their free e-book (available on the website) or read a review here.
7. Pimsleur Conversational Spanish
Pimsleur Conversational Spanish is a CD set that aims to prepare listeners to speak and understand conversational Latin American Spanish.
The course offers 16 30-minute-long lessons that include basic vocabulary along with useful conversational practice. It focuses more on repetition than grammar rules, so it’s best for learners who already know the grammar rules or for students who want to memorize helpful phrases without learning the underlying structure of the language.
You’ll learn valuable phrases for specific scenarios like greeting someone, shopping and telling time.
The set targets Latin American Spanish, so it’s an excellent tool to prepare yourself if you want to be able to converse with native Spanish speakers from Latin America. However, it’ll be less useful if you want to communicate with Spaniards.
8. Conversational Latin American Spanish
This CD set also focuses on Latin American Spanish. It’s taught by a language teacher with the help of native Spanish speakers.
The lessons vary the speed at which phrases are spoken, which is great practice for understanding natural variations between speakers. The CDs cover helpful scenarios like air travel to prepare you for common situations you might encounter.
The CD set aims to help you learn conversational Spanish quickly, so, hopefully, you’ll be conversing comfortably in no time!
9. “Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Conversation”
“Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Conversation” is a study program in the form of a convenient book. It aims to make you comfortable and confident speaking Spanish with native speakers.
The book’s lessons revolve around realistic dialogues, but the lessons also teach you vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar along the way for a more comprehensive learning experience.
Dialogues include scenarios like sharing opinions, arguing a point and so much more.
Exercises in the book are available through their app on Android and iOS devices to help you reinforce your learning.
10. “Understanding Spanish Conversation”
“Understanding Spanish Conversation” is designed to help intermediate Spanish students sound more like native Spanish speakers.
It aims to teach you grammar, words and phrases that you can use in real conversations as a building block towards full immersion.
Lessons are grouped thematically and cover topics like communicating need and paying. Each lesson offers a combination of explanation and examples to help you understand keywords and phrases.
It’s time to have an important talk, and these resources for improving your conversational Spanish will help you do just that. With the skills you acquire from these resources, you’ll be ready to take your practice to the next level by seeking opportunities to interact with other Spanish speakers. If you can’t find any native speakers with whom to practice, just look for Spanish meetups or study groups.
If you can’t find any, start your own! You’ll be the talk of the town!
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