Do you want to improve your Spanish, but feel like you never have enough time?
With the simple use of Twitter, you can learn Spanish during any spare moment of the day—whether you’re taking a quick break at work or waiting for a friend to arrive for dinner.
Once you know these three effortless tricks, you can use Twitter to thrust your Spanish learning experience into hyperdrive!
Why Use Twitter to Learn Spanish?
Twitter is arguably one of the best social media platforms for language learning. No other website hosts worldwide dialogue on quite the same level. Unlike Facebook where you have to be friends with someone to communicate with them, Twitter is totally open to the world.
Any Twitter user can follow any other Twitter user and engage them in conversation by tweeting them directly or referencing them in a public tweet. This means that you can be part of any conversation you want. Jump into the politics of Venezuela, follow Marc Antony to hear his latest chart toppers, and chat with other Spanish students freely.
There are many, many reasons why Twitter might be exactly the tool you were missing to boost your Spanish language learning to new heights:
- It’s always generating fresh, topical material. Twitter is the go-to social media page for constant news coverage. For example, when a big news story hits the press you can watch everything unfold in real time.
- Most people and pages update multiple times per day. This means that there’s always something new to check out.
- Topics are organized and filtered by means of “hashtags.” That little # symbol might seem like a teenage trend, but it makes your interests extremely easy to locate and follow.
- All posted messages are short and to the point. Posts are limited to 140 characters so you won’t waste time wading through bulky text.
- You don’t need followers to have a good time! Don’t feel any pressure to broadcast multiple messages to your friends daily – just consider it your up-to-the-minute newsfeed bringing you closer to your favorite people and information sources. That’s what I do. I only have 3 followers on my personal page and I am not ashamed to admit this.
- You can directly address anyone. This includes friends, family, public figures, politicians, and companies. Didn’t like that offensive tweet by so-and-so? Even if he’s not following you, you can unleash the fury and speak your mind with a direct tweet. Did you watch and love one of the movies recommended in “The 7 Best Movies to Learn Spanish”? Tweet us directly (@FluentUSpanish) and let us know how happy you were with the film recommendation.
- Twitter is compatible with all modern smartphones and is extremely smooth to navigate by mobile. Take a peek at your feed when you have a moment or two to spare in the grocery store checkout line, when waiting at the dentist’s office, or when you’re stuck on a horrible blind date.
Three Easy Tricks to Learn Spanish with Twitter
Before we dive into the world of Twitter, let me tell you about a place where you’ll be able to get your Spanish language skills ready to go: FluentU.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
And now, let’s see how to learn Spanish with Twitter.
1. Use the Twitter search bar to your advantage
Imagine a newcomer to English using an outdated phrasebook, walking around throwing out cringe-inducing phrases like “way groovy” or “jeepers creepers!” After reading an English language novel they might take their new vocabulary for a spin and confuse conversation partners with less common words such as “salubrious” or “irascible.” Do you even know how to pronounce irascible? Twitter can prevent this from happening to hapless Spanish learners. Before adding a newly discovered word to your mental Spanish dictionary, type it in the Twitter search bar and see if people are using it in their casual Tweet-speak.
2. Follow the best Spanish language tweeters
The more Twitter users that you follow the better! That’s the beauty of Twitter’s style of short messages – you’ll never bog down your home page with blocks of text and spammy posts the way you might on Facebook. When you follow more people you’ll get to enjoy an increasingly rich diversity of posts in your news feed. Here are some great additions you should consider:
@CNNEE – The Spanish language CNN Twitter feed always has the latest news stories.
@Culturizando – Culturizando covers news, health, science, technology, movies, music, culture, history and more.
@el_pais – Here you’ll find top global news from the Madrid-Based newspaper El País.
@muyinteresante – Tweets from this account include tidbits from science, health, environment, technology and innovation news.
@peopleenespanol – In case celebrity gossip constitutes news for you, don’t be ashamed – just take your daily dose of the tabloids in Spanish. Who knows when you’ll need to know the word for “nose job” or “break up” in your future Spanish adventures?
@cheezespanol – Our old friend Cheezburger is alive and well. Classic epic fails, lolcats, memes and more await you here.
@Deboconfesarque – Sometimes funny and sometimes cute, this page doles out the bittersweet facts of life alongside G-rated jokes and inspirational photos.
@enchufetv – Hilarious sketch style videos from Quito, Ecuador that I like to think of as the Spanish language equivalent of CollegeHumor. The comedians speak rapidly in a sing-songy accent that you’ll have to get used to, but it will be well worth the effort!
@TirasdeHumor – Do you love a good “I’m going to hell for this” laugh? This page specializes in translated Cyanide and Happiness dark comedy comics. Learn how to distress and disturb people with morbid jokes in your new language.
@CordanoJose – President Jose Mujica of Uruguay has gained enormous international attention and is often hailed as a model president. He still lives in his old house, drives a jalopy to work, and donates his presidential salary to charity.
@nicolasmaduro – Trade Union leader cum President Nicholás Maduro is the man to watch in Venezuela. His actions will determine the political stability of the nation, and it’s also fascinating to see how the late President Chávez is still very much alive in the political rhetoric of his predecessor.
@hcapriles – To balance out Nicholás Maduro, follow his rival Henrique Capriles. The rivalry rages on in the Twittersphere; Capriles has twice as many followers as Maduro, which is no small feat.
Spanish language learning:
@EduLearnSpanish – Learn three new words every day by following this Twitter account.
@VamosSpanish – Vamos Spanish tweets a word a day, facts and grammar, and translations for language practice.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of the hashtag!
Hashtag surfing – all the cool kids are doing it. Simply search Twitter with an interesting or humorous hashtag to see how it has been reused and recycled in people’s posts. Be sure to tag any tweets you send out with the appropriate hashtags and connect yourself to the rest of the Twittersphere’s conversation!
#Copa2014 & #copamundial – While watching a Latin American team fight their way through this year’s World Cup, keep an eye on these hashtags to see fan reactions being posted live! To jump into the conversation with ease, check out the ultimate Spanish vocabulary guide to soccer and the World Cup.
#Comodeporteextremo – This hashtag translates to like an extreme sport and is used jokingly to refer to the not-so-badass moments encountered in everyday life that are tackled as if they were extreme sports.
#Historiademivida – Translated to mean story of my life, this hashtag defines comments from people who are just sick and tired of their lifelong misfortune. However, lifelong misfortune in this case usually means girlfriend/boyfriend trouble, dropping food on the floor, and cars breaking down in the middle of the highway.
#TuitSerio – The serious tweet hashtag means that their tweet should not be misconstrued as a joke.
And it’s that simple: Use the search bar strategically, follow the best Spanish tweeters, and browse hashtags. Now that you’re equipped with these three easy tips, you might not mind waiting those extra few minutes for your friend to arrive after all – you’re learning Spanish on Twitter!