spanish-conversation-topics

Spanish Conversation Topics: 7 Ways to Break the Ice

“What’s your name?”

“How are you?”

“Where are you from?”

Conversation exchanges are a great way to practice speaking Spanish.

But sometimes, especially in a group setting, you might find yourself repeating the same basic information over and over: your name, your country of origin, your job, your hobbies and so on.

The truth is, it can get tedious.

That’s why we’re going to talk here about some useful Spanish-language conversation topics, to help you move beyond the simple small talk.

Conversing about different subjects is great for practicing vocabulary and reinforcing grammar. Plus, it’s way more fun and engaging to talk about a variety of topics!

Not interested in setting up a conversation exchange? This list will still be useful for you! You can bring up these topics in any setting where you’re meeting native speakers or conversing in social situations. They’re good conversation starters and can help you build friendships with other Spanish speakers you meet.
 


 
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Finding a Local (or Virtual) Conversation Exchange

Before we get into the conversation topics themselves, you may be wondering how to find a conversation practice group, or set up a one-on-one exchange. There are tons of resources online.

Two great places to look are Meetup.com and your city’s Couchsurfing group.

Mundo Lingo is another conversation exchange program that exists in 16 cities worldwide—check their website to see if you live near one of them.

Conversation Exchange is a website for setting up in-person or virtual language exchanges, making it a great resource if you live in a smaller town or a place without many Spanish speakers.

If none of those websites yields results, you can try reaching out to the Spanish department at a local university or language school. Some will have regularly meeting conversation groups; these are usually geared towards students but may be open to the public as well.

If all else fails, simply reach out to classmates, friends or other Spanish speakers who you know personally! Fellow Spanish learners might also be looking for a chance to practice their conversation skills outside of the classroom.

7 Fail-proof Spanish Conversation Topics for Learners

Speaking is one of the four main aspects of language practice, along with reading, writing and listening. To really improve your speaking, it’s important that you talk often with others, whether they’re native speakers or fellow learners. Speaking with others—particularly native speakers—will improve your pronunciation and get you accustomed to native speech patterns.

Speaking in a foreign language can be scary, but the experience will also be exciting! I frequently walk away from successful Spanish conversations feeling accomplished and exhilarated. Plus, every Spanish conversation you have will move you closer and closer to fluency. Soon, having a basic Spanish conversation will feel like second nature.

To make the most of your Spanish conversations, try practicing your Spanish with FluentU videos beforehand. FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, vlogs, commercials, news and interesting talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. Hearing authentic Spanish will warm you up for speaking and give you a head start on listening to the language.

It’s also important to talk about a variety of topics. That way, you’ll make sure you’re practicing lots of different verb tenses and vocabulary words. Here are some great topics to try out the next time you have a Spanish conversation.

1. Food

Who doesn’t love good food? This is a great conversation topic for beginners, and it’s one that nearly everyone can participate in. Talking about favorite foods can be an interesting way to bond with new acquaintances, as well as to learn about another culture.

In addition to working on food vocabulary, this is also a great way to practice present-tense verbs, constructions of verbs like gustar (to like) and adjectives.

Key words and phrases:

La comida — Food

El postre — Dessert

El plato — The dish/the meal

Los platos típicos/La comida típica de… — Typical dishes/typical food of…

Cocinar — To cook

Salir a comer — To go out to eat

El restaurante — Restaurant

Mi comida favorita es… — My favorite food is…

Me gusta/no me gusta la comida de… — I like/I don’t like the food in…

¿Te gusta cocinar? — Do you like to cook?

¿Has probado…? — Have you tried…?

¿Cuál es tu restaurante favorito en…? — What is your favorite restaurant in…?

¿Cómo es la comida en tu país? — What is the food like in your country?

2. Music

This is another nice, casual conversation topic that most people can participate in, since almost everyone has opinions on music. Talking about music is especially great for beginners, since lots of the key vocabulary is the same as in English: Rock, pop, hip-hop, rap and so on.

Key words and phrases:

La música — Music

La canción — The song

El disco/el álbum — The album

El concierto — The concert

El grupo/la banda — The group/band

El/la cantante — The singer

¿Qué tipo de música te gusta? — What type of music do you like?

¿Cuál es tu grupo/banda favorito/a? — What is your favorite group/band?

¿Quién es tu cantante favorito? — Who is your favorite singer?

Yo prefiero — I prefer…

Yo también/Yo tampoco — Me too/me neither

3. Travel

I’ve found that travel is a convenient way to connect with other language learners; many people who learn foreign languages do so because they like to travel, meet people from around the world and connect with different cultures. You can talk about past travels, future plans, dream vacations and so on.

This allows you to practice a variety of verb tenses from past to present perfect to future. You might even get some tips for your next trip!

Key words and phrases:

Viajar — To travel

El viaje — The trip

El país — The country

La ciudad — The city

Las vacaciones — The vacation

¿Te gusta viajar? — Do you like to travel?

¿Has viajado a…? — Have you traveled to…?

¿Conoces…? — Have you traveled to…? (This is a more colloquial way to ask, ¿has viajado a…?)

¿A dónde te gustaría viajar? — Where would you like to travel?

Mi país favorito/lugar favorito/ciudad favorita es… — My favorite country/place/city is…

Me gustaría viajar a… — I would like to travel to…

Mi próximo viaje… — My next trip…

4. Holidays

Holidays and traditional celebrations can vary wildly from culture to culture. Even within a country or culture, people may have interesting and unique traditions for a given holiday! Talking about these traditions can be a useful way to learn about someone’s background—many people love sharing their customs with others.

Talking about traditions will require present tense verbs, while inquiring about holiday plans will help you practice the future tense.

Key words and phrases:

La fiesta — The holiday

La tradición — The tradition

La costumbre — The custom

Celebrar — To celebrate

Navidad — Christmas

Nochebuena — Christmas Eve

Nochevieja — New Year’s Eve

Año Nuevo — New Year’s

Día de Acción de Gracias — Thanksgiving

¿Cómo se celebra… en tu país? — How is… celebrated in your country?

¿Qué vas a hacer para…? — What are you going to do for…?

5. Dreams

Most people have goals, plans and ambitions for the future. Ask about them, and share your own—this can be an easy way to open up to others. It also allows you to practice some verb tenses that don’t frequently come out in language exchange conversations, such as the conditional tense.

Key words and phrases:

El sueño — The dream

La ambición — The ambition

El futuro — The future

En cinco/diez años — In five/ten years…

En el futuro, me gustaría ser — In the future, I would like to be…

Me gustaría hacer — I would like to do…

Mi trabajo ideal — My dream job

Si pudiera…, haría…  If I could…, I would…

Si yo fuera rico/a…  If I were rich…

6. Childhood

Similar to talking about the future, talking about the past can be a fascinating way to learn about a person. You might learn something totally unexpected, even if you’re talking to someone you’ve known for a while! You can talk about families, fond memories, funny stories, past hobbies and more.

This is also a handy way to practice the imperfect tense, since you’ll be talking about repeated actions in the past.

Key words and phrases:

La niñez — Childhood

La juventud — Youth

El pasado — The past

Mi familia — My family

Mi pueblo natal — My hometown

Cuando yo era niño/a — When I was a boy/girl…

Cuando yo era joven — When I was young…

¿Dónde naciste? — Where were you born?

¿Dónde creciste? — Where did you grow up?

¿Cómo eras de niño/a? — What were you like as a boy/girl?

¿Que te gustabas hacer? — What did you like to do?

7. Current events

You may have been taught to avoid discussing politics and current events in polite company. Sure, these topics can be controversial, but they’re also thought-provoking. Since everyone has an opinion (and usually a pretty strong one), conversations about current events can last for a long time. These discussions are often fast-paced and passionate, which is great for language practice.

Key words and phrases:

Las noticias — The news

El diario — The newspaper

Ayer... — Yesterday…

La semana pasada — Last week…

Yo vi en las noticias que… — I saw in the news that…

Yo creo que — I believe that…

Estoy de acuerdo con…/No estoy de acuerdo con — I agree with/I do not agree with…

Me enoja que…/me enfada que — It angers me that… (Note: Me enoja is more commonly used in Latin America, whereas me enfada is more common in Spain.)

Yo apoyo — I support…

¿Has visto…? — Have you seen…?

¿Has leído…? — Have you read…?

¿Qué opinas sobre…? — What is your opinion about…?

 

The next time you’re at a language exchange, or simply speaking with an acquaintance (or stranger) in Spanish, try to move beyond the usual small talk.

These seven conversation topics can help you branch out and practice a wide range of vocabulary and verb tenses.

And, who knows—you might even make a Spanish-speaking friend in the process!
 


 

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