Are you listening to slowed down speech in Spanish? Well, no matter how much you listen that way, it won’t help you much understanding something like:
Lo siento mucho, pero eso no te va a servir tanto como crees con nativos que hablan todo el tiempo así, amigo querido. (I’m sorry, but that won’t help you as much as you think with natives speakers who speak like this all the time, dear friend.)
Soy Juan de Spring Spanish, and here is what you should do instead!
Parte 1: ¿Por qué? (Why?)
You’ll notice we don’t slow down speech in our videos in fully Spanish videos or in our role-play parts aún cuando nos lo piden mucho, y eso es totalmente a propósito (even though we get asked to do it a lot, and that is totally on purpose):
- Razón uno: no tiene sentido y no ayuda realmente al estudiante (Reason 1: It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t really help the learner): Unfortunately, real language is not that polished, especially during casual conversations. In real life situations, people don’t pronounce full words, they connect words, and they use slang and interjections. So, without the proper practice, when you find yourself in a conversation with a native speaker at “real-life speed,” vas a estar completamente perdido (you’ll be completely lost).
- Reason 2: You need to be exposed to natural speed to really get better and practice your listening comprehension skills. If you listen enough to Spanish at “normal speed”, your brain and ear gets used to it y luego de un tiempo, vas a entender. (and after a while you’ll just understand).
Parte 2: What can you do instead?
- Comprehensible input: Asegúrate de que lo que escuchas no es taaan complicado (Make sure that what you listen to is not too complicated). If you don’t understand anything, it’s not the right material for you. Start off easier at the beginning. First beginner material and then advance step by step. Every week is a bit more difficult. By the way, that’s exactly how our Spring Spanish Academy courses are built, link in the description.
- “Ok, Juan, but I simply don’t understand anything! → Here’s a trick to make sure you understand these native speakers, even when they speak quickly. Use transcripts so you can listen and read along at the same time! Por eso todos nuestros videos tienen subtítulos ¡y traducciones en inglés también! (That’s why all of our videos have subtitles and translations to English too!). It may not look like it at first sight, but this is actually a ton of work for us! All for free, just for you!
- Listen to sentences, dialogues or videos in Spanish several times. Every time you listen to it, you catch something else and something you haven’t heard or understood the first time, and this way step by step you understand more. De esta manera progresas masivamente. (This way you make massive progress.)
- Even though we know the best way to learn is through chunks, if you struggle too much with understanding a certain word, get a translation. Una que otra vez, no hace daño. (Every now and then, it won’t hurt.) It helps you to make content comprehensible when it hasn’t been before.
So while we are not slowing down speech, we are still here to help. What we are doing is leaving breaks after a sentence is done or after one of the speakers is done. Do you like that? Would you like us to do more of that? Déjanos un comentario (Leave a comment.)
En nuestro canal encontrarás muchos videos para principiantes y algunos para estudiantes avanzados. Mientras estoy grabando este video, ya tenemos más de doscientos cincuenta videos! (On our channel you will find a lot of videos for beginners and some for advanced learners. At the time I am recording this, we have over 250 videos already!) So if you only understand a fraction of the fully Spanish videos or the role-plays, they might not be the right material for you. BUT if you feel like being challenged, then follow these steps to learn with them:
Parte 3: Cómo aprender con nuestros videos de Spring Spanish (How to learn with our Spring Spanish videos)
- Paso uno: Just listen without reading. -> if you still don’t understand (most of it) then:
- Paso dos: Listen with reading the Spanish subtitles -> if you still don’t understand (most of it) then:
- Paso tres: Listen with reading the English subtitles
- Paso cuatro: Repeat this process until you understand everything. Important: You don’t need to understand every single word and why it is where it is. You just need to understand what is being said. Because you can’t translate a language word by word.
It will take you some time to get through a video, but I guarantee you that you will feel amazing after fully understanding a video you have not understood at all before. ¡Y vas a aprender muchísimo haciéndolo! (And you will learn a lot by doing so!)
This is the way all our videos are set up, you always get subtitles in both languages, in the Inner Circle you also get flash cards for each lesson to study the chunks and also a transcript! ¿Te lo vas a perder? (Are you going to miss it out?) Link in the description!
Listen to normal-speed Spanish, use transcripts and subtitles, too. It’s a magical feeling if you listen to a podcast, an interview, a speech, or a recorded dialogue for the first time, and you don’t understand anything, but then you work with a transcript and listen repeatedly to the same audio and, all of a sudden, it just clicks, and you understand! This will happen to you too if you follow this advice. So you should see our videos that you don’t understand as a challenge, not as a hurdle :).