If you really want to…
- know what the most important skill is to learn Spanish,
- save lots of money and months spent on ineffective methods of learning, that only cause harm to your wallet and waste your time,
- know how English can help you learn Spanish, and
- understand and apply a reliable, acknowledged and effective method of learning…
…. then read this article through to the very end.
What do you think is the most important skill for learning English?
- Or perhaps, oral comprehension?
If you don’t know which of these is most important, it can cause you to lose time and money when learning Spanish. Consequently, the learning process may be inhibited, resulting in a poor grasp of the language and an inability to communicate freely in Spanish.
The bottomline is that the most important skill to attain in any language is understanding.
Think of it for a moment. Imagine you can only say YES and NO in Spanish, but you understand everything is being said around you. For all intent and purposes, you are still able to communicate effectively with them.
However, if you don’t understand what people are saying to you in Spanish, even though you are competent in grammar or you can read at a high level, for them, you simply do not know Spanish.
This begs the question, how quickly and easily can you understand everything in Spanish?
The Pareto Principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. As far as language is concerned, we can say that 80% of understanding is determined by 20% of the elements.
Therefore, instead of struggling to know 80% of something for 20% understanding, it would be much easier, more efficient and cheaper to strive for the 20% of something that will allow for 80% of understanding.
What constitutes this 20% in Spanish?
Researchers have created a list of the 1000 most frequently-used words in Spanish, and have reached an interesting conclusion:
- The first 25 words from the list constitute 1/3 of ALL printed material and publications in Spanish.
- The first 100 words constitute ½ of ALL publications printed in Spanish.
- The first 300 words from the list allow you to understand 65 % of the language.
- And lastly, the 1000 most commonly-used words allow you to understand nearly 80% of the Spanish language!
Does this mean that knowing just 1000 words will allow you to understand a vast majority of what you hear or read in Spanish?
Yes! Although, not in all cases. In some instances, the words you don’t know might appear to be crucial for understanding the meaning of the statement or conversation. In other cases, the vocabulary you are unfamiliar with may not be crucial to comprehending the meaning, in which you’ll be able to grasp the context of the situation without knowing all the words.
Besides, you have another very important skill that will significantly help you understand Spanish. You’d never guess it, but it’s actually your knowledge of ENGLISH!
Hard to believe your knowledge of English might actually help you learn Spanish? Here’s an example: Try to guess the meaning of the following Spanish words:
biolog’a, pol’tica, democracia, psicolog’a, natural, parque, televisión, presidente
Even though you may have just now seen these words for the first time in your life, you most likely were able to figure out their meaning. How? Because of their similarity to the same words in English.
The words you understand because of your comprehension of the English language may not be considered the most frequently used, and could rarely be crucial for the overall meaning of the text. However, if you add the 1000 most commonly-used Spanish words, together with an appreciation that there will be some words you just won’t know right away (numbers, names, or proper names), you will have an incredible opportunity to understand the majority of Spanish text.
What is the best way to memorize 1000 of the most frequently-used words in Spanish? Read our article “Spanish for Beginners – What’s the Value of Learning Spanish Online?” to find out how!
About The Author
How can you learn the one thousand most commonly used Spanish words in one week and be able to understand about 80% of the language? Check http://the1000words.com/