Are you planning to travel to Spain or to one of the other Spanish-speaking countries? (Picture left: Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain)
Then practicing your Spanish with these Spanish language games may be for you!
You'll also know from our previous blogposts that learning, at the very least, basic numbers, some essential vocabulary, and common phrases has been very useful to us in travels to countries whose languages we don't speak.
We won't promise that you'll speak Spanish fluently after reading this post and playing the four games. We're convinced, however, that you'll remember some of the words and phrases and will be able to use and pronounce them.
Some Simple Tips
Always say the words and phrases aloud, or if you're on a bus or standing in line, mouth them to yourself, silently. Then when the coast is clear, say them OUT LOUD from memory.
A good way to learn phrases and expressions is to practice them as "chunks," not as a series of individual words.
Some phrases are idiomatic and have a meaning that's quite different from the meaning of the words in it. Learn them as a whole.
Lots of repetition is essential. We rarely learn something just by hearing and saying it once.
Our mouth has to learn what muscles to use to make the right sounds. The particular combination of sounds that makes up a phrase has to get lodged in our brain. And, our brain has to connect sound to meaning.
No matter what your approach is to learning Spanish, speaking words and phrases out loud and writing them out by hand will help you remember them.
Numbers come in handy for exchanging phone numbers, giving your address, arranging a time to meet someone, buying at a market, paying the bill in a restaurant, buying tickets, making reservations, etc.
In general, knowing the numbers 1-100 will suffice. Spanish numbers are not difficult, all you need is say them enough so they become automatic.
Here's a game to practice the Spanish Numbers in a fun way. ("Word Invaders" screen, above left)
2. Question Words
In English, common interrogatives - with the exception of "how" - tend start with "wh-" (when, where, why, who, what, which)
With the exception of "¿dónde?" (where), common Spanish interrogatives have a "k-" sound, which is spelled either as a "q," or a "c-." That's something you have to learn extra.
Also, as question words, these all have an accent: ¿qué?, ¿por qué?, ¿quién?, ¿cuándo?, ¿cuánto?, ¿cuál?, ¿cómo?, ¿dónde?
Here is another Game to practice the most common Spanish question words. ("Snap Cloud" screen, above right)
3. Common Adverbs
With adverbs you can add important and precise information to what you're saying, for example, when, why, how, or where something is happening.
Note that some of the adverbs in this game can also function as adjectives. But in the sentences that give you the context, we are just using them as adverbs.
4. Everyday Phrases
Learn and practice 8 conversational phrases with this fun and quick game.
You'll be using these phrases often when talking in Spanish - with someone at a party, in a café, at a store, online, on Skype, etc. ("Deal no Deal" screen, right)
Make this your start to remembering phrases and expressions: This way you don't even have to think about grammar.
If you're having fun with our approach and these games, you'll find additional Quick Games for French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Inglés on our site.
Or why not try our FREE Spanish 1 course: David en España. With its 36 fifteen-minute lessons you'll learn over 600 new words. But, even more importantly, you'll practice the phrases and sentences of a travel story – useful, real life language that you'll be able to put to use when visiting Spain, Mexico, or one of the many other Spanish-speaking countries or regions .
And just maybe you'll also get enchanted by Spanish songs such as “La Paloma”. If “La Paloma's” history interests you, or if you want to learn it's original (Spanish) lyrics, click on La Paloma Lyrics- Learning Spanish With a Song.
You Want to Learn Spanish Fast?
Not everyone will agree with Benny Lewis', the Irish Polyglot's statement: Why Spanish is easy!
But, if you are serious about learning Spanish - and even before you buy or subscribe to any expensive courses, you may want to learn more about Benny's approach.
We can also recommend our other partner site, Lingualia. It is FREE (unless you want to learn faster with the premium version).
We are practicing with Lingualia ourselves and you can read my recent post:"Lingualia" - Learning Spanish (or English) - A Review.
You may not have the time or motivation to learn a language to fluency before traveling.
However, knowing some key vocabulary and phrases will go a long way to making your trip more enjoyable. It will also be quite helpful in many circumstances, and who knows, perhaps get you out of tricky situations.
Bio: Ulrike Rettig is the co-founder of Gamesforlanguage.com. She is a lifelong language learner, growing up in Austria, the Netherlands, and Canada. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and leave any comments with contact.
Disclosure: The links above are to a partner's program with revenue sharing, if you decide to buy or subscribe.