Spanish is a very rich language; the RAE dictionary has about one hundred thousand words, of which an ordinary person uses about three hundred a day. A person with a high level of culture can use up to five hundred.
Learning vocabulary in Spanish that is considered more advanced is complicated even for Spanish speakers.
If you wonder what is the best way to improve your Spanish vocabulary, iScribo shows you some tips. They are all compatible, in fact, you will see that you can use them all at the same time and that they complement each other. The more ideas you put into practice, the more you will learn.
1. Identify your Level and Needs
Before you know how to learn Spanish vocabulary, you need to be clear about your level of Spanish. If you are a Spanish speaker, you already know that you have a high level, but this does not always imply that your cultural level is also high. They are very different things and there is nothing wrong if your level is lower than other people’s – nobody is born knowing!
If Spanish is not your mother tongue, think about whether you already know how to express yourself in basic or complex sentences. This will be your starting point.
Once you know your level, think about what kind of conversations you find it hard to express yourself in or what area of knowledge you need to learn vocabulary for.
Do you need to know more medical vocabulary, or do you need to learn economic vocabulary?
2. Practise Every Day
If you are a Spanish speaker, open the dictionary and start learning words that are new to you. Then use them in sentences every day to get your brain used to them.
If Spanish is your second language, practise daily with friends or colleagues and, when you learn a new word, repeat it over and over again in different sentences and contexts.
3. Read and Write
Reading in Spanish helps a lot to learn new vocabulary in this language. Try to decipher the word you don’t know from its context and if not, look it up in the dictionary. Once you know what it means, write it down in a notebook you designate for this purpose or in your mobile phone notes.
Go back to step two and repeat these new words over and over again until you are familiar with them, and they come up naturally in Spanish conversations or texts.
4. Look up Synonyms and Antonyms
The notebook trick comes in handy for writing down synonyms of words and creating associations with them.
Use a word you know and write down synonyms around it so that you internalise the diagram and can use them. This way you will create your own concept map of synonyms.
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5. Play Games
Thanks to technology and artificial intelligence we can take advantage of our mobile devices to expand our frontiers. There are plenty of single and multiplayer vocabulary games. Download one of them and challenge a friend to a game of word formation.
If you are more traditional, you can use the newspaper every day to do crossword puzzles, you can learn a lot from these.
6. Study the Origin of Words
Knowing where words come from helps you make associations with them. If your native language is different from Spanish, you will find it fun to compare words in the two languages.
Etymology also helps you create word families to expand your vocabulary. Listen, read, look it up, learn and practise.
7. Use Key Ideas
When you see or deliberately look up a word you don’t know, make up three sentences with it and then, without looking at your sentences, rewrite them.
Compare what you have written down at the beginning with what you have written at the end. I assure you that as well as laughing, you will learn.
8. Curiosity DIDN’T Killed the Cat
Be willing to learn all the time. A positive attitude of the initiative will help your senses to be alert and absorb new words more easily.
9. Use iScribo
The daily use of a spelling and grammar checker gives you the advantage of learning in real time. There is nothing like writing in Spanish and having a tool trained by a team of linguists to help you improve.
Not only do the synonyms and antonyms function help, but it also improves phraseology and suggests words that fit better in each context. Try it and tell us about it!
To Practise is to Learn!
You can follow all these tips but I am sure about what is most important of all: never be afraid to make mistakes. Learning Spanish vocabulary means getting out of your comfort zone and that always gives you a bit of respect.
Use the words and make mistakes, this is what teaches you in life. Use iScribo to correct your document as you write so that you can learn and identify what you find most difficult to learn in Spanish. Tell us, do you know any other tips to improve your Spanish vocabulary?