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Learning of Spanish to Chinese speakers

With the development of diplomatic and business relations between China and Spanish-speaking countries in recent years, more and more Chinese people are interested in Castilian language and many of them aspire to learn this widely spread language, so that teaching Spanish as a language foreign language plays a very important role in the current Chinese context.

The Chinese people have a mother tongue that is totally different from Indo-European language and we are very special students. In my case, after having studied Spanish for about six years, I would like to share with you my learning experience and propose some tips. I hope these will help you.

To begin with, you need to ask yourself why you want to study this language and how much effort you want to make, since learning Spanish, like any language, takes time and effort, without which difficulties easily defeat you and it is impossible to advance.

Secondly, as you enter the world of Spanish, the first thing you will encounter is with phonetics. Chinese students always have problems with sound r. At the beginning everything is difficult, but do not be afraid, since in time you can also pronounce the vibrating sound perfectly.

I achieved to pronounce it while I was running in a sport class and I practised it for a month until I mastered it. Some people got it when they were brushing their teeth while others practised it with water inside their mouths. Everyone has their own trick and you too can find yours.

Intonation gives us another problem. We usually speak in a flat tone, while the Spaniards speak by varying the pitch of the voice. This is only achieved with the practice of speaking more and listening more. To improve the hearing it is highly recommended to listen frequently to the news, the radio, as well as audios and videos in www.practicaespanol.com. It does not matter that at first we can not understand everything, since the important thing is to familiarize ourselves with the tone of Spanish and its lexicon.

As for vocabulary, in addition to learning the words in the manuals, it is advisable to pay attention to the usual words in everyday life. For example, you can note interesting words or expressions that you can not use in a notebook when you listen to the radio, talk to a native speaker or read a newspaper. The study of vocabulary consists of an incessant accumulation. In addition, some posts on the net provide us with very good resources that can not be acquired in books such as the vocabulary section in Practica Español, which contains many practical lexicons, very appropriate for daily communication in different contexts.

Next, I’d like to talk a bit about grammar. Grammatical concord always presents problems in the initial phase of study, since in Mandarin Chinese this grammatical phenomenon does not exist.

Generally, the nouns that end with ¨ or ¨ are masculine and those that end with ¨a ¨ are feminine except some particular cases like sofa, map, photo, etc. The grammatical concor is not as difficult as we imagine, which in Spanish is classified in the equality of gender and number between adjective or article and noun, and equality of number and person between the verb and the subject, as it suffices to remember if the nuclear noun is male or female and if it refers to a thing or several, since the adjectives, articles and verbs always vary according to it.

When speaking of grammar, it is inevitable to mention the conjugations, which, in my opinion, is the most difficult for Chinese students. However, on these I can not give more advice only that the most useful thing is to practice and use them frequently. Little by little and with time, you will master it.

Finally, as many students do not have the opportunity to study the language in a Spanish environment, it is advisable to recommend resources that can be used only with a computer or a Smartphone and Wi-Fi. On the one hand, sometimes, we are tired of so many grammatical points and vocabularies, in this case we can turn to audiovisual resources such as radio programs, news, films, soap operas and music in Spanish, etc., which can help us get used to the rhythm of native speakers and learn about the Spanish-speaking culture.

On the other hand, when we do not know the meaning of words, in addition to xiyuzhushou, which we all use, it is advisable to use dictionaries such as the Dictionary of the Royal Academy, the dictionary of use of the current Spanish and the Dictionary Salamanca by Internet, which give more precise explanations than the Chinese dictionaries. If we have doubts about the use of words or expressions, the Pan-Hispanic dictionary of doubts is quite useful.

Han Ya / Degree in Spanish and English Philology from the University of Nanjing (July 14, 2017, PracticaEspañol)

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