Why It’s Important To Talk To Native Speakers

Why It’s Important To Talk To Native Speakers

When you’re learning a new language, there’s nobody better to help you out than someone who speaks that language as their native tongue. Spanish native speakers can be an amazing untapped resource if you’re trying to learn but it’s something that not many people put to good use.

Speaking with a native speaker can give you a whole new perspective on the language and teach you so much more than just reading the words or copying them as someone else says them. Language is more than just the text or spoken word and encompasses culture, which is best learn from people who are local to the area.

If you’re learning Spanish and are looking for a way to improve your skills or get a better grasp on the language, being able to talk to a native Spanish speaker will make all the difference. With over 400 million native speakers around the world, there are plenty of avenues to find someone to have a conversation with and improve your skills dramatically.

Language Is More Than Just Words

Group Of People Talking

When we think about learning a new language like Spanish, we probably have visions in our head of a classroom or reciting text and repeating words that will help us learn. Although this is true and a popular way to learn how to speak another language, you need to think about these words as more than just that.

Language is absolutely more than words and it has a lot to do with culture. With over 400 million native Spanish speakers on earth, it’s the second most common language and one that encompasses so many different cultures and ways of life that can only truly be experienced by visiting or speaking with a local of the area.

In addition to being a cultural thing, the process of learning language isn’t just about speaking and writing, but it’s about listening. Most of our communication is done through none verbal cues with listening being a major one, so being able to listen to a native speaker discuss things fluently really gives you a chance to hear it in a whole new light.

Why Should You Speak To Native Speakers?

Knowing what questions to ask a native Spanish speaker isn’t all that important in this process. However, there are so many great benefits to be found by finding a native and having a conversation with them while you’re trying to learn.

Learning Slang/Casual Talk

Language goes far beyond what’s learned in books or online, and you know yourself how much slang and casual talk accounts for your daily conversations. Speaking with a native may show you words you didn’t know existed.

Being Able To Listen

Learning a new language isn’t just about speaking it or writing it. Being able to listen to a native speaker talking can teach you so many things about Spanish and help you to hone all aspects of your communication skills.

Getting Feedback On Pronunciation

A native speaker may be able to give you some real time pointers about issues with pronunciation or tone that you’re having, or you can ask them to assess how you’re doing. 

Learning More About The Cultural Significance

Understanding how the words are used and what they mean in a cultural context can help you get a better grasp on them and respect and appreciate their culture.

Where Can You Find Native Spanish Speakers?

Two Guys Talking

The native Spanish speaker definition is an individual who speaks that as their first language, and possibly still lives in a region where it is the primary language. Unlike many years ago where you’d have to find one in your local area or travel to another country just to speak to someone, there are now ways you can do it online.

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the recent trend of language apps and websites that allow people to connect from all over the world. Whether you’re an American trying to learn Spanish or an Australian trying to learn Chinese, you can make a connection with a native speaker who can help you with voice and text conversations.

The internet has truly made it easier to learn another language and with Spanish being the second most common language in the world, it’s no wonder there are plenty of people willing to help. Being able to speak on one on with a Spanish native speaker means you can have a casual conversation and learn so much more in addition to your regular language studies.

The Importance Of Small Talk

It’s completely normal to feel apprehensive talking to a native speaker when you’re trying to learn their language, as the fear of making a mistake or not knowing how to respond can be daunting. However, most people appreciate the chance to help others learn and when you’re using a dedicated group or app that promotes these connections with native Spanish speakers there’s no need to be nervous.

When you think about how you speak in your day to day life, there are so many things that probably wouldn’t be taught in a class. Whether it’s slang or colloquialisms, as well as tone and tempo, speaking naturally with someone who’s also a native speaker is really the best supplemental education you can get for your language studies.

There’s only so much we can learn from a classroom setting or studying on our own, and while it will give you the vast majority of your education, there are some things you just won’t be able to study for. Getting the insight and natural feeling of a native speaker will be hugely beneficial for your Spanish language studies, so make an effort to find someone to talk to if you can.

Resources:
NYTimes
BBC

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