Studies show that the 1000 most common Spanish words make up approximately 80% of everyday speech. Interestingly enough, this figure holds steady in pretty much all languages, not just Spanish. Furthermore, the 2000 most common Spanish words account for approximately 95% of all speech.
This is good news for learners. Inevitably, beginners who would want to learn to speak Spanish fluently observe the amount of vocabulary unknown to them and begin to feel like it’ll take years to learn enough to be able to carry on a conversation. The 1000 number above, while it sounds like a lot, really isn’t. Following my vocabulary card approach, most students should be able to learn an average of 10 new vocabulary words per days in an average of 20-30 minutes scattered throughout the day that would otherwise be wasted and unproductive anyway.
Knowing which words are most useful is another trick entirely. Most decent vocabulary card sets more or less contain to the most useful words to know, but not always. Similarly, I have seen some vocabulary lists in the past with seemingly no connection to reality; the FSI program in particular is bad at this (just how many ways are there to ask for a cigarette, anyway?). Fortunately, the most useful source I’ve come across is also the cheapest. There is a book called 1001 Most Useful Spanish Words (Beginners' Guides)s that sells for just $2 on Amazon, brand new and contains the most accurate list of common Spanish words I’ve seen yet. Realistically, an $18 total investment between 1001 Most Useful Spanish Words and a good set of vocabulary cards is probably all you’ll ever need, because it’s much easier to absorb new vocabulary organically once you’ve reached an advanced Spanish level.
Ready to get started? Buy 1001 Most Useful Spanish Words and Modern Spanish Bilingual Vocabulary Cards from Amazon today and get stared on the road to fluency!
Complement the handbook with this simple Spanish Learning system.
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