Learn 93% of the Spanish Language in 66 Days

31.03.2017 |

Episode #5 of the course How to speak Spanish fluently for beginners by Rype


Many of us begin to learn languages only to waste hours of time learning words that we will either never or rarely use. It’s very unlikely that we’ll ever need to know how to say “aardvark” or “idiosyncratic” in Spanish (think about how often you use this in your everyday conversations in your native language!).

In fact, if these uncommon words ever did come up in a conversation, you’re more likely to remember the word because you’ll always have a reference point to go back to, instead of learning it beforehand.

You’ll be surprised how far you can manage a friendly conversation with very few words by solely relying on understanding the context of what’s happening around you and nonverbal communication.

Today, we’re going to share why you should focus on the most common Spanish words, the research behind it, and how you can get started.

A study done on the Spanish language revealed that:

Studying the first 1000 most frequently used words in the language will familiarize you with 76.0% of all vocabulary in nonfiction literature, 79.6% of all vocabulary in fiction literature, and 87.8% of vocabulary in oral speech.

Studying the 2000 most frequently used words will familiarize you with 84% of vocabulary in nonfiction, 86.1% of vocabulary in fictional literature, and 92.7% of vocabulary in oral speech.

And studying the 3000 most frequently used words will familiarize you with 88.2% of vocabulary in nonfiction, 89.6% of vocabulary in fiction, and 94.0% of vocabulary in oral speech.

Without throwing too much research and data at you, these findings bring us to a simple conclusion that can save you a lot of time.

Learning and mastering the first 2,000 most common words will be an essential milestone we should achieve in any language, as this will allow us to:

• grasp over 92% of vocabulary in oral speech (and most of us are learning with the sole intent to converse with another native speaker)

• express everything we could possibly want to say

In fact, taking the leap from the 2,000 to 3,000 most frequently used words will only provide us a mere 1.3% additional knowledge (92.7% → 94%), which is significantly marginal to achieving our desired results. It’s fair to say that while investing our time to learn the first 2,000 gives us a great return on our time, any efforts after are most likely not worth our time.
How to go about learning the most common words in Spanish

To serve the purpose of this guide on how to learn languages, we’re going to create a challenge for you to learn 30 of the most common words per day.

This means that after 90 days, you will have learned over 2,700 of the most common words, which is more than enough to understand the language.

However, we also know how busy you are, which is why we’ve added a buffer, so that even if you skip weekends, you will have an average of 22 days per month to learn, which rounds up to 1,980 words learned even if you skipped every weekend.

Most importantly, the best way to learn is not simply to memorize the words in Spanish but to actually use them. Remember: use it or lose it!
Follow-up references

Most common Spanish words:

1,000 most common Spanish words (audio version)

1,000 most common Spanish words (flash card version)

5,000 most common Spanish words (Memrise)


Your challenge

1. Take a look at the most common words we’ve referenced above.

2. Organize the words into physical flashcards, digital flashcards, or any other methods that fit you.

3. Schedule your memorization sessions in your calendar and set up a recurring session on a daily basis for the next 90 days.

Tomorrow, we’re going to help you master grammar using the eight golden sentences. This will help you understand how grammar works in Spanish and give you a direct comparison to English grammar.


Recommended book

“Easy Spanish Step-By-Step” by Barbara Bregstein


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