Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spanish learning tips for USMLErs

Speaking Spanish is a nice addition to your CV if you are planning to specialize in the US. Spanish is the 2nd most commonly spoken language in the US and some states especially southern ones like Texas and Florida have a huge Spanish-speaking population. Moreover, learning Spanish is fun :D

Here are some tips/methods that can help with that:

1- Language learning apps:

One of the best apps out there, it works on any device. Just make a free account and practice a bit every day to find out that you learned several thousand words without knowing.
In addition to the main “deck” offered by the smartphone app, you can study many other decks just by going to the website on a laptop and search for the language you want. The only pitfall is that the main deck doesn’t teach you grammar so you have to find other decks or sources.

Another great app which is similar to Memrise. I haven’t used it but I have heard great reviews about it.

Spanish Verbs Lite
A nice smartphone app that has a selective set of verbs with their conjugation in all tenses.
2- Social apps for languages:

Tandem and Hellotalk

Consider these apps like a Facebook/Tinder but for languages.
You enter your language and choose the language you wanna learn. These apps will match you with people who speak the language you wanna learn and you will be speaking the language that they wanna learn. Nice platforms to make “language learning friends” especially that you write about your interests so you can befriend others who have the same ones.
3- Youtube channels:

Butterfly Spanish
ِA very useful channel to boost your Spanish. I ll leave you with what Anna wrote about her channel:
“Learn Spanish for free with Spanish lessons that cover grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, tips & tricks, and cultural aspects. My Spanish lessons are for all Spanish levels and are based on my passion for Spanish culture, language, and teaching.

A great channel which has many dialogues in both Spanish and English.

You can always search Youtube to find more stuff. This is one of the playlists when I searched for Medical Spanish:
4- Immersion:

Immerse yourself in Spanish. Use your Facebook in Spanish and maybe your smartphone too. You will automatically memorize words without even trying. You ll know that “me gusta, comentar and compartir” are the Spanish words for “like, comment and share”. After a while, you ll be amazed that you are picking more and more passively.
5- songs

Songs can stick in our minds in a magical way. Look for Spanish songs and read both the Spanish and English lyrics.
6- Friends

No matter how many progs and apps we use, nothing is like having a real conversation with a human being. The MATCH journey will let you meet people from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and many many others Spanish speaking countries. Practice with your friends and ask them to correct you.

A treasure to learn languages. Many podcasts are there, among the best is: coffee break Spanish.
Listen to the audio file, learn the accent, repeat. They also provide transcripts for the audio file in PDF form.
Coffee break podcasts are available for other languages including Italian and French.
8- Time Time Time

Specify a fixed period of your day to learn/talk in Spanish. This may be as short as 5 minutes up to a few hours. It may be when you wake up or before you sleep. Just develop a habit of learning new words and practicing your Spanish daily.

Some suggestions from the readers:

> Meetup
As the name suggests, this is a website through which you can meet people.
Create a free account, then choose your interests and discover groups of people who share your interests and hang out with them. Language learning is among the things you can choose and especially in the US, you ll meet many people who wanna learn Spanish.

>" Spouse - induced"learning
Some friends stated that having a spouse is one of the biggest motives to learn a new language :D

Comment below if you know any more tips/programs/apps/books that can help in mastering EspaƱol  :)



  1. Hey, thank you so much for this post! it helps.
    I have a rotation coming up in the state of Texas

  2. Thanks for sharing! I didn't hear of "tandem" and "hellotalk" before, helpful info! :)

  3. this was a great help. thank you murad. you being the bestest person who gains Power by sharing knowledge.


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