Do you know a little Spanish? How did you learn it? Maybe you took a class, or traveled in a Spanish-speaking country. Maybe you’ve worked through a beginner textbook, or you’re interested in people who speak Spanish.

Have you ever wanted to go beyond these first steps and learn to enjoy the Spanish you know? You can decide to use and enjoy the Spanish you have right now. It will be a great adventure. You will meet new people. It will make you feel young and exhilarated. It will exercise your brain. You will travel intelligently. You will enjoy life more.

I’ve been speaking Spanish, more or less well, for a long time. Here’s what happens: A friend greets me with, “Hola. ¿Qué tal?” I reply,”Bién, muy bién.” Then the conversation abruptly changes to English as my friend apologizes that he or she once knew some Spanish and liked it but has forgotten it all.

What a wasted opportunity. How many entertaining conversations, how many laughs could I have had by now with friends who gathered their courage and plunged into bad Spanish with me?

So come along and have fun with your bad Spanish with me. You may notice I like to have fun with my bad drawings as well!

Scroll down to enjoy more than 50 quick tips and stories to energize your love of Spanish!

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54. Look for Inspiration

I'm not always on fire to get out there with my bad Spanish. Laziness, timidity — sure, that explains most of it. But sometimes I can't...

52. Start a Meetup group.

I already talked about starting a conversation group in tip #33, but now I'd like to encourage you with the specific story of my own...

51. Find an app that works for you.

Hola, amigos del blog de mi madre! I'm Sara, one of Judy's two daughters and a guest blogger for today. I love audiobooks and...

50. Find a conversation partner.

This is it. This is the one best idea I have. This is really the way I learned Spanish. Finding a conversation partner is the most...

49. Read a cartoon book in Spanish.

The classic cartoons “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes” are available in Spanish. It helps to learn the way people really talk.

48. Use the Internet.

This goes without saying. Explore the possibilities. Keep digging until you find something you want. It should be free. You can have...

46. Rent a movie in Spanish.

It will probably have subtitles in English, but you’ll be hearing the Spanish and it will help your ear.

43. Memorize a poem in Spanish.

This is like learning a song. The words are beautiful and you can review it in your mind if you wake up in the middle of the night and...

41. Read a chapter in Don Quixote.

Establish some credentials. Read one of the famous chapters. Read the one where Don Quixote attacks the windmills, thinking they are...

40. Use “quisiera.”

It means “I would like…. “ and is the polite way of asking for something. “Quisiera una cerveza, por favor.” I would like a beer....

39. Play with “puedo.”

It means “I can,” and is almost as useful as “Tengo que . . . “ It has the same advantage that you don’t need to conjugate the verb that...

38. Play with the numbers.

Learn the numbers to 100. Then learn the ordinal numbers: first, second, twentieth, and so on. Count backwards. Learn the words for “add,...