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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34. Hire a private tutor.

This seems obvious and is easy to do. However, in my experience, it is wise to specify a particular goal and a specific time in which you...

31. Write something in Spanish.

Writing well in Spanish is not as common as you might think. When I began graduate studies in Spanish, I was so nervous that I arrived...

30. Read a short story in Spanish.

Below is a charming, well-known short story, “Una carta a Dios.” It’s neither easy nor very difficult. Practice your reading with this....

28. Read a book in Spanish.

Make it easy on yourself at first. Most popular American writers, fiction and non-fiction, have been translated into Spanish. Choose...

23. Find a special-interest friend.

Find a topic you care about, learn the specialty vocabulary in Spanish, and keep your eyes open for a fellow enthusiast. Our grandson...

18. Collect jokes, ads, and sayings.

I collect jokes and sayings that help me remember not only words but also grammar. A former teacher would say, “¡No me digas!” when she...

17. Stock up on useful phrases.

Learn the most common useful phrases. Any tourist book has many to choose from. First, learn polite phrases: Por favor and gracias. Muy...

16. Follow this rule about mistakes.

If you say something incorrectly and realize it immediately, you can correct yourself right then and go on. This will help you learn and...