How Can I Practice Speaking Spanish If I Have No One To Talk To?


I'm 13 years old, and I grew up bilingual speaking English and Japanese. Right now I'm learning Spanish, and I'm fairly certain of my ability to read and write in Spanish, but when it comes to speaking, I fall short.

My family still worries about me talking with strangers on programs like Skype etc. so that one is out of the question for now. I've also asked one of my Spanish-speaking friends if she could help me practice, but she hasn't responded since for some reason.

Will I just have to wait to practice speaking? I'm currently in Spanish class right now, but they just don't give a lot of chances to practice actually speaking.

updated Feb 12, 2017
posted by MuffiRyv
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6 Answers


There are native Spanish speakers all over the world. I do not know which country you are based in. When I learned Spanish at school we had a teaching assistant from a Spanish speaking country who helped us with conversation. You have a great advantage over many people as you already speak two languages fluently and as one of them is English it has some similarities in language and grammar to Spanish.

Can you ask your friend and your teacher if there is someone who would like to practice with you? Meanwhile listen to as much Spanish as you can using youtube, rtve and music sites so you improve your listening skills and whenever you have homework or if you read something, read it out loud. Sing along to music, it improves your vocabulary and you get used to the rhythm of the speech, You want to get used to hearing and making new sounds. Many apps for ebooks will read it to you and you can usually download a few chapters for free.

I know of sites where you can talk to people from other cultures, but listen to your parents and be guided by your teacher.

Finally sign up for veintemundos

a free electronic magazine which includes videos and audio.

Buena suerte

updated Jan 19, 2017
posted by Mardle

I am kind of in the same boat as you right now! Maybe you could try to find someone in your Spanish class that would also like to speak Spanish with you. You could also only talk to your Spanish teacher in Spanish. Teachers are great, because they can also correct your Spanish as you have a conversation. I am sure your teacher would be thrilled to have a student interested in actually learning Spanish and not just taking the course because they have to. Also, great job on already knowing two languages! That is so awesome.

updated Feb 10, 2017
posted by k_nelson
K_nelson you have a wonderful attitude and are a very sweet person.♥
Thanks Dani! That is wonderful compliment.

Here in New Orleans, we have a lot of people from Latin America, but it's still not so easy to speak frequently with Spanish speakers. I was able to find an authentic Mexican restaurant near my office where all of the workers are native or 1st generation Latin Americans, and they all speak Spanish as their first or equivalent primary language. When I first went there, I simply told my waitress, in Spanish, that I was learning Spanish, and if it wasn't any trouble, could we speak together in Spanish? She agreed, and it was great.. We chatted a bit when she had time, and now I go there about once each week when I can, and I always am able to practice.

I would suggest you look for a restaurant or cafe like that. If you see people who work near you who speak Spanish, speak to them. Cashiers at stores, maybe a neighbor, anywhere there are people.

Are there Latino support organizations in your area? Get involved and volunteer with them. Are there any Spanish or Latino organizations? There is one here, just a group of people who get together once a week to speak Spanish to each other as a way to practice.

Finally, there are tutors from Spanish-speaking countries in Europe and Latin America who can teach you and practice with you on-line, like with Skype.

íBuena suerte!

updated Feb 10, 2017
posted by Winkfish
Muchas gracias :)

I had the same problem a long time ago. There were no Latinos in my community. I subscribed to "Selecciones del Readers' Digest and I had a short wave radio receiver. This was before the Internet. I also used an old, battered Underwood typewrite (no word processors or computers in the '70's) to write dialogues. I would read them out loud. My parents had the choice of the drum set or the reading. They chose the latter. Also, any book that I could get my hands on was fair game.

The hardest word for me to pronounce was "Revillagigedo". Nowadays it is "acelerador".

updated Feb 12, 2017
posted by DonBigoteDeLaLancha

You don't say where you are located. If there are no Spanish speakers where you live, then the problem is tough to solve. If your school has a Spanish Club, there might be a chance for some conversation there. I was President of my Spanish Club in high school and was very interested in helping the new learners.

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updated Feb 10, 2017
posted by Daniela2041

I hold a degree in language teaching, actually I teach Spanish online, my Skype is antonio.balbas1, I also use Google Hangouts. Your friend didn't answer because no Spanish native speaker is interested in practicing Spanish, your friend doesn't want to commit to a schedule for nothing, she or he doesn't need to practice Spanish, you do, you need a tutor. your parents can monitor your clases no problem.

updated Feb 10, 2017
posted by DoctorSpanish
Estimado Doctor: No estoy de acuerdo con usted. No se puede decir que "ningún" hispanohablante desea ayudar a los que quieren aprender. Siempre --aun de muy joven yo ayudaba a los principiantes, y también algunos de mis amigos hacían igual. Hay muchos
hispanohablantes que se complacen en ayudar a los que quieren aprender.
Yo nunca use la palabra ayudar, dije practicar, otra cosa es pedirle a un nativo que le enseñe.
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