Spanish Speakers: Errors to Avoid While Learning English

Spanish Speakers: Errors to Avoid While Learning English
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Learning a second language is not as simple as learning vocabulary and grammar. There are also cultural and contextual differences that affect communication that cannot necessary be quickly learned. Here are some key challenges which Spanish speakers face while learning English.

  • Spanish structures language differently than English.
    Spanish places negatives first such as "no hablo Inglés," which directly translates in English to "no I speak English." Proper English would be "I do not speak English."

  • Words are more gender-coded in Spanish.
    In Spanish, if a female is holding an object, that object takes on a feminine connotation. English does not divide its nouns into different versions based on the genders they are associated with.

  • Spanish is usually spelled closer to how it sounds more than English.
    English has many words such as "cough" and "foreign" with extra letters that are silent. Many English words have strange spellings because they come from various other languages.

  • Spanish uses titles for Mr., Mrs. and Miss more than in English.
    It is common in Spanish to identify females by their marital status such as "Señora" for "Mrs." and "Señorita" for "Miss." whereas English does not necessarily always use such formal titles. Men are often called "Señor" for "Mr." in Spanish.

    Read Also: What Are the Challenges in Spanish Translations?

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  • English pronunciations are more inconsistent than Spanish.
    There are multiple ways to pronounce certain words in English based on context. There are also many words in English that have multiple definitions. This is something that Spanish is void of.

  • English has more dialects than Spanish.
    English is a constantly evolving language that incorporates many new expressions. Young people and subcultures often have unique sayings that are different from the mainstream.

  • Problems with using vowels and consonants.
    Spanish speaking individuals may have trouble with English vowels and consonants. It has an extra letter ñ and rolls the “r” sound. The vowels a, e, and i can present problems for Spanish speakers trying to learn English since they are not always pronounced consistently.

  • English uses tense differently than Spanish.
    The English sentence "I will see you tomorrow" may be incorrectly translated. The Spanish speaker may say "I see you tomorrow."

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.