Have you ever caught yourself saying, “Spanish speakers just speak too fast”? It can feel frustrating as a new learner to feel like you can’t keep up. The good thing is, you don’t have to listen to everything at the original pace. Yes, the goal is to understand regular communication, but that takes time! If a video is too fast, you can slow it down.
But I thought I needed to practice with authentic sources?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to practice with authentic sources, and with people that speak Spanish natively. However, sometimes, it’s just too fast. Lots of new learners feel frustrated because they feel like if they aren’t watching the original video at its original speed, they’re cheating. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, slowing down videos is actually a really great strategy to practice Spanish on your own.
There isn’t always going to be someone to practice Spanish with, which means videos are likely going to play a huge role in learning Spanish from home. It takes a little while to adjust to learning through videos, but they’re just as valuable as speaking with someone in-person. Through videos, you can be exposed to different accents and dialects that don’t necessarily live by you.
People speak too fast sometimes too
If someone speaks too fast in person, you’ve probably learned to say, “Más despacio por favor” to ask them to speak slower. You might also ask them to repeat themself if you didn’t catch what they said or you didn’t recognize a particular word that they said. You learned at the very beginning of your Spanish-speaking journey that it’s okay to ask people to slow down or repeat themselves, so why would it be different with a video?
Most video platforms have a way to play it at a slower speed, which is exactly the same as asking someone in person to speak a bit slower. Sometimes a person’s natural pace feels too quick to a learner, whether in a video or in person. You can simply play a video at 0.5 speed, or even 0.8 speed if you just need to slow it down a tiny bit. In addition, you can always rewind a few seconds, a minute, or start a video over. This is actually a privilege that you don’t always get when speaking to someone in person, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it at all. It’s a great part of the learning process to customize your own learning!