Sometimes, finding someone to practice speaking with is the absolute hardest part of learning a language. Whether you’re excited to chat or anxious to speak in front of others, if you want to improve your pronunciation, it’s a good idea to record yourself. We’ll give you some tips to use any voice recorder you have and turn it into a great practice tool.
Do I need fancy equipment?
The short answer is no! You can use anything you have. Most cell phones have a voice recorder or voice memo app. If you don’t know where yours is, you could send yourself voice messages on whatever messaging app you use. If you have access to nicer recording equipment and want to use it, of course you can. You don’t need to spend any money or go out of your way. Just use whatever is convenient for you.
Record yourself repeating phrases
If you’re looking to just focus on the pronunciation of words, you can record yourself saying phrases you hear while going about your day or phrases you learned in a class. Sometimes we think we sound a certain way, but when we play back the recording, we actually sound very different! If you have access to the correct pronunciation, you can play back your recording, then compare it to the original. It helps you pinpoint exactly what you need to fix. Vowels can be tricky because there are less in Spanish than English. Also, certain letter blends, like “tr” can be difficult because the “r” is pronounced different in Spanish than English.
Record yourself speaking normally
You might be looking to challenge yourself and hear what you sound like speaking normally in Spanish. If you don’t have anyone to practice with in person, don’t worry! You can still practice dialogue on your own. For example, you can record yourself answering a question and listen to your response. It’s a great way to catch grammatical mistakes, long pauses, or mispronunciations that you might not notice in the moment.
Keep in mind that having a good mindset while practicing this exercise is very important. If you need to, you can take a few minutes to meditate or pump yourself up before recording. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t sound exactly how you want. In a few months or a year from now, when you listen to these recordings, you’ll be so proud of how far you’ve come!