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7 Books to Help You Learn and Master the Spanish Language

Learning another language is always a challenge, especially if you're not immersed in an environment that allows you to practice it constantly. Because that's what every expert will say you need to perfect a new language – practice, practice, practice. While Latin languages are among the easiest to learn for us English-speakers, mastering them is another story.

These seven books are not for those who simply want to learn how to say hola, adiós, and dónde está el baño. They're for those who want to learn how to serenade their cariño with a sweet Spanish lullaby. Or for those who want to make their way through Spanish-speaking Latin America by trading stories for meals and transport. Or simply, for those who have a sincere love for the Spanish language.

¡Buena suerte!

Practice Makes Perfect Basic Spanish, Second Edition

Bite-size lessons. Big-time learning, now with digital support, Practice Makes Perfect Basic Spanish is a trusted and proven companion for your Spanish-learning experience. In each bite-sized lesson, author Dorothy Richmond explains one - and only one - grammar concept and illustrates it with many clear examples. The accompanying exercises let you practice, practice, practice what you have learned. Although these lessons are purposely short so you can complete them in twenty minutes or less, you can go at a pace that works for you.

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1001 Pitfalls in Spanish

Students learning Spanish on both elementary and intermediate levels will find this book a useful supplement to their main textbooks. It reviews the most commonly-made errors in speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. The authors focus on tricky vocabulary, idioms, technical terms, and other details in Spanish grammar and usage that differ markedly from English. This newly updated edition has been given an attractive new layout and cover design with type in a second color to emphasize keys points, as well as a larger page count. Students will also find more examples and exercises with answer keys.

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Spanish English Bilingual Visual Dictionary

Newly revised and updated, the Spanish–English Bilingual Visual Dictionary is a quick and intuitive way to learn and recall everyday words in Spanish.

Introduces a range of useful current vocabulary in thematic order, this dictionary uses full-color photographs and artworks to display and label all the elements of everyday life—from the home and office to sport, music, nature, and the countries of the world—with panel features on key nouns, verbs, and useful phrases.

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Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish

Many language books are boring-this one is not. Written by a native English speaker who learned Spanish the hard way-by trying to talk to Spanish-speaking people-it offers English speakers who have a basic knowledge of Spanish hundreds of tips for using the language more fluently and colloquially, with fewer obvious "gringo" errors. Writing with humor, common sense, and a minimum of jargon, Joseph J. Keenan covers everything from pronunciation, verb usage, and common grammatical mistakes to the subtleties of addressing other people, "trickster" words that look alike in both languages, inadvertent obscenities, and intentional swearing. He guides readers through the set phrases and idiomatic expressions that pepper the native speaker's conversation and provides a valuable introduction to the most widely used Spanish slang. With this book, both students in school and adult learners who never want to see another classroom can rapidly improve their speaking ability. Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish will be an essential aid in passing the supreme language test-communicating fluently with native speakers.

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The Big Red Book of Spanish Idioms

This is the most comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to idioms used in Spanish and English. Idioms are the heart and soul of a language as it's actually used, and Spanish has thousands of these mystifying expressions - most of which you won't find in any bilingual dictionary. With The Big Red Book of Spanish Idioms you'll never be in the dark about the meanings of idioms and colloquialisms used across the Spanish-speaking world. And you'll never be at a loss for the right turn of phrase when speaking or writing Spanish. By matching Spanish idioms with English expressions of a similar tone or register, this dictionary makes an ideal reference not only for students of Spanish but also for Spanish-speaking learners of English.

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The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice, 3rd Ed.

More rigorous than ever, the bestselling intermediate-level workbook has been expanded into a comprehensive, dynamic digital/print study tool that engages students in a variety of ways.Based on the principle that strong grammar skills are necessary for foreign language mastery, The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice explains and illustrates important grammar concepts with lively sentence examples, and it provides 400 engaging exercises that are contextualized, with scene-setting instructions in Spanish. 

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Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish

Anyone can read, write, and speak Spanish in only a few short weeks with this unique and proven method, which completely eliminates rote memorization and boring drills. With a creative and proven approach to language learning, Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish is a fun and effective way to learn a second language.

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Have I missed something that you feel should be included on this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Egyptian-American food enthusiast born in Chicago, raised in Beirut, and living in Dublin. Regional Ambassador at Bookwitty. Intimately familiar with the term "identity crisis".

3 Comments

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gareth
Nice list. I learnt Spanish with a "frequency dictionary" which shows you which words are most used, along with a parallel text, a book of short stories in both English and French, which helps you to improve your level with with simplified versions of texts from authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende,
Carlos Fuentes and Julio Cortazar. Not for beginners, but an excellent choice for anyone wanting to improve their Spanish. I'll link to both books on this page.
gareth
Good selection of spanish frequency dictionaries here : https://www.bookwitty.com/search?q=frequency+dictionary+spanish

Short stories in spanish (with english translations) :
https://www.bookwitty.com/book/short-stories-in-spanish/97801402654150000000