15 Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing in Spanish
Writing in Spanish is one of the most important skills you can acquire while learning the language. However, sometimes writing is overlooked, as most people focus on learning how to speak.
Keep reading to learn why improving your writing in Spanish is so important, what types of texts in Spanish you may need to write at some point in your personal or professional life. Plus, get 15 clever tips to help you write better in this new language you’ve chosen to learn!
Why Improve Your Writing in Spanish?
It’s quite normal that Spanish students prioritize acquiring speaking and listening skills over writing and reading ones. However, writing in Spanish can do wonders to your learning progress, as it helps you solidify the grammar structures learned and organize the way you express your ideas in Spanish.
Also, these days it’s impossible to avoid writing altogether. Just think about how many times you’ve written something today. There’s no way around it. If your goal is to achieve fluency in Spanish, you will have to learn and improve your writing in Spanish.
Types of Texts You Might Need to Write in Spanish
Depending on your future plans, the different types of texts that you’ll be writing in Spanish could include text messages, friendly or formal letters, professional emails, your resumé, or perhaps even a job application.
There you have it; writing in Spanish covers all kinds of situations. From friendly, informal conversations to formal business documents, you need to be prepared to write them properly in Spanish.
15 Ways to Improve Your Writing in Spanish
In order to cover every learning level, I’ve divided these 15 tips into the categories of beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Feel free to skip to the tips most appropriate for you.
5 Tips for Beginners
Before starting to write, brainstorm everything you want to cover in your text. This simple exercise of thinking beforehand helps not only with your writing in Spanish but also with any kind of writing.
2. Think in Spanish
As soon as you start preparing your text, think in Spanish all the time. That’s the only way you will improve your writing in Spanish. Trust me on this, if you think and work in English with the idea of translating your text later, you will only create more problems for yourself and your text will lack coherence.
I know it can be hard to think in Spanish, especially at the beginners level, but if you force yourself to do it now, you’ll save yourself trouble at later stages of your Spanish writing progress.
3. Choose Your Verbs Before You Start Writing in Spanish
Dealing with verbs is one of the hardest-to-master grammar concepts in Spanish. The conjugation of irregular verbs can get especially tricky, so a good way to avoid trouble with them is writing down the verbs you plan to use and have their conjugation cheat sheet at hand.
As your feeling for the language keeps growing, verbs conjugations will start coming to you in a more natural way, and you won’t need those cheat sheets, but at the beginner level, this is a great tool.
4. Use Short Sentences
I can’t emphasize this one enough. When you use short sentences, you keep your ideas clear and focused. Once you start writing long sentences, trying to cover more and more issues, that’s when you start making mistakes and the text becomes confusing for your reader. Keep it simple and straight, use short and paragraphs.
5. Set Your Keyboard in Spanish
Spanish has a series of letters, punctuation marks, and symbols that don’t exist in English. The solution is simple: set your keyboard in Spanish, both on your phone and computer, and focus on your Spanish, not technical difficulties.
5 Tips for Intermediate Spanish Students
1. Read in Spanish
The best way to improve your writing in Spanish is by reading in Spanish. Simple as that. When you read in Spanish, your brain absorbs words, sentences, structures, idioms, and even conjugations. You’re immersing yourself in a pool of Spanish. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything, just keep reading and your brain will do the rest.
2. Use Connectors
This useful tip will help you a lot with your writing in Spanish. Connectors like además, mientras tanto, por eso, are words that make the conversation flow more smoothly. They don’t change the meaning of a sentence, and they’re there just to help you ‘connect’ your ideas.
3. Organize Your Ideas
Before you start writing, make an outline of what you want to communicate and prioritize your ideas. This is the basic introduction, body, and conclusion pattern of writing which should be present in any text, not only long essays. A short text such as an email should have its own introduction, body, and conclusion, too.
4. Double-check Your Punctuation
One of the most common mistakes you can make while writing in Spanish is to forget about using the initial exclamation and question marks. It’s normal; these symbols don’t even exist in English. Make a point of double-checking your punctuation every time you write in Spanish, and with time, this won’t be an issue anymore.
5. Find a Writing Friend
Also known as Spanish language partner or language exchange partner, finding a native Spanish-speaking friend with whom you can have oral and written conversations, is a great way to take your Spanish progress to the next level. You learn by reading their messages, and it forces you to write back even if you don’t have much to say. The idea is to immerse yourself in the language and make a friend along the way!
5 Tips for Advanced Spanish Learners
1. Start Writing a Journal
Keeping a journal in Spanish helps in many ways. It’s a way to write in Spanish and give you some time to think in Spanish every day. It’s easier to write about your daily activities just for yourself than to write a formal letter. Don’t worry too much about spelling or punctuation, just let your ideas flow in Spanish. This way, when you need to write a more important text, words will come to you easily and then you can focus on your grammar.
2. Write About What You’re Passionate About
As with the journal, it’s easier to write about things that are important to you. If you start writing in Spanish about things you love, you’ll put more enthusiasm into the whole exercise. If you start with boring stuff, it’s likely that you’ll avoid practicing your writing altogether.
3. Search for Idioms
Here, I’m talking about the structures, phrases, and idioms used in Spanish that are specific to the type of text you have to write. For instance, formal letters in Spanish typically start with A quien corresponda (To Whom It May Concern) and finish with Atentamente (Sincerely). Searching for these kinds of widely-used idioms specific to the type of text you’re writing gives your writing a more proficient look.
4. Use Synonyms
Using synonyms is a sign that you’re now an advanced learner of the language. It shows that you manage an ample vocabulary and can express your ideas in many different ways in Spanish. Avoiding repeating the same word by using synonyms is what you should do when writing in your native language. Doing it in Spanish shows your progress in the language.
5. Ask for Feedback
Whenever possible, ask a native speaker or someone you know is fluent in Spanish for feedback on your writing. It could be your teacher or your language partner, but it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion.
Start Writing Today!
Finally, the only way to improve your texts in Spanish is by writing. I’m stating the obvious, but what I mean is that you need to make developing your writing skills one of your main goals throughout your learning process. Design a writing routine for yourself and follow it. Keep these 15 tips in mind and soon you’ll be making great strides with your writing.
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