Learning to speak medical Spanish means that you need to dominate medical terminology in Spanish. Here are some time-tested strategies for learning medical Spanish vocabulary:
When you’re in the DIY language learning mode – a few tips will really help you. Here are some pointers that we like to share with our medical Spanish students in Colorado and online:
- When you’re studying medical Spanish terminology, you have to study it in both directions to before your really know it (ex. Spanish – English & English – Spanish). You are strengthening different skills when studying in each direction. When you study terms Spanish – English, you are working on your ability to comprehend Spanish terms (and convert them to English terms in your brain). When you study terminology from English – Spanish, you’re working on your ability to recall and use (produce Spanish based on the English term you’re familiar with) that term when you need it in a conversation.
- You have to separate your flashcards into different piles. At a very minimum, you need a “got it” pile and a “still working” pile. Focus on the “still working” pile until they all move over to the “got it” pile. If you don’t rattle off the correct answer within 1-2 seconds of viewing a term, you should keep it in the “still working” pile.
- Frequency is better than intensity. Cramming is no bueno when it comes to learning medical Spanish terms. Work at this terminology little by little over time. I always say that 15 minutes a day is better than 1-2hrs randomly and infrequently. Everyone can steal 15 minutes a day. Maybe if you have a favorite show you watch in real time, try muting those annoying commercials and studing some vocab.
- Say the terms out loud. You have to practice saying these terms, not just recognizing them and silently reviewing them in your head. The more your practice, the more comfortable you’ll be using them in real life.
- Study with a buddy. It’s always more fun to learn with friends, right? Share this page with your amigos and see if anyone wants to have a weekly coffee date with you to quiz each other and practice your medical Spanish!
And, by the way – if you’re trying to learn Spanish for healthcare, we’ve got the Medical Spanish you need! Stay tuned on Facebook for all the latest learning tips and free giveaways…
Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you!
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