Around the world are scattered millions of Spanish speakers and also those looking to gain a greater understanding of the language. This can, at times, be very difficult and there are a great deal of errors and pitfalls to trap those who stray from the path of diligence. Here are a few of the mistakes commonly made by those learning languages and Spanish in particular.
The number one mistake in any language is guessing at a word's definition based on a rough English equivalence. These are sometimes known as false friends and are very easy to get confused. Cognates are words which are “borrowed” from other languages and the Spanish and English languages are both full of Latin Cognates making it very easy to assume they both mean the same thing. In most cases you can guess correctly but in other cases it is not so straight forward.
Since there is very little difference between present tense forms for many English verbs, we need to clarify who is doing the verb. This is known as the subject of a sentence and can often be replaced by a subject pronoun; he, it, she, I you etc. In Spanish, the verb forms all differ and thus pronouns are rarely used unless there is a change of subject in a sentence. Many beginner speakers tend to add extra pronouns where they simply aren't required. This habit tends to fade with increased practice; once you get more accustomed to the language.
A general tendency when learning a foreign language is to translate what you wish to say directly into a word for word procedure. This is called verbatim translation and it isn't authentic, which is why it should be avoided if you are to improve your languages skills. Using idiomatic language is very difficult and this is one of the reasons why learning words and their English equivalent isn't necessarily the best way of learning a language. We have all heard a foreign person speaking English in the wrong order and this is how your Spanish will seem if you make this mistake. You must always remember that English is a Frisian language and is not part of the same language group as Spanish. For this reason the sentence and grammatical arrangements will differ, sometimes to a very large extent.
As with learning any foreign language, you need that little piece of confidence in order to take the first leap from the nest and have a go at saying the words. Spanish has a slightly more extensive alphabet that English and the pronunciation features aren't always similar. Amongst the pronunciation difficulties are the reversal of b and v sounds in Spanish and also the double l sound becoming an English y sound. This can be very confusing at first but as long as you listen as well as reading the language you will be able to pick up the correct pronunciation in no time. Humans are naturally able to pick up a language so don't be scared to rely on your instincts.