The easiest way for a novice to learn a few basic words in Spanish is by using a free online language course from resources such as Babbel, StudySpanish.com, Fluencia or Duolinguo. Many of these programs are also available as apps for smartphones or tablets. Useful and thorough beginners' vocabulary lists are available from sources such as Rocket Languages, while Spanish language books, movies and music are excellent resources to build vocabulary.
The most useful basic words in Spanish are greetings, common questions, language and communication vocabulary, numbers, shopping and restaurant vocabulary, and vocabulary for an emergency situation. Spanish is written in the Latin script and has a two-gender noun system.
Beginners should first learn the Spanish alphabet and its pronunciation. An easy way to learn basic vocabulary is to begin with simple cognates, or words that share similar pronunciation, meaning and spelling in both English and Spanish. As many as 40 percent of all English words have cognates in Spanish.
With more than 400 million speakers of Spanish in the Western Hemisphere, there are many opportunities to practice Spanish in everyday settings and learn new basic vocabulary words. Spanish is the third-most spoken language globally behind only Mandarin and English.