Benny Lewis, a multi-languaged guru in the field of language learning, says “Day 1.” He speaks 11 languages so his words carry some weight. It didn’t work that way for me, however, unless you count “Hola” and “Buenos días.”
I tend to be an introvert which means I don’t do small talk well. Plus, I like to talk about ideas and stories and events and .... When people said, “Just start talking. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes,” I just shook my head. It wasn’t particularly about fear, it was having no words to say anything I wanted to say.
It took a couple of years before I realized that Benny and all the others were right … but in the wrong way … for me.
We do need to speak from Day 1. We need to start making the sounds of the new language. We need to begin the learning process with our tongues and mouths and ears. We need to say “Hola,” and “Buenos días,” and “Cómo está.”
A Different Strategy: Voz Alta
That doesn't mean we need to try to carry on a conversation with the closest Spanish speaker. (However, they tend to be very generous with their patience and time, so if that's what you want to do, go for it.) However, an easier way for a lot of us is to start talking to ourselves … out loud … voz alta.
We can read out loud, repeat new words out loud, form sentences out loud, fill our environment with the sounds of Spanish and the words that will eventually fall into line and march into the world of communication.