I have started studying Spanish on my own. Foreign English speaker, the hardest part is learning how to pronounce the alphabet. And so used to pronouncing letters a certain way, that it is very hard to read words out of the dictionary and pronounce them properly. In fact, if I read words that is the dictionary, it is totally incomprehensible to the locals.
Still, and better off than attempting to read Thai at the Thai dictionary. When I arrived at the airport in Bangkok, I called a hotel and attempted to read a phrase from a phrase book. It came out his complete gibberish. Probably, the man who answered thought I was drunk. He hung up on me. It took me a long time to learn how to speak any Thai at all. And I had no luck using a Thai dictionary at all.
Spanish though, is much easier. I will be able to read from a dictionary, when I learned how to pronounce the letters properly. For example the letter “i” should be pronounce like an “e”. This is very hard to get used to.
And training myself with flash cards and I made. On the front of each card, I have the letter of the alphabet. On the back of each card, I have the correct pronunciation. The use my own phonetic system that makes sense to me.
After a few hours of drilling over a couple of days, and able to pronounce most so letters correctly most of the time. What a difference this makes! I find it and able to actually read words out of the dictionary, even though I do not really know how to speak any Spanish yet.