Showing posts from 2013

In the Now

Are you looking for more native study material to increase your Spanish vocabulary and usability?  Then you are in the correct place, because it is now time for In the Now, where I search the internet for some of the most interesting news sources in Spanish.

Here's an article about children who are raised in the US, but are of Hispanic origin, that return with their families to Mexico.  It's a different side of the story that is not generally told about the difficulties that they then face.

After the meteorite fell on Russia, they seem to be doing fine.  Probably because it was only, as they described it, "Un pequeño asteroide."

Have you wished that you could learn more about the Pope retiring? Probably not, but if you have then check it out.  Chances are knowing some Catholic vocabulary would be useful if living abroad in a Spanish speaking country.

Vocabulary for Help and Directions

When learning a new language, some of the most practical vocabulary and phrases to learn are what are called "survival phrases."  These are vocabulary terms and phrases that would be used in an emergency or while traveling.  In my opinion they should be learned before the vocabulary for pencil, pens, desks, etc.  Because much like the calculus you learned as a senior in high school, how often will you really use that.
Here are a few phrases to know concerning directions:
I'm Lost                                                     Estoy perdido

Can I Help You?                                      ¿Podría Ayudarse?

Can You Help Me?                                  ¿Puede Ayudarme?

Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)?        ¿Dónde Está (el Baño/ la Farmacia)?

Go Straight! Then Turn Left/ Right!          ¡Vaya Ud Derecho! Pues Tuerza Ud por la Izquierda/ Derecha!

I'm Looking For John.                              Estoy Buscando A Juan.

One Moment Please!                       …

Learning Spanish through Music

There are plenty of ways to learn a language quickly and efficiently, one of the easiest and most fun is to listen to music from the countries that the language is spoken. This helps with grammar, vocabulary, and cultural references.

A simple way to learn a language is through music. Through a culture's music a student can learn regional phrases, grammar, vocabulary. There is also the possibility that the student can accidentally master a concept that they had previously struggled with. Here is a quick exercise that does not require any specialized books or software, all you need is the internet and a pair of speakers. Plus it's a lot more fun than doing grammar drills. One of the simplest ways to utilize music is through Youtube. Pick a song, and listen to it repeatedly. The first time that you listen to the song, just listen. See how much of the song that you naturally can pick up. Then listen to the song again while you read the lyrics, and next try to write the lyrics as y…

Keeping motivation high with fajitas.

Sometimes it's hard to keep the motivation going when learning a new language.  When this happens, sometimes it's best to take a step back from the grammar drills and vocabulary lists, and do something enjoyable. I personally enjoy cooking, and I learn new languages to better understand cultures, so one of the best ways that I've found to replenish my motivation is through a Latin date night with my husband or girlfriends.

This last week I decided to make fajitas similar to the ones that I would eat back home in Texas, although a little healthier. Try opting for chicken instead of pork or steak, and make sure to include plenty of different vegetables.  This will make the fajitas better and healthier for you and your family. Here's a link to the chicken fajita recipe that I used as well as a break down of the nutritional facts.

In the Now

A few articles dealing with important topics.  These articles are really valuable when it comes to adding new Spanish vocabulary.

This really is a great article. It's long and full of fairly useful words that aren't ran across regularly. Poco ejercicio y pasar mucho tiempo frente al televisor daña los espermas is an article from CNN en Español that talks about the affects that low rates of exercise have in concern to semen quality. Semen is actually a cognate and spelled the same way. I learned something new.

Here's a link to a news segment where a Puerto Rican senator discusses recent allegations of inappropriate conduct. Guess it happens regardless of what country.

How about instead of a single great article, I just give you a link to a great blog completely in spanish? Juan Jose Flores' blog covers a ton of different topics and is a land mine for finding native material and anecdotes. 

Review of Spanish Greetings

Here's a quick ten minute review of simple Spanish greeting and phrases.  SpanishDict regularly posts high quality videos, so feel free to check out their other videos

If you want a article over Spanish greetings, here's a great article on Spanish Formal and Informal Greetings.

How Embarazada Can Cause Embaressment-A Lesson in Spanish Cognates

When learning a new language, it is easy to find way to make learning faster and simpler. Cognates are words that sounds, look, and mean similar things in two separate languages, however there are also false cognates that can confuse and hinder a student.

One of the things that can make learning Spanish a lot easier is cognates. A cognate is a set of words that have a common origin (causing them to be be spelled/pronounced similarly) and similar meanings in two separate languages. Examples include liberal/liberal, rare/raro, or decide/decidir. However, beware of false cognates. A false cognates looks similar, but the words do not have a similar meaning. A prime example is the Spanish word embarazada. Although it looks like the word embarrassed, and it is pronounced similarly, the word means pregnant. A word of advice, know the difference in these two words before you try to explain to your future-mother-in-law that the reason that you don't talk much is because your Spanish makes …