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The Witchcraft Of Spanish Vocabulary

The very first step to conquering a language is to tame its vocabulary. And sadly, that’s the part that puts off most novice learners because memorizing strange-sounding words is too darn boring! A never-ending chant of rote rehearsal and a nervous prayer can see you through an upcoming test, but the process just won’t cut it if your goal is to actually use the language in the street. It’s a mystery how this incredibly inefficient method has survived this long and still continues to be perpetuated by schools and educators around the world. So is there any nirvana around this assault of monotony in our miserable lives? Anything that could make learning foreign words less painful?

Where Do I Begin Learning Spanish: 5 Steps To Get You Started

Over the past few weeks, several readers have written in seeking advice on how to get started with their Spanish learning program. The Internet is a rich source of information and there are more answers on it than one would care to read. Problem is, information out there is far too abundant and far too amorphous for one to even begin comprehending. Same is the case with a question like “how do I start learning Spanish?” A thousand sites present a thousand different solutions ranging from wacky and controversial to conventional and predictable. To pick the right advice from the lot is an ordeal and this post attempts to simplify the process.

My Tryst With Spanish: What Worked And What Didn’t

Do you know how many languages are spoken in India? Well over a hundred! Needless to say, most Indians are bilingual, or even trilingual. And yet when it comes to foreign languages, we mostly wind up with the short end of the stick. So how did I manage to not only choose Spanish but also follow through on that choice? This is my story of how I began my journey with Spanish? There are countless stories of how people around the world have achieved their big and small language learning dreams; this one is mine. I wouldn’t stake a claim to fame for this feat but it certainly does feel good to be able to speak a foreign language finally!

5 Steps To Turning Facebook Into A Spanish Learning Machine

Facebook – don’t we just love to claim how much we hate it and how it’s ruining our daily routine? Feel free to rant but we both know who’s having the last laugh. With close to a billion users and counting, this phenomena is not going anywhere anytime soon. So you have two options: Either use it to share breakfast and cat pictures and make zero positive impact to your life; or turn the tables and make every minute you spend on it count. What do they say about life, lemons, and lemonade? Yes, it’s more than possible to turn Facebook into a solid Spanish-learning machine and make your social media hours productive! Here, we’ll learn how.

6 Spanish Words That Don’t Have A Direct English Translation

Every language has a certain character and that character is what defines it uniquely. What this terribly abstract blabber means is that every language has a portion of its vocabulary that just cannot, perhaps should not, be translated to another language – not word-for-word at least. Try translating spam or serendipity into a language other than English. This is not a defect; rather, if anything, this is what makes every language unique. So, I thought it would be fun to share with you this aspect of the language we’re all here for. And fun it was! By the end of this post, you’ll be left wishing English vocabulary were at least a wee bit richer!




Learn To Recount Your Imagination In Spanish

They say, imagination is the cheapest luxury one can afford. What few realize is that it can also be one of the most effective tool for learning Spanish. Whenever we deconstruct a sentence, we essentially break down an overwhelming behemoth of a sentence into tiny, easily understandable fragments that our minds instantly assimilate. The sentence that we are going to break down here has nothing grand about it but would prove immensely helpful if you ever try relating an account of your dreams and ambitions which in turn would build your Spanish, bit by bit. You see, imagination is also often the cheapest language teacher!

A Novel And A Movie To Teach You Mexican Spanish

Como agua para chocolate is a very commonly heard expression in some Spanish-speaking countries, particularly Mexico, and was the inspiration behind the title of a novel by the much-celebrated Mexican screenwriter, Laura Esquivel. Mexico is the birthplace of chocolate; in many Latin American countries (and of course, in Mexico as well) hot chocolate is a staple traditionally made by melting chocolate over a pot of boiling water and the phrase, como agua para chocolate alludes to this fact. It can be used as a metaphor for describing a state of intense feelings which could be anything from sexual arousal to maddening anger.

Some Costa Rican Words For Your Private Organs

Regardless of who you are and how you are learning Spanish, one of the first things that strike you as irresistibly interesting is the glossary of naughty words. There are known to be countless learners, quite unsurprisingly, who have researched and assimilated the vulgar and taboo vocabulary even before they learn how to say, “¡Buenos días!” in Spanish! Even some us might as well be one of them. And this is only human; anything forbidden charms us more. Going against the grain is human nature, more so when it comes to acquiring a language. And Spanish has on offer an extremely rich glossary when it comes to vulgarism!

How To Watch Spanish Movies For maximum Benefit

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If you wish to fight, you need to practice; reading about techniques alone won’t help. Similarly, reading about easy Spanish learning techniques alone is not going to make you speak or understand natural Spanish ever. Even if you can read Spanish perfectly well, you’ll most likely have a square, cookie-cutter accent if the only input you received was the one from those studio-recorded DVDs and tapes off expensive language courses. This is where Spanish language cinema step in to the rescue. They give you an input of Spanish the way it is meant to be spoken in real, with real accent and real pace by real Spanish speakers!

Google Images – The Best Dictionary The World Can Afford?

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Not sure about you but quite a few successful polyglots have spent a shameful amount of time hunting for the perfect Spanish dictionary before finally stumbling upon one right under their nose. Before we even start with any details here, let’s break this to you – traditional Spanish-English-Spanish dictionaries are all often full of incorrect information and are perhaps your biggest enemy if you are using them to just expand your Spanish vocabulary memorizing words off them. Well, before the likes of Oxford® and Collins® go all out suing us, let’s elaborate and ensure anyone learning Spanish stays indebted to us for life!

When Incorrect Spanish Is The Preferred Spanish

The sentence deconstructed here will illustrate Mexican colloquialism, the Spanish preterit conjugation of an irregular verb, and a demonstrative pronoun, all at once. For anyone learning Spanish, deconstructing simple sentences and reviewing them whenever possible is always way better than mugging up lists of Spanish words with their out-of-context meanings. We’ll also see here, how deliberately violating those rules of grammar and using incorrect vocabulary creatively could get you in the league of native speakers quickly. Obviously, there must be some method to this madness otherwise you run the risk of sounding naïve.

Fresh Spanish From The Mexican Barrio

The sentence that we are going to dissect today is a typical illustration of how Spanish sounds in the living rooms and the narrow alleys of Mexico. Loaded with not one but two local Mexican Spanish slang words, one of which might as well be the de-facto national expression of the country, it just doesn’t get any more Mexican than this! Other than its rich linguistic content (which is what must matter the most to those learning Spanish), there’s nothing special about this sentence which is neither a witty saying, nor a popular movie line. It is just something off a real conversation between real Mexicans in a real context.

Kill Frustration With The Language Dojo

Ever wondered why an overwhelming number of Spanish learners end up quitting hardly a few months into their programs? Even better, ever wondered why you felt like quitting learning Spanish out of sheer frustration? Where did that zeal go? Where’s that battle cry you flagged off your Spanish language program with? Today, we’ll extensively talk about a blog that answers just these questions and more! We can comfortably wager that reading the radical, game-changing notes on that blog will change the way you see learning Spanish for good because motivation is everything when it comes to learning anything. Nothing else matters.

Let Beyoncé Sing So You Learn The Spanish Adverb, Ya

The Spanish word, ya is notorious for giving immense pain to those learning Spanish even in their third or fourth year. Honestly, most of us have struggled with this word enough to have even quit Spanish for at least a while out of sheer frustration! One particularly exhaustive lesson on About.com is dedicated to this topic and so are hundreds of others elsewhere on the Internet. So, learning is never an issue; the issue is with recalling it when required. Luckily, today, we have a gorgeous teacher just to ensure we never forget the word’s usage rules anymore. If Belanova can help with gustar, Beyoncé can help with ya!

Vez Or Tiempo? Let This Latin Grammy Winner Teach You

Ever found yourself struggling with the quintessential dilemma every newbie learning Spanish faces at some stage: The choice between vez and tiempo? Both of them, says your dictionary, translate into “time” in English. Well, grammar dictates that vez is to be used when talking about instances or frequency of occurrences (e.g., this time, once, another time, twice, in turn, etc.) while tiempo fills in for all other situations. Fair enough, now how to remember this? Music to your rescue again – Here’s the perfect song to drill this piece of Spanish grammar right into you! The song in question is Por Esta Vez by Belanova.

Learn Gustar With Luis Fonsi

Not sure about all but quite a few rookie learners have often had a particularly tough time understanding the Spanish verb, gustar, which roughly – only roughly – stands for, “to like”. Well, knowing how to use gustar is no rocket-science and certainly not the hardest aspect of learning Spanish. The hard part is recalling the usage while actually conversing in Spanish. One song by Luis Fonsi appears to have been crafted specifically to address this problem. That’s the thing with Spanish music – it can do much more than just put you on the dance floor. It can simplify linguistic concepts enough to keep you in the groove!

A Nursery Rhyme For The Spanish Reflexive

Kids enjoy learning and so do we. The only difference is while we know we are learning when we are because of all the conscious efforts we are putting in, kids rarely do. How many of you ever realized you were subconsciously absorbing new vocabulary and new grammar rules while you were having fun singing along those innocent-sounding nursery rhymes as kids? To kids, they are little more than fun-filled jingles. To the Spanish learner in us, they are, or at least ought to be, opportunities. And there is no reason why we adults should pass up any such opportunities of learning Spanish especially when they don’t cost a dime.

2 Songs To Learn Those Pesky Stem-Changers

If you always hear puedo (the present tense first person singular form of poder) whenever the context is “I can”, you will have to actually try hard to come up with an incorrect podo while speaking. This is the self-correcting trait of any matured language seasoned over time like Spanish. Given the right amount of input, your Spanish can correct itself without you depending on some complicated grammatical label, such as “stem-changing verb”, and help you produce more accurate sentences spontaneously without any mental editing each time you speak. And what source can get fill you with more Spanish language than Latino music?

Most Recommended Film For The Lovers Of Peninsular Spanish

It has always been stressed here that the process of acquiring Spanish must transcend textbooks and classrooms and must include more of immersive tools and methodologies such as films and telenovelas. Watching Spanish movies is not only a great way to improve your linguistic skills and discover interesting facets of the Hispanic culture, but is also way more fun than sweating over exercises, drills, and homework. You would be conditioning your mind and ears for the unique rhythm of spoken Spanish and it’s regional dialectical nuances that a book could never teach without even realizing how those 90-odd minutes passed by!

Can Che Guevara Help You Learn Spanish?

When the 23-year old Ernesto Guevara decided to drop out of the university and make a cross-continent motorcycle trip along with his friend, Alberto Granado in 1952, little did he realize that his memoir of this trip would spawn a biopic decades later and would not only become an iconic classic but also the single most enriching window to the Argentinean culture and history available to a non-Hispanic. The powerful story of Diarios de Motocicleta makes for a perfect tool in every Spanish-learner’s arsenal who is interested in not just learning the language but also appreciate the immensely rich Latin-American culture.

Angry Mom Teaches Spanish

Here comes yet another deconstruction session where we dive right into the belly of the beast in an attempt to understand how the Spanish language really functions. Since, cramming up rules of the Spanish grammar and meanings of Spanish words off a dictionary are passé, we are doing in these sessions what we all did to get fluent and confident with our mother tongues even before we hit our first grade schools. Today’s sentence is an angry reprimand which should make it fun to dissect. Almost often a typical Mexican mother would be heard yelling out this kind of line at her bratty kids when they are being pests at bath-time.

Reps Are For Biceps, Not For Brains

Remember those days in school when you were made to repeat lists of words along with their meanings, a hundred times each, at gunpoint in an attempt to stretch our English vocabulary? Most of us do. And, not too surprisingly, the experience was frustrating at best. It’s still a mystery how this extremely dead-beat and downright inefficient learning method caught on as the winning classic that it is today in almost every school around the world! Is there a more effective alternative? Turns out there is. And it is not only more effective but also comes with zero calories! Easy Spanish must also have an easy absorption method.

3 Meanings Of Acelerado

Just like in English, words in Spanish can, and often do, take a figurative meaning that is entirely different from what it literally means depending on the context. This is the point today’s very simple yet grammatically rich Spanish-language sentence is going to illustrate. What we are going to dissect today is a construct commonplace in real conversations in Mexican households yet not endorsed by mainstream grammar books. This is exactly what this site aims at anyways – Helping you speak Spanish as spoken by real Latinos and not necessarily as always prescribed by grammar books and constructed by literary characters.

Love, Sex, And Lots Of Spanish!

If you have a weakness for everything Mexican, including Mexican Spanish, few films will teach, exhilarate, and inspire you more than this one. We dig road-trip flicks which is why Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries) is amongst our top recommendations to anyone learning Mexican Spanish or researching the Latin American culture. This is also partially why Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too) gets an article of its own here. Most importantly, the movie is a rich source of the local slang lingo and colloquialisms of Spanish as spoken in the country that has more Spanish speakers than any other in the world.

Stay Silent And Get Fluent...Quickly!

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Immersion seems so natural and yet there hardly seems to be any Spanish-learning methodology more controversial than this! Why exactly? Well, apparently there doesn’t exist a definitive answer yet but it can be vehemently affirmed that there exist more plausible evidences proving its benefits than the contrary. Actually, even the academic purists vouch for total immersion. Where, then, do we disagree? That bone of contention is called “grammar”. While academics consider it the be-all of any Spanish language acquisition program, successful polyglots unanimously counter it with what they call “silent, no-frills input”.