Monthly Archives: July 2011

A tricky Spanish verb: Quedar

Quedar is a difficult verb to learn in Spanish as it has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Here are the most common ways it can be used:

When used reflexively with “se”:  (1) Quedarse = To stay
Me quedé en un hotel en Madrid. I stayed in a hotel in Madrid.
Nos quedamos aquí. We’ll stay here. Continue reading

Interactive Spanish Picture Dictionary

Learn words quickly and easily with an interactive Spanish Picture Dictionary.

Although a standard Spanish-English dictionary is an invaluable resource, by combining the word with an image it is a much more effective way to learn and retain key vocabulary.
From client feedback it was clear that they needed a more useful method to learn words rather than just memorising word lists. As a result, I created an interactive Spanish Picture Dictionary with Powerpoint. It is organised into 20 key topic areas including over 800 slides. Continue reading

Hone your bargaining skills in Spanish

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a bargain? Haggling with native market sellers is the ideal opportunity to practise your Spanish with the locals. After recently using my Spanish haggling skills successfully(!) when buying souvenirs in Buenos Aires, here are my top tips for getting the best items at the best price at any Spanish-speaking market.
Top Tip: Arrive early! Stall holders usually want to make a quick sale to kick start their day, so will be eager to sell at any price if you go first thing.

Continue reading

Popular Spanish Sayings (refranes)

After collaborating with Spanish friends, we have come up with a list of the top sayings (refranes) used every day in Spain today.

1. Cuando las ranas críen pelos. (Lit. When frogs grow hair.)
English equivalent: When pigs might fly. / When hell freezes over.

2. A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda. (Lit. God helps the one who rises early.)
English equivalent: The early bird catches the worm.

3. No hay que empezar la casa por el tejado. (Lit. You mustn’t start the house before the roof.)
English equivalent: Don’t put the cart before the horse. Continue reading

20 Brilliant ways to improve your Spanish!

Are you looking for more interesting and fun ways to improve your Spanish that do not take much time or effort? The following ideas from learners will inspire you and keep you motivated. As there are so many options available, I would suggest trying one idea at a time so that you don’t become completely overwhelmed. Continue reading

10 Great reasons to learn Spanish

1. Spanish is spoken everywhere!

There are over 330 million native Spanish speakers in the world and Spanish is the most widely spoken language after Mandarin Chinese and English. This is only likely to grow over the next few decades. Spanish is spoken in more countries than French and German; most of South America, Spain, parts of the US, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines and even parts of Antarctica. Continue reading

How can I help my child learn Spanish?

When is the best age for my child to start learning Spanish?

The simple answer is “the sooner the better”! Children start to pick up sounds all around them from the moment they are born and by the age of two they are quickly absorbing everything they see and hear. It has been proven that the earlier a child starts to learn a second language, the more likely they are to speak it as fluently as their first language. Additionally, it has been shown that children who have been learning a foreign language become high academic achievers, outperforming their peers. On leaving school and applying for jobs, if your child knows a second language they will have a competitive edge over those who don’t.
So if you want your child to excel in school and have the best opportunities when entering the workforce, encourage them to learn Spanish as soon as possible. Continue reading

How will learning Spanish make my business succeed internationally?

Spain is rapidly becoming one of the most important languages for business. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries. It is the third most spoken language in the world today and the second most used language for business. Globalisation is making the business world a much smaller place and those with knowledge of Spanish will have a clear competitive edge over those who only speak English. How nice would it be to be able to offer your product or service to other countries? Continue reading