Monthly Archives: November 2012

Everything you need to know about ordering coffee in Portugal!

One of the great pleasures of visiting Portugal is stopping for a mid-sightseeing cup of coffee and something sweet to go with it.
The Portuguese really know how to make a good cup of coffee; it must come from their navigating, conquering and discovering new ingredients days!
Nowadays even ordering a cup of coffee in English has become more complicated what with flat whites getting confused with lattes and cappuccinos with babyccinos. I thought it wise to offer up a few tips for making sure you get what you want when you go to order a coffee in beautiful Portugal. Continue reading

How to use the verb “quedar” in Spanish.

“Quedar” is another one of those verbs in Spanish that causes confusion because it has many different meanings depending on the context. Here we will look at the most common ways “quedar” can be used in everyday conversation.

To be left over:

No me quedan.I don’t have any left.
No quedan ningunas entradas.There are no tickets left.
¿Queda leche?Is there any milk left? Continue reading

Learn Spanish and earn money at the same time – become an Aupair in Spain!

One of the best ways to learn a language and to become fluent quickly is to live and work in the country for a few months or even a few years. A popular way to do this for many young people is to work as an Aupair for a host-family. This is a cultural exchange which allows you to improve the language and learn about the culture from living with native speakers as well as earning money at the same time. In this article we will look at how one specialist Aupair agency in Spain works – “Family & Aupair”. Continue reading

Spanish “Tener” phrases (useful everyday phrases)

“Tener” is mainly used in Spanish to describe possession, however, it is also used in several idiomatic expressions which translate into English as “to be”, such as the following:

Tener (mucho) calorTo be (very) hot
Tengo calor.I am hot.

Tener (mucho) fríoTo be (very) cold
Juan tiene frío. Juan is cold. Continue reading

Portuguese pronunciation

Portuguese pronunciation especially European Portuguese can be quite daunting. I often hear people say that Portuguese sounds like Russian. Brazilian Portuguese has a softer pronunciation similar to Latin American Spanish and normally a bit easier for native English speakers to pick up. Either way, both are very nasal so when you first start speaking you could try putting a peg on your nose, but it’s best to pick up the nasal sound quickly so you don’t have to do this for long!

Let’s have a look at some basic rules for pronunciation: Continue reading

Spanish phrases for emergency situations

Having been in an emergency situation myself a couple of times when living in Spain, I know how important the following phrases can be. Read on to find out how to ask for help or to offer your help if you ever find yourself in danger or an emergency situation:

Emergency services:

ambulance: ambulancia
police: policía
fire brigade: bomberos
doctor: médico Continue reading

Spanish diminutives (-ito, -illo endings)

Especially in spoken Spanish, a diminutive suffix is added to words for several reasons, not just to say something is small. They are also used to show affection or to be more friendly. For example, by adding the suffix –ito or –cito it can change the meaning from “grandmother” to “granny” or from “dog” to “doggy”. In this article we will learn how to use diminutive suffixes in Spanish and when to use them. Continue reading

Receta de Churros (Churros recipe) [en español e inglés]

Los churros son unas pastas típicamente españolas. Estas pastas dulces suelen mojarse en chocolate deshecho y suele ser el almuerzo del domingo para muchas personas. Los churros son muy simples de hacer y, una vez fritos se conservan durante unos días aunque siempre están más buenos si son acabados de hacer. (Churros are typical Spanish pastries. These sweet pastries are usually dipped in melted chocolate and many people usually have them for a Sunday lunch. Churros are simple to make and once fried keep well for a few days although they are always better when freshly made.) Continue reading