August Festival: La Tomatina Food Fight

La Tomatina, the world’s biggest tomato food fight is an authentic Spanish celebration and perhaps the craziest fiesta in Spain. It takes place on the last Wednesday of August each year in the small town of Buñol, near Valencia. This year it takes place on Wednesday 31st August when thousands of people will arrive from all over the world to throw tomatoes at each other in the streets. The festival lasts for one week during which there is music, dancing, street parades, fireworks and paella-making competitions. Continue reading

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