Watch out for “False Friends” in Spanish!

In Spanish there are many false cognates – words that look the same as an English word but they have a completely different meaning. This can be confusing and may lead to misunderstanding. Here are the most commonly used “false friends” to watch out for.

1. actual in Spanish means current/present. (To say “actual” in Spanish, use real / verdadero)

2. asistir = to attend NOT to assist (ayudar)

3. atender = to take care of/attend to NOT to attend (asistir)

4. bizarro = brave NOT bizarre/strange (raro / extraño) Continue reading

Learn with native French, German, Italian & Portuguese tutors

One-to-one Skype lessons with native French, German, Italian & Portuguese tutors

We are delighted to offer one-to-one language tuition via Skype with qualified native Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and German tutors. We have carefully selected the most talented and enthusiastic native tutors to continue providing a high quality tuition service. Continue reading

Tips for developing good business practice in Spain

Build successful relationships

Spanish people like doing business with people they know and trust, therefore it is a good idea to spend enough time getting to know and building rapport with your colleagues. This is crucial for good business practice in Spain.
Once you have built up a good relationship with someone, this will continue regardless of whether you stay with their company as they have got to know you as a person rather than the company you work for. Continue reading

How to use “Vaya” in Spanish

The most popular “Vaya” expressions are:

¡Vaya! Oh dear! / Oh my God! / Fancy that!
Vaya, vaya, vaya. Well, well, well.
¡Que te vaya bien! Hope it goes well (used when parting)
¡Vaya con Díos! Good-bye (an old-fashioned way of saying good-bye. Literally “Go with God.”) Continue reading

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