Maybe you are a university student preparing for your year abroad. Perhaps you are going abroad to work or study for a few months. Even if you know enough basics to get by, it can still be daunting. From my own experiences as well as ideas from current and ex-clients here are a few tips for becoming fluent quickly. Continue reading
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
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
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.
un taxi: a taxi
la parada de taxis: the taxi rank
el taxista: taxi driver
* coger un taxi: to catch a taxi
* In South America it is better to use “tomar un taxi” instead. Continue reading
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
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
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
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