Jose Lira

10 Common Phases in Spanish Nurses can use at Work

Nurse scaledThere are times when knowing a few phrases in a foreign language can make a big difference at work. This is certainly the case for nurses, who sometimes get Spanish speaking patients who are still in the process of getting a hold of English. In this article, we’ll go over 10 common phrases nurses can use at work, as well as a few vocabulary words that may also be useful.

Since these phrases will generally be used in a professional environment, they’ll have a formal tone that can be used to address patients or customers at work. Let’s get started with the first one… Continue reading

Ideas for Spanish teachers: How to use Pixacat, viral photos and social media to help students learn Spanish

Finding creative ways to encourage young Spanish students to practice the language throughout the day can be as easy as realizing that most of them love two things unconditionally: funny photos and social media. So, why not use these common “distractions” to encourage students to practice a language more often?

This article will review three ideas of how to bring the power of social media and interactive learning into Spanish classrooms using Pixacat, a free photo app for the iPhone to edit cat photos that may also be an ally for Spanish teachers. Continue reading

The Mexican Revolution

Exploring the history behind the national holidays of a country is a great way to learn about its culture and the historic events that have shaped modern times. In this short article we will take a look at a few historic events related to the Mexican Revolution, as well as some of the most iconic events related to the celebration of this holiday in the present. Continue reading

Fiestas de Quinceaños

In these times of never-ending changes, sometimes it is nice to have a wake up call and take a look at the traditions that are part of the culture of another country in order to remind us that human nature is the same all over the world. Let’s take a look at the “Fiesta de Quince Años” (Fifteen Year Old’s Party) in Mexico, and we will share a few videos so you can see what these parties look like.

A “Fiesta de Quince Años” (also known as “Quinceañera”) is a special birthday party to celebrate a girl´s 15th birthday in Latin America (Yes, 15 is “quince” in Spanish, you can learn the rest of the numbers here). It is a tradition that is constantly changing to accommodate modern music styles and fads, but it´s underlying structure remains the same, it´s just the music and clothes that have changed over the years. Continue reading

Awesome place to practice Spanish: Tulum, Mexico

Learning a foreign language offers several advantages. You can get better jobs, make new friends, watch films without having to read subtitles; but among the variety of good reasons to learn a foreign language, travelling abroad and experiencing a country fully has got to be at the top of the list of many passionate travellers. Today we will look at a wonderful place to practice your Spanish, Tulum. Continue reading

Lets Practice the Numbers in Spanish with “Los Niños Gritones”

Today we will learn a little about Mexican culture, we will practice the numbers in Spanish and we will exercise our listening and comprehension skills using a short 46 second video in a creative way.
Although counting in Spanish is easy, understanding the main characters of today´s video is not as easy as it may seem at first (you’ll see, it will be interesting). Continue reading

How do Spanish accents vary throughout the Spanish-speaking world?

Travelling around the world is one of the most common reasons for learning a foreign language, and today we will take a look at a few different Spanish accents from different countries.

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world with about 400 million native speakers according to Wikipedia (See details here).

Although the Spanish language originally came from Spain, over the course of time several variations have developed around the world.

It is important to keep in mind that different variations of Spanish share similar grammar structures. The main differences can be found in pronunciation and regional words. Continue reading

“El Día de la Candelaria” – a popular Mexican tradition (2nd February)

Hi, in this short post we will talk a little about the Mexican tradition known as “El Día de la Candelaria” and we will take a look at a few phrases in Spanish that may be used in this context.
“El Día de la Candelaria” is a very popular tradition in Mexico because it involves getting together with people you like and eating free “tamales” on the 2nd of February. For those who don’t know, a “tamal” is a traditional dish made of corn-based dough which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. A “tamal” may be filled with spiced meat, cheese or vegetables.
But what is this celebration about? Why free food? you may be asking. Let me explain.

Continue reading

Healthy winter warmer recipe: Apple Strudel / Strudel de Manzana (English/Spanish)

Finding creative ways to eat healthy food does not need to be a boring affair. In this post I will share a few tips on making a delicious apple strudel your guests will love.
(Encontrar maneras creativas de comer saludable no necesita ser algo aburrido. En esta breve publicación voy a compartir algunos consejos sobre cómo hacer un strudel de manzana delicioso que tus invitados amarán.)

I hope you like it! I am Lyn Ashby and I love to share healthy living tips and recipes online. For more healthy food ideas click here.
(¡Espero que te guste! Soy Lyn Asby y me encanta compartir consejos para vivir saludablemente así como recetas en línea.  Para más ideas de recetas saludables visita mi sitio web.)
Continue reading

Useful Spanish phrases for your next visit to Mexico City (Nice photos included!)

Hola, my name is José Lira, I live in Monterrey, México and this is my first guest post here at Viva Language Services (and I am very happy about that!). I was born in México but my accent (and thus my writing) leans toward American English because I lived there for some time, so please pardon any “English sacrileges” I might throw your way. Let’s just have fun and learn some Spanish together!
Today I would like to share a few things that caught my attention last time I visited Mexico City and use those situations to practice a few useful Spanish phrases you might use in a similar scenario. Who knows, you might learn something or you might buy a plane ticket by the end of this post. Let’s get started! Continue reading

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