The differences between Argentinian Spanish and Castilian Spanish

When I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina I noticed that there were quite a few differences between Castilian Spanish spoken in Spain and the Spanish spoken in Argentina. This involved the accent and pronunciation as well as the grammar and certain words and phrases. The different accent took a bit of getting used to. Although the “porteños” understood my “Spanish” accent (from Spain), the difficulty arose in my understanding of them. Read on to discover the differences to watch out for. Continue reading

My trip to Buenos Aires: March-May 2011

17-lane Avenida 9 de Julio, Centre of Buenos Aires
After throwing myself into my business of teaching Spanish for 2 years and helping many people prepare to move or travel abroad, I decided it was time to take a break, do some travelling and practise the language I love. I chose to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina as I had always wanted to travel to South America and it sounded a fantastic city to visit! Here is my account of what to expect from a trip to Argentina.

Popular Spanish Sayings (II)

In collaboration with a native Spanish person, we have come up with some common sayings (refranes) that are used today in Spain:

Estar entre la espada y la pared. (Lit. To be between the spade and the wall.) Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Se venden como pan bendito. (Lit. They are sold like holy bread.) They are selling like hot cakes.

Sentar como un guante. To fit like a glove. Continue reading

Interesting Spanish: Compound Words (2 words in 1)

Compound words, “palabras compuestas” are two separate words joined together to create a single word.

For example: parasol (sunshade) is formed from: para (it stops) + sol (sun) [it stops sun]

Often they are created for humour and many do not survive over time.

Here is a list of the most interesting and commonly used in Spanish today: Continue reading

Enjoy learning Spanish by listening to songs!

Listen to “Escapar” (Escape) by Enrique Iglesias

A popular and fun way to improve your Spanish can be achieved effortlessly through listening to songs in Spanish.

To get the most out of this activity, read the lyrics whilst listening to the song.



Aunque corras, no puedes escaparAlthough you run, you can’t escape 
Ves, tú y yoSee, you and I
es asíit’s like that
sube y bajaup and down
pero un día al finbut one day in the end
sin quereraccidentally
nos va bienwe’ll be ok
cuando uno ha dicho se acabówhen one says it’s over
una voza voice
dice no / says no
y se queda.and it remains.

[Estribillo:] / [Chorus:]

Si decides dejarme / If you decide to leave me
no te voy a suplicarI’m not going to beg you
allá tú si más tardeyou will see later
aunque corras, te escondasalthough you run, you hide
no puedes escaparyou can’t escape
aunque corras, te escondas, no puedes escapar. / although you run, you hide, you can’t escape.
Hoy si te vasToday if you leave
ya verásyou’ll see
que no es tan fácil olvidarit’s not so easy to forget
sale bien / it goes well
sale malit goes bad
como sea, pero es tan realhowever, but it is so real
que al finalthat in the end
lo demásthe rest
no te importadoesn’t matter

[Estribillo:] / [Chorus:]

Correrás,You’ll run,
te esconderás,you’ll hide
pero no te escaparás. (x2)but you won’t escape. (x2)
Hoy una vozToday a voice
dice nosays no
y se queda.and it stays the same.
Corre y dime adiós.Run and say to me goodbye.

[Estribillo:] (x2) / [Chorus:] (x2)

You can run, You can run, You can run …..
You can run, You can run, You can run …..
Correrás, nunca vas a escapar,You’ll run, you’ll never escape,
Correrás, correrás, nunca vas a escapar.
You’ll run, you’ll run, you’re never going to escape.
You can run, You can run.  
You can run, You can run. 
Aunque corras, no puedes escapar.
Although you run, you can’t escape.

To enquire about other enjoyable ways to learn Spanish or any language, you are more than welcome to contact VLS for complimentary advice or book a few lessons so that you can soon understand the lyrics of any song that you hear!

Learn Mandarin Chinese – the language of the future! 学习中文 – 未来的语言!

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. Learn to speak this popular language and you will be able to communicate with more people worldwide. By 2020-2030, China is set to become the world’s largest economy, therefore, if you can speak Chinese you will be able to tap into a growing market, develop good business relationships and gain a huge competitive edge! Read on to discover 10 great reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese. Continue reading

Fun Spanish games – keep the kids entertained and help them learn Spanish!

Shopping role play in Spanish

The best age to learn a language is when you are young – ideally between birth and the age of 7. This is when children absorb new words most easily. Make learning fun so that it is not seen as a chore. Introduce fun activities into everyday life – foods, colours, numbers, and clothes. Here are two tried and tested ways that I use to help children from 4 years old to learn useful Spanish for everyday situations. All you need is to learn some basic Spanish first. Children have so much fun they don’t even realise they are learning a foreign language! Continue reading

A highlight of my trip to Spain – exciting bull running competition!

After having been to several bullfights in the past, which I think are cruel, I was much more enthusiastic about being invited to see a “Concurso de Cortes” which is much less cruel for the bull and so much more exciting to watch. The bull is not killed or harmed during a Cortes competition. Even anti bull fighting groups do not oppose them. I spent the entire three hours literally on the edge of my seat and if you read on, you will understand why! Continue reading


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