Today is “el día de Reyes”, one of the most magical and special days for children (and adults) in Spain, when presents are opened and the delicious “roscón” is eaten!
And as we bring closure to the long Spanish Christmas celebrations, it seems the ideal day to reflect on how the magic happens.
And now that we are starting a new year, it is the perfect time to set goals and establish how much you want to improve your Spanish this year.
A little… A lot… Nothing at all… Be totally fluent… You get to decide!
But even when you know how much you'd like to improve it, sometimes it’s hard to know how to get there.
In a previous video and post I explained a very simple way for when to use each of them without endless lists to remember and with no exceptions! Really, is that possible? you may say…
Yes, I promise. You can watch it here.
For example, if you’re talking about wine, saying “este vino es bueno” and “este vino está bueno” means different things.
Do you know what the difference is?
This is one of the most common mistakes that I hear all the time and one of the questions that I get asked frequently. And it is totally understandable, because in English there’s only one verb “to know”, for both “saber” and “conocer”.
“¿Sabes a María?” or “¿Conoces a María?”
“¿Sabes Tailandia? or “¿Conoces Tailandia?”
After watching this video you won’t mistake the two again!
But if you’re planning to travel around Spain, you will rarely see or hear flamenco around you outside of Andalucia… In fact, most people won’t have a clue how to dance it!
People always ask me in the UK whether I dance flamenco and are surprised when I say... not at all! I probably know as much as they do!
Because Flamenco is like paella, in that even though outside of Spain they’re seen as symbols of Spain and Spanish culture, within Spain they’re much more recognised as regional...
So, my question for today is... have you heard the word “vuelta” many times, but you’re not quite sure if you understand what it means because you’ve heard it in very different situations?
Vuelta comes from the verb “volver”, to return and the root meaning is associated with that. However, the word “vuelta” is part of different expressions which are very popular and the meaning is not so straight forward.
It is the perfect time to have a “plan de sofá y manta” (Spanish expression for being cosy at home, literally "sofa and blanket plan!") and learn some Spanish.
Today we want to share with you a very popular video from our beginners course Connect that covers how to talk about the weather because... who doesn’t like to talk about the weather!
It includes all of the vocabulary and expressions that you need to feel confident with this topic.
Many people find some of the words and expressions related to the weather in Spanish a bit challenging as they are constructed differently in English. But in this video we break it down so it’s easy to digest and I'm sure you’ll find it very useful.
We share our personal experiences learning other languages and how to make it a successful and enyojable experience. We also cover some of the reasons for being blocked with the language ... and how the situation can be completely turned around!
Hit play to discover more:
I hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed recording it!
This expression refers to keeping a positive attitude despite adversity. It’s not just “putting on a brave face”, but more an attitude of optimism and hope.
The equivalent in English would be “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So while you may not be able to change the situation, you can definitely change your take on it.
Fun fact: The Spanish word “mal” (bad) can also be placed at...
Regional accents are certainly one of the beauties of any language. They are a part of a person’s identity and the community they belong to. They show how rich a culture is because it is in the language that we can see elements of its past, the local customs and the people’s character...
And a country as culturally diverse as Spain could not be otherwise and you can find completely different accents from North to South, East to West.
However, as learners of another language, it can be hard to understand people with strong accents and can even make us wonder whether they are in fact speaking the same language!
In Spain, for example, people living in areas where they have their own native language (Catalonia, Basque Country, Galicia, Comunidad Valenciana, The Balearics...) will often find themselves speaking Spanish with the corresponding accent and intonation resembling their own languages...
So no wonder it can initially feel like...
Maybe you had to pause your learning because life got busy or you haven’t been in contact with Spanish for a while and it seems like you’ve forgotten so much that you start feeling lost, discouraged and unsure on how to get back on track.
You sometimes even wonder whether in fact you may have forgotten everything!!!
If you have ever felt this way, I promise you’re not alone! This is one of the most common difficulties that I hear all the time, particularly after the summer holidays when many people take a break from learning.
And in case you’re still wondering… yes, everything is still there!
All that is needed to deal with this kind of overwhelm is to stop the loop of negative thoughts, take a step back and design a plan. This way we can build momentum, strengthen the neural connexions in our brains again and accelerate the recovery to keep moving forwards.