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Learning Spanish

How easy is to learn Spanish?

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language within Iberian group. It is one of the six official UN languages, and is the second most spoken language in the world by the number of people who are native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese. It is also an official language in several major international political and economic organizations (EU, AU OAS, OEI, NAFTA UNASUR, Caricom, and the Antarctic Treaty, among others). It is spoken as a first and second language by more than 450 million people and over 500 million people if you count those who have learned as a foreign language can be the third most spoken language by total speakers. on the other hand, Spanish is the second most studied language in the world after English, with more than 20 million students although other sources indicate that surpass the 46 million students in 90 countries, and the third most used language on the Internet (7.8% of total).

 

But how easy is to learn Spanish? How many words or expressions are there meaning different things in different regions or countries?
The beauty of this language is that there are many words or expressions which the meaning may vary depending on the country or the region. For a person that is learning Spanish through college or university at a high level, and then decide to travel around the different Spanish speaking countries, can be confusing and some time frustrating. For instance if you have studied Spanish in Spain an you go to Argentina you will notice that many words will mean different of what you have learned. For example “plata” in Spain means silver and in Argentina is the word used for money. You also will find that the way they conjugate the verbs differs from all those verb drills you learned at uni or collage. This happens all though South America and Spain.

 

To overcome this, my advice will be to talk however you learned in the country you studied and if you talk to someone speaking in a different way than you, you should be patient and learn from them by asking the meaning of the different words they are using.

 

Here is fun video from two “colobianos” who have composed a very decrypting song about the problems of learning Spanish.

 

As always leave your comments.

Enjoy it




Spanish accents

There are four types of Spanish words that determinate where the stress of the word goes. Below, you can see the different types and when we put a written accent over the word (tilde)
 

Agudas: When we put the emphasis at the end of the word.

 

We write accents if they end in a vowel, in n or s.

 

Examples:

Ratón, melón, reloj, Caridad,

 

If you wish to write accent (tíldes) with a English keyboard, read this article

Llanas o Graves: When we put the emphasis on the second to last (penultimate) syllable.

 

We put and accent on the word if it  does not end in a vowel, or n, or s.

 

Examples:
Árbol, cama, rcel, queso.

 

Esdrújulas: When the stressed syllable is in the third from last (antepenultimate) syllable of the word.

 

These words always use written accents.

 

Examples:
lámpara, tefono, índice,

 

Sobreesdrújulas: take the accent on a syllable preceding the antepenultimate.  The words within this type have all written accents.

 

Examples:

Evidéntemente, gamelo.

 

If you wish to write accent (tíldes) with a English keyboard, read this article.


Palabra del día – saber

Saber (Verbo y sustantivo masculino)

 

English: Knowledge, to know, the taste of something.

 

Spanish: Tener conocimiento o noticia de algo. Conocer algo. Ser doctor en algo. Tener la habilidad de hacer algo. Estar instruido en un arte o facultad. Estar advertido, dicho de una cosa: tener sabor. Agradar o desagrada.

 

More meanings and expressions:

 

ya lo sé I know;
no lo sé I don’t know;
no sé cómo se llama I don’t know his name;
así que or conque ya lo sabes so now you know;
no sabía que tenía hijos I didn’t know he had (any) children;
para que lo sepas, yo no miento (fam) for your information, I don’t tell lies;
¡si lo sabré yo! don’t I know it!;
cállate ¿tú qué sabes? shut up! what do you know about it?;
¡yo qué sé dónde está! how (on earth) should I know where he/it is! (colloq);
no se sabe si … they don’t know if …;
no sé qué decirte I really don’t know what to say;
¿a que no sabes qué? (fam) you’ll never guess what;
tiene un no sé qué she has a certain something;
me da no sé qué decirte esto I feel very awkward saying this to you;
que yo sepa as far as I know;
Saber algo de algo to know sth about sth;
sé muy poco de ese tema I know very little about the subject;
hacerle saber algo a algn (frml) to inform sb of sth;
nos hizo saber su decisión he informed us of his decision.

 

Examples: No se de que me hablas. La paella has hecho para comer sabe muy bien.

 

For the conjugation of this verb click HERE


Palabra del día – Memoria

Memoria (sustantivo femenino)

 

English: Memory, Memoirs

 

More meanings and expressions

tener mucha or buena/poca or mala memoria (para algo) to have a good/poor o bad memory (for somthing);
si la memoria no me falla or engaña if my memory serves me right;
se me ha quedado grabado en la memoria it has remained etched on my memory;
desde que tengo memoria for as long as I can remember;
¡qué memoria la mía! what a memory I have!;
aprender/saber algo dememoria to learn/know something by heart;
estoy citando de memoria I’m quoting from memory;
se me había borrado totalmente de la memoria I’d completely forgotten about it;
al oír su nombre ¡cuántos recuerdos me vienen a la memoria! hearing her name brings back so many memories!;
su nombre no me viene a la memoria I can’t remember his name;
hacer memoria: tratar de hacer  memoriatry to remember;
seguro que te acuerdas, haz memoria of course you can remember, think hard;
refrescarle la memoria a alguien to refresh o jog somebody memory;
tener una memoria de elefante to have an incredible memory

Buenas memorias nice memories

a la or en memoria de alguien in memory of sombody;

memoria RAM/ROM RAM/ROM ;

memoria virtual virtual memory

 

Spanish: Facultad psíquica por medio de la cual se retiene y recuerda el pasado. Exposición de hechos, datos o motivos referentes a determinado asunto. Recuerdo que se hace o aviso que se da de algo pasado. Monumento para recuerdo o gloria de algo. Libro o relación escrita en que el autor narra su propia vida o acontecimientos de ella. Libro, cuaderno o papel en que se apunta algo para tenerlo presente.

 

Examples: tenemos buenas memorias de nuestro viaje a las vegas. La actriz escribió sus memorias al final de su carrera. No  me acuerdo de nada estoy perdiendo memoria.


Palabra del día – Sueño

Sueño (sustantivo Masculino)

English: Sleep, sleepy (tener sueño), dream.

Spanish: ficción o fantasía de alguien mientra duereme. Acto de dormir. Tener ganas de dormir. Algo que no tiene fundamento o carce de realidad.

Examples: Tengo mucho sueño. No concilio el sueño. He tenido un sueño muy extraño. Mi sueño en esta vida es ganar la loteria.


English keyboard vs Spanish Key board


As you are probably aware the some Spanish letters have characters that are not supported by the English keyboard. In order to write proper Spanish you need those characters, so I thought to include them in this post.

If you are writing on plain text editor (communicator, MSN, Skype, wordpad, wordpress etc) for the vowels (lower cases) you can use Alt+ctrl and then the relevant vowel á é í ú ó

If you are not writing on plain text or for other character you need a code.

Vowels lower cases

á = Alt + 0225

é = Alt + 0233

í = Alt + 0237

ó = Alt + 0243

ú = Alt + 0250    (diéresis) ü = Alt + 0252

Vowels capital letters

Á = Alt + 0193

É = Alt + 0201

Í = Alt + 0205

Ó = Alt + 0211

Ú = Alt + 0218    (diéresis) Ü = Alt + 0220

Consonants

ñ = Alt + 0241

Ñ = Alt + 0209

I hope this helps when you write in Spanish. Any questions leave me a message

Gracias.


How To Learn Spanish Easily – More Suggestions


Mayny people have anxiety about learning a new language, but it does not have to be hard. The truth is, you can have a great time learning a new language! A new language means that you have a skill that can be used in so many ways.

If you travel, it can make communication much less of a problem. You might even have an easier time communicating with people in your own city. Many jobs require applicants to know at least two languages. People who live in America are increasingly finding that Spanish is becoming the nation’s second language.Today Spanish is spoken almost as much as English and there are quite a few people who do not know English at all. This means that if you are a translator of Spanish today, you have an ability that is often needed.

First, be sure to get a CD course. Courses on CD are a great way for someone who is shy to learn how to speak a new language. You will be able to listen to someone pronounce the words and use them in sentences.

CDs contain the same learning material as used in a classroom, but there will be no stress about talking in front of a class. Another good reason to invest in a good CD course for learning Spanish is that you can take the courses with you! You’ll be able to listen to them on a CD player, or you can also download them to an MP3 player and take them anywhere. There are no limits to where you can learn Spanish.

Try to develop your ‘ear’ for Spanish, or any new language. Some languages have more of an oral-emphasized than written. In fact, as long as the language is still “alive” you will have to learn how to hear the language. Writing the alphabet or the correct way to write a sentence is not enough. Of course you’ll still have to understand what is being spoken to you. You’ll get the best results by hearing the spoken language as much as possible. You will know you’re on the right track when you can identify your language after hearing a few spoken words.

And remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t worry about you look or sound, it’s important to always practice speaking Spanish. Another tip is to replace the words in your language with the words you know from the language you’re learning.

For example, if you are learning Spanish try using “cena” instead of “dinner” or “uno” for “one.” In time, the words will become natural for you. You’ll be able to recognize the spoken words when you hear them. That is the best way to start piecing together translations when you speak with people who are fluent in the language you are trying to learn.

Learning Spanish, or any new language, does not have to be a terrible experience.

You don’t have to try something that doesn’t feel right to you; figure out which system seems best for you. Once you find the right method for you, you will know it. If your goal is to speak Spanish fluently, just keep at it and don’t be impatient, and you will gradually get there!


How to learn Spanish

Most people who are learning to speak the Spanish language ask the same question: What methods will best help me learn to speak Spanish as quickly as possible? There is now such a variety of differing learn Spanish language methods on offer, it is no wonder that a lot of people find it hard to choose the right one. Not every student learns in the same way of course but nevertheless, here are my top 3 picks.

1. Learn Spanish Language Courses – Attending a formal Spanish language course is imperative and I’m sure you’ll find there’s one available wherever you live. Usually, classes are scheduled for the evenings but some language schools do occasionally offer classes at the weekends and even though I do believe such a course is essential, there are a couple of things to be aware of. When I started to learn how to speak Spanish, I signed-up for a four-week intensive course and I have to say that it was not a smart decision.

This would be a better choice for intermediate level students but for beginners, it can be too much too soon. It did the job and gave me the basics but I believe I would’ve fared better doing two evenings a week instead of five. Having an unimaginative teacher who merely read-aloud the course content which the students then repeated with no role-playing meant the classes weren’t much fun as well. For the teachers to identify their strengths and areas for improvement, they must consider a teacher observation here at observe4success.com It is much better to learn how to speak Spanish if you’re having fun so do try to find out how the course will be presented and ask about the teacher if you can.

2. Learn Spanish Language Software – In addition to a formal Spanish language course, I also used a learn Spanish language software course to add variety and reinforce what I was learning on the formal language course. I purchased a course called “Rocket Spanish” and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it. It comes complete with audio, flashcards, quizzes and vocab builders as well as simple explanations for the verb tenses. I used the audio and the flashcards everyday, just for twenty or thirty minutes and it’s a nice, relaxed way to build your vocabulary. I know many other similar courses are available such as Fluenz Spanish, Tell Me More Spanish and Rosetta Stone, but the only one I used and enjoyed was Rocket Spanish.

3. Learn Spanish Language On The Streets – I admit this is probably a tad simpler for me as I’m living in a Spanish-speaking country however, I think speaking in Spanish with native speakers for just 20 minutes a day is the best method of all. It’s also the way that arouses the most fear, particularly making a bad mistake but don’t worry about it! I pushed myself to go and meet the locals here and speak in Spanish with them no matter what and believe me, it did wonders for my Spanish. It really wasn’t that difficult and I wasn’t mocked or ridiculed or shunned, actually, it was a real blast, I earned their respect and the generous people here would treat me to a drink and share tapas with me.

They know you’re making an effort to speak Spanish and believe me, they will fall over themselves to help you. Now I have a lot of friends and acquaintances here and I’m still making new ones mainly because I try to communicate with the locals in Spanish as much as is possible. I may be in a shop, a café, a supermarket, the local market here where I am now greeted by stall-owners by name whenever I shop there or in a bar or a restaurant, I will speak Spanish to people and try and strike up a conversation and each time I do I learn lots more useful Spanish phrases. It may not be so easy for you but I recommend you give this a go as often as is possible and honestly, it will bring your Spanish on in leaps and bounds and you’ll really enjoy yourself!


How Long Does It Take To Learn Spanish?


by: Cristina Cardona

After being a Spanish teacher for over ten years this is always the #1 concern from most potential students and it is still the hardest question to answer.
We are used o hear promises like: “Learn Spanish in 10 days”, “Learn Spanish quickly and for free”, “You will learn Spanish fast or we will give your money back”, or as the most advertised software program claims: “The fastest way to learn a language guaranteed” (I will not omit the name, since most people know I’m talking about Rosetta Stone).

Risking the possibility of discouraging a few potential learners, I must say that learning Spanish as a second language is not an easy task, but can be achieved by anyone who has interest, motivation and is willing to put some time and effort.

Before I answer the question, you need to define your expectations.

You need to ask yourself the following questions:

-Do I want to learn some Spanish because I would like to communicate with my family and friends?

-Do I want to achieve a basic conversational level to be able to communicate when travelling to Spanish speaking countries?

-Do I want to communicate more effectively with my customers and offer a value added to my business which could increase my sales?

-Do I want to be able to negotiate, make presentations and develop business relationships with my Spanish speaking customers and potential clients?

The higher your expectations, the longer the process of learning the language will be ranging from months to years. Being able to communicate in Spanish will not happen in days, but with some training and effort it can happen in months if you are serious about it. If you need money for the Spanish language class, get redirected here loanovao.co.uk

I usually compare learning a language with the process of learning to play an instrument. No one will expect to play well the guitar in 10 days. Same applies to learning any language.

Far from discouraging the reader to learn Spanish I want to share a realistic point of view, based on years of experience, so you know where to stand. If you are deciding whether or not to start learning Spanish, one of the first things you can do is ask friends or people you know that have learned or are learning Spanish about their experiences. Or simply, google:‘How long does it take to learn Spanish?“ and you will find testimonials from real people and their experiences.

Once you decide to pursue this goal you need to follow some useful steps:

Step 1. Have a positive attitude.

Step 2. Invest some time and effort in the process.

Get involved in a class or find a private tutor. Study Spanish grammar, do exercises, read books, magazines, listen to your favorite radio station in Spanish. Anything counts…

Step 3: Practice, practice, practice!

The more you are exposed to the language the faster you will learn and the more confidence you will gain.

I learned English as a second language myself and started when I was. I still believe that learning a language is an amazing and challenging journey, that enables you not only to communicate in different languages but also to gain access to new cultures and new markets.



Having fun counting numbers with Conde Daraco from barrio Sesamo

I used to watch this show when I was a kid. I learned many things including the numbers. One or the most basic skills we need to know when learning Spanish (or any language) is how to count and use numbers. El Conde Draco teaches you the number on fun way. Enjoy it


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