Author Archive | Anna Maria

10 Dazzling Spanish Rap Songs That’ll Take You to Fluency

Centuries ago, English author William Congreve said, “music has charms to soothe a savage beast.” Now I’m not sure about the beast part, but we have to agree—music makes us all feel good. There’s just something super fun about listening …

Insects in Spanish: 70+ Words to Buzz up Your Vocabulary

Do you know that the first insects lived over 400 million years ago? That’s 400 millones de años (400 million years) in Spanish! That’s amazing, isn’t it—in either language! Considering they’ve been around a whole lot longer than we …

50 Spanish Words About School to Jump-start Your Learning

I love school. There, I’ve said it. And, I’m not kidding. I love school a whole lot! And the truth is, so do a lot of people. School is exciting. It’s particularly exciting if we’re talking about school in Spanish—or …

60 Spanish Art Words for a Colorful Vocabulary

Art soothes the senses, offers peace in troubled times and challenges us to see the world through the eyes of another. If you’re like most of us, you appreciate art in some form. Painting, sculpture, photography, sketching—there’s so much diversity …

Health and Wealth! How to Say “Good Luck!” in Spanish

Crossed fingers, four-leaf clovers, rabbit feet, horseshoes and red underwear. There is certainly no shortage of lucky charms, but while we hope those trinkets ward off bad luck, it certainly helps to hear it or wish it on someone else …

How to Introduce Yourself in Spanish: The Insider’s Guide

“Hello, nice to meet you. My name is…” “Hey, how’s it going? I’m…” “What’s up, man? Call me…” Let’s face it: first impressions matter. As the above examples show, an introduction can determine the “flavor” of a new relationship. …

The Essential Guide to Being Polite in Spanish

“Be polite!” I heard that short sentence more times than I could count when I was a kid. My mother was determined that I be a polite child who would hopefully grow into a polite adult. So she gave me …

Back to Basics: Easy Spanish Words for Every Occasion

Maybe you’re planning a trip to an exotic destination. Are the rainforests of Costa Rica calling? Or, is dinner in Madrid on your to-do list? Or, you could be hoping to fall in love with someone from Spain—because, let’s …

Learn Spanish with 5 Websites and Fast-forward to Fluency

It’s never too late to learn. This saying is wise, especially when we’re talking about languages. Are you looking to learn Spanish? Sooner rather than later? Like, maybe yesterday? We can’t reclaim yesterday but it’s not hard to get on …

Never Fear, Spanish Homework Help Is Here!

Homework Blues are the worst. When you’re dreading your Spanish homework because you don’t understand it or just dislike facing the language on your own, it’s hard to enjoy learning. But it’s okay to admit it if homework’s …

How to Type Spanish Accents, no Matter What Device You Use

All things considered, Spanish is fairly easy to learn. It’s a pretty straightforward language. It sounds just like it looks. Remember “sounding words out” when you were learning to read English? That works for Spanish, too. If you think …

14 Meaningful Mexican Proverbs for Life and Language Learning

“A proverb is to speech what salt is to food.” — Arabic proverb Our whole lives are filled with proverbs. One here, one there. A grandmother’s favorite that’s cited at every holiday meal. The nugget of wisdom given just before …

27 Family Words in Spanish to Make You Feel Right at Home

“La familia lo es todo.” (“Family is everything.”) If you’re part of a Spanish family, you’ve probably heard this proverb. Many, many times. It’s just a point that’s hammered home—en casa (at home). And when something’s that important, it’s …

Spanish Vocabulary Card Party! Instant and DIY Options

Let’s face it. Sometimes, bigger is better. Hey, let’s keep it clean! We’re talking vocabulary here. And when it comes to vocabulary, it’s true. In any language, the larger your vocabulary is, the easier it is to communicate. Think …

40+ Colorful Spanish Physical Adjectives to Describe Anyone

“…her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster…” —Don Quixote Dulcinea del Toboso is unseen throughout the classic novel, Don Quixote, …

Learn Spanish Fast and Become Conversational in a Flash

Have you ever stopped to consider all the Spanish things that go fast? No? Well then, take a minute. I’ll wait. Go ahead, think of a few. If you’re like me, your list includes fútbol, race car driver Fernando …

5 Spanish Language Training Programs for Clearer Communication

“Adulting.” We hear it all the time. It’s the word we use to point out that there’s a distinction between youthfully carefree and, well, not-so-unencumbered. The buzzword refers to establishing a career, making money, paying bills—in other words, …

Jump-start Your Nicaraguan Spanish with These 8 Slang Terms

Do you hear it? Nicaragua calling out to you? Visit to catch a glimpse of some beautiful but globally-threatened birds or gorgeous volcanoes. Dine on the national food staple, gallo pinto (beans and rice—though, literally, it means something …

What’s in a Name? 10 Spanish Names and Meanings

I’m throwing down a challenge. Right here, right now. The challenge is a simple one. Take a minute and think of as many things as you can that have layers. That’s right: layers. Go on. Consider all the things …

Kick It Old School: 10 CDs That’ll Teach You Spanish

How much time do you think you spend in a car every year? Can’t be that much, right? To and from work… grocery shopping… a few weekend trips here and there… You might not realize that the average American spends …

6 Fetching Sources for Spanish MOOCs Just for You

We know who your best friend is. And we would never ask you to replace your furry companion. But as a language learner, you’ll want to add MOOCs to your list of BFFs.   MOOC is both a fun word, as …

Spanish Typing Games: The End of Your Spanish Typing Woes

Fed up with your Spanish typing? Never got around to installing a Spanish keyboard on your computer? Never learned shortcuts for creating accent marks? Still super slow at typing anything in Spanish because you don’t get any practice and …

Only the Best! 9 Killer Apps for Kids to Learn Spanish

Kids and Spanish? A perfect combination for language-learning success. Add an excellent app—or two—and you’ve just increased the chances of reaching fluency exponentially! The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) ranks Spanish a category one language, which means it’s one of …

6 Spanish-language Vloggers to Get You Hooked on Spanish

Time to confess. YouTube—it’s addicting, no? Especially if you tune into one of those incredible Spanish vloggers, right? They turn YouTube into an immersive language experience—and it definitely doesn’t feel like coursework, does it? If you’re a fan of …

Teaching Toddlers Spanish, as Easy as Uno, Dos, Tres!

Do you know a toddler? One of those small-but-amazing people who seem to learn with superhuman, albeit sticky-faced, ability? Maybe you’re a parent to one (or two), or you might even be lucky enough to have a niece or nephew …

6 Fun, Active Forums for Spanish Language Learners to Explore

Is anybody out there?! Even the most extroverted, social language learners can sometimes feel a little isolated. There are always those moments where you’re alone with some complicated Spanish exercises or a tricky textbook passage, wondering how you’ll ever dig …

¡Epa! Learn This Venezuelan Slang to Speak Like a Local

Even if Venezuela is on your list of must-visit destinations, you might be hesitant to travel now. I’m sure you realize there’s a great deal of political unrest in Venezuela at the moment. It’s a darn shame too, because the …

10 Key Panamanian Slang Words to Impress Everyone on the Isthmus!

You’re headed to Panama? ¡Qué emoción! (How exciting!) Are you going to see that engineering marvel, the Panama Canal? Or maybe you’re an ornithologist? Avid birdwatchers flock (pun intended!) from all over to catch a glimpse of Panama’s amazing …

Never Say Never! How to Relearn Spanish in 5 Simple Steps

Memories of speaking Spanish are not forgotten, but the words are. And now you’re facing a sad truth. Your Spanish is gone. Lost to the gray matter that seems to have devoured all the vocabulary, grammar and idioms you once …

How to Lay Down El Salvador’s Slang Like a Local

Are you the kind of traveler who likes hidden gems? Then put El Salvador on your travel wish list. This tiny Central American country has more to offer than most people realize. First off, we’re talking volcanoes—and lots of them. …

How to Learn Spanish for Free with a Kindle or Kindle App

I love things that are free—or practically free. You know what I’m talking about. It just feels good to get things without having to fork over some hard-earned dinero (money), doesn’t it? So free music, free books, free language learning? …

I Think Therefore Yo Soy: How to Start Thinking in Spanish

So, I’m going to be totally honest with you. Speaking Spanish doesn’t automatically lead to thinking in Spanish. Sorry, but it’s the truth. We language learners would love it if that weren’t the case. It we be incredible if, by …

6 Spanish Card Games for Playful Practice

Let’s shuffle your Spanish learning. Let’s mix things up and pick out some fun, new language learning tools from the deck. What better place to start than Spanish card games? They’re collaborative, they’re entertaining and best of all they force …

5 Spanish Tutorial Websites for Linguistic Fitness

Ever broke a sweat studying Spanish? It’s time to start pumping those grammar lessons. Running those vocab lists. Building strong, powerful language muscles (that you can show off on a Barcelona beach). Spanish tutorials are your key to an …

The Top 6 Spanish Game Websites for Language Learners

Ready for a total Spanish learning game-changer? Then grab your controller and log on to some Spanish game websites. Don’t expect to zone out while racing around tracks or shooting up bad guys. We’re going to be learning new Spanish …

Café Craving? Here’s How to Order Coffee in Spanish

“¿Puede darme un café, por favor?” “May I have a coffee, please?” A simple request, right? Think again. When we walk into a coffee shop and order a jolt of joe, we have definite expectations concerning what we’re going …

We’re Not Kidding: 18 Amazing Spanish Apps for Kids in 2022

There’s one thing we’d never kid around about: learning Spanish. After all, sometimes learning is serious work. Luckily, sometimes it’s also fun, like when you use apps! Spanish apps for kids can help you or any kids you know learn …

Guay! 40 Popular Spanish Slang Phrases That Aren’t Bull

Have you ever imagined visiting picturesque Peru? How about coastal Colombia? Do you dream about dining on jamón, tapas and Rioja in sunny Spain? Or checking out the Alhambra, running with the bulls or dancing the night away in …

How to Learn Spanish by Yourself in 18 Simple Steps

Whenever anyone says, “Wow! Your Spanish is so good! How did you learn?” I always say, “I taught myself.” Sure, I made sure that I had Spanish natives to talk to, picking their brains about grammar, vocabulary and local …

Learn Spanish with Music: 30 Songs to Spark Spanish Learning

Quickly, finish these sentences: “Upside inside out, she’s…” (“…livin’ la vida loca”) “Des-pa-…” (“…cito”) “Dale a tu cuerpo alegría, Macarena, heeeey…” (“…Macarena!”) Even if you are an absolute beginner to Spanish, there is …