What’s your sign?
I bet you didn’t even need to think to answer that.
The stars and the elements don’t need to align to make zodiac signs and Spanish learning compatible!
There’s a huge resurgence in popularity of astrology, so …
To have or… to have?
If you’re a Spanish language learner, that’s a very good question!
In Spanish there isn’t just one—but two!—words for “to have,” and they make speaking the language twice as interesting.
Or is it twice …
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 …
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 …
You’ve reached the end of the long tunnel known as “the beginner level.”
In language learning, once we reach the end of one level, we simply go to the next. But making the leap from beginner to …
What’s something you think a lot about every day?
Your answer probably sounds something like, “my job,” “my family” or “what I’m going to eat for lunch.”
But I doubt “furniture” made it on your list.
Furniture might not be …
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 …
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 …
Let’s be totally honest here: Everyone loves fairy tales. Am I right?
We all have a super soft spot for the stories we learned as children. They’re engaging, enchanting and full of excitement.
Filled with castles, creatures, heroic adventures …
“Yo soy tu padre.” (I am your father.)
Be honest. Did you read that in Darth Vader’s voice?
I know I did!
Okay, now that we’re close, confiding friends, tell me—are you a true Star Wars fan? Have you ever …
Are you thinking of writing something special in Spanish?
A cover letter for an exciting job opportunity in fabulous Madrid, or maybe a Spanish love note to that special someone in your life?
Well then, hold the capitals!…
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 …
Let’s be honest, our modern society has ingrained in us this yearning for speed!
And we like it!
Fast cars, fast lane, fast food, fast shipping, fast-dry nail polish, fast-track education and the list goes on.
It’s no wonder we’d …
Spanish is a beautiful, lyrical language. It’s music to the ears of those who listen to it and sweet on the tongue for those who speak it.
Have you ever wondered where, exactly, does Spanish come from?
Just how much …
For English speakers, Spanish punctuation is pretty standard.
A period is still a period, even if it’s called a punto.
A coma (comma) still shows a division of ideas or a pause in dialogue.
So, no news in the Spanish …
Are you thinking of visiting a Spanish-speaking country?
Did you just get a job in a workplace with Spanish-speaking coworkers?
Maybe you’re just wondering how to say hello to the Spanish-speaking woman who moved in next door?
Are you meeting someone new?
Trying to locate your hotel or a restaurant in a Spanish city?
Nearly any Spanish conversation calls for an understanding of basic vocabulary.
No “fancy” language, involved terminology or four-syllable words are needed for …
Spanish past tenses.
Does just reading those three words have you in a state of near-panic?
Maybe you’ve heard that using the past tense in Spanish is one of the toughest grammar lessons to learn.
Well, it’s time to put …
“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. …
They have so many dark connotations. And even though they’re just areas of darkness that occur when a light source is blocked by a solid object, they still sometimes seem scary, don’t they? Creepy. Maybe even sinister.
But language …
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 …
Remember when you were a kid and someone looked as if they were thinking of laying claim to your favorite toy, shiny seashell or half-eaten apple?
You responded, didn’t you?
You probably made it real clear that whatever you …
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 …
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”—Lao Tzu
Every journey has a beginning.
Regardless of where we’re going or what we’re trying to do or learn, we need to start somewhere.
And at some point, …
This might be slightly mean, but I’m going to say something that just may make your blood run cold, your hands turn clammy and your heart beat fast. Consider this your warning.
Are you ready? Okay, here it comes:
“A short story is a different thing altogether—a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”—Stephen King
Bestselling author Stephen King has it right: Novels and poems might have their own values but short …
“Netflix completely shook up the world.”—Steven Van Zandt
Netflix definitely did shake up the world.
I mean, does anyone remember Blockbuster?
Those days when you had to physically walk out to get your movie fix?
And if …
“Hearing tells you that music is playing, but listening tells you what the song is saying. There are times that we hear but we forget to listen…”—Unknown
Listening is the key to understanding any language—including Spanish.
The good news …
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 …
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 …
It sure feels like sometimes, “nada hay nuevo debajo del sol” (“there’s nothing new under the sun”).
Especially when you’re working on your language learning.
Every study session begins to feel the same.
Verbs and tenses start to blend together.…
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 …
Do you speak Italian?
Are you considering learning a new language?
Then we have some exciting news: You can use your Italian skills to help you learn Spanish!
There are many similarities between Spanish and Italian, which means knowing one’ll …
“How do you translate someone like Homer Simpson?” — Humberto Vélez
If I mention Humberto Vélez, chances are you won’t know who I’m talking about.
If I say Homero, you still might not know.
But if I mention Homer Simpson—especially …
Be careful: If you ever visit Panama, you might be seriously tempted to stay there forever.
Don’t laugh. The expat community in Panama is huge and grows every year. It’s an incredible place!
The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel …
Cada vez que ríes, un clavo es removido de tu ataúd. (Every time you laugh, a nail is removed from your coffin.) — Honduran proverb
Laughter really is the best medicine, and travel can give us plenty of things to …
Are you planning a trip to Paraguay?
Paraguay has been called the world’s happiest country, which is no surprise given the beauty of the place. One of the reasons cited is the country’s cultural tendency to focus on positive …
Remember being glued to the TV when you were a kid?
Like, watching for hours and just living the stress-free, I’m-a-kid life?
Getting lost in whatever sitcom or drama was on the screen until a loud voice (usually from the …
“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 …
“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” — Charlemagne
I’m not sure about the second soul bit but I do know that in most places, having another language can open doors for you.
In fact, a foreign …
“It is astonishing how much enjoyment one can get out of a language that one understands imperfectly.” — Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve
As a language learner, there will be moments along your journey when you won’t understand something.
When these moments …
Just the name brings a Latin American paradise to mind, doesn’t it?
And it should! Uruguay is a situated below the Tropical Zone so while it has four seasons, snow and anything even remotely freezing is unheard of there.…
“Barato es bueno. Gratis es mejor.” (“Cheap is good. Free is better.”)
Before you try Googling that quote in the hopes that it was uttered by some philosophical genius, let me come clean.
The quote can’t be attributed to anyone …
El hábito no hace al monje. (The habit doesn’t make the monk.)
In other words, clothes don’t make the man (or woman).
But they sure do get our attention, don’t they?
Knowing how to describe clothes is essential in any …
“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 …
Mexico is an incredibly popular destination for travelers. It’s no surprise that everyone wants to check out the Mayan ruins, white-sand beaches, exotic wildlife and amazing food.
It’s truly one of the most spectacular spots on the …
“Cuando era niño soñaba con conquistar el mundo, ahora me doy cuenta que tú eres mí mundo y me has conquistado.” (“When I was a kid I dreamed of conquering the world, now I realize that you’re my world and …
What if I told you that self-assessment is even more important than real exams?
Or that you could learn more by reviewing your own mistakes than by having your answers corrected by a teacher?
No, I haven’t gone crazy. I’m …
There’s a wise saying, often attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “It takes two years to learn to talk and sixty to learn to keep quiet.”
We say, you can learn the art of chitchat much faster than that! (Learning how to …
“La pluma es la lengua del alma.” (“The quill is the tongue of the soul.”) — Miguel Cervantes
It’s no surprise that the widely acclaimed Spanish author Miguel Cervantes would leave us this amazing literary quote! After all, he’s the …
“El amor no tiene edad.” (“Love has no age.”)
Love is ageless, timeless and priceless.
Luckily, there are many terms of endearment that can be used to express affection—especially in Spanish.
But Spanish has a tiny surprise where love is …
Let’s cut to the chase and ask the big question:
Why does anyone learn to speak Spanish?
Well, there are many reasons!
Some learn for travel, interpersonal relationships or romance opportunities. (Cozy weekend in Madrid, anyone?)
Those are great …
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
That’s true, isn’t it? The dark really doesn’t seem so scary when you’re accompanied by a friend.
Sometimes, learning a new language can be like …
The internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time.
It allows people to stay in contact with their relatives while living thousands of miles apart.
It lets freelancers (like humble language blog writers) work remotely, in their pajamas.…
Indiana Jones had one—and it worked.
And while we’re not searching for the Lost City or the Holy Grail—we need one, too.
You do know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
C’mon, think about it. Indy was searching. We, the …
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.
“…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, …
“La manzana no cae lejos del árbol.”
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
It’s how we say that kids are like their parents—or they learn through their parents’ example.
Learning Spanish with your kids is one of the …
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 …
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, …
Have you ever been so excited by a book that you’ve felt blown right off your feet?
Or, if not completely off your feet, at least right out of your socks?
Don’t you just love when that happens?
There are …
Have you ever driven past houses and wondered what went on beyond the closed doors?
Or maybe you’ve walked down a city sidewalk after sunset, glanced up at a high-rise apartment and tried to imagine what the tenants were doing …
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 …
Did you know we watch nearly four years’ worth of commercials in our lifetimes?
No, that’s not a typo.
Most of us don’t pay much attention to those commercials, do we? We watch mindlessly, mute them or just …
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 …
You seem like someone decidedly unordinary.
As in unique.
A little “extra.”
You don’t ever settle for ho-hum or hum-drum, do you?
I knew it!
And I bet that goes for every aspect of your life—including your Spanish language journey.…
So, spill it.
What’s your reason for learning Spanish?
I was born into the Spanish language but I’ve studied others, so I understand many different reasons.
I learned Italian for love. French for fun. German on a dare.
“We are a very typical Spanish family—a bullfighter, an actress, a flamenco dancer and singer!” — Paz Vega
Do you dream of waking up somewhere gorgeous?
Taking in the sights and sounds of Spain?
Feeling like you’re part of …
Do your hands feel empty unless they’re holding a game controller?
Or maybe you’re just dying to try out the whole gaming scene but not sure where to start.
Either way, there’s an epic adventurer in you.
And we’ve …
They say “starting is the hardest part,” but I’m not so sure that’s true.
Take learning a new language.
Starting is often the most fun part.
Everything is new, you’re building your vocabulary left and right and the world …
The scene: A swanky hotel gym in Madrid.
Later, you’ll be downing a gin tonic (they drop the “and” here!) at a trendy tapas bar on the Gran Vía, so sweating on the treadmill beforehand is a great option.
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 …
In “The Notebook,” Noah’s dad encourages him to practice reading poetry to help him overcome the stutter he had as a child.
Why on earth is this relevant to Spanish?
A stutter is oftentimes rooted in uncertainty or lack of …
We need to relax.
We all lead ridiculously busy lives. Sometimes, too busy.
We could all do with a bit of down time—but make no mistake , “relaxing” means more than just putting our feet up and turning …
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 …
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 …
Listen, we all know that learning a new language has challenges. Lots of them. Spanish is no exception.
One of the biggest hurdles? Spelling. It’s a skill that takes time, patience and a whole lot of practice to master.
Your search is over.
You can kick your feet up and relax.
No more swimming in a sea of Google results.
No more sifting through recommendations from well-meaning friends.
We’ve got all the best online Spanish beginner courses right here…
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Tacos topped with sliced cactus.
Is your mouth watering yet?
If you’re visiting Mexico, you’re in luck because it’s a gastronomic paradise. Much of the food is grown locally and spices rule, so the food …
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 …
Are the warm winds and sandy beaches of Puerto Rico calling you?
Interested in exploring El Morro and eating your fill of tostones (fried plantains that are incredibly delicious)?
If so, be prepared to hear some Spanish that’s unique to …
“If I had started studying Spanish years ago, I’d be fluent by now!”
We all might’ve been guilty of saying this at one time or another, but we know it isn’t true.
It’s the amount of effort we put into …
See that guy over there?
The tall, handsome one with that friendly look on his face?
Yes, that’s the one! Him!
Did I make you turn? Did you glance over your shoulder for someone who isn’t—or if you’re lucky, …
Music. We love it.
We play it in our cars, homes, at the gym and even on airplanes.
Some of us sing along. Off-key or in-tune, we sing.
And we love belting out every lyric.
Spanish language learners, …
T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
We have liftoff!
Congratulations—just by making the decision to learn Spanish, you’ve launched an exciting, ambitious new project!
By choosing to learn Spanish, you’ve opened up a whole new …
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 …
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. …
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? …
Were you brought up in a Spanish-speaking home?
Did you naturally become bilingual, speaking Spanish en casa (at home) and English en la escuela (at school)?
People who are in this dynamic situation, myself included, are called heritage speakers.…
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 …
You wanna learn Spanish fast? Great!
Wait, you wanna do it in three months?
You do realize you’re pushing the envelope with this one, don’t you?
I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m just saying it’s going to …
Thinking of taking the leap and going abroad to learn Spanish?
Maybe you’re tired of the same old learning routine.
Maybe you’re thinking of getting that passport a few new stamps.
Or maybe you’re just craving adventure and …
Like the tango, your Spanish journey thus far has been a series of orchestrated steps.
Some stages and areas of your learning have been quick, while others have been slow and aggressive (like the Spanish subjunctive).
But in the …
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 …
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 …
So you’re set on going to Guatemala?
Planning to hike near volcanoes, swim in Lake Atitlan or roam the markets of Chichicastenango?
Hoping to be inspired by gorgeous hand-woven textiles, ancient architecture or the enduring mystery of Tikal?
Good for …
You’re a speed demon.
You like life in the fast lane.
You drive the slickest sports cars.
You only eat instant pudding.
So naturally, when you decided you wanted to learn Spanish, you wanted to learn it fast.
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 …
“¿Puede darme un café, por favor?”
“May I have a coffee, please?”
A simple request, right?
When we walk into a coffee shop and order a jolt of joe, we have definite expectations concerning what we’re going …
Do you want to learn to speak Spanish?
And do you have a heart for positively impacting the world?
Then why not combine two passions? Learn the language while volunteering!
It’s a natural progression, really. Think about it: You’re in …
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 …
Grammar troubles got you down?
¡No llores más! (Don’t cry anymore!)
Wait, or is it ¡No lloras más!? Arrrgh!
For the record, the first is correct, as you can verify by Googling Spanish versions of the song.
Movie night just got Netflixed—Spanish style!
Movies are a great way to delve into the lives of people from all over the world, as well as to develop your Spanish skills without textbooks or homework.
Using Spanish movies on Netflix …
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 …
Cat got your tongue?
You just want to relax, have a good time and chat with Spanish-speaking friends—but you get hopelessly tongue-tied.
That’s the xenoglossophobia acting up.
Did that sound even worse than you imagined? Well, don’t worry—that’s not …
Looking to have a huge head start when you travel to Mexico?
Want to impress the locals with your Spanish?
Whether you want to better understand what’s going on around you or show off your language skills, one thing is …
I’m sure you’ve heard this before:
Reading is a vital part of any language.
But you’ve heard it so much because it’s absolutely true.
If you travel, you’ll want to be able to read a map or directions in …
You know that feeling of satisfaction when you finally begin a conversation in Spanish?
What about the pleasure you experience from understanding movies or songs in Spanish?
Or when you finally understand who’s dating who in the dramatic …
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 …
Quickly, finish these sentences:
“Upside inside out, she’s…” (“…livin’ la vida loca”)
“Dale a tu cuerpo alegría, Macarena, heeeey…” (“…Macarena!”)
Even if you are an absolute beginner to Spanish, there is …