Film buffs make great Spanish students. That’s a fact.
After all, nearly every major film is available either dubbed in Spanish or with Spanish subtitles. That’s what we call a learning opportunity.
And who doesn’t want a good excuse to watch great movies, especially when learning Spanish with movies can be so fun?
Your heart (and your DVD player) still aren’t full. What else can you do?
Easy peasy: You can work on your Spanish by learning famous movie quotes in Spanish!
Why Learn Spanish Movie Quotes?
- It’s easy. Movie quotes are short and memorable, so they’re not hard to learn. Additionally, if you already know the quotes in English, it’ll be easy to remember their meanings.
- It’s effective. Not only will they help you learn Spanish, they can also help you strengthen and maintain your skills by seeing your vocabulary and grammar in action.
- It’s fun. Everyone loves an interesting or memorable phrase. So while you’re brushing up on your fun Spanish phrases, you can add movie quotes to your list.
How to Find and Practice Movie Quotes
First, watch your favorite movie.
Now, you have a couple options of how to watch it.
You can watch it in English. Try picking out any quote that strikes your fancy and translating it into Spanish.
You can also watch it with Spanish dubbing and/or subtitles. Many DVDs these days have Spanish dubbing and subtitling available. To see if a DVD has these features, you can look at “Product Details” on the back of the DVD case or in the product description if you’re ordering online. If they do have these options, they’ll be in the DVD’s “Settings” or “Options” menu.
If the DVD you’re watching has these features, play around with them until you find what you like best. It’s sometimes helpful to pair English subtitles with Spanish dubbing or Spanish subtitles with the standard English dialogue. This way, if you’re unsure about anything, you have the English version right there with you.
Once you have your settings in place, you might try pausing the DVD to repeat certain phrases or speaking along with the DVD. Either option will help you build your vocabulary and skills.
Keep your favorite quotes handy.
Whenever you watch a movie, jot down your favorite quotes. This can be on your phone, in a notebook or even on flash cards. If the quote is already in Spanish, jot down the English equivalent. If the quote is in English, write your own translation into Spanish. Refer back to your favorite quotes often, and say them out loud as you look at them. In no time at all, you’ll have them memorized.
Incorporate quotes into daily speech.
People quote movies constantly in daily life. Why not jazz things up and quote them in Spanish? Not only will it help you practice your skills, it’ll certainly make you stand out in any crowd of rampant movie quote lovers.
Now that you know how to find quotes and what to do with them, here are some great quotes to get you started in your learning adventure.
15 Great Movie Quotes in Spanish
1. “Sacudido, no removido.”
“Shaken, not stirred” is a famous James Bond quote. Sacudir means “to shake,” and remover means “to stir.” The -ido ending of the verbs indicates that these are past participles, so the quote is a helpful way to remember this conjugation that allows you to use verbs like adjectives.
From “Forrest Gump”
You probably remember this “Forrest Gump” quote as “Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.” However, Spanish versions of the quote differ on which word they use for “chocolate” (chocolates or bombones).
Additionally, the word tocar doesn’t literally mean “to get,” but rather “to touch” or “to play.”
From “Star Wars”
“May the Force be with you” is from the popular “Star Wars” franchise. If you memorize this quote, the Fuerza (Force) will always be with you…or at least in your vocabulary.
4. “Tengo el presentimiento de que ya no estamos en Kansas.”
From “The Wizard of Oz”
This is the Spanish equivalent of “I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” from “The Wizard of Oz.” Presentimiento more literally means “premonition,” but it can also mean “feeling.”
From “Gone with the Wind”
This is what Rhett Butler says to Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind.” In the English version, it’s “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
However, the Spanish translation varies. The original Spanish version ended with “me importa un bledo” (I don’t give a damn) but the updated translation is “eso no me importa” (“I don’t care about that” or literally “that doesn’t matter to me”).
From “Apocalypse Now”
You may remember this quotation from “Apocalypse Now” as “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” The Spanish version is less effusive, though, using gustar (to like) as the main verb.
7. “Veo a gente muerta.”
From “The Sixth Sense”
“I see dead people” is the famous quote from “The Sixth Sense.” It’s a useful quote to remember that gente (people) is more often used than the similar word personas (persons).
From “Taxi Driver”
This quote from “Taxi Driver” is the equivalent of the English version “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?” However, the Spanish version is a bit different. Its approximate meaning is “Are you talking with me? Are you telling me?”
From “The Godfather”
This quote from “The Godfather” is the equivalent of “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Note that podrá is the future tense of poder (to be able), so this quote is a helpful way to remember the future tense.
10. “Saluda a mi pequeño amigo!”
From “Scarface,” this quote means “Say hello to my little friend.” The Spanish verb saludar means “to say hello to,” so this conjugation is phrased as a command of that verb.
Interestingly, some versions change pequeño amigo to the feminine form, pequeña amiga.
This is the equivalent of “Play it again, Sam” from “Casablanca.” More literally, it means “Play it another time, Sam.”
Also, note the conjugation of tocar. Toca is the command, and la is tacked onto the end to mean “it.” The accent is placed over the “o” to make sure the “to” syllable continues to be stressed after adding on the “la.”
This is another great quote from “Casablanca.” It’s the equivalent of “We’ll always have Paris.” However, quedar is more like “to stay” or “to remain” than “to have.” Quedará is also another instance of future tense, so you’ve got your conjugation practice in.
From “A Few Good Men”
Go ahead and shout it like in “A Few Good Men.” This is the Spanish equivalent of “You can’t handle the truth.” However, soportar more literally means “to stand” or “to tolerate.”
Notice also that the verb is conjugated as puede to match with the subject Usted (formal “you”), since the two military officers are yelling in a formal situation (a courtroom).
This is what you should say when you see a great white shark like the one in “Jaws.”
In the original English version, the line is “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The Spanish version is closer to “You’ll need another bigger boat.” If you haven’t already had enough practice with future tense, necesitará is another example.
From “Dirty Dancing”
This one is so dissimilar from the original movie quote that it might take you a moment to even figure out where it’s from. Here’s a hint: it literally means “I will not let them corner you.”
Yup. You guessed it. This is the Spanish version of the famous “Dirty Dancing” quote, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Why the Spanish version veers so dramatically from the English version, the world may never know. But you get some good vocabulary out of it: yet another future tense verb (dejaré which can mean “I will let” or “I will leave”) and the present subjunctive conjugation of the verb arrinconar (“to put in a corner” or “to discard”).
So the next time you find yourself craving the comfort of your favorite movie, why not also improve your Spanish by learning and practicing some great quotes at the same time? Just be sure to finish chewing your popcorn first!
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