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Learn Spanish Blog

Spanish Learning Updates, Tips, and Tricks

Get 40% OFF Visual Link Spanish Products This Weekend!


by CaptainCode

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April 11th, 2014

Did you know that exactly 53 years ago, on April 12, 1961, the first man went into space? No, we’re not teaching you the 20th century lesson here, but just want to remind you that we can do anything we can, and sky’s the limit!

To celebrate the fact that everything is possible if you work hard and stick to your goals, we give you 40% off all Spanish courses this weekend!

Use promo code NOLIMITS on the checkout page, and let’s Spanish it up! The offer is valid for this whole weekend, starting now!

Explore our course and bundle selection below, and let sky be your limit! Remember to input the promo code: NOLIMITS. Shop now!

CHECKIT OUT!

 

10 Palabras: Human Body, Part 2


by CaptainCode

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March 25th, 2014

Hi Amigos! today we continue with our 10 Palabras on the human body. Here are the next 10 words for you to learn:

Neck – el cuello
Shoulder -  el hombro
Lips – los labios
Mouth – la boca
Chest – el pecho
Heart – el corazón
Knee – la rodilla
Wrist – la muñeca
Ankle – el tobillo
Hip – la cadera

Explore how you can learn Spanish easily with Visual Link Spanish! And yes, with us, you can learn Spanish FREE!

Father’s Day in Spain: Dia de San José and Las Fallas


by CaptainCode

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March 19th, 2014

Happy Fathers Day! What? Is it not the Fathers Day today? In Spain, it is!

Today is Saint Joseph’s Day, and in Spain the holiday is also celebrated as a Father’s Day. To remind, Saint Joseph (San José) was a spouse of the Virgin Mary, and the step-father of Jesus Christ.

The holiday has been celebrated since the 15th century, and, as it traditionally falls during Lent, it was traditionally observed as a day of abstinence. As a result, traditional meals on St. Joseph day were made up of meatless dishes.

As St Joseph’s day traditions vary from region to region, one could certainly expect the holiday to be somewhat more festive than a modest meal, after all this is the Spanish culture we are talking about, right? This is especially true if we look at Valencia, the region in the South of Spain.

To commemorate St Joseph, Valencians hold traditional celebration called the Falles, or Las Fallas. The term Falles refers to both the celebration and the monuments created during the celebration. Traditionally, each neighborhood of the city has an organized group of people, the Casal faller, that holds fundraising activities all year round to raise money to produce a construction known as a falla. The fallas are usually big statues of various comic characters and satirical stories.

Falles is a festival that lasts for 5 days and culminates on St Joseph’s Day, and every day and night of the Falles is a glorious party, with processions and comedic performances, in the streets, people celebrating at restaurants and terraces outside, enjoying non-stop vivid fireworks every night. Foreigners are often surprised to see everyone from small children to elderly gentlemen throwing fireworks and noisemakers in the streets (and how littered the streets become).

La Cremà (the Burning), the climax of the Falles, takes place around midnight on March 19, these falles are burnt as huge bonfires. This is why the constructions are called falles (“torches”). Traditionally, the falla in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament in Valencia is burned last.

Each falla is laden with fireworks which are lit first. The construction itself is lit either after or during the explosion of these fireworks. Many neighborhoods have a falla infantil (a children’s falla, smaller and without satirical themes), which is held a few meters away from the main one. This is burnt first, at 10:00 pm. The main neighborhood falles are burnt closer to midnight; the burning of the falles in the city centre often starts later.

So where does the tradition come from? While there are a number of speculations regarding the origin of the Falles festival, most researchers believe that the Falles developed from the celebration of the spring equinox, which is celebrated with bonfires in many traditions worldwide. Many suggest that in Spain it started in the Middle Ages, when artisans disposed of the broken artifacts and pieces of wood they saved during the winter by burning them to celebrate the spring equinox. Valencian carpenters used planks of wood called parots to hang their candles on during the winter, as these were needed to provide light for the carpenters to work by. With the coming of the spring, they were no longer necessary, so they were burned.

Over time, with the strengthening of the Catholic traditions, the date of the Falles festival was made to coincide with the celebration of the festival of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, and also became the Father’s Day in Spain.

Did you know that you can speak Spanish fluently by the time of the next Fallas festival? Imagine visiting Valencia for this exciting festival and being able to get around with no interpreter (and no English!). Whether you’re thinking this trip to Spain or just making your next Carribean vacation more fun by speaking Spanish to the locals, you can start learning Spanish FREE now! Visit Visual Link Spanish website and enjoy our FREE lessons, or choose to upgrade for a full award-winning Spanish course from Visual Link Spanish.

Here are some fallas:nou-campanar-falla-1

Falla

10 Palabras – Human Body, Part 1


by CaptainCode

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March 11th, 2014

Hi there amigos. In today’s 10 palabras, we’re looking at the human body. As it’s going to take A LOT more than 10 words to cover, this is the first part of the 10 Palabras- Human Body series. Learn these 10 words today:

  • Head – la cabeza
  • Ear – la oreja
  • Elbow – el codo
  • Eye – el ojo
  • Eyebrow – la ceja
  • Face – la cara, el rostro
  • Finger – el dedo
  • Foot – el pie
  • Forehead – la frente
  • Hair – el pelo

Explore how you can learn Spanish easily with Visual Link Spanish! And yes, with us, you can learn Spanish FREE!

Spring Sale! Get 60% Off All Visual Link Spanish Courses!


by CaptainCode

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March 3rd, 2014

spring big

Sale ends this Friday, so NOW is the time! Visit us today!

10 Palabras – Slang Expressions We Often Hear In The Movies and etc


by CaptainCode

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February 28th, 2014

Hola Amigos, since so many of you loved our previous 10 palabras that included a pinch of slang, we decided to give you some more slang expressions. These are slang yet appropriate expressions that are often heard in movies and on TV. So, let’s spice up our Spanish vocabulary together ;)

  1. good vibes; good feelings – buena honda
  2. close friend; a close relative – carnal
  3. cool- chido
  4. crazy; nutcase – chiflado
  5. a blonde – güero
  6. dude – güey
  7. group of friends -  la banda
  8. the money-  la lana
  9. What did you say? / pardon me – mande
  10. uncouth, unrefined -  naco

Learn Spanish with us! It’s fun and FREE! Visit Visual Link Spanish website now!

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Valentine’s Day Traditions in Latin America


by CaptainCode

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February 14th, 2014

dia-de-los-enamorados-02Happy Valentine’s Day! While we all know that love is all around and it’s certainly universal, did you ever wonder how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in other parts of the world? Is it the same commercialized blend of red roses, hearts and chocolate (not that we don’t enjoy it) as it is in our part of the planet? And, since we’re at it, what was the origin of the holiday before it became as mass marketed as it is today?

The Origin of  Valentine’s Day

There is a number of legends of how the holiday began. According to the most popular ones, Valentine’s Day is traced back to the Ancient Rome at the times of Emperor Claudius II.

Claudius made a bold decision to ban marriage, claiming that single men made better soldiers. However, a priest named Valentine continued to secretly marry couples, and eventually was imprisoned for disobeying the emperor. In jail, Valentine, being a hopeless romantic, fell in love with a young girl who regularly came to visit him. Right before he died, the priest wrote her a love letter, which is believed to be the first ever Valentine.

Valentine’s Day in Latin America

Over the centuries, the holiday has grown into a huge business in the United States and Europe, but seems to be a little more so in Latin America. In many countries, it seems to be more of an excuse to share love and friendship than candy and cards. It is even referred to as “Día del Amor y la Amistad” (Day of Love and Friendship) in many countries, including Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. It is common to see people perform “acts of appreciation” for their friends. In Guatemala this tradition is known as the “Día del Cariño” (Affection Day). In Brazil (yes, we know they speak Portuguese there, but still), the Dia dos Namorados (lit. “Lovers’ Day”, or “Boyfriends’/Girlfriends’ Day”) is celebrated on June 12, probably because that is the day before Saint Anthony’s day, known there as the marriage saint, when traditionally many single women perform popular rituals, called simpatias, in order to find a good husband or boyfriend.

More Traditions From Different Countries

In Mexico, February 14th is celebrated as the “Día de San Valentin but is more commonly referred to as El Día del Amor y la Amistad, the day of love and friendship. While people also commonly give flowers, candies and balloons to their romantic partners, it is also a day to show appreciation for your friends. It is a time for people to show appreciation to the people they care about in general.

In Peru, locals celebrate by giving out orchids, native to the country, to each other. Carnaval is going on at the same time so it is considered a public holiday, and many celebrate with mass weddings to be able to accommodate large groups of couples.

Argentina & Chile refer to the day as El Día de Los Enamorados. There is more of an emphasis on spoiling your significant other with gifts compared to other Latin American countries. Colombia and Bolivia celebrate Valentine’s Day on September 20-21, when it popular to send gifts from secret admirers.“ Dominican Republic & El Salvador have a similar tradition when a game called Angelito or Amigo Secreto is played. Girls and boys rip a piece of paper, write someone’s name, and then proceed to give their angelito a gift. That’s a very cute Secret Santa variation, isn’t it?

Happy Valentine’s Day Amigos!

10 Palabras: Useful Expressions (And A Pinch Of Slang)


by CaptainCode

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January 27th, 2014

Today’s 10 palabras will be about useful expressions in Spanish. Yes, there words that spice up the language, make it less ‘textbooky’ and more alive – which is the goal of Visual Link Spanish. And about no.10, all we can say: please pardon our Spanish ;) .

1. You’re kidding. – Estás de broma
2. Speaking of the devil – Hablando del rey de Roma
3. Were you born in a field/barn? – Cierra la puerta
4. What a rip off. – ¡Qué timo!
5. What a mess! – ¡Qué lío!
6. What a cheek! – ¡Qué cara!
7. By all means – No faltaría mas/Por supuesto
8. Chat someone up – Ligar con alguien
9. Cheer up! – ¡Anímate!
10. A pain in the arse – un coñazo (vulgar)

Have a great week everyone!

10 Palabras: It’s All About Internet


by CaptainCode

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January 23rd, 2014

Although we spend much time online (hey, you’re even learning Spanish online!), many of us are still at a loss for Spanish words when it comes to terms related to Internet. As all ‘dot coms’ become a regular part of our life, let’s learn some of them in Spanish.

Here’s today’s 10 Palabras (of a few more- who’s counting, right?):

  • @ (at)  – arroba
  • Bold (font) – negrita
  • dot com- punto com
  • drop down list/ drop down menu/pop-up menu -  menu desplegable
  • Forward (the name of the forward button)- adelante
  • hyperlink- hiperenlace
  • lurking- fisgoneo, mironeo (lurker – mirón)
  • surf- navegar
  • word wrap -  retorno automático de la palabra
  • to attach (to emails) – adjuntar
  • template – plantilla

Friday’s Easy Spanish


by CaptainCode

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January 17th, 2014

Happy Friday Amigos! If you are, like many today, not in the mood for a serious Spanish class (or any class, for that matter), there is no shame in that! We can just relax and have a great Friday night – and still squeeze some Spanish into it. And by Spanish we mean the language (not just the food and wine ;) ).

As we talked about learning Spanish through music and songs that are easy to listen, today, we give you another great example.

Love her or hate her, Madonna has certainly left a footprint in music. And, as many of you know, she also sings in Spanish, and trust us, her Spanish pronunciation is good. Especially in this song, a Spanish version of her timeless classic, You’ll See. The future tense is Spanish makes the title Verás:

Do note how clear the words sound, and, as it’s pretty much the translation, we’re sure you’ll get them. And here’s the better known English version of the song – just in case.

Happy Friday! And remember that you can Learn Spanish Free wish Visual Link Spanish! Have a great weekend everyone!


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