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Archive for June, 2010

by Brandi

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June 30th, 2010

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  English Spanish
Monday now ahora
Tuesday later luego
Wednesday in an hour en una hora
Thursday in (5) minutes en (cinco) minutos
Friday it lo
Saturday also también
Sunday something algo

To learn more Spanish words, please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

by Brandi

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June 28th, 2010

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This week’s Spanish culture blog, we are going to look into some language issues and how they relate to culture.  In Spanish, the word for “now” is “ahora”. It is pronounced “ah – or – dah”.  We are going to look into the importance of “ahora”.  Let’s say you are discussing an issue at work or school with a Spanish speaking person and you tell them about something that needs to be done “ahora”. What will most likely happen is that they will get around to the task in an hour or two or maybe even sometime later in the day. This can be frustrating if you need something done “now”.  You may wonder why it is that they are taking such a long time to complete the task. Understanding this term completely and the culture behind it will help you avoid frustration and bridge culture gaps that can exist with translation issue.

For a native Spanish speaking person, the word “ahora” (defined as “now” in a dictionary) in fact means “now or any time today”.   If you tell a Spanish speaking person that something has to be done “ahora” it will almost certainly get done sometime today.

So how is that that you can convey to someone know that something really needs to be done “now”? Many native speakers will inform you that the word for “right now” in Spanish is “ahorita”.  But even that term will only translate  to within the next hour or so. For example, many native speakers will leave and say they’ll be coming back “ahorita”.  This means they will return in approximately one hour.

The best way to state “right now” is “ahora mismo”.  This literal translation of “ahora mismo” comes out as “the same now”.  By understanding this concept, you can stay away from many potential cultural misunderstandings.  Be sure you understand the terms “ahora”, “ahorita” and “ahora mismo” as explained in this blog and when to use them.   For higher retention, start using and practicing them “ahora mismo”!

To learn more about Spanish words and Spanish culture, please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

by Brandi

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June 25th, 2010

Many people have the mistaken idea that the Spanish language that is used in Spain is completely different from that spoken in Mexico. They also believe that if you speak in Mexican Spanish, they won’t be able to understand you in Spain. I’m not sure where people get this idea from but it is simply not true. As I mentioned in the newsletter last week, some words may vary region to region (especially slang or swear words) but the core Spanish language spoken in each country is still the same.

In fact, there is a very close correlation between English from the United States, England, and Australia and Spanish spoken in Spain, Mexico and Latin America in general. For example, if someone from England or Australia talks, I, as an American, can understand them just fine and they can understand me. Sure we have different accents, some of their swear words are different, and I may not understand many of their slang words but we can understand each other. It is the same with Spanish in Spain, Mexico and Latin America. They have different accents and their regional uses of some words may vary but they can understand each other just fine.

Briefly, some differences in accent between Latin America and Spain are that in Spain, when they say their “S’s”, they make more of a hissing “s” sound. Also, in Spain, the “z” and “c” (followed by “e” or “i”) make a “th” sound instead of the Latin American “s” sound. And finally, in Latin America, the “ll” can sound like an English “j” or “y” depending on the region, however in Spain, it is generally pronounced like a “y”.

(Just a little side note: Mexico is considered part of Latin America; I have distinguished them since around 70% of Spanish speakers in the U.S. come from Mexico and the rest from Latin America in general. Source: census.gov)

All of these accent and vocabulary differences were considered as we created our Visual Link Spanish™ course. As part of our creation process, we had it reviewed by individuals from South America, as well as corporate executives, a lawyer, and a linguist from Mexico in addition to one from Spain. Although our course favors Latin American Spanish and is recorded by a Mexican woman’s voice, we have ensured that almost every word in the course can be understood in whatever country Spanish is spoken.

During the creation process, we took things a step further and were very picky about using the most contemporary words and phrases in the course. There are many phrases that are currently found in textbooks that are no longer commonly used in Latin America. The reviewers helped us use the most common phrases in use today for subjects like telling time, greetings and many others.

Now you know the scoop on the difference between Spanish from Spain and Latin America.

To learn more about speaking Spanish, please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

by Brandi

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June 22nd, 2010

no les vamos a enseñar – we’re not going to teach you (plural)
la cultura – the culture
en este área – in this area (area is spelled the same in both languages)
antes de pasar tiempo – before spending time
de región a región – from region to region
España – Spain
lo mismo es verdad – the same is true
por ejemplo – for example
significa – means
país a país – country to country
dicen – they say
aquí hay otro – here’s another one
un hombre inocente – an innocent man
hace unos a& ntilde;os – a few years ago
trabajando con él – working with him
explicó que – explained that
y él dijo – and he said
solidificado – solidified
afortunadamente – luckily (fortunately)
y aclaró la situación – and clarified the situation
la frase – the phrase
en esta situación – in this situation
su conocimiento – his knowledge
la próxima vez – the next time
tenga mucho cuidado – be very careful
palabras – words
entendidas – understood
palabras y frases de español – Spanish words and phrases
nueve años – nine years
trabajando para perfeccionarlo – working to perfect it
un abogado – a lawyer
ha sido vendido – it has been sold

To learn more Spanish words and phrases, please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

by Brandi

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June 21st, 2010

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  English Spanish
Monday to a restaurant a un restaurante
Tuesday to the hotel al hotel
Wednesday to the pool a la piscina
Thursday to the office a la oficina
Friday today hoy
Saturday tomorrow mañana
Sunday tonight esta noche

To learn more Spanish words, please visit our website for free lessons www.learnspanishtoday.com

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