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Archive for September, 2011

by Jake Beus

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September 15th, 2011

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Spanish Video Lesson – Personal Hygiene

Personal Hygiene

Nobody wants to be around the person who doesn’t have good personal hygiene. The first step to having good personal hygiene is obviously being able to talk about personal hygiene in Spanish. In all seriousness, you might be able to use these lessons helping teach kids basic personal hygiene skills in a third-world country. Please practice what you learn on our Facebook page. By practicing on our Facebook page, you automatically enter yourself to win free software from us here at Visual Link Spanish.

Here is the vocabulary from the video:

deodorant desodorante
shampoo champú
soap jabón
toothbrush cepillo de dientes
toothpaste pasta dental
hair cabello/pelo
teeth dientes
fingernail uña
toenail uña del dedo del pie
to trim your nails cortarse las uñas
to brush your teeth cepillarse los dientes
eyes ojos
What toothpaste do you like? ¿Qué pasta dental te gusta?
How often do you brush your teeth? ¿Qué tan seguido te cepillas los dientes?

Nobody wants to be the smelly kid in class or the stinky guy at work. Brush your teeth, bathe, and put on deodorant everyday. Please. As you noticed the questions of the day are:

What is your favorite brand of toothpaste?
How often do you brush your teeth?

Please practice what you’ve learned and answer those questions on the Visual Link Spanish Facebook page for a chance to win free software from us.

Future Facebook Fiesta Friday Topics:

September 23, 2011 – Boss Your Kids Around in Spanish

September 30, 2011 – What to Say to Your Parents in Spanish

October 7, 2011 – Speaking Spanish With Your Best Friend

by Jake Beus

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September 13th, 2011

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Mexican market

Speak Spanish at the Supermarket

If you are visiting a foreign country, it is likely that at some point you’ll need to buy some food unless you eat out every single meal. If you can be a penny pincher at times like me, it will be worth your time to learn some supermarket Spanish vocabulary so you can buy some food every once in awhile. Here’s a short vocabulary list:

receipt – recibo
check – cheque
cashier – cajero/a
shopping cart – porta compras
beverages – bebidas
bread – pan
milk – leche
shelf – estante
scale – escala/pesa
aisle – pasillo
How much does it cost? – ¿Cuánto cuesta?

Challenge: Visit a supermarket where you know you can practice your Spanish, practice Spanish, and tell me about your experience.

by Jake Beus

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September 12th, 2011


Since I own an  iPhone, I searched through the app store on my phone. I don’t want to hear any guff from you owners of Android phones. There are a lot of things that you can do which I can’t. Your phones are gaining popularity, but I think it’s safe to say that the iPhone is still the most popular cell phone. I will answer the “Can I learn Spanish on my cell phone” question with a focus on the iPhone. If any of you own Android phones and have found success with particular apps, please comment below.

Quite a few results came up when I searched for “learn spanish” in the app store. There certainly are a lot of options. Most of the apps aren’t free. The most expensive one I found was $19.99. A few companies offer free apps that work with their Spanish software programs. It seemed to me that most of the apps were vocabulary-based with lots of games. There are some nice dictionaries that provide audio in addition to a translation.

Many companies offer mp3 audio lessons in addition to their software course. That is really nice if they do because then you can review what you learn from wherever you are. Our Level 1, 2 and 3 courses have mp3 audio with the courses so you can review. We also have created the Visual Link Spinner, which teaches you important Spanish vocabulary in a unique way so you can create hundreds of sentences.

The conclusion I have come to after searching through different apps is that you get a portion of the learning process on your cell phone, but not the whole piece of the pie. However, I think that technology is headed in that direction. Avoid wasting money and get the apps that have the most reviews and ratings. It’s a definite plus if you are familiar with the app publisher.

by Tyler

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September 9th, 2011

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For those of us who are just beginning Spanish, sometimes it helps to learn a few key phrases and some pronunciation tips. Here are a list of important phrases for beginning students of Spanish:

Hola, me llamo (name) – Hi, my name is (name)

Mucho gusto.  – It’s nice to meet you.

¿Cómo te llamas? – What is your name?

Quiero ir al cine. – I want to go to the movies.

¿Dóonde está el (aeropurto, banco, playa)? – Where is the (airport,bank,beach)?

norte – north

sur – south

este – east

oeste – west

Here are a few quick pointers on pronunciation:

D – The D in Spanish is  alot softer then the English D. It’s what we call “interdental”.  You say it between your teeth, like how we English speakers say ‘the’.

R –  The Spanish R is like our D…it’s hard…If you want to avoid sounding completely gringo do not say a Spanish R as we do in English with words such as Round or Rowboat.

LL- This letter does not exist in English. In Spanish, there are two ways to pronounce it:  Either as a ‘y’, as in yarn, or like a soft ‘j’, as in jam. Typically in Mexico, the Carribean and Central America, it is pronounced like a ‘y’. Keep in mind, however, that it can be mixed. It’s often pronounced almost like a soft ‘j’.  The ‘j’ pronounciation is used in South America, particularly in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. This has a more definitive ‘J’ sound than you might here in Mexico or Central America.

by Dave Clark

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September 8th, 2011

Spanish Video Lesson – How to Talk About What You Want to Learn in Spanish.

With School Back in Session, as an Adult, What Do You Want to Learn?

With September here, fall weather in the air and school back in session a few weeks ago, many adults start having the itch to learn again. When we were in school, we couldn’t wait to get out because we felt like our brains were so full they would explode. But now, when we see kids going back to school, there is a part of many of us that misses learning. As proof of this, I just looked at our website traffic and it’s up 30% in September. People are conditioned to “end their summer vacations” and start learning again.

There is a satisfaction, and in some cases, a real thrill that comes from learning. Well, this week on our Facebook page, we want to know what you want to learn. Come let us know on “Facebook Fiesta Friday” as you practice using your Spanish. If you want to learn more words that aren’t in the video lesson, or list below, check out our Spanish words page on learnalanguage.com.

Here is the vocabulary from the video:

I want to learn… Quiero aprender…
…how to paint (don’t have to put “how to” after “aprender”, but you do
need an “a” in another verb is after)
…a pintar
…how to play an instrument …a tocar un instrumento
…how to play the guitar …a tocar la guitarra
…how to swim better …a nadar mejor
…languages …idiomas
…Spanish …español
…history …historia
…more history …más historia
…more about history …más acerca de la historia
…more about politics …más acerca de la política
…more about music …más acerca de la música
…more about business …más acerca de los negocios
…more about science …más acerca de la ciencia
…more about the remote control …más acerca del control remoto

Come to Facebook on Friday and let us know what you want to learn. I will also be sharing what I like to learn. As a brief preview, I love learning from audio books on audible.com. (I didn’t get paid to mention that site, I just simply love it!! I’ve listened to over 100 books from Audible in the past 5 years or so.) Come on to Facebook on Friday and I’ll share my favorite topics…and, most importantly, I’d love to hear what YOU want to learn.

¡Hasta luego Amigos!

Future Facebook Fiesta Friday Topics:

September 16, 2011 – Personal Hygiene

September 23, 2011 – How to Boss Your Kids Around in Spanish

September 30, 2011 – What to Say to Your Parents in Spanish

by Dave Clark

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September 8th, 2011

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¡Hola Amigos!

Many of you have been asking about Visual Link Spanish Level I Version 5.0 for the Mac. It is finally here!

We hope you enjoy it!

To order it, go to: https://www.spanishprograms.com/store.htm




by Dave Clark

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September 7th, 2011

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“How Do You Say in Spanish?”

 The phrase, “How do you say in Spanish?” is “¿Cómo se dice en español?”

For example, if you are talking to a native Spanish speaker and you want to learn how to say “cat”, you would say, “¿Cómo se dice cat en español?”

This is a very useful phrase that can help turn any Spanish speaker into your personal tutor (provided they know some basic English words).

“How do you say in Spanish” is the same if you’re talking about plural words or singular words. For example, “How do you say cars in Spanish?” would be “¿Cómo se dice cars en español?”

If you want a literal breakdown of what it means, the word “cómo” means “how”, the phrase “se dice” means “is it said”, and “en español” means “in Spanish. So, if you said “¿Cómo se dice bike en español?, the literal translation would be “How is it said bike in Spanish?”

In summary, “How do you say in Spanish?” is “¿Cómo se dice en español?”

Now, for a related tip, if you hear a Spanish word and you want to know what it means, a super-useful phrase is, “¿Qué quiere decir?” For example, if you hear the word, “montaña” and you don’t know what it means, you could say, “¿Qué quiere decir montaña?” which means “What does montaña mean?” The literal translation is, “What does it want to say montaña?” (That’s one that really doesn’t translate well into English but native Spanish speakers use it all the time.)

Both of those useful phrases and many more are found in the Visual Link Spanish course, to get it free, just go to the free learn to speak Spanish download page.

Hopefully those language tips give you a little confidence in conversing with native speakers. Practice them and let us know how it goes when you try them out. We’d love to hear your comments on our blog.

by Jake Beus

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September 6th, 2011

Speaking Spanish at the Park

Spanish at the Park

Parks seem to be universal. Wherever you go, whatever city you visit, there will probably be some sort of park within a reasonable distance. With that in mind, you better learn some Spanish park vocabulary.

bench | banca
duck pond | estanque de patos
horseback rider | caballista
playground | área de juego/parque
seesaw | subibaja
swings | columpios
slide | resbaladilla/chorrera
trash can | basurero/zafacón
park | parque
water fountain | bebedero/fuente
I want to go the park. | Quiero ir al parque.
Be careful. | Ten cuidado.

Challenge: Visit a local park, do your best to only speak in Spanish, and tell me about your experience.

by Tyler

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September 2nd, 2011

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1. Puerto Rico

The land of enchantment. Looking for a tropical place to visit but want to avoid tourist traps and long lines? Puerto Rico might be the place for you. First off, a little background on the island. Puerto Rico was a Spanish Colony up until 1898 when Spain ceded the island to the United States as part of the Spanish-American war. Currently, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, and the island is considered a commonwealth of the U.S. One wonderful thing about Puerto Rico is that any American citizen can visit the island with a passport, thus elminating the need to get a foreign tourist visa. However, any non-U.S. citizen will need a valid passport and an American tourist visa. Although Spanish and English are both considered the official languages, Spanish is the primary language.

Places to Visit:

El Yunque National Rainforest

 Old San Juan

 Playa Tortuga (Turtle Beach)

2.  Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is an island nation located on the island of ‘Hispañola’, with the other country being Haiti. Hispañola, is the second largest island in the carribean (after Cuba). The term ‘Tropical Paradise’ seems to be thrown around a lot, but the Dominican Republic is just that. With an average temperature of 82 F, you can enjoy this wonderful island paradise all year round.

Interesting facts:  Spanish is the spoken language in the Dominican Republic. Although most people associate soccer with many Spanish speaking countries, baseball is the country’s national sport. Dominicans love their baseball! Some of the greatest baseball players have come from there, Albert Pujols, Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz, just to name a few.

The Dominican Republic, maybe more so than other carribean nations, is known for its cuisine.  Dominican cuisine is predominantly made up of a combination of Spanish, indigenous Taino, and African influences. Here is a short list of some popular Dominican dishes:

Rice and bean combination- “La Bandera”

Cassava-Type of Root, many times made into a sweet type of bread.

Plantain-Can be served raw, fried ect.

Longaniza (Sausage)

Stewed goat

Fish cooked with coconut milk

When to visit:  The so-called ‘cool’ or winter season, runs from November to April. The humidity is relatively low during these months, and it tends to cool down in the evenings much more than in the summer months. The summer season runs from May To October, and although the temperature typically averages around 87, the humidity increases more than during the summer season. The Dominican Republic is located in an area where hurricanes can occur. Officially, the Caribbean hurricane season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. Historically, hurricane activity in the Dominican Republic has occured during the months of August and September. Your best bet would probably be to visit during the months of November to April to avoid the high humidity and the rainy season.

Punta Cana

by Jake Beus

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September 1st, 2011

Spanish Video Lesson – Phrases to Impress Your Teacher

Impress Your Spanish Teacher

I have news for you: It’s September and that means back to school. It’s always a good idea to get on the good side of your teacher, so I developed that little video so that you can impress your teacher. Now you can officially get on the good side of your Spanish teacher. Please practice what you have learned on our Facebook page.

Here is the vocabulary from the video:

I am happy to be here. Estoy feliz de estar aquí.
You are a good teacher. (male) Usted es un buen maestro.
You are a good teacher. (female) Usted es una buena maestra.
I studied a lot during the summer. Estudié mucho durante el verano.
I want to learn. Quiero aprender.
I will help you. Yo le ayudaré.
I can do it. Puedo hacerlo.
I need to go to the bathroom. Necesito ir al baño.
I like your shirt. Me gusta su camisa.
Can you help me? ¿Me puede ayudar?
Good morning. Buenos días.
I understand. Entiendo.

I should warn you that not all teachers have a sense of humor. The best thing that you can do to get on the good side of the teacher is to do what the teacher says. There’s no doubt in my mind though that your teacher will be impressed when you use some of these Spanish phrases with perfect pronunciation. Good luck and may this be the beginning of another great school year for all of you just getting back to school again!

Future Facebook Fiesta Friday Topics:

September 9, 2011 – Back to School – What do you want to learn?

September 16, 2011 – Personal Hygiene

September 23, 2011 – Boss Your Kids Around in Spanish

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