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Archive for December, 2011

by Jake Beus

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December 30th, 2011

From all of us here at Visual Link Spanish, I’d like to wish you a very happy New Year. 2011 has been a fantastic year. Personally, I’ve enjoyed being a very small part of your lives this past year as I’ve tried my best to give you tips, updates, discounts, and anything else I could think of to help you on your journey to learn Spanish the right way. I hope that I have helped motivate you to continue your journey into 2012.

The best way to learn Spanish is obviously to live in a Spanish speaking country and be completely immersed in the Spanish language. That is not possible for most of us, so we do the best we can using our native tongue while learning Spanish at the same time. I highly recommend that you spend at least 15 minutes each day using the Visual Link Spanish software or some other method of learning. Cramming sessions are just as effective as they were in high school; they will help you pass the test, but you will soon forget the majority of what you crammed into your brain. I encourage you to set a goal to make time for learning every day.

With that I will leave you for the year and let you begin your preparations for the New Year. Have fun and I hope you are able to bring in the New Year with the people you desire. And of course, please be responsible and safe with your New Year’s celebrations. Plan wisely and enjoy!

by Jake Beus

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December 29th, 2011

New Year’s Goals in Spanish

It’s that special time of year when we reflect back on the year we’ve shared together. It’s time to reflect on the good times and the bad times. It’s time to learn from your mistakes and your goals and make better ones for the upcoming year. If learning Spanish is one of those goals, then you may want to be able to talk about the goals you’ll set in Spanish.

Since it’s important for you to share your goals (unless they’re too personal) with others, please be sure to visit us on Facebook to share what your goals are for the upcoming year in Spanish. Help us help you and encourage others to achieve their goals. Everybody can use some encouragement.

Here is the vocabulary from the video:

What are your goals for the new year?
¿Cuáles son sus metas para el año que viene?
My goal is to…
Mi meta es…
…write a book
…escribir un libro
…do more exercise
…hacer más ejercicio
…lose weight
…bajar de peso
…become healthier
…ser más saludable
…eat healthier
…comer más saludable
…learn Spanish
…aprender español
…learn a new language
…aprender un nuevo idioma
…listen better
…escuchar mejor
…run in a marathon
…correr en un maratón
…read 5 books
…leer cinco libros
…read 20 books
…leer veinte libros
…receive a degree at the university
…recibir un título en la Universidad
Question of the week:
What are your goals for the new year? ¿Cuáles son sus metas para el año que viene?

Next week I am going to give you some tips to help you achieve your goals. But for now, the important thing is setting your goals. So go ahead and get started now and tell us on Facebook what your goals are!

Future Facebook Fiesta Friday Topics:

January 6, 2012 – Reaching Your Goals

January 13, 2012 – Winter Weather

January 20, 2012 – Spanish for your Grandparents

by Jake Beus

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December 28th, 2011

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I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas season. I hope that you made some time for the most important people in your life. As the end of 2011 draws near, I find myself in reflection mode. My mind is full of questions like:

What were the highlights and low-lights of this past year?
What did I learn?
What did I forget to do?
Did I accomplish my goals?
What did I accomplish?

Personally, I hope to learn from 2011 and apply what I learned in 2012. I know that many of you reading this blog post have a goal to learn Spanish. That is a good goal; however, perhaps you should be a bit more specific. Instead of merely saying that you want to learn Spanish, I recommend that you set a goal to become fluent in basic conversational Spanish. This will help you to focus on the goal at hand.

Not being specific enough with my goals is one mistake that I made this past year. Everybody makes mistakes and I make a lot of them. The best way to learn is from the mistakes of others. This is a grand opportunity for you to learn from some of mine regarding goals. Here are a few more mistakes I made in regards to goals:

1. I wrote my goals down, then I forgot them.
2. I set too many goals, thus there was not enough focus on individual goals.
3. I wasn’t specific enough with my goals.
4. I didn’t celebrate the small successes.

I will elaborate further in an upcoming video lesson and blog post, but that tells the tale for the most part. As you reflect on the past year, don’t allow yourself to be overcome by your mistakes. I am a firm believer in positive thinking when I remember to positively think.

by Jake Beus

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December 23rd, 2011

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Santa Claus is coming to town! There are many different artists who sing that song and have different versions. My favorite is Neil Diamond’s version, with Jackson 5 coming in at a close second. In preparation for Santa Claus coming to town I have come up with a few things that you can say to Santa before that special day called Christmas. Although you may not be able to speak with him personally, Santa knows what’s in your heart and what’s on your mind.

Yo creo en Santa Clos/Papá Noel. | I believe in Santa Claus.
Me porté bien este año. | I behaved well this year (I was a good boy/girl this year.)
Me alegra estar con mi familia. | It makes me happy to be with my family.
He perdonado a mis hermanos. | I have forgiven my brothers and sisters.
Me portaré mejor el año que viene. | I’ll behave better next year.
¿Podrías darlos a mis padres algo bien? | Could you give my parents something nice?

We would like to give you something special as well this Christmas season. It’s currently Day 12 of our 13 Days of Christmas. Click on that link to view all the free audio downloads we are giving away from our Level 1 course. We used to sell these audio lessons for $100, and you can download them and put them on your mp3 device or phone for free. That’s our way of saying Merry Christmas to you. Help us spread the Christmas cheer by sharing that link with your friends, neighbors, family and acquaintances.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate this Christmas season, we hope that you celebrate safely and that you enjoy every moment. Remember to be nice to everyone, because Santa is watching!

by Jake Beus

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December 22nd, 2011

Spanish Video Lesson – Spanish for Christmas

Christmas Spanish

I’m not Santa Claus, but I do have something I’d like to give to everyone this Christmas: a free Level I audio course on MP3 (before we created our software, we used to sell the audio course for $100 – and now, we’re giving it to you FREE as part of our 12 days of Christmas + 1)! Help me get the message out on this special offer because it will not be available after the 26th of December.

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas Spanish video lesson. Be sure to visit us tomorrow on Facebook to practice your Spanish and answer the questions of the week. Please tell us what you want for Christmas and what your Christmas traditions are. Anyone who answers those questions is automatically entered in a contest for a chance to win free Visual Link Spanish software.

Here is the vocabulary from the video:

Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Come and eat with us.
Ven a comer con nosotros.
Come and eat with us (if you are talking to more than one person)
Vengan a comer con nosotros.
Did Santa Claus come?
¿Vino Papá Noel/Santa Clos?
What do you want for Christmas?
¿Qué quieres para la Navidad?
I want…
Quiero… (Rob, Leave this up please)
to spend time with my family.
pasar tiempo con mi familia.
a new phone.
un teléfono nuevo.
Questions of the Week:
What do you want for Christmas?
¿Qué quieres para la Navidad?
What are your Christmas traditions?
¿Cuáles son tus tradiciones navideñas?

If you are thinking about 2012 and what you will accomplish, be sure to add learning Spanish to your goals. Do some fun things, but be sure to also educate yourself and enhance your life.

Future Facebook Fiesta Friday Topics:

December 30, 2011 – New Year’s Resolutions

January 6, 2012 – Reaching Your Goals

January 13, 2012 – Winter Weather

by Dave Clark

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December 21st, 2011

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¡Hola Amigos!

A few weeks ago, I started to teach you Indirect Object Pronouns. Here’s the link to that first post: Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish Part I.

As I explained in the last post, the information I am sharing here is from the scripts from our Digital Learning Center (DLC) course. If you purchase the DLC course, you will learn all kinds of info about Spanish grammar. You can find it on our Catalog page.

That said, here we go:

…Now let’s learn how to say the Spanish indirect object pronouns and how to use them in sentences in Spanish.

Are you ready?

me nos
te os (used only inSpain)
le les

If you’ve gone through the Direct Objects lesson, you may have noticed that the only difference between direct object and indirect object pronouns in that we use “le” and “les” instead of “lo”, “la” “los” and “las” (bottom row).

Now let’s see how they work in Spanish – As we go through these examples, notice how, unlike English, the Indirect Objects in Spanish come before the verb.

“She gives the money to me” changes to

Me da el dinero

“We send letters to him” changes to

Le mandamos las cartas

“She asks a favor of him” changes to

Le pide un favor

“They tell secrets to her” changes to

Le dicen secretos

“He writes emails to us” changes to

Nos escribe emails

“I throw the ball to them” changes to

Les tiro la pelota

“I deliver the packages to you – informal” changes to

Te entrego los paquetes

Hopefully now you have the basic idea of how indirect objects work. If this idea still seems pretty new to you, you may want to review it again.

Next we’ll move on to a new concept and learn how to put Direct Object and Indirect Object Pronouns together in the same sentence.

Now, if you’ve seen the Direct Object lesson, you learned how to use Direct Object Pronouns (if not, I recommend watching it). We’ll review them for a minute now.

They are:

me nos
te os
lo/la los/las

In this lesson, we’ll only focus on objects or items so we’ll only need the bottom row of Direct Objects. In other words, we don’t need to use the top ones then putting together direct and indirect object pronouns.

As a quick review, we’ll take another look at the Indirect Object Pronouns.

me nos
te os
le les

First of all, when you put a “Direct Object Pronoun” and an “Indirect Object Pronoun” together, the “Indirect Object Pronoun”, representing a person, always comes first. And the “Direct Object Pronoun”, representing an item or object, comes second.

Well Amigos, that does it for today.

I hope you’re all having fun getting ready for Navidad (Christmas).

¡Felices Fiestas! (Happy Holidays!)

by Jake Beus

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December 20th, 2011

Every week I try to give you some new Spanish idioms or Spanish expressions. Today the focus is on the verb ‘echar’. ‘Echar’ is a very versatile Spanish word and verb. Depending on the context, it can mean many different things. Here are my favorite echar expressions.

¡Échale ganas! | Give it all you’ve got!
¡Échale ganas! Así terminas tus deberes más temprano. | Give it all you’ve got! That way you’ll finish your duties earlier.
¡Échale ganas y un poquito más! | Give it all you’ve got and a little more!

echar de menos | to miss
Te vamos a echar de menos cuando te vayas. | We’re going to miss you when you go.
Te voy a echar de menos. | I’m going to miss you.

echar la culpa | to blame
Robaron el dinero y me echaron la culpa. | They stole the money and blamed me.
Su hermana mintió y le echó la culpa a él. | His sister lied and blamed him.

echar leña al fuego | to add fuel to the fire
Es mejor callarse y no echar más leña al fuego. | It’s better to keep quiet and not stir things up more than they already are.
Su esposo llegó y echó más leña al fuego. | Her husband arrived and made things even worse.

echar raíces | to settle down
¿Cuándo te vas a casar y echar raíces? | When are you going to get married and settle down?
En su corazón desea echar raíces. | He really wants to settle down.

Hopefully you have an opportunity to use some of these new Spanish idioms and expressions. When you use them for the first time be sure to ask if what you said makes sense. Good luck!

For those of you who are  not aware, there are only 4 more days of our 13 Days of Christmas. Click on that link so that you can download the audio lessons from the Visual Link Spanish Level 1 course for free. ¡Feliz Navidad!

by Dave Clark

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December 19th, 2011

Pregunta de la semana/Question of the week:

Dear Dave i have a really important question for you
alot of times when i hear people speak spanish then dont add the word yo to quiero or yo to the word tengo …

alot of times i well hear

quiero ir ( i want to go ) or alot i hear this word
tengo pregunta para ti ( i have a question for you )

but in spanish i though you had to add the word yo following the word quiero or tengo or ect…beacuse i think wouldent it make more sense to say yo tengo pregunta para ti ( i have a question for u ) or yo quiero ir ( i want to go ) an now i could be wrong and thats why i am asking ..

also when i speak spanish here is one more example where somtimes i find my self in a sticky situation for example i say usted tiene/ tienes comida porque tengo hambre
but my friend will say tienes comida porque tnego hombre
…they say tienes mean ( you have ) but dont u have to add the usted or tu ..to the word tiene ? to make it say you have ?

i hope when your reading this ..,my message is not confuseing to you ..but im just wondering alot do i have to add the words …yo to quiero ..or add the word yo to tengo for i have …or usted to tienes ..like this is all confuseing to me cuz they just say quiero…tengo…tienes
ect ..ect.. .


In Spanish, personal pronouns (yo, tú, él, ella, etc.) are completely optional. I realize this is a complete paradigm shift from how we speak in English (or how they do it in French or other languages). Often, native Spanish speakers with talk to you and not use them and sometimes, when you are new to Spanish, it will leave you wondering whom they are talking about. After a while you get used to it and realize whom they are talking about.

Basically, here’s how they do it – for everyday conversation, they’ll usually leave the personal pronoun off. For example, if someone said to someone else, “¿Quiere ir?” it could mean, Do you want to go? (formal) or “Does he or she want to go?” The way to tell the difference is by their body language or the context of what they are talking about. If they they are looking directly at the person, it probably means “Do YOU want to go?” If they are motioning to someone else or were previously talking about someone else, they mean “Does he/she want to go?”

Also, the personal pronouns are used when you want to emphasize. For example, if someone asked a group of people, “Who wants to go?” (¿Quién quiere ir?) If I really wanted to go (and only a few people could go) I would say, “Yo quiero ir.” (I want to go.)

Hopefully all of that makes sense and answers your question.

¡Hasta luego!



by Jake Beus

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December 16th, 2011

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It’s that wonderful time of year when there is not a lot of time left for you to find Christmas presents for those special people around you. There are millions of people just like you. Don’t feel bad. Next year you will plan better. Next year I will do a better job of planning as well. Do the people around you have a desire to learn Spanish? Have they ever mentioned that learning Spanish would be nice? If so, here are a few things on Amazon.com that I recommend:

I can personally recommend all of these learning tools because I have used them. The best kind of Christmas presents that you give and receive are those that require some thought and those that will last. Give yourself and others the gift of learning. I’m not saying that everything you give needs to be educational (I really do love getting new socks on Christmas), but learning new things is a big thing that makes life more exciting and rewarding. Nobody can tell you that you are too old, too young, or too stupid to learn Spanish. If you have a desire to learn, then you should learn.

More than anything, get the gift giving taken care of. Get it off your list so that you can spend a little bit of time relaxing and spending time with family and friends. It may do some good to do a little volunteering as well. Think about those who are less fortunate than you. Don’t just focus on yourself this holiday season. If you have any comments or other things you would like to suggest, please use the comment section.

by Dave Clark

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December 15th, 2011

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Spanish Video Lesson – Spanish For Sub for Santa

Sub for Santa Spanish

At this time of year, with all we’ve been blessed with – like the Visual Link Spanish blog, Facebook Fiesta Friday, a warm home to sleep in and food to eat, I hope we can remember those less fortunate than us and get involved with a Sub for Santa helping those in need.

As a part of giving back to you this Christmas/Holiday season, we are giving everyone a free Level I audio course on MP3 (before we created our software, we used to sell the audio course for $100 – and now, we’re giving it to you FREE as part of our 12 days of Christmas + 1)! Be sure and tell all your friends about it. But BEWARE! the day after Christmas it will be gone, so if you don’t download all the audios by then, you will have lost your opportunity. Honestly, we hope that thousands of courses are downloaded so the holiday cheer can be spread all around the world. Facebook it and Tweet it out. Next, be sure to visit us tomorrow on Facebook to practice your Spanish and tell us about a Sub for Santa experience you’ve had.

Here is the vocabulary from the video:

Surprise Christmas Navidad de sorpresa
How many boys do you have? ¿Cuántos varones tienen?
How daughters do you have? ¿Cuántas hijas tienen?
How old are they? ¿Cuántos años tienen?
What size is he? ¿Qué tamaño es él?
What size is she? ¿Qué tamaño es ella?
We have some presents for you. Tenemos unos regalos para Uds.
We want to give them to you at your house. Queremos dárselos en su casa.
When will you be home? ¿Cuándo van a estar en casa?
Merry Christmas! ¡Feliz Navidad!
How are you? ¿Cómo están Uds.?
These presents are for you. Estos regalos son para Uds.
You’re welcome De nada
I hope you have a great Christmas! ¡Espero que pasen una buena Navidad!
Question of the week:
Have you done a surprise Christmas before? ¿Ha hecho una Navidad de sorpresa antes?

This Saturday, be sure to come back to the blog for a post that answers a question about “Why Spanish speakers don’t use ‘yo, tú, él, ella, etc.’ when they speak”.

Also, you can still get Visual Link with a huge discount and on-time for Christmas! Come to our website Monday for a FREE 2-day Express shipping sale with 55% off everything in our catalog. This offer will expire on Tuesday – be sure to check Facebook on Monday for the coupon code and more info.

Visual Link Spanish Online Catalog

Future Facebook Fiesta Friday Topics:

December 23, 2011 – Christmas Spanish Lesson

December 30, 2011 – New Year’s Resolutions

January 6, 2012 – Reaching Your Goals (an exciting lesson by Jake on how to keep our New Year’s resolutions – I’m excited!)

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