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Archive for November, 2013

by CaptainCode

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November 27th, 2013

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¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias & Happy Thanksgiving Amigos!

As you prepare for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving celebration and many of you are about to hit the road, we’ve got a special surprise for you!

With Visual Link Spanish, Black Friday starts early this year: just about… NOW!

That’s right! Why wait until Friday if you can get fantastic deals NOW?

From now until the end of Thanksgiving weekend, get ADDITIONAL 60% off at the checkout!

Learn Spanish Now!

by CaptainCode

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November 26th, 2013

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Learning Spanish on your own can be difficult. Most of us are used to studying together in groups or classes, but what do you do if you want a quality Spanish education and don’t want to attend a formal class? Is there any hope for you to really learn Spanish?

Yes! There is!

Start with a Quality Self-Study Course

There are a few key things to look for in a self-study Spanish course.

First, the lessons must be enjoyable and easy to use. Learning Spanish is hard enough, so don’t torture yourself by using a boring course with hard to use lessons. Make sure the lessons are interactive, engaging, and user friendly.

Second, make sure the course focuses on the most important phrases and questions in the language. Most likely you will never need to know how to say, “The Frog Prince enjoyed swimming.” But it would be nice to know how to say, “I need to go to the store?” or “How do I get to the post office?” A course that deals directly with useful Spanish phrases will help you utilize your study time and increase your personal Spanish education experience.

Finally, find a course that fits your learning style. If you are a visual learner, use a Spanish course with visual computer lessons. If you learn better from just hearing and listening, look for an audio Spanish course. If you are not sure how you learn best, try out as many free lessons as you can and pay attention to which type helps you learn faster.

A Few Tricks to Help Your Self-Study Spanish Education

Here are a few study tricks to help you no matter what Spanish course or Spanish education curriculum you use:

  • Try not to cram all of your Spanish studying into one day. Studying instead for 30 to 45 minutes a day, three to five days a week, will allow you to retain more of what you study and solidify it in your mind.
  • If you don’t have access to someone who speaks Spanish with whom you could practice, a great way to practice your listening and comprehension skills is by listening to Spanish radio. Find a Spanish station and just listen for about 15 minutes. As you listen write down any words you recognize and try to guess the topic being discussed. This may be difficult at first, but as your vocabulary increases you will find you can pick up more and more. This exercise also works well with Spanish TV ;) .
  • Remember repetition is the key to learning a foreign language. Don’t hesitate to repeat a section a few times. Mastering the words and phrases you are currently studying will increase your ability to learn what you study in the future. So keep at it.

Use these suggestions in your personal study. They will help you teach yourself Spanish and help make your personal Spanish education a success.

Get a free online Spanish lesson

by CaptainCode

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November 25th, 2013

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When you need to type in Spanish, there is more than one way to get accented letters. Let’s go over them briefly.

First, you can install Spanish keyboard and switch to it when you have to type in Spanish (you’ll have to install Spanish as additional input language through the Control Panel, which only takes a few minutes). You’ll have to get used that some letters and punctuation marks are positioned differently than on the English one you are used to.

Another option would be using  “Alt” functions will allow you to use accented letters and other Spanish symbols on your keyboard. These shortcuts are particularly helpful when you are just starting to learn Spanish and can’t perform at a fluent level yet.

To get these to work properly, make sure you hold down the “Alt” key the entire time you type in the numbers (that is, if you are not annoyed by having to type 4 numbers to get one little accent). We suggest that you try both options to figure out which one feels right for you ;) Browse this website for best real estate in Thailand.

Spanish Accented Letters and Other Symbols

“Alt” + “0225” á
“Alt” + “0233” é
“Alt” + “0237” í
“Alt” + “0243” ó
“Alt” + “0250” ú
“Alt” + “0252” ü
“Alt” + “0241” ñ
“Alt” + “0191” ¿
“Alt” + “0161” ¡

by CaptainCode

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November 21st, 2013

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If you have been studying Spanish for some time, you most probably know that there are two words to say You in Spanish. This is common for Roman languages, and the rules of French and Italian, for example, are the same – just so you know. Now, back to Spanish :).

So, there are Tu and Usted.

Tu is an informal and friendly pronoun, used when talking to a person you call by their first name. The word Usted used in cases of formal speech, or when you do not know a person well. Addressing anyone with a title in their name, you should use Usted.

Here’s our video to help you memorize the use of the Spanish pronouns

by CaptainCode

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November 12th, 2013

As typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, as it’s called in the Philippines, has swept through this Asia-Pacific island country, it caused massive destruction with as many as 10000 feared dead. With the prayers and relief coming to the Philippines from all over the world, we thought it would be a good idea to mention something not so many know about.

As Spanish speakers and language learners, we usually keep the list of Spanish speaking countries in mind. Yet, not all of us know that until relatively recently, Philippines used to be a Spanish speaking country, too. Philipino, or Tagalog, one of the two official languages (the second official language is English now), bears a lot of similarities with the Spanish pronunciation and vocabulary.

Spanish was introduced in the Philippines after 1565, when the Spanish Conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi sailed there from Mexico and founded the first Spanish settlement on Cebú. As the colonial rule was established, the first printing press founded and the first books released were in Spanish. In the 17th century, Spanish religious orders founded the first universities in the Philippines, some of which are considered the oldest in Asia (University of Santo Tomás in Manila and the University of San Carlos in Cebú). During colonial rule through Mexico City, Spanish was the language of education, trade, politics and religion, and by the 19th century, it became the country’s primary language, although it was mainly used by the educated Filipinos.

In the 19th century, a Spanish decree introduced a system of public education, creating free public schooling in Spanish. Shortly, this island nation, the Philippines had a prominent group of Spanish-speaking scholars and thought leaders, many of whom participated in the Philippine Revolution and later in the struggle against American occupation. In 1899, the First Philippine Republic established Spanish as the country’s official language, with both the constitution and the anthem written in Spanish. However, the independent republic itself didn’t last long.

As a result of the Spanish-American war, Spain ceded the islands to the United States. Under U.S. rule, the English language began to be promoted instead of Spanish, and the use of Spanish promptly declined. The 1950 census stated that Filipinos who spoke Spanish as a first or second language made up only 6% of the population. And another 40 years later, in 1990, the census reported that the number had dwindled to just 2,500.

Spanish lost its official status in 1987, and was dropped as a college requirement, remaining an optional course. Today, it is a required subject in only some academic institutions, such as the University of Santo Tomás in Manila and the University of San Carlos in Cebú.
Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a third-language Spanish speaker, introduced legislation to re-establish the instruction of Spanish in 2009. Today, the language is still spoken by Filipino-Spanish families, mainly concentrated in Metro Manila, Iloílo and Cebú. Yet, despite government promotions of Spanish, less than 0.5% of the population are able to speak Spanish at least proficiently.

While the Spanish language has never been 100% accepted by the Philippines population, it is still reflected in the country’s culture and art, and has contributed a number of words and expressions in Tagalog, Cebuano, and other Philippine languages. Here’s to hopes and prayers for this island nation recovering from the terrible tragedy.


San Augustin Church in Manila, built in the early 17th century

San Augustin Church in Manila, built in the early 17th century

by CaptainCode

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November 11th, 2013

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¡Hola Amigos! Feliz Día de los Veteranos, and let’s start the week with 5 Spanish idioms.

  • English: It’s raining cats and dogs
  • Spanish: Llueve a mares
  • Literal: It rains seas


  • English: Just in case
  • Spanish: Por si las moscas
  • Literal: If the flies (insects)


  • English: To be a piece of cake (to be easy)
  • Spanish: Ser pan comido
  • Literal: To be eaten bread


  • English: We all make mistakes sometimes
  • Spanish: El que tiene boca se equivoca
  • Literal: Who has a mouth makes mistakes


  • English: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
  • Spanish: Vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando
  • Literal: One bird in hand is worth more than a hundred flying


by CaptainCode

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November 7th, 2013

How comfortable are you using the future tense in Spanish? Do you remember the irregular verbs? Whether you need to refresh your memory or learn the future tense from zero, this Visual Link Spanish video is here to help:

Even if you are an absolute beginner or just consider learning Spanish – don’t just scroll down. This video gives you an idea of just how accessible Visual Link Spanish lessons are. And you know the extra good news? You can start learning Spanish now for FREE with almost 500 lessons available.

Explore Visual Link Spanish now!

by CaptainCode

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November 4th, 2013

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¡Hola Amigos!
We hope your lunes (Monday) is going great! Make sure you have some Spanish time on your schedule today. And just in case you don’t, we’re bringing you this lesson, with some dialogues (Monday – themed, actually!) and wish you a great week!

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