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Archive for the ‘Learn Spanish’ Category

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 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 Dave Clark

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August 31st, 2011

¡Hola Amigos!

Last week I taught you how to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish. I promised you that I’d show you the Mexican Happy Birthday song which is 7 verses long (I thought is was 8 in my article last week, but it’s only 7 – that’s way shorter eh?).

Anyway, here’s a link to last week’s article if you want to learn more about how to say Happy Birthday in Spanish.

So, here it is, and I’ve also included a YouTube video with an awesome mariachi singer singing it. (You can follow along with the words below. I’ve tweaked the English translation a bit to help for learning purposes.)

Here’s the song – enjoy! (Be sure and click on the “more” link below to see all 7 verses.)

“Estas son las mañanitas

que cantaba el rey David

Hoy por ser día de tu santo

Te las cantamos aquí.

Despierta mi bien despierta

Mira que ya amaneció

Ya los pajaritos cantan

La luna ya se metió.”


“These are the dawns

about which King David sang

Today because it’s your special day

We sing them to you.

Wake up very well wake up

Look what has already woken up

Already the birds are singing

and the moon has gone away.”


by Jake Beus

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August 30th, 2011

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Swimming Pool Bar in Mexico

If you drink alcohol in social situations, then you will probably find yourself at a bar at some point. You should be able to find a bar no matter which country you visit. Take a few minutes and learn this helpful Spanish vocabulary for the bar.

bar | bar/cantina
bartender | cantinero
cocktail waitress | mesera de bebidas
liquor bottle | botella de licor
beer | cerveza
tap | cerveza de barril
wine | vino
cork | corcho
corkscrew | sacacorcho | titabuzón
bar (the one you sit at) | barra/bar
bar stool | asiento
coaster | porta vaso
ashtray | cenicero
lighter | encendedor
cigarette | cigarro/cigarrillo
Can I buy you a drink? | ¿Puedo comprarte una cerveza?
Would you like to dance? | ¿Te gustaría bailar?
No more. | No más.

Challenge: Visit a bar where you can practice your Spanish (if you’re 21+ in the US, or 18+ elsewhere).

Tip: Don’t drink so much that your Spanish (and speech in general) becomes incoherent.

by E

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August 1st, 2011

Well, I hope we have all learned a valuable lesson from today’s newsletter. No matter where we are in the world, we should give to those around us.

Don’t be like this guy

by E

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July 15th, 2011

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Hi all, this week we released our makeover of SpanishPrograms.com. I think it’s pretty spiffy, what do you think?


by E

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July 5th, 2011

Who hasn’t known a sarcastic friend or co-worker at some point in your life? 

Enjoy friends!

Signed E

by E

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June 27th, 2011

Adding the letter -o to the end of a word does not instantly change the word from English to Spanish.  This is a common mistake made by many.  We’ve heard people do it, and probably get a laugh or two out of it.  Just be careful as it can be both disrespectful and offensive.

Here are some instances where it actually does work.  

English                               Spanish

Active                                 Activo

Passive                               Pasivo

Massive                              Masivo

Notice how -ive ending changes to -ivo ending in Spanish.  Isn’t learning Spanish fun?



by E

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June 14th, 2011

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This week’s topic boils down to manners.  Latin Americans always say ‘con permiso’ or ‘excuse me’ when leaving a group or trying to pass someone.  This is a concept not used all of the time in the US, especially in busy areas.  Many of us are in a hurry and tend to be irritated by the people that are ‘in our way’.  If we could simply slow down, allow yourself more time to get to where you are going, and pardon yourself from a group or when trying to get by someone, life would be less stressful.  You might also find that people throw garbage at you less when politely passing.  You can learn other useful phrases in these Spanish lessons.

Good Luck!


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