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Culture around Spanish language

50+ Useful Spanish Phrases When Traveling To Latin America

This article will teach you 50+ useful Latin Spanish phrases for travel that will help you survive in the language during your next South America travel.

Take the time to learn a few important Spanish travel words, and you’ll be able to interact with people, get by in different settings, and have a lot more pleasurable and genuine experience on your trip.

First and foremost, here are some greetings to use upon arrival

The most fundamental thing you can learn in a foreign language is how to greet people. Nonetheless, its significance should not be underestimated.

Even if you aren’t proficient enough to carry on a lengthy discussion, a simple ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal? (Hello, how are you?) would suffice.

You’ll be able to utilise these phrases as soon as you arrive at your location, whether it’s an airport, railway or bus station, or hotel.

People love it when you attempt to speak their language while visiting their nation, even if it’s just a few words.

#1 ¡Hola! – Hello

(O-la)

#2 ¡Buenos días! – Good morning!

(BWAY-nos DEE-as)

#3 ¡Buenas tardes! – Good afternoon/good evening!

(BWAY-nas TAR-des)

#4 ¡Buenas noches! – Good night

(BWAY-nas NOH-chays)

#5 ¿Cómo está? – How are you? (formal, to a stranger)

(KOH-moh eh-STAH)

#6 ¿Cómo estás? – How are you? (informal, to someone you know)

(KOH-moh eh-STAHS)

#7 Bien, gracias – I’m fine, thank you.

(bee-EN GRA-thee-as [Spain] / GRA-see-as [Latin America])

#8 ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?

(KOH-moh te YA-mas?)

#9 Me llamo… – My name is…

(May YA-moh… )

#10 Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you.

(MOO-choh GOO-stoh)

And, of course, don’t forget about basic politeness.

#11 Por favor – please

(por fa-BOR)

#12 Gracias – thank you

(GRA-thee-as [Spain] / GRA-see-as [Latin America])

If you are caught in a Spanish discussion, you can always rely on the following two phrases to help you out of a jam

#13 Yo (no) entiendo – I (don’t) understand

(yo no en-tee-EN-doh)

#14 ¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?

(Ab-la in-GLAYS)

Once you’ve completed greeting someone, you’ll need to be able to move on to the meat of your discussion, which means you will need to master a few frequent verbs

#15 Yo quiero un menú – I want a menu

(yo kee-EH-ro oon me-NOO)

#16 Yo quiero un taxi – I want a taxi

(YO kee-EH-ro oon taxi)

#17 Yo quiero una cerveza – I want a beer

(yo kee-EH-ro OO-na ser-BAY-za)

You may also use: if you want to be more polite (which is typically a good idea).

#18 Quisiera… – I would like … (lit. I would want)

(kee-see-EH-ra…)

Whether you’re searching for the restroom at a restaurant or a hotel to stay at, you’ll surely need to ask for directions at some point throughout your journey.

The most basic method to inquire where something is is to say ¿Dónde está? then the noun you’re searching for:

#19 ¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?

(DON-day es-TAH el BAH-nyo?)

#20 ¿Dónde está el banco? – Where is the bank?

(DON-day es-TAH el BAN-koh?)

#21 ¿Dónde está la calle [de Alcalá]? – Where is [Alcalá] Street?

(DON-day es-TAH la KA-yay de al-cal-AH?)

When travelling in Latin America, remember your etiquette when asking someone on the street for directions! Begin by saying: To catch someone’s attention, say:

#22 Disculpe – Excuse me

(Dis-KUL-pay)

#23 Con permiso/Perdone – Excuse me

(Con per-MEE-soh / Per-DOH-ney)

#24 Estoy perdido/Estoy perdida – I’m lost

(eh-stoy per-DEE-doh)

Asking for directions is one thing but it’s pretty pointless if you don’t know how to understand the directions that are given to you!

Memorise these phrases to help you understand what the friendly locals are trying to tell you when you ask for their help:

#25 Aquí – here

(Ah-KEE)

#26 Allí – there

(ay-EE)

#27 A la derecha – on the right

(A la de-RE-cha)

#28 A la izquierda – on the left

(A la iz-kee-ER-da)

#29 Derecho – straight ahead

(De-RE-cho)

#30 En la esquina – at the corner

(En la es-KEE-nah)

If you don’t want to walk everywhere, you’ll need to be able to learn about local transportation choices so you can get about wherever you are.

Here are a few basic words to help you find a bus, rail, or cab and get to your destination:

#31 ¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi? – Where can I get a taxi?

(DON-day PWAY-doh en-kon-TRAR oon taxi?)

#32 ¿Dónde está la parada de autobús más cercana? – Where’s the nearest bus stop?

(DON-day eh-STAH la pa-RAH-dah de ow-to-BOOS mas ser-KA-nah?)

#33 ¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril más cercana? – Where’s the nearest railway station?

(DON-day eh-STAH la es-tah-see-ON de ferro-carr-EEL mas ser-KA-nah?)

#34 ¿Cuánto cuesta un billete para… ? – How much does a ticket to … cost?

(KWAN-to KWES-ta oon bee-YET-ay PA-ra …)

#35 Un billete para… , por favor. – A ticket to … please.

(oon bee-YET-ay PA-ra … por fa-BOR)

Each Spanish-speaking nation has its distinct flavours and food that you should taste when you visit

Cooking is undoubtedly one of the major draws to places such as San Sebastian in Spain and Buenos Aires in Argentina, so make sure you have a basic understanding of food jargon before embarking on your tour!

To begin, you must be prepared to hear and comprehend certain inquiries in restaurants, such as:

#36 ¿Quieres algo para comer? – Would you like something to eat?

(kee-EH-res AL-go PA-ra koh-MER?)

#37 ¿Quieres algo para beber? – Would you like something to drink?

(kee-EH-res AL-go PA-ra beh-BER?)

#38 ¿Qué quieres comer? – What would you like to eat?

(KAY kee-EH-res koh-MER?)

When you read the menu, you’ll see that the offered cuisine is divided into distinct categories, exactly like an English menu:

#39 una entrada – an appetizer

(oo-na en-TRA-da)

#40 un plato principal – the main dish

(oon PLA-toh prin-si-PAL)

#41 un postre – a dessert

(oon POS-tray)

#42 una bebida – a drink

(OO-na beh-BEE-da)

#43 una sopa – soup

(OO-na SOH-pah)

#44 una ensalada – salad

(OO-na en-sa-LA-da)

#45 el pollo – chicken

(el POY-oh)

#46 la carne – the meat (beef)

(la CAR-nay)

#47 agua – water

(AG-wa)

#48 un vino tinto /blanco – red/white wine

(oon BEE-noh TIN-toh / BLAN-koh)

#49 una cerveza – beer

(OO-na ser-BAY-sa)

#50 un café – coffee

(oon ka-FAY)

If you’re not sure what to order, you may always ask your waiter for advice:

#51 ¿Qué me recomienda? – What do you recommend?

(kay may re-kom-ee-EN-dah?)

Most restaurants in Spanish-speaking nations would gladly recommend a particularly good local cuisine for you to try.

Finally, let’s go through a few simple words you may use to inquire about rates and pay the bill

#52 ¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much is it?

(KWAN-to KWES-ta?)

#53 La cuenta, por favor – The bill, please.

(la KWEN-ta por fa-BOR)

Once you’ve memorised these inquiry words, you’ll begin to see patterns in the Spanish language that will allow you to move away from the fundamental Spanish phrases that every visitor uses.

As you discover new words on your journey, you’ll be able to mix them with these inquiry words to create your statements and questions! And lastly, you can take help from iScribo which will correct your Spanish and make you sound like a native Spanish speaker.

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Improving language

2 Easy Tips to Sound Like a Native Spanish Speaker

When learning a language, such as Spanish, you may be very conscious that your accent sounds like that of a natural Spanish speaker.

Even though the pronunciation is relatively simple in comparison to English, several small details may give you away when speaking with a fluent Spanish speaker.

So, how can you sound more natural?

You can enhance your accent and speech. You don’t have to be a gringo for the rest of your life. With the 2 suggestions below, you’ll be sounding like a natural Spanish speaker in no time.

Do you consider it difficult to learn Spanish? iScribo can help you.

Are you ready to start speaking the Spanish language in its truest form?

1. Remove the Pronouns

You may already be aware that subject pronouns are optional in Spanish. Native English speakers, on the other hand, prefer to continue using pronouns since they are used to the subject-verb sentence sequence.

To be honest, dropping the pronouns seems strange at first. However, if you use the subject pronoun in every sentence, it may be a clear indication that you are not a native speaker.

The use of subject pronouns is technically correct but it is more customary to eliminate them when the subject is apparent from the verb conjugation or earlier context hints.

You may simply omit the pronoun while still being understood. Other pronouns with shared conjugations, like usted, él, and ella, may need to remain in the phrase unless it’s obvious who you’re talking about.

Instead of: Yo quiero comer tacos.

Say: Quiero comer tacos.

(I want to eat tacos.)

Instead of: Sarah va a llegar tarde. Ella está con su familia.

Say: Sarah va a llegar tarde. Está con su familia.

(Sarah is going to be late. She’s with her family.)

Instead of: Nosotros hemos ahorrado para el viaje.

Say: Hemos ahorrado para el viaje.

(We’ve saved for the trip.)

You don’t always have to remove the pronouns. Listening to a native Spanish speaker is very handy here.

The subject pronouns are most often employed to emphasise a person or to provide clarification.

2. Concentrate on Pronunciation

The pronunciation of Spanish is simple. Each letter has one sound, and that sound is always the same! Isn’t it simple?

In principle, Spanish pronunciation is simple, but it’s difficult to imagine letters, especially vowels, sounding any different from what you’ve been pronouncing in English for years.

Letter R

The Spanish R is pronounced differently than the English R, you need to pay more attention to touching your tongue to the area just behind the alveolar ridge. You should put more attention to rolling your Rs.

Letter D

The Spanish D, like the English D, has a difficult pronunciation at the beginning of words. D is pronounced as [ð], the same sound you make when you pronounce the word father.

This difference may be seen by listening to native Spanish speakers and repeating their pronunciation. Take note of words that finish in -idad and pay attention to how soft the sound is.

Instead of: dedo – [day-doh]

Say: dedo – [day – tho]

Instead of: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-dad]

Say: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-thath]

Vowels

One of the first things you undoubtedly learned in class was the Spanish vowels. However, since we are so used to the 20 English vowel sounds, sticking to the five Spanish vowels might be challenging.

In English, for example, words that finish in vowels are prolonged and have varied intonation. The word “no” has a long “o” sound, and your voice may rise and fall as you say it. In Spanish, the reverse is true. Except for diphthongs and triphthongs, the vowels are short and never change.

Also, depending on where the vowel appears in the word, English vowels such as O and U have numerous pronunciations.

Because we are used to these pronunciations, switching to consistent Spanish vowels, particularly in words that look like English terms, may be difficult.

Let’s take a look at oportunidad. The first O in English sounds more like an A. The Spanish O, on the other hand, is usually oh.

Instead of: oportunidad – [ah-pohr-tyoon-ee-dahd]

Say: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-dahd]

Instead of: no – [nooo]

Say: no – [noh].

Learn Spanish

Practice makes perfect. Nobody said it was easy to learn Spanish but if you learn basic rules and use them often, your brain will get used to speaking without having to think. There you have it. The road to sounding like a natural Spanish speaker may be long, but it is well worth it.

Categories
Improving language

How To Write In Spanish – 4 Tips To Ace Your Spanish Writing

You may be scared of learning how to write in Spanish since you’ve undoubtedly blushed, sweated, scratched your head, or shed tears when learning the fundamentals of the language.

Writing in Spanish is enjoyable, and believe it or not, a little amount of regular writing practice can significantly accelerate your learning progress.

Contrary to popular belief, most individuals find learning how to write in Spanish to be a relief. When compared to other languages, it isn’t that dissimilar to writing in English, and many aspects are substantially simpler to grasp.

Here are 4 tips to get you started quickly on the correct route to Spanish writing in no time.

1. Begin with Spelling

If English is your first language, you’re in good company when it comes to spelling, since learning to spell in English is a mystery.

Why do the words “cough,” “through,” and “dough” not rhyme? Why do we have so many double letters, and why do vowels sound so different?

Fortunately, spelling in Spanish is much more straightforward than spelling in English.

This may seem too good to be true, but written words in Spanish are meant to resemble how they sound! There are many fewer instances of silent letters, duplicate letters, or spellings for the same sounds.

Also, no matter what other letters are around it, each vowel has its distinct sound.

There are several resources to assist you with your Spanish study, whether you are a total novice or not.

iScribo assists in your Spanish writing in real-time. It will assist you with syntax, grammar, spelling, and sentence formation to name a few.

2. Work on Your Grammar

In English, you can’t speak one word out of place in a phrase without someone noticing and may be referring to you as Yoda. Even though it is valid grammar, we must accept that we have a pretty rigid syntax for what is deemed standard in contemporary English.

In this regard, Spanish is a friendlier language. In phrases, at least two or three orders are normally regarded as appropriate.

When it comes to grammar, things that worry us in English are made a lot easier in Spanish. Word order, punctuation, and capitalisation are significantly simpler to master.

Of course, there’s still a lot to learn, as well as certain issues that aren’t covered in English, such as gender. There’s a lot to learn about verb tenses, irregularities, and mood.

It won’t be difficult to get started with the correct resources and a little assistance. There are several methods for studying the fundamentals of Spanish grammar. Picking up or borrowing a textbook is one of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective methods to get started.

And once you have a good grasp of Grammar you can use iScribo to double-check if your Spanish grammar is correct or not.

3. Capitalise

Capitalisation is another source of comfort in Spanish.

At times, capitalising words in English may be both excessive and misleading. We continually must judge if something is suitable or not to determine whether it is worthy of a capital letter.

Capitalising in Spanish is a lot easier. For starters, the following words are not capitalised in Spanish as they are in English: Weekdays, months, religions, languages, and nationalities. All of them are preserved in lowercase.

In other circumstances, such as titles, just a little amount of capitalisation is employed. When writing down a movie or book title, just the first word of the title is capitalised, while every subsequent word is left lowercase.

Another situation in which just partial capitalisation is used is when referring to a proper noun. Only the particular name is capitalised, with the remainder of the title remaining in lowercase. Mount Everest, for example, would be monte Everest in Spanish.

4. Master the Punctuation

While it isn’t very harsh, there is a little variation in how we punctuate sentences in English and Spanish.

The inclusion of upside-down question marks and exclamation points is the most visible alteration. When asking a question in Spanish, it must begin with an upside-down question mark. As an example:

¿Qué hora es? (What time is it?)

Exclamatory sentences follow the same logic. As an example:

¡Dios mío! (My God!)

The Bottom Line

While certain aspects of the language may be difficult to grasp, Spanish writing is not that difficult.

With these considerations in mind, try to write in Spanish and attempt to include some reading into your daily life. It’s as simple as turning on your TV’s Spanish subtitles or picking up a Spanish magazine. Continue your studies and ¡buena suerte!

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Improving language

How To Learn Spanish Fast – 5 Tips You Wish You Knew Before

iScribo will teach you how to learn Spanish fast in this post. These are tried-and-tested tactics that will have you speaking Spanish in no time.

  • Without relocating overseas
  • Without having to give up your career to study full-time
  • And without marrying a Spaniard… at least not yet!

Please keep in mind that this is a strenuous workout.

You’ll have to put in a lot of effort, and it may not be for you.

However, if you are ready to put in the work, the benefits will be well worth it.

Before we get into the recommendations, let’s take a step back and think about what you’ll need to do to be successful.

To begin, don’t make the mistake of believing that you can’t learn Spanish quickly.

It is doable, and many experienced language learners will attest to this. And you don’t have to spend a fortune on Spanish lessons or sophisticated learning tools to accomplish it.

But you’ll need some direction (which is why we are here).

Let’s have a look at how to accomplish that.

1. Develop a Large Spanish Vocabulary

Words are the foundation of a language.

Nothing else counts if you don’t know enough vocabulary when you start learning Spanish.

Now, the best method to build a large vocabulary in Spanish over time is to study as you go.

As a result, some general advice is to attempt to utilise Spanish in everyday situations and focus on acquiring the precise words and phrases that you find most helpful.

However, due to the time constraints here, you must take a more direct path.

Here’s the deal.

According to studies of Spanish word frequency, the 1,000 most frequently used words in Spanish account for 87.8 percent of all spoken Spanish.

This implies that you just need to study around 1,000 words to comprehend the great bulk of what you hear in Spanish.

2. Take a Spanish Self-Study Course

A solid Spanish for beginners course is typically the most effective approach to learning the fundamentals since all of the crucial information is set out for you in an easily consumable manner.

Most essential, ensure that the course you choose has lots of dialogues and includes both audio and text so you can enhance your listening skills and learn to comprehend genuine spoken Spanish.

3. Don’t Get Obsessed With Spanish Grammar

One of the most common pitfalls for beginning Spanish students is the desire to polish their Spanish grammar.

While it is vital to master the fundamentals, you may go pretty far with just a rudimentary understanding of grammar since Spanish sentence form is often comparable to English.

And you don’t have to master every nuance of Spanish grammar to converse effectively.

We don’t want to downplay the significance of grammar in Spanish. The main danger is that you will get so preoccupied with grammatical rules that the rest of your studies will come to a standstill.

So, spend some time learning the fundamentals of the Spanish language in the first few chapters of your course or textbook, but then move on.

And as far as learning Spanish grammar goes, you can rely on a very powerful real-time Spanish grammar corrector iScribo.

It will hold your hand and make you not make any grammar mistakes and decrease your learning curve drastically.

4. Read as Much Spanish as Possible

Because you lack vocabulary as a total beginner, you will find it difficult to read much.

However, as soon as you’re ready, you should make reading Spanish a daily habit.

You’ll rapidly expand your vocabulary and master grammar naturally. To check your grammar is correct refer back to iScribo.

5. Make Spanish a Part of Your Daily Life

The next piece of advice may come off as a little trite. However, it is significantly more crucial than you would believe when it comes to the best way to learn Spanish.

If you’ve been studying Spanish for three months, it’s going to seem like a chore at times.

There will be moments when you simply want to relax in front of the television.

So, the more you can change your mindset towards learning Spanish from something you have to make time to do as part of your regular life, the less stress you’ll experience and the more progress you’ll achieve.

How do you incorporate Spanish into your daily life?

  • Get your daily intake of television, news, and so on in Spanish rather than English.
  • Participate in local Spanish societies and activities.
  • Participate in Spanish-language courses (yoga, dancing, sketching, etc.).
  • Attend local language exchange activities and practise with others.

What we’re talking about here is replacing tasks that you could normally conduct in English with counterparts in Spanish. It’s one of my favourite techniques of learning.

All of the additional exposure you receive over two or three months will quickly mount up and truly help you become acquainted with the language in use.

This is what will finally assist you in learning Spanish swiftly and simply.

How to Learn Spanish Fast – Bottomline

As you can see, learning Spanish quickly necessitates some effort. But it’s not impossible. The key is to keep focused on the big picture strategies that will genuinely help you learn and speak the language.

And lastly, to double-check your Spanish writing or grammar, I highly recommend you to use our tool, it will make your life easier.

Categories
Improving language

Spanish Grammar for Beginners – 5 Must-Know Rules

As you realise when you learn Spanish, grammar is an essential component of every language, and Spanish is no different. Numerous parallels exist between Spanish grammar and those of other Romance languages, including many characteristics that are akin to English.

In this post, we’ll cover the best way to learn Spanish and the fundamentals of Spanish grammar. In addition, we’ll discuss some of the contrasts and parallels between Spanish and English grammatical rules.

1. General Guidelines

To begin, we’ll examine some of the parallels between Spanish and English.

a) Active verbs

Tenses and conjugations are used with Spanish verbs. While English has a few conjugations, Spanish, like any Romance language, has a plethora.

Having said that, the tenses are quite close to those in English. Nevertheless, there are tenses that exist in Spanish but are not stated in English.

In the next part, we’ll go over verbs in further detail.

b) Word sequence

Spanish follows the same fundamental word order paradigm as English: S + V + O (Subject + Verb + Object). There are some changes in adverb and adjective placement, but to construct a basic phrase, just follow the same sequence as in English.

Here’s an example of a short statement that is the word for word translated:

Example: Mi padre canta una canción.

Translation: “My father sings a song.”

Isn’t it simple?

c) Words and phrases

While vocabulary isn’t a grammatical component, we thought we’d cover it briefly since it has many parallels to English.

It’s fascinating to note that many words in both English and Spanish have the same origin. While English is not a Romance language, but rather a Germanic language, it has historically been heavily impacted by French and Latin.

Numerous terms appear similar in both English and Spanish, but we’ll just include a few:

Example: nación

Translation: “nation”

We picked this term because there are hundreds of Spanish nouns that finish in the suffix -ación, which is equal to “-ation” in English. We could go on and on about información (“information”) and decoloración (“discolouration”).

This suffix is derived from Latin, which is why it is used in Spanish, English, and other languages. That explains why they are all so identical.

Example: animal

Translation: “animal”

This second example has the same spelling as the first, but it’s pronounced differently. This is another example of a Latin term, which explains its resemblance to its Spanish version.

2. Verbs

As previously stated, Spanish verbs have many more conjugations than English verbs. While English verb conjugations can be counted on one hand, Spanish verbs have a separate conjugation for each person in the single and plural forms, in all tenses and moods. Every individual in all verb conjugations has the same stem but a distinct finish. Consider how the word comer (“to eat”) might be conjugated:

Yo como → “I eat”

Tú comes → “You eat”

Él/ella come → “He/she eats”

Nosotros/as comemos → “We eat”

Vosotros/as coméis → “You eat” (plural)

Ellos/as comen → “They (masculine / feminine) eat”

Spanish, like English, contains regular and irregular verbs. English verb irregularities, on the other hand, are most visible in the past and participle forms.

Because verbs must be conjugated for each person in Spanish, these inconsistencies become much more noticeable.

Speaking about irregular verbs, there are two in Spanish that we must not overlook: ser and estar. If you’re fluent in Spanish, you may understand what we’re saying. In case you don’t know, ser and estar both mean “to be,” and you must use the appropriate one depending on the situation.

Example: Soy español.

Translation: “I’m Spanish.”

Example: Estoy triste.

Translation: “I’m sad.”

In the first example (with ser), we establish a permanent reality, which is that I am Spanish. In the second case (with estar), we are referring to something transient. Usually, when we say we’re sad, like in the example, we imply that we’re unhappy at the moment or for a short period, but not forever.

3. Nouns

The fundamental distinction between Spanish nouns and English nouns is that Spanish nouns have grammatical gender, which is divided into masculine and feminine (we will dedicate another entry to the gender of nouns as there is a lot to say about this). We call this heteronimia.

We’ll give you an example of each gender’s noun:

el horno (“the oven”) is masculine

la nevera (“the fridge”) is feminine

You may be asking what distinguishes an oven from a refrigerator. Nothing. Everything is based on etymology and the development of the language.

Most words need you to remember their gender as well as their meaning. There are certain nouns, though, that have apparent genders. Una mujer (“a lady”), for example, is a feminine term, but un hombre (“a man”) is unmistakably masculine.

We do have a quick trick to assist you to decide whether a word is masculine or feminine: Masculine words nearly always finish in a -o, whereas feminine terms almost always end in a -a. This advice isn’t perfect, but it will assist you in the great majority of cases.

4. Adjectives

There are a few fundamental things you should know about adjectives in Spanish. To begin with, adjectives must always coincide in gender and number with the noun they follow. We’ll use the adjective negro (“black”) as an example:

Masculine Singular – Coche negro (“Black car”)

Masculine Plural – Coches negros (“Black cars”)

Feminine Singular – Casa negra (“Black house”)

Feminine PluralCasas negras (“Black houses”)

You may have noticed that the noun was put before the adjective in these cases. Most adjectives in Spanish are put after the noun in this manner, with a few exceptions.

5. Negation

Today, we’ll go over the basics of Spanish negation. What you need to know is that basic negative sentences in Spanish are formed by inserting the word no before the verb. Here are only a few examples:

Example: No tengo coche.

Translation: “I don’t have a car.”

Example: Hoy Martín no quiere ir al colegio.

Translation: “Martín doesn’t want to go to school today.”

While the adverb in the previous example was in a different position than in English, the negative word stayed in the same place in both versions: between the subject (unless removed in Spanish) and the verb.

So this is all about Spanish grammar for beginners. 

Tell us in the comments which component of the Spanish language is the most challenging for you. We look forward to hearing from you and will do all we can to assist you.

Meanwhile, you can practise your Spanish grammar on iScribo, the best way to learn Spanish.

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Writing in Spanish

How to Learn Spanish on Your Own in 5 Easy Steps

When someone says, “Wow! Your Spanish is fantastic! “How did you find out?” “I taught myself,” I usually claim.

Sure, I made sure to chat to Spanish locals whenever possible, picking their brains on Spanish grammar, vocabulary, and local idioms, as well as a few other methods of language learning help.

But, for the most part, I studied Spanish on my own.

So, what were my ploys? How did I manage to achieve it?

There’s no denying that it took a long period and a lot of personal effort. Anyone who claims to be able to acquire a language in a few months is lying.

After a fast crash course in the classroom, you may be able to navigate a Spanish-speaking city while on vacation, but it won’t be enough to participate in a fluid conversation, go for a job interview, or even sing along to music without tripping over the words.

So, here are 5 simple steps to learn Spanish on your own that turn out to be the best way to learn Spanish:

1. Spend an hour each day working on Spanish grammar tasks

Hugo Spanish in 3 Months” is a great basic grammar book and CD for beginners I discovered. It’s jam-packed with brief explanations and activities. All the answers are at the back of the book, and it is a great resource for learning the fundamentals: past, present, and future tenses; prepositions; common phrasal structures; and explanations of plurals and gender.

Set aside an hour at the end of each day to do the exercises. Keep doing this until the grammar becomes second nature.

You can even practise your Spanish grammar online on a very powerful tool.

iScribo is one of the best Spanish grammar correctors online today.

2. Subtitled movies and web series

You can use two strategies for this.

  • The first option is for novices to view Spanish films with English subtitles.
  • The second option is for advanced speakers to view Spanish films with Spanish subtitles.

It may seem strange to watch and read in Spanish at the same time, but it works wonderfully. 

Reading abilities increase far quicker than listening abilities. You’ll be able to significantly enhance your pronunciation by reading and listening at the same time.

It will also help you speak like the locals.

3. Listen to Spanish-language radio

After around two years of becoming pretty competent, you’ll find it fun to listen to the radio in Spanish.

It will be difficult for you at first. It might be very difficult to understand what someone says in a foreign language when you can’t see their lips, but I suggest perseverance.

You can get in an hour or two of listening to the radio on your phone while driving to and from work.

You can also keep the radio on in the background while you’re at home. Make a note of words that sounds strange to you and check them up later.

The process of learning to use the radio never ends.

4. Make Spanish your thinking language

Unless you relocate to a Spanish-speaking nation, you will not always have many opportunities to converse in Spanish this is why you can (and should) talk to yourself in Spanish.

In any case, we all chat to ourselves from time to time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left my house wondering whether I’d unplugged my curling iron and locked the front door. If you’re anything like me, you may as well do it in Spanish.

I’m not suggesting you conduct lengthy discussions with yourself in public, that would be ridiculous. But the next time you need or want to express yourself, consider saying it in Spanish.

And if you come across any terms or translations, make a note of them and check them up later.

If it’s too sophisticated for you, you may chat to yourself in the mirror to increase your confidence for future discussions with native speakers.

5. Set your phone’s language to Spanish

Okay, I realise this one seems a bit intimidating, particularly if you’re new to it. But, if your objective is to include Spanish in your daily life, wouldn’t it make sense to make that adjustment on your phone?

After you’ve got used to the changeover, you’ll want to change the language settings on the rest of your devices.

This will undoubtedly be difficult if you are a beginner in Spanish. But if you already know where everything is on your phone, give it a chance.

If you find it too tough, you can simply change your settings back to English.

So there you have it, 5 easy steps to self-learning Spanish.

If you follow these instructions, you will one day be complimented on your Spanish and asked how you acquired the language so effectively. Then you may confidently say, “I taught myself!”

Categories
Improving language

Common Mistakes by Beginners when Learning Spanish

What has brought you to this article? You may be an aspiring Spanish instructor or simply a smart person looking for typical blunders in learning Spanish before attempting to learn it, right?

I expect you to be the latter.

So, if you’re an English native speaker, Spanish is a very difficult language to learn and master, and it’s not unusual to make frequent grammar errors in Spanish.

Why?

English and Spanish are read and spoken in quite distinct styles and manners. That alone may influence how you read and pronounce the language.

So, without any further ado, let’s get this party started.

Pronunciation

Pronunciation is the most critical component of learning a language, whether it’s Spanish or learning to talk like a Native American. Because many languages are derived from Latin, most words are the same or nearly so.

But that doesn’t imply they’re pronounced the same way.

The Spanish letter “R” and the English letter “R”

One of the most frequent errors in learning Spanish is pronouncing the letter “R.” The Spanish “R” is correctly pronounced by putting your tongue behind your front teeth and making a vibrating “R” sound.

The English “R” is the polar opposite; you want your tongue away from your teeth to prevent generating the vibrating sound you create when pronouncing, right?

This is a typical error while learning Spanish; you should practise vibrating your tongue behind your teeth; it will help you pronounce the Spanish “R.”

Adjective placement before a noun

This is one of the most typical grammar errors made by new Spanish students. Forget about English sentence structure guidelines, we’re studying Spanish here.

The most common errors with this are noted below.

“Hot water” is how we phrase it in English.

In Spanish, the reverse is true! you say “Agua caliente.”

Another example is:

“Wash in hot water” is an English phrase; if you want to express that in Spanish, you don’t say it “Lavar con caliente agua“. The right way to phrase it is “Lavar con agua caliente“.

Do you notice how English and Spanish are reversed? Try not to screw this up, and you may be able to advance from the “Beginner” level a little bit.

Correct word usage

The most foolish thing to do while learning a new language is to expect that any given term has the same meaning as an English one. You wouldn’t want to make your Spanish audience laugh all day, would you?

Purchase a Spanish dictionary to educate yourself on these often-misunderstood Spanish terms. But, to make things easier for you, here’s a list of commonly misunderstood terms.

This is one of many typical blunders in Spanish learning. For this reason, Spanish students all around the globe misuse these terms.

  • Mejor – Often confused with the English term Major, which is ludicrous. In Spanish, this term means “better.”
  • Alegre – You may believe that this is the Spanish term for alligator! You, my friend, are incorrect. This word means “joyful.”
  • Cerrar – often misunderstood as carrier or career; certainly, if you used it in your speech, it would end your career. In Spanish, the term means “cerrar.”
  • Nubes – Maybe you assume this is where the term “Noobies” comes from. Wrong! In Spanish, this term signifies “clouds.”
  • Universidad – Probably clear to others, you’d believe this term implies Universe, right? My dear reader, it means “college” and “university”.
  • Tallar – Doesn’t it sound like “teller” or “tailor”? Wrong! In Spanish, this term means “carve.”

It’s not a large list of often misunderstood Spanish terms, but it could help you out a little.

Practice!

Last but not least, the most crucial consideration in learning a new language. This may be clear at this point for you guys who are learning a new language.

Practice is essential while learning a new language, whether it be Spanish, English, or even Latin. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Yes, absolutely.

Just keep in mind that the pronunciation of the Spanish “R” differs significantly from that of the English “R.”

Another consideration is correct word use. You should practise it as well since you could utilise your Spanish one day and talk to a Spanish audience, and you don’t want to be laughed at, do you?

Also, of course! The ideal approach to practise Spanish is to locate a Spanish friend, much better if they are a natural Spanish speaker, so you can have a great time studying Spanish together.

Speaking in front of a mirror may be beneficial, but it would be worthless if you were speaking to yourself, right?

You wouldn’t know whether you were saying or pronouncing it properly, would you? This is the most crucial aspect of all. P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E.! Alternatively, you can use iScribo to practise your Spanish online. It will hold you by hand and make your Spanish learning curve exponential.

Categories
Spanish as a language

10 Latin and Spanish Writers to Improve Your Style

Looking for Spanish writers to help improve your writing style?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Discover 10 of the best Latin and Spanish writers working today and get to know some of their best works to moonlight your way towards writing better Spanish and discover different writing styles.

1. Julia Álvarez

Many of Álvarez’s works, as a poet and writer, tackle the complexities of living as both a Dominican and an American. In the Time of Butterflies, one of her most famous works was made into a film starring Salma Hayek and Marc Anthony.

She received the National Medal of Arts in 2013 and the Pura Belpré Award for Writing.

2. Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, a dominating voice in the magical realism genre, utilises her best-selling novels to establish herself as a notable feminist voice in Hispanic literature.

She is the recipient of the National Prize in Literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both of which were bestowed to her by President Barack Obama.

3. Mario Vargas Llosa

The Nobel Prize laureate in Literature is noted for his ability to masterfully span genres with his work, having written prolific literary criticism, murder mysteries, historical novels, and political thrillers.

His tales are largely inspired by his Peruvian ancestry and political activity.

4. Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez, a Colombian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer was renowned as the perfecter of magical realism, a form of literature that incorporates elements of fantasy into actual circumstances.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 for his most famous work, the epic One Hundred Years of Solitude.

5. Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate, Esquivel’s globally best-selling magical realism romance book was made into a highly praised foreign language film.

She’s also authored short tales, films, and children’s plays, often including themes of magic.

6. Rosa Montero

Rosa Montero, a writer and a journalist, has created wonderful novels while simultaneously conducting intriguing interviews. Her book The Delta Function, 1981 is recognised as a key work of modern feminist theory, exploring the dualities of female existence.

Her work The Lunatic of the House, 2003 received both the Qué Leer Prize for the best book published in Spain and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for best foreign book in Italy.

Montero is presently a columnist for El País and has received the National Journalism Prize many times.

7. Enrique Vila-Matas

Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona and completed his military duty in Melilla when he penned his first book, Woman in the Mirror Contemplating the Landscape. He has worked in a variety of formats throughout his career, from cinema criticism and novels to essays and film screenplays.

His finest work is known for its sardonic and fragmentary style, which breaks down the line between fiction and reality.

Vila-Matas has received worldwide acclaim for his works and creative contributions, including the Italian Bottari Lattes Grinzane Prize, the French Prix Jean Carriere, and the Spanish Leteo Award, all for his novel Dublinesque (2010).

Vila-Matas’ writings have been translated into numerous languages and he is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated Spanish writers by both national and international reviewers.

8. Elvira Navarro

Navarro was featured in Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists anthology issue in 2010. She released The Happy City in 2009, a book about an immigrant Chinese worker and a homeless Spanish guy.

The Happy City went on to win Spain’s Jaén Prize for best book and the Tormenta Prize for the best new author before being translated into English in 2013.

9. Sonia Hernández

Sonia Hernández, another entrant into Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists, is a literary poet.

Hernández is also the editor-in-chief of the literary study journal Quaderns de Vallençana, which is devoted to the humanist Juan Ramón Masoliver.

10. Félix J. Palma

Felix J Palma is well-known in Spain for his magical realism works, and he is well-liked by both reviewers and the general people.

Palma, a master storyteller, has had several anthologies and short tales published, as well as a lot of literary honors.

His speculative fiction Map trilogy, which combines magical realism and history, has captivated readers all over the world.

Read with no borders

These are the top 10 best Latin and Spanish writers and their notable work reading which will improve your Spanish writing style.

As will iScribo, this AI-powered tool will take your Spanish writing skill to the next level.

What are you waiting for? Check the different writing styles on iScribo today, read these Spanish writers’ works, and improve your writing skills in no time to create good Spanish sentences.

Categories
Writing in Spanish

8 Reasons to Start Learning Spanish Today

Why is Spanish important to learn? Because it’s the second most spoken language in the world and offers amazing opportunities!

One of the main benefits of learning another language is the freedom it offers. Being multilingual opens up a wealth of opportunities in regard to travel, work, and relationships – particularly in today’s globally connected world. 

Spanish has several unique benefits that make it a great choice for anyone embarking on the journey to become bilingual. Not only is it one of the most spoken languages in the world (coming in at number two after Mandarin), it also has a reputation as being easier to learn than others.

So, for those wondering why is Spanish important to learn? We have some great reasons to help make the decision an easy one.

1. It’s the second most spoken language

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin. With an estimated 471 million native speakers, it beats even English. Not only is it the first language of those born in Spain, but it is the primary language of most South and Central American countries, which are becoming more economically important on the global stage. Even if you go to the USA, you’ll be amazed at how much Spanish is a part of everyday life in certain states. This shows the importance of learning Spanish and why you should consider it instead of a less widely spoken language.

2. It’s fairly easy to learn

The great thing about Spanish is that it has clear rules, and there aren’t many exceptions to them. This isn’t the case with languages like English and French, which have many more exceptions.

Even reading Spanish is easier than most languages, as it is almost completely phonetic. When you look at a word in Spanish, more often than not you can easily sound out the letters and pronounce them correctly, unlike some common English words like ‘thought’ and ‘knead’. It also helps that many words are similar to their English counterparts, which makes remembering them a breeze.

Plus, there are countless resources available to learn the language, including courses (both online and in-person), audio lessons, books, videos, and more. So, there’s nothing stopping you from starting to learn Spanish today!

3. It can advance careers

As we mentioned earlier, speaking Spanish can open up a host of career opportunities. Not only does being multilingual impress employers, but you can take that skill and apply it to different positions at foreign-owned companies.

For example, if there is a promotion up for offer, and it’s between two people, it is much more likely that the person who can speak Spanish will get it. They can help expand the customer base beyond just English speakers. This is why employers frequently seek people who speak more than one language – with Spanish being one of the most in-demand.

Just think of the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries and their many varied industries, whether it’s mining in Chile, solar power in Peru, manufacturing in Mexico, petroleum in Colombia, and tourism and agriculture in Spain. They all trade with the world and need employees who speak Spanish and second languages to do business

4. It makes it easier to travel

The importance of learning Spanish in the 21st Century can’t be underestimated, especially for those who like to travel. For one, it makes visiting Spanish-speaking countries easier. These exist all over the globe, from Europe to South and Central America. Similarly, it gives you more freedom during your holidays. Rather than relegating yourself to the well-worn tourist paths, where almost everyone speaks English, learning Spanish is your passport to travel with confidence.

This bilingual ability opens up an entire world outside the package holidays. It allows you to explore without limits and interact with locals. These are the experiences that create lasting memories, and which aren’t possible when you don’t speak Spanish.

5. You have 21 countries where you can study abroad

No well-rounded university education is complete without a semester studying abroad. Of course, a major cause of anxiety for students planning an international adventure to a Spanish-speaking country is the language barrier. Learning the language beforehand, however, eliminates this anxiety.

Knowing a little (or a lot) of Spanish makes it easy to head off to a country like Spain or Colombia with confidence. An added bonus is it makes the actual studying even easier. Ask anyone who’s had to endure a three-hour university lecture in a language they don’t understand if they wish they’d known the language beforehand, and the answer will invariably be yes. That aside, learning Spanish opens up a person’s worldview. There are 21 countries that count Spanish as an official language. Just think of the amazing adventures you can have honing your language, having adventures, and discovering the world.

6. It offers more entertainment options

Were you one of the people watching the world’s most in-demand series on Netflix, Money Heist? This Spanish language series – La Casa de Papel in Spanish – was a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a crime caper and learn more about the Spanish psyche. Learning the language allows anyone to enjoy all that Spanish media has to offer. At any given time, there are so many popular Spanish series and movies on streaming services. Being able to understand what the actors are actually saying is immensely better than relying purely on subtitles.

There’s also the question of Spanish-language books. Whether a person is reading for education or entertainment, they are bound to miss out on both vital information and subtle nuances if they don’t have a strong grasp of Spanish. The best way to eliminate these headaches and devour all the Spanish-language media out there is to learn the language.

7. It offers more business opportunities

The importance of learning Spanish is huge, particularly for business owners. Speaking the language fluently opens up new markets in Spanish-speaking countries. And within those new markets is a whole new demographic of customers. In short, being bilingual will help any business owner achieve the core principle of growth.

Say a person owns a restaurant and wants to open a chain in a Spanish-speaking country. They’ll need to know the language to make this happen. Knowing the language means the owner can better give his or her customers what they want, which will bring in more business, which leads to greater profits, and on and on.

8. It can actually help improve English

This may sound counterintuitive but learning Spanish can actually help a student improve their English at the same time. As native speakers, we grow up learning English from family and friends. This natural method of language learning often results in many people not fully grasping the underlying mechanics of the language.

However, learning a second language like Spanish can help the student see English with new eyes – particularly as Spanish has a very structured grammar with minimal exceptions to the rules, unlike English. The learning process reveals the fundamental basics and complex principles of grammar and syntax. Next thing the student knows, their English is improving right along with their Spanish. This is the direct result of learning the rules of a foreign language and being able to apply those rules to the native language. It makes the student better at both.

Start learning Spanish today

The importance of learning Spanish in the 21st Century is growing as the world becomes ever more interconnected. In the internet age, there are ever more opportunities to learn a new language like Spanish, and with so many exciting Spanish-speaking countries becoming more globalised, there are opportunities ahead. So why not give it a try with iScribo and see how you go trying to learn Spanish. ¡Vamos!

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