Culture around Spanish language

The first literary works in Spanish

Literature in Spanish is rich in talented playwrights, writers, and poets. Since the Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901, eleven of the 102 authors awarded the prize are Spanish-speaking authors: the Spaniards José Echegaray y Eizaguirre (1904), Jacinto Benavente (1922), Juan Ramón Jiménez (1956), Vicente Aleixandre (1977), and Camilo José Cela (1989); the Chileans Gabriela Mistral (1945) and Pablo Neruda (1971); the Guatemalan Miguel Ángel Asturias (1967); the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez (1982); the Mexican Octavio Paz (1990) and the Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa (2010).

Now, if we look back at the first literary texts in Spanish, we will see that they were written during the Middle Ages, in the 12th century. This was the time of minstrels, those singers and actors who entertained people with lyrical and epic poetry. Epic poetry was composed of epic poems and narrative works written in verse that sing the exploits of great heroes. The most representative work of the epic poems is the Cantar del Mío Cid. It is an anonymous and classic work from the 12th century that is recorded as the first Castilian work written in verse and the only epic song preserved almost entirely.

This work is composed of 3,730 verses, which narrate the final part of the life of the hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid. Here, the complex process of recovering lost honour is narrated, implicitly criticising blood nobility while praising the lower nobility, those who have achieved their status through merit and who fight to win their honour and honour.

In addition to the songs of deeds and the poetry transmitted by the minstrels, a large part of medieval literature was created in the monasteries with a more cultured poetry of a religious nature and educational purposes, the so-called Mester de Clerecía. One of the most representative works of this type of medieval literature is Los Milagros de Nuestra Señora (The Miracles of Our Lady). This work, written by the clergyman Gonzalo de Berceo between 1246 and 1252, narrates, in Spanish, 25 miracles of the Virgin Mary to make known the religion and the Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla. In this place, he was a cleric. Furthermore, it was close to the Camino de Santiago, widespread throughout Europe.

XV century

The 15th century is a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; didactic and religious writing continued during this time, but new metric forms began in part of the lyrics written by people from more affluent classes. For example, in Coplas a la muerte de su padre (Couplets to the Death of His Father), Jorge Manrique alternates octosyllables and pentasyllables. He makes a beautiful reflection on the brevity of life and the irrelevance of material goods.

With the Renaissance (16th century), interest in classical themes was recovered as oriented towards the cult of reason. In Renaissance prose, pastoral, Moorish, and Byzantine novels stand out as the books of chivalry. Miguel de Cervantes ends this fashion of brave knights swearing eternal love to a weak, faithful lady who reciprocates her love.

The great Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes peaked his career with Don Quixote of La Mancha, published in 1605; he ironises the knights-errant here.

Alonso Quijano, the story’s protagonist, and a fan of chivalric books, loses his mind and travels the roads with his horse Rocinante and his squire Sancho to impose justice guided by the rules of chivalry. His characters have the duality of madness and wisdom; they provoke laughter and admiration for his great humanity.

The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is one of the most important works of literature in Spanish, and all of us who were born speaking this beautiful language are familiar with this work and its famous opening phrase:

En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que vivía un hidalgo de los de lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, rocín flaco y galgo corredor.

[In a village in la Mancha, whose name I do not care to remember, a hidalgo lived not long ago, one of those who keeps a lance on the rack, an old leather shield, skinny nag and swift greyhound.]

With that phrase begins this great work of Cervantes, and here I say goodbye.

Keep learning curiosities about the language and the Spanish language, visiting and reading the articles we publish weekly on the iScribo blog. If you want to improve your Spanish writing and correct a specific variant of this language, subscribe to our superb grammar checker. We are waiting for you!

Culture around Spanish language

Sports language. The linguistic game off the field

Language is like a mouldable dough; it expands, or contracts depending on the context and grows or extinguishes according to different circumstances. It is a living being and, therefore, changing. With the emergence of different professions or areas of work development, technicalities arise, a language to convey ideas regarding a specific activity. It happens in medicine, journalism, and other areas. Within journalism, there is a subbranch: sports journalism.

Sports in general and each branch of sports have linguistic references, and sports journalism refers to those that attract the most followers. Sports journalism from countries whose official language is Spanish is often criticised for the use of foreign words, but it must also be recognised that in addition to the use of Anglicisms, the language of sports journalism stands out for the originality of some of its expressions, which have transcended the vocabulary used by journalists and have been transferred to the daily lives of the population of an entire country.

When discussing sporting events, war terminology comes to the fore naturally. The military lexicon is an essential ingredient when creating metaphors for sports. There is talk of real battles, of duel or strife. It is a life-or-death encounter in which the teams dig in, rearm, and test all their artillery.

The language of football

Football, the cultural cornerstone of Spanish-speaking countries, has given rise to a linguistic vocabulary that is incredibly diverse, mirroring the vast array of cultures it represents. This lexicon, deeply embedded in the language, is a testament to the rich cultural tapestry of these nations, inviting all to explore and appreciate their unique expressions of soccer.

Football has its dictionary. Un tiro, disparo o remate al arco is a shot at goal. El tablón is the tribune where the fans of each team are located. Depending on the team they support, they are known as Culés or Colchoneros in Spain, Bosteros or Gallinas in Argentina and Uruguay, or Las Madres, Las Zorras, or Las Monjas in Chile.

The ball is known as la pelota, el cuero (the leather) or el esférico. A player lacking passion is called pecho frío (cold chest). Dar un baile (giving a dance) is winning by a wide margin. Amasar la pelota (kneading the ball) refers to whoever can dominate it. Morfón, comilón or chupón (glutton), is the one who does not pass the ball to his teammates. The fans who aguanta los trapos (put up with the rags) are those who always support their team, and gambetear or hacer una gambeta (dribbling) is the ability of a player to elude the opposing team and continue advancing with the ball. The player with these skills is a gambeteador (dribbler).

Gato (a cat) is an outstanding goalkeeper; there is also talk of an arquerazo. And a cabezazo (a headbutt) can also be testarazo. Tuercebotas (a boot twister) is how you know a terrible player.

It is said that sports language is excessively opinionated, but at the same time, this freedom has allowed him to be one of the most creative and innovative with the use of language. Poetic resources such as metaphors, comparisons and metonyms are used in sports language. In sports journalism, emotions and feelings are appealed to, which is why using exclamation points is expected. Goal, goal, goal! It could be an acceptable headline on the front page.

Is Barcelona that good? The headline seeks to challenge the reader, establish contact, and maintain a conversation.

As we have already seen, linguistic creativity is characteristic of sports language. We see it in the brief extract that we have shared here of the usual vocabulary around football and the stylistic resources that are used to create new words or expressions; in addition to these, we can mention a couple more, such as the case of the verbalisation of the noun in cases of campeonar (ganar el Campeonato: win the championship) –El atlético de Madrid logró campeonar en España– or the resource of parasynthesis, which is none other than forming words using a suffix or prefix, for example, in the case of cerocerismo. El cerocerismo vuelve a imponerse en la liga.

Sports language has been relevant in enriching other languages, even everyday languages. Do you know everyday expressions whose origin is in the sports field? Share them with us.

I have wanted to discuss the language of equestrianism, but due to a lack of space, that will have to be part of another article. You can also suggest topics that interest you.

Keep learning curiosities about the language and the Spanish language, visiting and reading the articles we publish weekly on the iScribo blog. If you are looking to improve your Spanish writing and correct a specific variant of this language, remember to subscribe to our wonderful grammar checker. We are waiting for you!

Culture around Spanish language

Spanglish. The influence of a giant

Estás ready to read this article? Yes, I know that sometimes it can be hard but let’s understand un poco about what Spanglish or espanglish is.

Spanglish is how some non-standard Spanish spoken in North America are colloquially known in contexts where Spanish and English are in prolonged contact due to group bilingualism.

Spanish and English are two widely spoken languages worldwide. Although these two languages are studied and spoken separately, we cannot ignore a sociolinguistic phenomenon that occurs when bilingual speakers of English and Spanish interact. They do not always choose to conduct the conversation purely in Spanish or English but rather choose a third way: Spanglish.

You may like it or not, but here there is. A hybrid between English and Spanish that linguists don’t know how to classify. There are no rules; It may seem like Spanish with many anglicisms between sentences or English with many Spanish words intertwined. For some linguists, it is simply code-switching, such as switching from a dialect to a standard language or when speaking the formal language and then switching to a more informal use. In many sectors, it tends to bother; for some, it is a sign of a low cultural level, while others say it shows how language is in constant creation. Others observe the phenomenon attentively and without judgment, but let’s start at the beginning: when did people start talking like this?

When did people start speaking Spanglish?

The origin of Spanglish can be seen in the early interactions between Spanish explorers and the indigenous people of the Americas, and later, during the Spanish colonisation of the southwestern United States, the Mexican- American War, and the annexation of territories such as Texas and California. Then, in the 20th century, increased migration and cultural exchange between Spanish-speaking immigrants and English-speaking communities, particularly in urban areas, further boosted the development of Spanish. This was especially true in families where the first generation did not speak English, but their children did.

The Puerto Rican writer Salvador Tió used the term Spanglish for the first time in an article titled “Teoría del Spanglish”, published on October 28, 1948, in the Diario de Puerto Rico. There, he referenced native Spanish speakers who renounced their mother tongue to learn English and immigrate to non-Hispanic countries.

Currently, Spanglish’s influence on popular culture is reflected in social networks, music, and cinema, especially among the younger generations, where it is widely accepted.

Chicano, Tex-mex and Cubonics: living la vida loca

The places where it is most common to speak Spanglish are those in the United States, where there is a large population of Latinos. For this reason, Southern California and Puerto Rico are significant hotspots for Spanglish.

Do you remember Ricky Martin’s song “Living la vida loca”? Well, that’s Spanglish. And Ricky Martin is Puerto Rican; it all makes sense now, right?

Chicano English is often used to refer to the dialect of English spoken by Americans of Mexican origin. Within this is the Texan variant, which is spoken mainly in southern Texas. However, these terms are also used to refer to the Spanglish spoken in these geographical areas, which differs, for example, from that developed by Cuban Americans residing in Miami, whose Spanglish is usually known as the Cubonics language.

What do you think of Spanglish? Is it possible that English and Spanish will merge into a single language and Spanglish will finally be recognised? Would you like that to happen? Share with us what you think of this linguistic phenomenon, whether you like it or not and if you are a user. We would want to know what you think.

Spanglish exists -that is a fact- but we still have English and Spanish. So, if you want to improve your writing in Spanish, take advantage of iScribo, our excellent spelling and grammar correction tool. You will not regret it!

Hasta la vista, baby.

Culture around Spanish language

The most beautiful words and expressions in Spanish

Spanish is the second most studied language in the world, and although it is difficult to say precisely, it is estimated that it has about three hundred thousand words in its lexicon. Let’s consider the combinations of these and the uses by the different variants of Spanish. We are talking about a vibrant language, where even conversations between speakers of different variants of Spanish cannot be understood so easily by each other.

There are also lovely words that have yet to have an exact translation in other languages. Today, iScribo invites you to see some of them and have fun getting to know part of Spanish speakers’ culture through their use of their language.

The fact that there are expressions or words without a precise translation is not a phenomenon unique to Spanish. It happens a lot between different languages. The reason for this is that language is the communication tool of a community, and what is essential for one is not necessarily crucial for others.

To be or to be? That is the problem

Languages have the words their speakers need: no more, no less. Therefore, learning a language implies being aware that you are also learning how to live the life of the culture corresponding to said language.

Let’s start with a beautiful distinction between ser and estar verbs. In Spanish, unlike English, we understand that in life, you can ser and you can estar, which are not the same thing. While estar implies occupying a space or becoming visible and includes a property susceptible to change, ser suggests some way of giving existence meaning. Ser transcends estar since it gives it meaning. It is the difference between essence and attribute; an attribute can change, but the essence cannot. I am a human being (essentially), and I am living on planet Earth, for example.

A fascinating use colloquially in Chile makes the difference between dejar ser (letting be) and dejar estar (letting be). When someone tells me dejé estar (I let myself be), he/she means that he/she did not do anything he should have done. On the other hand, when he/she tells me dejé ser (I let myself be), he/she means I freed myself, or I let myself go, something like the Beatles’ Let It Be.

Beautiful words without translation into other languages

The Spanish words in this selection are related to the culture around food and taking a walk, and some are linked to the night.

Sobremesa: everyone practices it, particularly on weekends. Millions and millions of families and friends spend a great time sharing at the table after eating. That pleasant moment is the after-dinner meal.

Provecho: I love this one, also because it has some controversy. For some, it is not polite to say it, while for others, it is a good wish. Anyway, there is something nice about it: by saying “provecho” or “buen provecho”, you are wishing the person who is eating, or with whom you are sharing the meal, that the meal will be pleasant. Isn’t that a good feeling towards each other? Its equivalent in French is “bon appetite”.

Now let’s move on to the night: has it happened to you that you are tired and try but can’t sleep? Well, that is what in Spanish is called desvelar(se): it means to prevent sleep or to lose sleep due to the inability to fall asleep.

Trasnochar: Are you one of those who likes to stay late? So, you are someone who usually stays up late. Some people do it only on the weekends when they go out to party, but some live a life that way because they are more productive; anyway, with them, we use the verb to stay up late.

Madrugada: refers to the moment when night and morning merge. It is before dawn and after night.

Estrenar: If one goes to the premiere of a movie in English, the verb release is used, but in Spanish, estrenar also refers to wearing a piece of clothing for the first time. It is a particular activity for many people: hoy estrenaré un vestido nuevo.

Vitrinear: It is somewhat related to the previous concept. Vitrinas are the shop windows where stores display their products. Vitrinear, therefore, is the verb that indicates going out to browse the windows without necessarily having the goal of purchasing. Let’s go window shopping is an invitation to go out and visit stores without necessarily buying. It is more of an invitation to walk.

Here comes a bonus track: la vergüenza ajena is amusing. Not all cultures have it, but the expression is understood. It is a borrowed feeling because here, one does not feel ashamed for what one did but instead for what someone else did. In English, it would be something like feeling embarrassed by someone else, although it is not precisely the same since, with that phrase, what is being done is rationalising the feeling.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Keep visiting the iScribo blog to learn more about the world that revolves around a language as beautiful as Spanish. Here we are, waiting for you with more topics of interest!

Culture around Spanish language

Swear words and idiosyncrasies in Spanish-speaking

Swearing, profanity, rudeness, or insult. Call them what you want. You shout them, you release them, you throw them into the air in moments of fury. They remove your tension after a blow. They slip out unintentionally, occasionally, and most of the time, it feels very liberating to say them.

The RAE defines palabrota (swearing) as an “offensive, indecent or rude saying” and insultar (insulting) as “offending someone by provoking and irritating them with words or actions.” The insult, then, is a speech act that attempts to attack or humiliate a person at a given moment. For this reason, insults are outside the social norm.

But insults are not only speech acts that attack the positive and, in some cases, negative image of the interlocutors, but they are also capable of reflecting what attitudes, beliefs and qualities are evaluated as negative or positive by the members of a specific speech community. In this sense, insulting statements are part of a particular speech community’s linguistic and cultural heritage and can reflect specific social (anti)values. In this way, the insult, born from words (linguistic terrain), is also extrapolated to the social and cultural terrain.

Although swearing is outside the social norm, it is not always “purely impolite speech acts” since the use of identification of a particular group is also observed. In these cases, they do not have an offensive semantic load but instead fulfil other functions, such as creating solidarity, strengthening ties of camaraderie and friendship, emphasising, and intensifying statements, expressing surprise, drawing the attention of the interlocutor, and identifying the participants in the interactions as members of a group. As in the case of “¡Buena güeón, tanto tiempo! (Chile) (Hey, mate, long time!) or “¡Pedazo de cabrón, cuánto tiempo! (España)  (You piece of bastard, how long!).

The linguistic taboo

Not all cultures consider the exact words offensive, but they all have in common that they consider taboo words abusive. The forbidden always arouses social interest.

Three significant taboos are repeated as a theme within swearing. First, there is the eschatological sphere. Rudeness that refers to excrement, dirt, bodily secretions, or the parts of the body that produce them are very common. Then, the sexual sphere. A good part of the bad words refers to the sexual act, especially if, in a particular culture, it is a rather shameful topic. Something curious about Spanish, both Hispanic American and European, is that there are quite a few insults related to those who practice prostitution (hijoputa/hijaputa, hijo de puta, hija de puta) (son of a bitch, daughter of a bitch). Still, none refer to who pays for sex.

Religion and everything related to the sacred are topics that are not expected to be raised outside of a context of solemnity, so creating rude words from this type of word is genuinely transgressive.  It corresponds to the third great taboo: the religious sphere.  Christianity explicitly says: “Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain,” so bringing up sacred objects in everything mockery is very provocative.

Another type of insult is the one that refers to someone’s low intellectual capacity. On the other hand, in Latin American cultures, it is standard to insult someone by referring to their mother. Here, you can watch a video about linguistic taboos on swearing.

The types of swear words according to countries

[Warning: If you are in a public space where they speak Spanish, I do not recommend reading this part of the article out loud, or more than one person will look at you mean.]

In Spain, it is striking how the religious sphere occupies a vital place regarding insults. For example, they have expressions like “hostia” (host), “me cago en la mar” (I shit in the sea) or “me cago en la hostia” (I shit in the host) or other stronger ones like “me cago en Dios” (I shit in God). On the other side of the Atlantic, in Chile and Argentina, there is a tendency to insult mainly with swear words that allude to the sexual sphere, such as “concha”(shell: a vulgar way to refer to the vagina), “pico” (beak: a vulgar way to refer to the penis), “chucha” (a vulgar way to refer to the vagina), “raja” (a vulgar way to refer to the ass) or “concha de su madre”.

These differences in themes are fascinating because they tell us about what is uncomfortable for a society like the Spanish, Argentine or Chilean and how, through insults, they can release -in part- what they repress as a society.

Culture around Spanish language

Spanish dialects around the world

Spanish, also known as Castilian, is spoken, or studied by more than 500 million people around the world; of these, more than 450 million are fully fluent – approximately 50 million are fluent with certain limitations, and nearly 20 million are in the language learning process. This means that 67% of the world’s population speaks Spanish. Yes, I said it right: 67% of the world’s population speaks Spanish!!

It is the second most spoken language after Mandarin, ahead of English, and is the official language of 21 countries. In Europe, it is spoken in Spain; In America, it is the official language of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Uruguay, and Venezuela. and in Africa, it is the official language in Equatorial Guinea. Additionally, there is a significant percentage of native speakers in parts of the United States, Brazil, Canada, Algeria, the Philippines, Australia, and Israel.

Faced with this enormous demographic and geographical extension, there is also massive linguistic diversity, both phonetic (that is, in the accents and pronunciation of words), lexical (forms of writing) and morphosyntactic (ways of structuring a sentence).

Measure your words when talking to your grandfather

Spanish speakers know very well that these peculiarities exist since not everyone uses the same variety of the language. Just as there are linguistic varieties of the same language depending on the cultural or social group to which one belongs, the same language also varies depending on the generations. For example, a grandfather does not use the same expressions or words as his grandchildren; these intergenerational linguistic subtleties probably come to light when interacting.

Being aware of these differences can be complicated, but at the same time exciting and very entertaining when learning a new language. Let’s look at some examples.

Do you know the adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”?

Well, it makes perfect sense when talking about language, and even more so about the same language, since geography is an essential factor in the formation and evolution of languages: ¿tú vas hoy? or ¿vos vas hoy? ¿vosotros vais hoy? or ¿ustedes van hoy? How should you ask? Don’t panic, don’t collapse, all those options are fine. The difference is that the “¿vas hoy?” It is used in Spain and much of America, while “¿vos vas hoy?” It is the common expression in Argentina and Uruguay. If you are in Spain, you will hear this same question in the plural as ¿vosotros vais hoy? in an informal context, while in a formal context, it will be ¿ustedes van hoy?” in the case of American countries, ¿ustedes van hoy?” is used, whether in a formal or informal context. Spaniards will only say “ustedes” when they want to address someone with respect. On the other hand, the formal singular for Spain and for the countries of America is “you”.

If you want to know more about these morphosyntactic differences, you can review the Cervantes Virtual Centre’s article about the linguistic diversity of contemporary Spanish.

Potatoes or tomatoes?

But let’s leave behind the more formal issues of language use and give way to the most fun of the Spanish variants. Where there is the most outstanding number of lexical variations is in the vocabulary related to food, so while in Spain they talk about patatas, in Latin America, they are papas, and while in Mexico, Venezuela and Spain they call the delicious summer fruits fresas, in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay are called frutillas.

Since I have lived in Spain and am Chilean, I can tell you more anecdotes. For example, we stress words of Anglo-Saxon origin differently: in Spain, people say deo, while in Chile we say video and while Chileans say ícono, Spaniards say icono.

Does the hole in your sock have a name in your country? Well, in Spain, they call it tomate (tomato); that was very funny to me when I learned it because, in Chile, we also use the name of a vegetable, but it’s papa (potato), ha-ha!

I will give you two last pieces of information that have to do with professional translation and, of course with the country for which it is translated. Do you know the children’s movie Chicken Run? (it has been a few years since it was released). In Chile it was translated as “Pollitos en fuga”, while in Spain its commercial name was “Evasión en la granja”, and when “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” was released, it arrived in Chile as “Eterno resplandor de una mente sin recuerdos”, while in Spain its translation was “¡Olvídate de mí!”, erasing all poetic traces of the original title ☹.

Finally, I leave you a video that summarises in a very entertaining way what we have been talking about in this article. Don’t despair and laugh at how challenging and diverse Spanish is sometimes! Enjoy it!

Remember that no matter what variant of Spanish you speak or are learning, there is no one Spanish that is better than another, as there are only differences within the same language, and they are all fine. If you travel or share with Spanish speakers of a different variant than yours, you will have fun and be significantly enriched by seeing the differences. In addition, the new iScribo considers a large part of these within its latest version of grammar correction. So, practice, learn and enjoy!

Culture around Spanish language

15 Sports Players From Spanish-Speaking Countries

Learning Spanish through sports with the most famous Spanish-speaking athletes of these times. Sport also breaks down borders and is another valid way to learn Spanish and improving your level in this language.

Sport is important for physical development but it can also be a tool for practising Spanish and getting to know other cultures. Learn today with iScribo some sports players from Spanish-speaking countries to improve your Spanish in a different field.

Most Popular Spanish Athletes

1. Rafael Nadal: this Spanish athlete needs no introduction anywhere in the world. So far, he has won 22 Grand Slams and one Olympic gold at individual level. He is a tennis legend, not only in Spain, but worldwide.

2. Pau Gasol: the basketball player has won two NBA rings and two Olympic silver medals with the Spanish national team. He has also won a Copa del Rey and several Spanish leagues – a real reference!

3. Carolina Marín: the three-time badminton world champion has also won four European championships and one Olympic Games. Her record is impeccable and she is unparalleled!

4. María Pérez: the two-time world champion in racewalking continues to lead Spanish athletics to the top. She has also won a European Championship. She is one of the few athletes to win two gold medals in racewalking at the same competition.

5. Alexia Putellas: the football player has already won a World Cup at the highest level and several European Cups at youth level. She has also won a few Champions League titles and has been named best player on numerous occasions. She indeed is the best of the world.

6. Jon Rham: the Spanish golfer is among the best in the world for the number of trophies he has won during his career.

Other Famous Latin American Athletes

7. Yulimar Rojas: the Venezuelan athlete has broken world records in the triple long jump. With her Olympic gold in Tokyo and several world championships, it is a marvel to watch her compete.

8. Luciana Aimar: the Argentinean hockey player has been ranked as the best in the world eight times. She has led the Argentinian national team to where it deserves to be.

9. Lionel Messi: we could not leave the man considered the best footballer in the world out of this list. In addition to being a world champion and having led Barcelona to the top in Europe on several occasions, he has a multitude of individual trophies.

10. Mariana Pajón: there is no end to the Colombian cyclist’s track record. In addition to two Olympic titles and another as Olympic runner-up, Mariana has won several world championships and is a source of pride for Colombia.

11. Mijaín López: the Cuban Greco-Roman wrestler has won the gold medal in Olympic competitions on four occasions. He is a legend in Cuba and a pride of Latin America.

12.  Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez: after many years without Mexican athletes at world level in Formula One, this Mexican won three podiums in motorsport.

13. Neisi Dajomes: The Ecuadorian athlete is an Olympic champion in weightlifting and made history in Ecuador as the first woman to win a medal. No wonder she is a national and Latin community reference.

14. Sofía Mulanovich: the Peruvian surfer has been proclaimed world champion on three occasions.

15. Arturo Armendariz: the Guatemalan is a specialist in creative weapons and has won world competitions in kickboxing and karate – there’s no one to beat him!

iScribo & Culture

As we have done in the past, we love to introduce you to the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and improve your Spanish at the same time. iScribo takes care of every aspect of the Spanish language so that you learn it according to the norm. iScribo corrects your Spanish as you write and pays particular attention to proper nouns and their writing. In addition, it also suggests improvements so that you always deliver your Spanish documents in the best possible Spanish. Have you tried it yet? Tell us about it in the comments.

Culture around Spanish language

National Holidays in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Everyone likes to have days off. Do you know how many public holidays there are in Spain? You might also be wondering about public holidays in Argentina. It is no longer just a matter of comparing how many holidays each country has, but of finding out why they exist.

National holidays in Spanish-speaking countries are related to religious celebrations and to historical or cultural events in each place. It should be noted that each country has national, regional and local public holidays, but today we will talk about the national ones. Discover them with iScribo.

Public Holidays in Spain

The Spanish working calendar is always published in the BOE (Spanish State Gazette) before the end of the previous year. These eight public holidays are paid for workers and can be moved to a Monday so that they do not fall on a Sunday and almost everyone can enjoy them.

– January 1st: of course, the new year must be celebrated in style.

– January 6th: the Epiphany of Jesus is celebrated with the arrival of the Wise Kings laden with gifts.

– Good Friday: this day is determined according to the lunar calendar in terms of the celebration of Easter.

– May 1st: Labour Day is celebrated, well deserved for all of us.

– August 15th: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

– October 12th: the day of Spain is celebrated.

– November 1st: All Saints’ Day is celebrated.

– December 6th: Day of the Spanish Constitution.

– December 8th: the Immaculate Conception forms, together with the previous public holiday, a week with a little more rest.

– December 25th: the great day of Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus.

National Public Holidays in Colombia

Colombia has eighteen annual public holidays, here we tell you which ones:

– January 1st: New Year, like in most parts of the world.

– January 6th: The Wise Men’s Day, as in other Spanish-speaking countries.

– Mars 19th: San Joseph Day.

– Good Thursday and Good Friday: as in the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries, depend on the lunar calendar and the celebration of Easter.

– April or May: Ascension Day, depending on the celebration of Holy Week.

– May 1st: Labour Day.

– Corpus Christi: also depends on the moon.

– June 27th: Sacred Heart is celebrated.

– June 29th: the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.

– July 20th: Independence Day, a great holiday of national pride.

– August 7th: Celebration of the Battle of Boyaca.

– August 15th: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

– October 12th: Día de la Raza (Day of the Race).

– November 2nd: All Saints’ Day is celebrated.

– November 11th: Celebration of the independence of Cartagena de Indias.

Public Holidays in Argentina

Argentina has fifteen national holidays, as follows:

– January 1st: New Year’s celebrations.

– February: this month celebrates two days of carnival, depending on the lunar calendar.

– Mars 24th: Día Nacional de la Verdad y la Justicia (The Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice).

– Aprill 2nd: Malvinas Day, a day of Argentine pride par excellence.

– Good Friday and Easter Monday: again according to the lunar calendar.

– May 1st: International Labour Day, as in most countries of the world.

– May 25th: Día de la Revolución de Mayo (May Revolution Day).

– June 17th: Death of General Martín Miguel de Güemes.

– June 20th: Death of General Manuel Belgrano.

– July 9th: Independence Day, also widely acclaimed in the country.

– August 17th: the Passage to Immortality of General José de San Martín is celebrated.

– October 12th: Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity).

– Novemeber 20th: National Sovereignty Day.

iScribo & Cultural Diversity

We love to bring you the celebrations in Spanish-speaking countries. There are many countries where Spanish is the main language, so it is impossible for us to tell you what is celebrated in each one of them. However, we invite you to find out more about them so that you can continue learning. Do you know what all Spanish-speaking countries have in common? The good use of Spanish as a language. You can practice your written Spanish with iScribo’s spelling and grammar checker which, in addition to correcting what they write in real time, will provide you with suggestions to improve your writing. Have you tried it yet? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Culture around Spanish language

The Wine Industry in Spain: Tradition and Culture

The Spanish wine industry is undoubtedly important for Spanish culture. The wine market in Spain has a long-standing tradition based on respect for wine, tradition and vineyards.

It is worthwhile to make a vineyard tour and several visits to bodegas in Spain as there are numerous wineries and official Spanish wine appellations. Wine culture teaches us from the planting of the vines to the bottling of the wine, from the grape harvest to the ageing in barrels or containers.

There are different ways of classifying wines, the designations of origin (appellation) of the wines of Spain allows us to classify them according to the protection they have and the rules that regulate them in the Spanish country. On other occasions, we have talked about gastronomy but, what better than accompanying a Spanish dish with a good wine! Keep reading this iScribo post to discover the secrets of the best Spanish wine.

Spanish Red Wine

Among the Spanish red wines, it is more than an obligation to mention the most awarded designations of origin, which are D.O. Rioja and D.O. Ribera del Duero. Both produce very diverse wines with different grapes varieties. Be that as it may, the dedication to growing, harvesting and winemaking follow a tedious process by world-renowned oenologists.

Other famous red wines are D.O. Priorat, Bodegas Torres, Marqués de Cáceres, Somontano or Toro.

There are many more, both new and long-established, so the best thing to do is to make a good wine tour of Spain and discover your favourite.

Red wine is ideal to accompany a meat dish or to get you through a cold winter’s day. Many people mix it with a lemon or white fizzy drink to make a tinto de verano.

White Wine in Spain

Cava is a quality sparkling wine with its own protected designation of origin. Typical of the region of Catalonia, this type of wine is ideal for the most exquisite palates. From a Freixenet, famous at all Spanish Christmas dinner parties, to a Mastinell, the variety is endless. Cava can be mixed with white fizzy drinks to make cava sangria, another refreshing summer drink.

Of course, we also have the Albariño from the Galician Rías Baixas. This tasty wine is very smooth, so it can be enjoyed with good fish or seafood.

We should also mention the D.O. Rueda, which reminds us of a cheerful floral spring. Its freshness and floral character are more than recognised worldwide. You can combine this wine with almost anything and in any season of the year.

The D.O. Jumilla offers wines of any category but today we want to highlight its facility to produce white wine. Indulge yourself with this savoury and dedicated drink.

Rosé & Other Drinks in Spain

Although rosé wine is not a variety that is as popular as white and red wine in Spain, it has also grown a lot in recent years and has given us unforgettable experiences and it is now part of the Spanish culture.

We can highlight Las Campanas Rosé from the D.O. Navarra, which has won several national awards.

Many wineries that offer reds and whites as star products also produce prestigious rosés.

Among other varieties, we find the Tío Pepe wineries in the heart of Jerez de la Frontera, in the south of Spain, with the production of fino and amontillado wines and natural sweet wines, among others.

Vermouth is an aromatic wine in the category of fortified Spanish wine, famous along the Mediterranean coast. Drink it as an aperitif or use it in a cocktail.

iScribo & Spanish Culture

Table wines, wines with geographical indication or simply a wine that you really like, in Spain you can find any variety that will surely suit your needs. Although in this post we have focused on the designations of origin, there are plenty of wines and wineries all over Spain that are worth tasting and visiting. It only takes a quick look at a Spanish wine map and you will see that wine is produced in practically every corner of the country. Do you know wine vocabulary? Sometimes it can be complicated to write some of its words, as it is a precise technical sector. Use our tool to write correctly in Spanish and to receive suggestions for improvement in real time, have you tried it yet?

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