Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Give Spanish A Listen

New Spanish listeners often think that Spanish is spoken too rapidly. Spanish speakers do speak quickly. It is difficult to hear the words individually within the spoken sentences. Here are some ways you can get used to listening to Spanish. It is not enough to read, write, or speak Spanish. One has to listen to it to get used to the speed. It takes time to get used to it. You can choose an article from a newspaper or write a paragraph in Spanish. Record yourself reading the article. Read it fast. Then read it slowly. Practice listening to what is being said. This will also give your tongue practice in pronouncing Spanish words. You will also learn the structure of the sentences and phrases. It will become more familiar to you. Another thing you can do is listen to dialogue in telenovelas. At first, you might think they are speaking too quickly. Later, you get used to the speed, and you can pick out words and phrases they are using. You can write down some of the sentences they speak and practice learning them on your own time. Listening to Spanish is just as important as reading and writing. It will develop your ability to have conversations in Spanish. So give Spanish a listen. You'll have a great time following Spanish in this way.

Posted at 07:12 am by JollyS
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Monday, May 23, 2016
Word List

Here's a site that lists one hundred or so Spanish words to learn. You can listen to what the word sounds like by pressing the loud speaker next to it. Try to practice some at a time if you feel there are too many words. It is good to have a core of about 100 words with which to work. Happy learning! http://www.spanishpod101.com/spanish-word-lists/#

Posted at 10:34 am by JollyS
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Friday, April 22, 2016
Chevere! A Mystery Solved

Have you ever heard of a Spanish word that you didn't know? This happened to me years ago when I watched the telenovela, "Cristal." I was watching telenovelas to improve my Spanish. Three of the characters, Zoraida, Inocencia, and Cristal were using the word, "chevere" a whole lot. I was curious about the word. I thought it meant "precious" or "expensive" based on the context of the sentence. I was really stumped. I began to ask around about the word and ran into dead ends. People kept telling me that it meant "cheese." I thought about the show and why would they be stating "cheese" all the time. So, that was a no go. Just the other day, I found this blog: MySpanishNotes@blogspot.com (Feb. 7, 2016 entry) The writer was talking about "chevere" on it. For me, the mystery was finally solved. I was so happy, because she is a linguist at heart, and I was able to get to the answer through her blog. Take a look at the blog entry for the answer. If you ever hear of a word that you don't know, don't give up. It is fun to interview people even though people may not know the answer. It is also challenging to look on the net or a dictionary for the word. The more words you know, the better! Happy word hunting!

Posted at 10:45 am by JollyS
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Have you ever thought of reading Spanish headlines as a way of practicing Spanish? They're short. They're sweet. They're full of content. Reading headlines keeps you abreast of various topics that are important to the Spanish world. You can find out what the article is about before you read it. That way, you cut to the chase. You can also skim the articles in online "periodicos" and see what topics they cover the most. Are they about Zika? Are they about terrorists? Are they about Trump or other candidates? You can then narrow down what articles are the most interesting and then read the ones you like. Headlines are short and chunky, but they lead you to investigate the articles that you most like. You can feel like a detective learning about topics as you peruse them. To find headlines, you can type in "Spanish Periodicos" on your search engine, and it will give you a list of newspapers you can visit. Two examples are "El Pais" and "La Prensa Grafica." There are many others you can look up. Collect the most interesting headlines. Conduct a vote about which headlines you like the most, the ones that draw you to read the article, and the ones that really deliver. Take the winning headline and read the article. Look around! There are tons of headlines on the web. If you like to read papers that aren't on the web, you can do that also. You can check out the headlines in the same manner. So happy reading! Read all about it!!! :)

Posted at 02:35 pm by JollyS
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Friday, February 26, 2016
Labeling and Cards

Hi to all Spanish learners! How is your day going? Are you ready to try some more ideas? I have two ideas on how to practice Spanish. One is to buy some index cards or post it notes. Label objects around the house with the cards. Write the names of the objects in Spanish. For example, you can label the sofa with "sofa," or the chair with the word, "silla." Try to label inanimate objects. Pets and humans might get mad if you label them. Lol! The other idea is to take the cards or post it notes off and use them as blank flash cards. You can write on the blank sides the meaning of the word in English, if you wish. Practice the words in this way. You can also buy Spanish flash cards at a book store. Try writing sentences with the words on the cards. That will help you remember the words within the context of other words. I also want to tell you I am practicing Spanish via emails. Find some friends or others in an online community such as Craigs List that want to practice Spanish with you. Write back and forth in Spanish. Don't worry if you're a little rusty. Practicing is what counts! Have an amazing day!

Posted at 10:34 am by JollyS
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Thursday, January 21, 2016
Spanish Firsts!

I used to collect the firsts of the New Year, such as the first song of the New Year I heard or the first breakfast I had and etc. So I thought why not do that with the subject of Spanish. You can record the first Spanish person you see. You can jot down the first Spanish word you see, the first Spanish song, the first Spanish phrase, or the first Spanish meal you have. You don't have to force the events to happen, just jot them down when they happen naturally. There are a lot of firsts that can happen when you come down to it. So be patient and have fun with the activity. Things will jump out at you as you continue your new year. Here are a few other ideas: your first Spanish ad you see, the first Spanish dessert you have, the first Spanish conversation you have, and the first Spanish sports team you see. Have fun finding your Spanish firsts! The New Year will be full of them. Don't worry if you haven't found everything in January. You have the entire year. Happy New Year! Feliz ano Nuevo!

Posted at 09:58 am by JollyS
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Words of the Holiday Season!

Learning Spanish during the holidays may be exciting. All you have to do is look for words in the category of holidays. You can also play a word association game of words that make you think of other words. For example, "holiday" may make you think of "bells." You can keep going. Holidays are a fantastic category. If you want, you can get a Spanish language newspaper and find words of the holiday season in it. If holidays are not your thing, you can also choose other categories such as "home," "garden," "books," or "jobs." Finding new words is a stimulating activity. There is no dearth there. Find amazing words in all your categories you love. Keep going! Don't stop! By the new year, you will have an exhaustive list of words that you will want to keep on using. Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Posted at 09:56 am by JollyS
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Monday, October 26, 2015
Guessing Game!

Take a dictionary and collect words you don't know. Don't look at the meaning of the words yet. Try to guess what the words mean. Then look up the meaning. See how hot or cold you were. You can also get someone to give you words. Guess the meaning and ask them if you are right or wrong. This guessing game will give you a chance to get close to the words. You are interacting using the words and spending time with them. You are also interacting using Spanish. New immigrants use Spanish. What better way for them to assimilate than having people practice Spanish with them. You can also play guessing games using English with new immigrants. They can spend time with English words. It is helpful to be bilingual in a world teeming with immigrants. People feel at home when using their native language, and new immigrants will like all the helpful interaction. Happy guessing! :)

Posted at 01:18 pm by JollyS
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Friday, August 28, 2015
Twenty Six Words For Twenty Six Days

Today, I am going to write about increasing Spanish vocabulary. Learning a word a day is the aim. All you need is an English to Spanish dictionary. Learn a word a day for each letter of the alphabet. For example, you can choose the word, "acera" for the letter "a" for day number one. The next day, day two, choose a word in Spanish for the letter "b" and so on. Since there are twenty - six letters, you will have twenty - six words by the end. The remaining days of the month, either four or five days, depending on the month, will also give you a chance to review the words. You can review the words or write sentences with them. Each month, you can learn twenty - six words. Keep a list of the 26 words. If you don't feel like learning twenty - six words, or choosing words based on the alphabet, you can choose the amount you like from the dictionary. For example, you may want to learn ten words instead of twenty - six. You can select a variety of words. It is up to you. If you develop your vocabulary, you will be more confident using Spanish. So don't wait. Get your dictionary and give it a go.

Posted at 10:08 am by JollyS
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Thursday, July 16, 2015
Spanish Translation

An amazing activity to learn Spanish would be gathering articles in Spanish from newspapers and translating them to English. You can start with one article if you wish. Clip it out and paste it in a notebook. Copy the writing in Spanish first. Then translate the article next to the clipping or under it, depending on where there is room. You can use a dictionary, but I recommend trying to translate the article without it first to see how much you can translate by yourself. After that, use a dictionary if you need to, and then compare how you did the translation with and without the dictionary. There are free newspapers you can get from boxes in front of stores or restaurants. One such paper is called "Hoy." Copying the article will help you to see how Spanish flows on paper. You will also be able to understand writing techniques by noting how the sentences are structured. Choose articles that have topics that are interesting or choose them randomly. A final activity you can do with this assignment is to read the article. See how you do. Are there any words or a word that you stumble on or does the writing flow on your tongue? You are also learning new words as you practice reading, writing, and speaking the words in the article. Reading. Writing. Speaking. You can't go wrong. Enjoy this activity and enjoy learning Spanish.

Posted at 09:42 am by JollyS
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