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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Top 10 Reasons to Learn Spanish

Just in case there's anybody out there still wondering "why should I learn Spanish?" - here are some razones buenas!

  1. To speak with over 320 million people around the globe who speak Spanish

  2. To enjoy traveling throughout Mexico, Spain, & Latin America

  3. Because bilingual people are more marketable and have more career choices

  4. Because learning Spanish is fun! It's a chance to experience new music, food, movies, & much more

  5. To help you develop better critical thinking skills - being bilingual means seeing the world through more than 1 lense; a skill that can help you in many areas

  6. To make new friends who don't speak English - imagine all of the friendships you are missing out on!

  7. To develop your creativity - language stimulates the imagination

  8. Because Spanish speakers are growing at a faster rate than English speakers!

  9. To give yourself more job security: why not stack the deck in your favor by having a valuable skill?

  10. Because Spanish will bring new sensations and maybe even some added happiness into your life - try learning with a friend or loved one!

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Some Spanish reading for the day...article about the Bush twins from a Chilean paper

Vamos a leer un poco! Read the following article, and see if you can get the gist without looking up any words. You'll find some vocabulary translated below.

WASHINGTON.- A sus 22 años y recién salidas de la universidad, Jenna y Barbara, las hijas de George y Laura Bush, lo tienen todo por delante. Y a juzgar por la cobertura que les está dando la prensa, buena parte del público norteamericano está ansioso por saber más de las vidas de ellas.

Salvo algunas escapadas que se filtraron en el pasado a la prensa, las llamadas 'firts twins' han disfrutado un relativo anonimato, gracias a una regla tácita -que este gobierno ha sido enfático en recordar- que protege a los retoños de los mandatarios de la prensa, al menos mientras son menores.


Read the full article: Jenna y Barbara bajo el escrutinio público

Vocab Review:

cobertura = coverage
han disfrutado = have enjoyed (past participle w/ the verb haber)
la prensa = the press
mientras = while
recién = recently
salvo = except for

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Friday, May 28, 2004

How to post a message here

Hi guys, Feliz Viernes. several of you have emailed to ask how you can post a message without a username. When you click on "post a comment" just look for the "post anonymously" button underneath the sign in. When you click there, you can leave a message without creating a username & password. If you'd like to sign your post just leave a name after whatever your write. Feel free to include a URL, particularly if it's something related to Spanish. We had nearly 1000 visitors yesterday - gracias por visitar! Remember suggestions will help give me ideas...

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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Found it! News source w/ Spanish and English translations

Fidel denuncia a México Histórica relación pende de un hilo:
Tras 102 años de buenas e ininterrumpidas relaciones, que dieron a México la fama de ser uno de los países más solidarios y afectuosos con Cuba, el presidente mexicano Vicente Fox decidió enfriar esos vínculos al máximo posible, provocando, entre otras reacciones, el abucheo generalizado de partidos locales de izquierda y centroizquierda.

Historically strong ties hang by a thread:
After 102 years of strong uninterrupted relations, which made Mexico one of the countries in the world showing the greatest solidarity towards Cuba and the only Latin American nation that did not sever ties after Cuba's 1959 revolution, Mexican President Vicente Fox decided to scale back relations to a minimum, drawing an outcry from leftist and center-left parties in Mexico.

While they don't have a ton of articles, this little site offers side by side translations of the articles. ¡Muy bien! You might like to bookmark their homepage. Notice the "ENG" or "ESP" in the upper right hand of each article - that's where you can switch languages. Try not to be lazy though...try to get the meaning of the Spanish version FIRST,...then take a look at the English.

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Great Kids Site (Spanish Only) - Cartoon Network, Latin America

Spanish Cartoon Network
Flash games, audio, video, & cartoons in Spanish. No English,....but kids are good at figuring things out when presented in such a fun way. For those looking for kid friendly Spanish sites this is one to bookmark.

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BBC News in Spanish with audio

BBC Spanish News


Here is another all Spanish news site with pictures & Spanish speaking audio links down at the bottom right hand side. Also try the BBC's "Learn Spanish" section which has some nice activities


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The latest Spanish news articles - no translations though....

Google News in Spanish

Thanks for all of the emails & great suggestions - I think this blog is going to really enhance my newsletter! Several of you asked for translations for the Spanish news articles, and I'm currently searching for a good source. In the meantime I did find a fantastic resource for Spanish only news - the Spanish version of the Google News page.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

How long will it take me to learn Spanish?!

This is a question I still get nearly every day. While nobody can tell you exactly how long it will take you to learn...I did try to tackle that subject in an article a while back. One of my key points was that not being afraid to make mistakes, or in other words, JUMPING RIGHT IN AND SPEAKING, is one of the keys to learning quickly. You can find the article here.

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Today's lead story in Spanish....Al Qaeda attack in the works?... article from Argentina

Time to practice your Spanish with current events! Read the following paragraphs and see the definitions of key vocabulary below:

El ministro de Justicia estadounidense, John Ashcroft, afirmó esta tarde que informes de inteligencia norteamericana indican que Al Qaeda "está casi lista para atacar a Estados Unidos". La red terrorista planea un ataque "en los próximos meses" con el propósito de obtener resultados similares a los que alcanzó el pasado 11 de marzo en España, dijo el funcionario.

La cumbre del G8 que se realizará en Georgia, Estados Unidos, en junio próximo y las convenciones de demócratas y republicanos son -según el ministro- los principales blancos del eventual ataque. "Al Qaeda percibe que un ataque a gran escala en Estados Unidos en verano o en otoño podría tener consecuencias similares" a las que tuvieron lugar en España tras los ataques del 11 de marzo, dijo Ashcroft, en alusión a la victoria de la izquierda y al retiro de las tropas de Irak.


Read the full story here:
Clarín.com > Ultimo Momento > Washington dice que Al Qaeda planea un nuevo ataque en EE.UU.

Vocab Review:

ataque = attack (noun)
atacar = to attack (verb)
inteligencia = intelligence (as in gov. agencies, etc)
red terorista = terrorist network
tropas = troops
tuvieron lugar = took place

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Monday, May 24, 2004

Forbes.com: High oil prices bitter-sweet for Venezuela, Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A recent surge in oil prices to 21-year peaks will mean a windfall for Latin American exporters Venezuela and Mexico but may also stoke inflation, taking the sparkle off any economic gains, analysts said.

State revenues in Venezuela, heavily dependent on oil, should jump between 19 percent and 27 percent this year, while Mexico's coffers stand to swell by 4 percent, according to a Reuters calculation based on analysts' forecasts.

Read full article:

Forbes.com: High oil prices bitter-sweet for Venezuela, Mexico

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View of Northern Cascades, in Washington where Spanish Online resides Posted by Hello

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¡Bienvenidos!

Well since everybody online seems to have a blog, I thought it was time for Spanish Online to have one. I don't know exactly what I'll post here... probably links to cool sites I find, as well as news articles, music links, etc. More importantly, this is a nice place to interact with readers of my weekly teaching newsletters, which you can find archived to your left.

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