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Spanish Newsletter

Welcome to Vol. 78 of the Spanish Online Newsletter! Part of the Spanish Learning Blog - your weekly lessons with mp3 files, as well as links to Spanish travel spots and more. Bueno I'll begin by saying how sorry I am about how LATE the podcast is! If any of you have seen the show "Clean Sweep" - you can really appreciate the difference in my office today. My recording room has been a mess for weeks now - and it wasn't until I cleared away the clutter that I could actually sit down with my microphone and get things done! That means this week we have not 1 but 2 podcasts - both of which are available via the virtual ipod below as well as in mp3 format (you'll have to look at last week's newsletter to download those mp3s). This week we look at some fun slang words, and we'll get back to our friend Zalacaín el Aventurero next week.

A big MUCHAS GRACIAS to those who have expressed interest in advertising - what a motivator this has been for me! Clicking the banner above will take you to a bunch of free interactive lessons - (the competition actually... :) - run by blogger and newsletter member Brock Hadley's company. His blog is a good one to bookmark, as he gives a lot of good tips, and offers anecdotes helpful for teachers and students. Their Learn Spanish Today has tons of free Spanish learning resources, so please give them a look if you get a chance.

Action on our forums has slowed down a little bit lately - I'm not exactly sure why, as traffic is certainly up. Keep in mind the forums are a great place to engage in conversation about Spanish grammar, travel, teaching, learning, and more! To get things going a little here is our "post of the week" - posted on one of the blogs for users by our member Raquel (username Obsesionada09), a teenager utterly dedicated to learning the Spanish language.

Tuve muchas ideas la semana pasada.  Regresé al colegio y tenía tanto tiempo libre para estudiar y enseñarme el español.  Allí entre pensamientos, tuve una idea de mi carrera del futuro...(y Stacey, si Ud. está leyendo esto, tuve la idea por Ud.)  De todas formas, ahora estoy más lista y segura que nunca. 

Entonces, encontré otros podcasts serviciales...y después un gran sitio en el Internet que me ayudaba en diferenciar los dialectos del mundo hispano.  Antes, sólo podía distinguir entre el dialecto castellano y lo básico de América Latina; pero ahora sé las diferencias dialectales de España, México, y los países de Sudamérica.  A mí, me gustan más los de la Argentina y de México.  Me encanta el sondio del "ll" en cada uno. 

Voy a continuar trabajar mucho...con inspiración.

Gracias Raquel, ¡me impresiona mucho tu dedicación! You have to register to write on the forums due to spam abuse - but you'll find it a great place to practice your written español. Maybe a few of you may like to write to Raquel and let her know what you think about her Spanish learning journey!


To view the entire podcast via an online virtual ipod, click here.

To subscribe with iTunes, add the following RSS feed under "Advanced" and "Subscribe to Podcast" in your iTunes:

if you have an audio only ipod: http://www.spanish.ms/podcasts/podcast2.xml

if you have a photo or video ipod: http://www.spanish.ms/podcasts/podcast.xml

A Quick Look at Some Spanish Slang Expressions

hear audio mp3click here to hear this week's newsletter in mp3 audio format

No, this isn't going to include curse words en español... to be honest those words are probably pretty important for many travelers to know, but as a family friendly site you'll have to find them elsewhere! While slang certainly varies quite a bit among the different Spanish speaking countries, let's look at a few slang terms that you may find useful.

"Re"

I used this expression a lot when living in Buenos Aires back in the late 1990's. Younger people often add ‘‘re’ ’to the front of a word to form a new slang term, which emphasizes the word it refers to, or indicates that something is MORE of whatever it's being called. For example:

él es guapo = he's a handsome guy

él es RE guapo!!= he's a totally handsome guy!!

"Hiper" (EE-per)

No, they don't mean hyperactive! "Hiper", which sounds like EEEper - is used by people of all ages to indicate that something is very large or supersized. While this may seem normal to Europeans, who've heard of shopping mals called "Hiper Mart" and things like that, for most Americans this usage of the word "hiper" is a bit new.

la casa es grande = the house is large

la casa es hiper grande = the house is huge or super large

"Vale"

Just to show I'm not totally biased towards Latin American Spanish... here's a slang term from Spain :) I think the first time I heard this I just kind of gave the person a blank stare. ¿Huh? Kind of like when I first heard the word "vos" and I turned around trying to figure out who the guy was referring to! I eventually learned that "Vale" is used in the same way as we use "OK" or any of its equivalents: sure, I understand, I agree, etc. Similar to "de acuerdo" - which is more common in Latin America. You also hear the English term OK used a lot in Latin America, especially in Mexico.

"Haz de cuenta que "

I've never heard this expression used frequently anywhere but Mexico, but it's quite common there, and not exactly one of those expressions that's obvious when you first hear it. It is used to mean "let's pretend that" or "imagine if" I found an entry on a Mexican blog titled "haz de cuenta que no existió..." - which means imagine if it never existed...

"¡Qué padre!" or "¡Qué chévere!"

These words need little introduction if you've already been immersed in a Latin American environment, as "how cool!" is pretty easy to understand in any language based on the enthusiasm used to say it! "¡qué padre!" is used predominantly in Mexico, and "¡qué chévere!" seems to be used everywhere else in Latin America. To be honest I don't remember the main word for cool in Spain - perhaps a reader can help me out?

Worksheet/Activity: Spanish Slang

Quiz:† Spanish Slang Words

Hangman:†Spanish Slang Hangman

Reading for Teachers: Without Slang and Idioms, Students are in the Dark!

Spanish Artist of the Week

listen to Mana songs online - try iTunes for downloads

Can anybody else still remember Sombrero Verde? (I really date myself there!) Maná was all the rave in the 1990's - the first "crossover" Mexican rock band to become a huge hit in the United States, winning a Grammy at the first Latin Grammy Awards in 2000. Many of their lyrics are socially conscious and designed to get kids thinking rather than just screaming at the top of their lungs. This week I received this email from Teresa, a web visitor:

Quisiera ver mas canciones con mensajes importantes para los niños. Yo estoy usando unas canciones de Mana: Justicia, Tierra y Libertad y "Fe"-- sería bueno enfocar no solo en las estructuras de la gramática pero también en el contenido que enseñamos por medio de las canciones.

Brava, Teresa. To hear some of Maná' stuff - you can try here

Spanish Learning Product of the Week:

buy the complete tutorial on CDs and book from Musical Spanish

If you like the newsletter and podcast, think of supporting us by buying something in our store!

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© Spanish Online 2006, Newsletter Volume 78, 3/4/06

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