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survival travel spanish

Survival Travel Spanish – Start packing! (I)

If you are planning to travel to Spanish-speaking countries this Survival Travel Spanish lesson will help you. Learn the basics so you can  deal with the most common situations that happen during a trip, such as making the first arrangements with the hotel as well as organizing the return…

Check out our first post and let us know your thoughts! Are you ready to make bookings and inquiries at hotels?

How to book a hotel room:

Due to the internet, you can make all your bookings in English through sites such as Booking, Airbnb, Despegar and many others. But in case you need to make your booking by email, this is a sample email you can use!

Estimados Sres.:

Mi nombre es (complete with your name) y quiero realizar una reserva del (complete with check-in date) al (complete with check-out date) de una habitación (complete with type of room). Somos (complete with number of guests) personas ( __ adultos / __ niños).  My name is ________ and I’d like to make a reservation from (check-in date) to (check-out date) for a (double/single) room. We are (number) people (__ adults / __ kids).

Le agradezco me informe si tiene disponibilidad para esas fechas, y el precio total (y por favor, indique si hay impuestos no incluidos en el precio). I would appreciate if you can tell me whether you have availability for those dates and the total price (and please let me know if there are taxes not included in the price).

Saludo cordial, Regards,

___(Signature)___

Types of rooms:

Maybe you’re wondering how to complete the type of room, although most of the vocabulary for this is very similar to English! Thanks to globalization, making a hotel booking is actually pretty easy as most of the language used is the standard worldwide, like: booking, check-in, check-out, and many othes. Anyways, here in our first Survival Travel Spanish we explain some options! 

Habitación doble/single o simple/triple = Double/Single/Triple Room (In general here you need to specify if it is a twin room = Habitación Twin or a double room for a couple = Habitación doble matrimonial).

 

Apartamento = Apartment

Suite = Suite

Habitación Estándar/Ejecutiva/de Lujo= Standard/Executive/Luxury room

Suite Presidencial = Presidential Suite

Here’s another sample email from our Survival Travel Spanish lesson:

What if  you need to ask about services, facilities and check-in and check-out times? It is very important for you to know how to ask these questions, as you would like to plan in advance considering the services and facilities provided by the hotel. Whether you can have lunch at their restaurant or not might be important if the hotel is not located in the city centre and there are not many options nearby. So pay attention to the questions below and choose the ones that suit you!

Estimados Sres: / Dear Sir/Madam,

Quisiera recibir información sobre los servicios que ofrece el hotel, así como las instalaciones que posee.  I would like to receive information about the services offered by the hotel as well as the facilities it has.

¿Podrían también indicarme el horario para realizar el check-in y el check-out? Could you also let me know the time to check-in and check-out?

Saludo cordial, Regards,

______________

In addition to this first sample, take a look at some extra questions you would probably like to add to your email:

¿Cuenta con piscina? = Does it have a swimming pool?

¿Es climatizada? = Is it climatized?

¿Tiene gimnasio/spa/sauna? = Does it have a gym/a spa/a sauna?

¿El desayuno está incluido? = Is breakast included?

¿Es desayuno continental? = Is it a continental breakfast?

¿Posee restaurante? = Does it have a restaurant?

¿Hay área de juegos para niños? = Is there a kids area with games?

¿Las habitaciones tienen wifi? = Do rooms have wifi?

¿La habitación tiene vista al mar/a las montañas/a la ciudad? = Does the room have a view to the sea/to the mountains/to the city?

¿El estacionamiento está incluido? = Is parking included?

¿Cuánto cuesta el late check-out? = How much does late check-out cost?

¿Hay aire acondicionado/calefacción en las habitaciones? = Do rooms have air conditioning/heating?

¿Puedo solicitar traslado desde el aeropuerto al hotel? = Can I request transfer from the airport to the hotel?

¿Podría pagar con Visa/Mastercard/cheque/en efectivo? = Could I pay with Visa/Mastercard/cheque/cash?

It seems like you are now ready to start with your booking arrangements! We hope this Survival Travel Spanish lesson was helpful. And, where are you planning to go?

See these travel recommendations from Tripadvisor:

Isla Mujeres in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Resultado de imagen para isla mujeres

Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, Valencia, Spain

Resultado de imagen para principe felipe museo valencia

Walking Tours, La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Resultado de imagen para la boca

Isla de Lobos, Punta del Este, Uruguay

Resultado de imagen para isla de lobos punta del este

Machu Picchu Trek, Peru

Resultado de imagen para machu picchu

Volcano and Hot Springs in San José, Costa Rica

Resultado de imagen para volcano and hot springs in costa rica

4 tips to get fluent in Spanish

Why did I start learning Spanish?

 

It was because I want to explore Spain and Latin America.I want to chat fluently in Spanish with anyone I run into. I want to make as many Hispanic friends as I can who would be embracing me as their family. I want to know everything about this fascinating Latino culture.

 

I want to, if chance permits, land on a job in a Spanish-speaking company, or be an entrepreneur and start a Spanish-related business.

 

Did you start off learning Spanish with similar dreams? I think many of us do, but after a while it is easy for us to get frustrated and give up halfway.

 

Why?

 

Because we find it so hard, so frightening to initiate a conversation in Spanish.

 

Why would we get nervous even before we start to speak?

 

Because talking is an event that happens in real time, and we are easily overcome by the fear that we cannot sustain a conversation that we begin, and make a fool of ourselves. We would worry that we do not have enough vocabulary, messing up the tenses and gender etc…This forms a vicious cycle: the more we fear of embarrassing ourselves, the less we speak, and the further we push ourselves away from the goal of getting fluent.

 

So how can we beat this fear and get ourselves out to start speaking Spanish? Here are 4 tips that I have picked up on my own journey of learning Spanish:

 

1.Accumulating a bank of stock phrases

Memorizing a few common phrases for different life situations would help you feel more prepared. And you know you would never get wrong, for example, closing the conversation with a phrase like “¡Qué tengas un buen día/noche!” (Have a good day/night!).

 

You can find all these useful phrases in a phrase book, or you can pick up through the next tip:

 

2. Practice with an interactive video

Learning through an interactive video would be a fun way for practicing speaking.  Each video would usually cover a specific topic; useful phrases and words would be introduced as the video plays along. Therefore, you can practice reading out the phrase displayed on the screen for a few times, and compare your pronunciation with that by a native speaker.

 

“Mi vida loca (My crazy life)” is an excellent free resource by BBC. It is a fascinating video drama on a mysterious adventure in Madrid broken down into 22 Ten-minute episodes.

 

The series is great for absolute beginners, for picking up some basic Spanish phrases, but even if you have been learning Spanish for a while, you will still find it useful for practicing listening – there are lots of conversation between the native Spanish actors in the videos, and all videos come with a transcript.

 

3.Find a language partner

If you find speaking Spanish to random people you meet on the street too intimidating, perhaps you can start by practicing with a language partner.

 

Check out italki and Hellolingo and look for Spanish speakers who are learning your language.  Get their contact and start connecting with them. Throughout the process you will be able to make foreign friends, share progress and frustrations of learning, and get the rapport from someone who is also experiencing the same struggles and up-and-downs as you!

 

4. Find an online Spanish tutor

But what if you can’t find a serious language partner who you can work with?  Finding an online Spanish tutor would be an ideal solution.

 

I have been taking Skype Spanish lessons with a few native tutors for over 6 years and it has been the most effective way to help me to get fluent. It actually creates an environment for me which make me feeling safe to speak freely and make mistakes, knowing that my tutor would not be judging, instead he/she would be there to help by telling me the correct or better way of speaking. The best thing is that all lessons are 1-to-1, meaning that I would have the tutor’s full attention at all time, and staying silent is not an option!

 

Check out Master Spanish Now for their team of experienced native Spanish teachers who are friendly and willing to work with you to improve your fluency. They would tailor the lesson so that it will be of the level just right for you!

sunsets

Sunsets in Uruguay’s Atlantic Coast

Before talking about its beautiful sunsets, pay special attention to the water… When you look at the water in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, you can notice a brownish color. There it lies the Río de la Plata, the widest river in the world. It is also said to be a river as “wide as the sea”. But if you look further, you can see the color starts to turn green, depending on the day and currents.

Going east…

After driving 100km from the capital the water starts to turn greener and greener, the water you now see would be 100%  from Atlantic Ocean! Well, not exactly 100%… depending on the currents there might be a mixture in some areas. But after driving 200km and entering Rocha, you will be amazed by the emerald color of the ocean, its wild waves and natural scenery everywhere. Rocha is the eastern city full of summer houses and beach resorts next to the border that separates Uruguay from Brazil.

Regional tourists

Rocha is one of the most visited places in summer. People from everywhere come to spend their holidays, but mostly Uruguayans who love the ocean and the peace of those places. Many Brazilians who are probably tired of the crowds in their own beaches decide to drive some kilometers to here to rest. Argentinians are also regular visitors, although they usually prefer Punta del Este (a bit crowdy for Uruguayans!)

In Rocha there are certain areas which are considered part of the National System of Protected Areas. Tourists cannot go freely anywhere they want. For instance, to go to Cabo Polonio’s beach you need to leave your car far from the beach. A special truck takes tourists there. They will remind you to take special care of not throwing anything at the beach and protecting the environment. There are areas with no electricity, and that makes the place much more attractive for those seeking a different experience in contact with nature.

Gratitude

One of the most wonderful moments during the day at the beach is the sunset. As after 6 or 7pm it would get a bit chilly at the beach in Uruguay’s Atlantic coast, it is common for people to bring a jacket or hoodie to stay and wait for the sunset. You can see people drinking mate and chatting, reading or just relaxing, while they are all waiting for the sunset. Once the sun disappears into the horizon everyone would start clapping. It seems that everyone feels the need to thank the sun for a wonderful day. After this moment, within a few minutes, everyone goes home.

Have you enjoyed reading our post? Share it with your friends! 

7 essential lunfardos for tango

Lunfardo is an Argentine slang which frequently appears in tango lyrics.

 

In this blog we will be looking at the meanings and usage of  7 common lunfardos, since they always appear in tango lyrics, knowing them will greatly help your understanding of the lyrics as well as the tango culture!

 

1. Malevo

Malevo is a word originated from the latin adverb malé, which refers to “man who is a gang or a troublemaker living in the slum in Buenos Aires. The word is slowly adopted to represent the male characters in tango (and perhaps porteños in general): liberal; living a bad life with a humble root; macho and brave; believing in his own way of seeing life; seeing love as a game, but a game that he needs to play by giving his all.

 

But whatever kind of life the malevo is leading, there’s one thing we can always be sure: he loves tango.

 

2. Mina

Mina is perhaps the most commonly used Lunfardo word nowadays in Buenos Aires or Montevideo. Instead of meaning a “mine” like “coal mine” or “gold mine” in standard Spanish, it refers to woman and it comes from the Italian word “femmina” (which means female, and also girl or daughter)

 

However, in tango “mina” sometimes carries other meanings: prostitute; woman who lives with a man; woman who has an illicit relationship with a man; a concubine; a lover.

 

One of the most well-known tango songs in which you can find the word is “Patotero sentimental” (The sentimental gangster, Orchestra Carlos Di Sarli/Singer Roberto Rufino):

Ya los años se van pasando,

y en mi pecho no entra un querer,

En mi vida tuve muchas, muchas minas,

pero nunca una mujer…

 

(Many years have passed by,

but there never enter an affection in my heart,

in my life I have had many, many women,

but never a wife.

 

3. Pibe

Pibe refers to kid or boy in Lunfardo (and for girl would be “Piba”). It is believed to be derived from “pive” from the Genoese dialect of Italian, or “pivello” or “pivèll”, of the dialect of Lombardy, and all these words carry a meaning of “youth” or “apprentice”.

 

The tango song “El sueño del pibe” (The dream of a boy, Orchestra Osvaldo Pugliese/Singer Roberto Chanel) tells a story of a “pibe” who had a dream in which he had been taken by a football club, and would be able to make a better life for his dear mom. The song mentions Diego Maradona, one of the greatest Argentine soccer players, who happened to carry the nickname “El Pibe de Oro” (The Golden Boy).

 

Watch the video of Maradona singing “El sueño del pibe”!

 

4.Yeta

In Lunfardo, Yeta is equal to “mala suerte” (bad luck). So you may hear a porteño (someone living in Buenos Aires) exclaiming “Qué yeta!” instead of “Qué mala suerte!” when he has run into bad luck. It is believed that the word originates from “jettatura” and “jettatore” of the Neapolitan dialect of Italian, meaning “evil influence” or “A person bringing harm or bad luck to another”. It started gaining popularity among the working class before it was spread in the whole Buenos Aires society.

 

You can hear the word “Yeta” right in the first line of the lyrics of Preparate pal’ Domingo (Prepare yourself for the Sunday) by Orchestra Edgardo Donato/Singer Carlos Almada:  

 

Preparate pa’l domingo si querés cortar tu yeta…

(Prepare yourself for Sunday if you want to avoid bad luck…)

 

5. Chamuyar

Chamuyar (or chamullar) means to chat; or to have a conversation, which usually happens when a man is trying to pick up women. Sometimes it also refers to using a mix of truths and lies to achieve a goal.

 

It is believed that chamuyar came from the word caló (from a gypsy dialect) which means to chat or to converse or to tell an excuse for covering, for example, being late to work, or forgetting to do something.

 

Chamuyero would mean someone who is chatty, or a liar

 

6.  Yira

 

In Lunfardo, yira means to wander; or to walk slowly without a specific goal or purpose. It is believed that the word originates from the Italian verb “girare”, which means to meander.

 

Yira is similar to Spanish verbs like “pasear”, “andar” or “dar una vuelta”, but is distinct in the feeling it conveys: a slothful, lazy manner without any interest in rushing to a location or getting anything done.

 

The most famous appearance of the word would be in “Yira, yira” of Carlos Gardel:

Verás que todo es mentira

Verás que nada es amor

Que al mundo nada le importa

Yira, yira

 

(You will see everything is a lie

Nothing is love

which for the world nothing is important,

Yira, yira)

 

7.Mango

Instead of referring to the yellow-skinned tropical fruit which may be your favorite in summer, “mango” in Lunfardo means money (dinero, peso). If someone says “No tengo un mango” it would mean he/she is totally broke.

 

It is believed that “mango” is derived from the 19th Century word “Marengo” which gangs used for referring to money made from bad means or easy money.

 

Mango” can also be found in the lyrics of “Yira, Yira” by Carlos Gardel:

…buscando ese mango

que te haga morfar…

 

(…You are finding the money

That allows you to eat…)

 

Check out Speak Spanish Like Argentine to learn more about the history of Lunfardo!

Want to learn more tango Spanish? Book a lesson with our Argentine teacher!

Chirstmas

Christmas Traditions in the Hispanic World

We want to share with you some traditions of Christmas celebrations in the Spanish-speaking world! Are these the same as in your country? How do you celebrate? Please leave us a comment below!

A) ¡Fuegos artificiales! (Fireworks!)

In Latin America fireworks are very popular and they start exactly at 12am, so everyone goes out of their houses to their gardens, front door, or very often at the beach to watch them. Kids enjoy them a lot, and usually watch lots of them!
Do you like fireworks? Do you see them in Christmas?

2016, concert, december 31

B) En Noche Buena, asado! (On Christmas’ Eve, barbecue!)

In Latin America Christmas is celebrated during summer so another tradition is to have the most important family reunion on the 24th December at night (called “Noche Buena“) in the garden, and in South America, always with a big “asado” (barbecue) with the whole family.

Grilled Meat during Daytime

C) El árbol de Navidad

When do you assemble your Christmas Tree? In Spanish it is called “el árbol de Navidad” and in Argentina, for instance, people set it up on December 8th.
What’s the tradition in your country? 

christmas, christmas tree, decoration

D) El brindis

The toast is a very moving moment in this celebration. It could happen after dinner, exactly when midnight starts, or sometimes after watching the fireworks! People have a glass of champagne or sidra (an alcoholic drink made of apple juice, originated in Spain). 

2016, ceremony, champagne

E) Pavo trufado de Navidad

In Spain, in the traditional Christmas dinner you can find “pavo trufado de Navidad” which is made of a turkey, but stuffed with meat, pork, truffles and vegetables, and seasoned with wine, salt and pepper etc. We recommend you to get the recipe and give it a try!

Resultado de imagen para spanish turkey

F) La lotería de Navidad

There are Christmas lotteries in many countries, but the one in Spain is very popular! Everyone wants to win it, and therefore, on the 22nd of December people are hooked to their TV or radios waiting for the announcement of the winning ticket. 

Resultado de imagen para lottery spain

Want to learn more about the Hispanic culture? Check out our blog!

córdoba

The charm and peace of Córdoba (Argentina)

Surrounded by mountains, and located in the centre of the country, there lies one of the most visited Argentinian provinces: Córdoba. Here you can find a variety of towns, villages and cities, each with its own particular features.

Many go in the Fall or in Spring to enjoy the breeze, the nice weather, the landscapes and the peace while being in contact with nature. Others prefer winter, with mountains covered with snow. And many enjoy their summer holidays near the lakes and rivers, refreshing from the hot sun in the cold water that comes directly from natural springs in the mountains.

During the peak season and long weekends the villages, towns and cities from the whole province get ready to receive tourists that come from different parts of the country to disconnect from the hustle and bustle.

Traditional food such as “cabrito” (goat meat) is served in most restaurants and bars, as well as different types of fish from the area. But you can’t miss the “alfajores cordobeses“. Have you ever seen an “alfajor“? Alfajores are a sweet dessert sold everywhere in South America. They are more like a snack you buy at a kiosk when you are in a rush and want to eat something sweet. They are made of two biscuits, jam or “dulce de leche” in the middle, and covered with chocolate or another cream. In Argentina, several regions have their own typical “alfajor“. In Córdoba they have fruit jam in the middle and they are covered by a glacé. Everyone buys them as a gift to take back home to friends and family after the trip.

And around Argentina there are all sorts of “alfajores“. Take a look at them, yummy!

córdoba

alfajor de maicena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can you do in Córdoba? Today we are going to recommend one area called “Traslasierra” which means “behind the mountain range”. This area is very calm and relaxing, full of little towns and villages, which are full in peak seasons and empty during the year, with a small number of locals.

There you can swim in the river, sunbathe, go for walks, go fishing, practice adventure sports, go rowing or kayaking, and many more.

There are lots of holiday resorts with swimming pools and areas to relax, practice sports and have a barbecue with friends. Most people rent a house or cabin to spend a few days with family or friends. Others prefer a hotel for a weekend out of the city.

Some vocabulary for you to get ready for your next holidays in Córdoba!

  • Remar = Rowing
  • Escalar una montaña = Climb a mountain
  • Sierras = Mountain range
  • Pueblo = Village
  • Río = River
  • Manantial = Natural spring
  • Alturas = heights
  • Pescar = Go fishing
  • Nadar = Swim
  • Tomar sol = Sunbathe
  • Cabaña = Cabin
  • Alquilar = Rent
  • Cabrito = Goat meat

And now enjoy the peace and nature, in this video taken from a boat in an area called Las Rabonas, in Traslasierra, Córdoba, taken by a member of our team at Master Spanish Now.

And here a nice song from Luciano Pereyra, an Argentinian singer. It is called “Córdoba sin tí” (Córdoba without you). Enjoy it!

 

Want to take a Spanish course? Check our course list here.

6 Crazy Witty Spanish Animal Slangs!

Do you know that animals play a big part in Spanish slangs?

 

In this blog post we have compiled a list of 6 crazy witty animal slangs in which you will find dogs, goats, pigs and butterflies !

 

Enjoy and have fun using them in your next Spanish conversation!

 

1.A otro perro con ese hueso

 

 a-otro-perro

 

What does it mean when a Spaniard says “A otro perro con ese hueso.” (To give another dog the same bone)?

 

It means he/she is not going to believe a lie told by someone, or accepting an excuse from someone.  It is similar to “come of it” or “Don’t give me that”.

 

2.A otra cosa, mariposa

 a-otra-cosa-mariposa

What does it mean during a conversation when a Spaniard says to you “A otra cosa, mariposa” (For another thing, butterfly)?

 

This is actually a signal that your friend thinks it’s time to move on to the next topic, or to talk about something else. He/she would then say “ A otra coas, mariposa.” In a light-hearted, friendly tone.

 

 3.El mismo perro con distinto collar

el-mismo-perro-con-distinto-collar

Another doggy slang!

What does it mean if someone says “El mismo perro con distinto collar.”

 

“El mismo perro con distinto collar” literally means “the same dog with a different collar”, which is usually used to express disappointment in the situation when someone is trying to convince oneself or another that something has changed, but in fact is just the same as before.

 

4.Estar como una cabra

 estar-como-una-cabra

What does it mean if someone says to you: “ Estas como una cabra.” (You are like a goat)?

 

Cabra (Goat) is often regarded as a crazy animal in Spanish culture, so if someone is “esta como una cabra”, it means he is off his head, doing strange things and acting like a nut.

 

 5. La cabra siempre tira al monte

la-cabra-siempre-tira-al-monte

What does it means by “La cabra siempre tira al monte (The goat always climb up the mountain)”?

 

This is an idom for saying what’s bred in the bone will out in the flesh-no matter how hard we try to change who we are, our roots still remains.

 

 

6. Echar margaritas a los cerdos/ arrojar perlas a los cerdos

pig

Echar margartias /arrojar perlas a los cerdos (Cast pearls before swine) is a slang which shouldn’t be difficult for you to guess the meaning: offering your help to someone who doesn’t have a heart of gratitude; or wasting your effort in teaching somebody a knowledge or skill that is way beyond the person’s capacity.  

 

Do you know any other Spanish animal slangs? Which of the above 6 slangs you like the most? Leave us a message and share with us!

 

Want more Spanish conversation practice? Book a Spanish class now with one of our native teachers! (Click here)

 

Check out this post for Spanish food vocabulary and get ready for your next Spanish food adventure…

Ready for a Spanish meal?

 

mate

Mate as part of the Argentine’s culture

Where is it taken?

“Mate” (pronounced like “matte” in English) is the most popular infusion in Argentina and countries nearby such as Uruguay (who drink mate 24/7!), Paraguay and Brazil (Each with its own style and flavour).

This infusion is prepared by putting some “yerba mate” (the herbs) into a container called “mate”and made of different materials such as wood, silicone, porongo (the fruit of a plant) or others. The infusion is drunk through a sort of drinking straw usually made of alpacca silver or stainless steel called “bombilla”, which will filter the stems and leaves.

This drink is part of the Argentine culture. People have “mate” most of the time, whether they are working, studying, relaxing at home, sunbathing, or hanging out with friends. It is a common social practice as it is said to make people gather, and relate to one another by sharing a “mate”.

Some people like it bitter, some others add a bit of sugar to it, others spice it up with different herbs or fruit to give “mate” a different flavour. In summer many people switch from “mate” to “tereré”, a similar drink said to come from Paraguay and made of “yerba mate” (the herbs) and very cold water with lemon. Nowadays young people just buy the condensed fruit juice powder and add it to the drink.

It is caffeine-rich, and believe it or not, it is also drunk in Syria and in Lebanon. We are not sure of the reason why we share this tradition…! Here in South America it was inherited by the “gauchos” (South American cowboys) who lived in the grasslands.

Ready to try? Watch the video and learn how to prepare a real Argentine mate!

It is important to have rounds of mate, so the person called “cebador” is the one in charge of serving all the mates (Instead of saying “to serve” we say “cebar mate”). You have a round and then you take one more “mate” yourself.

When a “mate” has been used a lot and the herbs seem to be tasteless we say the “mate” is “lavado” (washed) and we need to change the “yerba mate” (herbs).

Now you are well-prepared to share your first “mates” with your Argentine friends!!

Book a class with our Argentine tutors and learn more about Argentine culture

4 tried-and-works tricks of learning Spanish for busy people

 

Thought about learning Spanish, but gave up immediately because you think you are “too busy”?

Worry you can’t devote long enough time to study?

Before you decide you have too little time to learn Spanish, check out the following 4 tried-and-works tricks for developing a learning strategy which can be fit into your busy schedule!

Our 4 tricks are based on the following 2 main principles:

 

Principle 1: Learning a language is more about consistency than time

The idea that you must devote a lot of time to learning before you can fully acquire a new language may have been holding you back. Yes, it is undeniable that learning a language needs a lot of practice and that takes time, but in fact, the key of learning is more on consistency than duration. Human brain learns best from frequent practice. Practicing a language for 15 minutes every day would be far more effective than hours of study once in a blue moon.

 

Principle 2: Make good use of your dead time

Do you commute to work or to school? What do you do during the time you are on public transport? What do you when you are waiting in the lines ? Do you just stare into the empty air or kill the time playing games on your cell phone?

Don’t underestimate the power of these short “dead time”. You can turn these “dead times” into a DIY 5-minute language crash course using handy tools such as Apps on your cell phone or listening to a podcast.

 

Here come our 4 tricks based on the above 2 principles….

 

  1. Set an alarm and study only 15 minutesalarm

Find yourself too busy to spare a regular hour every day to study? Try setting an alarm, and study only 15 minutes. Once the alarm sets off, close your book and continue the next day. This will help you keep highly focused and make the most out of the short bit of time. Everyone has 15 minutes to spare, and splitting your study into bite-sized chunks will make it more manageable and easier to keep it as a habit.

 

  1. Use Anki/Duolingo/Memrisewoman-using-her-iphone-at-home-office-picjumbo-com

Search “Spanish” on iTune or Google Play, and you will find a sea of language Apps. The great thing about Language App is that they are portable and they can help you to turn your “dead time” into productive learning time.

Check out Anki, Duolingo and Memrise, 3 top free language apps that have been used and loved by thousands of fellow language learners.

 

 

  1. Listen to a Spanish podcastheadset

Spanish podcasts are ideal for those who want to broaden their vocabulary; those who want to listen to how words are being used; and above all, those who want to listen to how real Spanish is being spoken by native speakers. There are podcasts for all levels: from complete novice to those who are almost native, and the best thing about Podcasts is that they can be downloaded onto your smartphone so that you can listen to them anywhere 24/7.

Check out “Note in Spanish” which features real Spanish conversation covering a variety of topics ranging from art, science and culture, and offers different levels from beginner to advance.

 

  1. Take an online Skype Spanish classbeautiful-business-computer-female-53535 

Want extra help to boost your fluency? Take an online Spanish class!

The great thing about online Skype Spanish classes is all about flexibility. Unlike regular classroom lessons with a fixed class schedule, you get the freedom to pick the time that works for you , so you can easily fit the classes into your busy schedule, and take one whenever you have a free hour to spare. Taking online classes also frees you from the need of travel-you can take the class in your home, in your office, in your favorite cafe…just anywhere with an internet connection, and this saves you lots of time commuting to a class and back.

If you want to achieve fluency in a short period of time, you will find taking the Skype class an effective mean. As all the classes are one-to-one, that means you will have all the attention from your teacher and can have the whole class time dedicated for conversation practice.

Online Spanish classes are also great for people who want a class tailored to their needs. So whether you are taking classes for your next trip to Spain, or for communicating with your business client from Peru, you will be able to focus your learning on vocabulary and phrases relevant to your objective by discussing your needs with your teacher.

Check out the one-to-one Skype lesson with our Spanish teachers now ! (click here)

Remember, regular practice, no matter how short each time they seem to be, do add up. Once you have been doing this every day for a period of time (around 20 days) it will be habitual, and you will be surprised by how much you will have learnt by using these tricks!

 

Want more creative ideas for practicing Spanish? Check out

3 free and fun ways for practicing Spanish

3 free and fun ways for practicing Spanish!

 

Learning Spanish but feeling bored to go through your grammar notes? Not getting enough “air time” to speak out in group classes? The following 3 ways would help keeping you motivated to practice outside classes (And the best thing is… they are all FREE!)

 

  1. Sing a Spanish Karaoke

In Youtube you can find hundreds of videos of lyrics of most recent greatest hits (just search “(the name of your song you want to sing) + letra”). You can read the lyrics on the videos and sing along. It is a fun and effective way to practice pronunciation. You can also pick up new vocabulary and keep yourself updated of the Spanish billboard!

 

  1. Go to a Spanish meetup group

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Want to drink and socialize while practicing Spanish? Look for a Spanish meetup group in your city!

 

Meetup (https://www.meetup.com) is an international website on which you can encounter meeting of all kinds of interest in many major cities. There are many Spanish exchange groups which meet regularly in cozy places like pubs, where you can go sip a drink, chill out and meet new friends while practicing Spanish conversation. These exchange groups are usually free to join, although they might request you to buy a drink at the bar to support the venue. Joining an exchange group is a great way for encountering fellow Spanish students and native Spanish speakers who you can keep in touch and continue practicing with after the meetup.

 

  1. Play a game on a free language App

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Duolingo and Memrise are 2 great FREE language learning Apps that are available on both Android and iOS platforms. They help learners to practice a language while playing fun games. Each game only lasts for a few minutes and you get level-up after earning points from each game. Warning: the Apps can be addictive!

 

Want more Spanish practices? Book a one-to-one Skype lesson with our Spanish teachers now (Click here)!

 

Want more Spanish learning tips? Check out

4 tried-and-works tricks of learning Spanish for busy people