Tango Ronda

7 essential Spanish keywords you must know for tango

7 essential Spanish keywords you must know for tango


Tango is a dance which origin is Argentina, and therefore many keywords are in Spanish.

Learn the following 7 keywords which are often used, and improve your understanding of the dance!


1.    Cabeceo

In milonga people usually make an invitation for dance with cabeceo (eye signals) . A man or a lady can look at the person he/she wants to dance with. That person can accept it with a nod, or decline by looking away. This is a subtle form of invitation that avoids embarrassment from both sides if one doesn’t want to dance with the other.


2.    Cortina

“Cortina” means curtain. It refers to the non-tango music in between 2 tandas (sets of tango songs). It tells the dancers that they should stop dancing, and the men should escort the ladies back to their seats.


3.    Códigos

Códigos (codes) refer to a set of rules in milonga that everybody adheres to, such as performing cabeceo (use of eyes for invitation).


4.     Canyengue

Canyengue is an earlier style of dancing which was danced mainly in the early 1900s. It is still danced today but to a lesser extent.
You can view how canyengue is danced here.


5.   Tango Fantasía


In Spanish, “fantasía” means “fantasy”. But in tango, “Tango Fantasía” (or Tango Escenario) mean Stage Tango. It is usually danced in an open embrace with exaggerated movements like jumps, which are not usually done in milonga.

Watch here the performance of Mundial del Tango (World Championship of Tango) champion of tango escenario in 2016 here.


6.     Pista

“Pista” in Spanish means “floor”, and in Mundial del Tango it represents another category of the competition: Tango de Pista (salon tango). In contrast to tango escenario, participants need to compete as if they were dancing in milongas, and need to follow strict regulations, such as staying in the ronda (line of dance), and not lifting their legs higher than the knees.

Watch here the performance of champions of Tango de Pista of 2010: Sebastian Jimenez and María Ines Bogado here.


7.     Ronda

In Spanish, “ronda” means “round”. In tango, “ronda” refers to the line of dance, which are imaginary concentric lines on the dance floor. Couples should move in the counterclockwise direction in the ronda. Each couple should remain at a safe distance from the couple in front/behind them. The ronda ensures couples move on the dance floor in a predictable way, and prevent crashing into each other, especially in crowded milongas.


Want to learn more Spanish for tango? Take a Tango Spanish Skype class with our teachers who are tangueras from Buenos Aires!

Going to Buenos Aires soon? Check out our book Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips!

Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips

Speaking Spanish like a pro

Speaking Spanish like a Pro

A FREE Spanish learning eBook for all of you!

To celebrate the First Anniversary of Master Spanish Now, we have a gift for everyone who likes our FB page!

Speaking Spanish like a Pro ebook is for those who:
-Have been learning Spanish for years but still can’t speak fluently
-Have a busy schedule and need effective strategy for study
-Want to learn Spanish slangs and sounds more like a native

To download the book, please:
1. Like our Facebook page!

(we have daily update of useful Spanish tips)
2. Go to

You would need to subscribe to our email list for downloading the book, and it may take a while for your book to arrive at your email address.

If you can’t download the book, please drop us a line at

Enjoy the book!



Spanish Proverb

Spanish proverbs of wisdom

9 Spanish proverbs of wisdom


Learning Spanish proverbs not only helps us to learn the language, but also gives us valuable insights of life. In this blog we have compiled 9 Spanish proverbs that descend from old wisdom:


1.”Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.”

-Tell me who you walk with, and I will tell you who you’re.


We always absorb the way of living of people close to us.

So stay with the right crowd of friends, keep them close and don’t ever let them go!


2. “A mal tiempo, buena cara.”

-In bad weather, put on a good face.


While we may not be able to do much to change the situation, we can always change our attitude.


3. “Desgraciado en el juego, afortunado en amores.”

-Unlucky in games, lucky in love.


We don’t usually get to have everything we want in our life. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, why don’t we be grateful of having people who love us?


4. “Más ven cuatro ojos que dos.”

-Four eyes are better than two.


When we are about to make important decision, it is usually good to have a second opinion. People out of our situation may offer insights that help put things in perspective.


5. “Muchas manos en la olla echan el guiso a perder.”

Too many cooks spoil the broth


It is good to get people’s help in getting work done, but let’s not overdo it. Getting too many hands involved may sometime complicate the work and make it harder to finish.


6. “Dios los cría, y ellos se juntan”

-Birds of a feather flock together


This proverb means people of similar characters or backgrounds usually go together. It usually carries a negative connotation referring to people sharing negative characters would go together (like gangs).


7. “A la ocasión la pintan calva.”

Opportunity knocks only once


We should always prepare ourselves for opportunity. When it come, catch it tight and don’t let it go!


8. “A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda”

-God helps those who get up early


This is perhaps the most well-known Spanish proverb. The early bird gets the worms. Early to bed and early to rise would make one healthier, and get more things done!


9. “Al fin es debido el honor.”

-All is well that ends well


As long as the result is satisfactory, the problems and misfortune along the way can be forgotten.


Though we may have errors that are silly and embarrassing, but at the end it is still the result that people remembers.


Want to learn some Spanish slang? Check out

10 Super Spanish Street Slangs

Spanish Slangs

Spanish Street Slangs

10 Super Spanish Street Slangs you must learn before roaming over Spanish streets!


What should you prepare before hitting Spain? Apart from your travel guide, sunglasses and google map, learning some Spanish street slangs will make you fit in quicker and appear less like a guiri (the Spanish slang referring to foreign tourists)!


Learn the following 10 cool Spanish street slangs and be savvy over street talk!


1. Mola

Molar” means “back tooth”, but at the same time its verb form is frequently used in Spanish to say you like something/someone; or to be cool/in fashion.


Me mola esa chica.

(I like this girl).


El coche mola.

(This car is cool).


Esta camiseta ya no mola.

(The T-shirt is no longer in).


2. Molón/molona

You can use molón/molona in Spain to refer to something “cool”, “pretty” or “neat”.


Esta fiesta es molona.
(This party is cool).


3. Es una pasada

In Spain you can use “es una pasada” to refer to something that is “cool” or “neat”.

Note: We use “pasada” for both masculine and feminine nouns.


Este coche es una pasada.
(This car is cool).


Esta película es una pasada.

(This movie is cool).


4. Genial

This might be the most well-known expression for saying something is “cool” or “great”, and it is shared throughout Spanish-speaking countries.


El libro es genial.
(The book is cool.)


5. Guay

Guay is a common expression used by teens in Spain to say something is cool.


¡Qué guay!
(How cool!)


6. Ser majo/maja

Majo/maja is a colloquial expression for saying someone or something is nice or good looking.


Tiene una casa muy maja.

(He/she has a very beautiful house)


Tu jefe es majo.

(You boss is nice)


7. Coña

“Coña” in Spanish means “joke”. 2 colloquial expressions formed by the word are:


“Ni de coña

(No way!)


¿Estás de coña?

(Are you kidding?)


But be careful about these expressions and use them in familiar conversation only, as they can sound rather vulgar. Don’t say it in front of your Spanish boss or the mom of your friend!


 8. Tío / Tía

Apart from its formal meaning as uncle/aunt, tío/tía can also be used as “dude” for calling your friend.


¡Tío, qué guapo hoy!

(Dude, you look so handsome today!


9. Mala leche

Mala leche” literally means “bad milk”, but if your Spanish friend says to you “Me pone de mala leche”, is he meaning that he is given some spoiled milk for his breakfast cereal?
Not necessarily. “Mala leche” in Spanish slang means bad luck, or you can say that something puts you in a bad mood. So what your friend was saying to you might be “I am in a bad mood”.
Me pone de mala leche ir de compras. 

(I get annoyed when going shopping).

Tener mala leche” is also a way for saying someone is not a good person.
Marta tiene mala leche.

(Marta is not a good person).


10. Ser mono

When we say something “es mono” in Spain it means “it’s cute” or “it’s adorable”, and it is common to refer to a child as “mono” or “mona”.


But be careful that outside Spain, e.g. in Argentina, “mono” doesn’t carry the same meaning of “cute”, but…“monkey”!


“¡Qué mono!”

(How cute!)


“Tu hijo es muy mono.”

 (You son is so cute)


Check out our related blog post 6 Crazy Witty Spanish Animal Slangs!


Interested in learning more Spanish slangs? Book a Skype class with María and José, our teachers from Spain!



Popular Slang words and phrases used in Argentina

Slang words in Argentina

Slang words and idiomatic expressions, as we’ve explained in previous posts like 7 Essential Lunfardos for tango and Speak Spanish like an Argentine , are used in Argentina a lot, and you will need to learn them if you want to clearly understand what Argentines are talking about!

In this post we are covering some very popular words that people use most of the time in informal contexts like when you’re talking to a friend or relative, or when you are at an informal event, or even at work (try to avoid them when addressing your boss!)

Let’s check them out:

Salir rajando: To leave a place really quickly, especially cause you are in real hurry, want to escape or need to be somewhere else soon.

“Estar fusilado” (Literally when someone receives a shot by firearm) it means to be extremely tired, exhausted. Example: “Estuve todo el día en el gimnasio, estoy fusilado” (I was at the gym all day, I’m really tired)

In which situation would you use this slang phrase?

“No pasa naranja” – When someone asks “¿Qué pasa?” (What happens?) sometimes people respond “No pasa naranja” or just “Naranja” instead of saying “Nada” (Nothing). It’s a very informal and funny way of answering!

“Sacate la gorra” (Literally: Take out your hat) – It’s a very informal expression to tell someone to stop acting like a policeman.

Example: “No me controles, ¡sacate la gorra!” (Don’t control me, take out your hat (or actually, stop acting like the police).


“¡Buen finde!” = It means “Have a nice weekend” but instead of saying “fin de semana” (weekend) we shorten the word and it becomes, as we show in the picture, “finde”.


“Quemarse la cabeza” (Literally: To burn your head”) means to worry a lot about something or to be upset about a problem.
For example: “No te quemes la cabeza, ella no era para vos”. (Stop worrying, she wasn’t the right one for you)


Apolillar – To rest or sleep. Apparently it derives from the Neapolitan word “apolaiare” that would come from “apolaio”, the henhouse. “Apolaiare” in the countryside referred to the time when the hens would go to sleep at night.
Example: Me voy a apolillar. I’m going to bed/to sleep.


10 interesting Spanish facts

10 Interesting Facts about Spanish Language!

What do you know about Spanish?

Spanish is a unique language which is spoken in many different countries around the world, such as Spain, countries in Latin America, the US and others. Want to know more about it?

Check out these super interesting facts about Spanish!

1. Firstly, Spanish is the primary language of 22 countries worldwide, and it is the primary language of Latin American countries (with the exception of Brazil), Spain, and Equatorial Guinea.

2. Furthermore, It is the second language in the world in terms of native speakers.

3. It derives from a dilect of spoken latin which dates back to the 5th century in the north-central Iberian Peninsula. The dialect people spoke later in Toledo was the basis for the written standard, but that was not before the 13th century.

4. Also, it was the diplomatic language in the 16th and 17th centuries. Spanish started to expand around the globe with the growth of the Spanish Empire and its colonialism in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania but with the Napoleonic Wars French replaced Spanish as the lingua franca.
Now Spanish is expanding again, being the second language used in trade and the third in politics and diplomacy.

5. In addition, the largest population of Spanish speakers is in Mexico with 114 million and it is followed by the US with 50 million.

6. About 70% of the words in Spanish language are of Latin origin? Some examples are “actrix” (In Spanish it’s “actriz” and it means actress), “administrātor” (administrador in Spanish or administrator in English), “abstractus” (abstracto in Spanish or abstract in English) and many others….

7. Spanish is the only language that uses an inverted question mark (¿) and exclamation mark (¡) to begin a question or exclamation. Some minority languages in Spain also use these. Examples of these are: ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?) or ¡Hola! (Hi!)

8. There are 17 tenses in Spanish considering the three moods: Indicative, Subjunctive and Imperative. Unfortunately, the Subjunctive Mood tends to be very difficult to understand by speakers of non-Romance languages as it works in a more complex way.

9. Also, the letter “ñ” in the Spanish alphabet is the only one of Spanish origin. For instance: “ñoquis” (gnocchi), “baño” (bathroom), “año” (year), “araña” (spider) and many others. It sounds like the letters “n” and “y” together in the English word “canyon”.

10. Finally, Spanish and English share lots of words that look similar but have a totally different meaning. These are called false cognates or false friends. For example the words “embarazada” (pregnant) and “embarrassed” or “carpeta” (folder) and “carpet”.

Adults learning

4 tips for learning Spanish for adults

“I am too old to learn Spanish” –that is a lament I would occasionally hear from my grown-up friends.

One thing that holds many adults back from trying to learn a new language is the belief that we can’t teach an old dog a new trick- As we grow old, we become forgetful and it seems more difficult to get things in our head. But would these really make learning Spanish a mission impossible?

The good news is that, as an adult we have many advantages over kids that makes us more efficient language learners:

1.The choice of learning is ours

Unlike kids who are bound by their school syllabus, or are being forced by their parents to go language classes, we learn Spanish because we want to.

2.We pick our style of learning

Compared to kids whose only option is going to class, as a grown-up we are free to choose whatever means that we see fit and enjoy most, be it movies, videos, apps… etc.

3.We decide our pace of learning

Unlike schools that have a rigid syllabus, we decide for ourselves how fast or slow we learn.

When we get overwhelmed, we are free to take a short break and get back on it later.

Here are our 4 tricks for adults learning Spanish:


1. Use Anki

Need help in memorizing Spanish words? Anki will be your great companion.

Anki is an app which you can use as a flash card on the go on your smartphone. It is designed based on the principle of spaced repetition: showing you the words that you need to remember over and over again, in increasing intervals, so that they will be committed to your memory.

You can create your own set of Spanish flash cards using Anki, or you can download for free Spanish flash card created by the others (For instance, search “1001 most useful Spanish words and Sentences” on the App!).


2. Mixing learning with fun

Feeling bored of studying with your textbook? Why don’t you learn by doing something that you enjoy?

If you like films, watch an Argentine movie and pick up some Argentine slangs!

Enjoy cooking? Try some new recipes from a Spanish cookbook!

Mixing your Spanish learning with something you have fun out of will keep you hooked and engaged.

 3. Give yourself a purpose

Setting a goal would give you something to aim for, and help you to keep motivated. Planning to travel to Spain and need to talk to the locals? Want to read a Spanish novel in its original text? Watch a Spanish movie without the need of subtitles? The gratification of achieving your goal will be the greatest reward for your effort.


4. Taking private Spanish classes online

For adults, taking traditional group classes for learning a new language might not be the best option-you are bound by a fixed schedule without much flexibility, and more importantly, you teacher might not have much time for your questions as he/she will be busy with taking care of the needs of the whole class.

On the other hand, taking private classes online will give you the freedom to choose when and where will you will be having your class, and your Spanish tutor will become your private language coach who would devote all his/her attention to your learning, and tailor your class so that it will match perfectly with your level and your pace of learning.

A great news is that online Spanish classes are now very affordable starting at  USD15 per class. Check out Master Spanish Now for details!

practice writing Spanish

Write to speak fluent Spanish

Writing is perhaps the last thing we would practice when we learn Spanish.When we start learning Spanish we usually focus more on getting fluent. Practicing writing is not as fun and glamorous as practicing speaking-we usually think about it as a tedious, boring and lonely chore.

However, writing is an essential step leading to fluency, because:


1.Practice writing Spanish is a far less intimidating way to practice than speaking

Have you ever felt tongue-tied when you speak? Not having the right word on your tongue? Feeling your grammar all over the place? Speaking happens in real time and requires instantaneous response, while during writing you can take all your time to build your sentences and even look up the right words in the dictionary.


2. Practice writing helps to structure your sentences faster

Have you ever stumble on putting the verbs and adjectives in the right order when you speak? Struggle with the right gender and the right article to go with? Getting your sentences written down on a paper would help you to see more clearly how sentences should be formed, and help you to get it right faster the next time you speak.


3. Writing helps you to build vocabulary

Writing helps you to learn new words, and by using them and practicing them in writing you start memorizing them.


So how can we get started? There are 3 fun and easy ways to practice:


1. Write your to-do-list, memo, grocery list and schedule in Spanish.

Start with something simple, short and daily would help us to turn it into a habit.

So instead scribbling “Dinner with Jean Friday 8pm”, start writing “Cena con Jean viernes a las 8pm” on your schedule!


2. Write your diary in Spanish

Writing down a few sentences of your thoughts everyday would help you to learn how to express yourself in Spanish, and it is a good way to vent your emotion and keep secret thoughts to yourself (Works perfect if your family or your significant other doesn’t speak Spanish!).


3. Write your Facebook status in Spanish

After you have been doing the first 2 things for a while you might feel more daring to make your writing go public. Impress your friends with your new Spanish skills by writing your Facebook status in Spanish! When you gained “likes” you will feel more motivated to keep going.


Want more serious practice and feedback on your writing? Book a Skype Spanish class with our native Spanish teachers!

4 steps for an effective Skype Spanish Class

Taking a Skype Spanish Class with a native teacher is a definitely a more effective and efficient way to learn Spanish than taking traditional group class: you can book a class at any time when you are free; you can take the class anywhere at your comfort -your home, your office etc. and save travel time; you can have the whole attention of your teacher dedicated to your language needs; and the price of a Skype Spanish class is so affordable (as low as USD15/class) that it beats group classes.


So you have scheduled your first class with your Spanish teacher, what next?


In this blog post we will walk you through 4 steps that help you to maximize your gain from the Skype Spanish Class:

1. Check your internet connection and Skype sound quality

An abrupt disconnection is perhaps the most awkward thing that can happen during your class. A poor sound quality would also make you and your teacher unable to hear each other. So the first thing you may want to do before your class is to check your internet connection and Skype sound quality.

To check your internet connection speed click here


The recommended download/upload speeds for Skype are as follow:

Calling: 100kbps/100 kbps

Video calling/Screen sharing: 300kbps/300kbps

(From Skype help page)


To check the Skype sound quality, open “contacts” on your Skype and you will find “Skype test call” which allows you to make a test call to test your sound.


2. Know your goal and level of Spanish


One major difference between Skype Spanish classes and traditional group classes is that it has no fixed syllabus. Your teacher will design your syllabus based on your need(s). So it is important for you to have thought of your goal for learning: do you want to focus more on grammar or on practicing conversational Spanish? Do you have a special aim for learning Spanish, such as for travel or business?

Knowing your level will also be helpful for you to know what your next level to achieve would be. Have you studied Spanish before? How long have you been studying? Have you taken any Spanish exams like DELE? All these information will be helpful for you to gauge your own level.


3. Communicate with your teacher


Talking to your teacher about your goal and your level would be very helpful for your teacher to prepare appropriate teaching activities and materials that help you to achieve your goal. Write your teacher an email a few days before the class!


4. Giving feedback


After the first lesson,  it would be good for you to write to your teacher and give him/her some feedback. Telling him/her what you like about the class, and what you think can be improved.  Your teacher would appreciate your feedback, and it would also help to work out a learning method that suits you best in the future lessons.

Other than your language gain, Skype Spanish classes can help you to build local contacts in Spain or Latin America, and your teacher can be your important source of information for travel and local culture!


Enjoy your first Spanish class!


Click here to book a Skype Spanish class with our native teachers from Spain and Argentina.


3 free and fun ways for practicing Spanish!