Spanish

Spanish words Tango

20 most common Spanish words in tango, explained

20 most common Spanish words in tango, explained

For us the non-native-Spanish speaking tangueros, learning Spanish for tango seems to be a daunting task. The belief we will need to learn a ton of new vocabulary before we’d understand the lyrics is overwhelming and often holds us back from learning Spanish.

The process in fact simpler than you thought! GOOD NEWS:

You will only need to learn the 20 most common Spanish words in tango to start understanding the lyrics.

Thank to the study by Hernán J. González, who has ran an analysis of 13314 words extracted from 765 tango songs and come up with a list of most common Spanish words in tango. You can read his article here.

In this post we will explain the 20 most common Spanish words in tango, plus an example of how they form a part of the song. Given the prevalence of these Spanish words in the tango world, by learning just these 20 Spanish words in tango you’ll make a great leap in understanding tango lyrics, and get a first feeling of what the tango is about when you catch these words in the song!

Without further ado, here’s the list of the most popular Spanish words in tango and their explanation, and examples of songs that contain the word (and link to the song for you to listen):


1. Amor

Amor (love) ranks the top of the list, which shouldn’t be a surprise for us.

We can easily find the Spanish word Amor in the name and also as in the lyrics of many tangos. One example would be the song Todo es amor (It’s all love), which the lyrics, as implied by the name of the song, is all about amor:

Todo es amor,

(It’s all love,)

la brisa y tú

(the breeze and you)

jugando en el rumor,

(rejoicing in its murmur,)

y el ruiseñor

(and the nightingale)

cantando en una flor

(singing upon a flower)

buscando amor, amor…

(searching for love, love…)


2. Corazón

Corazón (heart) ranks second on the list, which perhaps again not a surprise. How can one love without a corazón?

We can find “corazón” in the song “Pocas palabras” (Few words):

Después de tanto vuelvo a hallarte

(After so long, I find you again,)

y que emoción siento al mirarte,

(I feel so much emotion as I look at you,)

siento un loco palpitar en mi viejo corazón...

(I feel my heart pounding like crazy...)


3. Vida

Tango talks about life all the time, so it’s natural that Vida (life) would rank third on the list. There is a load of tangos dealing with life which we can tell straight from their names:  La vida es corta (The life is short); Cómo nos cambia la vida (How the life changes us) and some song writers even go about mirroring tango to life in songs such as  La vida es una milonga (The life is a milonga).


4. Noche

Milongueros are nocturnal creatures and almost everything in tango happens at night, so noche  (night) is another Spanish keyword you must know for tango.

Esta noche de luna” (This moonlit night) is a beautiful song that describes a romantic moonlit night for a couple:

...Y en los abismos

(And in the abysses)

De esta noche de luna

(of this moonlit night,)

Sólo quiero vivir

(I only want to live,)

De rodillas a tus pies

(On my of knees at your feet)

Para amarte y morir…

(To love you and to die.)


5. Alma

Alma (Soul) is another big Spanish word in tango. How can you feel all the emotion in tango without a alma?

Desde el alma (From the soul) is a beautiful val encouraging a broken soul to put things in the past and move on.

Alma, si tanto te han herido

(Soul, if they have hurt you so much)

¿Por qué te niegas al olvido?

(Why do you refuse to forget?)

¿Por qué prefieres

(Why do you prefer)

llorar lo que has perdido….

(to cry for what you’ve lost…)

...Vives inútilmente triste

(You live needlessly sad)

y sé que nunca mereciste

(and I know that you never deserved)

pagar con penas

(to redeem with sorrow)

la culpa de ser buena

(the blame of being good,)

tan buena como fuiste, por amor.

(as good as you were, for love.)


Want to learn more Spanish for tango? Book a class with our Argentine teacher for USD7!


6. Dolor

Tango has known to be melancholic, and we have songs talk about all kind of dolor (pain): pain of separation; pain of betrayal; pain of lost…

One song in which we can find the word “dolor” is the song “Cantando” (Singing):

...Cantando yo le di, mi corazón, mi amor,

(...Singing I gave him, my heart, my love)

Y desde que se fue, yo canto mi dolor,

(and since he has left, I sing my sorrows)

Cantando lo encontré, cantando lo perdí,

(singing I found him, singing I lost him,)

Porque no sé llorar, cantando he de morir…

(because I don´t know how to cry, singing I will die…)


7. Ojos

Ojos (Eyes) play a big part in tango, all the dancing in milongas would not happen without the exchange of glances between the males and females.

Praising the dazzling eyes of a woman is a common flattery trick of Argentine men, and legend has it that Francisco Canaro went all the way to write “ Yo no se que me han hecho tus ojos” (I don’t know what your eyes have done to me) as a love song for Ada Falcón, a tango singer of his orchestra who is famous for her beautiful large green eyes.

...Yo no se que me han hecho tus ojos

(...I do not know what your eyes have done to me)

que al mirarme me matan de amor,

(that their looks kill me with love,)

yo no se que me han hecho tus labios

(I do not know what your lips have done to me)

que al besar mis labios, se olvida el dolor.

(that in kissing my lips, the banish pain...)


8. Triste

Most tango are sad, so there’s no surprise we can always find the word Triste (sad) in the songs.

In the tango “Lejos de Buenos Aires” (Far from Buenos Aires) the lyricist laments for his nostalgia of Buenos Aires:

Con la mueca de pesar

(With a grimace of grief)

Viejo, triste y sin valor,

(old, sad and worthless)

Lento el paso al caminar,

(slowing down my step as I walk,)

Voy cargando mi dolor,

(I am carrying my pain)

Lejos de la gran ciudad

(Far from the great city,)

Que me ha visto florecer.

(That witnessed my flourishing.)

En las calles más extrañas,

(In these strange streets,)

Siento el alma oscurecer.

(I feel the darkening of my soul.)


9. Día

The Spanish word Día means “day”. You can find the word in “Indiferencia” (Indifference)

Yo también, como todos, un día

(I also, like all others, once in the past,)

Tenía dinero, amigos y hogar

(I had money, friends and a home,)

Nunca supe que había falsía

(I had never known that there was falsity,)

Que el mundo sabía también traicionar.

(That the world also knew how to betray.)


10. Querio

Querio” (I like; I want) is the first person form of “querer” (like; want), it also forms a part of the most killing romantic expression in this world—“Te quiero” (I love you)!  

It’s also a word that you'd use a lot for asking for something, for example:


Querio un vaso de aqua.

(I’d like a glass of water)


You can find the Spanish word querio in the tango “Cantando”:


Si es pecado querer tanto en esta vida,

(If it is a sin to love so much in this life,)

Yo te pido, de rodillas, tu perdón

(I am asking you, on my knees, for your forgiveness)

Yo lo quiero tanto y tanto que me muero,

(I love him so much, but so much that I would die,)

Si me faltan las caricias de su amor.

(If I don’t have the caresses of his love.)


11. Voz

Voz means voice, and you can find the Spanish word voz in the tango “Cristal”:

...Tus sueños y mi voz, y nuestra timidez,

(Your dreams and my voice, and our shyness,)

Temblando suavemente en tu balcón,

(Shaking softly at your balcony,)

Y ahora sólo se, que todo se perdió,

(And only now I know, that all was lost,)

La tarde de mi ausencia.

(The afternoon that I left…)


12. Viejo

The Spanish word viejo functions as an adjective meaning  “old” (the feminine form would be “vieja”). It’s also often used as a noun referring to “an old man”, or “father” (The female form is again vieja).

We can find the word “viejo” in the lyrics of “Lejos de Buenos Aires

Con la mueca del pesar,

(With a grimace of grief,)

Viejo, triste y sin valor,

(Old, sad and worthless…)


13. Pobre

Tango originated in the grassroot society of Buenos Aires so there should be no surprise many songs would mention about the life of the pobres (poors). Pobre can also be use an adjective form of poor, but watch out for the difference in the meanings when we place "pobre" before or after the noun it modifies:

Una familia pobre

(A poor family (without sufficient financial resources))

Un pobre familia

(A miserable family)


You can find the Spanish word pobre in the song “Alma en pena” (Soul in sorrow):

...Esa voz que vuelvo a oír, un día fue mía,

(That voice that I hear again, one day it was mine,)

Y hoy de ella es apenas, el eco el que alumbra,

(and now it's just her echo that shines,)

Mi pobre alma en pena, que cae moribunda,

(my poor soul in sorrow, that falls dying,)

El pie de su balcón.

(at the foot of her balcony.)


14.  Pena

Tango is full of pena (sorrow, pity) and regret.

You can find the word in the song's title Alma en pena (Soul in sorrow):

Alma...que en pena vas errando,

(Soul…, that you wander in sorrow)  

Acércate a su puerta, suplícale llorando,

(get close to her door, plead with her whilst crying,)

Oye...perdona si te pido,

(listen...forgive if I ask you,)

Mendrugos del olvido, que alegre te hace ser.

(scraps of oblivion, that makes you happy…)


15. Tango

There should be no surprise that “Tango” is one of the most common words in the tango lyrics!

Claudio Frollo, a prominent lawyer and judge of the Buenos Aires high courts, who was also a ​milonguero (tango dancer who frequent milongas), wrote the lyrics for “Danza Maligna​" (Wicked dance, a song that glorifies tango, naming the orchestras as the altars and the bandoneon as the priest:

...Placer de dioses, baile perverso,

(Pleasure of the gods, this perverse dance,)

El tango, es rito y es religión,

(The tango, is a ritual and is a religion,)

Orquestas criollas son sus altares,

(The native orchestras are the altars,)

Y el sacerdote, su bandoneón

(And the priest, is the bandoneon...)


16. Tengo

Tengo (I have) is the first person present form of “Tener” (to have), and one example of tango that contains the Spanish word “tengo” is Fueron tres años (Three years have passed):

...Aún tengo fuego en los labios,

(I still have fire in my lips,)

Del beso de despedida

(from the goodbye kiss,)

¿Cómo pensar que mentías,

(How could I think that you were lying,)

Si tus negros ojos lloraban por mí?

(If your dark eyes were crying for me?)


17. Querer

Querer” (to wish/ to want/ to like) is the infinitive verb form of “quiero” (I like/ I want ) (#10 most common Spanish word in tango).

You can easily find the Spanish word in many tangos, usually in the form of other variations of the verb form.


One example would be in “Lejos de Buenos Aires” (Far from Buenos Aires):

Nadie observa mi final,

(No one notices my ending,)

Ni le importa mi dolor,

(Nor cares about my pain,)

Nadie quiere mi amistad,

(Nobody wants my friendship,)

Sólo estoy con mi amargor.

(I am just alone with my bitterness.)

Here quiere is the third person form of “querer” in present tense.


18. Llorar & 19. Recuerdo


Llorar” means cry, and “​recuerdo” means memory.

You can find the both words in “Lejos de Buenos Aires


¡Tango que trae recuerdos!

(Tango that brings back memories!)

¡Mi Buenos Aires, quiero llorar!

(My Buenos Aires, I want to cry!)


20. Ayer

Tango always talks about memory and things happen in the past, so it’s no surprise that ayer (yesterday) often forms part of the lyrics.

You can find the word “ayer” in the all time classic tango by D’Arienzo “Paciencia” (Patience):

...Ni vos sos la misma, no yo soy el mismo

(Neither you are the same, nor I am the same)

Los años...la vida...quién sabe lo qué.

(the years...the life...who can tell what.)

De una vez por todos, mejor la franqueza,

(Once and for all, it’s better to be honest,)

Yo y vos, no podemos volver al ayer.

(me and you, we can not return to the past.)

Enjoyed reading this blog post. Learn these 20 most common Spanish words in tango and make a great leap in understanding tango songs!

Most of the tango lyrics and translation are adapted from “Tango words: Letras de tango. A Guide to Tango lyrics with English Translation” by Manuel Garber. You can find the book here.

Like our blog post and want to read more? Like our Facebook Page so you won’t miss our posts (plus you can find a load of FREE resources for learning Spanish for tango!)

Want more Spanish practice? You can book a 30-minute trial class for only USD7 with our Tango Spanish teachers who are tangueras living in Buenos Aires!

Going to Buenos Aires soon? Check out our books Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips and Tango Spanish: Essential Phrase Book For Tango Class (And Language Guide for Tango Shoe Shopping).

Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel TipsTango Spanish Essential Phrase Book for Tango Class


Tango Spanish Flirting Milinga

Tango Spanish: Flirting and coffee in milonga

There are all sorts of people in milonga. While many of us come only wanting to dance tango, there are indeed some looking for romance. In this blog post we will be covering some Tango Spanish on pick-up lines (piropos), some códigos (unspoken rules) about romance in milonga, and finally the “coffee invitation”, how to offer, accept or reject one.

This is something good to know even if you are not looking for a relationship, so that you won’t be shocked when you are being asked!

Note that here we are using “vos” instead of “” and the verbs are conjugated in “vos” form. (Refer to our blog post Speak Spanish like an Argentine for usage of “vos” in Argentina)

Some common pick-up lines or flirting phrase in an Argentine milonga

1. ¡Qué lindo/linda que sos!

How handsome/pretty (are you)!

2. ¡Sos una diosa!

You are a Goddess!

3. ¡Qué facha que tenés!

What a good look you have!

(Be careful with this expression, a lady may look cheap if she says this).

4. ¡Qué linda mirada/sonrisa que tenés!

What a good look/smile you have!

(Sounds a bit corny but could work)

5. Me encandilás con esos ojos.

I am dazzled by these (your) eyes.

After the initial flirting one might go further and ask:

¿Tenés novio/novia?

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Coffee invitation in milonga

In an Argentine milonga, if someone invites you for dancing multiple times (or sometimes even several tandas in a row), this is an indication that he/she has an interest beyond dancing with you.

coffee after milonga

After dancing several tandas together, one might initiate a “coffee invitation”. Going for coffee together outside the milonga is in fact a subtle invitation to a love hotel (Hotel de alojamiento/ albergue transitorio/motel/telo).

1. ¿Tomamos un café?

Shall we have a coffee?

2. ¿Querés tomar algo después de la milonga?

Do you want to go for a drink after milonga?

3. ¿Vamos a cenar después?

Shall we go have dinner afterwards?

If you fancy your partner of course you can say “¡!” (Yes!). Then you should leave separately with your partner and meet outside the milonga.

How about those who want to say “No”? Apart from a straightforward “No, gracias.” (No, thanks), you may want to soften your rejection by adding some excuses (excusas), such as:

1. Tengo que irme.

I got to go.

2. Estoy apurado/a.

I am in a hurry.

3. No me gusta el café.

I don’t like coffee.

4. No tengo hambre/apetito.

I am not hungry/don’t have appetite.

Some ladies would wear a ring on their ring finger even if they are single to avoid facing awkward situations.

Like our blog post and want to read more? Like our Facebook Page so you won’t miss our posts (plus you can find a load of FREE resources for learning Spanish for tango!)

Want more Spanish practice? You can book a 30-minute trial class for only USD7 with our Tango Spanish teachers who are tangueras living in Buenos Aires!

Going to Buenos Aires soon? Check out our books Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips and Tango Spanish: Essential Phrase Book For Tango Class (And Language Guide for Tango Shoe Shopping).

Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel TipsTango Spanish Essential Phrase Book for Tango Class

romantic spanish phrase

12 Romantic Spanish Phrases for Lovers

Want to learn some romantic Spanish phrases to woo your sweetheart? Spanish is known to be the most passionate and sexy language, why don’t you learn a few cute, sexy Spanish phrases to spice up your love life; to surprise and win the heart of tu amor (your love), telling him or her “Te quiero” (I love you)?

In this post we have assembled 12 romantic Spanish phrases to say your novio/novia (boyfriend/girlfriend)!

Here comes our top Spanish love phrases:

1.Te quiero

I love you

The literal translation of “Te quiero” is “I want you”, but in fact it is a common way of how Spaniards say “I love you” to their loved one.

2. Te amo

I love you.

This is a more formal way of saying “I love you”.

3. Estoy enamorado(a) de ti.

I am in love with you.

Enamorado means “in love”, and this adjective needs to match with the gender of the speaker. So if you are a man, say “estoy enamorado”; if you are a girl, it would be “estoy enamorada”.   

4. Te quiero con toda mi alma

I love you with all of my soul.

5. Eres el amor de mi vida

You are the love of my life.

6. Cada día te quiero más

Each day I love you more.

7. Eres mi todo

You are my everything.

8. Besarte es como ver las estrellas

To kiss you is like seeing stars.

9.Quiero estar contigo para siempre

I want to be with you forever.

10. Te amo desde el fondo de mi corazón

I love you from the bottom of my heart.

11.Te amo, tu me complementas

I love you, you complete me.

12. Tu eres mi alma gemela

You are my soulmate.

Which romantic phrase you like most? Leave a comment and let us know!

Want to practice and perfect your pronunciation before saying these love phrases to your lover? Book a lesson with our native Spanish teachers!

Argentine tango

An essential element for becoming an advanced tango dancer

We all want to become an advanced tango dancer. Who doesn’t want to dance like the Argentine masters we watch in the festivals and on Youtube? Many of us would spend lots of effort and time in honing our technique and skill, but there’s one element that we often overlook which is crucial for us to become a real tanguero- Spanish.

 

Tango is a dance originated in Argentina, and with all the expressions, technical terms and lyrics in Spanish, it is impossible for anyone who doesn’t speak the language to fully understand the art.

 

In this video, Stella Missé, an Argentine tango master, will tell you why it is important to learn Spanish for tango:

 

There are at least 4 reasons for why learning Spanish is essential during your tango journey:

 

1. Jump-start your tango learning

 

 

I always remember how speaking Spanish helped in my earlier stage of tango: in the first month the teacher taught us how to do “ocho” and “lápiz“. Knowing the 2 Spanish words helped to form vivid images that sticked to my mind-“ocho” is the tracing of a “8” on the floor, and “lápiz” is drawing circles with your free leg imaging it is a pencil.

 

Later we were taught more complicated terms like enrosque and ocho cortado, and I saw that many other students had great difficulty memorizing them and they would stumble over the pronunciation even after years of dancing.

 

2. Essential for visiting Buenos Aires

 

Many devoted dancers would visit Buenos Aires-the mecca of tango, so to experience the tango culture and perfecting their skill. If you are one of them, then you should make sure you have learnt some basic Spanish before going.

 

Dancers who don’t speak Spanish often experience a lot of daily inconveniences traveling in the city: you would find everything – from directions in public transport to the menus in restaurants- are in Spanish. Most of the group tango classes would also be in Spanish. Even though some teachers may offer some English translation, it would usually be brief and not cover the whole teaching. Many times I would see  some fellow students coming to the class eager to learn, but left disappointed because they couldn’t follow the teaching.

 

3. Connecting to the mood of music

 

Many non Spanish-speaking dancers would find it easier to dance to instrumental tango because they have difficulty connecting to the emotion of a vocal tango. In fact, dancing to a song which you can’t understand the lyrics can be confusing. Some people may guess the mood of the song from the rhythm, but many times a rhythmical, seemingly lighthearted song may come with sad lyrics. So listening to the music without knowing the meaning of the lyrics may not always give the right judgement.

 

4. Crucial for interpreting of tango

 

What makes a performance by a couple of Argentine masters stands out from the others is often not only the technique, but the way how they interpret the song. In order to understand the sentiment of the song, you have to be able to understand the Spanish lyrics and sometimes the history and story behind the song.

 

This video shows Alejandra Mantinan and Aoniken Quiroga dancing to the song “Tormenta” (Storm). What makes their performance powerful and moving is that they have expressed the emotion of the song wholeheartedly through their movement and facial expression.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOfMquXfwy4

 

*“¡Aullando entre relámpagos,

(Howling between the lightnings,)

 

perdido en la tormenta

(lost in the storm)

 

de mi noche interminable,

(of my endless night,)

 

¡Dios! busco tu nombre…

(God! I seek your name …)

 

No quiero que tu rayo

(I don’t want your lightning)

 

me enceguezca entre el horror,

(blinding me in the horror,)

 

porque preciso luz para seguir…

because I need light to go on …

 

So how could we begin learning Spanish for tango?

 

One way to start is by taking Tango Spanish Skype classes  with Argentine teachers who are tangueras from Buenos Aires. They are experienced in teaching foreign students at all levels and would understand the special needs of tango dancers in learning the language.

Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips

Also check out the book “Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel tips” in which you can find a method tailored for tangueros to learn Spanish, as well as tips and useful Spanish phrases for your next tango trip!

 

*Lyrics and English translation adapted from https://letrasdetango.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/tormenta/

 

Spanish words for tango lyrics

7 essential Spanish words for understanding tango lyrics

7 essential Spanish words for understanding tango lyrics

 

When you are dancing in milongas, have you ever wonder what those tango lyrics you are listening to are about? While understanding the whole Spanish lyrics often requires a near-native level of Spanish, which we may not be there yet, knowing some words that frequently appear in the lyrics would definitely help us to get a feeling of what the song is about, and makes it easier for us to get into the mood while dancing to it.  

In this blog post we have compiled a list of 7 common Spanish words in tango songs, each with its explanation in English, and an example of a tango song in which the word appears.

 

1. Amor

Amor” means love, and perhaps the central theme of all tango.

One representing tango song that contains this word is “Hasta Siempre Amor” (Farewell, love) (Music by Donato Racciatti; lyrics by Federico Silva). The song has been interpreted by many different orchestras, such as D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, and Salamanca.

When we listen to the song, we will hear the phrase “hasta siempre amor” being repeated many times in the lyrics, for example:

 

“Hasta siempre, amor,

(Farewell, love,)

cuando sueñes conmigo

(when you dream about me)

en las noches de frío

(on cold nights)

ya no estaré…”

(I will no longer be there…)1

 

Click here to listen to the version by orchestra Juan D’Arienzo and singer Jorge Valdez.

 

2. Abrazo

Abrazo” means embrace, the essential element of tango. The verb form of the word is “abrazar” (to hug).

We can find the word “abrazar” in “Volvamos a empezar” (Let’s start over again) (Music by Daniel Álvarez; lyrics by Eduardo Maradei):

 

“Mirá…

(Look…)

Nuestro cachorros como ayer

(Our kids (puppies) are just as before (yesterday))

Mirá…

(Look..)

Como me abrazan otra vez…”

(How they hug me once again…)2

 

Click here to listen to version by orchestra Alfredo de Angelis and singer Óscar Larroca.

 

3. Despedida

“La despedida” (Farewell) is a recurring theme in tango.

The song “Fueron tres años” (3 years have passed) (Music and lyrics by Juan Pablo Marín) describes the heartbreak of a man separating from his lover:

 

Aún tengo fuego en los labios,

(I still have fire on my lips)

del beso de despedida.

(from the farewell kiss.)

¿Cómo pensar que mentías

(How could I think you were lying)

si tus negros ojos lloraban por mí?”

(if your dark eyes were crying for me?)2

 

Click this link to listen to the version by orchestra Jorge Dragone and singer Argentino Ledesma.

 

4. Mentira

Mentira” means lie, and “mentir” is the verb form (to lie).

The song “Y todavía te quiero” (And still I love you, music by Luciano Leocata; lyrics by Abel Aznar) tells the torture and pain of a man being repeatedly deceived by the one that he loved:

 

“Sin embargo… ¿Por qué yo no grito   

(But … Why I don’t cry)

que es toda mentira, mentira tu amor

(it’s all lies, your love is a lie)

y por qué de tu amor necesito,

(and why I need your love,)

si en él sólo encuentro martirio y dolor?”

(if in it I only find martyrdom and pain?)1

 

Click here to listen to how the song was interpreted by orchestra Di Sarli and singer Jorge Falcon.

 

5. Corazón

Corazón (heart) is an important word in tango. How can you dance without your corazón?

In the song “Corazón ”, the lyricist Hector Marcó told a story via the lyrics how a man talked himself (his heart) to get over from a girl who had betrayed him:

 

“Corazón,

(Heart,)

no la llames

(don’t call to her)

ni le implores—

(don’t beg her for anything—)

que de tus amores

(from the ones you love)

nunca has merecido

(you have never deserved)

tanta humillación.”

(so much humiliation.)3

 

The song was written by Carlos Di Sarli, let’s listen to how his orchestra and singer Roberto Rufino interpreted the song (Click here).

 

6. Adios

Adios” means goodbye, another frequently appear topic in tango lyrics.

In “El adios” (Music by Maruja Pacheco Huergo), the lyricist Virgilio San Clemente wrote about the sorrow of parting from a lover:

 

“El sueño más feliz,

(The happiest dream,)

moría en el adiós

(died in the goodbye)

y el cielo para mí se oscureció

(for me, the sky became dark…)1

 

We have selected “El Adios” (The Goodbye) by orchestra Pugliese and singer Jorge Maciel for you, a powerful and sorrowful interpretation of the song (Click here to listen to the song).

 

7. Dolor

Many songwriters expressed via tango lyrics their different kinds of “dolor” (pain) in life: the pain of losing a lover; parting from their family or being betrayed.

In this song “Lejos de Buenos Aires” (Far from Buenos Aires, music by Alberto Suárez Villanueva), the lyricist Oscar Rubens wrote about the pain of an old person recalling what he had abandoned: his family, his girlfriend and everything back in his native city Buenos Aires in order to chase after his dream, and at the end feeling lonely and regretful of staying on a foreign land where nobody cares about him:

 

“Lejos de la gran ciudad

(Far from the great city)

que me ha visto florecer,

(that witnessed my flourishing)

en las calles más extrañas

(in these strange streets)

siento el alma oscurecer.

(I feel the darkening of my soul)

 

Nadie observa mi final,

(No one notices my ending)

ni le importa mi dolor,

(nor care about my pain,)

nadie quiere mi amistad,

(nobody wants my friendship,)

sólo estoy con mi amargor…”

(I am just alone with my bitterness…)2

 

Click here to listen to the interpretation of the song by orchestra Miguel Caló, singer Raúl Berón.

 

Interested in learning Spanish for tango? Check out our Tango Spanish Course, or get a copy of our book Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips on Amazon!

 

 

References (Tango lyrics and translations)

The lyrics and translations of tango songs appear in this blog post were adapted from various online and published sources:

1. “Tango Lyrics page in Spanish with English translation” maintained by Alberto Paz: https://letrasdetango.wordpress.com/

2. “Tango words-a guide to tango lyrics with English translation Vol.1” by Manuel Garber: http://tangowords.com/

3. Poesía de gotán: The poetry of the tango”: https://poesiadegotan.com/2009/04/09/corazon-1939/

 

Present Simple Tense

The Spanish Present Tenses made easy! (I)

If you’re planning to start learning Spanish grammar, we recommend you start with the present tenses! There are several present tenses, and in this lesson we’ll start by explaining the Simple Present Tense (or in Spanish “el presente simple” or “el presente del indicativo”).

When do we use it?

In general we use it:

  • To talk about habits and routine.
  • To talk about universal truths and facts.
  • To talk about permanent things.

For example:

  • Los lunes voy a clases de piano. On Mondays I go to piano lessons.
  • El sol nace en el este. The sun rises in the East.
  • Yo soy uruguaya. I’m Uruguayan.

How do we form the verbs in the present simple tense?

Let’s start by taking a look at the regular ones. There are three types of regular verbs, according to their endings: ar, er and ir.

This chart will help you to form the AR verbs:

Subject Pronoun

Verb in the infinitive HABLAR – to speak (The stem is “habl” and the ending is “ar” – What we modify is the ending, but we keep the stem).

Yo (I)Hablo
Tú (you-singular, informal)Hablas
Él (he) , Ella (she), Usted (you-formal)Habla
Nosotros/as (we)Hablamos
Vosotros/as (you-plural, informal – Only used in Spain)Habláis
Ellos/as (They), Ustedes (You-plural, formal in Spain and both formal and informal in Latin America).Hablan

Now let’s see the “ER” verbs:

Subject Pronoun

Verb in the infinitive COMER – to eat (The stem is “com” and the ending is “er” – What we modify is the ending, but we keep the stem).

Yo (I)Como
Tú (you-singular, informal)Comes
Él (he) , Ella (she), Usted (you-formal)Come
Nosotros/as (we)Comemos
Vosotros/as (you-plural, informal – Only used in Spain)Coméis
Ellos/as (They), Ustedes (You-plural, formal in Spain and both formal and informal in Latin America).Comen

and finally, the “IR” verbs:

Subject Pronoun

Verb in the infinitive VIVIR – to live (The stem is “viv” and the ending is “ir” – What we modify is the ending, but we keep the stem).

Yo (I)Vivo
Tú (you-singular, informal)Vives
Él (he) , Ella (she), Usted (you-formal)Vive
Nosotros/as (we)Vivimos
Vosotros/as (you-plural, informal – Only used in Spain)Vivís
Ellos/as (They), Ustedes (You-plural, formal in Spain and both formal and informal in Latin America).Viven

Take a look at these examples:

AR verbs:

  • Juan llora cuando mira un drama. Juan cries when he watches a drama.
    • The infinitive form of “to cry” is “llorar”. The stem is “llor” and the ending “ar”. Can you see the rule being applied in this example? The same happens with “mirar” (to look/watch). The stem is “mir” and the ending “ar”. The right ending for “He” is “a” = llora, mira.

ER verbs:

  • Nosotras siempre entendemos la clase. We always understand the lesson. 
    • The infinitive form of “to understand” is “entender”. The stem is “entend” and the ending “er”. The right ending for “we” (nosotros) is “emos” = entendemos.

IR verbs:

  • Nosotros partimos al trabajo todas las mañanas a las ocho. We leave to work every morning at eight.
    • As you’ve noticed, most of the “er” forms are the same as the “ir” forms, except for “nosotros” and “vosotros”. The infinitive verb “to leave” in Spanish is “partir”. The stem is “part” and the ending “ir”. So the right ending for “we” (nosotros) is “imos” = partimos.

We hope this first introduction to the Present Simple Tense has been helpful for you, stay tuned for the next lesson, in which we’ll introduce the irregular “yo” forms of present simple verbs.

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 https://masterspanishnow.com/SpeakSpanishPro

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 [email protected]

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

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!