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A Spanish Dialect Primer

culture dialects Dec 17, 2020

With 21+ different Spanish-speaking countries worldwide, there are most certainly un montón de different dialectos. Featuring different vocabulary and various accents or expressions, it can be hard to keep track of so many different ways of speaking. While people from different Spanish speaking countries would ultimately understand each other perfectly, its both important & interesting to know how & why they vary.

Here are a couple of key differences:

Pronunciation

The Spanish Lisp or 'el ceceo'

Probably the most emblematic feature of any accent from Spain (there are numerous regional dialects within the country) is the ceceo or the way Spaniards pronounce their Zs and Cs (before an I or E) -which sounds like a 'th'.

In Latin America however, these two letters are pronounced as 'S'.

Ex. Nací en Zaragoza pero vivo en Barcelona.

Pronunciation from Spain: Nací en (th)arago(th)a pero vivo...

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Immerse yourself in 🇲🇽 Culture w/ Strawberry-Related Slang 

culture immersion Dec 14, 2020

As you probably know, fresa is the word for strawberry in Spanish (though if you're in Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay, you'll want to use the word frutilla ). In Mexico however, it can take on an alternate meaning:

Like is the case with all societies, Mexico has its fair share of subcultures or urban tribes. One of the most famous is 'los fresas' - the stereotype of superficial teenager or pre-teen who comes from an upper-class family, lives a lavish lifestyle, and is generally, pretty obnoxious and stuck up.

People who are fresa also stereotypically have a particular way of speaking, which consists of elongating phrases and sounding like they have a potato in their mouths. Paris Danielle, a famous TikTokker who self-describes herself as 'la niña fresa' -the fresa girl- serves as a great example.

Experts also note that fresas language is chock-full of anglicisms like OMG, nice, or cool, and that fresas tend to...

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Aprende los distance adverbs with Bacilos 🎸

grammar music video Dec 07, 2020
 

¿Allá? ¿Acá? ¿Allí? Or is it aquí? 

Today, we're using the mega popular Latin American band Bacilos to help you master distance adverbs. 

In the chorus of their hit Pasos de gigantes, they sing:

Se fue complicando la situación
Y no hay que olvidarse que al corazón
Le puedes decir de todo menos mentiras
Tu ibas para allá yo iba para acá
Fue tan bonito verte cruzar
Al menos por un ratito por mi camino

Allá y acá or here and there, are two adverbs that express distance. They're similar to allí y aquí, which also express here and there, however, they have some subtle differences:

One variance is that acá y allá denote a location that's less precise than allí y aquí, meaning that it can be used for situations that are more vague.

Example:

Allá, a lo lejos.
Translation: Over there, far away.

Acá parece que no va a llover.
Translation:...

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Slang Dictionary - Submission Guidelines

slang slang dictionary Dec 01, 2020

¡Hola amigos!

We have exciting news... ¡The rumors are true! We’re teaming up with our English learning program, Inglés Visual, to carry out a new slang dictionary project… in both languages

Our Spanish-speaking amigos at Inglés Visual have agreed to help us out with funny&fre$h jerga en español so you English-speakers can have the best español expressions right at your fingertips. 

So they can do the same, we’re asking you guys to send us your best English slang terms relating to a weekly category. And as a thank you gift we’ll be giving out 5 FREE LIVE CLASSES to the top submission each week.

The submissions guidelines are as follows:

Each week, we ask that you send us an email with your funniest, raunchiest, most creative and all-around awesome slang expressions that relate to our category-of-the-week (you can submit as many times as you'd like). 

The slang term should be followed by a...

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A Maradona Mini-Lesson

culture expressions slang Nov 26, 2020

If you haven't seen the news, Argentina's iconic and beloved soccer legend, Diego Armando Maradona, has passed. 

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Maradona's goal against England in the 86' quarter-finals is one of the most famous in soccer-history and was dubbed 'la mano de Dios' - or the hand of God- as he illicitly scored by hitting the ball with his hand. Such is his status in Argentina that the country's president, Alberto Fernandez, announced three days of national mourning right after his death.

But it wasn't just goals and world cups that were associated with Maradona - he was also a man of many nicknames.

Check out some of his most famous apodos

El Pelusa

Translation: Fluff; fuzz

This nickname dates back to Maradona's childhood days spent in Villa Fiorito, a slum in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. In an interview he stated that he was christened pelusa since, when he was born, he was full of pelos or hairs, that...

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Beer-related frases from across the Spanish-speaking mundo 🍻

expressions slang Nov 23, 2020

As you probably know, there are toons of different regional variations present in the Spanish language. Something that is said in one Spanish-speaking country could mean something completely different in another region, so if you plan on visiting various lugares it's good to know the different terms and palabras.

Beer -one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Latin America and Spain- has various associated slang terms. 

These are some of the most popular ways to say cerveza (the generic palabra for in Spanish)

Birra 

Where: Argentina, Spain, Dominican Republic

Ex. ¡Poneme una birra, por favor!

*Fun-fact - comes from Italian

Pola

Where: Colombia

Ex. Para mi una pola y para el un aguardiente.

Chela

Where: Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Chile

Ex. Mi bebida preferida es la chela.

Fría

Where: Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela

Ex. Ponme una fría, bien fría.

Caña

Where: ...

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A Pronunciation Trick That'll Make You Laugh Your A** Off

pronunciation Nov 23, 2020

¡Buenas, buenas!

Hoy, we're bringing you a simple-but-super-effective trick to help you tackle the pronunciation of the verb hacer (to do). We've always found that its easier to remember stuff with mnemonic devices, especially if their funny: 

If we break up 'hacer' into two parts we're left with the sounds 'ass' and 'er'.

So basically, 'ass,' the raunchy word for butt and 'er,' like a stutter.

We can also use this trick for some of hacer's conjugations. Here's a list to refresh your memory:

Hacer

Yo hago

Tu haces

El hace

Nosotros hacemos

Vosotros hacéis

Ellos hacen

With the exception of hago, which we can break up into 'ah' (like a pause) and 'go!' (like advance), all of these conjugations could be ass-related.

Haces - Asses (plural of ass)

Hace - Ass, eh?

Hacemos - Ass, eh +mos

Hacéis - Ass + ace (like an ace of spades)

Hacen - Ass + the letter 'n'

Remember these ass-related tricks and you'll be pronouncing like a native in no...

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¿How to ask questions in Spanish?

grammar Nov 13, 2020

¿Cómo estás? Since life is full of questions, it's important to know how to ask them. That's why today, we're covering how to pose una pregunta in Spanish.

One way to form a question is to switch the verb and the subject and add a question mark at the end, as well as the ¿ at the front of the sentence. When the subject of the verb is specified, you can change the word order so that the verb comes BEFORE the subject.

Statement: Juan quiere ir al parque.
Question: ¿Quiere Juan ir al parque?

But if you want to ask a yes or no question, you're in luck, because it's even easier -  just keep the word order exactly as it would be in a normal sentence but turn it into a question by making your voice go up at the end.

Statement: Vamos a comer.
Question: ¿Vamos a comer?

¿Not too difficult, right?

 We spent years studying people who became fluent in Español and took everything we learned to create Visual Spanish.

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Learn Spanish with Juanes

music video vocab Nov 13, 2020
 

Juanes, born Juan Estebán Aristizábal Vásquez (¡what a name!) is a Colombian guitarist, singer, songwriter and certified heart-throb. One of Latin America's most influential artists of the 21st Century, we can use his song Gotas de agua dulce to learn about some natural elements.

Some definitions:
Gotas - Drops
Agua - Water
Rayo de sol - Ray of sun
Luz - Light
Sombra - Shade

In this song, Juanes uses various elements figuratively to express his #Deep emotions and make romantic metaphors. When we contextualize the definitions, it becomes a lot easier to understand their significance.

Lo que yo siento por ti es amor
Ganas que me hacen útil el corazón
droga que me hace inmune ante el dolor
gotas de agua dulce rayo de sol.

Llévame, de ser preciso, por la semblanza de tu sombra
yo sé que tu prendes la luz y en mi vida te asomas
como las blancas palomas, cuando la plaza se toman
con vuelo inmortal.

...

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Learn the Various Meanings of Río in Spanish

grammar vocab Nov 12, 2020
 

In Spanish, verb to laugh, reírse, can get confusing. Reír is a reflexive verb, meaning its used with a reflexive pronoun. Considering that río, the word for river, is the same as the yo conjugation of reír, it can be easy to misuse the two.

Since its easy to confuse the different forms of rio, it's important to have these conjugations down:

Yo me río
Tu te ríes
El se ríe
Nosotros nos reímos
Vosotros os reís
Ellos se ríen

Keep practicing and know that you know your stuff by using the phrase:

Yo me río por que ella se cayo en el río.

If you want to try a Spanish course that is fun and will keep you laughing - and learning - try Visual Spanish. Speak Conversational Spanish in 5 Weeks.

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