El blog de Visual Spanish

Use a Mariachi Song to Learn Mexican Slang 🇲🇽🎶

music video slang Nov 11, 2020

In Mexico, a popular way to say ok or 'adelante' is the slang word arre. It's etymological meaning is super interesting and makes a lot of sense when you contextualize it. And lucky for us, we can use mariachi legend José Alfredo Jiménez's famous song El rey as a way to remember its significance:

Arre comes from the word arriero, or muleteer, who has the job of steering forward mules. When you think of arre then, it makes sense that these words are connected.

José Alfredo's mariachi talks about solitude but also perseverance and in the lyrics, he mentions that on his journey, he speaks to an arriero, or a muleteer, who inspires him to go forth but without pressure when he says:

Después me dijo un arriero
que no hay que llegar primero,
pero hay que saber llegar.

After, a muleteer told me
you don't have to get there first
but you have to know how to get there.

If you ever forget the meaning of arre, use...

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Fart-Related Phrases to Help You Speak Like a True Argentine

expressions slang Nov 11, 2020

In Spain, a lot of expressions include the word ‘milk.’ In Mexico, many phrases seem to feature 'madre' the term for mom. Well in Argentina, the key word is (drumroll please...)  pedo, or fart  

Check these farty-phrases out:

'De pedo'
Literal translation: 'Of the fart' (Meaning: Luck)
Example: Llegué de pedo, había mucho tráfico.

'En pedo'
Literal translation: 'In a fart' (Meaning: To be drunk)
Example: Llegué a casa en pedo porque tomé mucha tequila.

'Ni en pedo'
Literal translation: 'Not in a fart' (Meaning: Hell no)
Example: Ni en pedo pienso compartir mi postre.

'Al pedo'
Literal translation: 'At fart' (Meaning: Bored)
Example: Estamos mucho tiempo al pedo en cuarentena.

'A los pedos'
Literal translation: 'At the farts' (Meaning: Very fast)
Example: Fui a los pedos porque no quería llegar tarde.

'¿Estás en pedo?'
Literal translation: 'Are you in a fart?' (Meaning: Are you kidding me?)
Example: ...

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5 Ways to Figuratively Sh*t on Something in Spanish

expressions slang Nov 11, 2020

Ever thought of how we have a ton of phrases in English that feature the word a**? A**hole, jacka**, kiss my a**, kicka**... The list goes on and on. Well the same is true for the Spanish word cagar (the equivalent of sh*t in English). While these may not be the most elegant of phrases, they'll definitely come in handy once in a while.

Learn a couple of them here:

Me cago en tus muertos
Translation: I sh*t on your ancestors

Me cago en la leche
Translation: I sh*t on the milk

Me cago en todo
Translation: I sh*t on literally everything

Me cago en la madre que te parió
Translation: I sh*t on the mother who birthed you

Me cago en tu puta madre
Translation: I sh*t on your prostitute of a mother

Visual Spanish teaches you real Español - Not the stuff you learn in outdated textbooks or repetitive apps - the language that Spanish-speakers use to communicate every single day.



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Different Ways to Express Being Hungover in Spanish 🌎🍸🍹🍻

expressions slang Nov 11, 2020

Since Spanish is spoken in so many places across the world, many countries have different ways of expressing a particular word or concept. This happens to be the case with the word hangover, otherwise known as that atrocious feeling you get after drinking too much. 

Check out these diverse phrases:

Resaca -

Resaca is the most general and popular way to say hangover in Spanish and most Spanish-speakers will know what you mean when you say it.

Forms of usage:
Tener + resaca 
Example: Tengo mucha resaca. 
Estar + resaca
Example: Estoy de resaca.

Guayabo -

Guayabo translates to guava tree, but in Colombia (and only in Colombia) it also means to have a hangover. If you drink too much aguardiente, Colombia’s famous liquor, chances are you’ll have to integrate this word into your vocabulary.

Forms of usage:
Tener + guayabo 
Example: Tengo un guayabo tremendo. 
Estar + enguayabado 
Example: ...

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Speak Argentine With Carlos Gardel

dialects Nov 05, 2020

¿Che, como estás?

Beloved tango legend Carlos Gardel is one of Argentina's national icons and has been celebrated throughout Latin America for his espousal of tango music. While its believed that Gardel was born in France, he grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and thus spoke in a rioplatense dialect, which he uses in the lyrics of his tangos. 

In Argentina and Uruguay, it’s most common to vosear or to use the vos conjugation instead of , which means ‘you’ in English. Other countries in Latin America also use vos, however, the vos has completely replaced the  in Argentinean and Uruguayan Spanish, making it a very obvious way to note these regions' form of speech.

Check out his song Por una cabeza for more context.

In the first couple of lines of the tango, Gardel sings:

Por una cabeza, de un noble potrillo
Que justo en la raya, afloja al llegar
Y que al regresar, parece decir
No olvides,...

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Learn the If Clause with Enanitos Verdes

grammar Nov 02, 2020

Today, we're drawing on the popular Argentine rock trio Enanitos Verdes (which translates into green midgets) to help you figure out the Spanish si clause.

Ever think you'd get a Spanish grammar lesson from green midgets? We didn't either, but there's a first for everything  

Si clauses indicate possibilities, or things that may or may not become reality. These conditional sentences have two parts: the condition (the si part) and the main or result clause, which is the part that indicates what will happen if the condition of the si comes true.

In the chorus of Mariposa, the trios famous hit, lead vocalist Marciano Cantero uses the si clause when he sings:

Si te vas no tengo nada
Si te quedas puedo hasta el mundo cambiar
O quizás no habré crecido
Dejando mariposas escapar

If you leave, I don’t have anything
If you stay, I can change even the world
Or maybe I wouldn’t have grown
Letting butterflies...

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Multiple Meanings of Coger

dialects Nov 02, 2020
As we know, Spanish is spoken in many different countries and thus, has different dialects and accents. What can also happen though, is that the same word can take on a different meaning in a particular context: 
In Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the connotation of coger is innocent, and refers to the act of picking something up, catching a form of transportation, or carrying an object.

Some uses:
Voy a coger el autobús.
Translation: I'm going to catch the bus
Coge un abrigo, por la noche refresca.
Translation: Carry a jacket, it gets colder at night.
Coja esa basura que se le cayó al suelo.
Translation: Pick up that garbage that fell to the floor.

In Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela however, it means... to sleep with someone
In case...
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Master Your Spanish Grammar with Manu Chao

grammar Nov 02, 2020
The word solo has a couple of different meanings. It's most popular uses include: Just, alone, merely, solely, and on one's own.
All pretty similar, right?
The tricky aspect about the word however, comes when you're writing it:
While you may see solo written with as sólo, don’t worry about putting an accent when you’re writing in Spanish. In 2010, La Real Academia Española (RAE), the big dawg authority when it comes to Spanish grammar, stated that in all cases, solo would be correct if used without an accent - only if used as an adverb could it be written with an accent, but in any other case, it would be wrong if used with un acento.

Luckily for us, our pal Manu Chao can help us out with his song Clandestino.
In the first line of the song, Manu sings:

Solo voy con mi pena - Translation: Alone I go with my sadness
Sola va mi condena - Translation: Alone goes my...
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5 Milk-Related Phrases to Help You Sound Like a True Spaniard

slang Nov 02, 2020

Españoles are big milk fans. Milk is an integral part of the typical Spanish café con leche and its estimated that each Spaniard drinks an average of 70 liters of milk per year. But the leche obsession doesn't stop there - there's a whole range of milk-related phrases that are thrown around every day.

Check em' out here:

'Estar de mala leche'
Literal translation: ‘To be a bad milk’ (Meaning: To be in a bad mood)
Example: Mi hermana viene de mala leche porque no ha aprobado su examen.

'Dar una leche'
Literal translation: Give a milk’ (Meaning: To hit someone)
Example: ¡Como vuelvas a hacerlo, te doy una leche!

'Me cago en la leche'
Literal translation: ‘I sh*t on the milk’ (Meaning: To express anger)
Example: ¡Me cago en la leche Merche!

'A toda leche'
Literal translation: ‘At all milk’ (Meaning: At a very fast pace)
Example: Ven a toda leche, que la boda ya esta por empezar.

'Ser la leche'...

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A Gwen Stefani-Related Spanish Mini-Lesson

grammar Nov 02, 2020

Tener and ser are two essential verbs when it comes to describing people (Gwen Stefani included).

Tener, which means to have, is an irregular verb, and therefore its particularly important to have its conjugation down. Broadly speaking, it's used to describe possession in descriptions of people, possession in descriptions of people and age.

Review it here:
Yo tengo
Tú tienes
Usted/El/Ella tiene
Nosotros/as tenemos
Vosotros/as tenéis
Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas tienen

Some examples:
Yo tengo los ojos verdes
Translation: I have green eyes.
¿Tienes el pelo rubio?
Translation: Do you have blonde hair?
El tiene 24 años.
Translation: He has 24 years - *In Spanish, you say 'to have' years, rather than to be

Ser, on the other hand, means to be and is generally used for the qualities and characteristics of character, size, appearance, as well as nationality and profession.

Yo soy
Tú eres
Usted/El/Ella es
Nosotros/as somos
Vosotros/as sois
Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas son


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