El blog de Visual Spanish

A Trick to Avoid Sounding Like Napoleon Dynamite's Grandma

pronunciation Oct 29, 2020

¡Go fix yourself a dang quesadeeyuh!

If you've seen Napoleon Dynamite, you know just how terribly his grandma's Spanish pronunciation is. Here's a reminder (if you haven't seen it yet, brace yourself):

Here's where grandma Dynamite goes wrong:

In Spanish, the ‘Ll’ most often sounds like the English letter ‘y’ like in the words “you” and “yellow”.

The exact pronunciation the ‘Ll’ can vary from region to region, but this is a good rule to guide when in doubt.

So, rather than 'queisadilluh', the correct pronunciation would be 'quesadeeyuh.'

Here are a couple more examples of how the Ll sounds:
Llave (key) – 'yave'
Bella (beautiful) – 'beya'
Amarillo (yellow) – 'amariyo'

Remember this tip and you'll automatically be more well-liked by each and every Spanish speaker out there 

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9 Ways That Mexicans Creatively Use the Word Madre

slang Oct 29, 2020
In Mexico, madres are everywhere. Featured in a veeery wide range of different Mexican phrases, the word is thrown around constantly, in various contexts. 
Check some of these mama-related phrases out: 
¡No mames!

Literal translation: 'Don’t suck' (Meaning: Stop messing around)
Example: ¡No mames wey! Tienes que estudiar.

Ni madres

Literal translation: 'Not even mothers' (Meaning: Nothing)
Example: ¡No entiendo ni madres!

¡No te creo ni madres!

Literal translation: 'I don’t believe you nor mothers' (Meaning: I don’t believe you at all!)
Example: ¡No te creo ni madres que hayas terminado tus deberes!

¡Que desmadre!

Literal translation: 'What a non-mother' (Meaning: What a mess)
Example: ¡Qué desmadre! Hay que limpiar la cocina ahora mismo.

¡Chinga tu madre!

Literal translation: 'F*ck your mother! (Meaning: F*ck off)
Example: A mi hermana no la vas a insultar....

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Learn Ser vs. Estar with Jack Sparrow

grammar Oct 29, 2020

Ser and Estar are oftentimes tricky to differentiate. After all, they technically both translate into 'to be'

Let's clear up their subtle (but very important) differences:

For starters, ser is used to talk about WHAT something is (in a permanent state), and to describe characteristics that are an essential part of the thing we’re talking about. Estar on the other hand, is used to talk about how something is, so it’s used for conditions, locations, emotions, and actions (temporary states).

Uses of ser:

Place of origin
Example: Es de Nicaragua.
Example: Es ingeniero.
Example: Es estadounidense.
Religious or political affiliation
Example: Es demócrata.
The material something is made out of
Example: Es de madera.
Example: Es mío.
Relationship of one person to another
Example: Es su hermana.
Where an event is taking place
Example: La boda es en la catedral de Barcelona.

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Learn Why Pears Are the Most Patient Fruit in Spanish

puns Oct 29, 2020


Let's see if you can figure out the meaning of this Spanish pun:

What is the most patient fruit?

¡Es pera!

And why?
Because es pera la que espera.
In case you forgot, esperar means to wait - since the word literally includes the name for pear, it’s safe to assume that this fruit takes the cake for being the most patient.

(As you can tell, the Spanish language also has its share of cringe-worthy puns!)

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A Fishy Spanish Lesson - Pez vs. Pescado

vocab Oct 28, 2020

¡Hola, hola!

Ever realize that both pez and pescado mean fish in Spanish? Well they're actually a little different. We're here to clear it up

Pez is an animal, or the fish that you catch by completing the verb pescar. Once a fish has been caught however, it has been pescado (which is the the past participle of pescar) and becomes un pescado (the name for the fish). Therefore, the pez that was nadando or swimming turns into a pescado en tu plato or fish on your plate.

Here are a couple more examples:
Los peces estaban nadando.
Translation: The fish were swimming.
El pescado estaba delicioso.
Translation: The fish was delicious.
Vimos muchos peces lindos desde el barco. Aunque nos haya dado pena, igual terminamos cenando pescado en el puerto.
Translation: We saw a lot of fish from the boat. Even though we felt bad, we ended up eating fish for dinner...

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A Cute, Colorblind Cartoon to Help you Learn Spanish

puns Oct 28, 2020

At Visual Spanish we've created a proven visual method that combines thousands of visual cues with funny, witty dialog, which end up burning Spanish into your brain. This includes a vast array of hysterical videos, cute cartoons, play on words and cringe-worthy puns (they're so cringe-worthy that you wont be able to forget them).

Today, we're bringing you this romantic dibujito.

"Ciego" is Spanish for "blind."

While "Daltónico" is Spanish for "colorblind."

So, if we put it all together, it translates into:

"Sometimes love is blind, other times it's just colorblind."

¿Get it? We think it's actually pretty cute 

How To Finally Speak Conversational Spanish Without Endless Boring Drills on Your Phone.

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The Multiple Meanings of the Spanish 'sobre' ✉️

homonyms Oct 27, 2020

¡Buenos días!

Ever think of how there are particular words with multiple meanings? For example, a playground can usually be found in a park but you also park your car once you've arrived to your destination. 

Words that have various definitions are called homonyms and they're not only present in the English language - Spanish is chock full of them.

One of these is  the word 'sobre'.

As TikTokker Zachary Jaquith shows us, it can sometimes get confusing to know which sobre to use.

¡Sobre todo, no te olvides del sobre que llegará sobre las 12!

That's pretty confusing. The same word with three different meanings in the same sentence.

But don’t worry, we’re here to clear it up! (see below)

Here are the various ways you can use sobre:

Example: El sobre es de color blanco.

Example: Sobre todo, no te olvides de cerrar la puerta con llave.

On top of...

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Learn How to Drink in Spanish with Rockstar Pau Donés

vocab Oct 27, 2020

In Spanish you can say 'to drink' with two verbs - beber and tomar. 
There are, nonetheless, differences. 

Today, we're paying tribute to the great Pau Donés from the Spanish band Jarabe de Palo and using their song agua to clear things up

Beber can be used to express the act of drinking liquid or fluid (water, beer, wine, juice, coffee etc.) Tomar however, in addition to drinks, can also be used for when eating a solid food (ice cream, cake, a snack).

In Agua, Pau Donés sings:

Cuando uno tiene sed
Pero el agua no está cerca
Cuando uno quiere beber
Pero el agua no está cerca

When one is thirsty
But the water isn't near
When one wants to drink

In this case, he could have also used the verb tomar, since it works for both liquids and solids. So if Pau would have said: Cuando uno quiere tomar it also would have been grammatically correct. 

If you're ever in doubt, you can...

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Tackling the Silent H

pronunciation Oct 22, 2019

The silent Spanish H can get confusing. It’s easy to get frustrated and want to mandar todo a la mierda (another, more creative way of saying to give up). If you think about it though, we have many more silent letters in English, like the K, C, B, D, T, and even the H as well. 

The rule for the Spanish H is that it’s always silent unless it is next to the letter C.

When you see the letter C next to an H you need to make a ch sound, which is almost identical to the “ch” sound in English.

Example: Doy por hecho que a todos les gusta el chocolate.

Here, the H in hecho would be silent, as it is not followed by a C. Chocolate however, would be pronounced with the ‘ch’ sound, since it is followed by the C.

A couple more examples:

¡Hasta luego Mari-Carmen! (Silent)

La horchata se elabora con chufa. (Silent)

Hay que viajar varias horas para llegar a Chile desde Buenos Aires. (Horas is silent, while...

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