It’s that time of year again – less than 48 hours until Christmas! While hopefully most of you have been caught up with your shopping for weeks – by the looks of the malls, inevitably thousands upon thousands of people are doing their last minute shopping as we speak – speaking of which – I may have a couple of gifts to buy as well!
Keeping the theme of learning Spanish, here are some phrases, or a “mini-monologue” of what a day in the life of a last minute shopper might be like today:
Let’s go to the mall – I need to buy some Christmas presents and leather boots for myself!Vamos al Centro Comercial – ¡Necesito comprar algunos regalos de Navidad y unas botas de cuero para mi!
This parking lot is full, how about we park on the other side? El estacionamiento está lleno, ¿porque no nos estacionamos en el otro lado?
Learning the basics of Spanish conversation is great. But how many times have you felt like you increased your Spanish significantly, only to hear a conversation that you barely understand. Most likely, you are hearing slang – and coming across it in everyday life will definitely happen. Often, you are hearing so many “foreign” words to you, that the ones you do know get all mashed up in between, thus you feel like it’s a complete new language all of the sudden!
To be honest, this will happen time and time again – and unfortunately, you’ll have to understand that it takes time (sometimes a lot) to learn the Spanish slang that is truly useful.
Today I was at the gym, and I noticed a trainer and a gym member working out, both speaking Spanish together, and I hear a lot of this “slang” that you may encounter should you hear people at the gym talking. Of course, the slang that you hear may be about anything under the sun, but today let’s focus on some of the Spanish words and phrases that you may hear working out at the gym. Some of these may not be slang per se, but carry a common usage:
How many days do you work out in a week? ¿Cuántas veces a la semana haces ejercicio?
Stretching & Warming up is important before you start your workout session.Es muy importante el estiramiento y calentamiento antes de iniciar a entrenar.
Like any language, many of the difficulties in learning Spanish is when there are multiple words for one single one in English (and vice versa)!
One word that comes up often is what we’d say “to try”. There are actually several words in Spanish that equate to “to try” in English, today we will focus on the main ones that you will come across in coversation: Probar, Probarse, Intentar, Tratar de, Juzgar, Esforzarse.
Often, I see students who are learning Spanish focus on a learning vocabulary through a list of words, remembering the conjugation tables of verbs etc. I cannot fault them for this, because it is important to learn both of those of course. But what I find is that if this is their sole way of learning Spanish, the sentences that come out of their mouths are much too formal, or lack any resemblance to how we actually speak in everyday life. This goes for simple sayings as well!
Numerous times, I hear an Spanish student try to convert the exact words from their native language to Spanish, and it comes out in an awkward manner. Today, I’d like to try to step away from the “text-book” ways of saying things, and focus on simple, yet very common ways of saying things in Spanish.