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Archive for the 'Spanish Culture' Category

Have you heard about Nacimiento (The Nativity Scene)?

Have you heard about Nacimiento (The Nativity Scene)?

Nativity scenes are very traditional Christmas decorations depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is set up before Christmas, traditionally on December 8th, according to the celebration of the Conception and stays up until February 2nd, the day of Candlemas.

El nacimiento es una decoración importante durante las fiestas de invierno.

The nativity scene is an important decoration during winter holidays.

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

¿Hablas inglés? Do you know how to answer this question?

¿Hablas inglés? Do you know how to answer this question?

Here’s how to ask if someone speaks English:

¿Hablas inglés? Do you speak English?

Here are some ways to answer this question:

  • Sí, hablo inglés. Yes, I speak English.
  • No, no hablo inglés. No, I don’t speak English.

Do you speak English?

Click here and learn more!

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

A piñata is a container made of pottery or paper. - Mexican Culture

piñata

A piñata is a decorated container that sometimes holds candy or small presents. They are mainly used at birthday parties, but are also common during other celebrations. People take turns trying to break the piñata with a stick. Once it’s been broken, the candy and small presents fall out for people to collect.

Celebramos los cumpleaños con una piñata. We celebrate birthdays with a piñata.

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

Did you know ‘Aduana’ means ‘customs’ in ‪Spanish?

customs

‘Aduana’ means ‘customs’ in ‪Spanish.

Here are some words picked by Alex:

  • permiso de reingreso: re-entry permit
  • cuarentena: quarantine
  • pasaporte: passport

Learn more words about customs!

Click here and learn more with Alex!

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

Do You Know What PEMEX Is?

Do you know what PEMEX is?

PEMEX: PEMEX

PEMEX is the largest Mexican company and biggest taxpayer in the country, and is also one of the biggest industries in Latin America. According to National data, the company’s business alone makes up 10% of the gross domestic product and represents over 30% of the federal income in Mexico. PEMEX is one of the few petroleum industries around the world that is involved in the petroleum process from start to finish. Just like big oil companies in the rest of the world, this Mexican company has recently invested heavily in deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is an example of PEMEX being used in a sentence:

PEMEX es una empresa muy conocida en México. (PEMEX is a well known company in Mexico.)

Want to learn more about PEMEX?
Click here for more!

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

Do you know what the largest university in Mexico is?

Learn About Mexican Culture with SpanishPod101.com!

UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

The National Autonomous University of Mexico, known as UNAM, located in Mexico City is the largest university in both Mexico and in all of Latin America, and is among the most prestigious schools in the Spanish-speaking world. Among its alumni are three Nobel Prize laureates—Alfonso Garcia Robles, Octavio Paz, and Mario Molina.

Here is an example of it used in a sentence:

Universidad más grande de América Latina, la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México fue fundada en 1910. (Latin America’s biggest university, the National Autonomous University of Mexico was founded in 1910.)

Want to learn more about Mexican culture?
Click here and learn about the education system!

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

Do you know what the Palacio Nacional is?

The National Palace, or Palacio Nacional, is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico. It has two towers and three main doorways, each leading to a different part of the building. The southern door is connected to the presidential offices, which is off-limits to the public. It is located on Plaza de la Constitución, the city’s main square.

Sample Sentence:

  • Muchos eventos nacionales se llevan a cabo frente al Palacio Nacional.
    (Many national events are held in front of the National palace.)

Palacio Nacional

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for Spanish Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

3. It helps you relax.
Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top 25 Spanish Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.
For more information, check out this blog post about the 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language.

Top Five Phrases You Will Hear in a Classroom

Today’s lesson will focus on the top five phrases you will hear in a classroom in the Spanish Language. If you don’t know these already, they will be very useful to you.

Perdón, tengo una pregunta… (”Excuse me, I have a question…̶ ;)
This is a common and polite way of getting someone’s attention to ask a question, whether it’s a
teacher, a friend, or a stranger.

Cómo se dice…(en español)? (”How do you say that (in Spanish)?̶ ;)
Use this phrase to ask for the Spanish equivalent of an English word. Rather than asking in English,
“Hey, how do you say that?” asking in Spanish will earn you brownie points with your teacher. It will
also help keep your brain in Spanish-speaking mode.

¿Qué quiere decir? (”What does that mean?̶ ;)
You can use this phrase to ask for an explanation, you can ask your teacher this if you didn’t
understand a word, or you could ask your friends this when they are they are insinuating something
sinister.

¿Cómo se escribe? (”How is that written (spelled)?̶ ;)
This question is helpful in clarifying words. Although Spanish is largely spelled phonemically (i.e., it
spelled as it sounds), you may find yourself asking this question if the person you’re speaking to
pronounces a word in a way you’re not familiar with.

¡Salud! ¡Dinero! ¡Amor! (”Health! Money! Love! (Bless you!)̶ ;)
These are obligatory words to say when someone sneezes, and they represent the three standard wishes
in the Spanish-speaking world. With the first sneeze, we wish salud (”health”). The second sneeze
elicits dinero (”money”). The third sneeze elicits amor (”love”).
These were some the top five phrases you will hear in a classroom.

Go ahead and try these phrases next time you’re in your Spanish class, it’ll make asking questions easier!

Five Things Your Spanish Teacher Won’t Teach You

Today we are going to teach you commonly used phrases and/or words in Spanish a teacher would not teach you. Below are some examples!

The “Dude” Words
Many varieties of informal Spanish have a “dude” word that peppers their sentences. It’s considered
very informal, and your Spanish teacher will not bother to address you in this way, but in informal
situations, you’ll hear it all the time. Different countries have different words for this word.

The “Wow” Words

Here are several ways to express surprise in Spanish: hijole, andale, vaya, caray, jolín, and guao.

Pedo

If you look up el pedo in the dictionary, you’ll find that its primary definition is “fart,” so you can
understand why your teacher is not excited about teaching it. But when you get in an informal situation
with Spanish speakers, you’ll hear that word, and not in the context of gas. It actually has several meanings and uses.

Compliment Everyone (Hola Guapo)
One aspect of Spanish-speaking cultures that Americans tend to notice immediately when in a
Spanish-speaking context is the abundance of affection and compliments. Anyone can learn to compliment in Spanish, even
those who are brand new to the language, with a few set phrases.

Cool
The use of padre to mean “cool” or “awesome” may be purely a Mexican phenomenon; so might be chido. Spaniards and South Americans have their own disctinct word for this exclamation.

These are just some of the many examples we use at Spanishpod101, so be sure to keep checking for more Spanish Blog updates!