LEARN SPANISH: A FREE BLOG SERIES #8

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Learn Spanish:
A Free Blog Series
El Resumen

Hola a todos,

It seems a few people are after an overview, it’s been just over a month so it’s a good idea to refresh yourself on the things you’re learning.

Before we begin, I just wanted to apologise to anybody who was affected by the error that was made on Learn Spanish: A Free Blog Series #7. Though, for the amounts of typos I make, I’m surprised it didn’t come sooner.

I also want to clarify that I’m not a Spanish genius. Nowhere close. I’m not saying following my blog posts are going to make you speak like Penelope Cruz, or you’ll be writing up the next government papers. But, it may help you have some conversations whilst you’re in Spain. Every resource helps.

To all the people who sent me messages of support, gracias!

I told you the Spanish lessons would still come. Even if I have woke myself up at 8:00am on this martes morning, porque I haven’t yet finished (started) this blog post for esta semana.

How did you do?

If you’ve ever spoken to me in real life, you’ll find that’s how I talk most of the tiempo. Some words just sound better in the other language. Or, they’re quicker…

Here’s how we’re going to do this. I’m going to share some of the words and phrases we’ve covered. I will not add the pronunciation or the translation.

See how you get on! If you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to click the link to give it another practice.

Practice makes improvement.

Week one:

It seems absolutely ages ago that I sat on my computer debating whether to start a Learn Spanish series. I wasn’t actually sure what direction to go with.

If you look at week one, the format seems to have changed so much.

I shared some basic words and phrases such as:

  • ¿Cuánto cuesta?
  • Buenos días
  • Yo tengo
  • Pasaporte
  • Dinero

If no me entiendes, then head on over to week one and have a quick refresh.

Week two:

Week two was actually my least popular post. I know exactly why. The alphabet is boring. It seems such an insignificant thing.

Trust me. I was the same. 

When my tutor told me we had to do the alphabet, I switched off. I did the alphabet when I was about three years old, why should I do it now?

Well, how did you learn English? Practising little phrases and low and behold… The alphabet!

In Spanish, the alphabet is so important. I can’t stress this enough to you. With the alphabet, you can pronounce near enough every Spanish word.

Spanish has a strong relationship between the alphabet and the pronunciation. Every letter is pronounced.

Plus, if you have a name like mine, everywhere you go they’ll say “como se escribe…” And each time I stand there like “ele ah ooh ere ey ene”. This is when I’m collecting my reservation for an activity, or doing a document at the police station, or introducing myself.

So, if you had a quick skim past the alphabet, or you weren’t sure if you needed it or some of it has slipped your mind, head back to week two and catch up.

Week three:

Week three was probably one of my favourite weeks. It was when I really started to see that people were enjoying the posts.

Week three was one of my most popular posts, with it being greetings it was always going to be favoured.

Though, week three did bring some messages of:

“Oh yeah, then they start having a conversation in “full on ramble” then what?”

“They understand English, so why not just say hello so you don’t confuse them”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not really sure why they were on the Learn Spanish post anyway, they clearly have no interest? Each to their own.

Well, let’s look at el primero. To me, Spanish doesn’t sound like “full-on ramble” because I understand what they’re saying.

I often hear people saying how they feel unsafe or threatened in certain areas. I do believe that the majority of this comes from the unknown. If you have no idea what a group of people are saying and it just sounds like a loud fight, then, of course, you’re going to feel nervous.

When I was in Lyon, France, we went walking into the town square at around 19:00. The hotel was a few minutes away so it wasn’t far. But, it was scary. People standing on the street talking “full-on ramble”.

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I don’t speak French, albeit un poco from school. So, I had no idea what they were going on about. Though saying that, I am sure that Lyon was just, in general, a little scary. Anybody been?

Then there’s el segundo. “Don’t confuse them”, trust me, the adults can cope. In all honesty, they will more than likely know straight away that Spanish isn’t your first language.

They will appreciate you giving it a go. Don’t be afraid to try.

If you want to brush up on your hola’s and your como estas’ then head back to week three.

Week four:

Perhaps an overview should come more regularly? This is getting long. Who’s still conmigo? It’s now 9:00 and I’m on my second café con leche. La vida of a writer, hey?

Are people enjoying me sliding in the odd Spanish word? I’m hoping it helps. Or does it just confuse you? It makes perfect sense to me so I will just throw them in there for fun. Let me know. I’m still on my trial period. 

Week four was all about la familia. La madre, el padre, los niños.

Whenever I’ve met somebody, they’ve always asked about mi familia. What’s their names? What do they do? Where do they live?

Mi padre es mecánico. Mi madre es cocinera. Mi hermano se llama Oliver. Oliver tiene doce años. That sort of thing. 

They ask a lot more than I was ever asked in England. They will show you photos and say esta es mi hermana, este es mi padre… It’s actually really nice.

Be prepared and talk about your family by refreshing back on week four.

Week five:

Week five we did a little revision. We did a catch-up and added some new phrases.

Remember Soy Lauren? Want a way to remember how to introduce yourself? Well, I once heard a joke that soy milk is just milk introducing itself in Spanish. I’m actually sitting here laughing. Why am I like this?!

“What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish” – Unknown

Plus, we introduced me gusta. I hear me gusta, so much. If you’re talking about something plural, like I like dogs, it becomes me gustan (los perros). Me gusta gets used a lot. Picking up clothes, trying food, visiting new places. To make it super easy, to say you don’t like something, you just stick a no at the beginning! No me gusta. 

Give yourself a catch-up if any of this is sounding completely new on week five. 

Week six:

Week six was really boring for me to write. I am still not happy with how it looks.

Whilst writing this, I have just had the idea to go out and take photos of the words in context. Days of the week from shop signs, fruit and veg names in the supermarket. I can use the tools around me. Isn’t it funny that we find inspiration out of nowhere?

Anyway, aesthetic or not, (sorry, it’s definitely not), days of the week are important.

la familia-2

If you’re not sure about your lunes from your sabados (one is possibly the worst, one is definitely the best) or your junios from your julios then take a trip to week six.

Week seven:

ahh, week seven. Last week. Week seven was a post that I had to rush. University deadlines, work deadlines, freelance deadlines.

In all honesty, I should’ve proof-read more rigorously. But, if I’m honest, it’s very rare that I do proof-read, at all.

Grammarly is my go-to for my blog posts. It’s a free tool that has been my guardian angel with blog posts and assignments. It gives me a little green circle if everything looks okay. It picks up on spelling, grammar and if you upgrade it even gives you an option to change the words, so you sound smarter. I haven’t yet upgraded. Yes, guys, this is all me, isn’t my word choice great and definitely not repetitive!!!!!!

But, Grammarly, as far as I know, haven’t got an option to switch to Spanish. So, my English words come out fine. But, the Spanish slips through the net. Showing a big red line and the option to change “junio” to “junior”. Mmm, not quite Grammarly.

So, that’s where the whole AZÚCAR fiasco arrived.

But, on the whole, week seven was pretty fun for me to write. Ordering in a café was the first bit of Spanish I felt comfortable with.

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I remember in September when I first started becoming a regular at my local café. The barista asked if I would like “azúcar moreno, normal o sacarina?” I honestly didn’t understand him very well and I panicked. So, I just went with the final thing I heard. Sacarina. Coffee with sweetener.

As I began going daily, I built up more confidence. The café is a great place to practice Spanish. The ordering, the paying, the chit-chat with the regular customers and barista. Plus, my favourite thing is listening in to other peoples’ conversations. It’s such a great way to practice your listening. Most cafés have a stash of Spanish newspapers, too. All free resources to practice!

So, if there’s algo más from the café that you want to practice, then head over to semana siete and give it a try.

Week eight:

Week eight was me rambling on for 1600 words. Round of applause if you’re still here!

Week nine:

Week nine will be all about ordering in a bar. Cerveza, anybody?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and it’s given you an insight into what goes into the Spanish posts. My posts aren’t perfect. I don’t make any money from them. I just spend my time writing them, partly because I enjoy it, but mainly because I had so many requests to help people.

If you do enjoy it, please share, follow, like. Show your support.

Keep up to date with the Free Blog Series and have them straight to your inbox by adding your email address to the subscription box on the right-hand side, in a box that looks like this one!

It makes me very happy to see new people joining the Learn Spanish clan. If you’re enjoying it, feel free to share the link to your social media pages below or send it to a friend. Language learning is fun together.

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Hasta luego,

laurensignature-final

This guide is a free blog series. This information has been picked up by practising speaking with locals in the Comunidad Valenciana area. Any resemblance to any book, guide or learning Spanish resources, is purely coincidental. This guide is not intended as a substitute for other resources or teaching. This guide does not guarantee fluency in Spanish.
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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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