Friday, April 22, 2016
Chevere! A Mystery Solved

Have you ever heard of a Spanish word that you didn't know? This happened to me years ago when I watched the telenovela, "Cristal." I was watching telenovelas to improve my Spanish. Three of the characters, Zoraida, Inocencia, and Cristal were using the word, "chevere" a whole lot. I was curious about the word. I thought it meant "precious" or "expensive" based on the context of the sentence. I was really stumped. I began to ask around about the word and ran into dead ends. People kept telling me that it meant "cheese." I thought about the show and why would they be stating "cheese" all the time. So, that was a no go. Just the other day, I found this blog: (Feb. 7, 2016 entry) The writer was talking about "chevere" on it. For me, the mystery was finally solved. I was so happy, because she is a linguist at heart, and I was able to get to the answer through her blog. Take a look at the blog entry for the answer. If you ever hear of a word that you don't know, don't give up. It is fun to interview people even though people may not know the answer. It is also challenging to look on the net or a dictionary for the word. The more words you know, the better! Happy word hunting!

Posted at 10:45 am by JollyS
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Have you ever thought of reading Spanish headlines as a way of practicing Spanish? They're short. They're sweet. They're full of content. Reading headlines keeps you abreast of various topics that are important to the Spanish world. You can find out what the article is about before you read it. That way, you cut to the chase. You can also skim the articles in online "periodicos" and see what topics they cover the most. Are they about Zika? Are they about terrorists? Are they about Trump or other candidates? You can then narrow down what articles are the most interesting and then read the ones you like. Headlines are short and chunky, but they lead you to investigate the articles that you most like. You can feel like a detective learning about topics as you peruse them. To find headlines, you can type in "Spanish Periodicos" on your search engine, and it will give you a list of newspapers you can visit. Two examples are "El Pais" and "La Prensa Grafica." There are many others you can look up. Collect the most interesting headlines. Conduct a vote about which headlines you like the most, the ones that draw you to read the article, and the ones that really deliver. Take the winning headline and read the article. Look around! There are tons of headlines on the web. If you like to read papers that aren't on the web, you can do that also. You can check out the headlines in the same manner. So happy reading! Read all about it!!! :)

Posted at 02:35 pm by JollyS
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Friday, February 26, 2016
Labeling and Cards

Hi to all Spanish learners! How is your day going? Are you ready to try some more ideas? I have two ideas on how to practice Spanish. One is to buy some index cards or post it notes. Label objects around the house with the cards. Write the names of the objects in Spanish. For example, you can label the sofa with "sofa," or the chair with the word, "silla." Try to label inanimate objects. Pets and humans might get mad if you label them. Lol! The other idea is to take the cards or post it notes off and use them as blank flash cards. You can write on the blank sides the meaning of the word in English, if you wish. Practice the words in this way. You can also buy Spanish flash cards at a book store. Try writing sentences with the words on the cards. That will help you remember the words within the context of other words. I also want to tell you I am practicing Spanish via emails. Find some friends or others in an online community such as Craigs List that want to practice Spanish with you. Write back and forth in Spanish. Don't worry if you're a little rusty. Practicing is what counts! Have an amazing day!

Posted at 10:34 am by JollyS
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Thursday, January 21, 2016
Spanish Firsts!

I used to collect the firsts of the New Year, such as the first song of the New Year I heard or the first breakfast I had and etc. So I thought why not do that with the subject of Spanish. You can record the first Spanish person you see. You can jot down the first Spanish word you see, the first Spanish song, the first Spanish phrase, or the first Spanish meal you have. You don't have to force the events to happen, just jot them down when they happen naturally. There are a lot of firsts that can happen when you come down to it. So be patient and have fun with the activity. Things will jump out at you as you continue your new year. Here are a few other ideas: your first Spanish ad you see, the first Spanish dessert you have, the first Spanish conversation you have, and the first Spanish sports team you see. Have fun finding your Spanish firsts! The New Year will be full of them. Don't worry if you haven't found everything in January. You have the entire year. Happy New Year! Feliz ano Nuevo!

Posted at 09:58 am by JollyS
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Words of the Holiday Season!

Learning Spanish during the holidays may be exciting. All you have to do is look for words in the category of holidays. You can also play a word association game of words that make you think of other words. For example, "holiday" may make you think of "bells." You can keep going. Holidays are a fantastic category. If you want, you can get a Spanish language newspaper and find words of the holiday season in it. If holidays are not your thing, you can also choose other categories such as "home," "garden," "books," or "jobs." Finding new words is a stimulating activity. There is no dearth there. Find amazing words in all your categories you love. Keep going! Don't stop! By the new year, you will have an exhaustive list of words that you will want to keep on using. Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Posted at 09:56 am by JollyS
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Monday, October 26, 2015
Guessing Game!

Take a dictionary and collect words you don't know. Don't look at the meaning of the words yet. Try to guess what the words mean. Then look up the meaning. See how hot or cold you were. You can also get someone to give you words. Guess the meaning and ask them if you are right or wrong. This guessing game will give you a chance to get close to the words. You are interacting using the words and spending time with them. You are also interacting using Spanish. New immigrants use Spanish. What better way for them to assimilate than having people practice Spanish with them. You can also play guessing games using English with new immigrants. They can spend time with English words. It is helpful to be bilingual in a world teeming with immigrants. People feel at home when using their native language, and new immigrants will like all the helpful interaction. Happy guessing! :)

Posted at 01:18 pm by JollyS
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Friday, August 28, 2015
Twenty Six Words For Twenty Six Days

Today, I am going to write about increasing Spanish vocabulary. Learning a word a day is the aim. All you need is an English to Spanish dictionary. Learn a word a day for each letter of the alphabet. For example, you can choose the word, "acera" for the letter "a" for day number one. The next day, day two, choose a word in Spanish for the letter "b" and so on. Since there are twenty - six letters, you will have twenty - six words by the end. The remaining days of the month, either four or five days, depending on the month, will also give you a chance to review the words. You can review the words or write sentences with them. Each month, you can learn twenty - six words. Keep a list of the 26 words. If you don't feel like learning twenty - six words, or choosing words based on the alphabet, you can choose the amount you like from the dictionary. For example, you may want to learn ten words instead of twenty - six. You can select a variety of words. It is up to you. If you develop your vocabulary, you will be more confident using Spanish. So don't wait. Get your dictionary and give it a go.

Posted at 10:08 am by JollyS
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Thursday, July 16, 2015
Spanish Translation

An amazing activity to learn Spanish would be gathering articles in Spanish from newspapers and translating them to English. You can start with one article if you wish. Clip it out and paste it in a notebook. Copy the writing in Spanish first. Then translate the article next to the clipping or under it, depending on where there is room. You can use a dictionary, but I recommend trying to translate the article without it first to see how much you can translate by yourself. After that, use a dictionary if you need to, and then compare how you did the translation with and without the dictionary. There are free newspapers you can get from boxes in front of stores or restaurants. One such paper is called "Hoy." Copying the article will help you to see how Spanish flows on paper. You will also be able to understand writing techniques by noting how the sentences are structured. Choose articles that have topics that are interesting or choose them randomly. A final activity you can do with this assignment is to read the article. See how you do. Are there any words or a word that you stumble on or does the writing flow on your tongue? You are also learning new words as you practice reading, writing, and speaking the words in the article. Reading. Writing. Speaking. You can't go wrong. Enjoy this activity and enjoy learning Spanish.

Posted at 09:42 am by JollyS
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Fear of Spanish or Spanish Phobia

I wonder if the word "Spanish phobia" has been coined yet. That can explain why people are shy about using their Spanish. It may also mean that people may be shy to meet Spanish peoples. I think that may explain why I don't see people practicing their Spanish or even content in Spanish on the web. Why is it so scarce? I think that I am afraid to write in Spanish, but I am not afraid to speak it. I am not afraid to make mistakes verbally. Writing, though, is difficult, because the mistakes are all in print and there for the whole world to see. I want to also ask native speakers why they are shy about using Spanish. Do they believe people won't accept them if they hear them speaking a foreign language? Is it their accent they don't want to share? There's got to be some clues out there that prove my theory about Spanish phobia. Even native speakers don't initiate by speaking their language. One can't deny that a sizable portion of the population speaks the language, so why be shy and hide the fact that you speak it? Speaking Spanish would also be an amazing hobby. People would bond together and find a useful hobby to connect. ?Todavia temes? I hope not. If one makes mistakes, one can also correct them in the process. That much is cut and dried. Speak up in Spanish. Don't be shy anymore.

Posted at 01:48 pm by JollyS
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Saturday, May 02, 2015
Reception and Exchange

I think that people that took Spanish in school don't get a chance to practice it. There probably aren't enough people with which to practice. English is the constant medium of exchange in the state and elsewhere. It would be great if a club existed for people to pursue Spanish as a hobby, or if people you met were game to practice it with you. I know a group that started out and went out to restaurants to try Spanish food and conversation. Spanish takes two to practice. If you go solo, like me, you have to learn it at your own pace or whenever you have time. You have to stare at the words, pronounce them, or write about it in a blog like I am doing now. Spanish solitaire is tough, but it can be fun and a constructive thing to do. There won't be any exchange, but you can rate your errors. I think I am stuck, because practicing tenses is difficult. You need other people to correct you in conversation or writing. I can also beef up in the tenses and correct myself, too, I gather, but that will take time. When I find Spanish people, they are usually shy, and when they find out I know Spanish, they act even shyer. I feel like telling them that people take Spanish in school, because most schools demand you take a foreign language, and a lot of people choose Spanish, because it is used more, and spoken more because there is a majority of the population. So exchange will have to wait, until someone tells them that there are non - native Spanish speakers around that want to practice Spanish. I think the shyness is contagious. At any rate, Americans should practice or learn Spanish, because there is that majority that speaks it, and there needs to be an exchange to develop brotherhood, sisterhood, and harmony.

Posted at 03:33 pm by JollyS
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