Tag: Learn Spanish

IR vs IRSE

Usamos IR para indicar el movimiento hacia un lugar: 

Voy a Cartagena la próxima semana.
I’m going to Cartagena next week.

Usamos IRSE para expresar que hay una salida o abandono de un lugar:  

Se va, tiene clase a las 3 pm.
She’s leaving; she’s got class at 3 pm.

Tiene que irse, tiene una reunión al mediodía.
He’s got to leave; he has a meeting at noon.

ATENCIÓN: IRSE también nos permite especificar el lugar que abandonamos:  

La próxima semana me voy de la casa.
Next week I’m moving out of the house.

Rosaura quiere irse del trabajo.
Rosaura wants to quit her job.

Más ejemplos:

María va al centro comercial.
Maria goes to the mall.

Todos los días vamos a trabajar.
Every day we go to work.

En vacaciones siempre van a la playa.
They always go to the beach on vacations.

No dijo nada antes de irse.
He didn’t say anything before leaving.

Simplemente dijo que quería irse al extranjero.
He simply said he wanted to go abroad.

Usted puede irse cuando lo desee.
You can leave whenever you want.

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LA PALABRA DEL DÍA: PAPALOTE

DEFINICIÓN: La palabra papalote es sinónimo de “cometa de papel”, lo cual es, según el Diccionario de la Lengua Española, una armazón ligera de peso, sobre la que se pega un trozo de papel, una cola de cintas o pedazos de papel y que va sujeta con un hilo bastante largo. El papalote se arroja al aire y, gracias al viento, se eleva y suele ser una gran diversión para los chicos.  

ORIGEN: Según el portal web etimologias.dechile.net la palabra papalote tiene dos versiones con respecto a su origen. La primera arroja que proviene del náhuatl ‘papalotl’, que significa ‘mariposa’. La segunda entrada nos muestra que la palabra papalote proviene del latín papilio, que también significa ‘mariposa’ en ese idioma. 

TIPO: Según el mismo diccionario la palabra papalote es un sustantivo masculino usado en Cuba, Honduras, México y República Dominicana. Su plural es ‘papalotes’

CORRESPONDENCIA EN INGLÉS: 

kite, hang glider.

USO: 

Él niño vuela su papalote en el parque.
The boy flies his kite in the park.

Como hacía viento, sacaron a volar el papalote.
Since it was windy, they took the kite out to fly.

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Píldoras gramaticales: Saber vs Conocer

SABER

CONOCER

Saber algo de memoria, saber hacer algo: habilidad, o tener el conocimiento de un hecho.

Ejemplos:

1. ¿Sabe alguna canción en español de memoria?
¿Do you know any Spanish song by heart?

No, no ninguna.
No, I don’t know any.

Sí, varias canciones de memoria.
Yes, I know several songs by heart.

2. ¿Ustedes saben nadar?
Do you know how to swim?

Sí, sabemos nadar.
Yes, we know how to swim.

No, no sabemos nadar.
No, we don’t know how to swim.

3. ¿Sabes quién es el presidente de Ecuador?
Do you know who is the president of Ecuador?

Sí, es Lenín Moreno.
Yes, it’s Lenín Moreno.

Significa estar familiarizado o haber tenido un contacto o experiencia con una persona, una cosa o un lugar.

Ejemplos:

1. ¿Conoces al profesor de español?
Do you know the Spanish teacher?

¿El señor Pérez? Sí, claro. Lo conozco.
Mr. Pérez? Yeah,sure. I know him.

No, no lo conozco.
No, I do not know him.

¿Conoces el sombrero vueltiao?
Do you know the vueltiao hat?

No, no lo conozco.
No, I do not know it.

Sí, tengo uno.
Yes, I have one.

3. ¿Conoces Cartagena?
Do you know Cartagena?

No, yo no conozco Cartagena.
No, I don’t know Cartagena.

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Diferencia entre ‘billion’ y ‘billón’

Seguramente te habrás confundido con el uso de las palabras ‘billion’ (del inglés) y ‘billón’ (en español) debido a su ortografía casi idéntica, sin embargo, es importante destacar que ambas palabras hacen referencia a dos cifras totalmente diferentes. En nuestro Grammar Bite de hoy te mostramos la diferencia entre las dos palabras para que las confusiones sean cosa del pasado. 

En inglés, la palabra billion equivale a mil millones, diferente a billón, que en español se refiere a un millón de millones. Es decir, si tenemos en el mundo anglosajón la frase one billion, quiere decir la unidad seguida de nueve ceros, o sea, 1,000,000,000; la forma correcta de expresar esa frase en español sería mil millones. Ahora bien, si vemos en español la palabra billón, equivaldría a la cifra 1.000.000.000.000, es decir, la unidad seguida de 12 ceros. 

Te dejamos aquí un video que te ayudará a comprender aún mejor las diferencias entre ‘billion’ y ‘billón’:

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Say NO to translation

Removing the translation component from your language studies and habits is crucial to gaining proficiently in any language. Word-to-word translations from one language to another prohibit a truly stream-of-consciousness thought process that allows for seamless communication between individuals and groups. Switching back and forth between two languages isn’t necessarily the most productive thing to do when you’re learning a new language, as you are simply translating and at the core still utilizing your native language. Some students develop this translation habit and have a very hard time kicking it. Here are some basic reasons why you should stop translating from English to Spanish or vice versa.

  • Translating consumes almost all your brain power and there is very little energy left for actual language learning.
  • The translated word is put in temporary memory not in long term memory. Next time you want to use it, it’s gone or misplaced somewhere in your gringo brain. Word retrieval becomes a painful experience!
  • Translation makes listening comprehension almost impossible. Please, put down your Duolingo program and try to infer the meaning of words from the context.
  • Translating word-to-word hinders the natural communication process. You sound robotic, disengaged and repetitive.
  • Translating turns you into an “ask-hole”! You’ll be constantly interrupting the person you’re speaking with for the meaning of the word in your native language.

That said, here are some practices we suggest you incorporate into your routine immediately!

Start acquiring new vocabulary without the interference of your native tongue. Make your first language a tool, not a means to learn new words. A simple way to do this is by creating flashcards using Spanish text on one side and images that illustrate the text on the other. There’re many applications that allow you to do this. This method is so effective because you’re essentially cutting out the middle man. After your brain learns a new word it recalls it as an image, not a group of letters needing to be processed. Studying this way feels effortless compared to the old-fashioned way, as you’re able to recall words much faster in much less time. This recall process will help your listening skills and eventually will have an impact on your speaking skills.

Another problem to tackle is that of translation and grammar, an exercise akin to sticking a square peg into a round hole.  Some students get very hung up in this area, twisting and turning word order and sentence structure as they stutter and hesitate through conversations. A great way to move away from this practice is to study and absorb intuitively the basic constructions of grammar and then move directly to applying it to the language itself. Make the target language (Spanish in this case) a more essential part of your life! If you’re studying Spanish, you might want to try getting your news from Spanish outlets, reading newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. all in Spanish, or simply listening to Spanish music just for fun. Repeated exposure to real-world applications of these concepts will allow you to let go of the word ordering, after all, the idea that you’re trying to express is much more important than the order of the words. And by the way, Spanish-native speakers have a huge tolerance for grammar mistakes but not so much for phonetic mistakes. So concentrate on how you pronounce words, not on the grammar structure.

Don’t expect to be perfect! Vocabulary, grammar, exceptions to the rules and cultural idiosyncrasies are so vast that you’re going to make a ton of mistakes. Embrace them and stop feeling embarrassed! Most importantly, learn from your mistakes and become a better language learner. Don’t be that person in your Spanish class making the same mistakes over and over again, the last thing you want is to be labeled a “perpetual beginner” in the minds of your teachers and peers!

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