Having a Tough Time Learning Common Spanish Phrases?

When you set out to take on learning another learning there are quick and slow methods you can use. If you recall every taking a French of Spanish course in High school you have first hand experience with this slow method of learning Spanish or any other language by memorizing hundreds of words.

I haven’t met a single person that loves memorizing hundreds or thousands of words and their associations with the English equivalent. Then bring in the conjugation of verbs, past and present tense, it’s enough to drive anyone away from learning another language. Why spend time learning all this secondary stuff that just isn’t needed for every day communication?

What’s the faster way to learn Spanish? It’s by learning common Spanish phrases that you use in everyday conversation and communication and leaving the rest alone. This is the fastest and most effective method of learning Spanish in the shortest period of time.

Need to find out how to get to the sub way? Ask for another glass of Wine? Figure out which way to the air port? Then you need to focus your time learning common Spanish phrases and not just hundreds of Spanish words.

What are some Common Spanish Phrases?

Here are just a few common Spanish phrases that you might use in every day interactions. Of course knowing these following phrases isn’t going to have you carrying on full conversations with people in a Spanish speaking country. It will make things a lot easier if you take the time to learn these and other important phrases. You never know when you might need them.

Do you speak English? / Habla Ingles?

I don’t speak Spanish / No hablo Español

What is your name? / Como se llama?

Can you help me? / Puede usted ayudarme?

My name is ___ / Me llamo ___

May I have the menu? / El menu por favor?

Can you show me? / Puede usted enseñarme?

Can you tell me? / Puede usted decirme?

Do you understand me? / Me entiende?

Most Spanish learning audio and software programs use this format of teaching you how to learn this language. While they will spend time teaching you basic vocabulary it will all be focused around teaching your common phrases later on.

For example: The first several lessons may teach you how to say words like: Bath room, air port, bus, grocery store, sub way, name etc. These are words that you need to know to be able to understand answers and questions to things you might need to ask.

While it may take you a few years to become completely bi-lingual in Spanish you can learn to communicate with the basics in about 2 months using a learn Spanish audio course like Rocket Spanish. This and other programs like it focus only on core vocabulary and important phrases and sentences.

If you want to starting learning Spanish, and also want to keep your costs down then I suggest checking out courses such as Rocket Spanish or Pimsleur Spanish. Both of these are audio courses you can use in your car or on your MP3 player making it even easier for you to learn on the go.

Dave Porter

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Do I need a passport to visit Cancun?

I have read several places on the net about Cancun or Mexico in general, and this seems to be a re-occurring question. Do I need a passport to travel to Cancun? And the answer is yes.

Cancun is one of the premier vacation hot spots in the world boasting over 100 hotels and about 4 Million visitors per year. With that kind of traffic you might think its a little more connected to the states, or its borders are open. But the bottom line is, it is still a foreign country. Wither your traveling from Europe or the states, a passport is necessary and highly recommended for ease in getting through customs, etc.

Some other common questions are, what do I pack for Cancun? What is the weather like? etc. Well, I like to travel light, but I would suggest sunscreen and beach wear as definite necessities. There are an infinite number of questions you might have. You may even have questions about where and how to exchange currency or possibly communicating in Spanish.

I have found Jim’s book “50 Things You Must Know Before You Travel to Mexico” to be extremely helpful in answering some common and uncommon questions, from safety and trip insurance, to communicating. And I tell you that really helped out because I don’t speak Spanish very well.

If your interested in Jim’s Book “50 Things You Must Know Before You Travel to Mexico”

Click Here!

So if your just planning a family vacation or an extended trip, be sure to get that checklist out and don’t forget your passport!

Happy Travels!

Craig De Borba

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6 Common Mistakes Made in Language Learning

As with any practice that doesn’t necessarily has a “one way” of being done, language learning has a few common mistakes that apply to most, if not all the available learning methods out there. Whether you’re studying using a free online course, through educational games, translated texts, flashcards or any other method, you’re bound to find one of these mistakes if what you’re using is not of good quality.

1. Learning the new language like a science

The language learning process is by no means comparable to say, learning a particular science or learning a profession. Language learning is a skill and like all skills, sheer, raw information gurgling won’t do the trick. This is a very common mistake that is especially hard to avoid in written language learning methods such as courses, online lessons and the likes. It’s very tempting for the writers of these materials to simply divide the language in big chunks and feed it to you with a large spoon: “here’s the grammar” “here’s the spelling” “here’s the vocabulary”. This will get you nowhere, or if it will indeed have any effect, you will take the longest route to get to it.

2. Taking large breaks

I’m feeling metaphorical today, so let me compare the language learning process to a huge furnace. If you want to light this huge furnace you’ll need to constantly feed it firewood and as you do so, you’ll see the fire growing bigger and bigger. Now, stop the process and the fire will go out and you’ll have to put an almost equally hard effort to get it back on. It’s the same with language learning. Once you get into it and you start getting the hang of it, a large break from studying or practicing could be a killer. Detach yourself completely from the learning and practicing and you’ll find yourself having to bring in a new load of firewood.

3. Learning too fast

There’s a factor that I like to call “learning anxiety” that usually affects persons trying to study a language because of a personal or professional need (your wife’s Japanese, your new business partner is French, your son is Dutch, stuff like that). This phenomenon happens when you’re in a rush to get basic grip on a language and you skip through some of the essential steps too fast. You go in studying grammar without a basic vocabulary, you get into advanced terms before even knowing the basic ones and so forth. This may indeed allow you to understand and make yourself understood in a conversation, but overall, you will take more time correcting your wrongfully learnt concepts than it would have taken you if you had studied them correctly in the first place.

4. Using solely “theoretical” learning methods

This issue could be a problem with 9 out of 10 learning processes, but the language learning one is even more acute. Whether you could pull it off perfectly in say, physics, if you only used theoretical learning all the time and you were suddenly faced with a real, practical problem, with language learning you’re bound to look a fool. Theoretical language learning will hardly form any accurate pronunciation skills and whenever you’ll be faced with an actual conversation in that language, you just won’t be able to express all that theoretical information you stored up.

5. Using the “all work no play” technique

It’s well known that anything you learn while relaxing or having fun, you learn with more ease and the information you store this way is longer lasting and can be used more effectively. You’ll be amazed by the amount of language learning techniques out there that don’t take advantage of this and instead, tend to follow the more rigorous path. Sure, playing vocabulary games, using flashcards, completing quizzes or whatever you could deem as “fun learning” won’t be as fast or intense as the rigid methods, but you get the above mentioned effects and you lose the risk of getting learning fatigue.

6. Learning monotony

Although last in our list, this is by far the most common mistake that you will find with online language courses and even with language center practical lessons and courses. Language learning is a long, arduous process, make no mistake about it. I don’t care what those “Learn Spanish in 2 weeks” course books say, it just can’t be done in such a short time span. Or well, if you consider grasping the complicated inner-workings of phrases like “Hello, how are you today?” in Spanish having “learnt” a language, then so be it. Anyway, the point is that in this long and arduous process, we tend to get bored, we tend to lose the initial enthusiasm when we realize that “hey, this isn’t as fun as I thought, it’s actually hard work”. Lesson monotony does not help this and it’s the main reason most people simply quit a course instead of putting up with it.

To avoid learning monotony, try to mix up your learning methods as much as possible. Use translated texts, use audio tapes, engage in conversations with friends, teachers or other students, watch media in that particular language if available, play educational games, use flashcards, use the dictionary to improve your vocabulary, do ANYTHING you have to do, just don’t let learning boredom overcome you, because trust me when I say this, it’s a foreign language killer in way too many cases.

Michael Gabrikow

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Marketing To Communities Of Color!

Marketing Communications in the U.S. is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition. Effective message delivery to all residents of the United States requires that we examine the unique consumer behaviors of the country’s communities of color.

The designation “community of color” may be applied to a wide spectrum of minority and ethnic groups. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population currently belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group. The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2100, non-Hispanic whites will make up only 40 percent of the U.S. population.

Successful multicultural messaging depends on messages and products that are crafted to each individual audience, rather than presented as recycled versions of products designed for mainstream audiences.

Reaching the African American Market.

Although African American consumers are unique, they are not difficult to reach. To understand what affects the consumer behaviors of African Americans, we need to examine the history that frames what it means to be black in America. Unlike groups such as Hispanics and Asians who immigrated to the U.S. in search of a better life, African Americans were brought to this country against their will, and faced tremendous adversity and denial of basic human rights.

Today’s African Americans continue to further establish their place in American culture, prove their worthiness, and empower themselves. Research tells us that they respond positively to messages that show they are important members of society.

Too often, African Americans are thought of as a single market segment. This is erroneous thought. Like other communities of color, African Americans are a diverse population. Clear differences exist by culture, region, social and economic status, as well as age, experience, and education.

Other considerations are:

• Half of African American households are headed by females

• African Americans are likely to live in larger households than whites

• In terms of high school graduation rates, an equal percentage of black students earn diplomas as white students.

There is no guaranteed technique for reaching African Americans, but major differences have been identified between how African Americans and whites respond to messaging:

• African Americans take messages more literally than their white counterparts.

• African Americans tend to like copy and visuals that directly correspond to one another.

• African Americans prefer lifestyles and contextual appeals. They find messages more believable that feature people in real situations. They are less responsive to talking heads or single-spokesperson appeals.

• African Americans tend to prefer message delivery vehicles that represent a variety of cultures, featuring people of various hair types, skin tones and personalities.

• African Americans look for positive images of black life.

Reaching the Hispanic/Latino Market

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics have surpassed blacks as the nation’s largest minority group (January, 2003). Like African Americans, the Hispanic/Latino market is a diverse group. The largest segments as identified by the Census Bureau are: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, those who have immigrated from Central and South America, and a category known as “other Hispanics.”

Hispanics in the U.S. hold both a strong desire to preserve their traditional culture and values, and optimism about their children’s opportunities in America. There are important differences between Hispanics born in the U.S. and those who have immigrated: those born outside the U.S. or in Puerto Rico speak mainly Spanish, follow more news from Latin America, and preserve the traditions of their native country while also adopting U.S. culture. Yet they also say that their own lives are now improved, and feel closer now to the United States than they do to their native country. Succeeding generations of Hispanics—those born in the U.S.—speak English, watch English-language media, and follow U.S. news and events.3

Strategies to reach Hispanic/Latino audiences often miss the mark. Although 46 percent say they speak mostly Spanish or only Spanish in the home (71 percent of those born outside the U.S. speak mostly or entirely Spanish), merely translating English messages into Spanish can result in sending the wrong message or no message at all. In the 1970′s, General Motors tried the Chevy Nova in Mexico, no realizing that “nova” translated into “no go.”

In addition, presumptions can’t be made about attitudes, cultural values, and how much the Hispanic/Latino, or other ethnic group understands about products and services.

Guidelines for reaching Hispanic/Latino audiences include:

• Give detailed information; use demonstrations.

• Stick to literalism and reality; use strong visual images

• Use testimonials.

• Show a colorful, upbeat environment.

• Understand the importance of family.

• Go for neutrality in accent, appearance and lifestyle.

• Use informal Spanish in Spanish-language messaging.

• Stay away from translations or dubbings of English copy. Translations don’t always work. Copy should be adapted.

Reaching the Asian American/Pacific Islander Market

Like Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans are not a single race of people.

Asian Americans have a strong tie to family and culture; their households are larger than those of other Americans; and there is generally more than one worker in the home. Decisions are often made by both husband and wife, and word of mouth is important to Asian Americans. Eighty-five percent of respondents in a study said a friend’s recommendation was their primary source of consumer information.

Although Asian Americans represent a diverse group, some similarities in reaching them are:

• Asian Americans have strong ties to family and culture.

• Older Asians prefer messaging in their native language.

• Newspapers are a powerful medium for reaching Asian Americans.

• Asian Americans have a strong need to please and impress their families.

Reaching the American Indian/Alaskan Native Market

Native Americans are unique as individuals and in their tribal cultural heritage. Effective message delivery may differ from tribe to tribe and from community to community. Native Americans find meaning and wholeness in spirituality and harmony with nature. The family and the group take precedence over the individual, and they are anxious to be rid of stereotyped images of their culture.

Although they too represent a diverse group, some similarities in reaching the American Indian/Alaskan Native Market are:

• Native Americans place importance on credibility and honesty.

• Use bright and colorful visual images.

• They think storytelling is an important tool to pass on information, so stories/testimonials should be used to make a point.

• Native Americans like to be heard, they like to be given an opportunity to talk about their experiences, problems and suggestions.

Written by Gayle Wiegand



Gayle Wiegand

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The Amazing Canary Islands

It is perfect variant to visit Canary Islands at any time of the year, because you are sure to find what to do here at any season.

For the winter tourists who are searching for more opportunities on their beach holidays, there are numerous attractions from 15th century Spanish settlements, an amount of magnificent national parks plus a great variety of culture and art to please diverse tastes and interests. On Lanzarote the most celebrated resident, the artist Cesar Manrique, has gained his impression across the island together with his distinguishing style of painting, architecture and sculpture. The painter sorrowfully died in a car catastrophe in 1992 on Lanzarote but he has made his mark keeping his keen chase of sympathetic planning regulations causing a lack of high-rise island’s development. His work mirrors a passable kind of contemporary functional design and includes the stunning view at Mirador del Rio and the astonishing Jameos Del Agua, the cave system changed by Manrique to an auditorium and wonderful gardens and swimming pool. The outstanding acoustic estates of the auditorium see it providing some events comprising regular discos, concerts, and shows.

Gran Canaria is the bigger island in the group and thus has a more set urban bustle and city feel. An inexpensive fly to this island in the off-peak period should be reasonably priced enough to make it an appropriate destination for a days off city break.

The Canary Islands are set off the coast of western Africa, the archipelago consists of 7 islands and 6 islets and is divided into two provinces. At the east, the first one is called Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with 3 islands – Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and the islets. At the west is Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro which form the second province named Santa Cruz de Tenerife.The islands belong to Spain and although part of the European Union, avoid various European custom/duty charges. The Canaries enjoy hot sunny weather all year round, duty free prices and are home to some of the best beaches in Europe.

Pranav Jardine

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Spanish Weather Video

Shane and Nicoles awesome weather video that everyone should watch cause its crazy good and we better have gotten an A on it or ill send dogs to rape her

Duration : 0:3:14

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How to Speak Spanish : Common Spanish Phrases in Sports

Learn how to speak Spanish with common phrases in sports in this free language video on learning how to speak Spanish.

Expert: Mixitxu Etxeberria
Bio: Mixitxu Etxeberria speaks fluent Spanish, holds a BA in Linguistics from Reed College, lived in Spain for one year, taught Spanish for six months.
Filmmaker: EV studios

Duration : 0:4:39

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Cultural History of the Philippines: Hispanic Philippines Than We Admit

An extended meditation on the encounter between the native and the foreign, More Hispanic Than We Admit is a collection of scholarly essays on Philippine culture and history. It recuperates our Spanish past and inspires a continued and lasting engagement with Hispanic Philippines Studies.

Duration : 0:15:16

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Spanish Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Here is a show of what went down in the Santa Fe plaza earlier this afternoon. Here, you see a cranky local, lots of tents, lots of art, dancing, lots of people, old historic architecture, and much more!

Duration : 0:11:1

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a good website for spanish weather statistics?

where can i find a good site for weather stats for spain?
i want to find the best place in spain for sunshine hours……gmcn.

=] hope it helped.

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would it be wrong to learn a little bit of spanish phrases for spanish speaking customers?

I work at a store where alot of our guests don’t speak much english or very good english. Would it be wrong of me to single them out to and use try to use spanish phrases (even if my spanish might not be good)? Or should I just attempt to speak to them in english as I would all customers?

Although you refer to is as "singling them out", you are really talking about acknowledging them at a personal level. However bad or good your Spanish is, you will have told them that you recognize them for what they are: Spanish-speakers.
The mere fact that you are considering this shows a fundamental quality for anyone in customer service: you realize that not everyone is the same. The ability and willingness to adapt to the customer will not only impress your customers, it’ll probably impress your boss, too.

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