Monthly Archives: April 2020

A Practical Guide to the Coronavirus Pandemic in Spanish

Image taken from Pixabay

If you have been reading some of my previous posts, you may be familiar with the most popular newspapers in Spanish and practiced your language skills by checking them daily.

Another thing you have surely noticed is that coronavirus has been the main subject on all media since months. In this post, you will find Spanish vocabulary to better understand all the current events.

Let’s start by the word coronavirus. In Spanish, this word is a masculine noun made of two words: corona (crown), derived from Latin, and virus (virus). It received its name from the crown-like structures observed on the virus’s surface.

Keep in mind that coronavirus remains the same in both singular and plural:

El coronavirus es un virus contagioso (Coronavirus is a contagious virus).

Los coronavirus son objeto de numerosos estudios (Coronaviruses are the main subject of numerous studies).

What follows is the ever-growing vocabulary list in everybody’s mouths today all around the globe:

  • Aislamiento obligatorio: Mandatory isolation.


  • Aislamiento preventivo: Preventative isolation.


  • Aplanar la curva: To flatten the curve.


  • Asintomático/a: Adjective referring to a person who shows no symptoms. The English equivalent is “asymptomatic”.


  • Autoaislamiento: Self-isolation.


  • Brote: Refers to the outbreak of a particular disease.


  • Cuarentena: Quarantine.


  • Desinfectar: To sanitize.


  • Distanciamiento social: Social distancing.


  • Estar encerrado en casa: To be locked down at home.


  • Enfermedad transmisible/contagiosa: A communicable/contagious disease.


  • Epicentro: Epicenter. In this case, it refers to the epicenter of the outbreak.


  • Epidemia: Epidemic.


  • Epidemiólogo: Epidemiologist, a person who studies diseases.


  • Escudo/protector facial: A facial shield.


  • Gel antibacterial: Sanitizing gel. It is worth mentioning that alcohol en gel, gel alcoholizado and even desinfectante (de manos) are synonyms.


  • Infectólogo: Infectologist, a specialist in infectious diseases.


  • Ingresados: Refers to people who have been admitted into hospitals.


  • Inmune: Immune.


  • Inmunidad: Immunity.


  • Inmunidad de rebaño: Flock or herd immunity.


  • Jabón antibacterial: Antibacterial soap.


  • Levantar la cuarentena: To lift the quarantine.


  • Mantener la distancia social: To keep the social distance.


  • Mascarilla: A protective face mask used to cover the mouth and the nose. It is also known as tapabocas or barbijo.


  • Mortífero: Deadly.


  • Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS): Official name for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Spanish.


  • Pandemia: Pandemic.


  • Poner en cuarentena: To quarantine.


  • Portador de una enfermedad: Carrier of a disease.


  • Propagación: The spreading of something, in this case, of a disease. The word diseminación can also be used in this context.


  • Recuperarse: To recover from an illness. Reponerse y curarse are also widely used.


  • Resurgimiento: The resurgence of something, like a disease.


  • Recaída: A relapse. This noun is often used with the verb sufrir (to suffer).


  • Reabrir un país: To reopen a country, referring to its borders.


  • Respirador: Respirator. Also used often in reference to ventilators.


  • Sensación de falta de aire: Shortness of breath.


  • Toser en el lado interior del brazo: To cough on the inside surface of one’s arm.


  • Toque de queda: A curfew.


  • Trabajador de la salud: Health care worker.


  • Transmisión secundaria: Person-to-person transmission.


  • Unidad de cuidados intensivos: Intensive care unit.


  • Vacuna: Vaccine.


  • Ventilador: Ventilator, specifically the machine that helps a patient breathe.


  • Virólogo: Virologist, a person who studies viruses.


Please, take every precaution to keep you safe during these difficult times, and don’t forget to wash your hands!

Un viaje virtual a Perú

En este momento no es posible viajar a Perú (At this moment it’s not possible to travel to Peru). The South American nation is usually one of the most popular places to travel to in the Americas, as Machu Picchu is on most travelers’ bucket lists. Since most of us are stuck at home, today I’m going to take you on un viaje virtual a Perú (a virtual trip to Peru). Of course, we’ll learn some Spanish and get some insights into the culture as well!

Traveling to Peru has been one of my favorite experiences ever. Viajamos a Perú por casi dos meses (We traveled to Peru for almost two months). First up, we spent a month living in the capital of Lima, which is known as La Ciudad de los Reyes (“The City of Kings”). Check out this post to read about our month in Lima.

New Year's Resolution - Learn Spanish

Beautiful Miraflores

My favorite part about life in the Peruvian capital was walking on the stunning  El Malecón – a scenic promenade above the Pacific Ocean in the area that’s called La Costa Verde (the Green Coast). Just take a look at this short video full of drone footage I put together to see how beautiful it is:


Por supuesto, también comimos mucha comida peruana deliciosa (Of course, we also ate a lot of delicious Peruvian food). I don’t think I could ever get sick of eating Peruvian ceviche paired with a nice Pisco Sour!

Ceviche in Peru is amazing!

Speaking of Peruvian food, I wrote a whole post about it. Click here to check it out and learn all about the world famous cuisine of Peru. I introduce some of the most common ingredients as well as classic dishes like lomo saltado, papas a la huancaína, and ají de gallina. A word of warning – this post may leave your mouth watering!

If you’re interested in taking a closer look at what life in Lima is like for a couple of nómadas digitales (digital nomads), check out this video we put together. It also shows our time in Santiago de Chile, another amazing capital city in South America.


We just so happened to be in Lima in December, which meant we got to enjoy the Christmas festivities there. La Navidad es una fiesta muy importante en Perú (Christmas is a very important holiday in Peru). If you’d like to learn more about Christmas in Peru, be sure to check out this post.

After traveling in Chile, Brazil, and Bolivia, we headed back to Peru to explore more of this fascinating country. Viajamos por tierra desde el desierto de Atacama hasta Lima con muchas paradas (We traveled by land from the Atacama Desert to Lima with many stops).

Machu Picchu Jungle Trek

Machu Picchu!

Along the way we visited lots of amazing places, such as el lago Titicaca (Lake Titicaca). Once we got to Cusco, we set out on an epic 4-day jungle trek to reach the Ancient City of the Incas. Incluía ciclismo de montaña, senderismo, aguas termales, tirolesas y más (It included mountain biking, hiking, hot springs, zip lines, and more).

I think this goes without saying, but Machu Picchu es absolutamente increíble! (Machu Picchu is absolutely incredible). It was hands down one of the most amazing travel experiences we’ve ever had and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Click here to read a full description of our trip to Machu Picchu and be sure to check out my highlight video:


After the Machu Picchu trek, we headed back to Cusco just in time for Semana Santa (Holy Week). The city hosts a massive procession for El Señor de los Temblores (The Lord of the Earthquakes).

Procession of El Señor de los Temblores

Holy Monday in Cusco

There’s a famous statue in the cathedral that depicts the crucifixion of Jesus, and it’s said to have saved the city from complete destruction during a huge earthquake back in 1650.

The procession is an incredible sight to behold as a group of about 30 men carry the massive statue all around town. People gather on balconies to throw people throw red ñucchu flowers, which resemble the blood of Christ. See some highlights from the procession in this short video I put together:


In addition to seeing the procession, we also made the hike up to el Cristo Blanco – a white statue of Christ up on the hillside where you get some amazing views of the city below. Click here to read about the rest of our time in Cusco.

It’s not always smooth sailing when you travel, as we found out once we departed Cusco. One bus broke down and the other suffered un pinchazo (a flat tire), making for an extremely long and stressful day of travel to Arequipa.

La Ciudad Blanca

Arequipa es la segunda ciudad más grande del Perú (Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru). It’s also known as La Ciudad Blanca (the White City) as many of the buildings were made from white volcanic stone. It’s an absolutely beautiful city and one I highly recommend visiting!

In addition to Arequipa, we also visited Huacachina – un oasis en el desierto (an oasis in the desert). We had a great time there cruising around in a dune buggy and trying our hand at some sand-boarding. There’s also an interesting legend behind the oasis, but you’ll just have to go read the post to find out what it is!

Un oasis en el desierto.

There was one last stop in Paracas for a boat tour to visit las Islas Ballestas (the Ballestas Islands). They’re easy to visit and you can see a lot of wildlife here like penguins, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies, leading some to call it the “Poor Man’s Galapagos.”

Our journey around Peru came full circle as we returned to the capital for a few days. It was the adventure of a lifetime and we fell in love with traveling in this amazing country. To see more of the places we visited in Peru, check out this video:


Well that about does it for our virtual tour of Peru. I hope you enjoyed it! Now I just have a few questions for you…

¿Quieres visitar Perú? ¿A dónde quieres ir allí?
Do you want to visit Peru? Where do you want to go there?

How much Spanish were you able to understand upon completing the Pimsleur course?

I wanted to know how much have you progressed after finishing the course. Did you learn a lot of vocabulary? Are you able to comprehend what is being said in Spanish conversations that you hear now? I’m mainly looking for people that’s taken the Latin American Spanish course, but I’d still love to hear if you learned using the Castilian/Spain Spanish course. Thanks for sharing! 🙏

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Starting a sentence with "Mejor"

If I start a sentence with "Mejor" is that considered correct, informal, or just incorrect? A native told me that the first sentence sounds correct. I included others I pulled from

"Mejor te lo digo después."
"Mejor llame a Control de Animales."
"Mejor no saber nada del futuro."
"Mejor hubiera sido no haberte conocido."

To me it sounds informal, and should be "Es mejor" or "Sería mejor" but I basically don't know at all.

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