Monthly Archives: September 2020

Never studied Spanish. Watching telenovela without subtitles. Can I comprehend?

Ten years ago I started watching a telenovela from Telemundo 1/2 way through the season with the English subtitles on. I remembered how much I loved the show and wanted to watch it again from the beginning. Problem is I cannot find it anywhere with English subs. I found the whole season on YouTube but no English subs. I also cannot find episode summaries to give me an idea of what is going on. I know very little Spanish but I love this show.

If I use Duolingo while also listening to telenovelas in Spanish without subtitles, do you think I can grasp what is going on with each episode?

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Can you use the second personal informal for passively talking about yourself in Spanish?

Not sure if I am using the terminology correctly, but for context (actual conversation), I am talking to a native Spanish speaker about just moving to El Paso, TX and learning Spanish. Thinking in English, I wanted to say

“Yes, I am learning Spanish. I feel like you need it here”

In English the understanding when I say “you need it here” (in this context) is that I am talking about myself, or anyone really, but not the other person specifically. Does this work in Spanish as well? Would saying,

“Si, estoy aprendiendo español, lo necesitas aquí”

mean the same thing in Spanish, or would the person I’m speaking to think I am saying that they need it? Or would it be best to say “lo necesito aquí” ?

Again sorry if I’m not using proper terminology and if this a dumb question that I’m overthinking. Thank you

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Spanish Words of Foreign Origin: Anglicismos (Part 1)

Image taken from

If there is a group of loanwords that could be defined as the most significant today for the Spanish language, that would be the anglicismos, or words borrowed from English.

Thanks to the global spread of the culture from English-speaking countries through the media, anglicismos are the extranjerismos most frequently used in modern Spanish, like in sports (córner, básquetbol, running), the fashion industry (look, anti-aging, lifting), the TV and film industries (espóiler, show, thriller, casting), business (lobby, staff, marketing), and many other fields.

It goes without saying that this Anglophone influence is most present on the Latin-American varieties of Spanish, as American English has a most consistent presence on its continental neighbors. In the case of the European varieties of Spanish, they prefer first to use any alternative that does not borrow directly from their British counterparts.

What follows is a general list of English loanwords adopted by Spanish speakers everywhere. On the left side, you will see the loanwords as they should be spelled according to the Spanish grammar or as they are most commonly written; for some of them, I show you in parenthesis the English word they come from to clarify their origins. On the right side after the colon, I give you the alternative words that could be used instead, if any.


Backup: Copia de seguridad

Banner: Pancarta (digital)

Barman: Camarero

Básquet (from basketball): Baloncesto

Best-seller: Superventas, récord de ventas

Blíster (from blister): Blíster, envase

Blog: Bitácora (digital o en línea)

Boicot (from boycott): Boicot

Boom: Auge, prosperidad

Brainstorming: Lluvia de ideas

Business: Negocio(s)

Cash: (Dinero en) efectivo

Cásting (from casting): Audición

CD: Disco compacto

Celebrity: Celebridad, famoso/a

CEO: Director general, presidente

Chat: Conversación en línea o por medios digitales

Check-in: Registro de entrada

Check-out: Registro de salida

Clip (as in a binder clip or a video clip): Clip

Clóset (from closet): Armario

Club (as in an association): Club

Coach: Entrenador, asesor personal

Community manager: Gestor de redes sociales

Copyright: Derechos de autor

Deadline: Fecha límite, plazo

Delivery: Entregar, reparto, (servicio) a domicilio

DJ (as in a disc jockey): Disc jockey, pinchadiscos (this noun is practically only used in Spain)

E-book: Libro electrónico

Email: Correo electrónico

Espónsor (from sponsor): Patrocinador

Estrés (from stress, as in the emotional or psychological pressure): Tensión, presión

Exprés (from express, as in a pot, a type of coffee or a mode of transportation): (Olla) exprés, (café) expreso or (tren) expreso

Don’t miss my next post for more anglicismos in Spanish! 🙂

The post Spanish Words of Foreign Origin: Anglicismos (Part 1) first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

"Yo le habría advertido a David, si lo hubiera visto."


I'm learning Spanish as a beginner and I'm having a hard time trying to understand the necessity of the pronoun "le" in the sentence:

"Yo le habría advertido a David, si lo hubiera visto."

It feels really unnatural as a French and English speaker to employ both "David" and "Le" which is an indirect object pronoun that refers to "David".

In English, you would say "I warned David" or "I warned him" but not both.
In French, you would say "J'aurais averti David" or "Je l'aurais averti" but never "Je l'aurais averti David".

Am I missing something?
Would the sentence "Habría advertido a David, si lo hubiera visto." still be correct ?

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Colloquial Spanish Course – Buying and Selling in Spanish

In this Spanish lesson we are going to learn colloquial vocabulary and phrases related to Buying and Selling in Spanish. First we will learn some relevant grammar and vocabulary and then see if you can follow a short audio conversation in Spanish. The transcript to the audio will be given at the end of the post but please try not to look at it until you have tried playing and understanding the audio a few times.

buying and selling in spanish

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Buying and Selling in Spanish:

Pasta / Guita: Money
¿Cuánto cuesta?: How much is it?
Es súper caro/a / Cuesta un pastizal: It’s so expensive
Es súper barato/a / Es una ganga: It’s so cheap/inexpensive
¡Vaya timo!: What a rip off!
¿Estás de broma? ¿Me estás tomando el pelo?: You must be joking!
¡Ni hablar!: No way!
Es una cutrada: It is terrible quality
No he nacido ayer / No me chupo el dedo: I wasn’t born yesterday
Flipo / Estoy flipando: I can’t believe it
Flipo en colores / Estoy flipando en colores: I really can’t believe it
Me lo llevo: I’ll take it
Déjalo, me voy a otro sitio: Forget it, I’ll look elsewhere
¿No te da vergüenza?/Debería darte vergüenza: How do you sleep at night?
Ricachón: Rich person
Regatear: To haggle
De lujo: Luxurious
Hortera: Tacky
Cutre: Rubbish/Trash
¡Cómo mola! / ¡Mola mucho! / ¡Mola mazo!: It’s so cool
Te pega: It suits you
No te pega: It doesn’t suit you
Te queda bien: It fits you well
No te queda bien: It doesn’t fit you
Estoy sin blanca: I have no money

Now play the audio to listen a conversation. Can you understand what is being said? Play the audio a few times before you look at the transcript. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every single thing the two people are saying. Try to catch whichever words you can and then try to piece things together to work out what is being said.

(Play the audio a few times before you scroll down and look at the transcript)



Dependienta: ¿Puedo ayudarle?
Phil: Sí, estoy buscando un regalo para mi novia.
Dependienta: Muy bien. Mire esta camiseta se vende muy bien.
Phil: ¿Cuánto cuesta?
Dependienta: Ciento veinte euros
Phil: ¿Qué? ¡Cuesta un pastizal!
Dependienta: Bueno, es que es de muy buena calidad. Es de algodón ecológico.
Phil: ¡Vaya timo! No, no. ¿No hay algo más barato?
Dependienta: Vale, bueno. Vamos a ver… Tenemos unas bufandas que están muy de moda. Esta morada por ejemplo es preciosa.
Phil: Sí, mola mucho. Pero seguro que es súper cara.
Dependienta: No, la verdad es que la tenemos en oferta. Es la última que nos queda. Cuesta solo diez euros.
Phil: ¡Es una ganga! Pero no le pega a mi novia. A ella le pega más el color rojo. ¿Tienes esta bufanda en rojo?
Dependienta: La misma no. Esta es parecida. Pero es un poco más cara.
Phil: ¿Cuesta mucha pasta?
Dependienta: Vamos a ver… Sesenta y tres euros.
Phil: ¿Me estás tomando el pelo?
Dependienta: Perdone señor, esta bufanda no está en oferta. Y es de una calidad excelente. La calidad hay que pagarla.
Phil: Lo siento, estoy sin blanca. Lo voy a dejar.
Dependienta: Muy bien, muchas gracias.
Phil: ¡Adiós!


So, how did you get on? How much did you understand of the listening? Please let me know in the comments section below…

Don’t worry if you didn’t understand that much, keep reviewing the vocabulary and phrases and you will soon be up to speed and ready for the next lesson in this course. See you next time!

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The post Colloquial Spanish Course – Buying and Selling in Spanish first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.