Monthly Archives: April 2021

I’m getting confused on certain phrases and whether or not to use subjunctive

If I were to say “I don’t know if you know this but…”

Would it be “no sé si sepas esto pero” or “no sé si sabes esto pero”?

I get subjunctive is used when their is doubt or uncertainty but still not sure I’ve heard people say the phrases like the first.

Any clarification would be awesome!

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Venezuela’s Natural Beauty: Región Centro-Occidente

Morrocoy National Park, Falcón, Venezuela. Image courtesy of Lalo Hernandez, available on Unsplash.com

One of the most picturesque regions of Venezuela is the one known as “Centro-Occidente”—literally “the Midwest”, comprising four states: Cojedes, Falcón, Lara, and Portuguesa.

This region is regarded as a geographical hub connecting the western, the central and the eastern reaches of the country, having more than 2,000 kilometers of highways linking the coastal zones to the north, “los Llanos” (the plains) to the south and to the east, and the Andean range to the west.

Although Centro-Occidente’s economy is varied, its main resources lie in the tourism, oil and agricultural industries. That is why Morrocoy National Park (in Falcón), and the Cardón and Amuay oil refineries (also in Falcón) are viewed as some of its chief landmarks. But what other sights has to offer Venezuela’s Midwest to any visitor?

Starting with Falcón state, Mount Santa Ana is one of its natural monuments, located right in the middle of the Paraguaná Peninsula. Around 50 kilometers to the south, the well-known Médanos de Coro National Park (Dunes of Coro) offers an overwhelming sandy landscape that stand in contrast to the 13 keys between the towns of Tucacas and Chichiriviche on Morrocoy National Park—on the eastern side of the state—, though both are very frequented by tourists.

Dunes of Coro, Falcón, Venezuela. Image taken from Pixabay.com

Cape San Román, on the Paraguaná Peninsula, is the northernmost point of the country, from which the Caribbean island of Curaçao can be spotted. A little to the south, the beaches of Adícora attract windsurfers all year round.

There are other two national parks in Falcón: Cueva de la Quebrada del Toro, located 15 kilometers from Santa Cruz de Bucaral, and Sierra de San Luis, right in the center of the state.

Of course, no one should forget about strolling through the cities of La Vela and Coro, which have been keeping their colonial architecture almost intact.

Meanwhile, Lara state may have one natural monument—Loma de León, a refuge for endemic and endangered species—but five national parks: Terepaima, at the eastern end of the Andes mountainous range; El Guache, on the south side of Yacambú Park, where the states of Lara and Portuguesa border each other; Yacambú, in the southeast portion of the state; Dinira, at the confluence of four different valleys; and Cerro Saroche, in the central-western part.

Barquisimeto, Lara’s capital city, is home to the only passenger railroad in the country, which connects it to the cities of Puerto Cabello, Acarigua, and San Felipe. However, there are two other neighboring localities that are a must to any one visiting: El Tocuyo, thanks to the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and its unique altarpiece; and Quíbor, home to the Archaeological Museum of Quíbor and the Aboriginal Cemetery, both exhibiting pre-Columbian artifacts found in the area nearby.

Lara is known as an artisan state; the largest towns where hand-made pieces are shown and sold are Tintorero, Cubiro, Sanare, and Carora.

For its part, Portuguesa offers access to four national parks: Dinira, in the Sierra de Barbacoas, which covers sections of Lara and Trujillo states; El Guache, at the beginning of the Andean Cordillera; Páramo de Guaramacal, in the western part of the country; and Terepaima, to the southeast of Barquisimeto.

In Portuguesa’s capital, Guanare, one may find the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Coromoto, as well as the Sanctuary of Coromoto, Venezuela’s patron saint.

Finally, Yaracuy has the distinction of being the place of the mountain of María Lionza, on the Nirgua Massif, in Chivacoa. San Felipe, its capital, is home to a monument dedicated to Yaracuy, the eponymous Indian chief-warrior.

Another famous Yaracuy town is Guama, where we could still find the childhood home of José Antonio Páez (1790-1873), a national hero nicknamed “el Centauro de los Llanos” (lit. Centaur of the Plains).

There are two national parks in the state: Tirgua (General Manuel Manrique), located between Carabobo state and the municipality of Nirgua; and Yurubí, in San Felipe’s northern part, on a sector called Cerro El Tigre-Chimborazo.

The Centro-Occidente, as well as the Centro and the Oriente regions of Venezuela, is a real trove of nature and history waiting to be discovered by tourists and local alike.

The post Venezuela’s Natural Beauty: Región Centro-Occidente first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

¿Cómo es la comida ecuatoriana?

La comida es muy importante (Food is very important). After all, you’ve gotta eat! That’s why we love talking about food here on the Spanish blog. Me encanta probar comida nueva cuando viajo (I love trying new food when I travel). I also love introducing food from Spanish-speaking countries to our audience here. You can go back and read my posts about MexicoPeru, Colombia, and Chile in case you missed them. Today I’ll answer the question “¿Cómo es la comida ecuatoriana?” (What’s Ecuadorian food like?).

A typical meal in Ecuador.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

An Intro to Ecuadorian Cuisine

Ecuador es un país pequeño, pero la comida es muy diversa (Ecuador is a small country, but the food is very diverse). Esto se debe en Ecuador se encuentran cuatro regiones – la costa , la sierra , la Amazonía y las Islas Galápagos – con ingredientes y tradiciones diferentes (This is because in Ecuador there are four regions – the coast, the mountains, the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands – with different ingredients and traditions).

Wherever you go in Ecuador, there are some common ingredients: plátanos, papas, yuca, arroz y frijoles (plantains, potatoes, yuca, rice, and beans). Ecuador is a major exporter of bananas, so they are a very important crop. There are actually several different types of bananas used in Ecuadorian cuisine. This includes oritos (sweet baby bananas) in addition to the plantains that are very common in cooking.

A busy market at lunchtime. Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

What you eat with these staple dishes depends on the region. Por ejemplo, los mariscos son muy populares en la costa (For example, seafood is very popular on the coast). You’ll find just about any kind of seafood in Ecuador: pescado (bagre, atún, mero, corvina, pargo), camarón, concha, calamar, cangrejo, langosta, langostino, ostiones, pulpo y mas (fish (catfish, tuna, grouper, sea bass, snapper), shrimp, shell, squid, crab, lobster, prawn, oysters, octopus and more).

Grilled lobster in the Galapagos Islands.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

You can still find good seafood in the mountains and cities but it’s obviously not as fresh. There you’ll find a lot more meat: cerdo, pollo, res y cuy (pork, chicken, beef and guinea pig). More on that later…

It’s common here to have a bigger 3-course meal in the afternoon: sopa, segundo, y postre (soup, main, and dessert). All over the country, soup is a popular choice at any time of the day. As you might expect, different regions have different styles of soup that are popular. A nice hearty bowl of soup is especially nice up in the cooler mountainous regions.

For those who like it a bit picante, you’ll be happy to hear that the ají pepper is very common. You can always find some hot sauce made from it to spice up your dish a bit.

A market full of fresh produce.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Common Ecuadorian Dishes

Now that you know a bit about Ecuadorian cuisine and the different regions, let’s take a look at some common dishes across the country:

Locro de papa

El locro es una sopa cremosa hecha a base de papas y queso (Locro is a creamy soup made from potatoes and cheese). Sound delicious? That’s because it is! It comes with different garnishes depending on where you get it. Mi favorito es con pollo y aguacate (My favorite is with chicken and avocado).

El locro de papa
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Patacones

These fried green plantains are wildly popular all over Ecuador. Se ideales como entrada o acompañamiento de diferentes platos (They are ideal as a starter or accompaniment to different dishes). Crispy and salty, I personally love them with a nice bowl of guacamole. These tasty little morsels are also known as chifles.

Hornado

El hornado es un plato tradicional Ecuatoriano de chancho asado al horno en un adobo (Hornado is a traditional Ecuadorian dish of oven-roasted pork in a marinade). The name of this dish comes from the Spanish word for oven (horno). It’s a whole slow roasted pig and it’s absolutely delicious! It always comes with a starch (usually potatoes), some corn, and maybe even a little side salad.

Hornado
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Llapingachos

Los llapingachos son un plato típico de la región andina central de Ecuador (Llapingachos are a typical dish from the central Andean region of Ecuador). They are basically little fried potato balls, which are often stuffed with cheese. Are you drooling yet?

Encebollado de pescado

El encebollado de pescado es una sopa típica de la región costeña (Fish cooked with onions is a typical soup of the coastal region). This fish stew is actually regarded as a national dish of Ecuador. Se prepara con albacora o atún fresco, yuca, cebolla, tomate, cilantro, y condimentos (It is prepared with fresh albacore or tuna, cassava, onion, tomato, coriander, and seasonings). It’s so popular that it’s eaten for all three meals of the day!

Fish, rice and beans. Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Ceviche de camaron 

Unlike in neighboring Peru, the ceviche in Ecuador is typically made with shrimp instead of fish. It’s also often poached, which is good news for those who want to try ceviche but don’t enjoy raw seafood. Another interesting thing about Ecuadorian ceviche is that it’s usually eaten with canguil (popcorn).

Cuy

If you keep a guinea pig as a pet, you may want to skip this part of the post. While they may be pets for many North Americans, they are a delicacy down in South America. The most popular way to cook it is to barbecue it whole. Just be prepared for this sight while perusing markets in Ecuador. You typically have to order a whole one and they aren’t exactly cheap, which kept us from trying it on our travels.

Cuy
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Guaguas de pan y colada morada

It’s not just Mexico that celebrates Day of the Dead. In Ecuador, it’s known as Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased) and there are two very important foods associated with it. Guaguas de pan has an interesting name, which technically means “baby bread.” That’s because this sweet bread is shaped and decorated to look like a small child. They are eaten along with a cup of colada morada, a thick purple drink made with fruit and spices.

Guaguas de pan y colada morada
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

I hope you enjoyed this post about Ecuadorian food, and I’m sorry if your stomach is rumbling now! Before you go, try to answer these quick questions:

¿Has probado la comida ecuatoriana? ¿Qué comiste? ¿Te gustó?
Have you tried Ecuadorian food? What did you eat? Did you like it?

 

The post ¿Cómo es la comida ecuatoriana? first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Going to uni in a Spanish speaking country

I’m thinking of going back to school to get a second bachelors degree in a Spanish speaking country. What level should I have before doing this? As of now I have a b2-c1 level and practice everyday. What can I do to really boost my level to have a more academic understanding? Does anyone have any experience taking university level courses in Spanish? Anything would help, thanks!

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What’s a good tool for learning more advanced Spanish?

I grew up hearing Spanish but not speaking it, so while I can go beyond basic understanding and can navigate need be (shopping, asking for help) but I’m still far from fluent. Is there something that can help me understand the grammar better, like a more advanced Duolingo? Lol

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Colloquial Spanish Course – Talking about Natural Disasters in Spanish

In this Spanish lesson we are going to practice talking about Natural Disasters in Spanish. First we will learn some relevant 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.

Talking about Natural Disasters in Spanish

Image by scym from Pixabay

Talking about Natural Disasters in Spanish:

Natural disasters: Desastres naturales
Ayuda: Aid/Help
Asustado: Frightened/Scared
Aterrorizado: Terrified
El derrumbe: Landslide
La explosión: Explosion
El huracán: Hurricane
El tornado: Tornado
El incendio: Fire
Fuego incontrolado: Wildfire
La inundación: Flood
El monzón: Monsoon
El tsunami: Tsunami/Tidal wave
El socorrista: Lifeguard
El guardacostas: Coastguard
El terremoto: Earthquake
La tormenta de nieve: Blizzard
La avalancha: Avalanche
El trueno: Thunder
El relámpago: Lightning
El volcán: Volcano
La erupción: Eruption
Ayudar: To help
Destruir: To destroy
Escaparse/Huir: To escape
Morirse: To die
Tormenta de nieve: Snowstorm
Quemar: To burn
Rescatar: To rescue
Salvar: To save
Sobrevivir: To survive
Sobreviviente /superviviente: Survivor
Perdido: Lost
Vivo: Alive

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)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Transcript:

Amelia: Hola Jason. ¿Has visto hoy las noticias sobre Inglaterra?
Jason: No, ¿qué ha pasado?
Amelia: Hace un tiempo horroroso. ¡En Mayo! Tormentas de nieve, ventiscas, inundaciones… Han muerto varias personas.
Jason: ¡Qué mal! El clima en El Reino Unido es malísimo. Los veranos son tan cortos.
Amelia: Supongo que por eso estás aquí, viviendo en España.
Jason: Es una de las razones. Pero España tampoco es perfecta. Para mí hace demasiado calor aquí.
Amelia: Con tu piel tienes que tener cuidado con el sol, para no quemarte.
Jason: España también tiene problemas con los desastres naturales. Viví en Murcia y en 2011 hubo un terremoto bastante fuerte allí. Fue aterrador.
Amelia: Tenemos muchos incendios forestales todos los años también en toda España.
Jason: ¿España tiene volcanes activos? ¿O el Etna es el más cercano?
Amelia: Hay algunos en Canarias. Creo que la erupción más reciente fue la del Teneguía en La Palma.
Jason: Estuve en la India en 2019.Y pude experimentar lo que es el clima monzónico. Es muy duro.
Amelia: Yo he vivido huracanes y tornados, pero nada demasiado extremo.
Jason: Pues yo una vez vi a un hombre que le alcanzó un rayo mientras jugaba al golf.
Amelia: ¿Qué dices? Eso es horrible. El desastre natural más increíble y terrible que he presenciado, aunque por televisión, fue el Tsunami de Japón de 2011. ¿Lo recuerdas?
Jason: Por supuesto. Fue horrendo.
Amelia: La gente debió de estar aterrorizada.
Jason: Pobres.
Amelia: Y el tsunami de 2004 que afectó a Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India y Tailandia fue aún peor en términos de la cantidad de personas que murieron. En total catorce países se vieron afectados.

 

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!

The post Colloquial Spanish Course – Talking about Natural Disasters in Spanish first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

What is the meaning of “ya estoy en confianza negra” in the song Ilegal by Cultura Profética?

I understand the literal meaning of the words “confianza negra”, but “black trust/confidence” is not a phrase I’m familiar with. Or is there supposed to be a comma, and he’s saying “ya estoy en confianza, negra”, like he’s calling the girl negra? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated 😊

Cultura Profética – Ilegal

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