Monthly Archives: August 2021

Un Viaje Virtual a Bolivia (Parte Dos)

Bolivia es un país increíble para visitar. Los paisajes son hermosos y la cultura es única. Es uno de mis países favoritos a los que he viajado. (Bolivia is an incredible country to visit. The landscapes are beautiful and the culture is unique. It’s one of my favorite countries I’ve traveled to). I already introduced the two capitals of Bolivia and gave you a virtual tour of La Paz. Hoy vamos a visitar la otra capital y algunos destinos famosos (Today we’re going to visit the other capital and some famous destinations).

A view of Sucre.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Sucre

Sucre es la capital histórica y constitucional de Bolivia. Ha tenido muchos nombres a lo largo de los años (Sucre is the historical and constitutional capital of Bolivia. It has had many names over the years). It was called Charcas in pre-Hispanic times and then la Plata de la Nueva Toledo (City of the Silver of the New Toledo) during the time of Spanish rule.

During the War of Independence, it was known as Chuquisaca. The current name comes from Antonio José de Sucre, a revolutionary leader who was the 2nd president of Bolivia. That’s why it’s also known as la Ciudad de los Cuatro Nombres (the City of Four Names). It definitely has an interesting history that you’ll want to learn about if you visit.

A military procession in central Sucre.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Speaking of Spanish rule, Sucre was the site of the first “Grito Libertario” (Shout for Freedom) in a western Spanish colony in 1809. This launched the independence movement across Latin America. Bolivia fue la última colonia española en América del Sur en obtener la independencia (Bolivia was the last Spanish colony in South America to gain independence). After a 16-year war, Bolivia finally became independent in 1826.

Now that we’ve had a history lesson, let’s get back to the tour! Sucre se llama la Ciudad Blanca (Sucre is called the White City). Take a short walk around the historic central area and it won’t take you long to see why. The city is full of beautiful white buildings from its colonial era. Sucre fue designada “Patrimonio de la Humanidad” por la UNESCO en 1991 (Sucre was designated a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1991).

See why it’s called la Ciudad Blanca?
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

It’s definitely fun walking around central Sucre admiring all of the architecture, but there’s a really cool attraction just outside of town that’s worth a visit. A short drive will take you to el Parque Cretácico (the Cretaceous Park), otherwise known as the Sucre Dinosaur Park.

Dinosaurs! Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Aquí puedes ver los modelos de dinosaurios del periodo cretácico y un mirador de el yacimiento paleontológico más grande del mundo (Here you can see models of dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period and a viewpoint of the largest paleontological site in the world). It’s pretty amazing seeing actual dinosaur footprints and it’s pretty fun checking out all the models. It’s kind of like Jurassic Park but without running for your life!

A look at the footprints.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Sucre es una de las mejores ciudades para estudiar español. Hay muchas escuelas de español aquí y las lecciones son asequibles. (Sucre is one of the best cities to study Spanish. There are many Spanish schools here and lessons are affordable). It’s also just generally a pleasant place to spend some time. We stayed there for a week and really enjoyed it.

Sucre in the evening.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Sucre is also a convenient place to visit before or after traveling to the most famous place in Bolivia. This brings us to our next stop on the virtual tour!

el Salar de Uyuni y el Lago Titicaca

El salar de Uyuni es el mayor desierto de sal del mundo. Está situado al suroeste de Bolivia, dentro de la región altiplánica de la cordillera de los Andes. En 2019 fue galardonado por la World Travel Awards como el “Mejor Atractivo Turístico Natural de Sudamérica” (The Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt desert in the world. It is located in the southwest of Bolivia, within the high plateau region of the Andes. In 2019, it was awarded by the World Travel Awards as the “Best Natural Tourist Attraction in South America”).

El Salar de Uyuni
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

The best time to visit the famous Salt Flats of Bolivia is when they are flooded. This creates un efecto espejo (a mirror effect) that makes for some pretty awesome photos. Be sure you bring some toys or something to play around with the perspective. It’s one of the coolest things we saw in 7 months backpacking South America!

Having fun with the perspective photos.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Wrapping up our virtual tour of Bolivia is a famous lake. El Lago Titicaca se ubica entre los territorios de Bolivia y Perú. Es el lago navegable más alto del mundo (Lake Titicaca is located between the territories of Bolivia and Peru. It is the highest navigable lake in the world). It sits at an elevation of 12,507 feet (3,812 meters) in the Andean Altiplano.

A view of the Bolivian side of the lake.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

If you’re traveling in Bolivia, you have to check out la Isla del Sol (the Island of the Sun). It’s believed to be the birthplace of the sun and is a very sacred place in South America. Boats make the slow trip to the island from the town of Copacabana.

There are no paved roads or motorized vehicles on this small island in the lake. There are a few hundred families living in three different communities on the island – Yumani, Cha’lla, and Cha’llapampa. La mayoría de las personas aquí se ganan la vida pescando o cultivando (Most people here make a living by fishing or farming). Be sure to try some trucha frita (fried trout) if you visit.

An aerial view of the island.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

We only visited on a day trip while taking the Peru Hop bus from La Paz to Cusco, but there are several guest houses here if you want to stay a night or two. There’s are a few different viewpoints here that are definitely worth hiking to. Other than that, it’s a good place to just sit back, relax, and enjoy nature.

That does it for our virtual tour of Bolivia. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something! Now I just have one question for you: ¿Quieres visitar Bolivia? ¿Que lugares? Leave a comment and let us know!

The post Un Viaje Virtual a Bolivia (Parte Dos) first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Uppercases in Spanish: A practical guide (Part 1)

One of the most controversial subjects regarding Spanish grammar has to be the proper usage of capital letters in texts.

Luckily, there is a decent amount of manuals in Spanish—like the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas and the Real Academia Española’s Ortografía de la lengua española—compiling the many guidelines we should follow regarding this sometimes difficult issue.

Nonetheless, I personally think it is better to compare the way the Spanish language uses uppercase letters with that of the English language if we really want to grasp it.

In this first part, let’s find out how Spanish deals with this subject.

First and foremost, we should establish the two most important rules regarding capital letters in Spanish as well as in English: an uppercase should appear at the start of any sentence or right after a period (.), and every essential component of proper names—be it from people or things—must begin with a capital letter.

 

  • Las mayúsculas son fáciles de usar. No les temas. (Uppercases are easy to use. Don’t be afraid of them.)

 

  • Mi primer nombre es Sara, mi apellido es T Vivo en Nueva York. (My first name is Sara, my last name is Torres. I live in New York.)

 

From there, we can more easily determine those orthographic instances where uppercases must also be used: right after any ellipsis, exclamation points or question points having closed a sentence.

 

  • No entendí lo que dijo… Hablemos de otra cosa. (I didn’t understand what you said… Let’s change the subject.)

 

  • ¿Sigues allí? No puedo verte. (Are you still there? I cannot see you.)

 

  • ¡Qué buena noticia! Todos te felicitamos. (Great news! Congratulations from all of us.)

 

Then, it should be easy to distinguish all those basic non-orthographic instances where capital letters should appear, like proper names of people, animals, anthropomorphized things, or abstract names being personified; the essential elements of nicknames—but neither articles nor prepositions comprised within nicknames—; and proper names of geographical places—but not the common names that are part of that designation.

 

  • Te presento a Joanna, mi compañera de trabajo. (Let me introduce Joanna, my work colleague, to you.)

 

  • Claro que tengo tres mascotas: Rey, mi perro; Garritas, mi gato; y Mordedora, mi tortuga. (Of course I do have three pets: King, my dog; Paws, my cat; and Nibbler, my turtle.)

 

  • Puede parecer extraño, pero le puse «Guerrero del Camino» a mi auto. (It may seem strange, but I give my car the nickname “Road Warrior”.)

 

  • Los pueblos antiguos creían generalmente en muchos dioses a la vez, como Zeus, Poseidón, Ares, Atenea… (Ancient people generally believed in many gods at once, like Zeus, Poseidon, Ares, Athena…)

 

  • La masa de agua más extensa del planeta Tierra es el océano Pacífico. (The largest mass of water on planet Earth is the Pacific Ocean.)

 

You may notice on the previous examples how del in “Guerrero del Camino” and oceáno in “océano Pacífico” remain in lowercase—the first of many differences between uppercase use in Spanish and English.

You should always be on the lookout for any prepositions or common names not being part of the proper names of places, as those kind of words shouldn’t be written in uppercase—unless there is a period or some other punctuation mark forcing you to use a capital letter right next to it.

On the next part, we will delve even more on the way Spanish differentiates from English regarding capital letters. Till next time!

 

 

The post Uppercases in Spanish: A practical guide (Part 1) first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Anxious about taking Spanish 5 in hs

Hey so I'm a senior in high school, and I really feel anxious about taking Spanish 5. My guidance counselor insisted that I should take it. Even though I did told her I feel unconfident with my Spanish skills . I used to be great at it, but now I just use google translate or use the SpanishDict website. If I'm uncertain with the word, or if I'm checking if I used the right grammar for it.

submitted by /u/MysteryDrawer
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Does a mentor calling someone "hija" rather than "mija" mean anything? Is it more significant or does it mean nothing?

My coworker who I known for 3 years, always calls me mija. but recently now he calls me hija in texts and in person. Does that mean we are getting close or does the letter change not indicate much?

I know this is a very silly question but i am just curious if its anything significant at all. I wasnt taught much about mexican culture as a kid sadly or the language. It would mean a lot if this coworker actually felt closer with me because hes been a good mentor in my life. Id ask him but we both are shy quiet people haha. Thanks for reading

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English Spanish Parallel Texts – El verbo Ser & the family (Part 1)

In this lesson of our English Spanish Parallel Texts course and we are going to practice using the Spanish verb Ser (To Be) to describe The Family. Start by reading the text in Spanish below. The English translation is provided later but please try not to look at it until you have read the Spanish version various times and tried your best to understand it.

There may be some words and phrases in the text that you are unfamiliar with, but you should be aiming to capture the main essence of what is happening. There will always be words and phrases popping up in real-life situations that you have never heard before, so it is important never to get too distracted by details.

If you want to investigate some of the words you don’t know with a dictionary that would be great, please do, but do this after trying your best to understand with what you already have in your head.

Check out this video lesson with information relevant to this topic:

El verbo Ser & the family

El verbo Ser & the family (Part 1)

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

 

Spanish Text

 

Alba: Hola, buenas tardes. ¿Eres hermano de Lucas?
Sebastián: ¿Lucas, no, quién es Lucas?
Alba: Perdona. Lucas es un amigo mío. Te pareces mucho a él.
Sebastián: Yo soy Sebastián López Martín.
Alba: ¿Vives aquí Sebastián?
Sebastián: Sí, toda la vida en este barrio.
Alba: Yo también. Soy Alba Pérez García, hija de Juan y María.
Sebastián: ¿Juan Pérez González, el electricista?
Alba: Sí, es mi padre.
Sebastián: Juan es un buen electricista y también muy buena persona.
Alba: Ya lo sé.
Sebastián: ¿Tienes una hermana también, no?
Alba: Tengo tres hermanas.
Sebastián: ¿Como se llaman tus hermanas?
Alba: Son Carlota, Michelle y Julieta. Somos cuatro hermanas y dos hermanos. Mis hermanos son Martín y Nicolás.
Sebastián: ¡Nicolás Pérez García! ¿Nicolás es tu hermano? Es un amigo mío.
Alba: ¡Qué dices!
Sebastián: Bueno, encantado de conocerte Alba.
Alba: Igualmente Sebastián.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

English Text

 

Alba: Hello, good afternoon. Are you Lucas’s brother?
Sebastián: Lucas, no, who is Lucas?
Alba: Excuse me. Lucas is a friend of mine. You look a lot like him.
Sebastián: I’m Sebastián López Martín.
Alba: Do you live here Sebastián?
Sebastián: Yes, all my life in this neighborhood.
Alba: Me too. I’m Alba Pérez García, daughter of Juan and María.
Sebastián: Juan Pérez González, the electrician?
Alba: Yes, that’s my father.
Sebastián: Juan is a good electrician and also a very good person.
Alba: I know.
Sebastián: You have a sister as well, don’t you?
Alba: I have three sisters.
Sebastián: What are your sisters called?
Alba: They are Carlota, Michelle and Julieta. We are four sisters and two brothers. My brothers are Martín and Nicolás.
Sebastián: Nicolás Pérez García! Nicolás is your brother? He iss a friend of mine.
Alba: No way!
Sebastián: Well, nice to meet you Alba.
Alba: Likewise Sebastian.

 
 
 
 

So, how did you get on? How much did you understand of the original text before checking the translation? Please let me know in the comments section below…

Don’t worry if you didn’t understand that much, practice makes perfect! Be patient and keep reading, hearing, writing, and speaking Spanish. See you next time!

The post English Spanish Parallel Texts – El verbo Ser & the family (Part 1) first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.