Author Archives: fernando

English Spanish Parallel Texts – Giving directions in Spanish

In this lesson of our English Spanish Parallel Texts course and we are going to practice giving directions in Spanish. Start by reading the texts in Spanish below. The English translations are provided later but please try not to look at them until you have read the Spanish versions various times and tried your best to understand them.

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:

Giving directions in Spanish

giving directions in spanish

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Spanish Text


Text 1 in Spanish:

Diego: Hola, buenas. Perdona, no soy de aquí, estoy en Bilbao de vacaciones. ¿Dónde está la calle Abandoibarra?
Victoria: Encantada. Soy Victoria. Yo soy de Bilbao. ¿La avenida Abandoibarra?
Diego: No sé si es calle o avenida. Pero se llama Abandoibarra.
Victoria: ¿Quieres ver el Guggenheim?
Diego: Exacto.
Victoria: El Guggenheim está en la Avenida Abandoibarra. Está muy cerca. Todo recto, la segunda a la derecha. Más o menos cinco minutos andando.
Diego: Muy bien. Gracias Victoria. Otra cosa… ¿Hay un kiosko o un supermercado cerca de aquí?
Victoria: Mira, hay un supermercado enfrente de la iglesia.
Diego: Es verdad. Perfecto. ¡Muchas gracias!
Victoria: ¿Tienes un mapa de Bilbao?
Diego: No, no tengo mapa.
Victoria: Hay mapas gratis en la oficina de turismo al lado del Guggenheim.
Diego: Muchas gracias de nuevo Victoria. ¡Que tengas un buen día!
Victoria: Igualmente. Adiós.

Text 2 in Spanish:

Julia: Disculpa ¿Dónde está la estación de autobuses?
Pablo: Está cerca de aquí. La estación está en frente de la biblioteca.
Julia: Gracias. Pero no sé donde está la biblioteca.
Pablo: Vale, perdón. No eres de aquí. La estación de autobuses está en la Gran Vía y esta es la Gran Vía.
Julia: ¿Entonces, todo recto?
Pablo: Sí, todo recto unos veinte minutos hasta el final de la calle. Al final de la calle están la biblioteca y la estación de autobuses.
Julia: Muy bien, gracias. ¡Qué fácil!
Pablo: Claro, es muy fácil. ¿De dónde eres?
Julia: Soy de Chile.
Pablo: De Chile eh. ¿Estás aquí de vacaciones?
Julia: Sí, para dos semanas. Mi hotel está en la Gran Vía también, al lado del estadio de fútbol.
Pablo: El hotel Carlton verdad.
Julia: No, el hotel Zenit.
Pablo: Ah sí, detrás del Carlton.
Julia: Exacto.
Pablo: ¿Qué tal el hotel Zenit?
Julia: Está muy bien.
Pablo: Vale. ¡Disfruta de tus vacaciones!
Julia: Hasta luego y muchas gracias por tu ayuda.



English Text


Text 1 in English:

Diego: Hello, good day. Sorry, I’m not from here, I’m in Bilbao on holiday. Where is the street Abandoibarra?
Victoria: Lovely to meet you. I am Victoria. I am from Bilbao. Avenue Abandoibarra?
Diego: I don’t know if it’s a street or avenue. But it’s called Abandoibarra.
Victoria: Do you want to see the Guggenheim?
Diego: Exactly.
Victoria: The Guggenheim is on Avenida Abandoibarra. It’s very close. Straight on, the second on the right. About five minutes walk.
Diego: Very good. Thanks, Victoria. Another thing… Is there a newsagents or a supermarket near here?
Victoria: Look, there’s a supermarket in front of the church.
Diego: It’s true. Perfect. Thank you!
Victoria: Do you have a map of Bilbao?
Diego: No, I do not have a map.
Victoria: There are free maps at the tourist office next to the Guggenheim.
Diego: Thank you very much again Victoria. You have a good day!
Victoria: Likewise. Goodbye.

Text 2 in English:

Julia: Excuse me. Where is the bus station?
Pablo: It’s close to here. The station is in front of the library.
Julia: Thanks. But I do not know where the library is.
Pablo: Ok, sorry. You’re not from here. The bus station is on the high street and this is the high street.
Julia: So, straight on?
Pablo: Yes, straight on for about twenty minutes to the end of the street. At the end of the street are the library and the bus station.
Julia: Very good, thank you. How easy!
Pablo: Sure, it’s very easy. Where are you from?
Julia: I’m from Chile.
Pablo: From Chile eh. Are you here on holiday?
Julia: Yes, for two weeks. My hotel is on the high street too, next to the football stadium.
Pablo: The Carlton Hotel, no.
Julia: No, the Zenit hotel.
Pablo: Oh yes, behind the Carlton.
Julia: Exactly.
Pablo: How is the Zenit hotel?
Julia: It’s very good.
Pablo: Okay. Enjoy your holiday!
Julia: See you later and thank you very much for your help.


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 – Giving directions in Spanish first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Can you simply say "escúchate" to mean "listen to yourself" or does it have to be "escúchate a ti mismo"?

I thought you could use the reflexives like "te" or "se" to indicate doing something to yourself, but when experimenting on a Spanish-learning website, I find plenty of uses of "escúchate a ti mismo" meaning "listen to yourself", but not a single instance of "escúchate" meaning that.

Is there a rule for when you can simply use the reflexive se/te and when you have to add the "mismo" part?

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A-Z ocean animals in Spanish with English translation.

My first collegiate Spanish course is making us split up into teams and we are required to be an ocean animal. I am looking for inspiration for our team but it has to be in alphabetical order for the teams and they haven't release the team orders yet. I don’t know if this is the right subreddit to post this question, Lo siento if it's not.

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Doubling Indirect Objects

Hello! I was wondering if someone could explain to me the logic of why indirect objects can be doubled in a Spanish sentence in a simple way.

Ex. Yo le mando un regalo al niño.

Is it a thing to reinforce a sentiment or emphasize something? It (le) just seems redundant if you are already mentioning to whom (al niño) you are giving the present.

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Creer vs Ser vs Saber vs Conocer?

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre este? Am I overcomplicating this? I'm not sure when I should use each word and what context they are intended for. I would much appreciate some clarification on this, as it feels a little intimidating for there to be 4 words for the same thing… If I get it wrong will people still know what I mean? Thanks for the time!

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Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo fue una pintora mexicana que es un ícono cultural en todo el mundo (Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who is a cultural icon around the world). We’ve had a few posts about her on the blog in the past. You can read about her early life as well as some of her most famous works and quotes. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at her tumultuous relationship with another one of Mexico’s most famous artists.

Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

Meeting Diego Rivera

As I mentioned in the post about her early years, Frida Kahlo joined el Partido Comunista Mexicano (the Mexican Communist Party) and befriended activists like Italian-American photographer Tina Modotti. It was at one of Modotti’s parties that she was introduced to fellow artist Diego Rivera. Several years prior, she met him briefly while he was painting his first mural at her school. Called La Creacion (Creation), it covered a thousand square feet and featured religious motifs.

Frida Kahlo comenzó a pintar después del horrible accidente de autobús (Frida Kahlo started painting after the horrible bus accident). She asked Rivera to judge some of her artworks, and he encouraged her to continue painting. A budding romance emerged between the two artists, even though he was 20 years her senior. The two were married on August 29, 1929, in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City.

Their marriage was described as “la unión entre un elefante y una paloma” (the union between an elephant and a dove). This was due to their difference in size – Rivera was tall and overweight while Kahlo was short and frail.

For the first few years of their marriage, she traveled with him to different cities where he was painting murals. They first went to Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos so he could paint a mural at el Palacio de de Cortés (the Palace of de Cortés). It was here that she began to develop a deeper sense of Mexican identity.

Image by simonetai247 from Pixabay

Developing Her Style

Kahlo comenzó a usar ropa tradicional mexicana, como vestidos largos y coloridos, tocados y joyas exóticas (Kahlo began wearing traditional Mexican clothing, such as long colorful dresses, headdresses, and exotic jewelry). She embraced her mestiza heritage by wearing huipils and rebozos – traditional garments worn by indigenous women.

It wasn’t just her wardrobe that changed after their move, though. Kahlo also drew inspiration from Mexican folk art that started to show in her own works. She continued to paint many self-portraits, including one titled Frieda y Diego Rivera in 1931. Many consider this to be a wedding portrait.

When funding for murals dried up in Mexico, the two moved to the United States – first to San Francisco, then New York, and finally Detroit. During their time in Detroit, Kahlo experienced numerous health problems after she had a miscarriage. The sadness and pain she felt soon came out in her art.

On her work during their time in Detroit, Diego Rivera said:

Frida empezó a trabajar en una serie de obras maestras sin precedentes en la historia del arte, pinturas que exaltaban la cualidad femenina de la verdad, la realidad, la crueldad y la pena. Nunca antes una mujer había puesto semejante atormentada poesía sobre la tela como Frida en esta época de Detroit. (Frida began to work on a series of masterpieces unprecedented in the history of art, paintings that exalted the feminine quality of truth, reality, cruelty and pain. Never before had a woman put such tormented poetry on the canvas as Frida at this time in Detroit.)

One of her most famous paintings from this time is Henry Ford Hospital, which depicts her lying naked and bleeding on a hospital bed after her miscarriage. Click here to learn more about this powerful artwork by Frida Kahlo.

Another of her notable works from the time is Autorretrato en la Frontera Entre Mexico y los Estados Unidos (Self-portrait on the Border Between Mexico and the United States). While Rivera enjoyed their time spent living in the US, it’s clear from this painting that Kahlo did not. In fact, here’s a quote from her on her experiences living in Detroit:

Es aterrador ver a los ricos haciendo fiestas día y noche mientras miles y miles de personas mueren de hambre. (It is terrifying to see the rich having parties day and night while thousands and thousands of people are dying of hunger.)


After Rivera was fired from his mural project at the Rockefeller Center for including an image of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, the couple returned to Mexico City. That’s where we’ll pick up the story in the next post, where we’ll look at Frida Kahlo’s later years and her lasting legacy.

The post Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Need help identifying and translating a few lines from a song

One of the ways I'm trying to learn Spanish is by finding songs I like and trying to learn/understand the lyrics.

One of my favorite songs I've found is Será Será by Davila 666. The spanish lyrics exist on Musixmatch but as I started to learn them I realized some lines seemed incorrect, or at least didn't make any sense in context. There are two comments on the youtube video that wrote up lyrics and by looking at all three, I've made sense of the song, with the exceptions of two of the early lines (at the 0:42 mark):

The three suggestions for the first line (and my understanding of them) are:

  • Me despierto dia abajo – "I wake up day down"
  • Me despierto y abajo – "I wake up and down"
  • Me despierto río abajo – "I wake up down river"

'down river' seems the most normal usage but doesn't really fit with the song. 'day down' seem weird but I could see it being poetic licence as the opposite of 'sun up'. Is it an idiom of some sort?

The second line is less ambiguous; two people (and my own ear) hear:

  • Aturdido en el sacado – "Stunned, in the sack"

The other comment has it as "a tu dealer he sacado", but that doesn't seem like it would fit. Still, I'm confused by "en el sacado" since "sacado" appears to just be a conjugation of sacar and not a noun. Google translate spits out "in the sack" and that kind of makes sense, but I'm not positive that's right.

If it helps, here are the full lyrics as I've corrected them and translated them (It's probably not perfect, I'm still pretty new at this)

I'm hoping one of you kind people with a better ear and more Spanish knowledge can help me 🙂

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