Desayuno – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/30/2015

Desayuno (breakfast) is my favorite meal of the day.  When On Earth Blog has just published an article about breakfast in Central America called Good Morning! Breakfast Around the 7 Countries of Central America.  Here is a photo of desayuno chapin from Guatemala.  It consists of frijoles (beans), huevos (eggs), tostones or plátanos verdes fritos (fried plantains), queso (cheese) (a local cheese called queso de oja), longaniza (Guatemalan sausage), chirmol salsa (a sauce made from smashed tomatoes), and tortillas.  To read the entire article, click here.

Desayuno Chapin

Parodia – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/25/2015

My husband is a big fan of Weird Al Yankovic, so every now and then he shows me one of Weird Al’s latest music video parodies on YouTube.  He just showed me another one today.   I have decided that my Spanish word of the day is parodia (parody).  Weird Al Yankovic is a parodista (parodist), satirist, musician, and singer.  He is also an actor, author, music video director, and film producer.  He has made numerous albums and has won four Grammy Awards.  My favorite Weird Al music video parodias are Word CrimesWhite and Nerdy, and Party in the CIA.   Word Crimes is a parodia of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.  White and Nerdy is a parodia of Ridin by Chamillionare featuring Krayzie Bone. Party in the CIA is a parodia of Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus.

The best I can do about offering  you a video en español is a subtitled version of The Saga Begins which parodies American Pie by Don McLean.  All of the other videos in this post are in English.  Sometimes you just need a little silliness in your life.

Rockera – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/23/2015

I just saw the new film, Ricki and the Flash, which has inspired me to make rockera (female rock musician) my Spanish word of the day. In this movie, Meryl Streep plays an older rockera who works at a Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s type grocery store by day and is the lead singer in a rock band by night. She left her husband and children decades ago to follow her dream of  becoming a rock star;  but in reality, what she became is a struggling musician practicing her craft in a dive bar.  In the film, Streep returns to her family to assist in a crisis.

This movie made a strong impression on me.  I loved the music and the story is compelling.  As a matter of fact, I can’t stop thinking about it.  Thus, rockera is my word of the day.  Just a quick spelling note – an alternate and less anglicized version of the word is roquera.

By the way, the legendary actress gives another superb performance here.  She will probably get nominated for an Oscar yet again.  Is there anything that Meryl Streep can’t do?



Monthly Quick Grammar Review

This is my first grammar post at My Spanish Word of the Day.  Every month, I would like to give you a quick and easy grammar lesson/review.  I am starting with adjectives.

Spanish adjectives agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.   Descriptive adjectives follow the nouns that they modify.  They can also come after the verb be.


Adjectives ending in o in the masculine change to a in the feminine.

Mi condominio está en un edificio alto.  (My condo is in a tall building.)  Condominio is a masculine noun, therefore, the adjective that modifies it, alto, must also be masculine.

La chica alta se llama Luz.  (The tall girl’s name is Luz.)  Chica is a feminine noun, so the noun that modifies it, alta, must also be feminine.

Adjectives ending in any other letter have the same form whether they are modifying masculine or feminine nouns.

Javier es un hombre cortés.  (Javier is a courteous man.)  Hombre is a masculine noun.

Pilar es una mujer cortés.  (Pilar is a courteous woman.)  Mujer is a feminine noun.

But, there are always exceptions to the rules!  There are 2 exceptions to this rule.

  • Adjectives of nationality that end in a consonant add a to the end of the masculine in order to form the feminine.

                Carlos es español y Carmen es española también.  (Carlos is Spanish and Carmen is Spanish too.)

  • Adjectives ending in án, ín, ón, and or also add a to create the feminine form.  The stressed vowels (the ones with the accent marks) do not use the accent mark when an a is added to the end of the word.  In the example below, holgazana does not have an accent mark.

                     Ese hombre es hogazán.  Esta mujer no es holgazana. (That man is lazy.  This woman is not lazy.)

Words that end in or do not usually have an accent mark, so you don’t have to worry about it when you form the feminine.

        Roberto no es hablador.  Teresa es habladora.  (Robert is not talkative.  Teresa is talkative.)



Adjectives ending in a vowel add s to form the plural.

                         masculine                                                                         feminine

 un edificio alto           dos edificios altos                          una chica alta              dos chicas altas

Adjectives that end in a consonant add es to form the plural.

Notice how es is added to the adjective difícil (difficult) in order to express two difficult exams (masculine plural) and two difficult questions (feminine plural).

                         masculine                                                                     feminine

un examen difícil   dos exámenes difíciles            una pregunta difícil   dos preguntas difíciles

If an adjective ends in z, the z changes to c before adding es.  

Bailes  (dances) is a masculine plural noun and ciudades (cities) is a feminine plural noun.  Below you can see how the adjective andaluz (Andalusian) changes in the plural form.

                          masculine                                                                       feminine

un baile andaluz   dos bailes andaluces                 una ciudad andaluz   dos ciudades andaluces

If an adjective modifies tow nouns of different genders, it is generally masculine plural.  In the example below Carlos is a masculine noun and Carmen is a feminine noun.

Carlos y Carmen son españoles.

Well, that is quite enough about adjectives today.  There are a lot more grammar rules concerning adjectives.  We’ll review some more of them in a future Monthly Quick Grammar Review post.

El Elenco – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/19/2015

Today, I am participating in the Travel Trinkets And Memories blogging event.  I would like to share with you a souvenir from Madrid that is very special to me.  It is a CD of the Spanish edition of the musical Mamma Mia! performed by the original cast.  Elenco (theater cast) is my Spanish word of the day.

Carátula Frontal de Mamma Mia! (Version En Español)
Mamma Mia! Edición En Español grabada por el elenco original.

My husband and I saw the show on the Gran Vía – the Broadway of Madrid – back in 2007.  At the time, we were possibly the only two people on the planet who did not know that the music in this show is based on the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA.  We were pleasantly surprised as the music generated memories of our youth.  This was our first trip to Madrid together, and this show was one of the best parts of our stay there.  Nowadays, we often enjoy listening to this CD of the Madrid elenco.

The star of the show was Spanish singer and actress Nina.  She plays the character named Donna.  I just love her singing voice.  I have three examples of her songs below.  I hope you enjoy them.

Mamma Mia! Performed By The Entire Elenco In Madrid

Nina And Cast (Elenco) Members Perform Dancing Queen

Nina Performs Va Todo Al Ganador

La Bandera – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/17/2015

What are Patriotic Bolivians doing today?  What prompted me to ask this question?  Well, I’ll tell you.   August 17 is Flag Day in Bolivia (El Día de la Bandera).  Patriotic Bolivians are waving their banderas (flags) today.

Bolivia Flag Map by GDJ
Bolivian Flag Map

Bolivian Flag Day was initiated on August 17, 1825,  just 11 days after Bolivia declared independence from Spain.  Although this beautiful flag has always had the same 3 colors, it was modified a couple of times between 1825 and 1851, when the colors of red, yellow, and green were placed in descending order.

Rojo (red) represents the blood lost during the battles for independence.

Amarillo (yellow) represents Bolivia’s rich mineral resources.

Verde (green) represents the lush vegetation of the land.

The 1851 and present version of the flag also reflect the colors of Bolivia’s two national flowers, the kantuta and the patuju.

The Kantuta
The Patuju

In 2009, President Evo Morales declared the Whipala to be the second national flag of Bolivia.  It is to be flown next to La Tricolor, the original Bolivian national flag.  The Whipala represents the people of the Andes, including the Quechua and the Aymara.  But controversy exists because many people do not identify with this particular flag.  In addition to the Andean culture, Bolivia encompasses 36 other native cultures; and it’s population includes many people of North American, European, Asian, and African descent.  A large number of people refuse to fly the Whipala.  Bolivia has changed it’s official name from the Republic of Bolivia to the Plurinational State of Bolivia in order to make all the peoples of the country feel equally represented.  But, many people feel that this flag imposes the Andean culture on them.

The controversial Whipala is the second national flag of Bolivia.

Since August 17 is a national holiday, I hope each and every person in Bolivia enjoys the day no matter which flag they are flying.  Happy Flag Day!  ¡Feliz día de la bandera!

La Barriga – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/16/2015

Natalieh wrote a post in her blog, Fit Is A Feminist Issue, called Belly Patrolling.  She describes how she was verbally shamed while standing on a street corner by a man who was about the same age as her son.  He made a sarcastic comment about her stomach.  She was perplexed by this situation.  Her partner pointed out how many people think that  “…women, at all times, must be attractive to all men or suffer the wrath of being patrolled”.  After some thought, Natalieh remembered that she has numerous occasions where she is made to feel attractive and that the comments of this young man were absolutely ridiculous.  She is proud of the fact that her body has served her well.  I am very inspired by Natalieh, so I am making barriga (belly) my Spanish word of the day. ¡Está orgullosa del cuerpo, incluso la barriga!  (She is proud of her body, including her belly.)

Image result for belly
Está orgullosa de la barriga.

Maniobra de Heimlich – My Spanish Word of the Day 8/13/2015

La Maniobra de Heimlich

I just finished reading a cute blog post at Picnic at the Cathedral.  It is a blog for those who love to travel but are on a modest budget.  It is written by a married couple who call themselves Wife and Husband of Bath.  The post is entitled San Martín Church In Frómista: Romanesque Pilgramage Perfection And A Figurine Of A  One-Armed Hobo.   Now, what does all this have to do with Maniobra de Heimlich, Heimlich Maneuver, which is my Spanish word of the day?  Well, let me explain.

In this article, the Wife of Bath has posted several photos of the San Martin Cathedral in Frómista, Spain.  It is a Romanesque church built in the 1060’s.  She gives short descriptions of each photo and most of them concentrate on the architecture inside.  The last 3 photos of the post show capital carvings at the tops of several pillars.  Medieval figures are carved into what seems like action scenes.  But it is difficult for the modern viewer to understand what is happening in each scene.  Wife of Bath gives her own hilarious interpretations.  My favorite is the very last photo.  It shows 2 figures with their arms around the abdomen of a third.  Wife of Bath calls it Group Heimlich Maneuver?

Group Heimlich Maneuver? Photo of the inside the San Martín Cathedral in Frómista, Spain from the blog Picnic At The Cathedral.

After reading this blog post, I became interested in how to say Heimlich Maneuver in Spanish.  It is Maniobra de Heimlich.  Here is a definition from Wikipedia:  “La Maniobra de Heimlich, llamada Compresion abdominal, es un procedimiento de primeros auxilios para desobstruir el conducto respiratorio, normalmente bloqueado por un trozo de alimento o cualquier otro objeto”.

Wife of Bath’s blog post also includes a photo of a figurine of a one-armed hobo.  She found it in the hostel where she slept in Frómista.  In Spanish, the word for one-armed man is manco and the word for hobo is vagabundo.

Wife of Bath found this figurine of a one-armed hobo in her hostel room in Frómista.

El manco de la photo es vagabundo.

I certainly did enjoy discovering my Spanish word of the day.  To read the entire blog post by Wife of Bath, click here.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.