El Villancico – My Spanish Word Of The Day 12/21/2105

¡Buenos días!

El villancico (la canción navideña) means Christmas carol.

Here is a Venezuelan Christmas carol called El Burrito Sabenero.  It is about a little donkey who travels from the savannah to Bethlehem on the that Jesus was born.

Here is White Christmas in Spanish – Blanca Navidad sung by Luis Miguel.

And finally, Here is a Christmas party song from Puerto Rico – La Fiesta de Pilito Navidad.

¡Espero que disfruten de estos villancicos!

¡Hasta Luego!

El Tiempo Entre Costuras Chapter 37


¡Buenos Días!

I am reading El Tiempo Entre Costuras by María Dueñas in Spanish.  It is slow going but I am persistent.  I have been reading for about 3 weeks and I have just finished Chapter 37. Only 32 more chapters to go!  Anyway, in Chapter 37, Sira, a beautiful Spanish seamstress, has been asked by her best friend, Rosalinda Fox, to return to Madrid from Morocco in order to become a British spy. The British want to keep tabs on the Germans living there during World War II.  She asks her mother for advice as to whether or not to agree to the proposition.

Below are a few new vocabulary words for me.  Please know that the English translations of the sentences from the novel are my own and may not be accurate.  But I think I have captured the gist of what each Spanish sentence means.

la yema – fingertip

“Bajó la cabeza y concentró la atención en la tela en la que estaba trabajando.  No dijo nada a lo largo de unos segundos: se quedó pensando, reflexionando sin prisa mientras la acariciaba con la yema del pulgar.”

She lowered her head and concentrated her attention on her sewing.  She didn’t say anything for a few seconds: she was slowly thinking about what I had told her while she ran the tip of her thumb over the fabric.

dar esquinazo – to put off, to avoid, to dodge

“La que me crió marcando camino recto al que un mal día yo di esquinazo.”

She raised me to be good and to follow the straight and narrow path, but I veered off of it.

arrasar – to level, flatten, destroy, lay to waste

“España entera está arrasada, nadie tiene ya fuerzas para soportar de nuevo la misma pesadilla.”

Spain has been destroyed, no one has the strength to support the nightmare of another war.

montar una trama – to set up a plot

“Están intentando montar una trama de informadores clandestinos.”

They are trying to set up a plot (to spy on the Germans) using clandestine informants.

At the end of this chapter, Sira’s mother advises her to spy for the British.  I find this novel very exciting, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

¡Hasta Luego!

Un Tesoro – My Spanish Word Of The Day 12/14/2015

Treasure Chest

El Blog Para Aprender Español has published a treasure troveun tesoro of resources in order to review and practice the subjunctive mood.  Please Click Here to go to the blog post entitled Usamos la gramática: modo subjuntivo.  It contains a list of 40 or more of their previous blog posts which teach the use of the subjunctive.  It is a treasureun tesoro!


Brecha – My Spanish Word Of The Day 12/4/2015

¡Hola Spanish Language Lovers!

Today I am writing about the noun brecha and the verbal phrase hacerse una brecha.

Brecha means gash, wound or cut.  Let’s say that you wanted to say in Spanish:  The little girl fell in the playground and got a gash (or a cut) on her chin.  The sentence would go like this: La niña se cayó en le recreo y se hizo una brecha en la barbilla.

The verbal phrase used to say to get a gash, wound cut is hacerse una brecha.

Brecha also has the following meanings: hole, opening, breach, gap, rift, breakthrough.

Here are some idioms with brecha.

estar en brecha – to be in the thick of things

hacer brecha en alguien – to make an impression on someone

seguir en la brecha – to keep at it

Tribe, Tree, Apple, Stock, Gap, Food, Fruit, Apple Tree
La brecha del árbol tiene manzanas.

¡Hasta Pronto!

Photo Credit: tintenfieber/ https://pixabay.com/en/tribe-tree-apple-stock-gap-food-913337/

Tener La Mosca Detrás De La Oreja

File:Dead Fly - Stacked Focus (3846374999).jpg
The saying “tener la mosca detrás de la oreja” means to be suspicious of someone or something, and it can also mean “to smell a rat”.

¡Hola Spanish Language Lovers!

Gustavo Balcazar has published an interesting presentation on SlideShare about expessions and sayings that involve animals.  My absolute favorite is Tener la mosca detrás de la oreja.  It is used when you have an instinct or an intuition that something is going to occur, that is to say, that you use this saying to express that you suspect that something is going to happen.  If you expect that something negative is going to happen, you can use this saying to say that you smell a rat.

To view Vocabulario de animales – expesiones y dichos by Gustavo Balcazar at SlideShare, Click Here.

Also, Spanish Podcast.net has an entire podcast devoted to this expresion:

Episodio 123Tener La Mosca Detrás De La Oreja.  To listen, Click Here.

¡Hasta Pronto!

Mercadillo Navideño – My Spanish Word Of The Day 12/1/2015

El Mercadillo de Nuremburg

¡Hola Spanish Language Lovers!

El mercadillo navideño (Christmas market) is my Spanish word of the day.  Christmas markets are very popular in Europe as places where you can buy Christmas decorations.  They are very beautiful on cold winter nights.  I visited some Christmas markets in Berlin a few years ago and I really enjoyed the decorations, the magical lights, the music, and the mulled wine.

Nacho Viñau Ena has written an article at Decoesfera (www.decoesfera.com) entitled 5 mercadillos navideños para no perderte en el puente de diciembre.  (5 Christmas Markets Not To Be Missed During The December Holiday Weekend)

This Spanish article gives a short description (along with beautiful photos) of these mercadillos navideños: Nurembrug, Prague, Strasbourg, Cologne, and Vienna.

The title of this article is interesting to me because I have just learned the phrase perderte en el puente de diciembre.  Perder is used to mean to miss.  Puente can be used to refer to a long weekend or a holiday weekend.  I’m not 100% sure about this, but perhaps the holiday weekend is a reference to Constitution Day, December 7, which is a national holiday in Spain.

If you are new to Spanish, you might enjoy learning the Spanish names of the 5 cities mentioned in the article.  They are: Nuremburg, Praga, Estrasburgo, Colonia, and Viena.

You might enjoy the 5 photos that accompany this article.  Click Here to go to the article and photos.

¡Hasta Pronto!

Photo Credit:  http://www.decoesfera.com/varios/5-mercadillos-navidenos-para-no-perderte-en-el-puente-de-diciembre