El Huracán

In order to celebrate the music of Bob Dylan, who has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, Transparent Language has published a video of María José Cantilo’s  1984 version of El Huracán, which Dylan wrote with Jacques Levy in the 1970’s. This protest song concerns the trial and conviction of murder of middleweight boxer Rubin Hurricane Carter. The Transparent Language blog post has the lyrics to the song in both Spanish and English.

Pechocho – My Spanish Word Of The Day 10/17/2016

¡Buenos Días!

My Spanish word of the day is:



Today I was reading about terms of endearment at Spanish Mama and came across this word – pechocho/pechocha.  I was unable to find this loving term at any online dictionary. But at English-Spanish Translator, I discovered that this term of endearment means precious and that it is commonly used to refer to children. If you would like to read Terms Of Endearment In Spanish-Speaking Countries, please go to Spanish Mama.

¡Hasta aquí por hoy!

La Vivencia – My Spanish Word Of The Day 10/16/2016

My Spanish word of the day is:

la vivencia

experience, life lesson

Definition From Word Reference: La vivencia significa la experiencia que alguien vive y que de alguna manera entra a formar parte de su carácter.

Example: “La felicidad no es producto de los grandes acontecimientos de la vida, sino de los pequeñas vivencias cotidianas.” Benjamin Franklin

Cambiar Vs. Cambiar De


Today I was reading a short article about some of the changes to the traditional family structure in Spain.  When I read this sentence, I needed to investigate the difference between the use of cambiar and cambiar de: Es normal que la familia esté cambiando hoy en día en España de la misma manera que en otros lugares del mundo. 

I found what I was looking for at Language Zen.  Cambiar means to make changes to. Cambiar de means to change something as in to get something new.  Here are the examples given:  1. Quiero cambiar mi vida. (I want to make changes to my life.)  2. Quiero cambiar de carrera. (I want to change my career.  I want a new career.).

Word Reference offers some expressions using cambiar de.

cambiar de aireschange of scene

cambiar de canalchange the channel

cambiar de carrilchange lanes

cambiar de casacaswitch sides (opinion, political party, game)

cambiar de chaquetachange sides (political party)

cambiar de escuela/colegiochange school

cambiar de colorchange color

cambiar de formachange shape

cambiar de hábitoschange habits

cambiar de ideachange one’s mind

cambiar de parecerchange one’s mind, rethink, see in a new light, change of heart

cambiar de impresiónchange one’s mind

cambiar de temachange the subject

cambiar de trabajochange jobs

That’s all for today.  ¡Hasta luego!

Image Credit:

Bruno Emociones https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7691/17249787711_7673450a42_z.jpg

Preterito Vs. Impefecto

Confused about when to use el preterit0 versus el imperfecto when speaking about the past in Spanish?  Here is the Preterite Vs. Imperfect Song from Señor Jordan.  The rules governing the use of these 2 forms of the Spanish past tense are sung in English to the tune of Cielito Lindo.

Centellear – My Spanish Word Of The Day 10/12/2016

Twinkle Stars by kablam


My Spanish word of the day is:


to twinkle

Example: Las estrellas centellean en el cielo nocturno por los efectos de nuestra atmósfera.

Definition From RAE: Centellear significa despedir destellos vivos y rápidos de manera intermitente.

I learned the verb centellear while watching a video at WORDPIE.  You can use this Youtube channel to learn or review Spanish vocabulary.  The words are presented with a catchy tune. They have 22 videos available and this one is #20.

Warning: If you decide to watch this video (under 3 minutes), you might have the song stuck in your head for the rest of the day!

¡Que tengáis un buen día!

Image Credit: Open Clip Art  https://openclipart.org/detail/27861/numu09stars


m  Wordpie

Mandar A Alguien A Freír Espárragos


Here is a Spanish expression that uses a food word:

¡Vete a freír espárragos!

It means get lost, go jump in the lake, go take a hike, get out of here.

Now, I don’t know how to cook anything except in the microwave.  I have no idea how to cook asparagus.  Apparently, it takes a longer time to fry asparagus as opposed to boiling it.  So if you tell someone to go fry asparagus, they will be occupied for some time and they will leave you alone.  You can find an explanation in Spanish of the origin of this saying at Columna Zero.

You can learn about other Spanish food expressions at Español Extranjeros Victoria Moreno.

¡Hasta Luego!

Image Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/9b/09/e6/9b09e6c587a5284b599b6af00672939a.jpg



Thinking In A Second Language Makes Us More Rational

Thomas Oliver has a blog called I Wonder Why? at Eye On Spain.  He has written a post entitled Thinking In A Second Language Makes Us More Rational.  When making a decision, we will make a less emotional and more results-oriented choice if we process the information needed to make said decision in a language other than our mother tongue.  Albert Costa, bilingualism expert at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University says that using a second language to process information is good for deliberative thinking because it makes you think twice about things.

Thinking in a second language also appears to increase our tolerance for risk-taking. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman says that our brain has two thinking systems. System One focuses on fast, instinctive, stereotypical thinking.  The brain uses System Two to process issues that require greater consideration.  We are more prone to use System One in our native language and System Two in our second language.  I am not clear on this, but I think Kahneman may be saying that we are less less comfortable taking risks when System One thinking is used.  When we take a risk using System Two thinking, we do so after it has been carefully thought through.   The pros and the cons have been more seriously evaluated, therefore, we are more comfortable and willing to take a risk.

Please Click Here to read Oliver’s blog post.