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Advanced Speaker – Lightspeed Spanish

Updated 4 days ago

Education
Language Learning
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Spanish Lessons Online

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Spanish Lessons Online

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27 Ratings
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Great rate of speech & very entertaining!

By Jbirdstheword - May 01 2019
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This is so helpful & enjoyable. You guys really know what you’re doing. Thanks!

Favorite language learning podcast ever!

By Mrs. Eclectic - Jun 27 2016
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You guys are so cute and fun! Best chemistry and disposition. Thank you!

iTunes Ratings

27 Ratings
Average Ratings
26
0
0
1
0

Great rate of speech & very entertaining!

By Jbirdstheword - May 01 2019
Read more
This is so helpful & enjoyable. You guys really know what you’re doing. Thanks!

Favorite language learning podcast ever!

By Mrs. Eclectic - Jun 27 2016
Read more
You guys are so cute and fun! Best chemistry and disposition. Thank you!
Cover image of Advanced Speaker – Lightspeed Spanish

Advanced Speaker – Lightspeed Spanish

Updated 4 days ago

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Spanish Lessons Online

Rank #1: Advanced Speaker 30 – Spanish Jokes and Funny Stories

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Fun Stories and Spanish Jokes

Being a Spanish teacher has many fun moments, but none as funny as the ones in which a student makes an error that is simply hilarious.

Why is it, however, that most times the error converts an innocent sentence into something totally vulgar or rude?

This happens nine times out of ten. Perhaps its the fact that so many rude words have an equivalent ‘normal’ with only one letter difference.

Chicken or Cockerel?

Probably the most common mistake is the mix up between POLLO (chicken) and its rather rude sister (or brother for that matter) POLLA (cock/dick).

A student of mine tells the story of when she first started going to Spain with her (then) husband. He knew the difference between the two words but she didn’t and every night in the restaurant he would encourage her to order “polla con patatas fritas”.

Each evening, oblivious to the sniggering coming from both her husband and the waiter, she would proudly ask for her “cock and chips” and, even more surprisingly, receive her chicken and chips without problem.

On the last night of her stay, she once again ordered her usual from a smiling Spanish waiter and waited for her meal to arrive.

Suddenly, all the waiters from the restaurant appeared at the table with a plate of chips with an enormous plastic willy stuck blot upright in the middle of it.

Finally, she realised what had happened and, as you might imagine, was very embarrassed.  The joke was on her!

Later that year, the tables turned and the joke was back on her husband when she divorced him and took half of his money! haha.

The Spanish Jokes work the other way too.

English is no safer than Spanish for the unwary student. Cynthia’s father, José Luis came to England to visit us and whilst here was obliged to use his limit English to ask for things when Cynthia and I weren’t around.

To ensure he had things right, he would say them to us at home and we would make the necessary adjustments. Despite his limited vocabulary and knowledge of English grammar he always seemed to get by. However, there were a couple of times when we were glad that he had told us what he intended to say.

Lonely Coffee.

José and Mercedes were going to the local café and Cynthia wanted to check how he planned to make the order:

“Voy a decir…” he said, “Wan coffee weet meelk and wan coffee ALONE.”

What he had done was to faithfully translate “Un café solo.” which is ‘a black coffee’ or literally ‘a coffee on its own (without milk).

We all laughed about what the waitress would have thought of that strange order.

X Rated alcohol.

Then, one day he wanted to go to the bar and have a ‘cubata’. (Spirit with mixer.)

“¿Qué vas a decirle, papá? asked Cynthia.

“Voy a decirle: ‘I wan a dick with cock.'”

We nearly fell through the floor with laughter. What he meant was that he wanted a Whisky DYK, which is a well known Spanish brand, with a COKE.

Once more we thanked our lucky stars that he never got to order that drink! Goodness knows what kind of reaction he would have gotten from the barman in the small corner pub that he was heading off to.

Listen in to the podcast and hear the other hilarious Spanish jokes and fun stories we tell about what our students have said over the years.

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The post Advanced Speaker 30 – Spanish Jokes and Funny Stories appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Feb 27 2014

15mins

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Rank #2: Advanced Podcast 4 – Listening Practice in Spanish: Interview with Quique

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In this podcast, we do a bit of listening practice in Spanish as we interview Quique Lorenzo, a full time footballer who currently plays for a team in Madrid. Quique has an interesting accent given that he is from Almería but has lived for many years in Cataluña.

Gordon does the interview with Quique which is a little ironic given that he knows absolutely nothing about football and has limited vocabulary on the subject. Se nota!

One of the interesting sides to the interview is the fact that Quique’s accent isn’t what you will usually hear on the podcasts from LightSpeed Spanish which tend to be centred around the Madrid area. Therefore, this is your challenge, to see if you are still able to capture what is being said.

Quique has since brought his football career to an end because of the crisis in Spain which was causing him to have to move around the country to find work. Perhaps you will be able to note a certain frustration when he talks of the instability of his work.

So listen in and test out your listening skills with a new voice and a different accent!

We have translated and transcribed every podcast so that you can follow along perfectly with everything that is said and in addition, help and guidance on the expressions used as well as other important grammar points can be found in our helpsheets. We even have some free, “try before you buy” helpsheets. ¡Así que, buena suerte con tus estudios!

The post Advanced Podcast 4 – Listening Practice in Spanish: Interview with Quique appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Aug 31 2011

11mins

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Rank #3: Advanced Spanish Podcast 3 – Comida y Cultura Pt. 2

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This is the second advanced Spanish podcast on the subject of food in Spain. We have had to split the topic into two because it’s such a massive area about which to talk. And don’t think for a moment that we are dragging things out! The fact of the matter is that any true Spaniard would be able to fill a dozen videos with information on the rich choice of food that exists in Spain.

Unlike other cultures that might be less enthusiastic about their cuisine, the Spanish simply ooze with pride whenever they get the opportunity (something which comes around frequently) to wax eloquent about the vast array of dishes they enjoy.

Without any encouragement, they’ll talk you through the processes, the preparation and the joy found in the tasting of any of their foods. As a listener, you have one job and one job only… and that is to listen enthusiastically, ask questions at appropriate intervals and never, but never, make a joke about what they say.

The Spanish take their food far too seriously to ever talk lightly about it and as a foreigner, they know that you will never experience better food than theirs. So, be warned!

Every podcast is transcribed and translated and all the additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets that have been designed and developed with you, as our student, in mind. Esperamos que te gusten.

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The post Advanced Spanish Podcast 3 – Comida y Cultura Pt. 2 appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Aug 24 2011

13mins

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Rank #4: 31 Advanced Speaker Mercedes on the Spanish Learning English

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The Great Push

Thanks to the ongoing crisis, there is a enormous wave in Spain of the Spanish learning English. Why? Well, what they know is that if they are going to find work in their own country, then they will have to have something extra to offer the hiring company.

In addition to that, what is at the forefront of most of the Spanish learning English is that if they are to escape the crisis by heading off to other countries, then they must first have a good level of English to have any chance of getting the most basic of jobs.

All the major cities in the UK are now quite literally echoing with Spanish voices as they arrive in search of any kind of job that might be available.

Most times, the only jobs that they can get are minimum wage roles in restaurants. This may seem to be highly unfair, especially when you realise that most of the Spanish that arrive here are educated to degree standard. However, when faced with the choice  between maybe finding a minimum wage job in Spain, or working in the UK, the  logical action to take is to come to the UK.

Minimum wage in Spain is calculated monthly and equates to around 21 pounds per day. So, in an average 8 hour day they will earn less than 3 Euros per hour. Compare that to £6.50  an hour in the UK for those over 21.

No wonder, then, that so many of the Spanish youth are packing their bags and flying over the the UK with most major cities as their destination.

Parents are learning, too.

Another result of this mass exodus from Spain is that many parents are having to learn English, too? Why? Well, it’s inevitable that many of their children, once in the UK, are finding partners and settling down to have family.  Therefore, many Spanish parents need to learn Spanish so that they can communicate with their grandchildren, their daughter or son-in-law and, even more worrying for them, with the rest of the in-laws.

The one thing I do admire is the willingness of the Spanish to ‘have a go’. They always seem to make an effort to give it their best shot, even if they don’t always make it.

Now, in Spain, many English classes are filled with many parents in their fifties or more all trying to brush up, or start from zero with their English skills. In this podcast, we hear a similar story from Mercedes, my suegra (súper simpática) who is now attending English classes to better communicate with my English family.

I really admire her efforts and wish her every success. Who knows, one day we may even be able to interview her on LightSpeed English! jaja.

Enjoy the interview.

Gordon:)

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The post 31 Advanced Speaker Mercedes on the Spanish Learning English appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Apr 13 2015

9mins

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Rank #5: Advanced Speaker 29 – Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive Conversation

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The Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive

Before you watch this podcast-video, we suggest that you watch video 9 and 10 in the range of Subjunctive videos that we have made in which we help you with the structure of this tense.

Scary stuff

The Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive seems to have the ability to strike fear into any serious student of the Spanish language. Why?

The title itself doesn’t help. What does imperfect mean? What about the word ‘subjunctive’? What on earth does that ‘quiere decir’?

The fact is, it really doesn’t matter what the name means. I long since decided that the linguists that chose the names of the tenses, at most, wanted to show off and, at least, completely ignored the fact that normal people were going to have to try and learn all those stupid names.

‘El pluscuamperfecto’ in Spanish or the ‘pluperfect’ in English is a great example of this. Who on earth decided to call it that?

Take that a little farther and put it into the subjunctive tense and you get:

El plusuamperfecto de subjuntivo’

If ever there was something designed to put you off learning a language, then this would be the one.

A rose by any other name

I had a student who, amongst other learning issues, was dyslexic. His dyslexia had led him to have various hang-ups about learning. One of these was when he was faced with the name of a tense. He would start to panic and, according to him, he wasn’t able to hear or imagine the name in his head.

To overcome this issue, he gave all the tenses new names and ones he could relate to.

He called the preterite Betty. The imperfect past was Rose etc., etc.

And the fact was that it really didn’t matter what name they had, as long as he was able to relate the name to the tense, then he was happy.

He would say: “Oh, your talking about Betty.” and I would reply: “Yes.” (I trusted that he knew the difference between Betty and Rose.)

If you know the name, then great, however, it’s far more important for you to know how the tense works and the way the verb is broken down.

The same applies with the Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive. For a start, I would suggest that you change the word ‘Imperfect’ to ‘Past’. Because, in essence, that’s what the Imperfect is referring to. Whatever you do with the present subjunctive in the present, you do with the imperfect subjunctive in the past.

Every trigger in the present triggers the present subjunctive, and those very same triggers in the past, trigger the past or imperfect subjunctive.

Once again, as you listen to this podcast, your job is to identify each time that we use the Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive. More importantly, however, is to listen to what is said beforehand. What do we say that triggers off the need for the subjunctive?

Once you can identify and recognise that, you will have captured the spirit of this tense.

Gordon

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The post Advanced Speaker 29 – Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive Conversation appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Feb 25 2014

1min

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Rank #6: Advanced Speaker 27 – Spanish Spanish or Latin American Spanish?

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Spanish Spanish?

Let me start by saying that this subject is a highly polemic and controversial one. Making a blog and a podcast on this is like throwing a lighted match into a powder keg.

Already, we have a small battle waging in the comments area in Youtube about what we say in the video.  It seems that for every person who has something to say on this issue, there is a different opinion.

History doesn’t help.

Maybe I’m misreading the situation a little, but as far as I can see, there exists a fairly deep seated grudge held by the people of Central and South America against the Spanish which dates back to the Spanish conquest of their continents.

An interesting glimpse into how the Spanish behaved themselves during their overthrow of the indigenous people can be seen in the excellent film, “La lluvia también.”  (Not for a moment am I suggesting that the English or the French, or the Portuguese did a more sensitive job during their brutal campaigns either.)

Of course, the Spanish that committed those atrocities are long gone, yet the negative sentiment toward them still persists and perhaps always will.

Is there much difference between the continents?

The answer to that is yes and no. In essence they all use the same language as a basis for their communication. What differs are the accents, some grammatical features and the most important factor of all and one that truly divides each country, the idiomatic expressions and slang.

I sat with Cynthia one time to watch a film called “Maríia llena de gracia.” a story of a Colombian girl who gets drawn into drug smuggling.  I have to say that I struggled terribly to understand the dialogue and a number of times I had to ask Cynthia for help with what they were saying.

What was surprising to me was that most times she said that she didn’t have a clue!

The reason she struggled, too, was because of the expressions and slang they were using. (When we watch American films with street slang, Cynthia asks me what they are saying and I tell her that I haven’t a clue either! jeje)

The accent.

Of course, above all, the main difference in accent between Spanish Spanish and Latin American Spanish is the use of the CECEO vs the SESEO. (That’s whether you say THERVETHA or SERVESA.)

I initially began learning Spanish in Mexico and liked very much the SESEO sound that they used. The Spanish CECEO seemed brutal and coarse at the time and I wasn’t a great fan of it. Yet, after meeting Cynthia and immersing myself into the Spanish culture I soon adopted their accent and grew to really like the expressive tonality of Spanish Spanish.

It’s sad that so many people can become so obsessed with the correctness of one accent over another and allow it, when taken to the extreme, to create barriers and prejudices between people. When we made this podcast, we really thought that we were being very fair and comprehensive in our approach to the subject. However, there have been some that have criticised what we’ve said, claiming that we are supporters of the Spanish Spanish and that our podcast is pro-mainland Spanish, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Listen in and decide for yourself if the advice we offer is balanced or not.  Have fun!

Gordon

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The post Advanced Speaker 27 – Spanish Spanish or Latin American Spanish? appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Feb 23 2014

4mins

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Rank #7: Advanced Speaker 28 – Present Subjunctive Spanish Language

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Present Subjunctive Spanish.

This podcast is designed to pull together the range of eight videos that I (Gordon) made on the Present Subjunctive Spanish.

Click here to go to the Youtube playlist.

Why so many videos?

The reason I made so many videos (Cynthia thinks that there are too many and that it will stress people out) is that there are numerous parts to the subjunctive. The system I use to help people to learn it is to show them WHEN, not WHY, they should use it.

I didn’t learn it this way. I spent years learning the rules and fighting to try and understand why I was using it. After bombarding Spanish speakers with multiple questions on this tense, I realised that building up a catalogue of rules and reasons was not how they learn to use it. The majority of speakers have no idea why they use the subjunctive. They use it only because that’s what they’ve heard all of their life and IT SOUNDS RIGHT.

The key to learning a language.

This is the real essence of how to really learn a language. Once you have learnt the structural requirements and the mechanics of how the language is bolted together, you then must learn the melody.

It’s like learning the tune and the words to a song. Once you have it in your mind it’s there for life.

Hitting a bum note.

Once you have learnt the melody, you can hear the bum notes when other students are talking. When someone sings the wrong words to your favourite song, or the wrong melody, it jars your sensibilities. The same happens with language.

When someone conjugates the verb incorrectly, or uses the wrong preposition, or pronounces the word incorrectly, it’s like hearing a bum note.

When you know the language this way, you don’t need to run through your list of rules to understand what went wrong, or to check the correctness of what people are saying.

The interesting thing is that you begin to hear your own mistakes. It’s as though a there are different sections in the brain. The speaking and the listening part. Many times, whilst I am talking in Spanish, I hear myself hitting a bum note as though I was an partial observer/listener. It’s a strange experience, but one that you will certainly experience.

The Subjunctive Spanish.

The same thing applies with the subjunctive. If you stick with the system that I suggest, you will reach a point in which you will use it, not because your mind has run through your list of rules and regulations, but just because it sounds right.

How to get there.

I’m not saying for a moment that getting there is easy and requires no work. The videos we have made are your first step in the learning journey. To help you on your way, why not listen to as many people speaking Spanish as you can and identify each time they use the subjunctive.

And THIS IS THE KEY. Once you have identified the use of the subjunctive, go back to the front of the sentence and listen for THE TRIGGER sentence. Ask yourself: “What did they say that created the demand for the Subjunctive Spanish?”

Try this out in this podcast and then in all the others that you listen to. You will see a pattern forming and, although there will be times you won’t know why it’s there, 90% of the time it will make sense to you.

Do this and I guarantee that you will begin to ‘dominar’ the subjunctive Spanish tremendously well.

¡A POR ELLO!

Gordon

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The post Advanced Speaker 28 – Present Subjunctive Spanish Language appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Feb 24 2014

2mins

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Rank #8: Advanced Spanish Podcast 5 – El Laberinto del Fauno

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In this advanced Spanish podcast we review the film, El Laberinto del Fauno or Pan’s Labyrinth by the director, Guillermo del Toro.

We aren’t film critics but we were inspired to talk about this particular film because of the fact it’s based in Spain during the Spanish civil war when Franco’s men ruled the country with an iron fist of brutality and fear and were constantly in battle with the rebels.

Despite the film’s harsh brutality and shocking reality of life during Franco’s regime, (be careful with the scene with the two poachers), it has a fantastical, yet dark side to it which contrasts what happens in the real world.

The main “protaganista” of the film is a young girl who is taken by her pregnant mum into the countryside to live on an army camp with her new husband and captain of the army.

The captain is a terrible “déspota” and treats everyone around him with cruelty and disdain including his pregnant wife.

Like all good films, everything ends well (or does it?) and it gives you a great opportunity to learn about the terrible days of Franco’s regime in Spain as well as listening to authentic Spanish.

This entire advanced Spanish podcast has been transcribed and translated for you all the additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets that we have produced for each podcast we make to help you gain the maximum from these lessons.

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The post Advanced Spanish Podcast 5 – El Laberinto del Fauno appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Sep 07 2011

12mins

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Rank #9: Advanced Online Spanish Lesson 19 – Las Drogas

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This online Spanish lesson from LightSpeed Spanish is about las drogas. A Cynthia no le gustó este tema. The truth is, I (Gordon) kind of forced Cynthia to talk about this subject and “ella no estaba muy contenta” something you may notice in the podcast. However, the subject of drugs is one that cannot be ignored.

According to statistics, 80% of the Spanish population has, at some point in their lives, tried marijuana (un porro/a joint) although the indication is that cocaine use is on the increase with every year that passes.

If you get the opportunity to walk through a park in Spain you may be surprised to see people openly smoking ‘a joint’ with friends in the open air. The famous “botellón”, or party in the park that many young people organise is the place to go if you want to “pasar un rato con amigos” and “fumarte un porro”.

Listen in as we talk about our own and others attitudes to the ever increasing use of recreational drugs. How do you feel about their use and abuse? What would you say if you were asked to give your opinion in Spanish?

A full transcript and translation of this online Spanish lesson is waiting for you in our comprehensive Spanish helpsheets, which contain loads of additional information. We’re sure you’ll enjoy them.

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The post Advanced Online Spanish Lesson 19 – Las Drogas appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Dec 14 2011

10mins

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Rank #10: Advanced Podcast 8 – Spanish Listening Practice: Interview with Leticia

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For someone learning the language, there’s no replacing Spanish listening practice. Listening to native speakers is a fundamental part of the learning process.

Here, Leti, Cynthia’s cousin, describes some of the strange things she’s been required to do during her time as a veterinary assistant. Leti, or Leticia, loves animals and really enjoys working with them. However, she has one small problem. At the first sight of blood, she faints!

This certainly hasn’t put her off and although she has problems with blood, she certainly has had to do some very unusual things whilst working in the surgery. Listen as she tells the tale of the owner who wanted to mate his two dogs and what had to be done to try and make that happen.

Warning: Leti speaks quickly and so you may find understanding all of this podcast a challenge. What is more, Leti “no tiene pelos en la lengua” (She pulls no punches) when describing some of the procedures she’s been involved with. This is not for the faint hearted!

If you have issues understanding Leti, then a full transcription and translation is available at www.lightspeedspanish.com as well as a wealth of additional information and guidance which can be found in the comprehensive help-sheets created for you, our students.

The post Advanced Podcast 8 – Spanish Listening Practice: Interview with Leticia appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Sep 28 2011

11mins

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Rank #11: Advanced Speaker 26 – Spanish Swear Words Very Strong (18+++)

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Very strong Spanish swear words

This is the third in the series of Spanish swear words and general profanities.  Please ensure that before you watch this video that you are 18 years of age or more. It contains strong language.

The poor mums.

In Mexico, when something is really good  it is described as being ‘PADRE’  (father) and when something is bad, it is ‘UNA MADRE’. (a mother)

If someone is not a particularly good person, then you would be well within your rights to say: “Qué poca madre.” which probably translates along the lines of: “What a shit.”

When I asked why mums should have such ‘mala fama’ in Mexico, I was told that it stemmed back to the conquest of Mexico.

Cortés and Doña Marina

Hemán Cortés, the man who orchestrated the conquest of the Aztec people became involved with a Mexican woman called Doña Marina. As well as having children with her, Cortés used her in his overthrow of Mexico and since then she has become known as La Malinche, the woman who is seen as the treacherous mother of Mexico.

Since then, mothers have had a bad rap in Mexico. (You make one mistake..!)

Whatever the case,  it seems the case that throughout the Spanish speaking world, if you really want to insult someone then you bring into question the good standing of their mother.

In Spain, to express exasperation or to say something like: “What a guy!” in surprised way, they often say:

“LA MADRE QUE TE PARIÓ.”

Which, translated directly is, “The mother that gave birth to you.”

By saying this you are questioning what on earth the mother of that person was thinking of bringing them into the world.

Stronger than that, however, is the reference to someone’s mum as a prostitute.

This is also one of the very common Spanish swear words.

The exclamation, ¡Su puta madre! (His/Her/Its/You formal bitch mother.) really just means something like: “For f…ks sake!”

However, to make it more personal, you might bring in the big poo guns and mix then with an insult about their mum.

“Me cago en tu puta madre.” Which literally means: “I poo on your bitch mother.”

This this is a very strong insult which can be used in a joking way, but only by those very skilled in its use. It is NOT recommended that you use this unless:

a, You are ready to run away at high speed.

b, You are alone in your bedroom.

c, You are with very good, life long Spanish friends who use that kind of language normally.

Please enjoy the podcast and take it all with a pinch of salt. We do.

Gordon

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The post Advanced Speaker 26 – Spanish Swear Words Very Strong (18+++) appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Feb 19 2014

12mins

Play

Rank #12: Advanced Spanish Podcast 15 – Mercedes y Tecnología

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Mercedes, Cynthia’s mum, gives a great interview with Gordon in this advanced Spanish podcast, in which she talks clearly about the youth in Spain and the challenges and opportunities they have before them. At the time of the interview Spain was just starting to feel the effects of “la crisis” that has since overtaken the Spanish economy in such an aggressive and shocking way.

What is really interesting about one aspect of the Spanish culture is their respect for young people. Given that it was only 40 years ago that the country was still in under the control of Franco’s regime, many of today’s parents can remember only too well the hunger and shortages that the entire country suffered.

Much of them have almost made the decision that their own children were not going to have to suffer in that same way. Thus, as you listen to Mercedes, why not see if you can get the sense of this in how she describes the youth of today.

Toward the end of the podcast we talk about “la tecnología moderna” and Mercedes tells us how it has affected her life and the things she uses on a daily basis. See if you can spot them!

As always, we offer a full transcript and translation of this advanced Spanish podcast in our comprehensive Spanish helpsheets, which have been developed with you, the Spanish language learner, in mind.

The post Advanced Spanish Podcast 15 – Mercedes y Tecnología appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Nov 16 2011

12mins

Play

Rank #13: Advanced Spanish Podcast 20 – Spanish Weddings

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For many years now, Spanish weddings have been a spectacular event that takes months to prepare. No expense is spared to provide the guests with luxurious settings, gourmet food and an endless flow of wines and spirits.

The entire experience has become an industry in itself and only the bride’s “traje de boda” can cost what entire wedding might have cost twenty years ago. For a young couple just starting out in the world, putting on a celebration of this “tamaño” is no small feat and would normally be far out of the reaches of many.

So how do they manage it? “Bueno, ¡con mucha ayuda!” They get help!

Listen in to this free online Spanish lesson as we discuss what happens in a typical Spanish wedding and discover how they manage to cover those enormous costs. Perhaps you’ll agree with Cynthia and my opinion on these lavish weddings, or “tal vez” you’ll think we are way out of line. Share your opinion in the comments!

Just so you’re aware, a full transcript and translation of this episode about Spanish weddings, and, in fact, every episode, is waiting for you in our comprehensive Spanish helpsheets, which contain loads of additional information. We’re sure you’ll enjoy them.

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The post Advanced Spanish Podcast 20 – Spanish Weddings appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Dec 21 2011

11mins

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Rank #14: Advanced Free Spanish Audio Lesson 6 – La Familia Española

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In this free Spanish audio lesson, we discuss la familia española, the Spanish family.

Every culture has its own personality and way of being and none more so than the Spanish from mainland Spain. For them, family is still very important, (thank goodness for that) and day to day life resonates with the sounds of the names of everyone in their extended family group.

For the most part, everyone must have their title, which serves as the identification of who they are within the group. In a typical family you will hear “los abuelos”, “los primos”, “mi cuñando”, “mi suegro”, bandied liberally around every day of the week.

Listen in as Gordon tells the tale of the title he was given when he first became part of the Cynthia’s family. Having a name like Gordon in Spain is not without its difficulties…

We have transcribed and then translated every word in this free Spanish audio lesson, along with every other audio in the series so that you can listen along and help your mind begin to link sounds with words. In addition to that we have added a wealth of information and guidance in the comprehensive Spanish worksheets designed with you in mind.

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The post Advanced Free Spanish Audio Lesson 6 – La Familia Española appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Sep 14 2011

10mins

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Rank #15: Advanced Free Spanish Audio 7 – Music

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This free Spanish audio should get your toes tapping because today we’re talking about la musica.

One of the downfalls of living in the UK for us is that the music that gets played on the radio is only either English or American. Once in a while there appears a novelty song from another country, but in general the radio stations never stray from music of their own language.

This is a real shame, given that the music from Spain and from Latin America is some of the best in the world! There is such a variation of style, rhythm and genre that a listener could well be overwhelmed by it.

Now, we are lucky to have the Internet and therefore can access music every day through mediums such as Youtube and Spotify, among many others. We now can immerse ourselves completely in Spanish music.

But why should we do that? Well, quite literally, listening to Spanish music will drive your Spanish forward at a much faster rate. Of course, learning with music has been around for centuries. Parents have always done it with their children and every country teaches its children nursery rhymes that are remembered for the rest of their lives.

Listen in as we talk about music and list some of the important artists in the Spanish speaking world.

The transcription and translation of this podcast along with a host of additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish language help-sheets written and designed with you, our learner, in mind.

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The post Advanced Free Spanish Audio 7 – Music appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Sep 21 2011

10mins

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Rank #16: Advanced Spanish Podcast 9 – Spanish Cars

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Whilst in Spain did you ever notice the amount of bumps and bruises that most Spanish cars have? Listen in and learn some of the reasons why they treat their cars so roughly.

Of course, all the additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive help-sheets.

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The post Advanced Spanish Podcast 9 – Spanish Cars appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Oct 05 2011

10mins

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Rank #17: Advanced Spanish Lesson 10 – A Day Out

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This advanced Spanish lesson takes you through a day out we spent at Xanadú, a large shopping centre on the outskirts of Madrid we visited during one of our trips to Spain. Xanadú is a very special and unusual attraction that is well worth visiting.

Listen in as we talk about our day and the experiences we had. In terms of the Spanish we use, it might be worth paying special attention to the range of tenses we use when explaining the things that we did and what we saw in the shopping centre.

You will notice that our stories are not limited to using the Preterite and Imperfect pasts, but rather, we use a large range of tenses just as we would in English.

Although the Preterite and the Imperfect tenses are fabulous for telling stories in the past, they are certainly not “los únicos” needed to be able to tell a good story.

For example, how would you say: “We had arrived early”? or “We would have arrived earlier but we had problems.”? It is these kinds of tenses, used without thinking in our own language, that often catch us out in Spanish when we are in full flow. So as you join us, see how many other tenses you can catch us using (Remember: you don’t need to know the names of the tenses to recognise them or to use them well.)

The transcription and translation of this advanced Spanish lesson and all the other podcasts we have produced to date, as ever, can be found in the help-sheets.

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The post Advanced Spanish Lesson 10 – A Day Out appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Oct 12 2011

10mins

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Rank #18: Advanced Speaker Podcast 21 – Spanish Stories and Funny Moments

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Funny Spanish Stories.

In this podcast Cynthia and I talk about some funny things that happened to us during our Christmas break. (Listen to the podcast and you’ll understand ‘el significado de’ the teabag photo.)

It offers you an ideal opportunity to test your listening skills.

The Spanish stories we tell are simple, day to day things that happened whilst we spent time in Spain with Cynthia’s family during the Christmas break.

Listening well is a learnt skill.

It’s worth spending a little time discussing the merits of being an accomplished listener. In my years of teaching thousands of people, I have discovered that some people are great at listening, whilst some others are absolutely rubbish at it.

Quite why this is the case, I don’t really know, save to say that I think it may have something to do with focus, interest in others and fear.  (But not necessarily in that order.)

Auditory Dyslexia

This inability to hear what is being said, along with a struggle to distinguish the subtleties of sound seems to create in the listener what I have come to call Auditory Dyslexia.

I recall talking with an English friend once in Spanish and she was trying to say the word, ‘EMBAJADA’ or embassy.

The problem was that she was saying: “EMBASADA”. I corrected her, as did her Spanish partner and she said, “Ah, vale.”, and then continued on to say “EMBASADA” over and over again without the slightest adjustment to her poor pronunciation.

This was in the early days and at that time I thought that she simply couldn’t care less about pronunciation.

Since then I realise that just as there are people who are tone deaf, there are people who are pronunciation deaf. They simply cannot hear the distinction between sounds.

There is a solution.

This doesn’t mean that we should accept that, just because we can’t pick up on the subtlety of sounds like others can, that we should give up.

There’s a famous story about an experiment that Einstein made with someone who was tone deaf. He spent some quality time with the person presenting them enormously different sounds that were easy to distinguish and gradually gaving them sounds with differences that were less easy to hear.

The end result was that the person was finally able to copy different tones that at first they couldn’t even hear. And this was all done in one sitting.

You’ve done it once.

The fact is, if you’ve learnt a language once, and done a fairly good job at it, then you can do it again.

Some people have a natural flare for languages, they can copy accents and seem to pick up on sounds easily. They, however, are in the minority. The majority of us have to work at it. And in that sentence lies the secret.

Learning to hear sounds in Spanish is a job that deserves your attention. If you find that your teachers and Spanish speaking friends are correcting your pronunciation, that’s a signal that you need to do more work.

Here are some quick tips:

Read out loud to your friends/teacher/self.

It’s great practice. Take time to work specifically on the sounds of the words.

Copy individual words until you have them beaten.

Like monkey see, monkey do, just copy, copy copy. (Copy a nice speaker.)

Listen to something multiple times.

Listen until you have it. This can mean listening and copying 20, 30, 40 times. There is no value in rushing and ending up with bad pronunciation or the wrong end of the stick.

Practice, practice, practice.

No matter what they say, practice is the mother of all learning. Be tenacious, like a bull terrier. Don’t let go until you have it!

And so, I will now leave you to watch or listen to the podcast and our funny Spanish stories. Enjoy it. We did!

Saludos, Gordon

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The post Advanced Speaker Podcast 21 – Spanish Stories and Funny Moments appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Feb 06 2014

1min

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Rank #19: Advanced Free Spanish Audio Lesson 11 – Las Dietas

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In this free Spanish audio lesson, we discuss diets and their effectiveness.

Cynthia and I have very strong views on this subject, which, we must state, are purely our own opinions. “Es posible” that you think something completely different from what we say. This, however, is the purpose of this podcast. As an accomplished student of the Spanish language you must be able to state your opinion on matters and argue your case.

As you listen to us talk, try and formulate what you might say if you were talking with us. Would you be “de acuerdo con” or perhaps “en contra de” what we have to say about the fad diets that we are being sold day after day? Is it fair that they promise us the body of a Greek God when in fact we often end up looking more like a Greek urn? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

We have translated and transcribed this free Spanish audio lesson, and every podcast that we make, and make these materials available in our comprehensive Spanish worksheets. We even have some “try before you buy” helpsheets so you can be sure they are an invaluable resource. We’re positive that they will bring your learning to the next level. Give them a try!

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The post Advanced Free Spanish Audio Lesson 11 – Las Dietas appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Oct 19 2011

10mins

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Rank #20: Advanced Spanish Video Lesson 17 – La Politica

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Ahora, ¡un tema difícil! We chose to include this subject as a Spanish video lesson not because we are experts on politics, nor because we are interested in it! In fact, we don’t really know why we made it!

However, like in most conversations in every country, the subject of politics comes up and even if you don’t have an opinion, it’s important to be able to state that and back it up with a good reason.

For example, because of “la crisis”, Spain is currently in tremendous political turmoil. Political parties are being voted in and out in the hope that one of them will be able to resolve the terrible financial problems that are crippling the country at present.

In all the major cities there are regular “manifestaciones” (protests) about the lack of work and opportunities, particularly for the youth. Thus, having some vocabulary in your pocket, so to speak, to enable you to follow and add your own personal comments to a conversation on this emotive subject.

Listen in or watch as we discuss our very limited perspective of modern day politics. As you will hear, we are not in any way, shape or form experts on the subject.

A full transcript and translation of this episode is waiting for you in our comprehensive Spanish helpsheets, which have much more information to help absorb the contents of our episodes.

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The post Advanced Spanish Video Lesson 17 – La Politica appeared first on Lightspeed Spanish.

Nov 30 2011

10mins

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