Tag Archives: Spanish

Introduce Yourself in Spanish

The first thing we should know while visiting a new country is how to introduce ourselves and ask for introduction. Introduction is the beginning of any conversation. Before going to Spanish speaking countries we need to prepare ourselves. In this post we look at some common phrases to introduce yourself in Spanish.

So, the first question we would face is

What is your name?

¿Cuál es tu nombre?

In Spanish, it is necessary to use the question marks at the start and end of a question
This is done to communicate the tone of the statement (question tone) ¿ ?

Great! Let’s look at the reply to the same

My name is ____

Mi nombre es ____

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The other more common way of telling your name is:

Me llamo _____

Taking this conversation further, we should know phrases like
Who are you?

¿Quién eres?

The reply to the same can be
I am a student

Soy un/una estudiante

(By using ‘un/una’ you reveal the gender = male/ female student)

Another important aspect can be your place of origin, for example:
I am from Chicago

Yo soy de Chicago

Profession also become important while introducing oneself:
What do you do?

¿Qué haces?

I study at the college in Spain

Yo estudio en la universidad en España

Where do you work?

¿Dónde trabajas?

I work at the campus

Yo trabajo en el campus

Find out more on how to introduce yourself in Spanish in this lesson on CultureAlley

http://culturealley.com/spanish.jsp

स्पेनिश भाषा (Spanish language)

स्पेनिश भाषा

स्पेनिश भाषा (español एस्पान्योल / castellano कास्तेल्यानो) हिन्द-यूरोपीय भाषा-परिवार की रोमांस शाखा में आने वाली एक भाषा है। ये दुनिया की सर्वाधिक बोली जाने वाली भाषाओं में से एक है। लगभग 40 करोड़ लोग एक देशीय भाषा के रूप में स्पेनिश बोलते हैं। 1 2

दूसरी भाषा के रूप में लगभग 6 करोड़ लोग स्पेनिश बोलते हैं 2 और विदेशी भाषा के रूप में लगभग 2 करोड़ छात्र स्पेनिश बोलते हैं। स्पेनिश(मैन्डरिन और अंग्रेजी के बाद), दुनिया की तीसरी सर्वाधिक बोली जाने वाली भाषा है। 3

स्पेनिश संयुक्त राष्ट्र की छह आधिकारिक भाषाओं में से एक है। यूरोपीय संघ में स्पेनिश का एक आधिकारिक भाषा के रूप में प्रयोग किया जाता है।

स्पेनिश दुनिया भर में 20 देशों की प्राथमिक भाषा है। यह इन सभी देशों की मुख्य और राजभाषा है: स्पेन, अर्जेन्टीना, चिली, बोलीविया, पनामा, परागुए, पेरु, मेक्सिको, कोस्टा रीका, एल सैलवाडोर, क्यूबा, उरुग्वे, वेनेजुएला, आदि।

अमेरिकी-अंग्रेजी के देशी वक्ताओं द्वारा सीखी जाने वाली सबसे लोकप्रिय दूसरी भाषा स्पेनिश है। 20वीं सदी के अंतिम दशकों से, एक विदेशी भाषा के रूप में स्पेनिश के अध्ययन की काफी वृद्धि हुई है। 21वीं सदी के बाद से,  यह यकीनन अंग्रेजी के बाद दूसरी सबसे अधिक अध्ययन करी जाने वाली भाषा बन गई है।

स्पेनिश भाषा – भौगोलिक वितरण

यूरोप

स्पेनिश स्पेन की एक आधिकारिक भाषा है। यह जिब्राल्टर में व्यापक रूप से बोली जाती है, हालांकि, आधिकारिक भाषा अंग्रेजी है। 4 यह अंडोरा में आमतौर से बोली जाती है, हालांकि, आधिकारिक भाषा कैटलन है। 5

अमेरिका

लैटिन अमेरिका
अधिकांश स्पेनिश बोलने वाले लोग लैटिन अमेरिका में हैं। मेक्सिको में स्पेनिश के सबसे अधिक देशीय व्यक्ता हैं. स्पेनिश अर्जेंटीना, बोलीविया, चिली, कोलंबिया, कोस्टा रिका, क्यूबा, डोमिनिकन रिपब्लिक, इक्वेडोर, एल साल्वाडोर, ग्वातेमाला,  होंडुरास, मेक्सिको, निकारागुआ, पनामा, पैराग्वे, पेरू, उरुग्वे और वेनेज़ुएला की वास्तविक या विधि सम्मत भाषा है। 6

यूनाइटेड स्टेट्‍स
2006 सेन्सस के अनुसार, अमेरिका की जनसँख्या में  4.43 करोड़ लोग हिस्पैनिक या लैटिन अमेरिकन मूल के थे। 7
5 साल की उम्र के ऊपर वाली जनसँख्या में से 3.83 करोड़ (13 प्रतिशत) लोग घर पे स्पेनिश बोलते हैं।
स्पेनिश अब तक की सबसे व्यापक रूप से सिखाई जानी वाली दूसरी भाषा है। मेक्सिको के बाद, अब अमेरिका विश्व का दूसरा सबसे अधिक स्पेनिश बोलने वाला देश बन गया है।

अफ़्रीका

अफ्रीका में, स्पेनिश, इक्वेटोरियल गिनी में आधिकारिक है। स्पेनिश अफ्रीकी संघ की भी एक आधिकारिक भाषा है।

एशिया प्रशांत

1565 में स्पेनिश शासन की शुरुआत से 1973 में एक संवैधानिक परिवर्तन होने तक, फिलीपींस में, स्पेनिश एक आधिकारक भाषा थी ।8

स्पेनिश भाषा का नाम

स्पेन और स्पेनिश बोलने वाले दुनिया के कुछ अन्य भागों में, स्पेनिश, केस्टेलियन और एस्पान्योल के रूप में भी जानी जाती है। 9

स्पेनिश भाषा – इतिहास

स्पेनिश भाषा अश्लील लैटिन (बोलचाल की भाषा लैटिन), से विकसित हुई है, जो औबेरियन प्रायद्वीप में रोम के लोगों द्वारा 210 BC में लाई गयी थी। 10
स्पेनिश का लिखित मानक 13 वीं सदी में, टोलेडो में विकसित किया गया था। 11
1492 में, एलियो एंटोनियो दे नेब्रिजा द्वारा, सालामान्का में लिखी, Gramática de la lengua castellana , एक आधुनिक यूरोपीय भाषा के लिए लिखी गई पहली व्याकरण की किताब थी। 12
सोलहवीं सदी के बाद से, यह भाषा अमेरिका और स्पेनिश ईस्ट इंडीज के ले जाई गई थी।

Spanish Grammar tips: Muy vs. Mucho

Through our blog, we will be covering some topics which cause confusion for most learners.

One such question that we are often asked is: When to use ‘muy’ vs. when to use ‘mucho’

Muy vs. Mucho
Both these words convey the idea of something being in great quantity or degree – just like the English words ‘very’ and ‘much’.

These two words (muy and mucho) are usually NOT interchangeable. Let us understand how to use them correctly:

Mucho

Mucho is closer to the English words ‘much’ or ‘a lot’. It is used with nouns and verbs.

Mucho with nouns: Because it is used with nouns – it changes its gender (and singular/plural form) in agreement to the noun
Examples:

  1. Juices have a lot of sugar = Jugos tienen mucho azúcar (singular, masculine)
  2. She has a lot of friends = Ella tiene muchos amigos (plural, male/mixed)
  3. I drink a lot of milk = Bebo mucha leche (singular, feminine)

Sugar, friends, milk are all nouns

Mucho with verbs:With verbs, the form of ‘mucho’ does not change
Examples:

  1. Maria talks a lot = María habla mucho
  2. It rains a lot in Spain = Llueve mucho en España
  3. I love you a lot = Te amo mucho
  4. You work a lot  = Usted trabaja mucho

As you can see: To talk, To rain, To love, and To work are all verbs

Muy

Muy on the other hand is closer to the English word very’ and is used with adjectives and adverbs.

Muy with adjectives:

  1. He is very shy = Él es muy tímido
  2. She is very tired = Ella está muy cansada
  3. John is very tall = John es muy alto
  4. I am very well = Estoy muy bien

As you can see, shy, tired, tall, and well are all adjectives. Hence ‘muy’ takes the form of ‘very’ to increase their degree

Muy with adverbs:

  1. He runs very fast = Él corre muy rápido
  2. She talks very slowly = Ella habla muy despacio
  3. I walked very quickly = Caminé muy rápidamente

As you can see, fast, slowly, and quickly are all adverbs

Thus, use ‘mucho’ as you’d use ‘much/a lot’ and use ‘muy’ as you’d use very.

Exception

There is only one exception to this rule. When ‘very’ is used as a stand-alone word i.e. it is not used before an adjective or an adverb, then it will translate as mucho

Eg:
Are you hungry?…Yes, very! = Tienes hambre? … Sí, mucho!

This is because, sentences like ‘Are you hungry?’ literally translate as ‘Do you have hunger?’. Thus, when we answer this question saying ‘Yes, very’ we are actually saying ‘Yes, I have much hunger

Let us look at another example:
Are you tired?… Yes, very = ¿Estás cansada?… Sí, mucho

Hope this post helps in clearing the confusion on the usage of muy vs. mucho. Are there other such seemingly similar words that you cause confusion? Let us know and we will help you understand their usage better!

More of our Spanish lessons: www.CultureAlley.com/Spanish

 

How learning Spanish can help boost the salaries for Call Center employees in the Philippines

According to industry sources, the Philippines expects to boost its revenues from call centers to nearly $15 billion by 2016.

The Philippines was formerly a Spanish colony.

However, not many Filipinos speak the colloquial language Spanish today. But the ones who do, are fast realizing  that it enables them to secure higher wages in the outsourcing industry!

The call centers in the Philippines have been expanding their market from being predominantly English-speaking to other languages – with a big focus on Spanish.

The governments of Spain and the Philippines have teamed up to establish crash language courses which could make the Philippines a leader in the growing call-center industry.

A Google search on ‘Philippines Spanish Call Centers’ today, will yield numerous results with job openings in some of the biggest call centers in the Philippines.

The aim is also to serve the growing Hispanic market in the USA, and in Latin America. These constitute several millions of Spanish-speaking people growing at a much faster rate than any other demographic with a purchasing power estimated at around $1.5 trillion by 2015 (Nielsen Report).

Given the size, the call center opportunities for serving this market are tremendous – and being bi-lingual (English and Spanish) pays a premium.

As a YaleGlobal report points out:

A vanguard of Filipinos are discovering that they can earn double, even triple, the amount that their counterparts receive if they can trill phrases like “¿Puede darme su número de tarjeta?” = Can you give me your card number?

On-line job ads are popping up as companies like Stream Global Services, Convergys, Sutherland Global Services and Sykes Asia, Inc. have figured that assembling teams of bilingual English/Spanish-speakers would be a worthwhile experiment.

Clearly, knowing Spanish is a big plus for call center employees looking to secure higher wages in the Philippines!

Learn Spanish
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Some key call center phrases in Spanish

 

 

 

 

Scatterathon!

Practice translations with Scatterathon!

Done with your lesson? Think you have mastered the concepts? Race against time and prove your mettle! Introducing Scatterathon!

A fun game to master your translations – Scatterathon lets you race against time to match English phrases with their translations in the new language. Challenge yourself to beat your last record.

Scatterathon is linked to your lessons and will make you practice all essential words and phrases that you learn in each lesson.

Don’t wait – create your new record today!
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Spellathon!

Practice Listening and Writing with Spellathon!

We won’t let you settle for anything less than perfection. Say hello to an awesome action-packed practice game – Spellathon!

Listen to native voice, read the English translation, and then write the Spanish phrase yourself! Spellathon will help you develop listening, reading, and writing skills the fun way!

Spellathon is linked to the words that you pick up in each lesson.

It is packed with personalized revision that knows just what you find difficult! You will get immediate feedback on your mistakes and it will make you revise just what you don’t get. Magic and all that!

Visit CultureAlley today and let practice make your language learning journey perfect!

Learn Spanish for free: CultureAlley.com/Spanish
Learn Mandarin for free: CultureAlley.com/Mandarin

Learn foreign languages with music!

In our recent blog post on How to learn a new language’ we emphasized on embracing the new language and making it flow with your life.

Our Spanish coaches also recommend finding something you love about the new language and surrounding yourself with it!

Today we talk about one such universal love – Music, and how it can enrich your language learning experience!

There are several occasions when we end up humming and memorizing songs even though we don’t know the language!
Susanna Zaraysky, author of ‘Language is music’ pointed out in her one her interviews:How many of us have sang along to Gangnam Style without knowing what it means!”
Now imagine if you could see the transliteration in your language while you sing along!

Of-course grammar and conversational context is a must and important, but language learning can be enhanced if some singing and music based practice is incorporated in your learning schedule.

In one test, carried out by researchers at Edinburgh University’s Reid School of Music, those who learned by singing were able to recall phrases with greater accuracy in the longer term.

Here’s how music can help:

  1. Pronunciation: Music can help you get a better hang of the new accent and pronunciation peculiarities. While learning with music, you listen first and speak later.
  2. Vocabulary: Learning the lyrics of a song helps you expand your vocabulary. Music aids memory and recall. Words and phrases that you hear in a song tend to stick around much longer. Songs also introduce you to some streetwise phrases!
  3. Grammar: Music does not directly teach you grammar but can give you contextual information on usage of words and phrases. For example: ‘Para bailar La Bamba’ translates as ‘In order to dance La Bamba’. Next time when you get confused on whether you use ‘por’ or ‘para’ – this will help! With music, you subconsciously learn the right way to construct sentences.
  4. Culture: Music is a great window into the new culture! It will also be a great ice-breaker while talking to natives!
  5. Its fun! Music activates your senses and gets you grooving – picking up some language while you groove is a big bonus!

Here are some tips on using music effectively to pick up a new language:

  1. Don’t just let the music fade away in the background. Pay attention to the lyrics and phrases – make a list of some of the new words you hear.
  2. Sing-aloud – Listen first and then sing along. This will help you with your accent and will also expand your vocabulary.
  3. Try and get the transliteration of the lyrics to help you understand the meaning of the new words and phrases.

So don’t wait – let the music flow! Here are some links to help you find great world music:

  1. Directory of Radio Stations by Language/Ethnic Group:
    www.worldtvradio.com/php/radio_channel_language_lineup.php
  2. Pandora: http://www.pandora.com/
  3. Grooveshark: http://grooveshark.com/

At CultureAlley, we are fascinated with how music can help in the language learning journey. Here’s a new feature we are experimenting on:

http://culturealley.com/SpanishKaraoke.jsp – Sing-along with the Spanish lyrics, check the English transliteration, and hover to review important grammar tips. Learn Spanish while you groove to the classic ‘La Bamba’!

Many more hits coming up soon!

Get grooving at the Alley!

References:
http://www.lingholic.com/how-to-learn-languages-through-music-an-interview-with-susanna-zaraysky/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23357833

Look who is blogging at the Alley!

It has been a few months since we launched CultureAlley’s beta and what a ride it has been! We have seen the highs and lows, but the one thing that has been constant is the love from our learners.

Yes, we read every single comment and every single email sent to us (and reply to most :) ) and we are overwhelmed with your support. While making the product and the interface better and more engaging for you is our top goal – we want to stay connected with you, share our story, and hear yours too. Over 200,000 people have studied at the Alley – Starting a blog is just a tiny step to connect with them and hopefully thousands more in the future!

For those of you who are new, CultureAlley was started with a clear aim – to make learning a new language simple – really, just that.
I have been a professional traveler, a backpacker, an exchange student; and I realize learning a new language can be difficult.

CultureAlley follows a simple rule while hand-crafting each lesson for you – we break down each concept into the most intuitive unit so you don’t have to ‘remember’ a phrase but understand how it is constructed. We want to enable our learners to have conversations – not become a phrasebook!

Here’s what our learners say and what keeps us going:

“Spent a year trying to figure Spanish out. 4 years later I have decided to try again and came across CultureAlley. Wish this was available 4 years ago, I would’ve carried it on. Thank you this is an amazing lesson!”

How do we do it?
We work with teachers, native speakers and students from across the world to develop our content. The content is highly conversational based on real situations one might need to use the new language in. It has just enough dose of grammar to get you going to frame your own sentences.

We realize vocabulary is important – but too much and you are lost in the world of flashcards! Our lessons cover just enough vocabulary to help you converse in real life contexts and become familiar with natives. Here’s a comment we received recently:

“My Mandarin vocabulary was so blank until I discovered your lessons! Now, instead of always replying with ‘Wo hen hao’ I can reply with so much more. You make it seem like I have a pretty good Mandarin vocabulary”

Once you master the concept and the context, we give you additional vocabulary separately as a reference and as per your learning needs.

The practice is action packed and understands where you err. It makes you re-do and revise just what you don’t get.

We are constantly working on adding many more innovative features to make language learning fun, engaging and an experience you’d want to go through again and again.

We’d love to hear from you on how CultureAlley can help you further! You can kick-off your cultural voyage here:
Learn Spanish for Free: www.CultureAlley.com/Spanish
Learn Mandarin for Free: www.CultureAlley.com/Mandarin

More to follow. Till then, See you at the Alley!