Category Archives: Spanish

Our Secret Real Spanish Supply

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Hola!

There is a huge wealth of real Spanish in our free special reports archive, and there’s a good chance you haven’t seen it yet!

Zero to Fluent in Spanish in 9 months, Conversation Starters, 11 Cool People Phrases in Spanish – these plus 8 more super useful PDF’s can be found right here (all free!)

Make sure you’ve got them all!

Finally, a quick reminder…

To celebrate this beautiful time of year, until midnight on Monday June 6th, you can get 25% off any of the products in our store with the coupon code: spring16

Just head to our store now, select the product you’d like, and use the special spring16 code to get the discount.

Hasta Pronto, y gracias,

Ben y Marina

Notes in Spanish Spring Special Sale

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Queridos amigos,

We’ve got a cool Spanish phrase for you, and news of our spring sale.

Once again it’s been a wonderful rainy spring so far in Madrid, full of wild flowers. Here is one of our favourite phrases that we often hear at this time of year:

Hasta el 40 de mayo no te quites el sayo – Don’t take your raincoat off until May 40th!

This wonderful phrase, straight from the streets of Madrid means that until May 40th, so about June 10th, don’t bet on nice weather, it can still be cold… but after June 10th, watch out! ¡Va a hacer muchísimo calor!

To celebrate this beautiful time of year, until midnight on Monday June 6th, you can get 25% off any of the products in our store with the coupon code: spring16

Just head to our store now, select the product you’d like, and use the special spring16 code to get the discount.

Hasta Pronto, y gracias,

Ben y Marina

ACNUR Campaign – Thanks again for your support

Dear friends,

First of all, ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Happy New Year!

We wanted to start the year by thanking everyone that supported our end of 2014 campaign, whereby we donated all sales from 16.12.14 until 1.1.2015 to ACNUR, the Spanish division of UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency).

We were able to raise 4,697 Euros for their Africa campaign, which states “1€ = 1 dia mas de vida”.

Running this campaign led to a huge amount of feedback from listeners, many with ideas about the nature and notion of charity, and how best to efficiently send support to those that need it.

A full analysis of these ideas, the results of this campaign, and what Notes in Spanish will do going forward, can be found on another of our sites:

http://beinghappiness.com/on-charity/

Many thanks again, we’ll be in touch very soon and wish you a very happy, Spanish-packed 2015.

Ben y Marina

NIS and Un dia mas de vida

Dear friends,

We are immensely grateful to everyone who has continued to learn Spanish with us this year.

We are incredibly lucky to be able to continue to make a living from this business that we started nearly 9 years ago, and a few days ago we passed the sales figure we need to cover our cost of living for a year. So we’ve decided to donate the rest of the year’s sales (from 16.12.14 until 1.1.2015) to ACNUR, the Spanish division of UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency.

Their Africa campaign states “1€ = 1 dia mas de vida” – “One euro means one more day alive”, for the 1.2 million refugees in Africa who are currently at risk of dying of hunger.

The number of causes vying for everyone’s attention these days can be mind boggling, and personally we find it impossible sometimes to know who to help. In the end we think that any help sent to any good cause is better than being lost in indecision. This Christmas we’ve decided to help ACNUR, so all proceeds from any sales made for the rest of this year in the Notes in Spanish store will go to their Africa campaign:

http://www.hambreafrica.org/dias-contados

Thanks for learning Spanish with us, and have a really wonderful Christmas.

Ben y Marina

UPDATE: The results of this campaign can be found here

Gracias a la Vida – Y a Vosotros…

We think this is the most beautiful ‘Thank You’ song on the planet and we share it every year on this day.

[Note: If an Ad appears, click the ‘x’ on the right of the ad at the bottom of the video to get rid of it (we didn’t put it there, or the red banner at the start about no rude/political comments!) and you can see the subtitles. The subtitles change to Portuguese after the song ends and she begins to speak Spanish.]

So… Gracias. Thank you. Thank you for helping us share this beautiful language all over the world. Thank you for your kind comments, your lovely emails, for telling your friends about us.

So once again, Happy Thanksgiving – Feliz día de Acción de Gracias. Muchas Gracias por tu dedicación y por aprender español con nosotros.

Saludos desde Madrid,

Ben y Marina

Cool Spanish Summer Phrases

Summer in Spain - Spanish

Photo: ..a hot Spanish summer afternoon, the Sierra shimmering in the background, the cool blue of the village pool…

Queridos amigos,

Here’s how to sound really Spanish when it’s 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) in the shade – which is what we expect in Madrid as usual this summer!

Cool Spanish phrases for when it’s roasting hot:

“¡Ay que calor!” – It’s so hot!

“¡Estoy sudando como un pollo!” – I’m sweating like a chicken!

“¡Me estoy asando!” – I’m roasting!

Try them out, you’ll sound super Spanish!

Hasta Pronto, y gracias,

Ben y Marina

NIS Happy Christmas Special

Madrid's Retiro Park in the snow
Image: Madrid’s Retiro Park in the snow

Queridos Amigos,

Our Christmas sale is over, but as promised we have sent the first 1,000 euros to the UK homeless charity Crisis and their Crisis at Christmas campaign, to provide a christmas meal, and information and support services to homeless people in the UK over the festive season. This should cover around 40 Crisis at Christmas places:

One place at Crisis at Christmas provides…

– welcoming support from people who really care
– three nutritious, hot meals including Christmas dinner
– the chance to shower and change clothes, have a haircut and get a health check
– expert advice on life-changing issues like housing and employment
– an introduction to Crisis year-round services for training and support for the future

– See more at: http://community.crisis.org.uk/reserve

Why this charity? Because Ben lived in London for three years before moving to Spain many years ago, and knows how tough winter in London can be. Thank you for helping us to support Crisis.

Now for the christmas treats!

Check out this video, then see below for links to our own Special Notes in Spanish Christmas podcasts!

If you haven’t heard it before, then this is a classic…

The video is a montage that someone on youtube put together of a very typical Spansih Christmas carol… Lyrics and notes below… When we sent this out last year it caused a lot of debate – is it tacky or not?!

About the Carol: For a long time I did think this Christmas carol, or villancico as they are called in Spanish, was rather hortera – tacky. But then I started to like it, and now it’s just a great part of Spanish Christmas! Here below are the lyrics (with key vocab translations in brackets) if you are interested. One key word is of course ‘Belén’ – which as well as being a common girls name, also means Bethlehem (as in this carol), or Nativity Scene.

The Lyrics: Campanas Sobre Campanas

Campana sobre campana, [campana = Bell]
y sobre campana una,
asómate a la ventana, [asomarse = look out/lean out… of the window]
verás al Niño en la cuna. [cuna = babies cot/crib]

Belén, campanas de Belén,
que los ángeles tocan
¿qué nueva me traéis?

Recogido tu rebaño [rebaño = flock]
¿a dónde vas pastorcillo? [pastorcillo = little shephard]
Voy a llevar al portal
requesón, manteca y vino. [requesón = cottage cheese/curd, manteca = lard/butter]

Belén, campanas de Belén,
que los ángeles tocan
¿qué nueva me traéis?

Campana sobre campana,
y sobre campana dos,
asómate a esa ventana,
porque está naciendo Dios.

Belén, campanas de Belén,
que los ángeles tocan
¿qué nueva me traéis?

Campana sobre campana,
y sobre campana tres,
en una Cruz a esta hora,
el Niño va a padecer. [padecer = suffer]

Belén, campanas de Belén,
que los ángeles tocan
¿qué nueva me traéis?

Christmas Specials Here On Notes In Spanish

If you would like to know more about Christmas in Spain, and learn some Spanish Christmas vocab and phrases, then we have special Christmas audio for every level:

Inspired Beginners 16 – ¡Feliz Navidad!

Intermediate 12 – Navidad

Advanced 86 – Feliz Navidad

Do take 10 minutes to listen to the audio for your level with the appropriate worksheet (available in our store), and make this a very Spanish Christmas as well!

Happy Christmas to Everyone!

Best wishes from Spain,

Ben y Marina

Super Spanish Colloquial Phrases With ‘Miedo’

Happy Halloween!

Miedo (Fear) is a great Spanish word that changes meaning completely depending on whether it is used literally or colloquially:

Literal Meanings:

Ay, ¡me das mucho miedo! – Ah, you’re really scaring me! (For ‘ghosts’ at Halloween!)

Hubo una gran tormenta mientras íbamos caminando por el campo y pasamos mucho miedo – There was a big storm while we were walking in the countryside and we got really scared

Una película de miedo – A horror film

Colloquial Meanings:

Miedo is also used colloquially here in Spain (by people of all ages) to mean something is great:

Este helado está de miedo – This ice cream is amazing

Fuimos a los Alpes este verano y lo pasamos de miedo – We went to the Alps this summer and had a fantastic time.

Trick or Treat! Halloween Spanish

Halloween Spanish

It’s Halloween time in Spain, and the streets are full of witches, ghouls and ghosts! We’ve got some special treats for you (and no tricks!) – Some great ‘scary’ Spanish vocab and phrases!

The Super-Useful, Real Spanish ‘Scary’ Vocab and Phrases!

Here are some ‘frights and scares’ Spanish phrases for you to use all year round, and not just at Halloween!

Asustar – To scare someone or give someone a shock

¡No me asustes! – Don’t scare me

Ben: No arranca el coche – The car won’t start
Marina: ¡No me asustes, que acabo de recogerlo del taller! – Don’t scare me like that, I just picked it up from the workshop!

Un susto – a shock

¡Qué susto me has dado! – What a fright you just gave me (e.g. when someone comes into a room without you noticing)

¡Qué susto me ha dado el perro! – What a shock that dog gave me

Me llevé un susto que no veas / me he dado un susto de muerte – I got a really big shock (for really serious situations/shocks)

Ha habido un accidente de tráfico justo delante mío, y pensé que no iba a frenar a tiempo. Me he dado un susto de muerte. – There was a car accident right in front of me, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to stop in time. I got a terrible shock.

¡Qué susto, un vampiro! – What a fright, a vampire! (When your neighbour appears in his vampire costume this halloween!)

¡Feliz Halloween!

Happy Spanish Summer

¡Hola a todos!

We’ve been very busy for a while, working on projects like updating the Notes in Spanish website to keep it fresh and mobile friendly (important these days!) and more secure.

It’s been a while since we shared our favourite phrases, and here is one that we hear a lot at this time of year when the weather can’t quite make it’s mind up:

Hasta el 40 de mayo no te quites el sayo – Don’t take your raincoat off until May 40th!

This wonderful phrase, straight from the streets of Madrid (so it might not work in South America!) means that until May 40th, so about June 10th, don’t bet on nice weather, it can still be cold… but after June 10th, watch out! ¡Va a hacer muchísimo calor!

¡Un saludo!

Ben y Marina