Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.14 – Paco de Lucia


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 14 Ben and Marina discuss Paco de Lucia, the famous flamenco guitarist who took this very Spanish music onto the international stage.

We look at his childhood, from how he first picked up a guitar, to his first steps onto the international stage, plus the great influence of Jazz on his work, and his very interesting personality.

This podcast was inspired by the fascinating documentary, Paco de Lucía. La Búsqueda You can watch it here on filmin.es, a service we often use to watch films at home.

Photo: Paco de Lucia by der_makabere

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

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Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.13 – Como Sobrevivir El Siglo 21


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 13 Ben and Marina discuss why everyone is stressed these days, the number of things we have going on in life, the quantity of inputs overwhelming us all, and how to solve this 21st century problem.

We talk about changes in work culture and deadlines, how our parents’ generation faired differently, and how a walk in nature is our solution to everything.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.12 – Cataluña

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 12 Ben and Marina discuss Cataluña, and the wonders of Catalan cuisine, landscapes, restaurants, pueblos, and of course, the great city of Barcelona.

We talk about how Spain is a nation of huge cultural and geographic diversity, and how our friends Pep and Tom keep us in touch with the joys of life in Cataluña.

Photo: Arenys de Mar port, Cataluña.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.11 – Niños Felices, País Feliz

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 11 Ben and Marina discuss the idea that Denmark is the happiest country on earth because it brings up happy children that turn into happy adults.

We look at ideas from a new book that attempts to explain how this is done, and compare to our own experiences of life and education in Spain and the UK.

Photo: Happy Children during the fiestas in Jerez.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.10 – Horarios Locos

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 10 Ben and Marina discuss why Spain still has such a crazy timetable for shops, office work, and meals.

We explore how the roots of this problem lie in Franco’s Spain, when people often had two jobs, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and see if anything can be done to bring Spain into line with the rest of Europe’s timetable.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

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Super Useful Spanish Video – The Verb LLevar


In today’s video we look at the verb LLevar! Get the report and check out the extra phrases in this post:

Download the special free llevar report:
PDF Download link: Totally Understanding Llevar PDF

All the other llevar phrases used in the video (not all are in the PDF!):

Llevarse bien/mal – To get on well or badly with someone
Llevarse como el perro y el gato – Te get on terribly with someone
Me llevo muy bien con mi vecina – I get on really well with my neighbour
Me llevo fatal con mi tío – I get on terribly with my uncle
Mis niños se llevan como el perro y el gato – My kids fight like cats and dogs
Llevarse un buen recuerdo – To have a great memory of something
Me llevo muy buen recuerdo de mi visita a Paris – I have great memories of my trip to Paris
Llevar encima – To carry something with you
¿Llevas el pasaporte encima? – Have you got your passport with you?
¿Llevas el movíl encima? – Have you got your mobile with you?
Lo llevo en modo avion – It’s in aeroplane mode
Llevo una vida de locos – My life is crazy
Llevarse un susto – To get a big shock
Tuve un accidente y me llevé un buen susto – I had an accident and I got a really big shock
Llevarse un premio – To win a prize
He escrito un libro sobre como sobrevivir el siglo 21 y me he llevado un premio – I wrote a book about how to survive the 21st century and I won a prize.

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.9 – Musicofília


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 9 Ben and Marina discuss Musicophilia, starting with the curious case of the man who was struck by lightening and quickly developed a life-changing obsession with music.

Plus, music in our own lives, and musicality in Spain – do the Spanish tend to learn instruments at an early age? Do they love to sing when they get together?

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.8 – Cocido


(Photo: Cocido Madrileño by Tnarik Innael)

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 8 Ben and Marina talk about Cocido.

It’s a typical Spanish dish from Madrid that Marina’s dad would eat 5 days-a-week in post civil war Spain and is now considered high cuisine.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.7 – La Jungla en la Ciudad

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 7 Ben and Marina discuss the presence of wild animals in cities, comparing Spain to Africa and India.

Plus the scandal surrounding the unfortunate fate of some wild boars in a town near Madrid.

Photo: Wild boars in the Sierra de Cazorla.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.6 – El Camarero Honesto

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 6 Ben and Marina discuss the odd rituals of Spanish restaurants: customer service, begging for ‘la cuenta’, tipping, and honest waiters.

Plus the ‘simpa’ and Ben´s related confession.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.5 – Un Mundo Bio

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 5 Ben and Marina discuss the surprising landscapes of Almería, and what shocked them about the cultivation of fruit and vegetables there, compared to the Pyrenees.

Plus, we look at the rise of organic food culture in Spain.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Ya! A Very Useful Spanish Word

In today’s video we discuss the word ‘ya’, a super useful Spanish word that is incredibly common in day-to-day conversation in Spanish. You can start using it more too!

Notes from the video:

1,2,3…  ¡Ya! – 1,2,3, Go!

Ha subido el precio del café – ¡Ya te digo! – The price of coffee has gone up – You’re right there!

Si le estoy haciendo cosquillas…¡Basta ya! – If I’m tickling Marina. Stop it!

Ya que estás aquí, ¿me puedes arreglar la lámpara por favor? – Seeing as you are here, can you fix the light for me please?

¿Estás ya? ¡Ya Voy! – Are you ready to go yet? I’m coming!

¿Cuando comemos? – ¡Ya! – When are we going to eat? Now!

¡Comemos Ya! – It’s time to eat!

Están pasando una situación difícil… Ya…  – They are having a tough time… I know…

¿Estás ya? Ya estoy – Are you ready yet? I’m ready.

¿Has hecho tus deberes? ¡Ya está! – Have you done your homework? It’s done!

¡Ya me levanto! – I’m getting up! Really!

¡Venga ya! No me cuentes tonterías – Come on, don’t talk nonsense.

Y luego ya – And finally…

Vamos a comer, luego vamos a hacer las compras, y luego ya vamos a casa – We are going to eat, then we are going to go shopping, and finally/after that we’ll go home.

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.4 – Un oasis de silencio


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 4 Ben and Marina discuss an article by Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa about his stay in a Benedictine monastery.

Plus the rise of mindfulness in Spain, and the need for oases of peace in our busy world.

¿Te gustaría la idea de pasar 4 días en silencio?

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Real Spanish Christmas – ¡Pelos de Punta!

Given the choice, we’d rather be listening to this song by Paco de Lucia and Camarón de la Isla on Christmas day – ¡Nos pone los pelos de punta! It makes our hair stand on end! (But if you prefer a super well know tacky Spanish carol, see below too, plus our Christmas audios!)


(Song should start at 2m03s)

Christmas Audio Specials Here On Notes In Spanish

If you want to dig deeper into Christmas in Spain, and pick up lots of 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!

And now for the tacky Spanish carol (you grow to love it over the years!), then a final bit of news…

Campana Sobre Campana

If you feel like supporting our free audios, donations are welcome via the form on our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

¡Feliz Navidad para todos!

Ben y Marina

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.3 – España Globalizada

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 3 Ben and Marina discuss whether Spain is losing its wonderful Spanish-ness, especially in the restaurant sector.

Is the family-run place a thing of the past? Plus other changes ‘que nos chocan’ in today’s Madrid.

¿Ha cambiado mucho tu ciudad en los últimos 10 o 20 años?

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.2 – La Vida Sin Muerte

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2Welcome to Episdoe 2 of our brand new Advanced Season 2 Series! This week we discuss life without death. As scientists promise that by 2040 we’ll be able to live forever, even go back to the age we’d like to stay at, we discuss what this means for the human race, for doctors, religion, and much more.

¿A ti te gustaría poder vivir para siempre?

Important Information

How to get the worksheets…

Get the worksheets for the Advanced Season 2 audios as we release them week by week in the Advanced 2 members area – the first worksheets are waiting for you inside! It’s an invaluable boost to your Spanish. Plus you’ll get to ask us questions for our monthly Q and A videos! Read all the info here:

Click here to get access to the Advanced 2 members area

(For those of you that have bought something from us in the past, just log into your customer panel, look for the link at the top that says ‘Add more NIS materials’ and from the list that appears, choose the penultimate pack, that says “Advanced Season 2 – Members Area”.)

Getting the podcast in iTunes and other apps:

The Advanced Season 2 audios will be released weekly on Mondays and put out as a podcast on the same podcast feed as the original Advanced episodes. If you already subscribed to our Advanced series in the past, just refresh your feed to make sure you are seeing the first episode of Season 2, and you should get all the rest going forward.

If you haven’t subscribed before:

Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes And do leave us a review in iTunes if you can!
– Search for ‘Notes in Spanish Advanced’ in your favourite podcast app
– Here’s the raw RSS feed if you want to enter it manually: http://notesinspanish.libsyn.com/rss

Tips on How to Use the Advanced 2 Audio

Advanced Learners: Listen to the audio the whole way through. Listen again with the transcript (available in the worksheets) to make sure you don’t miss a thing, and to be sure you know all the vocab, phrases and grammar we pick out and explain as super-important for your level.

Intermediate Learners: Don’t panic if the Spanish feels really challenging! It should! Listen to the Spanish conversation, ideally with the transcript from the worksheets – we promise that no matter how challenging this may seem, this ‘real immersion’, with the worksheets to help, is the best possible thing you can do for your Spanish!

As Kathleen says in the comments below, “I am very much enjoying your new podcast. I’m one of those you describe as a “motivated intermediate”. I want to assure others in that category that this podcast is definitely approachable with the aid of the notes [transcript/worksheet]. I wasn’t surprised that I understood little listening to the podcast without the notes, but I was amazed at how much I could understand having the notes to read alongside.”

Saludos desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Advanced 2: Real Immersion is for Motivated Intermediates Too…


When I learnt Spanish I was thrown in at the deep end, constantly! Here in Madrid every trip to the bank, every night out with Spanish people, every encounter in a shop, every real Spanish situation I walked into was, well, the real thing! Even when I was a complete beginner!

That’s why I say in the blog post for the first Advanced Season 2 episode that these new audios are suitable for Intermediate listeners too: “Don’t panic if the Spanish feels really challenging! It should! Listen to the Spanish conversation, ideally with the transcript from the worksheets – …this ‘real immersion’ is the best possible thing you can do for your Spanish!”

“No te pases” I thought when I wrote that, don’t push your luck, maybe it’s too hard for intermediate learners! But this comment on the first post made me very happy and reassured me that I was spot on:

“I am very much enjoying your new podcast. I’m one of those you describe as a “motivated intermediate”. I want to assure others in that category that this podcast is definitely approachable with the aid of the notes [transcript/worksheet]. I wasn’t surprised that I understood little listening to the podcast without the notes, but I was amazed at how much I could understand having the notes to read alongside.”

Real immersion in a language is ‘reality!’ It doesn’t do you any harm at all if you have the right support. In my case I walked around Madrid with a small dictionary in my pocket (1998, pre Google Translate!) Nowadays, you have our super worksheets to explain all the best bits, making sure you learn the real Spanish you’ll never find in a text book!

Listen to the first episode of Advanced 2 and get the worksheets here. Your Spanish will be zooming ahead whether you are a motivated Intermediate learner or already Advanced.

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.1 – Minimalismo y felicidad

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2Welcome to Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2! We’re back with our best real Spanish conversations to help you stay at the top of real-world Spanish today!

In this first episode, Ben and Marina discuss ‘La Magia del Orden’, by Marie Kondo, a book that has changed their lives, and the relationship between living with minimal possessions and clutter, and our happiness.

Important Information

How to get the worksheets…

Get the worksheets for the Advanced Season 2 audios as we release them week by week in the Advanced 2 members area – the first worksheet for today’s episode is waiting for you inside! It’s an invaluable boost to your Spanish. Plus you’ll get to ask us questions for our monthly Q and A videos! Read all the info here:

Click here to get access to the Advanced 2 members area

Getting the podcast in iTunes and other apps:

The Advanced Season 2 audios will be released weekly on Mondays and put out as a podcast on the same podcast feed as the original Advanced episodes. If you already subscribed to our Advanced series in the past, just refresh your feed to make sure you are seeing the first episode of Season 2, and you should get all the rest going forward.

If you haven’t subscribed before:

Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes And do leave us a review in iTunes if you can!
– Search for ‘Notes in Spanish Advanced’ in your favourite podcast app
– Here’s the raw RSS feed if you want to enter it manually: http://notesinspanish.libsyn.com/rss

Tips on How to Use the Advanced 2 Audio

Advanced Learners: Listen to the audio the whole way through. Listen again with the transcript (available in the worksheets) to make sure you don’t miss a thing, and to be sure you know all the vocab, phrases and grammar we pick out and explain as super-important for your level.

Intermediate Learners: Don’t panic if the Spanish feels really challenging! It should! Listen to the Spanish conversation, ideally with the transcript from the worksheets – we promise that no matter how challenging this may seem, this ‘real immersion’, with the worksheets to help, is the best possible thing you can do for your Spanish!

As Kathleen says in the comments below, “I am very much enjoying your new podcast. I’m one of those you describe as a “motivated intermediate”. I want to assure others in that category that this podcast is definitely approachable with the aid of the notes [transcript/worksheet]. I wasn’t surprised that I understood little listening to the podcast without the notes, but I was amazed at how much I could understand having the notes to read alongside.”

Saludos desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Un Manjar – A Cool Spanish Word!

Queridos amigos,

We’ve got another great Notes in Spanish video for you below, this time connected with food and pronunciation. Either watch the video through once first to see if you understand it all, or if you would like some help, see the context and language notes below first:

Language notes and context:

In this video we discuss the word ‘un manjar’, which means a food which is really special, or a real delicacy, in this case a German blue cheese that Ben bought after not having had any for a long time. We discuss what is a ‘manjar’ for us, and go on to say that Ben learnt the word from his friend Jorge, who only just recently, after about 4 years, taught me to pronounce his name correctly.

Here are some useful phrases from the video:

Un queso exquisito – A delicious cheese
Un queso azul – A blue cheese
(Un queso) que llevábamos sin tomar como ocho años – (A cheese) that we hadn’t eaten for about 8 years
Tengo un manjar – I’ve got a real delicacy
Unas gambas blancas de Huelva a la plancha – Grilled white prawns from Huelva
Me suena árabe, de origen árabe – It sounds arabic to me, of arabic origin
Dices mi nombre mal – You say my name wrong
Estaría el muy orgulloso – He would be very proud
Tiene un sentido del humor muy interesante – he’s got a very interesting sense of humour.

¿Cuál es tu manjar favorito?

Remember! Our new Advanced 2 audios have started! Listen to episode 1 now!

Un abrazo,

Ben y Marina

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

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New Real Spanish Conversation Audio Coming Monday!

Dear friends,

Next Monday November 20th we release the first of our new audio series, Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2!Update: Episode one is available now!

You have been asking us for ages for new audios, so…

Nos pusimos manos a la obra – We got to work! (that’s one of the many useful phrases we highlight in the worksheet for the first episode!)

Perfect for Advanced and Motivated Intermediates!

The new audios will be the same as the original Advanced series – 10 to 12 minutes of Ben and Marina with our best ever real Spanish conversation on real life, interesting topics – the kind of things YOU want to talk about in Spanish when you have a real Spanish conversation with real people you meet out in the world today.

If you are an Advanced or Motivated Intermediate learner, the combination of the new worksheets and audios will rocket you forward with your Spanish.

The new audios will be released free as a podcast as always, and for those of you that want to double or triple what you get from the audio and really supercharge your Spanish, you will be able to join a special members area where for a small monthly fee you can get the worksheet for every episode as we release them each week (plus another exciting members bonus we’ll announce on Monday!)

As usual the worksheets will include a full transcript of our conversation, a list of the essential vocab and phrases you must know from the audio, plus discussion questions and useful exercises.

As a monthly member you will be hugely improving your Spanish!

Listen to episode one now!

Saludos desde Madrid,

Ben y Marina

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

New Audios Coming, Halloween Spanish and Sale and More!

Dear Friends,

Lots of big news for you today!

First of all, we are just a few weeks away from releasing brand new Real Spanish Audios! We’ve recorded the first couple or episodes, our trademark, REAL Spanish conversation on really interesting real-life topics. In the next few weeks we’ll be releasing the first episode, and rolling them out weekly after that!

These new audios will in real-speed, natural conversation Spanish, but the Spanish in every episode will be accessible to everyone with the help of the accompanying worksheets. Stay tuned to the newsletter to find out exactly when the first episode is out soon!

While you wait, get your Spanish ready by listening to our audios and boosting your learning with our worksheets! This should help…

Halloween Vocab and Special 3 Day 25% Off Sale!

Halloween Spanish

Until Midnight Thursday 2nd November you can get 25% off anything in our store with the coupon code halloween17 Head to our store now and use the coupon to get your Spanish flowing in time for our new, real Spanish conversation audios coming soon!

Halloween Vocab! Do you know all of these?

Ghost – Un fantasma

Vampire – Un vampiro

Bat – Un murciélago (one of the few Spanish words to use all the vowels!)

Trick or treat – Truco o trato

I’m frightened! – ¡Tengo miedo!

Don’t frighten me – ¡No me asustes!

What a fright, a vampire! – ¡Qué susto, un vampiro!

You’re really scaring me! – ¡Me das mucho miedo!

Happy Halloween!

Ben y Marina

P.S. By popular request we now also accept Credit Card payments in our store, not just Paypal.

Remember, until Midnight Thursday 2nd November you can get 25% off anything in our store with the coupon code halloween17 Head to our store now!

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Cool Spanish Encounter

A great sign I saw this morning – Watch out! Wild boars! Slow down!

Queridos amigos,

It’s time for some more real Spanish for you (and a secret page at the bottom of this post!)

I was walking to my car this morning in a small village near Madrid where I like to come and work some days, when a man approached me and said, ‘Caballero, ¿dónde puedo comprar una baraja?’

I saw his wife packing a picnic in the back of their car and so thought he had asked where he could buy ‘una navaja’ – a pocket knife. So, unsure, I said ‘¿Perdón?’

‘Una baraja’ he repeated, and made the sign of shuffling a deck of cards with his hands.

‘¡Ah!’ I said, ‘Aquí a la derecha hay una papelería’ – Here on the right there is a stationary shop.

‘¡Gracias!’ he said and off he went.

This encounter made me happy for two real-Spanish-related reasons. First of all, I love it how the Spanish will often start an encounter with a complete (male) stranger with ‘Caballero…’ which can be translated as gentlemen, honorable man, or knight!

And I loved the fact that he reminded me of the word ‘baraja’ for a deck of cards. There’s something satisfying about that word! It reminded me too of the verb, barajar, to shuffle, and the phrase ‘barajar varias posibilidades’ – to consider various options.

For example, ’Después de barajar varias posibilidades, acabamos reservando una mesa en La Taberna Miranda’ – After considering various possibilities we ended up reserving a table at La Taberna Miranda.

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Special Spring Sale!

Queridos amigos,

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

After a dry start to spring we’ve had a wonderful rainy few weeks 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 or wet… but after June 10th, watch out… ¡Va a hacer muchísimo calor!

To celebrate this beautiful time of year, until midnight on Wednesday May 24th, you can get 25% off any of the products in our store with the coupon code: spring17

Just head to our store now, select the product you’d like, and use the special spring17 code to get the discount.

More cool weather phrases!

Our Real Spanish Phrase Book is back on the home page of our store, it’s full of all the coolest
‘straight from the streets’ phrases Madrileños use every day. Here are two we love from the weather section:

Llueve a cántaros  – It’s pouring! ‘Cántaro’, means jug, or pitcher, and when it rains this hard it
feels like people are pouring them all over you!

Hace un día de miedo – What fantastic weather! Literally, ‘it makes a day of fear’, in reality this phrase is used when the sun is out, the weather is warm, and the skies are blue!

You can get 25% off our Real Spanish Phrase Book, and all the other products in our store, in our Spring Sale.

Just head to our store now, choose the product you’d like, and use the special spring17 code to get the discount.

Hasta Pronto, y gracias,

Ben y Marina

 

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Learn a Spanish Joke, a Spanish Riddle, and a Spanish Tongue Twister!

¡Hola amigos!

Every Spanish learner should know at least one riddle (adivinanza), one tongue twister (trabalenguas) and one Spanish joke (chiste), so here are a handful of our favourites at home (and at the bottom of the post, a favour to ask by Ben!)

¡Una adivinanza!

Oro parece,
plata no es;
el que no lo adivine,
bien tonto es.

Translation – It looks like gold, it isn’t silver, whoever doesn’t guess it is really stupid! (But don’t be fooled by the translation, the answer is hidden in the actual Spanish words!)

And here’s a bonus one!

Con una gran boca
Y un solo diente
Desde lo alto
Llama a la gente

(Translation – with a big mouth and only one tooth, from on high it calls to the people.)

Do you know the answers to these two riddles? Find the solutions at the very bottom of this post!

Un trabalenguas – A Spanish Tongue Twister

Try saying this as fast as possible in Spanish without getting your tongue in a twist!

Tres tristes tigres
tragaban trigo
en tres tristes trastos
sentados tras un trigal.
Sentados tras un trigal,
en tres tristes trastos
tragaban trigo
tres tristes tigres.

(Meaning: Three sad tigers swallowed wheat in three sad utensils sitting behind a wheat field).

Un chiste – A Spanish joke!

The only Spanish joke Ben has ever been able to remember is this one:

Dos peces en el mar. Un pez dice al otro pez, “¿Qué hace tu padre?” Y el otro pez contesta: “¡Nada!”

Do you get it? If not, it’s a play on words. In answer the the question, “What does your dad do?”, the second fish answers “Nada” – which means both “nothing”, and “he swims” – top quality humour! Spanish people will laugh at this joke!

Here’s one more:

¿Por qué comes caracoles?
Porque no me gusta la comida rápida.

(Why do you eat snails? Because I don’t like fast food!)

We hope you enjoyed these!

Un favor…

If you are one of the wonderful people that bought my book ‘Notes on the Internet Dream’ I’d be very grateful if you could take two minutes to leave an honest review of the book on your Amazon page (.com, .co.uk etc) it would help me enormously when I publicise the book further afield after Easter (so far NIS listeners are the only people that know about it!)

More about the book and the Amazon links are here.

Solutions to the riddles:

The first one is…. Un plátano – a banana. Look at the words again – Plata-no es = Plátano es – it is a banana!)

The second one (Con un gran boca…) is…… A bell!

Here’s a bonus one in the same vein as the first:

Por un caminito adelante
va caminando un bicho
y el nombre de ese bicho
ya te lo he dicho.

(Going forth along a path a creature is walking, and the name of that creature, I’ve already told you.)

The answer is… Una vaca – a cow. (Va Caminando = Vaca!)

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Out Now! Notes on the Internet Dream – Reach the Whole World, Free Up Your Life, Love What You Do

Queridos amigos,

My book Notes on the Internet Dream is available now on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats!

Buy now from Amazon: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.es  – and all other Amazon stores.

The book tells the story of the ‘aha’ moments that led Marina and I (Ben) to start Notes in Spanish over 10 years ago, to leave our real jobs, reach 31+ million downloads, and pay off the mortgage. It contains inspiring ideas about how to easily start an online business (or any project!), a complete walk-through of how the website works and how we earn a living, plus a ‘philosophical’ section on things like working from home, how much money a business needs to generate, ‘moral marketing’, and what to do when an online business finally frees up lots of your time.

It’s the personal advice, secrets, techniques and information I share with close friends who want to start something online or get a business off the ground. The book is in English and is out now.

Buy now from Amazon: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.es  – and all other Amazon stores.

Here’s the book trailer with more information:

P.S. If you read and enjoy the book then I have a big favour to ask – please pop back to Amazon to leave a review!

P.P.S. The first review is up on amazon.es:

Get your copy now from Amazon: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.es  – and all other Amazon stores.

Thank you so much!

Ben

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New Spanish video! El cambio de hora y el “jetlag”

Queridos amigos,

¡Tenemos un video nuevo para vosotros!

Watch the video and check out all the real Spanish vocab and phrases we’ve selected from it below. (This is real speed conversation, so don’t worry if it’s tricky if you are a beginner!)

In this video Marina and Ben discuss the effect of the changing of the clocks at the end of March and the arrival of the best weather of the year, which lasts from here until full-on summer arrives.

Useful real Spanish phrases in the video:

Hace un día estupendo – it’s a glorious day

Marina, ¿Qué me cuentas? – Marina, what’s new?

Acaba de llegar la primavera – Spring has just arrived

Escuchando los pajaritos – Listening to the little birds

Hay una cosa que nos ha costado bastante, ¿verdad? – One thing has been really hard for us, hasn’t it?

El cambio de hora – The changing of the clocks

Ahora ajustarte a levantarte a la hora, ¡ay que difícil! – Now to get used to getting up at the right time, wow it’s really difficult!

Ben me ha llamado, “¡vente que estoy fuera!” – Ben called to say “I’m out in the street, come and join me!”

Hay que disfrutar a tope de estos meses – You have to really enjoy these months as much as possible.

Questions related to the video

Feel free to answer in the comments below:

¿Qué tal lleváis el cambio de hora? – How has the clock change been for you?

¿Cuál es tu palabra favorita en el espanglish? –  What’s your favourite Spanglish word?

DONATE: SUPPORTING THE NOTES IN SPANISH PODCASTS AND BLOG

Notes in Spanish is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find Ben and Marina’s work valuable, please consider donating to this website:

Help with a Book by Ben…

Dear Notes in Spanish listeners,

Here is one of our favourite phrases, for you to add to your list:

“Me viene al pelo”

Meaning: That’s just what I needed! (Literally: It comes to me to the hair!?)

Example: Gracias por dejarme los 10 Euros, me vienen al pelo = Thanks for lending me the 10 Euros, they’re just what I need right now.

Notes on the Internet Dream…

Os quería pedir un favor, que me vendría al pelo – I wanted to ask you a favour, which would be a great help.

People occasionally ask us how Notes in Spanish began, or for advice about how to set up a podcasting project/business like Notes in Spanish. To answer that question, Ben has written a short book, ‘Notes on the Internet Dream’ which will hopefully be out within the next two to three weeks in Kindle and paperback.

(If this doesn’t interest you, stop reading now, commit the above great Spanish phrase to memory, and continue with our podcasts! If you’ve listened to ALL our podcasts – Really?! You are amazing! – then check out this interesting resource: Radio Ambulante – real Spanish radio from NPR with transcripts to help you out.)

As I finish the final manuscript, I’d be grateful if anyone who might be interested in this book could send me ideas or questions for what it should cover. So I don’t miss anything out! No one knows Notes in Spanish like you guys, so you’re the best people to ask.

So far the book tells the story of the ‘aha’ moments that led Notes in Spanish to exist over 10 years ago, contains inspiring ideas about how to easily start an online business (or any project!), a complete walk-through of how the website works and how we earn a living, and a ‘philosophical’ section on things like working from home, how much money a business needs to generate, ‘moral marketing’, and what to do when an online business finally frees up lots of your time.

If you have any other ideas that you’d like to see in the book, or questions you’d like to see addressed, please let me know in the comments below. ¡Me vendría al pelo!

I’ll let you all know when the book is published, for those that are interested, and meanwhile will be back soon with more super-useful Spanish phrases.

Many thanks,

Ben

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Spanish Books To Read, A Beautiful Song and More…

Queridos amigos,

Resources…

First of all, have you seen the new ‘resources‘ link in the navigation menu above? Make sure you have seen all the great things on offer there if you haven’t got them already.

A beautiful song…

We’ve posted a link to ‘Gracias a la vida’ before, but we’ve never heard it quite like this version by Dom La Nena (follow that link to hear it on Bandcamp for free or to purchase for download). She sings with an Argentine accent (though she was born in Brasil), which leads to some really beautiful pronunciation in the song.

Reading advice…

Also, if you missed it on our Facebook page, we asked for advice on books to read in Spanish and got an overwhelming response, lots of useful information. Check out all the suggestions in the 60+comments here if you’d like ideas for reading in Spanish.

Feel free to add more books to the comments there, or to suggest books or equally beautiful Spanish songs in the comments for this blog post below.

And don’t forget, keep on listening to our audio, it’s the best Spanish learning resource we’ve got! And all free!

¡Gracias! Ben y Marina

 

 

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¡Felíz navidad! Spanish Christmas Carols and Audios

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

Queridos Amigos,

¡Felíz navidad! December is here, and Christmas is really starting to get going in Spain! Below we have two of Spain’s greateset Christmas Carols, plus links to all our Christmas related audios.

We also have a special Christmas sale running in our store until December 12th, and once again 5% of the entire year’s gross Notes in Spanish income will be going to charity – this year we will be supporting ACNUR again, the Spanish division of UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency.

So, first, perhaps the two most famous Spanish Christmas carols.

Los Peces En El Rio…

Campana Sobre Campana

 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

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Classic Spanish Songs, From Chile to Flamenco…

There are so many wonderful Spanish songs in the world that it’s impossible to know where to start. Below are a few of our favourites, please share in the comments the ones that really touch you so that we can all look them up as well! A hint, to get the lyrics for any of these or other songs, just google the song name and the word ‘letra’, which means lyrics 🙂

In past years around Thanksgiving we have sent out this song by Mercedes Sosa, Gracias a La Vida, originally composed by Violeta Parra, the Chilean singer-songwriter.

Another classic Mercedes Sosa interpretation is Todo Cambia, written by Julio Numhauser…

This song below, Berlín by Coque Malla, featuring actress Leonor Watling. became a family favourite last year.

Below is a fantastic performance by Paco de Lucía, this song Luzia from the stunning album by the same name. OK, so you won’t learn much Spanish in this video, but watch the interplay between the musicians, the singer and the incredible dancer – as quintessentially Spanish, or perhaps Andalusian, as you could wish.

Here is a long-term favourite of Marina’s, Sin Embargo by Joaquin Sabina, who is something of a Madrileño Bob Dylan. The intro is sung by Olga Roman, and is pure poetry, “Te quiero más que a mis ojos, te quiero más que a mi vida, más que al aire que respiro, y más que a la madre mía”…

Finally, “Ojalá”, more great poetry from Cuban legend Silvio Rodriguez. Check out the original of this tune, dedicated to his first love, to listen to the words…

…but this live version ‘me pone los pelos de punta’, makes my hair stand on end (the way we’d say ‘give’s me goosebumps’)…

Tell us about your favourite Spanish songs in the comments right here on the blog!

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