Madrid, Beer, Notes in Spanish

A few cool phrases for you today, here’s the first, one of my favourites:

Quien no llora no mama – If you don’t ask you don’t get

This phrase comes from breast feeding! Literally, if the baby doesn’t cry, ‘llorar’, it doesn’t get to breast feed, ‘mamar’. Now it is used widely to suggest that if you want something in life, you really need to ask for it!

Here’s a short email I’ve pinned above my desk from someone that blatantly takes a similar grab-the-toro-by-the-horns approach to life (and combines Madrid, Beer and Notes in Spanish!):

“Hi Ben and Marina, Love the podcasts!! They’ve literally changed my life – your intermediate and advanced podcasts gave my flagging Spanish the boost it needed. I’m happy to say I’m now living in Madrid!! Thank you so much!! Neal.”

Neal’s message came with a pic of him here in Madrid featuring a large grin, and an even larger glass of beer in one hand – it seems that the Spanish-speaking life in sunny Madrid is treating him well!

The reason I keep this message is that it reminds me of my first days in Madrid over 10 years ago, when I was doing my best to get really good at Spanish.

One of the things that put a huge smile on my face (and I suspect this is happening with Neal) was being treated warmly by Spanish people when I made an effort to speak to them using real-sounding Spanish, (not the boring, wooden, text book stuff).

I learned a lot of phases that I knew sounded real and authentic from the Spanish people I met, and used them whenever I opened a conversation, to make sure I made a strong first impression.

Here are some of the favourites I still use today:

He tenido un día super chungo – I’ve had a hell of a day.

¿Qué me cuentas? – What’s new? (Marina always greeted
me like this when we met for our ‘intercambios’, I loved it!)

¡Cuánto tiempo sin verte! – I haven’t seen you for ages!

Madre mía que tarde llevo… – What an afternoon I’ve had…

¡Qué alegría verte! – I’m so happy to see you!

Anyway, the fact that Neal is succeeding with Notes in Spanish-style Spanish right here in Madrid reminded me of those happy days…

Now, I wanted to take this opportunity to answer a couple of common queries we’ve reveived recently:

Q. Hi Ben and Marina, It seems like there’s so much to listen to on your site, do I have to listen to all the audio at one level before going up to the next? (from Liz H.)

A. Not at all! The whole idea is to jump up to an advanced level as soon as possible. We’ve built our whole ‘real Spanish’ audio and worksheets System around getting independent learners, like you, to an advanced and fluent level of Spanish asap, not leaving you stuck as a perpetual intermediate!

Q. Hola Ben, I’m thinking of buying one of your packs but I’m worried about discovering they don’t really suit my learning style afterwards… (from John T.)

A. Firstly, you don’t need to worry as they are very carefully designed to help learners just like you get SO much more out of our audio and advance as quickly as possible.

Secondly, you still don’t need to worry as we offer an insanely generous no-hoops-to-jump-through, 100% fail-safe guarantee on all our products. Choose the pack that matches your level and see for yourself! (…a warning though, you might end up smiling in Madrid like Neal!)

Inspired Beginners Super Pack: Click Here
Intermediate Super Pack: Click Here
Advanced Super Pack: Click Here

– Ben