How to learn a language online

How to learn a language online

wayne parry

LEARN SPANISH ONLINE FOR FREE

 

 

 

STEP ONE:   TO UNDERSTAND WHERE IT IS SPOKEN

EXAMPLE:    A JOURNEY THROUGH THE PLACES THAT SPEAK SPANISH

 

To learn a language we must first learn where it is spoken. Not only is it spoken in Spain but it is also the official language of 21 countries, mostly in Latin America. There are another 50 million speakers in the United States, making that country one of the largest Spanish speaking countries in the world. Beyond the Americas, there are very few places where Spanish is spoken with the exception of the African country of Equatorial Guinea and also many people in the Philippines as well as Western Sahara.  

 

 

 

STEP TWO:    TO CHOOSE A PLACE WHERE IT IS SPOKEN

EXAMPLE:      MADRID - CAPITAL OF SPAIN

 

Even if you can't understand all that's being said in the next clip, it's important to get into a frame of mind of eliminating your native language as that won't be needed in these steps. For this step, just by imagining that you are in that place, you will be able to start motivating yourself and opening up to more of the language.

 

 

 

 

 

STEP THREE:     TO CHOOSE A PART OF THE CITY TO EXPLORE

EXAMPLE:          EL MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL - A MARKET IN MADRID

 

For reading the signs and for getting a feel for what it's like to be in a typical setting it's always best to choose a market. Pay attention to the many signs and focus on the written aspect of the language.

 

 

 

STEP FOUR:       TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEY BEHAVE

EXAMPLE:          TELEVISION

 

The variety of television programmes in Spanish is immense and although Mexico still dominates the world of telenovelas in the Spanish language, exporting their television drama to the rest of the Spanish speaking world and beyond, there is also a growing amount of television from Colombia and Argentina. The United States is catching up in terms of home-grown telenovelas in Spanish while Spain continues to dominate when it comes to more topical television such as comedy and programming that veers away from the predictable format of Mexico's soap operas. Here is a brief list of some recent television across the world.

 

 

Física o Química                      Spanish drama set in a high school

Abismo de Pasión                   Telenovela set in rural Mexico

Corazón de Fuego                   Telenovela from Peru

Esperanza del Corazón          Mexican romance telenovela

Natalia del Mar                         Venezuelan drama set in a beautiful coastal town

Mi Corazón Insiste                   American remake of Yo Amo a Paquita Gallego from Colombia

La Casa de al Lado                 Another US remake from Chile's La Familia de al Lado

El Hormiguero                          Comedy show from Spain

La Mariposa                              Colombian crime drama set in Miami and Bogota

Un Refugio para el Amor        Romance telenovela from Mexico

Amorcito Corazón                     Popular Mexican telenovela involving romance

La Que No Podía Amar           Mexican telenovela set in the state of Chiapas

Esperanza                                 Chilean telenovela about a maid who falls in love

Aqui No Hay Quien Viva          Spanish comedy about a group of people in the same house

Relaciones Peligrosas           Another of Telemundo's popular US productions set in the USA

Ni Contigo Ni Sin Ti                 Mexican telenovela about a poor girl who falls in love with a rich man

Rafaela                                      Mexican drama based on the original Venezuelan version 

La Reina del Sur                     One of the USA's most successful telenovelas about drug trafficking in Mexico

El Fantasma de Elena           Another US production set in the Florida Keys 

Aurora                                        US production set in New York City

Becarios                                   Spanish comedy set around an office photocopier

Valientes                                   Telenovela set in rural Argentina  

 

Here's the first episode of Física o Química on YouTube. There's also a version with the English subtitles.

 

 

 

STEP FIVE:           TO EAT LIKE A LOCAL

EXAMPLE:            FOOD AROUND THE SPANISH SPEAKING WORLD

 

There is an abundance of amazing food from Spain and Latin America. While Mexican cuisine needs no introduction here, due mainly to its popularity in the United States and also while Spanish tapas can be found all over the globe, there are other equally interesting cuisines in the Hispanosphere - from Argentina to Peru. Here's a list of just some of those dishes.

 

 

Paella                                              Popular rice dish from Valenica, often served with seafood

Tortilla de patata                           Always a common accompaniment at any Spanish tapas bar

Chorizo                                           Spicy sausage found all over Spain

Arroz con leche                              Spanish rice pudding

Gazpacho                                       Chilled tomato soup usually served in summer in Spain 

Calamares a la Romana            Fried squid - a common tapas dish

Fabada                                           White bean stew from Asturias

Lechazo asado                             Roasted milk-fed lamb

Chuletillas                                     Lamb cutlets from Asturias

Patatas bravas                             The most popular tapas dish - spicy potatoes 

Escudella                                      Sausage stew from Catalonia

Pisto                                               Vegetable stew from Castilla La Mancha 

Tortillas                                          Mexican flatbread different from the Spanish word for tortilla

Guacamole                                   Avocado dip also popular in Tex-Mex cuisine in the USA

Burrito                                            Closed tortilla filled with cheese and meat

Carne asada                                Mexican style barbecued meat 

Chile relleno                                Roasted stuffed pepper from Puebla

Tamales                                       Wrapped corn husks popular in Mexico City

Mole poblano                              Chicken dish originally from Puebla

Quesadilla                                   Toasted cheese tortillas 

Tacos                                            Popular all over the world but originally from Mexico  

Tlayuda                                        Crunchy tortilla with re-fried beans

Chile con carne                          Tex-Mex version of this Mexican dish found all over the USA

Nachos                                        Another Tex-Mex variation of tortilla chips, salsa, cheese and guacamole  

Chili con queso                          Popular tortilla chips and cheese dish in Texas

Dulce de leche                           Caramelised cream popular in Argentina and Uruguay

Chimichurri                                 Herb condiment originally from Argentina but found all over Latin America  

Empanadas                                Synonymous with Argentina and Chile but also found all over the continent

Alfajores                                      Argentinian shortbread cookies eaten also in Peru and Chile

Mate                                             Yerba leaf drink found in Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil

Locro                                           Casserole from the Cuyo region but also in neighbouring Paraguay

Asado de tira                              Short ribs commonly found in an Argentinian parrilla (barbecue)

Lomo saltado                             Asian influenced sirloin strips marinated in soy sauce from Peru

Ceviche                                        Peru's most popular dish of spicy raw (marinated) seafood, also in Ecuador 

Papa rellena                               Stuffed potatoes found mostly in Peru but also in other neighbouring countries

Sancochado                               Peruvian beef and vegetable broth

Arroz con pollo                           Typical chicken and rice dish found in most parts of Latin America

Pollo a la brasa                         Grilled chicken dish commonly eaten in Lima (Peru)

Ocopa                                         Boiled potatoes in chili pepper sauce from Arequipa (Peru)

Ajiaco                                          Colombia's most popular chicken soup, also found in Cuba

Patacones                                  Fried plantains from Colombia

Sancocho                                   Thick soup found in Panama, Peru and Colombia

Arepas                                        Corn dough dumplings from Venezuela

Tequeños                                   Deep fried cheese dumplings from Venezuela 

Cachapa                                     Venezuelan maize pancake

Paila marina                              Fish soup from Chile's coastal regions

Pastel de choclo                       Sweet corn casserole found mainly in Chile

Tortilla de mariscos                 Chilean version of the Mexican tortilla but containing seafood

Cazuela                                      Rustic casserole found in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia

Casado                                      Combination of black beans, rice and tortilla from Costa Rica 

Tamales                                     Central American version (maize) that differs from Mexican tamales

Boliche                                       Cuban dish of roast beef, sausages and rice

Pastelitos                                  Fruit filled puff pastry from Havana

Cuban sandwich                     Ham, cheese and pickles in a French loaf found in both Cuba and Florida

Albondigón                               Puerto Rican meatloaf

Almojábanas                           Cheese flavoured rice fritters from Puerto Rico 

Mofongo                                    Fried yuca and pork dish found in both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico

Mondongo                                Beef tripe stew from the Dominican Republic 

Pasteles en hojas                  Stuffed plantains originally from Puerto Rico

 

 

 

 

 

STEP SIX:              TO LEARN HOW TO PREPARE A TYPICAL DISH

EXAMPLE:             CEVICHE FROM PERU

 

 

 

 

 

STEP SEVEN:               TO LISTEN TO THE LOCAL MUSIC

EXAMPLE:                     POPULAR AND RECENT MUSIC

 

Many countries where Spanish is spoken have created distinctive sounds such as rumba, salsa, merengue and tango but those are traditional whereas popular music is what attracts most people to a language. Of course, traditional styles of music should not be ignored but this list (and these steps for learning a language) deal mostly with the contemporary and commercial aspect of learning a language - not the historical aspect of music which can sometimes alienate younger audiences. Choose your genre - so if tango is your thing, then search for it. Here's a list of what I would listen to in order to motivate myself to learn this language.

 

 

Yo Te Esperaré (Cali & El Dandee)                                Reggaeton duo from Colombia

Cometas por el Cielo (La Oreja de Van Gogh)            Spanish pop band with an amazing vocalist 

Cambiar el Alma (Bersuit Vergarabat)                           Rock band from Argentina

Un Año Sin Lluvia (Selena Gomez & The Scene)        American born singer and actress  

No Sigue Modas (Juan Magan)                                       Spanish DJ of European house and trance music

La Señal (Juanes)                                                              Probably Colombia's most famous rock singer  

Todo Se Olvida (Carlos Baute)                                        Popular singer from Venezuela

Fuerte (Nelly Furtado ft. Concha Buika)                         Singers from Canada and Equatorial Guinea  

Frío (Ricky Martin ft. Wisin & Yandel)                              The best of Puerto Rico - old and new

Claridad (Luis Fonsi)                                                         Pop singer from Puerto Rico

Perfecta (Venus)                                                                 Spanish contestants for 2011's Eurovision

Loca (Shakira ft. El Cata)                                                  Colombia's most successful export

No Alcanzan las Flores (Diego Torres)                          Famous singer from Argentina

Lovumba (Daddy Yankee)                                                Very successful reggaeton artist from Puerto Rico

Me Voy (Paulina Rubio ft. Espinoza Paz)                       Mexico's most famous female singer

Ahora Tu (Malú)                                                                   Recently famous singer from Spain 

Olvídate de Mi (Zenttric)                                                     Spanish pop / indie band

Titerito (Farruko)                                                                 Another reggaeton artist from Puerto Rico

Movimientos de Caderas (Rayo & Toby)                       Colombian reggaeton duo

Energía (Alexis & Fido)                                                      One of Puerto Rico's most successful reggaeton duos 

El Verdadero Amor Perdona (Maná)                              World famous rock band from Mexico

La Pregunta (J Alvarez)                                                     Reggaeton artist from Puerto Rico 

La Comunidad (Tan Bionica)                                          Rock band from Argentina

Máquina del Tiempo (Tito el Bambino)                         Yet another famous reggaeton artist from Puerto Rico

Siempre Me Llama (Opi)                                                  Puerto Rican reggaeton artist that collaborates with others

Rival (Romeo Santos)                                                      American singer who was born in New York

 

 

 

 

 

STEP EIGHT:                 TO TAKE AN INTEREST IN A LOCAL SPORT

EXAMPLE:                     EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

 

Without a doubt, football (or soccer) is the most popular sport in the Spanish speaking world and while some countries have very successful national teams (such as Argentina, Spain and Uruguay) there are also teams on a more domestic level that are internationally successful, like Real Madrid and Barcelona. Here is a match between Spain's two main rivals.

 

 

 

 

 

STEP NINE:                   TO UNDERSTAND SPANISH LANGUAGE FILMS

EXAMPLE:                    RECENT RELEASES ACROSS THE SPANISH SPEAKING WORLD

 

 

Aballay                                                       Argentinian action drama set in 19th century

Violeta Se Fue a los Cielos                   True story about a famous Chilean singer in the 1970's

Los Colores de la Montaña                   Colombian film about a school and its students' struggles

Habanastation                                         Cuban film that address social problems in Havana's slums

La Hija Natural                                         Drama from the Dominican Republic

Miss Bala                                                   Intense drama from Mexico that deals with drug trafficking

Octubre                                                      Peruvian drama about a family 

America                                                      Puerto Rican action drama  

La Casa Muda                                          Horror movie from Uruguay  

El Rumor de las Piedras                       Venezuelan drama about life in the slums of Caracas

Carancho                                                  Crime film from Argentina   

La Vida de los Peces                              Chilean drama film

El Vuelco del Cangrejo                          Colombian drama about a man who goes to live on the coast 

Del Amor y Otros Demonios                 Drama from Costa Rica based on the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Biutiful                                                        Mexican drama film set in Barcelona about illegal immigrants  

La Yuma                                                    Nicaraguan film about a female boxer

Contracorriente                                        Peruvian drama film about the secret love life of two men

Miente                                                        Puerto Rican action drama film about a woman on the run in New York

También la Lluvia                                    Spanish drama film set in Bolivia during the Cochabamba protests

La Vida Útil                                                Uruguayan film in black and white about a film production crew

Hermano                                                   Venezuelan film about two boys and their lives in Caracas 

 

 

 

 

STEP TEN:                     TO GET TO KNOW SOME OF THE LOCALS

EXAMPLE:                     SKYPE

 

It goes without saying that if you meet some of the locals who are native speakers of the language, you will be able to improve your level of the language. There are some good websites where you can connect with other people on Skype, such as My Language Exchange or The Mixxer.

 

The Mixxer   http://www.language-exchanges.org

My Language Exchange   http://www.mylanguageexchange.com

 

 

 

 

STEP ELEVEN:                      TO UNDERSTAND THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT

EXAMPLE:                             SPANIARDS WORKING IN CHILE

 

By seeing how people work in a country we can understand a little bit about the working culture. Currently, many unemployed Spaniards are seeking work opportunities in places like Chile or Argentina.

 

 

 

 

STEP TWELVE:                     TO UNDERSTAND HOW RELATIONSHIPS WORK

EXAMPLE:                             RIVALRIES

 

This is an interesting interview involving several people's opinions about Chile - a country that is developing much faster than its neighbours at present.

 

 

 

 

 

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