Saturday, January 1, 2011

day one

I started today (one of my New Year's Resolutions was to learn 8 words a day of Spanish. I'm going to track it here). the idea is that if I learn 1000 words I'll be able to understand about 90% of the spoken language. I'm heading to Argentina next in June so that gives me some time. Today I learned "a" (to), "y" (and), "en" (in), "el/la" (the), "por" (for), "ser" (to be), "un" (a), "que" (what). And my wife helped me conjugate "ser" but its hard for me to remember.

yo soy - learned something interesting here. Since every very conjugates for "I" then you never actually have to use "yo" - its basically clear from usage when you are using "yo".
tu eres
el/ella es
nosotros somos
(i can't remember the plural "you" or but Claudia says doesn't matter so much)
ellos son

In the course of learning the above I learned other basics like "casa" and "esperar". for some reason i have a good memory with just about everything else but not with languages so i hope i can pull this off.

I also learned that the following is ok: its going to be always clear that I'm a "gringo" so the main thing i want to do is to be understood and to have basic understanding, not to be perfectly fluent as if I were Spanish.

Claudia played for me two songs to help me learn:

I kept confusing Nosotros with Nostromos for some reason.

And then "Cuando Caliente El Sol" - so now I know "caliente" and "el sol" and "cuando"


  1. Hmm, even in the video the title is mispelled, it is "cuando calientA el sol", how funny... good job!
    the plural is ustedes or vosotros (people in Spain use the vosotros thing)

  2. is a great compilation of some quirks and characteristics of Argentine Spanish. I wish I was going to Argentina! Good luck!

  3. @Eileen, thanks! I'll check that blog out. I need all the quirks I can get.

  4. @Claudia, is "ustedes" the same as "you" or "you are".

  5. Ustedes is "you guys" in a formal way

  6. I took some Spanish in college and while the common verb conjugations are helpful to know, it's basic vocabulary that will be the most practical on your travels.

    Usually when talking to foreign-speaking locals you are asking questions, where to find something, etc, so basic terms are important: bathroom (banos), restaurant (ristorante), store (tienda) and such. Most locals don't speak grammatically perfect Spanish, not in Mexico anyway.

    Also, the major verbs that I found helpful:

    I want = Quiero (yo is implied)
    I need = Necessito
    I'm looking for = Busco

    Where is = Donde Esta?
    Who is = Quien Es?
    How much = Cuanto?
    Why = Por Que?
    Check please! = La Quenta Por Favor

  7. Stacy, thanks so much for these. I agree that when I travel these will come in handy. Particularly "La Quenta Por Favor" and "Busco..the bathroom", etc will be good. I feel like I'm getting a good head start with these suggestions.

    Here's the list I'm working off of for the first 100 words:

  8. Another attraction in Argentina is the people that lives there and their cultures, here's a place where you could stay when you plan on visiting there.

    Hostels in Salta

  9. Some revisions:

    "necesito" has one "s"
    "cuenta" is spelled with a "c" (otherwise the "u" would not be pronouced, such as in the word "que".)

    Otherwise, "Buen trabajo!" (Good job!)