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How to Text in Spanish: Internet Slang and Abbreviations

Hla! Cmo stas? Spro bn. Vasir a lo de Carla? GPI btw,… cmo 100pre!

What’s that? Ever encountered something similar while texting with a Spanish native speaker, hanging around on Spanish forums, following social media accounts in Spanish, or watching YouTube videos in what’s arguably the most popular romance language?

Well, that’s Spanish internet slang, language, or whatever you want to call it… Spanish text abbreviations is another name! You might have noticed that most of it is just using the consonants of the words, or abbreviating the phrase. Were you able to catch the meaning of the above phrase? Here’s a translation to good ol’ English:

“Hi! How are you? Hope you’re doing ok. Are you going to Carla’s later? Thanks for inviting me, by the way, …as always!”

Phew! So, if you’re learning Spanish and would like to engage in conversation with native speakers either on the internet or through instant text messaging, it might come in handy to know some of the slang we’ll share below.

Mainly, however, the idea of this article is to share with you how internet and text slang in Spanish—and more specifically, Mexican Spanish—slang is created and thought of by its users.

As with any language one hopes to master, this is a useful thing to consider on your journey to learning it.

Table of Contents

  1. What Do We Mean by “Internet Talk”?
  2. Writing with Only Consonants, Abbreviations, and Sounds
  3. Texting Slang with Numbers
  4. Texting Slang to Agree on a Meeting
  5. Conveying Emotions with Spanish Texting Slang
  6. Final Word About Spanish Text Lingo
  7. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Your Spanish Texting and Internet Slang?

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1. What Do We Mean by “Internet Talk”?

First of all, it serves to do a quick recap on what “Internet Talk” is in the first place. This consists of all the terms and expressions that started to appear as the internet exploded in popularity.

The internet, being, in broad terms, an American invention, has English as an official language. Thus it’s very normal for young people in Spain, Mexico, Columbia, or most places in Latin America (and most of the world for that matter), to look at internet pages in English.

As a consequence of that, certain expressions have seeped into our usage of Spanish in the web and social media, so don’t be surprised if you see Spanish speakers writing lol, wtf, brb, txt, omg, tfti, and even lmao.

Those mean the same to us Spanish speakers as they do to anyone speaking English, so we’ll assume you got them covered.

Let’s now take a look at what we’ll assume you’re here for: those Spanish abbreviations that aren’t very easy to understand at first.


2. Writing with Only Consonants, Abbreviations, and Sounds

1- Slang: GPI

Actual Meaning & Translation:

As you may have caught from the example at the beginning of this article, this is merely a quick way of typing Gracias por invitar. In English, that’s something like “thanks for the invite.”

Use:

This one can be used in two different ways. One is if you were actually invited to an event that has yet to occur, and you’d like to express gratitude. No problem there, right?

The other one is more sarcastic. You would use it when there’s an event that already happened, or an event that’s happening very soon and you definitely can’t attend. Then you would say GPI or “thanks for the invite,” just to be funny or to rub it in someone’s face that you regret not being invited, or even that you’re sore about not being told in advance.

Be careful with this one, as it can be taken as you being friendly and playful—blasé, let’s say, about not being invited. But depending on the context and the particular situation, it could come off as you actually being offended.

2- Slang: Xq? or Xk? or Just X?

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Short for ¿Porqué?, which is the same as “Why?” or “How come?”

Use:

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. The thing worth noting is that the “q” and “k” are both used interchangeably for the sound of the word que, as in…uhm, quesadilla? Forgive the obvious example, but most people know how to say that one, don’t they?

Also, what’s up with just using the “x” for ¿por qué? Well, in math in Spanish, when you say something like “two times two,” you might say dos veces dos, or, especially if you’re in Mexico and some parts of Latin America, dos por dos. Since the symbol for multiplying is a little “x” for us Spanish speakers as well, then it makes a good quick way of asking x?

3- Slang: Q, Khé, or

Actual Meaning & Translation:

This one is the same as ¿qué?, que, and all the uses of both the word and its sound. Translates to “what,” or “which,” depending on the use.

Use:

That “Q” can actually be seen as q? to ask “what?” as in stating confusion or apprehension. Khé is the same, but much more exaggerated, like you really can’t believe what’s being said and you would go to such lengths as writing it in that manner.

4- Slang: Bn

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Short for bien, which is “good!”

Use:

This is what you’re most likely to answer when someone asks the following in Spanish slang to you over a text or internet convo:

5- Slang: Cmo stas?

Actual meaning & Translation:

Short for ¿Cómo estás? this literally means “How are you?” So of course, you answer “Good!” or plainly bn.

Use:

Just as in English, it’s polite and nice to ask your interlocutor how he or she is doing before starting the conversation, right after hola… or hla, or even ola.

6- Slang: Bno

Actual Meaning & Translation:

A fast way of typing bueno, which is also “good.”

Use:

If you’ve been studying Spanish, perhaps you’ve had explained to you the difference between bien and bueno. It’s sort of like the difference between “good,” “well,” and “ok.” The latter two are usually bien, while the former can be both.

Bno can also express agreement or resignation. Like:

— ¿Vamos x unos tacos?

— Bno, pro pasas por mí?

Translation:

— “Are u down for some tacos?”

— “Ok, but can u give me a ride?”

7- Slang: Ntp

Actual Meaning & Translation:

No te preocupes, which translates to “Don’t worry.”

Use:

Whenever your Spanish-speaking interlocutor is fretting about something, apologizing, or overthinking things, just say ntp. It’s almost used as “chill out.”

8- Slang: Grx or Grax

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Gracias, which, as almost everybody knows, is “Thank you” or “Thanks.”

Use:

Use this when you want to say thanks, but want to appear light-hearted or cool about the whole thing.

9- Slang: Xfa

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Remember how por got turned into x? just a while ago with xq? Well, this is the same thing, but applied to porfa, which is short for Por favor—which is regular old “Please.”

Use:

Want to ask for something the nice way without appearing too formal all the time? Vamos x tacos, xfa.

10- Slang: Spero

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Just took the e off espero… darn those internet kids! Espero is the first-person present conjugation of esperar which is the verb for “to hope” or “to wait.”

Use:

Spero que entiendas esta oración.

Translation? “Hope you catch the meaning of this sentence.”

11- Slang: Vrd or Vdd

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Abbreviation for verdad, which is the word for “truth.”

Use:

This one can be used like you would use the word “truth” in English, as in la vrd no quiero ir (“To tell you the truth, I don’t want to go.”).

It can also be used like when you ask “right” after saying something in English. To stick with the example above: No quieres ir, vdd? (“You don’t really want to go, right?”)


3. Texting Slang with Numbers

Perhaps you’ve come across crazy things like this:

12- Slang: 100pre

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Okay, so, how do you say “one-hundred” in Spanish? That’s cien, which sounds almost like siem, the same sound at the beginning of the word siempre, which means “forever,” in English.

Use:

You can drop this one whenever you need to use the word “forever” in a Spanish sentence.

13- Slang: Salu2

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Same idea. What’s the Spanish word for the number two? Dos is the right answer, as in Saludos, which is something like “greetings,” in English.

Use:

If you use saludos or salu2 at the end of a sentence online, it’s almost like saying “cheers” to say goodbye.


4. Texting Slang to Agree on a Meeting

Woman Looking at Phone

14- Slang: Vns?

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Short for Vienes, which means “Are you coming?”

Use:

If you’re already at a place or event where you agreed to meet someone, you can text him or her that.

15- Slang: Vasir?

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Short for the phrase ¿Vas a ir? which means “Are you going?”

Use:

Use this when you’re talking about an event or place, but you’re not there yourself.

16- Slang: Aki

Actual Meaning & Translation:

This is Aquí which is the Spanish word for “here,” but spelled with a “k.”

Use:

This is used mostly by very young people, talking informally.

17- Slang: ¡Ámonos!

Actual Meaning & Translation:

Not really sure if this is slang or an expression, but it’s just a funny, tongue-in-cheek way of saying Vamonos, which is the first-person plural imperative of ir, which is the verb “to go”… so! In short, it’s how you say “Let’s go!” in Spanish.

Use:

You say this to rush people in a group you’re in, but it could also be used almost as a way of saying “Holy sh*t!” or something like that. It expresses amazement, surprise, and wonder.

Let’s say a friend of yours sends this photo of a massive taco he or she’s about to eat. You could text back saying ámonos! and the scream emoji.


5. Conveying Emotions with Spanish Texting Slang

18- Slang: TQM

Actual Meaning & Translation:

This one’s cute. It’s just the first letter of every word in the phrase Te quiero mucho. The literal translation is “I want you so much,” but that’s not the meaning Spanish-speakers have for it at all. I’ll explain…

Use:

In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, Te quiero mucho is what you say to some family members, and very close friends as if to say “I care about you” or “I love you.” The latter is te amo in Spanish, but just as in English, while it may be cool to say it to friends or family, it’s a big deal to say it to your significant other. Hence, when you haven’t reached the “‘I love you’ stage” and you need something to express affection in Spanish, we use Tqm.

In Spanish texting or internet lingo, tqm is even less serious than typing it in full. You could say it’s like when you say “luv u” to a close friend, or in a lighthearted manner to a significant other.

19- Slang: Bb

Actual Meaning & Translation:

What does the sound of two “b”s pronounced in Spanish sound like? Of course, it’s exactly like the word bebé, which is Spanish for “baby.”

Use:

You would call someone bb while texting in Spanish, only if they’re your significant other, like when you call your boyfriend/girlfriend “baby,” or when you’re talking sweetly with a close friend of either sex.

It could also be used to talk to someone in a bit of a superior manner, but with a good and kind spirit. Like if they’re confused about something and you call them bb right before explaining.

How Do You Communicate Laughter While Texting in Spanish?

Both when texting in any kind of Spanish, or writing on the internet, you write jajaja, which is simply the same as the English version “hahaha.”

“J,” in Spanish, is the same sound as the “h” in “horse,” so it’s actually closer to the way we all laugh than if you’d write “hahaha” texting in Spanish.

Nevertheless, if you do that most people will get that you’re laughing, pretty much for the same reasons that Spanish speakers can use “lol” or “rofl.”

Some variations of this include jijiji, jujuju, and jejeje.


6. Final Word About Spanish Text Lingo

Phone with Blocks On It

It’s very much worth mentioning that all of the internet and texting slang in Spanish that we’ve shared here is rather informal. Very much like in English, it should only be used in informal settings and situations.

It’s a matter of personal taste of course. I would say that you shouldn’t write this way even on a forum or a comment section, but you may see things differently.

I’d save your new slang skills in Spanish for when you’re speaking with close interlocutors. If you’re addressing strangers and want to come off as serious, like if you’re writing an email to a stranger, a company, or something like that, don’t use these! They can say a lot about the speaker.


7. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Your Spanish Texting and Internet Slang?

If you liked this guide to the essential Spanish slang for texting and internet lingo, then feel free to find more resources, idiomatic expressions, and fun lessons on our SpanishPod101 website. We have over 1800 audio and video lessons, lively community forums, and a good combination of energetic hosts to help you with your Spanish learning needs in a fun and easy manner!

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Ultimate Guide of Untranslatable Spanish Words

Have you ever thought about untranslatable Spanish words? What about words like this in your native language? Every language has plenty of words that can’t be translated into English; there are even some words that just can’t be translated into any other language.

Maybe there aren’t that many Spanish words that are untranslatable, as most of them can probably be translated into other languages, but we definitely have plenty of Spanish words with no English equivalent.

That’s actually ironic, because English has a lot more words than Spanish. What do we mean when we say “a lot”? Well, thousands! The official dictionaries of each language list 150,000 words in Spanish and 600,000 words in English. However, it’s true that many of those English words aren’t currently in use and don’t even include definitions. In fact, there are only about 230,000 words with definitions in the Oxford Dictionary. That’s still 80,000 more words than there are in the Spanish dictionary. So yes, English has more words. Despite that, Spanish has many words that can’t be expressed in only one word in English. Most of them are basic concepts that do exist in English, but there’s just not a word for them.

That’s why we’ve prepared, specifically for you, the ultimate guide of Spanish untranslatable words that don’t exist in English, but should. Let’s get started with our list of untranslatable words in Spanish!

Table of Contents

  1. Ten Untranslatable Spanish Nouns
  2. Five Untranslatable Spanish Verbs
  3. Five Untranslatable Spanish Adjectives
  4. Three Extra Untranslatable Words in Other Languages Spoken in Spain
  5. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

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1. Ten Untranslatable Spanish Nouns

1- Anteayer

Meaning: The day before yesterday.

Example Situation: This word is pretty easy to understand, as it actually has a basic meaning and does exist in languages other than English. The concept obviously exists in English, but we can’t express it in a single word.

Usage in a Sentence: Mi cumpleaños fue anteayer. → “My birthday was anteayer.”

2- Botellón

Meaning: Party in the street. (Literal translation: “big bottle.”)

Example Situation: In Spain, it’s rather common for young people to get together to get drunk in a quiet street (well, we can’t say it’s quiet after they get there) or in a park, because it’s a lot cheaper than going to bars or clubs. It’s not something we Spaniards are proud of, as in most cases these people don’t pick up the bottles after they’re done and leave their mess behind.

Usage in a Sentence: ¿Te vienes al botellón de esta noche en el parque? → “Are you coming to the botellón in the park tonight?”

3- Chapuza

Meaning: Something that’s badly made or fixed.

Example Situation: This can refer to a lot of things. The most common is something that’s been built or fixed either really fast, without the proper equipment, or without having any idea how to do it. You know, like those times something in your house broke down and your dad tried to fix it. And hey, maybe he managed, maybe he didn’t, but it just doesn’t look that neat. It can be a machine, a car, some sort of object, the new floor… Well, those are all examples of chapuzas.

Usage in a Sentence: Esta cocina es una chapuza. No hay nada que funcione. → “This kitchen is a chapuza. Nothing works.”

Man

4- Consuegro

Meaning: Your son or daughter’s parent-in-law.

Example Situation: Instead of saying, for example, “my daughter Anna’s husband’s parents,” all you need to say is mis consuegros. It makes your whole life easier, doesn’t it?

Usage in a Sentence: Mis consuegros vienen esta noche a cenar. → “My consuegros are coming over for dinner tonight.”

5- Entrecejo

Meaning: The space between both eyebrows.

Example Situation: We don’t use this word that much, unless we want to point out to someone that they have something between their eyebrows. As we’ll mention soon, we also have a couple of different words for those who don’t have an entrecejo, which are cejijunto and unicejo.

Usage in a Sentence: Ey, perdona, tienes una mancha en el entrecejo. → “Hey, excuse me, there’s a stain on your entrecejo.”

6- Puente

Meaning: Long weekend. (Literal translation: “bridge.”)

Example Situation: When there are only one or two days between a holiday and the weekend, or another holiday, we call it a puente. People sometimes take those days off to make a longer holiday.

Usage in a Sentence: Este puente de cuatro días me lo voy a pasar en la playa. → “I’m going to spend this four-day puente at the beach.”

7- Resol

Meaning: The reflection of the sun.

Example Situation: We use this word when the sun’s reflected in a mirror or in a glass, for example. You can use it to say that the reflection is bothering you, as in the following example, but it isn’t necessarily negative.

Usage in a Sentence: Me voy a cambiar de asiento, porque aquí me da el resol en los ojos. → “I’m going to switch seats, because here I get the resol on my eyes.”

8- Sobremesa

Meaning: When everyone stays seated after a meal just to keep chatting.

Example Situation: It’s very common when having a meal with friends or family, especially when there’s a lot of people (but not necessarily), to stay seated and talk to everyone. They can go on for hours and there is often drinking involved.

Usage in a Sentence: Cada vez que vamos a cenar a casa de Pablo y Marta la sobremesa se alarga durante horas. → “Every time we go to Pablo and Marta’s for dinner the sobremesa lasts for hours.”

9- Tocayo

Meaning: A person who has the same name as you.

Example Situation: This word isn’t as widely used as it used to be. It’s used to refer to someone who shares a first name with someone else.

Usage in a Sentence: Creo que te confundes con mi tocayo: yo soy Juan García y me parece que buscas a Juan López. → “I think you’re mistaking me with my tocayo: I’m Juan García and I think you’re looking for Juan López.”

10- Vergüenza ajena

Meaning: When you’re embarrassed by someone else’s actions.

Example Situation: Do you know that feeling when you’re with someone and they do something so embarrassing that it makes you wish you could run away from them, even though it might have nothing to do with you? That feeling, that’s exactly what vergüenza ajena is.

Usage in a Sentence: Mamá, ¡deja de bailar! Te está mirando todo el mundo y me das vergüenza ajena. → “Mom, stop dancing! Everyone is looking at you and you’re giving me vergüenza ajena.”


2. Five Untranslatable Spanish Verbs

1- Estrenar

Meaning: To wear something new for the first time.

Example Situation: You can use this verb when you want to tell someone you want to wear something you just bought for the first time, but it’s also used when talking about movies or books being released.

Usage in a Sentence: Me he comprado un vestido precioso y tengo muchas ganas de estrenarlo. → “I bought myself a beautiful dress and I can’t wait to estrenar it.”

Girl

2- Madrugar

Meaning: To wake up early.

Example Situation: You’ll use this verb when you want to tell someone that you woke up early that day, or that you wake up early every day.

Usage in a Sentence: Madrugo todos los días: a las 5 de la mañana ya estoy despierto. → “I madrugo every day: I’m always up by 5 a.m.”

Note: A person who always wakes up early is called a madrugador.

Man

3- Merendar

Meaning: To eat a snack in the afternoon.

Example Situation: In Spain, we have a meal between lunch and dinner which is called merienda and it usually consists of a snack. This snack can be either sweet or savory, and is usually had with a cup of coffee, tea, or maybe just milk. A common merienda for kids, for example, is to have cookies and milk, but it could also be a sandwich. The act of eating your merienda is the verb merendar.

Usage in a Sentence: Hoy he ido a una cafetería nueva a merendar y me he comido un cruasán buenísimo. → “Today I went to a new café to merendar and I ate a delicious croissant.”

4- Trasnochar

Meaning: To stay up all night.

Example Situation: It can be used any time someone’s up during the night. That means it includes people who work night shifts, people who have insomnia, people who go out to party, etc.

Usage in a Sentence: Tengo que terminar un proyecto para mañana por la mañana; parece que me va a tocar trasnochar. → I need to finish a project for tomorrow morning; I think I’m going to have to trasnochar.

Note: A person who tends to stay up most nights is called a trasnochador.

5- Tutear

Meaning: To use the common pronoun tú instead of the formal usted and conjugate verbs accordingly.

Example Situation: We only use the form usted in formal situations, for example, when talking to someone who’s more important than us. While we’re talking to this person, maybe they decide that the conversation doesn’t require this form, and might ask you to use the common to refer to them.

Usage in a Sentence: No hace falta que me hables de usted: puedes tutearme. → “You don’t need to use the form usted: you can tutearme.”


3. Five Untranslatable Spanish Adjectives

1- Cejijunto/a

Meaning: To have both eyebrows connected.

Example Situation: You can use this word to describe someone who has such hairy eyebrows that they meet or nearly meet in the middle.

Usage in a Sentence: Mi marido es cejijunto de toda la vida y parece que nuestro hijo también empieza a tener las cejas pobladas. → “My husband has been cejijunto all his life and it looks like our son is starting to get hairy eyebrows too.”

Note: It’s also called unicejo.

2- Estadounidense

Meaning: Demonym for a person from the United States of America.

Example Situation: Isn’t it unbelievable that people from the U.S. just call themselves Americans and don’t have an actual demonym for their own country? America is the continent, not the country! What if Germans decided to ditch the word “German” and exclusively called themselves Europeans? Anyway, Spanish, just like most languages probably do, does have a word for it: estadounidense.

Usage in a Sentence: Mi nuevo jefe es estadounidense, creo que es de Seattle. → “My new boss is estadounidense, I think he’s from Seattle.”

3- Friolero/a

Meaning: Sensitive to the cold.

Example Situation: This adjective can be used to describe yourself or somebody else who’s sensitive to the cold, or someone who’s always cold, even in the summer.

Usage in a Sentence: Soy muy friolera, así que nunca salgo de casa sin una chaqueta. → “I’m very friolera, so I never leave my house without a jacket.”

Note: There’s also a word that describes someone who’s sensitive to the heat, which is caluroso/a.

Little

4- Manco/a

Meaning: A person who’s missing a hand or an arm.

Example Situation: Just like the meaning of this word states, it’s used to describe a person who only has one hand or arm.

Usage in a Sentence: Mi abuelo se quedó manco tras un accidente en la fábrica donde trabajaba. → “My grandfather was left manco after having an accident in the factory he used to work at.”

5- Tuerto/a

Meaning: A person who can only see with one eye.

Example Situation: You can use this adjective when you want to describe someone who’s blind in one eye.

Usage in a Sentence: Mi hermano es tuerto: perdió la visión en el ojo derecho cuando era muy pequeño. → “My brother is tuerto: he lost his sight in his right eye when he was very little.”


4. Three Extra Untranslatable Words in Other Languages Spoken in Spain

You might not know this, but Spanish isn’t the only language spoken in Spain. There are a few regions that have co-official languages. But no need to worry; everyone speaks Spanish, no matter where you travel in Spain.

All you need to know is that if you travel to cities like Bilbao, Valencia, Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela, or San Sebastián, you might hear people speaking a different language, or you might see signs written in those languages. Again, there’s nothing to be scared of.

Out of these three words, which are also untranslatable in Spanish, the first and the third words are sometimes used in Spanish. The second word, somiatruites, has probably never been used in Spanish, and it might never be, except for in the example we’re going to give you—but we love this word too much not to include it. You’ll know why very soon.

1- Morriña (Galician)

Meaning: The feeling you have when you miss your homeland.

Example Situation: Galicians use this word when they travel out of their homeland and feel homesick.

Usage in a Sentence: Hace una semana que salí de Galicia y ya empiezo a sentir morriña. → “It’s been a week since I left Galicia and I’m already starting to feel morriña.”

2- Somiatruites (Catalan and Valencian)

Meaning: A person who gets overly excited over anything, even if it’s impossible. (Literal meaning: omelette dreamer.)

Example Situation: We all have that one friend (or hey, maybe YOU’RE that friend) that gets way too excited over every little thing. For example, a girl who sees a cute boy for the first time and she’s already imagining what their wedding would look like, or someone who’s always daydreaming about things that might never happen.

Usage in a Sentence: ¿Pero no ves que nunca te va a hacer caso? Eres una somiatruites. → “Can’t you see he’s never going to pay attention to you? You’re a somiatruites.”

Note: If we wanted to translate this word into Spanish, it would be sueñatortillas. Sadly, it doesn’t exist.

3- Zirimiri (Basque)

Meaning: Very soft but constant rain, typical in the Basque Country (region in the North of Spain).

Example Situation: They say that when you visit the Basque Country, in the North of Spain, there’s often this kind of rain that they call zirimiri, which is constant, but very soft. You might not even realize it’s raining until it’s been a few minutes and you’re starting to get wet.

Usage in a Sentence: Aún no voy a sacar el paraguas, esto solo es zirimiri. → “I’m not going to take my umbrella out yet, this is just zirimiri.”

Note: In Spanish, it has been accepted as sirimiri.

Kid

5. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

We truly hope our list of untranslatable words from Spanish to English helped grow your interest for both languages!

After learning all these untranslatable Spanish words, we’re sure you wish some of them did exist in English! All of these words will make a huge difference in your conversations and will make you sound more fluent in Spanish. We suggest that you also think of untranslatable words in your native language. It’s not as easy as it seems, but it’s definitely very interesting to think of.

There’s so much more you can learn at SpanishPod101.com, no matter your current skill level or what you’re interested in. If you just can’t live without knowing what to call all the different bugs and insects in Spanish, then this list is made for you. Check out our lessons and our vocabulary lists and get learning!

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Running of the Bulls: San Fermin Festival in Spain

Each year, the Spanish celebrate La Fiesta de San Fermin (or the “San Fermin Festival”). Known in particular for its Running of the Bulls tradition, the Fiesta de San Fermin is one of the most iconic Spanish holidays!

Learn some fascinating Running of the Bulls facts, including which American writer helped popularize it, with SpanishPod101.com! In learning about this fun, traditional Spanish holiday, you’re allowing yourself to see more layers of Spanish culture. And as successful Spanish learner can tell you, knowing a country’s culture is vital in mastering its language!

Let’s get with it, and start learning about the San Fermin Spain is so famous for.

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1. What is San Fermin?

To start, where is the Running of the Bulls and the San Fermin festival? The Festival of San Fermin, or Sanfermines, is held in Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, in honor of San Fermin. However, the actual identity of San Fermin and his place in history are vague and not well known.

As far as Running of the Bulls facts, this event actually commemorates the persecution of Saturninus, a man loosely involved in Fermin’s coming to Christianity. Saturninus died being dragged by a bull he was tied to.

Do know who has done the most to increase the fame of San Fermin?

It was the American writer Ernest Hemingway, through his book Fiesta (also called The Sun Also Rises). The future Nobel Prize winner first came to Pamplona accompanied by his first wife in 1923. He was so deeply impressed by the San Fermin festival, that he repeated the trip several times.

2. When is the Running of the Bulls?

A Bullfight

The Running of the Bulls date each year begins on July 6 and continues until July 14.

3. Reading Practice: Running of the Bulls & San Fermin Festival

Do you know how Spain celebrates the San Fermin Festival? Read the Spanish text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

El comienzo de San Fermín lo marca el chupinazo, desde el balcón del ayuntamiento de Pamplona. Así se le llama al cohete que es lanzado el 6 de julio. El acto más conocido es sin duda los encierros, del 7 al 14 de julio. Consisten en conducir una manada de toros a las ocho de la mañana desde los corrales de Santo Domingo hasta la plaza de toros. Es un acto muy peligroso, pero en él se reúnen miles de personas que vienen de todo el mundo. Desde 1922 se ha registrado la muerte de 15 personas.

Como en otras muchas fiestas españolas la música y los fuegos artificiales no pueden faltar. Otro símbolo muy emblemático son Los Gigantes de Pamplona, con sus 153 años de historia. Son unas figuras de madera, cartón y tela acompañados de los llamados kilikis, cabezudos y zaldikos. Juntos forman la Comparsa y hacen un total de 9 salidas durante los sanfermines.

Con lo peligrosos que pueden llegar a ser los encierros no extraña que los participantes canten a san Fermín por su protección. Esto se hace en la cuesta de Santo Domingo, que es donde se inicia el encierro, 5, 3 y 1 minuto antes. Desde 2009 se canta tanto en castellano como en euskera.

The chupinazo marks the beginning of San Fermín from the balcony of the Town Hall of Pamplona. This is the name of the rocket that is released on July 6. The best-known event is undoubtedly the Running of the Bulls, from July 7 to 14. This consists of driving a herd of bulls at eight in the morning from the pens of Santo Domingo to the plaza de toros. It is a very dangerous act, but thousands of people come from all over the world to take part in it. Since 1922, fifteen deaths have been recorded.

As in many other Spanish festivals, music and fireworks are a must. Another very emblematic symbol is the giants of Pamplona, which boast a 153-year history. They are figures of wood, cardboard, and fabric, accompanied by the so-called cabezudos, kilikis, and zaldikos. Together, they form the troupe, and they make a total of nine outings during the San Fermin festival.

Considering how dangerous the runs can be, it’s no wonder that the participants sing to San Fermin for his protection. This is done on the hill of Santo Domingo, which is where the run begins, five, three, and one minute before. Since 2009, the singing has been done in both in Spanish and in Basque.

4. Most Popular San Fermin Foods

Fireworks Going Off

As far as food goes, the holiday begins with a hot cup of caldico, made with veal and chicken, which is given out in front of the Town Hall. After the run, one recovers their strength with a very hot cup of chocolate with churros.

Halfway through the morning, after contemplating the dances of the Giants or participating in the procession of the Saint, it’s a good time to have lunch with some tapas of lean meat with tomatoes or fried eggs, with sausage and peppers stuffed with cod.

Snacks in the bullring, consisting primarily of peñas, are a good example of home cooking.

5. Vocabulary to Know for the San Fermin Festival

Two Glasses of Wine

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the San Fermin holiday in Spain!

  • Vino — “Wine”
  • Novillo — “Young bull”
  • Encierro — “Running of the Bulls”
  • Estruendo — “Roar”
  • Pañuelo rojo — “Red neckerchief”
  • Cornada — “Goring”
  • Fuegos artificiales — “Firework”
  • Multitud — “Crowd”
  • Chupinazo — “Firecracker shot”
  • Corrida de toros — “Bullfight”
  • Toro — “Bull”
  • Tapa — “Bar snack”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our San Fermin vocabulary list!

Conclusion

What do you think of the San Fermin festivities in Spain? Did you learn anything new about this holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about Spanish culture and the language, keep exploring SpanishPod101.com. We provide fun and practical learning tools for every learner, including free Spanish vocabulary lists and more insightful blog posts like this one! We also host an online community where you can talk with fellow Spanish learners, or reach out for help!

To make the most of your learning, upgrade to Premium Plus and begin learning Spanish with our MyTeacher program! This allows you one-on-one access to your own Spanish teacher, who will be there to help and guide you all throughout your language-learning journey.

Know that your hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking, reading, and writing Spanish like a native before you know it!

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How to Introduce Yourself in Spanish

Quite honestly, introducing yourself in Spanish while in the vast majority of Spanish-speaking cultures, is quite the same as introductions in English-speaking ones.

That is, you start with a greeting (“Hi!”), you state your name (“I’m XXX”), you say a few cordial words (“Nice to meet you!”), and then you go back and forth with the other person making the usual chit-chat about where you come from, what you do, why you’re at that particular place at that particular time, etc.

Of course, as in English, this can vary a lot depending on whether you’re meeting someone your own age, someone older, someone younger, someone you work with, or someone you’re related to, so we’ll try to cover every one of those. That way you’ll be prepared to rock your next adventure in the Spanish-speaking society of your choice with helpful situational Spanish phrases.

Further, since they’re all, for the most part, in Latin cultures, Spanish-speakers enjoy physical contact when meeting someone. This can easily be one of the most common sources of awkwardness when first greeting people in Spanish, so we’ll talk about that as well.

In other words, this article will show you what to say, how to say it, and whether it’s okay to shake hands, hug, or kiss.

Table of Contents

  1. The First Meeting: Do’s and Don’ts of Physical Contact
  2. Introducing Yourself in Spanish
  3. Introducing Yourself - Informal
  4. Introducing Yourself - Formal
  5. Talking about Your Background
  6. It’s Okay to Fail
  7. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Other Ways To Introduce Yourself in Spanish?

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1. The First Meeting: Do’s And Don’ts of Physical Contact

Oh boy, you’re meeting someone new in a Spanish-speaking country. Here’s a quick guide to physical contact, with some pointers on how to greet in Spanish:

As a general tip, try to be very alert and see what the other person does before you do anything, then just react to that. You know that old adage: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

1- Man Greeting a Man

Now, if you’re a man saying hi to another man, that’s easy. Just shake hands! If it’s someone closer, just wait and see if they’re going to hug you in some way. If they do, just try to reciprocate.

But what’s closer? Maybe it’s a really good friend of your buddy’s, a distant cousin you haven’t met, your significant other’s family, etc. In a formal setting, just a nice handshake is good. The usual rules apply: Do a firm shake but not too hard, look the other person in the eyes, and don’t hold their hand for too long.

2- Man Greeting a Woman

If you’re a man saying hi to a woman from a Spanish-speaking culture, chances are it will be okay if you kiss her on the cheek. Most places in Latin America do only one kiss on the right cheek, while in Spain you do two, one on the right then one on the left.

Also, consider that in most cases it’s not actually a kiss. You don’t put your lips right on the other person’s cheek, as that should only be done with someone really close. Rather, you have your cheek meet theirs, and then you make that “kissing” sound, although your lips are pretty much kissing the air.

Now, some people find it too soon and too familiar to kiss on the cheek if you’re a complete stranger. Similar to the hug with a “closer” person, this only applies if it’s truly a more familiar, informal, and close tie. If it’s a business setting, or there was no connection whatsoever before meeting, just do a handshake and you’ll be fine.

3- Woman Greeting a Man

Woman greeting a man? You don’t have to kiss the cheek of anyone you don’t want to. In this case, rather than waiting for him to make the first move, you can just put your hand out and wait for him to shake it, making it clear in your body language that for the time being it’ll be just a handshake.

4- Woman Greeting a Woman

If you’re a woman meeting another woman, it’s pretty much the same thing. Kiss if it’s familiar/informal, stick to a handshake if it’s just too new.

As a final consideration, it’s normal to kiss someone goodbye even if at first you only shook their hand. It means that some familiarity and rapport was developed during your time together, like say, when saying goodbye to somebody that hosted you at the end of the trip. That’s good!


2. Introducing Yourself in Spanish

1- How to Say Hello

Once you’ve passed that potentially awkward moment of physical salutation, or even during, it’s time to say something. As in many countries, it’s an absolute no-brainer. You just say “Hi,” or “Hello,” which is just good ol’ Hola.

To say hello in Spanish, you can add more eloquence to your speech with this phrase:

  • Hola, ¿qué tal? which means “Hi, how’s it going?”.

2- How to Say Your Name in Spanish

After “hi,” you usually just present yourself by stating your name. Just like in English, Spanish-speaking cultures believe that you are your name. Tyler Durden would probably disagree, but I bet he was never in Ecuador. So you just say, Yo soy, which is “I am” followed by the beautiful name your parents gave to you.

3- How to Say “Nice to Meet You” in Spanish

Further, if you want to make your Spanish greeting even nicer, try adding a courtesy phrase, such as the English “Nice to meet you,” or “Pleasure to meet you.” In Spanish, we usually say Mucho gusto or Encantado de conocerte.

Here’s an example of how that looks all together. This is saying hi, saying your name, and even giving a courtesy phrase, all in Spanish. Look at you!

  • Hola, ¿qué tal? Yo soy Javier. *kisses cheek* / *shakes hand* Mucho gusto.
  • Another common option is to replace Yo soy with Me llamo.
  • Hola, ¿qué tal? Me llamo Javier.

That first part works for both formal and informal settings. For speech that’s more specific to each tone, let’s take a look at the other contextual Spanish phrases you use when introducing yourself in Spanish.


3. Introducing Yourself — Informal

Not everything in life is bound by business and strong formalities (thank goodness), so it’ll be nice to know some casual ways to introduce yourself in Spanish.

When meeting people your own age, and especially if it’s in a casual setting (i.e., no business), it’s okay to use the informal tone, which in Spanish is tutear when speaking to the other person.

That is, you’ll refer to them as and conjugate each verb in relation to them in that person.

Following the first sentences we saw above, what should follow? Usually, you’ll ask the person how he or she is. So “How are you?” in Spanish in an informal way is ¿Cómo estás?.

If they ask you first, then you answer (usually), Muy bien, gracias, ¿y tú? which means “I’m fine, thanks, and you?”.

Also, usually when you say your name, people answer with theirs. In case you’ve got a shy person before you, you can ask ¿Cómo te llamas?, which is the informal way of asking “What’s your name?” in Spanish.

What usually follows? Just like in most parts of the world, you may ask the person about their age and nationality. Then, they usually do the same thing. If you’re answering, age is stated in terms of having. In Spanish, nobody is a certain age, but they have a certain number of years in them. The verb “to have” in Spanish is tener, so you say:

  • Tengo XX años, ¿tú? Which means “I’m XX old, and you?”.

When it comes to nationality, Spanish speakers definitely express it in terms of being (ser), but also in terms of where you come from (venir).

  • Yo vengo de Spain, ¿tú de dónde vienes? or Yo soy [nationality] ¿y tú?

To give a full example:

  • Yo vengo de Colombia, ¿tú de dónde vienes? or Yo soy colombiano ¿y tú?

In case you didn’t catch it, those sentences mean, respectively,

  • “I come from Colombia, where are you from?”
  • or, “I’m Colombian, and you?”.

Let’s now look at formal ways to introduce yourself in Spanish.


4. Introducing Yourself - Formal

Pretty much, the only variation here is that you’ll be speaking to the other person in the formal form, which is usted, instead of .

Then the following alterations happen:

¿Cómo estás? turns into ¿Cómo está?. It’s indeed only an “s” away, but it makes all the difference.

As for ¿Cómo te llamas?, that turns into:

  • ¿Cómo se llama?
  • Or, even more formal, ¿Cómo se llama usted?
  • Or the variation, ¿Cuál es su nombre?.

Talking about age, it’s the same thing with the “s” in the verb tener. You ask:

  • ¿Cuántos años tiene?
  • Or ¿Qué edad tiene usted?

Now, an important thing to note here is that it’s usually not polite to ask someone older than you how old they are. If they’re younger than, or around the same age, as you, then you won’t be talking to them in usted in most cases.

As for nationality, ¿tú de dónde vienes? becomes ¿de dónde es usted?.

Not that hard, hey? As another tip, when unsure of whether you should speak to the other person in the formal form or informal, it’s better to start with the formal. If they prefer , they’ll usually let you know by saying something like hablame de ‘tú’, which in some cases, is quite a compliment.

It means that they see you as their equal, respect you enough to talk to you in equal terms, or, depending on the person, that they simply prefer to shun formalities and want to keep things relaxed and casual.


5. Talking about Your Background

The next part of a usual first-encounter conversation includes introducing yourself further by talking about what you do and what you’re doing at that particular place.

The phrases for this in Spanish are the usual, so let’s look at them real quick, starting with talking about your profession in Spanish, or what you’re doing at this point in your life.

  • “I study [field of studies]” : Estudio [área de estudios]
  • “I work in [workfield]” : Trabajo en [rubro laboral]
  • “I’m a [name of profession]” : Soy [nombre de la profesión]

When it comes to what you’re doing there, variations can start to go crazy. But let’s just start with the fact that you’re there, probably doing something. Might be studying, working, or just traveling. Either way, the way you say that in English is very similar to how you’d say it in Spanish:

  • “I’m studying at / I’m studying X” : Estoy estudiando en / Estoy estudiando X
  • “I’m working at / I’m working in” : Estoy trabajando en
  • “I’m traveling” : Estoy viajando


6. It’s Okay to Fail

Now that you’ve read this guide on how to greet in Spanish and have learned some Spanish introductory phrases, it’s important to realize that it’s perfectly normal if you don’t get this exactly right the first time, or the first twenty times!

When you’re learning a new language, and are immersing yourself in a foreign culture (which is one of the best aspects of learning that language), it’s perfectly fine to make an absolute fool of yourself from time to time.

Otherwise how would you learn? Maybe sometimes you’ll get the kissing thing all wrong; maybe you’ll have an awkward moment when hugging another man; maybe you’ll freeze when the time to present yourself to a stranger in Spanish finally comes.

Whatever it is, it’s all about practice. The fact that you’re taking the time to read this already says a lot about your commitment to reaching fluency. Keep at it!


7. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Other Ways To Introduce Yourself in Spanish?

If you liked this guide to the essential phrases to introduce yourself in Spanish, then feel free to find more resources, idiomatic expressions, and fun lessons on our SpanishPod101 website. We have over 1800 audio and video lessons, lively community forums, and a good combination of energetic hosts to help you with your Spanish needs in a fun and easy manner!

Now get out there and put the useful Spanish phrases you learned to good use!

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How to Celebrate Corpus Christi in Spain

Corpus Christi is one of the most significant holidays in Spanish culture for Christians. In fact, there’s a popular saying: “There are three Thursdays during the year that shine brighter than the Sun—Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi, and the Ascension Day.”

By learning about Corpus Christi traditions and its links to the Eucharist and The Last Supper, you’re gaining insight into a good chunk of Spanish culture. The Corpus Christi holiday is just one example of the strong religious nature of the country and its people, leaving room for you to continue delving into the unique facets that Spanish holidays host.

At SpanishPod101.com, we hope to make this learning adventure both fun and informative!

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1. What is Corpus Christi?

On Corpus Christi, Spain celebrates the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body of the Lord. It was the religious Santa Juliana of Liège, who proposed this Festival at the beginning of the thirteenth century because of her devotion to this sacrament.

Thus, it was celebrated for the first time in 1246 in the Diocese of Liège, Belgium. Pope Nicolás V, in the celebration of the year 1447, managed to consolidate it when he came out with the sacred host in the procession through the streets of Rome.

2. Corpus Christi Date by Year

Depiction of the Last Supper

The date of the Corpus Christi holiday (Spain) varies each year, as it takes place sixty days after Easter. For your convenience, we’ve put together a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: June 20
  • 2020: June 11
  • 2021: June 3
  • 2022: June 16
  • 2023: June 8
  • 2024: May 30
  • 2025: June 19
  • 2026: June 4
  • 2027: May 27
  • 2028: June 15

3. Reading Practice: Corpus Christi Celebrations in Spain

How is Corpus Christi celebrated in Spain? Read the Iberian Spanish text below learn about the Corpus Christi festival (Spain), and other Corpus Christi celebrations. You can find the English text directly below it.

El Corpus Christi es la mayor fiesta de Toledo. Las calles de la ciudad, que han sido especialmente decoradas, son recorridas por un desfile. Sobresalen la Custodia, una valiosa obra de orfebrería de 1515 realizada en oro y plata, y el cortejo, compuesto por las distintas hermandades. Al desfile le acompaña además un olor especial, porque antes se habrá cubrido el suelo con hierbas aromáticas. Son también típicos un conjunto de gigantes que representan a los continentes y la monstruosa Tarasca. Es una figura mecánica de un gran dragón que asusta a los niños echándoles agua.

La localidad de Puenteareas, en Pontevedra, celebra en el fin de semana siguiente al jueves de Corpus Christi sus fiestas más conocidas. En la noche del sábado al domingo, los vecinos de la localidad crean alfombras florales con motivos religiosos relacionados con el día de Corpus Christi y adornados con motivos geométricos. Se utiliza para esto distintos tipos de flores y materiales. Estos habrán sido preparados por los vecinos durante los días anteriores. Las alfombras permanecen intactas hasta la procesión del día siguiente, en la que se recorren todas las calles decoradas.

Corpus Christi is the biggest festival in Toledo. The streets of the city, which have been specially decorated, are traversed by a parade. Highlights include la Custodia, a valuable work of jewelry from 1515 made of gold and silver, and the procession, composed of the different brotherhoods. The parade is accompanied by a special fragrance, because the ground is covered by aromatic herbs ahead of time. A set of Giants representing the continents and the monstrous Tarascan are also typical of this festival. The latter is a mechanical figure of a great dragon that scares children by spraying them with water.

The town of Puenteareas, in Pontevedra, celebrates its best-known festivals during the weekend following Corpus Christi. On the Saturday night, the residents of the town create floral carpets with religious motifs related to the day of Corpus Christi and decorated with geometric motifs. Different types of flowers and materials are used for this purpose. These have been prepared by residents during the previous days. Carpets remain intact until the next day’s procession, in which all the decorated streets are paraded through.

4. La Tarasca: What’s in Season?

Bread and Wine

Do you know what’s shown during the procession of the Corpus in Granada?

It’s La Tarasca, a mannequin that supposedly wears the clothing that will be in fashion that season. It parades through the city mounted on a fierce dragon. The costume that it’s wearing is kept secret until it comes out.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Corpus Christi

A Holy Sacrament

Here’s the most important vocabulary you should know for Corpus Christi in Spain!

  • Sangre — “Blood”
  • Cristo — “Christ”
  • La Última Cena — “Last Supper”
  • Celebrar en honor a — “Celebrate in honor of”
  • Devoción — “Devotion”
  • Santísimo Sacramento — “Holy Sacrament”
  • Eucaristía — “Eucharist”
  • Solemnidad — “Solemnity”
  • Peregrinación — “Pilgrimage”
  • Litúrgico — “Liturgical”
  • Corpus Christi — “Corpus Christi”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Corpus Christi vocabulary list. Here, each word is accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think about Spain’s variety of Corpus Christi celebrations? Does your country observe Corpus Christi too, and if so, are celebrations similar or very different? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you.

To learn more about the culture in Spain and the Spanish language, visit us at SpanishPod101.com! We provide practical learning tools for every learner to ensure that anyone can master Spanish, including insightful blog posts like this one and free Spanish vocabulary lists on various topics. We also offer a community forum where you can chat with fellow Spanish learners, and by upgrading to Premium Plus, you can begin learning Spanish one-on-one with your own teacher through our MyTeacher program!

Regardless of your reason for learning Spanish, know that with enough determination and an open mind, you can start speaking like a native before you know it!

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10 Mexican Movies to Learn Spanish From

Even before The Three Amigos took the world of cinema by storm, Mexican cinema was already a world-famous oddity. We say “oddity” because it’s remarkable that such a small film industry can produce the number of good films and filmmakers it does. From the times of Luis Buñuel to Alejandro G. Iñarritu making heated speeches after winning Best Director at the Oscars, Mexican cinema has nearly always been a fruitful thing.

Consider, as well, that time when Guillermo del Toro won Best Director at the 2018 Golden Globes. A Chinese reporter asked him why it is that he has such an “extraordinary ability to look into the shadow side of human nature” while finding a balance in still being a joyful and loving person. Guillermo’s answer?

“I’m Mexican.”

His reasoning is that, as a culture, we’re very aware of death as the ultimate destination for any living thing, so it makes the time we get here all the more intense and joyful.

Translate that into such a complete art form as film, and you get a pretty good catalogue to choose from. Good news if you’re someone trying to boost your language skills by watching some movies in Spanish, and especially if you’re interested in Mexican Spanish and the culture of that country in general.

This is why we’ve put together a list of ten of the best Mexican films of all time, which we consider good enough options to study Spanish, while trying to showcase a good variety of genres, styles, and time periods. Watch any of our recommend Spanish movies, and you’ll be entertained all the while enhancing your language-learning experience. Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Spanish.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. A Word About the Mexican Film Industry
  2. List of Mexican Movies
  3. Honorary Mentions
  4. Where Do I Find These Films?
  5. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Your Spanish Idioms and Expressions?

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1. A Word About the Mexican Film Industry

Movie genres

Now, before we delve into it, there’s something you should know about making films in Mexico.

The number one thing is that…it’s hard! Not many people believe that film making is a great business, which translates into a vicious circle where few people pursue it full-time, so it’s difficult to make new films that go outside the vacuum. There are few investors willing to take some risk, so few people get to make the film they want to make…and so on.

Most Mexican independent films, precisely because of that, are made with the help of government grants, which is why certain themes get censored, while other themes get pushed through a lot.

For the same reason, it’s the dream of most Mexican filmmakers to migrate to another industry, usually Hollywood (biggest and closest) in order to make the films they envision.

And that’s why films like The Revenant, The Shape of Water, and Gravity are made in English-speaking countries, since it would’ve been (and anyone of those directors will affirm this) virtually impossible to make the exact same films with a Mexican budget.

It’s normal, we guess. In the end, they have to cater to an international audience, so that’s why you won’t see those films on this list. That’s also why the pool of Mexican films, made in Mexico and thus in Mexican Spanish, is smaller to pick from.

But anyway, that’s why we’re here. Below you get a list of Mexican films to learn Spanish from, chosen by a Mexican film enthusiast.

Please take into consideration that the list is in alphabetical order, so it doesn’t reflect in any way the order of preference of the author, nor should it reflect the order of preference you give to each film.

Hope you enjoy watching them! Also included is a quote to give you a taste of the Spanish spoken in each film. Here are the most common Spanish vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

Top verbs


2. List of Mexican Movies

1- Amores Perros (2000)

To start you off, here’s Mr. Alejandro Iñarritu’s Opera Prima. Back in the year 2000, in his debut as a director, Iñarritu went ahead and started off with his Trilogía de la Muerte (“Death Trilogy”), which is completed by his subsequent films, 21 Gramos and Babel. All of them were written by his longtime collaborator, Guillermo Arriaga.

Amores Perros follows three sub-stories that take place in Mexico City, all intertwined by a car accident. The first story is about a teenager in the city slums that gets, unwillingly, involved with dogfighting simply because he’s trying to get enough money to run away with his brother’s girlfriend. The second story is about a newly-wed model who breaks her leg, and the third is about a vagabond who’s also a mysterious hitman. None of the characters ever know each other, apart from their shared involvement in the accident.

This film is notorious for having catapulted the career of Gael Garcia Bernal, who’s the teenager from the first story. Also, you should know that the film was released with its Spanish name in the English-speaking world, mainly because the title is hard to translate. Amores is plural for “love,” as in love affairs, or love interests, and Perros is “dogs.” In this context, however, perros is used as slang for “difficult,” “harsh,” or “rough.” Therefore, the title means something like “tough loves,” while being a nice play on words for the film’s canine connotations.

Quote: Tú y tus planes. ¿Sabes que decía mi abuela? Si quieres hacer reír a Dios, cuéntale tus planes.

Translation: “You and your plans. You know what my grandmother used to say? If you want to make God laugh…tell Him your plans.”

2- Ahí Está El Detalle (1940)

On to a jewel from what we call La Época de Oro del Cine Mexicano. This phrase translates to “Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age,” and refers to a period between 1936 and 1959, when the industry achieved high degrees of quality, as well as massive international success, so much so that Mexican films were considered the cusp of Spanish-language films. This is one of the best Spanish classic films you’ll find.

One of the main actors and filmmakers from this period was Mario Moreno, also known as Cantinflas. His style of comedy even spawned the popular Mexican-Spanish colloquialism cantinflear which is pretty much when someone beats around the bush while talking, digressing from the subject in discussion, never really getting to the point.

Anyway, Ahí está el Detalle is considered Cantinflas’ best film since it has one of the most intricate and inventive stories from the period.

In short, Cantinflas is a bum who goes to dine at his girlfriend’s place of employment (she’s the servant of a rich industrialist) just to get a free meal each day. One time, however, his girlfriend informs him that for once he must win his meal by going into the house and killing a dog that has gone mad with rabies. While Cantinflas prepares to do so, the rich industrialist appears, so his girlfriend tells him that Cantinflas is his wife’s brother, who had been missing for years. At this point, the industrialist remembers that his father-in-law’s testament could only be paid when all brothers got together again. He proceeds to treat Cantinflas as a king, and he happily plays along.

Quote: Mira, nomás te voy decir una cosa, ¿trabajan los ricos? A que no, entonces si el trabajo fuera bueno ya lo tendrían acaparado los ricos y entonces nomás ellos trabajarían.

Translation: “Look, I’m only gonna tell you one thing, do rich people work? I bet not! So, if work was so good, they would own all of it, and then only they would work.”

3- El Infierno (2010)

Oh boy, back to darker themes in Mexican film. El Infierno is one of the best films by well-known Mexican filmmaker Luis Estrada (see also La Ley de Herodes and La Dictadura Perfecta), who usually narrates stories about the many social problems within the country.

In this film—perhaps one of the most important Mexican films—he focuses on the problem of narcotrafico, following the story of a man who’s recently been deported after twenty years working and living in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant. Back in his small town in northern Mexico, the man faces a discouraging scenario due to the economic crisis that took place around 2008—2010, and the wave of violence that has been unleashed as a reaction to Felipe Calderon’s (then President of Mexico) War on Drugs. In need of money and with few options, the man quickly sees himself immersed into the world of narcos.

This film is an open critic to the Calderon administration’s management of the country’s drug problem, as well as narco-culture in general. It was one of the most acclaimed Mexican films of 2010, and one of the most accurate portrayals of a social problem that terrorizes Mexican families up to this very day.

Quote: “En este pinche país no haces lo que quieres, si no lo que puedes.”

Translation: “In this f*cking country you don’t do what you want, but what you can.”

4- Güeros (2014)

Since we haven’t yet mentioned the Ariel awards, we guess that now’s as good a time as any. Los Premios Ariel are the Mexican Academy of Film’s yearly awards, given out as a recognition for excellence in motion picture making. As the most prestigious award in the Mexican film industry, one could say that it’s the equivalent to the Academy Awards, or “Oscars” of the United States.

So, we mention this here because Güeros was the last Mexican film to truly make a splash in los Ariel and was well-regarded in the independent art-film circles. Let’s say that, as with the American Oscars, not all Best Picture winners are considered “good films” by film buffs.

Anyway, Güeros is an absolute jewel of modern Mexican cinema. I personally don’t recall any other recent films being so bold, timely, and accurate in argument. In other words, if you want to see a recent story about modern Mexican youth that gets you close to what you would encounter by going into a dive bar in a Mexico City student zone, this is probably it.

The film follows the story of Tomas, an adolescent who gets sent to live with his older brother, who’s a university student in Mexico City, after he becomes too much for his mother to handle. Within his first few days, the two brothers, the older brother’s roommate, and a romantic interest—who’s also an outspoken leader in the student protests that are occurring for the entirety of the film—set out to find an obscure rock musician who’s apparently dying in a hospital bed.

For this film, most of the weird phrases and terms have an explanation by the character’s themselves, but it would also help to get yourself acquainted with the music festival Avándaro, and why the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México—one of Latin America’s largest public research universities—sees constant student protests.

Quote: Estamos en huelga de la huelga.

Translation: “We’re in strike from the strike.”

5- Las Fuerzas Vivas (1975)

Luis Alcoriza, director of Las Fuerzas Vivas

If you’re at all interested in the Mexican War of Revolution, this is a great film to see. Hailed as an all-time greatest classic of Mexican cinema, this film satirizes the whole phenomenon. The interesting thing is that it describes the ins and outs of the Revolution not by following the official story, but by telling a little near-allegorical story that occurs in a little village, far from the places where the actual revolution is taking place at the same time.

While this may be harder to find with subtitles, there are several full-length versions on YouTube.

Quote: Bueno, y los de la junta de gobierno, ¿quiénes la vamos a formar?

Translation: “Well, and the government council, who’s gonna be in it?”

6- La Jaula de Oro (2013)

Now for another deep socioeconomic problem in Mexico, this film deals with the theme of immigration. It’s well-known that many Mexicans looking for better work opportunities and conditions migrate north of the border illegally. It’s not as well-known, however, that lots of Central Americans do so as well. To make their way, they must go all the way through Mexico, usually riding the tops of the old freight trains that still criss-cross the country, facing horrors such as racism and abuse from the local authorities, the risk of literally getting abducted and sold, or just killed due to the dire conditions.

All that is pretty real, and it happens everyday, so it’s good that filmmaker Diego Quemada-Diez took it upon himself to portray what those migrants have to go through in one of his first films. La Jaula de Oro follows the story of two young Guatemalan immigrants, a girl and a boy, and Tzotzil indigenous youth, who try to make their way up to the U.S.

The film is absolutely devastating, but truly moving to watch, especially if one considers that apart from the three protagonists, most of the people one sees in the film aren’t cast actors and actresses, but real migrants who happened to be there when Diego and his crew were rolling.

Finally, talking about the Ariel’s again, La Jaula de Oro won Best Picture in 2014.

Quote: Siento como si tuviera un zoológico en mi estómago, como si un montón de animales estuvieran corriendo por todo mi cuerpo de la emoción de que vamos a llegar al otro lado.

Translate: “I feel as if I had a zoo inside my stomach, as if a bunch of animals were running all over my body, from the emotion that we’re going to make it to the other side.”

7- Los Olvidados (1950)

Named “Memory of the World” by Unesco, probably the only film on this list to hold that distinction (for now), Los Olvidados is also hailed as Luis Buñuel’s best piece of art from his Mexican period.

The film is deeply rooted in Italian Neorealism, with some surreal touches proper of Mr. Buñuel’s former works. Its story follows a brief period in the lives of poor Mexican children within the slums of Mexico City, shortly after one of them escapes from a correctional facility.

Quote: Uno menos, así irán cayendo todos, ¡Ojalá los mataran a todos antes de nacer!

Translation: “One down, that’s how they’ll all fall eventually, wish they killed them all before they were born!”

8- Nosotros Los Nobles (2013)

While this list may give the contrary impression, hopefully by now you don’t think that Mexican Cinema is all about either artsy films or very old movies. There are, as in all industries probably, a fair share of light comedies and chick flicks. I’d even venture to say that these make the better part of the offer, but they don’t usually transcend beyond being box office hits in Mexico; they run for a couple of weeks, the producers cash in, and they’re off to make another one.

There is, nevertheless, a fine exception to that rule, and that is Nosotros Los Nobles. While it’s a light comedy from whichever side you look at it, the story is surprisingly quite good, as well as the acting (it features Luis Gerardo Mendez, of Club de Cuervos fame). The thing is just funny, and it has the advantage of being recent. Thus, it offers a rare and accurate glimpse into current Mexican humor. This is one of the best Mexican comedy films out there.

The story is actually inspired by El Gran Calavera, another of Buñuel’s films, but adapted to our days by Gary Alazraki. It centers on the elaborate lie of a wealthy Mexican businessman, who upon realizing that his three children aren’t doing anything with their lives but to sponge off him, decides to tell them that he’s gone bankrupt, so they all have to find jobs in the “real world.”

Quote: Entraste por influencias pero te vas por pendejo.

Translation: “You got the job because you’re connected but you’re fired because you’re an idiot.”

9- Temporada de Patos (2004)

It’s probably evident by now, largely due to the rant at the beginning of this Mexican movie blog, that Mexican films don’t usually have big budgets. So before Mexican filmmakers can go abroad to make massive blockbuster films, they have to find ways to tell impactful stories with nothing but a few cameras and some people.

This film is a perfect example of that. Temporada de Patos centers around two adolescents in the Tlatelolco habitational units (see the Tlatelolco Massacre for a glimpse of the historical background of that place), who plan on spending a weekend by themselves while their parents are away.

What was supposed to be two days of nothing but pizza and video games, turns into an absurd situation when there’s a power cut in the buildings. The youths are forced to deal with a neighbor who requests to use one of their ovens, and a pizza delivery man who argues with them about the delivery time.

Quote: Las oportunidades en la vida son como los tiros que tiene una escopeta. Yo ya me gasté los míos.

Translation: “Opportunities in life are like the shots in a shotgun. I’m all out.”

10- Y tu Mamá también (2001)

Before going off to make Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón made this drama road movie that still stands as one of the best Mexican films—even one of the best Spanish-language films—ever made.

Featuring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, the movie is about two Mexican 18-year-olds who are on vacation from school. While their girlfriends are traveling in Europe, the two are left to rest idle in Mexico City. One day, at a wedding, they meet a Spanish woman ten years older than them who’s married to one of their cousins. In an attempt to flirt with her, they tell her that they’re going to the beach. While the woman first dismisses their efforts, a couple of mishaps in the following days lead her to accept the invitation. At that point, the two teenagers have to follow through on their lie and improvise a roadtrip to Boca del Cielo, a virgin beach in the state of Oaxaca.

Quote: No hay mayor placer que dar placer ¿no?

Translation: “There’s no bigger pleasure than giving pleasure, no?”


3. Honorary Mentions

And those are all the films we have for now! Some honorary mentions, apart from the other works we mentioned here and there by the same directors, would be:

  • Cronos (1993), Guillermo Del Toro’s Opera Prima
  • El Laberinto del Fauno (Mexico-Spain production, but mostly spoken in Spanish from Spain)
  • Sin Nombre (2009), also centers around the theme of migrantes in Mexico
  • Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (1936), another one about the Mexican Revolution, also from the “Golden Age”


4. Where Do I Find These Films?

Many of these recommend Mexican movies may be available on Netflix or other streaming services depending on your region. My recommendation is to give each film a try over each platform, including YouTube. If there’s no luck, you can search for them using a free streaming site such as Cuevana.

My main tip is to be on constant lookout. Maybe you’ll see one of them in a hard copy, or being played in a local theater or even on TV one of these days. I’ve watched most of these across a variety of platforms. Güeros, for example, was super hard to find even being from Mexico, until one day I boarded a flight and you won’t guess what was among the options for the in-flight movie.


5. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Your Spanish Idioms and Expressions?

If you liked this guide to the best Mexican movies to learn Spanish from, then feel free to find more resources, idiomatic expressions, and fun lessons on our SpanishPod101 website. We have over 1800 audio and video lessons, lively community forums, and a good combination of energetic hosts to help you with your Spanish-learning needs in a fun and easy way!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Feliz Dia de la Madre: Celebrate Mother’s Day in Spain!

¡Feliz Dia de la Madre!

Mother’s Day, or Dia de la Madre, is a deeply significant holiday in Spain. Take, for instance, the following information:

A study was done in 2012 about the role of European mothers. The psychologist responsible for the Spanish case said that “the Spanish mother has become the administrator of the household and is the fundamental pillar of the family structure.”

A surprising fact was learning that they dedicate only thirty-nine minutes to themselves, versus fifty minutes for the rest of European mothers. The study also showed that fifty-three percent consider the hug to be the best demonstration of gratitude, even ahead of helping with the household chores.

What better day than this celebration for Spanish mothers to be able to receive from their family, and from society, the recognition they deserve. And in Mother’s Day, Spain does just this.

At SpanishPod101.com, we hope to make learning about Mother’s Day both fun and insightful. From Spanish Mother’s Day gifts to Mother’s Day flowers, Spain celebrates similarly to the rest of the world, but with its own flair. Let’s learn more about the significance of the mother in Spanish society and her special day!

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1. What is Mother’s Day in Spain?

It’s said that this festival’s origin is from the tribute that was made to the mother of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon in Greek mythology, Rea. The Romans adopted it, but the Catholics were the first to call it Mother’s Day in honor of the Virgin Mary.

In seventeenth-century England, they celebrated the Sunday of Mothers. Children attended mass and then gave some presents to their mothers. The English colonists tried to keep the celebration alive in the United States, but it was eventually abandoned.

It was in 1914 when it was established as an official celebration following a campaign organized by Anna Marie Jarvis.

Around the world, Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate one’s mother and other motherly figures in their life. This is often done through gift-giving or doing nice things for them.

2. When is Mother’s Day in Spain?

Mother's Day is on a Sunday

The date of Mother’s Day varies from year to year, though it always falls on the first Sunday of May. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: May 5
  • 2020: May 3
  • 2021: May 2
  • 2022: May 1
  • 2023: May 7
  • 2024: May 5
  • 2025: May 4
  • 2026: May 3
  • 2027: May 2
  • 2028: May 7

3. Reading Practice: How is Dia de la Madre Celebrated?

Mother Receiving Affection from Children

How is Mother’s Day celebrated in Spain? Read the Spanish text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

Lo cierto es que las costumbres de este día en España no son muy diferentes a las del resto del mundo. Las flores, sobre todo claveles o rosas, los bombones y las manualidades que los niños preparan en clase, las encontramos en cualquier país. Grandes comidas familiares y regalos también forman parte de la tradición. No son pocos los que creen, por este motivo, que detrás de esta fiesta hay grandes intereses comerciales.

Como en el resto de países existen ciertos regalos que es bastante típico hacerles a las madres. No es de extrañar que ante la aparente falta de originalidad hayan surgido últimamente multitud de sitios web españoles que al acercarse estas fechas proponen originales ideas para regalar.

The truth is that the customs of this day in Spain are not very different from those in the rest of the world. Flowers, especially carnations or roses, chocolates, and crafts that children prepare in class, are found in every country. Large family meals and gifts are also part of the tradition. For this reason, there are many who believe that there are great commercial interests behind this celebration.

As in other countries, there are certain gifts that are commonly given to mothers. It is no wonder that with the apparent lack of originality, numerous websites have appeared in Spain that suggest original ideas for gifts as this date approaches.

4. Additional Information: Original Date of Spanish Mother’s Day

Do you know when this day was previously celebrated in Spain?

Initially, it was celebrated on December 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception and the date that is observed worldwide by the Catholic Church. However, over time the date was changed to the first Sunday in May. This was also done in Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, South Africa, and Romania.

5. Must-know Vocab

Gift Certificate

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Mother’s Day in Spain!

  • Cena — “Dinner
  • Domingo — “Sunday”
  • Hijo — “Son”
  • Hija — “Daughter”
  • Rosa — “Rose”
  • Regalo — “Present”
  • Madre — “Mother”
  • Chocolate — “Chocolate”
  • Amar — “Love
  • Celebrar — “Celebrate”
  • Desayuno en la cama — “Breakfast in bed”
  • Felicitación — “Greeting card”
  • Cheque regalo — “Gift certificate”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Mother’s Day in Spain vocabulary list, where you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on Spanish Mother’s Day? Does your country have similar celebrations and traditions, or very different ones? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Spanish culture and the language, visit us at SpanishPod101.com. There’s something here for every learner, from insightful blog posts to an array of vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Spanish learners! If you haven’t yet, you can also check out our MyTeacher program, which gives you the opportunity to learn Spanish one-on-one with your own personal teacher.

Learning a new language and becoming knowledgeable in its country’s culture is a huge feat and one that you won’t regret. Your hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Spanish like a native! SpanishPod101.com will be here to support you on your way there!

Until next time, Feliz Día de la Madre (”Happy Mother’s Day” in Spanish)!

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Top 15 Mexican TV Shows to Boost Your Spanish

Passive learning is an essential component of adopting a new language and making it second nature. It’s not all about sitting down, cracking the books, and studying verb tenses. It’s about immersing yourself in the culture and letting the rhythm, cadence, and structure of that new language subtly seep into you.

True, it’s easier said than done. What if you haven’t had the chance to go to a Spanish-speaking country and make it your home for a few months, or even years?

While that may be the ideal immersion scenario, you can always mimic immersion by consuming the culture of those countries.

And how do you consume the culture of a country without visiting? Well, that’s simple. Just devour everything they send out into the world.

TV shows, movies, music, books, media—they’re all a window to the people of each country, thus portraying their actual language as a living breathing thing, not the pasteurized version you get from a textbook.

So! That being said, if you’re particularly interested in learning Mexican Spanish and want a window into that country’s culture, here are some of their best TV shows as of 2018, hand-picked to aid you on this quest.

These Mexican TV programs were chosen not just for being in Spanish, but taking into account their quality and relevancy in Mexican contemporary society. In other words, they’re popular but also better written and produced than your standard telenovela.

Also, we tried to make it easy for you, dear reader, by focusing on TV shows that you can find on Netflix, or stream elsewhere on the Web.

¡A disfrutar!

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Table of Contents

  1. Series about Sports and Music
  2. Series About Narcos
  3. Traditional Crime Series in Spanish
  4. Sports, News, and Culture Programs
  5. How to Study Spanish with TV Shows
  6. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Your Spanish Idioms and Expressions?


1. Series About Sports and Music

While most people think of El Chapo or Narcos when trying to think of TV series in Spanish (and due to current trends, it’s frankly inevitable), we tried to start off with some that stray off that topic.

Here are some Mexican Web series that deal with the sports world, music stars, or celebrities in general.

1- Club de Cuervos

Club de Cuervos logo

This series follows the many mishaps of the Iglesias family, the owners of a fictitious football team called Los Cuervos de Nuevo Toledo (“The Crows of New Toledo”), which is hailed in the series as “The Real Madrid of Latin America.” When the head of the family dies, the heirs get into a long battle to determine who has control of the football club.

This was actually the first Spanish-language Netflix original series, and it stars Luis Gerardo Méndez and Mariana Treviño as the two siblings. The former’s character, Chava Iglesias, is immediately elected as the president (just because he’s a man) but has no clue how to run a football team. Mariana’s character (Isabel Iglesias), on the other hand, is actually much more intelligent and experienced in the football industry, but is shunned out of the role because she’s a woman.

Club de Cuervos, in spite of being a Netflix production, was done by an almost all-Mexican cast and was shot mostly in Pachuca, Hidalgo. Its genre is best described as black humor or comedy, and it’s actually a somewhat accurate gaze into football culture in Mexico. There is a lot of machismo, sex scandals, throwing around of money, telenovela-style tragedies with the team always on the brink of total failure, and avid football fans that keep the whole thing going for everybody.

2- La Balada de Hugo Sánchez

La Balada de Hugo Sanchez Poster

This one’s actually a spin-off of Club de Cuervos. While named exactly as the Mexican football icon, it has nothing to do with the footballer.

This comedy-drama series follows Chava’s personal assistant (who is named Hugo Sanchez) in the perilous mission of taking the team to a tournament in Nicaragua.

Hugo is named “temporal manager” of the Cuervos just because Chava, the actual manager, doesn’t really want to go to Nicaragua.

The rest, as you can imagine, is fuel for continuous laughter. Just watch the trailer to see for yourself!

Vocabulary:

  • Futból: This is the hispanization of the word “football.” Mexicans use this or “futból soccer” to refer to the most beautiful sport in the world.
  • Junior: This is an anglicism to refer to Mexican rich kids who don’t ever have to work hard because they choose to rely on their parents’ wealth. Chava in the series is an embodiment of this concept.

3- Luis Miguel (La Serie)

Luis Miguel Poster

And talking of Mexican icons, if you’re remotely interested in Mexican culture and don’t know of Luis Miguel by now, you should seriously stop reading and put on one of his albums. Soy Como Quiero Ser is a good one to start with.

While the music may seem cheesy as hell and, depending on your level of Spanish, maybe a bit difficult to understand, know that this guy is probably the biggest Mexican singer of all time—at least in terms of popularity. People have nicknamed him El Sol de Mexico (“The Sun of Mexico”), for chrissake!

So anyway, Luismi (another nickname) began his career as a child star, with his dad (a failed singer from Spain) as his manager. When the guy was about sixteen, he fired his father, got new management, and relaunched himself as a serious male performer, eventually reaching international superstar status.

If you think that story actually has some drama series material, just wait ‘til you hear about his mother. Apparently, he hasn’t seen her in years and nobody seems to know what happened to her. There are quite a few conspiracy theories about the whole thing, but the bottom line is that while Luis Miguel’s career is as bright as the sun, his family life has always had a dark undertone to it.

And thus! Somebody decided to make that into a series. It’s uncertain what the arrangement was on selling Luismi’s life story to Netflix, but this thing has been on fire since being released. By “on fire,” we mean that the hype for this thing is quite tremendous. As someone living in Mexico, I can tell you that people talk about each new episode as much as they did about the national elections or the World Cup.

Now the actual series, while a bit exaggerated and full of cliffhangers and—at times—telenovelesca (“soap-opera-like”) offers a pretty good look into Mexican celebrity culture of the 1980s. And you will definitely get to listen to some genuine Spanish.

Here’s a trailer.

Vocabulary:

  • En vivo: Spanish way of saying that music is played live
  • Grabación: (“Recording”)
  • Éxito: (“Hit; hit song”)

4- Jenni Rivera, Mariposa de Barrio

Jenni Rivera

Jenni Rivera is one of the most important female figures in Mexican music, particularly in the banda and ranchera genres. This series is based on her autobiography, Unbreakable: My Story My Way, which was published after her death.

It chronicles pretty much every stage of Jenni’s life and path towards fame, picking up all the way from her childhood.

This one was actually produced by Telemundo, which is one of the largest American Spanish-only television networks. Fortunately, it was then made available through Netflix.

Watch the trailer to get a glimpse of what this show’s all about!

Vocabulary:

  • Barrio: This means “‘hood” in Spanish, as in a bad neighborhood.
  • Rancho: As you probably guessed, this word means “ranch.”
  • Calar: This is an informal verb that means “to try” something.
  • Señora: This means “married woman” and is the polite way to refer to an adult lady.

5- José José, El Príncipe de la Canción

Jose Jose poster

Nicknamed “The Prince of Song,” José José is also one of the biggest Mexican male singers of all time. He began his success during the 1970s as a balladeer, eventually rising to international prominence during the 80s.

As with many artists, his life had its fair share of drama and ups and downs. In spite of his amazing vocal talent and early success, he battled for decades with heavy alcoholism and faced near bankruptcy due to shady management practices, but still managed to lay a timeless legacy in Mexican music.

The series, naturally, is based on his life and was produced by Telemundo as well. That may mean it has some of that soap-opera feel to it as well, but it’s a good dramatized glimpse into The Prince’s life and career.

If you’re still on the fence about this one, watch the trailer to see if it’s a good fit for you!

Vocabulary:

  • Triste: (“Sad”)
  • Productor: (“Producer”)
  • Renunciar: (“To quit”)


2. Series About Narcos

1- La Reina del Sur

La Reina del Sur poster

Oh look, we’re talking about a narco series now. We guess it was inevitable, since (a bit sadly, to be honest) “Narcoculture” has become one of the most publicized and internationally known aspects of Mexican culture.

Obviously, the executives at Telemundo had to cash in on this and created this series in 2011, actually spending more in its production than it did in any other of its series to date.

La Reina del Sur follows the fictional story of a woman (portrayed by Kate del Castillo) who used to date a narco, who then gets killed, so she has to flee her home in Culiacán, Sinaloa.

Eventually, she starts dating another criminal—this time a smuggler of hashish and tobacco—and starts helping out with the activities. This lands her in jail, where she makes some friends who help her get into drug trafficking when they all get out.

Sooner or later, she ends up becoming the leader of one of the most prominent drug cartels in the fictionalized version of Sinaloa. Hence the name of the series, which translates literally to “The Queen of The South.”

Watch a trailer with some good ol’ English subtitles.

Vocabulary:

  • El Bote: This is literally the Spanish homologue for the English slang “The Can,” as it refers to prison.
  • Güero: This is a “blonde male person.”
  • Contrabandista: This word translates to “smuggler.”
  • Contable: A contable is an “accountant.”

2- El Chapo

El Chapo poster

And now for a not-so-fictional story. You’ve probably already heard about Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Mexico’s top drug kingpin. He was considered the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world” by the U.S. Department of Treasury for a good number of years.

This series, produced jointly by Netflix and Univision, covers the life of “El Chapo,” from his meager beginnings as a low-level member of the Guadalajara Cartel, to his rise to power as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel—all the way to his eventual downfall.

Feel free to watch a trailer for season 1 to get an idea of what to expect.

Vocabulary:

  • Millonario: (“Millionaire”)
  • Túnel: (“Tunnel”)

3- Cuando Conocí A El Chapo: La Historia de Kate del Castillo

Cuando Conoci A El Chapo Poster

If you were already familiar with El Chapo, perhaps you’ve heard or read about this 2016 story of how Kate del Castillo (that’s right, the actress from La Reina del Sur) was able to earn the drug kingpin’s trust and broker an interview between him and—of all people—Mr. Sean Penn.

This is a documentary mini-series, covering the whole event in a matter of three episodes. Think of it as a real-life conjunction of the two former series, proving how easily fact and fiction blend in the world of Narcotráfico.

Watch the official trailer and then prepare to sit down later to binge this little series.

Vocabulary:

  • Correspondencia: This is essentially to write a series of letters, to correspond with someone.


3. Traditional Crime Series in Spanish

1- Sr. Ávila

Sr. Avila poster

Where’s HBO in all of this? If you’re looking for one of the best Mexican TV shows, this one has all the trademarks of an HBO series, with a story set in Mexico City and as much Spanish as you could hope for.

Sr. Ávila tells the story of a middle-class family man, who passes as an insurance salesman but leads a double life as a sicario—which is the Spanish word for “hired killer,”—within an organized crime group.

This is one of the Mexican TV shows on this list that strays the most from the telenovela genre, being more similar in genre to other dark-vibe-crime sort of shows such as True Detective or Dexter.

While this can’t be found anywhere other than HBO or HBO Go, it might be worth the effort (if you were, let’s say, to look for it online), if you want something a bit more serious.

Check out Tony Dalton in the role of Mr. Ávila.

Vocabulary:

  • Lobo: (“Wolf”)
  • Señor: This word is used to call a married man or full-grown adult.

2- El Dandy

el dandy

This Mexican TV show might be a great bet to learn Spanish if you’re a native English-speaker, as it’s based upon the 1993 Al Pacino and Johnny Depp film Donnie Brasco.

It follows the story of a law professor who goes undercover in one of the most notorious criminal organizations of Mexico City. He takes the nickname “El Dandy” and while he starts to gain and leak information regarding the clandestine network he finds himself becoming a part of, he starts to find the sense of danger exciting, even enjoyable.

The series stars Damián Alcázar, of Narcos fame, as one of the criminal bosses, who takes “El Dandy” under his wing. Watch some excerpts of the show and prepare to become addicted.

Vocabulary:

  • Echado p’alante: This literally translates to “thrown forward,” and is used to refer to someone who’s very proactive, a nearly fearless self-starter.
  • Fusca: This is another word for pistola which is a “pistol” or “gun.”


4. Sports, News, and Culture Programs

Now, the most popular Mexican television shows aren’t all series that have to do with crime or celebrities. Some of the biggest TV shows from this country are simply the ones that deal with reality. Not in a “reality show” sort of way, but simply regular sports, news, and culture shows.

Here’s a quick list of some of the best ones. While these will be hard to find unless you have access to a Mexican TV signal, or some sort of satellite package that includes some of these, you can always find clips on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, as these shows all have a channel on one or all of these social media platforms.

1- ESPN Deportes

ESPN Deportes logo

This is the Spanish-language arm of ESPN, aimed primarily at the Hispanic population in the United States. That being said, it does have a base in Mexico City that caters to both markets, as well as some parts of Latin America.

This is available on most cable and satellite providers in the U.S., but you can always get clips from its Twitter and other social media.

2- CNN en Español

CNN Espanol Logo

From this one, you can get mainstream news and sports in Spanish, as it caters to pretty much all of North and Latin America.

Whether it’s on its social media or directly on its webpage, it’s extremely easy to find clips from this source. This channel is a 24-hour source of content in Latin American Spanish.

3- MTV Latinoamérica

mtv logo

MTV Latin America is all about Youth Culture. As with the original MTV, it’s not so much about the music now, but about reality shows, series, some films, and yes, the occasional videos. And you’ll get much more than just Spanish music; all of its channels feature whatever’s hot at the moment, so it will include a lot of English music as well.

MTV Latin America is now so big that it has some sister channels too, such as VH1, Nickelodeon (cartoons in Spanish, yaaay!), Comedy Central, MTV Hits, and some others depending on the region.

4- Tercer Grado

news

If you’d like to get deep into Mexican politics, this is the foremost TV show to watch on the subject. This one is within Noticieros Televisa, which is one of the news television shows in Mexico.

The good thing about Tercer Grado is that, even though it belongs to Televisa, it can be pretty impartial when it comes to politics. Its round tables usually feature journalists and intellectuals from various political inclinations.

The second good thing, is that sometimes it posts clips of its whole episodes on its Youtube channel, so you can watch these online at any time.

5- El Financiero Bloomberg

economics

Now, if you’re looking to get knowledge on Mexican economy, finance, and business news, this channel is a joint venture between financial broadcaster Bloomberg, and El Financiero, one of the leading finance news outlets in the Spanish language.

It’s also kind enough to post a ton of content right on its YouTube channel, so it provides daily news on Mexican “grown-up” topics.


5. How to Study Spanish with TV Shows

If you’re looking to boost your Spanish with Mexican TV shows, there is a myriad of options for various tastes and ages.

To send you off, some additional advice when learning Spanish through TV is to watch it in the original language with English subtitles. Then, watch with Spanish subtitles as you’re progressing, and eventually try to remove the subtitles completely.

Don’t be afraid to watch the same episode or clip over and over again, as it’s a great listening comprehension exercise—even if you’re doing something else at the same time, such as washing clothes or cooking.

As you start progressing, be sure to look up any words or phrases that you don’t get. Spanish slang, and especially Mexican slang, is insanely vast. Fortunately, the meaning of most phrases and words can be found online.

Further, if you’d like even more Soabusg contents, be sure to look up Mexican films, video bloggers, and standup comedians. If you know where to look, the resources are truly endless.


6. How Can SpanishPod101 Help You Learn Your Spanish Idioms and Expressions?

Infographic

If you liked this guide to the top Mexican TV shows to learn Spanish, then feel free to find more resources, idiomatic expressions, and fun lessons in our SpanishPod101 website. We have over 1,800 audio and video lessons, lively community forums, and a good combination of energetic hosts to help you with your Spanish needs in a fun and easy manner!

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How to Find a Job in Spain

One of the most common reasons to start learning a language is the motivation of moving to a different country and working there. Today at SpanishPod101.com, we’re going to talk about why you should consider moving to Spain and how to find a job there, as well as teach you a few basic facts, such as how to say “job” in Spanish, and more.

We’re not going to lie: In the past, getting a job in Spain hasn’t been as easy as we’d have liked. However, we have good news. The situation has actually been improving over the past two years. According to Trading Economics, in July 2018, the general unemployment rate in Spain was 15.3%. It sounds bad, but compare it to the rate in 2015 and 2016, which was around 21%. Definitely some improvement there.

There’s no need to worry about any of this right now, even if you’re not fluent in Spanish or don’t speak it too well yet. And to show you that it’s possible to find a job in Spain, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know if you want to work here, including how to the find the best foreigners-friendly jobs in Spain.

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Table of Contents

  1. Five Reasons Why You Should Move to Spain
  2. What You Need to Know Before Applying for Jobs
  3. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Find a Job in Spain

1. Five Reasons Why You Should Move to Spain

Just in case you’re not convinced yet, we thought we’d give you a few reasons to relocate to Spain. We think you’re going to like them.

Park Güell in Barcelona

1- The Food

Surely you’ve heard about Spanish food before, and probably even tried some. Paella, churros, gazpacho, jamón…these are just a few examples of the amazing food we have in Spain. So, why not live there so that you can eat it all the time?

2- The People

Spanish people are widely known for being friendly. If you’ve ever visited our country, you’ll know this is true. Everyone is welcoming and open-minded (as long as we’ve had our siesta after lunch). And if you love a good party, you’ve come to the right place. There’s nothing like the local fiestas that take place in each town at least once a year. Trust us, you’ll hear about them once you’re there.

3- The Cost of Living

Spain is so much cheaper to live in than a lot of other European countries. The most expensive Spanish cities are Barcelona, San Sebastián, and Madrid, and if you check a list of the most expensive cities in Europe, you’ll see they’re around the 50th position, so they’re pretty great compared to most of the nearest countries.

4- The Healthcare System

Every legal immigrant working in Spain has access to the public healthcare system as soon as they register for an NIE, which basically serves as your personal ID. As a Spaniard who has traveled a lot, this is definitely one of the best healthcare systems I have come across in my life.

5- We have Everything You’re Looking for

Basically, everything you need in your ideal city, you can find here. Do you want city? Check. Do you want beach? Check. Do you want mountains? Check. Sometimes you might even find all these things in one place, so just be sure to choose the right location for you.

There are many more reasons to convince you to move to Spain immediately, but I’ll leave them to you to find out when you arrive. That said, I think you see that there are many benefits of working in Spain that you won’t want to miss out on.

2. What You Need to Know Before Applying for Jobs

Now that you know why moving to Spain is a good idea, it’s time to help you find a job. To get you started, you should know that the word for “job” in Spanish is trabajo, empleo, or, in more informal contexts, curro. Two of these words have their respective verbal forms: trabajar and currar (“to work”). Again, currar is way more informal than trabajar, but both are widely used. Now that you know this, let’s get you a curro!

1- Spanish CV Tips

The first thing you should do before starting to apply for jobs is to write your new Spanish CV. Most resumes and CVs are similar in different countries, but there are always a few differences, so we recommend starting a new one from scratch. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

Writing a Resume

Include a photo

In a Spanish CV, it’s important that you include a professional photo of yourself. You can use the same photo you use for your passport or your driver’s license.

What language should you write it in?

Ideally, your CV should be written in Spanish. However, if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t require it or are looking for jobs for non-Spanish speakers in Spain, you can submit it in English.

Your personal information

The first part of your CV should include your basic personal information: name, last name, date of birth, address, email address, and phone number. It’s also common to include your marital status, but it’s not compulsory.

Your studies

The next section can either be about your education or your work experience, as the order isn’t too important here. You should list your studies in reverse-chronological order, starting with the most recent, including the institution and the location. You can choose to include the dates you started and finished each of them, but it’s not necessary. It’s up to you, really. If you can, you should include the equivalent of your qualifications to Spanish education.

Your work experience

As we said in the previous section, you can choose this section to be either about your education or your work experience. So if you listed your studies in the previous section, now it’s time to show your future employers what your past work experience is. You should also list them reverse-chronologically and starting with your most recent position. In this case, it’s common to include the dates. You don’t need to write anything about that position, unlike in some other countries. All you really need are the dates, your position in the company, the name of the company, and its location.

Languages

You should include a section listing the language or languages you speak, and your level of fluency. If your Spanish isn’t great or you don’t speak it (yet!), you should focus on the other languages you do speak.

Hobbies

This one is optional and might not be as common in other countries, but it’s really frequent in Spain to list some of the things you enjoy doing in your free time. For example, if you enjoy hiking or listening to music. This last section of your CV is also where you let them know if you have a driver’s license.

2- Six Most Common Job-Seeking Platforms to Find a Job in Spain

Finding a Job in Spain

Once you’ve completed your CV and your cover letter, you can start spreading them around. There are two basic ways of applying for jobs in Spain: using job-seeking platforms or giving CVs in person. Of course, nowadays everything is online, so it’s getting more and more common to only apply for jobs through these platforms. The only problem is that most of these sites are only in Spanish, so you’ll need to know at least a little bit of Spanish. Here are the most popular Spanish job hunting sites:

Infojobs

Infojobs is definitely the most-used website for finding jobs in Spain, and the one that everyone would recommend.

Infoempleo

This website, Infoempleo, is the second most-used Spanish job seeking website and we highly recommend it.

Primer Empleo

The name of this platform, Primer Empleo, means “First Job.” It’s not exclusive to people who have never had a job before, but it’s mostly focused on jobs for students or those who don’t have too much experience.

Empléate

This is the Government of Spain’s official website for finding a job and, to be honest, it’s not as commonly used as the previous websites we mentioned. However, it’s still safe and worth considering as a Spanish job-finding website.

LinkedIn

You probably already know LinkedIn, but if you don’t, we recommend you check it out. Basically, it’s a social network for employers and workers to create professional connections all over the world, and it’s also highly used in Spain.

European Language Jobs

Just like LinkedIn, this one isn’t an exclusive Spanish website, but it might actually be the most useful for non-Spanish speakers. They post job offers for speakers of different languages in various European cities. If you click on the link to the website, you’ll find all the current job offers in Spain, so all you need to do is find your language.

3- Easiest Jobs for Non-Spanish Speakers

As we mentioned before, and you probably already guessed, there are some jobs that require you to speak Spanish, but there are some others that might be easy for Spanish beginners. On the website we were just talking about, European Language Jobs, you’ll find offers for jobs that require knowledge of and fluency in languages other than Spanish. It’s definitely not the only website where you can find non-Spanish speaking jobs in Spain, so just be sure to do some research!

Here are some other options that foreigners finding jobs in Spain can try out to begin with:

Language teacher

Are there people who are interested in learning your mother tongue? If so, you already have a possible job in Spain. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to fully teach your native language, you can still offer conversation-based lessons, which is an option many language-learners choose, especially in advanced stages.

Tourism

In the most-visited cities, you’ll easily be able to work in the tourism industry, as they’re always looking for people who speak foreign languages. Of course, speaking Spanish is still desirable, but in certain positions, your native language might be more important.

Office jobs

Not every kind of office work will be suitable for a non-Spanish speaker in Spain, but you can certainly find some. They’ll mostly be foreign-based companies that also have an office in Spain.

4- Five Common Interview Questions in Spain

Once you’ve applied for jobs, it’s time to do some interviews. In a job interview in Spain, a lot of the questions you’ll be asked are about yourself, and not just about your work experience and qualifications. Here are five examples of questions you’re most likely to be asked, in Spanish, and followed by their translation in English.

Háblame un poco de ti. — “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”
The first question on our list isn’t actually a question, but it’s definitely something you’ll hear in an interview. To answer it, you should briefly explain your work experience and studies. You can also explain why you decided to move to Spain, if you think that might interest them.

¿Dónde te ves en cinco años? — “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
What the interviewer wants to know is whether your plans for the future match their plans for you. If you tell them you’re only thinking of working in Spain for a short period of time, they might not be as interested in you as they would be if they knew you’re planning on staying there for a long, long time.

¿Cuál es tu mayor virtud? — “What is your best quality?”
This question might differ a little. They could ask you about only your best quality, or about your three best qualities, for example. When answering this, you need to be realistic and tell them about a skill you know will make a good difference in the position you’re being interviewed for. Before going to your interview, think a little bit about what you’ll say.

¿Cuál es tu mayor defecto? — “What is your worst quality?”
This one is also a hard question. You obviously want to look good even after answering this question, but we recommend you don’t answer with something like “I’m too much of a perfectionist,” because even if you are, they won’t believe you. Just like in the previous question, you need to think about the right answer for this question and be realistic. You could mention something that’s been hard for you in the past, but that you’ve been working on to improve, and give specific examples for it if you can. To give you an example, a good answer would be that you used to be slightly unpunctual, but for the past few years you’ve been paying much more attention to it and are always on time now.

¿Por qué deberíamos contratarte? — “Why should we hire you?”
This one isn’t as common as the other four questions, but it’s still an important one and you should know how to answer. Your answer will depend on the kind of work that you’ll be doing, but obviously it should be focused on everything you can contribute to the team.

Job Interview in Spain

5- Full-time and Part-time Jobs

In Spain, both full-time and part-time jobs are equally frequent to find on the main job-seeking platforms. A common full-time job in Spain, or trabajo a tiempo completo, has an average of nearly 40 hours per week.

However, if you get a part-time job, or trabajo a tiempo parcial, you’ll generally work about six hours a day.

Both types of jobs offer you the same rights as a worker. This means that if you get a part-time job, no matter how many hours you work, you’ll still have full free access to the public healthcare system, for example. This makes working in Spain quite convenient in terms of healthcare, and we should all know how important that is.

6- Working Visas for Non-EU/EEA or Switzerland Citizens

Getting a Spanish Work Visa

If your passport says you’re from a country in the EU or EEA, or from Switzerland, you don’t need to worry about getting a visa; you can just fly to Spain and start working. It’s as simple as that. However, if you’re from any other country, you’ll need a valid working visa, and that does require some paperwork. Here, we’ll go into a little detail on the visa requirements to work in Spain.

You cannot apply for this visa directly, so in order to get it, you’ll need to find a job first, and then your employer will have to start doing the procedures for you so that you can receive a Work and Residence Permit. Once you have this permit, you can apply for a Work Visa. Your employer in Spain should be able to help you with this whole process, but if they can’t, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate.

7- Minimum Salary

The minimum salary in Spain was raised to €735.90 per month or €24.53 per day in 2018 from the €707.60 per month or €23.59 per day that was in place in 2017. In 2016, the minimum monthly salary was €655.20 and it had been growing really slowly over the last ten years, so this is a great time to relocate to Spain.

We realize it might not seem like too much, but remember this is only the minimum salary, so you’ll be making more money if you get a job with higher qualifications. You must also keep in mind that the cost of living is way cheaper than in most European countries, as we said previously in this article.

8- Something Else You Should Know

Just like everywhere else, to find a job in Spain, it’s important that you have qualifications, experience, confidence, and possibly speak more than one language.

In case you didn’t know, Spanish isn’t the only language spoken in Spain. There are a few regions in Spain that have co-official languages. If you go to cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Santiago de Compostela, or Bilbao, among others, you’ll hear languages other than Spanish, and we’re not just referring to the tourists. When applying for a job, speaking these regional languages is considered a positive trait, but normally they’re only required in public administration jobs.

3. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Find a Job in Spain

At SpanishPod101.com, you’ll find everything you need to learn Spanish, whether you’re just getting started or are at a more advanced level.

If your dream is to live and work in Spain, we’re sure you already know that you should learn some Spanish before moving there. Like we mentioned before, you can still get a job if you’re not fluent or if you don’t speak too much Spanish, but your options will be much more limited, so you know what to do!

Check out SpanishPod101.com’s vocabulary lists, such as the Top 15 Spanish Questions You Should Know for Conversations, or some useful learning tips like Top Ways to Practice Your Spanish Reading Skills.

We hope this article provided you with all the info you need about working and living in Spain. Thanks for reading, and best of luck with all of your Spanish job-hunting endeavors!

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How to Say I Love You in Spanish - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Spanish could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Spanish partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At SpanishPod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Spanish lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Spanish dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. Spanish Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. Spanish Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Spanish Faster?

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your Spanish love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Spanish word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Spanish date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

Spanish Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • ¿Te gustaría ir a cenar conmigo?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Spanish is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • ¿Estás libre este fin de semana?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • ¿Quieres salir conmigo?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • ¿A qué hora nos vemos mañana?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • ¿Donde nos vemos?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • Te ves genial.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • Eres tan linda.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • ¿Qué opinas de este lugar?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your Spanish language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • ¿Puedo verte de nuevo?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • ¿Vamos a otro lugar?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • Conozco un buen lugar.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • Voy a llevarte a tu casa.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • Fue una gran noche.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • ¿Cuándo puedo volver a verte?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • Te llamaré.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the Spanish phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Spanish below!

Date Ideas in Spanish

museum

  • museo

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • cena con velas

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • ir al zoológico

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • dar un largo paseo

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • ir a la ópera

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • ir al acuario

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • caminar en la playa

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • tener un picnic

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • cocinar una comida juntos

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • cenar y ver una película

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Spanish

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Spanish - think how impressed your date will be!

4. Spanish Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Spanish yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Spanish? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Spanish love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in Spanish

I love you.

  • Te amo.

Saying ‘I love you’ in Spanish carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • Tú quieres decir mucho para mí.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • ¿Quieres ser mi Valentín?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • Eres tan bella.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Spanish, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • Pienso en ti como algo más que un amigo.

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Spanish dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • Cien corazones serían demasiado pocos para contener todo mi amor por ti.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • Amor es sólo amor. No puede ser explicado.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • Eres tan guapo.

Ladies, this phrase lets your Spanish love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • Me estoy enamorando de ti.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • Me haces querer ser un hombre mejor.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Spanish girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • Que todo lo que hagas sea con amor.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • Tú eres mi rayo de sol, mi amor.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • Las palabras no pueden describir mi amor por ti.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • Estámos destinados a estar juntos.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • Si estabas pensando en alguien mientras leías esto, definitivamente estás enamorado.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. Spanish Quotes about Love

Spanish Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your Spanish lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Spanish that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Spanish Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your Spanish lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Spanish custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Spanish Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • I’m not good enough for you.
    • No soy lo suficientemente bueno para ti.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • No eres tú. Soy yo.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Spanish lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • No estoy listo para este tipo de relación.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • Seamos solo amigos.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Spanish, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • Creo que necesitamos terminar.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • Mereces algo mejor.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • Deberíamos empezar a ver a otras personas.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • Necesito mi espacio.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • Creo que estamos avanzando muy rápido.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • Necesito concentrarme en mi carrera.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    We need to talk.

    • Tenemos que hablar.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • Ya no te quiero más.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • Simplemente no somos el uno para el otro.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • Es lo mejor.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • Nos hemos distanciado.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Spanish faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. SpanishPod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Spanish language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Spanish Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Spanish speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    SpanishPod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Spanish, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Spanish even faster.

    2- Having your Spanish romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Spanish language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Spanish lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Spanish partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why SpanishPod101 helps you learn Spanish Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Spanish

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Spanish is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at SpanishPod101 is translated into both English and Spanish. So, while your partner can help you learn Spanish faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Spanish Culture
    At SpanishPod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Spain. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Spanish partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Spanish Phrases
    You now have access to SpanishPod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Spanish soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!