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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.

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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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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Carnaval in Spain: How to Celebrate the Spanish Carnival

In 2010, the Cádiz Carnivals were considered to be one of the ten treasures of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain. According to some historians, the origin of this festival, which usually lasts three days and in which people dress up in costumes, dates back to ancient Egypt and Sumer, about 5,000 years ago.

Thus, you can see how the Spanish Carnival is an integral part of Spain’s culture. Let SpanishPod101.com show you all the interesting facets of the Spanish Carnival, including the famous burial of the Sardine and more Spanish Carnival facts!

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1. What is Spanish Carnival?

In Spain, Carnival is a time of feasting and celebration before the Lent period of fasting. This is a holiday long celebrated throughout history, and the concept is common throughout the world—that of indulgence and fun before the fasting begins.

From Spanish Carnival masks to an array of exciting dances, the Spanish Carnival is quite the celebration. Indeed, the Carnival of Spain is not something to be missed!

2. When is it?

Large Group of People

The date of the Spanish Carnival season varies each year as it depends on the date of Easter. For your convenience, here’s this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 4
  • 2020: February 24
  • 2021: February 15
  • 2022: January 31
  • 2023: February 20
  • 2024: February 12
  • 2025: March 3
  • 2026: February 16
  • 2027: February 8
  • 2028: February 28

3. How is it Celebrated?

Two People Dancing

Learn about how the Spanish Carnival is celebrated by reading the Spanish text below (you can find the English translation directly below it).
—–
Aunque dura oficialmente 11 días, los ensayos, concursos y actos gastronómicos consiguen que el ambiente de carnaval dure cerca de un mes. De Cadiz son conocidísimas las chirigotas. Son agrupaciones músico coral que canta principalmente por las calles ofreciendo coplas humorísticas. Es típico en estas fechas ver los concursos de estas y otras agrupaciones por televisión.

El Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife es otro de los más populares. En esta fiesta se disfruta de más de una semana de música, baile y disfraces. A estos días le preceden otros en los que tiene lugar la presentación de las candidatas a Reina. También los diversos concursos de murgas infantiles y adultas, que tienen su origen en las chirigotas gaditanas. Se realiza al final el Entierro de la Sardina. Consiste en un desfile que parodia un cortejo fúnebre y culmina con la quema de una figura, normalmente representando a una sardina. Se celebra tradicionalmente el miércoles de Ceniza.

En el Carnaval de Gran Canaria se celebran dos galas de gran fama. Una en la se que elige la Reina y otra en la que se elige al Drag Queen del Carnaval. La fiesta comienza con el pregón del Carnaval. Un acto muy esperado también es la Gran Cabalgata del sábado siguiente a la Gala de elección de la Reina y del Drag Queen.

En Solsona cuenta la leyenda que enviaron un burro a comer la hierba del campanario de la catedral. Decidieron subirlo colgado del cuello y el animal vació en este momento la vejiga sobre el público. Hoy se sigue recordando en sus carnavales esto con la ‘Colgada del burro’… aunque el animal es de cartón-piedra y peluche, y relleno de agua.
—–

Though they officially last 11 days, gastronomic events, competitions and rehearsals make the atmosphere of Carnival last about a month. From Cádiz, the “chirigotas” are extremely well known. They are musical choir groups who sing mainly in the streets, offering humorous verses. It is typical on these dates to see the contests between these and other groups on television.

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is another of the most popular ones. At this celebration you can enjoy more than one week of music, dancing and costumes. These days are preceded by others in which the presentation of the candidates to the throne of the Queen takes place. There are also different contests for children’s and adults’ bands of street musicians, which have their origin in the Cadiz Carnival. These are held at the end of the burial of the sardine. That consists of a parade that parodies a funeral procession and culminates with the burning of a figure, usually representing a sardine. This is traditionally celebrated on Ash Wednesday.

In the Gran Canaria Carnival, two very famous galas are held: one in which the Queen is chosen and another in which the Drag Queen of the Carnival is chosen. The celebration begins with the proclamation of the Carnival. Another highly anticipated event is a parade held on the Saturday following the election of the Queen and Drag Queen.

In Solsona the legend has it a donkey was sent to eat the grass of the bell tower of the Cathedral. The people decided to lift it by hanging it from the neck, at which time, the animal emptied its bladder over the crowd. Today this is still remembered at its Carnivals with the “hanging of the donkey”… Although the animal now is papier-mâché, plush, and filled with water.

4. Additional Information

However, there are many other places in the country where Carnival leaves a different mark, a more ritual one. In these places, the celebration is focused on rural and indigenous communities, in Spanish “comunidades indígenas,” where the participants take over the streets and rejoice in the music, dancing, regional masks, and costumes or “disfraces”. These aspects combine to transform the celebration into a more locally traditional affair.

The Carnival of Morelos is one of the ones that best preserve this local tradition. Here, the most popular dance is the chinelos’ dance, or “danza de los chinelos”, a dance which has been preserved with few changes for more than a century.

A “chinelo” is a comical representation of the Spanish colonial people. These Spanish Carnival costumes are fantastically vivid—long robes of velvet and multicolor layers, palm hats covered with black velvet that extend upward, decorated with fretwork, flowers, drawings and feathers; and masks with a white complexion and rosy cheeks, blue eyes, a mustache and pointy beard. You certainly won’t forget seeing these Spanish Carnival costumes!

The celebration starts with the procession of the chinelos, who begin by doing a few dances. Upon arriving at the plaza square, they begin to jump up and down, hopping on their tiptoes. The dancers jump energetically, spinning around, and continue for hours until it’s time for the “fireworks,” or fuegos artificiales, and popular dance.

5. Must-know Vocab

Carnival Queen Image

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Spanish Carnival season!

  • Abarrotado — “Crowded”
  • Bailar — “Dance”
  • Carnaval — “Carnival”
  • Desfile — “Parade”
  • Disfraz — “Costume”
  • Reina del carnaval — “Carnival queen”
  • Entierro de la sardina — “Burial of the Sardine”
  • Máscara — “Mask”
  • Confeti — “Confetti”
  • Celebración — “Celebration”

If you want to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, visit our Carnival in Spain vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Wow! What do you think of the Carnival in Spain and Mexico? Do you celebrate Carnival or a similar holiday in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn even more about Spanish culture and the language, visit us at SpanishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Spanish learners. Further, you can check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Spanish teacher!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Carnival Spanish holiday and that you took something valuable away from this lesson. Keep up the hard work and you’ll begin to speak like a native in no time, and be a master of the culture!

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

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    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!

    Dia de la Candelaria: How to Celebrate Candlemas in Mexico

    Candlemas

    In the very Catholic Mexico, many celebrate the religious holiday known as Candlemas (or Dia de la Candelaria in Spanish). By learning about this holiday, you’re also immersing yourself in one of the most important aspects of Mexican culture: its people’s religious beliefs, and how they’re expressed through celebration.

    So, what is Candlemas Day in Mexico? What are the most common Mexican holidays and traditions surrounding this holiday? Learn more about the significance of the Nativity scene in this holiday and more, with SpanishPod101.com.

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    1. What is Spanish Candlemas?

    Candlemas in Mexico may be best known as the day that Mexicans finally take down the Nativity scene that they put up before Christmas. This is a very religious holiday, and is also known as the day of the “Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.”

    This name takes root in the biblical book of Luke, and also commemorates the cleansing of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to Jewish custom, a woman must be cleansed about a month after giving birth and so Candlemas is thought to be the approximate time Mary would have done so.

    2. When is it?

    Calendar

    Mexicans celebrate Candlemas forty days after Christmas, February 2, each year.

    3. How is it Celebrated?

    Celebration

    On Dia de la Candelaria, Mexicans take down the Nativity scene that they set up before Christmas. Further, many people will dress up figures of the baby Jesus to be blessed once at the iglesia, or “church.” This blessed figurine Jesus is then placed somewhere to dwell for the rest of the year, sometimes with a family who’s then expected to open their home to any visitors for that period of time.

    Another common tradition is the gathering of family and friends to feast together, particularly on tamals, or “tamales.” During this fiesta, or “party,” many Mexicans also make a special bread called rosca, which is shaped like a wreath and contains a figurine of the baby Jesus baked inside of it. A fun tradition centering on this is that the person who finds this figurine is the one to dress the Baby Jesus that will be blessed.

    Sometimes this Baby Jesus is a relic possessed by the family for many generations, making it a very sentimental aspect of the holiday. However, other families go out and buy a new one if they don’t already have one. Regardless of how long this Baby Jesus figurine has been in the family for, its blessing at the church is one of the most important things that will happen all year and is greatly relished by the family as a whole.

    While feasting, they also like to drink something called atole, which has a corn base and is typically served hot or warm. This beverage is certainly fitting to the comfort and warmth that Dia de la Candelaria holds.

    There are some places in Mexico that really go all out with Candlemas celebrations, complete with bull fights and special parades to enjoy.

    4. Additional Information

    The Nativity scene, or in Spanish Nacimiento, is a representation of Jesus Christ’s birth. They’re always set up prior to Christmas, traditionally on December 8, according to the celebration of the Conception; they stay up until February 2, the day of Candlemas.

    Under the Mexican tradition, Nativity scenes represent Mary and Joseph with clay figures in a manger or a “stable,” or establo, joined by a “mule,” or mula, and an “ox,” or toro. The scene can also include other figures to adore the Christ child, such as “shepherds,” or pastores, “angels,” or ángeles, and the “star of Bethlehem,” or estrella de Belén.

    There are Nativity scenes of all shapes and sizes. Some people put up extravagant ones, with cascades, rivers, lakes where ducks swim, shepherds and their flocks of sheep, and many other characters who attend to offer gifts to Baby Jesus. These gifts often include pots, hens, vegetables, and fruits.

    Some of these Nativity scenes are mobile, where the figures are moved around from day to day according to what happens in the biblical events; shepherds are moved, and the “Three Wise Men,” or Tres Reyes Magos, draw near the manger as the Epiphany draws near.

    5. Must-know Vocab for Candelario in Mexico

    Finally, once Candlemas arrives, these Nativity scenes are taken down to make way for the Candlemas celebrations!

    Candlemas Day

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know to celebrate Mexican Candlemas Day to its fullest! Be sure to study these in order to improve your Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation.

    • febrero — “February”
    • bebé — “baby”
    • madre — “mother”
    • vela — “candle”
    • iglesia — “church”
    • atole — “atole” (a drink served in Mexico, usually served hot or warm, with a corn base)
    • Virgen María — “Virgin Mary”
    • tamal — “tamal”
    • fiesta — “party”
    • Candelaria — “Candlemas”
    • rosca — “rosca” (a type of bread shaped like a wreath, with a baby figurine inside of it and candied fruit on top)

    To hear the pronunciation of each word as well, be sure to check out our Spanish Candlemas vocabulary list. Each word is accompanied by an audio file with the word’s pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    You’ve learned a lot about how Mexicans celebrate Dia de la Candelaria, particularly the significance of the Nativity scene and the blessing of the Baby Jesus figurine.

    Do you celebrate Candlemas in your home country, or a holiday like it? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about Mexican holidays and traditions, and its culture in general, visit us at SpanishPod101.com. We offer an array of vocabulary lists and blog posts, and we even host an online community where you can discuss topics you’re learning with fellow students. And if you want a more one-on-one approach to your learning, you can download our MyTeacher app!

    Make your account today and start learning Spanish efficiently and with a flair of fun!

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    How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Spanish

    How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Spanish!

    Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

    However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

    Table of Contents

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
    2. Spanish Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
    4. How Can SpanishPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Spanish - Testing New Technology

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    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

    Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Spanish? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Spanish words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

    1. funny - gracioso
    2. joke - broma
    3. lie - mentir
    4. surprise - sorpresa
    5. prankster - bromista
    6. prank - broma
    7. humor - humor
    8. fool - tonto
    9. deceptive - engañosa
    10. April 1st - Primero de Abril
    11. play a joke - jugar una broma
    12. sneaky - a escondidas

    2. Spanish Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

    Spanish Phrases for April Fools' Day

    Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Spanish to prank your favorite Spanish speaking friend or colleague!

    1. All classes for today got canceled.
      • Todas las clases de hoy fueron canceladas.
    2. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
      • Lo siento, pero acabo de romper tus lentes favoritos.
    3. Someone has just hit your car.
      • Alguien acaba de pegarle a tu carro.
    4. I’m getting married.
      • Me voy a casar.
    5. You won a free ticket.
      • Te ganaste un boleto gratis.
    6. I saw your car being towed.
      • Vi que remolcaron tu carro.
    7. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
      • Están dando tarjetas de regalo gratis en frente del edificio.
    8. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
      • Un chico guapo está esperandote afuera.
    9. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
      • Una hermosa dama me pidió que te diera este número de teléfono.
    10. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
      • ¿Puedes venir abajo? Tengo algo especial para ti.
    11. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
      • Gracias por tu carta de amor de esta mañana. Nunca podría haber adivinado tus sentimientos.

    Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

    Choose Bad or Good

    Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Spanish, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

    Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

    Cockroach prank

    1- Infestation

    This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

    2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

    Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

    3- Something Weird in the Restroom

    At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

    Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

    Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

    Funny Face

    4- Call Me Funny

    Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

    5- Minty Cookies

    This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

    6- Wild Shopping

    At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

    7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

    Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

    8- Sneeze On Me

    Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

    9- Word Play Repairs

    Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

    10- Scary Face

    Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

    11- Wake Up To Madness

    Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

    Computer Prank

    12- Computer Prank

    This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

    Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

    13- Monster Under the Cup

    This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

    Door Prank

    14- Prank Door

    Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

    4. How Can SpanishPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

    If you happen to visit Spanish speaking countries like Spain and Mexico, or if you work for any Spanish speaking company, knowing the above Spanish prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Spanish words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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    Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Spanish - bone up your Spanish language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, SpanishPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

    Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in Spanish below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at SpanishPod101.

    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Spanish - testing new technology

    Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

    • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
    • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

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    How to Say Happy New Year in Spanish & New Year Wishes

    Learn all the Spanish New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join SpanishPod101 for a special Spanish New Year celebration!

    How to Say Happy New Year in Spanish

    Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

    So, how do you say Happy New Year in Spanish? Let a native teach you! At SpanishPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Spanish New Year wishes!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in Spain
    2. Must-Know Spanish Words & Phrases for the New Year!
    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Spanish
    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
    7. How SpanishPod101 Can Help You Learn Spanish

    But let’s start with some vocabulary for Spanish New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in Spain

    Let’s talk about a day full of excitement, wishes, and resolutions for the Spanish people. It is called “Noche Vieja” (”New Year’s Eve“), and it is the last night of the year, the one that marks the beginning of a new year. This holiday does not stop until the next day, January 1.

    Do you know why there is a tradition of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve? Keep reading and you will find out at the end!

    Before midnight, it is common to have a big dinner, similar to Christmas, with all the family. On the television, all programs show New Year’s specials. The best comedians and most famous celebrities participate in these specials. Musical concerts are also common, from current and in-vogue singers, to those known by grandparents, parents and children.

    As 12 o’clock approaches, you can feel the excitement. The bowls are prepared, and it’s confirmed that each contains twelve grapes. The most traditional place to eat grapes is La Puerta del Sol in Madrid. But nowadays, it is done in all cities, and it’s also common to eat them at home, in front of the television. You hear the bells chime every year. And…ton, ton! It’s finally time to eat the first grape, the second…but be careful! Every year, there are cases of choking.

    Once the New Year starts, it’s normal to congratulate, hug and toast with all the family. In those toasts, it is normal to put a gold ring into a glass to attract money. From this moment on, the phone lines will be overloaded and everybody will send and receive congratulatory messages and phone calls from friends and family members. After that, it is common to go out into the street, or to a pub or nightclub. And then it’s time to celebrate until you can no longer stand!

    It is normal on this day to wear new clothes for the first time, but not only that! It is also tradition to wear a new set of underwear for New Year’s Eve. Normally, it will be yellow in color if you want to attract money, or, more often, red, if you want to attract love.

    And now, the answer to the earlier quiz.

    Do you know why there is a tradition of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve?

    It seems this tradition doesn’t have any religious or cultural motivations; it is actually economical. On New Year’s Eve of 1909, the grape harvesters had had a big harvest of grapes, and because of this, they invented the tradition of eating the lucky grapes on the last night of the year.

    Happy New Year!
    ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

    2. Must-Know Spanish Words & Phrases for the New Year!

    Spanish Words & Phrases for the New Year

    1- Year

    Año

    This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Spain could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

    2- Midnight

    Medianoche

    The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

    3- New Year’s Day

    Día de Año Nuevo

    In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

    You can do it!

    4- Party

    Fiesta

    A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

    5- Dancing

    Baile

    Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

    6- Champagne

    Champán

    Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

    7- Fireworks

    Fuegos Artificiales

    These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

    8- Countdown

    Cuenta Regresiva

    This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

    9- New Year’s Holiday

    Vacaciones de Año Nuevo

    In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

    10- Confetti

    Confeti

    In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

    11- New Year’s Eve

    Noche Vieja

    This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

    12- Toast

    Brindis

    A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

    13- Resolution

    Propósitos de Año Nuevo

    Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

    14- Parade

    Desfile

    New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At SpanishPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Spanish New Year celebrations are like!

    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

    So, you learned the Spanish word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at SpanishPod101 - what are yours?

    Learn these phrases and impress your Spanish friends with your vocabulary.

    New Year's Resolutions

    1- Read more

    Leer más.

    Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Spanish in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Spanish language skills!

    2- Spend more time with family

    Pasar más tiempo en familia.

    Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

    3- Lose weight

    Bajar de peso.

    Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

    4- Save money

    Ahorrar dinero.

    Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to SpanishPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

    5- Quit smoking

    Dejar de fumar.

    This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

    6- Learn something new

    Aprender algo nuevo.

    Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

    7- Drink less

    Beber menos.

    This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

    8- Exercise regularly

    Ejercitarse regularmente.

    This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

    9- Eat healthy

    Comer saludable.

    If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

    10- Study Spanish with SpanishPod101

    Estudiar Español con SpanishPod101.com

    Of course! You can only benefit from learning Spanish, especially with us! Learning how to speak Spanish can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. SpanishPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

    Inspirational Quotes

    Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

    Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Spanish new year greeting!

    Make decorative notes of these in Spanish, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Spanish incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

    Language Learning Quotes

    Still undecided whether you should enroll with SpanishPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

    Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

    As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Spanish could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Spanish - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

    Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Spanish - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

    7. Why Enrolling with SpanishPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

    If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Spanish! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that SpanishPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

    Learning Paths

    • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Spanish at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
    • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Spanish that makes sense!
    • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
    • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
    • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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    There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Spanish with SpanishPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

    How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish

    How to Say Merry Christmas in Spanish

    Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish? SpanishPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Spanish Christmas phrases!

    Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Spanish speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, SpanishPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Mexico
    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
    4. Twelve Days of Christmas
    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
    6. How SpanishPod101 Can Help You

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Mexico

    Christmas Words in Spanish

    One of the most special days for Mexican families is Christmas or “Navidad”. As most of you probably already know, this is the holiday held in celebration of the birth of Jesus. During the Christmas season, all the streets in Mexico become filled with light and decorations. Like the streets, the houses also undergo a complete transformation, and the whole family usually helps in the process.

    People in Mexico, like much of the rest of the Christian world decorate a Christmas tree, or in Spanish, “árbol de Navidad”, and place a present for each family member under it. They also typically put up a nativity scene, depicting Jesus’s birth.

    Houses are cleaned until they are spotless and ready to receive all the family members, including some they maybe haven’t met up with all year. Families come together to prepare food and enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner, or “cena de Navidad”. During December 24, all families are busy cooking up a storm, the result of which they will eat over the course of the following two to three days. The most typical dishes are “romeros” (rosemary with mole sauce and pork), “bacalao” (salted fish cooked with vegetables and spices), “pierna” (marinated pork baked in the oven), and shrimp soup.

    Dinner is often served at 12am, then the presents are opened one by one and shown to the rest of the family, and there is also joking, drinking and enjoying the time spent together as a family.

    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

    Holiday Greetings and Wishes

    1- Merry Christmas!

    ¡Feliz Navidad!

    Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

    2- Happy Kwanzaa!

    ¡Feliz Kwanzaa!

    Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

    3- Have a happy New Year!

    ¡Que tengas un feliz año nuevo!

    In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

    4- Happy Hanukkah!

    ¡Feliz Hanukkah!

    Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

    5- Have a great winter vacation!

    Que tengas unas vacaciones invernales fantásticas

    This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

    6- See you next year!

    ¡Nos vemos el próximo año!

    Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

    7- Warm wishes!

    ¡Mis mejores deseos!

    An informal, friendly phrase to write in Spanish Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

    8- Happy holidays!

    ¡Felices vacaciones!

    If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Spanish, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

    9- Enjoy the holidays!

    ¡Disfruta las vacaciones!

    After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

    10- Best wishes for the New Year!

    ¡Mis mejores deseos para el año nuevo!

    This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

    Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Spanish! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At SpanishPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

    1- Christmas

    Navidad

    This is the Spanish word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Spanish will include this word!

    2- Snow

    Nieve

    In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

    3- Snowflake

    copo de nieve

    Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

    4- Snowman

    hombre de nieve

    As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

    5- Turkey

    pavo

    Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

    6- Wreath

    ramo de Navidad

    Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

    7- Reindeer

    reno

    Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

    8- Santa Claus

    Papá Noel

    Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

    9- Elf

    elfo

    An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

    10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rodolfo el reno de nariz roja

    ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

    11- North Pole

    Polo Norte

    The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

    12- Sled

    trineo

    A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

    13- Present

    regalo

    Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

    14- Bell

    campana

    On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

    15- Chimney

    chimenea

    The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

    16- Fireplace

    chimenea

    In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

    17- Christmas Day

    Día de Navidad

    This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

    18- Decoration

    decoración

    Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

    19- Stocking

    calcetín de Navidad

    According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

    20- Holly

    acebo

    Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

    21- Gingerbread house

    pan de jengibre

    According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

    22- Candy cane

    bastón de caramelo

    According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

    23- Mistletoe

    muérdago

    Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

    4. Twelve Days of Christmas

    Twelve Days of Christmas

    Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Spanish, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

    The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

    ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

    Top 10 Christmas Characters

    This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Spanish! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

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    How to Start Thinking in Spanish

    Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Spanish

    Going through Spanish lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Spanish, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Spanish. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

    We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Spanish and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Spanish vocabulary word and the tangible object.

    start thinking in Spanish

    In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through SpanishPod101.com.

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    1. Surround yourself with Spanish

    Surround Yourself

    By surrounding yourself with Spanish constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Spanish radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

    One great feature of SpanishPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

    2. Learn through observation
    learn through observation

    Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Spanish words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Spanish.

    SpanishPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Spanish.

    3. Speak out loud to yourself
    talk to yourself

    Speaking to yourself in Spanish not only gets you in the mindset of Spanish, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

    With SpanishPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Spanish speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

    4. Practice daily

    If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

    It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but SpanishPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with SpanishPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

    Conclusion

    Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that SpanishPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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    Have you heard about Nacimiento (The Nativity Scene)?

    Have you heard about Nacimiento (The Nativity Scene)?

    Nativity scenes are very traditional Christmas decorations depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.
    It is set up before Christmas, traditionally on December 8th, according to the celebration of the Conception and stays up until February 2nd, the day of Candlemas.

    El nacimiento es una decoración importante durante las fiestas de invierno.

    The nativity scene is an important decoration during winter holidays.

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