Dialogue - Informal Spanish

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Dialogue - Formal Spanish

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Vocabulary

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llamar to call (oneself)
día day
you (informal)
yo I
estar to be
bienvenido (a) welcome
bueno, buena good
hola hello, hi

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

As you noticed in the dialogue, “buenos días” (good morning) is used along with other words to greet someone. There are other phrases as well that can be used for the same purpose, but at different times of the day. All of these phrases are very common and are a great way to start out in the learning process:

A) From 4am to 12pm, “buenos días” (Good morning/Good day) is said.
B) From 12pm to 7pm, “buenas tardes” (Good afternoon/Good evening) is said.
C) From 7pm to 4am, “buenas noches” (Good evening/Good night) is said.

There are some particularities about these expressions which are important to know. First, you'll notice that in the Spanish, there is no distinction between 'good afternoon' and 'good evening'; both are encompassed by the phrase 'buenas tardes'.

Second, as there is no word specifically for 'evening' in the Spanish, it is not possible to greet someone at night by saying 'good evening'. What we do instead is say “buenas noches” (good night) as a greeting. At first, this may sound a little strange to English speakers, since we say 'good night' only to say goodbye at night; but such is not the case in the Spanish.

Cultural Insights

In formal situations throughout the Hispanic world, a greeting is often accompanied by a handshake with the right hand. This holds true between men and men, women and women as well as men and women. In more informal situations, a greeting is often accompanied by a kiss on the right cheek. This occurs between women and women as well as men and women. Men and men, in an informal greeting, are likely to shake hands and give a soft pat to each other on the side. Children almost always are taught to greet others and especially their elders with a kiss on the cheek.

Grammar

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Below is a list of the grammar points introduced or used in this lesson. Click for a full explanation.

Uso verbal - reflexivos
Verbal Usage: Reflexives
Introduced
estar I (singular)
to be
Used

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Lizzie: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com!
Lizzie: Hola! Buenos días. Soy Lizzie.
Allan: Allan here. Beginner Series, Lesson 1 - Saying Hello.
Lizzie: Hola Allan y hola chicos!
Allan: How’s everyone doing? I’m Allan Le Rue and I’m joined here by Lizzie Stolear, and we’d like to welcome you to the first lesson of the Beginner Series at SpanishPod101.com.
Lizzie: That’s right. This is the next step up from our Newbie Series.
Allan: And what you may be asking it’s a difference between the Beginners Series and the Newbie?
Lizzie: Easy.
Allan: The Beginner Series covers the grammar you’ll use to speak in different tenses, teaching you the basics of conversational Spanish.
Lizzie: With this foundation you can sharpen your skills and set your sights on the Lower Intermediate Series where much of the instruction itself is given in Spanish.
Allan: Right. So guys, I know what it’s like to be where some of you are right now. Let me guess, you studied Spanish back in high school but you never applied it, right? I mean, we hear this all the time, but it’s okay. The first step is to get back into the habit of immersing yourself to the Spanish language.
Lizzie: What do you mean by “immerse”?
Allan: Well, you can approach the language as an outsider, studying it strictly by a topic or you can approach it as a participant putting yourself in the middle of it and communicating with people around you. For example, at El Sol the Spanish School Language I have in Lima, we take our students out of the classroom, setting them up into a context that’s going to obligate them to speak Spanish. One of the best features for example is the family home stay program where our students stay with Spanish speaking family. Now, you can do something like this wherever you are, search out the Spanish speakers and get to know them. Immerse yourself.
Lizzie: Okay. So on to the saludos.
Allan: Los Saludos The greetings. So, this conversation takes place all the time throughout the Spanish-speaking world when two people meet for the first time. Let’s listen to see Daniela and Cesar greet each other. But before we jump in, don’t forget to click the central button of your IPod to view the conversation while you listen.
Lizzie: Let’s get into today’s conversation.
DIALOGUE
DANIELA: Hola. Buenos días.
CÉSAR: Buenos días.
DANIELA: Yo me llamo Daniela.
CÉSAR: Hola, Daniela. Yo me llamo César.
DANIELA: Hola, César. ¿Cómo estás?
CÉSAR: Bien. ¿Cómo estás tú?
DANIELA: Yo estoy muy bien. ¡Bienvenido al Perú!
DANIELA: Hi. Good Mornin'.
CÉSAR: Good mornin'.
DANIELA: My name is Daniela.
CÉSAR: Hi, Daniela. My name is César.
DANIELA: Hi, César. How are ya'?
CÉSAR: Fine. How are ya'?
DANIELA: I'm really well. Welcome to Peru!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Allan: Wow, that’s a classic conversation.
Lizzie: This is a conversation that you will have for sure.
Allan: Claro. Some details of it will change, but in essence this is how you introduce yourself to someone.
Lizzie: Así es! Buenos días Allan. Good morning, Allan.
Allan: Buen dia Lizzie! Hey, notice how here I’ve shortened the word buenos in the plural buen. Buen dia.
Lizzie: Exactly . Or Muy buenos días.
Allan: Right, that is a little more emphatic.
Lizzie: Muy buen.
Allan: Alright. Now that we’ve gone through the conversation, what do you say if we run through some of the vocabulary?
Lizzie: Sounds like a good idea.
Allan: So, let’s begin with.
VOCAB LIST
Lizzie: Hola!
Allan: Hello, hi.
Lizzie: Hola, Hola!
Allan: Next we’ll hear…
Lizzie: Bueno.
Allan: Good.
Lizzie: Bueno, bueno.
Allan: After that…
Lizzie: Dia.
Allan: Day.
Lizzie: Dia, dia.
Allan: Now, let’s listen to…
Lizzie: Llamarse.
Allan: To call oneself.
Lizzie: Llamarse, llamarse.
Allan: Next we’ll hear…
Lizzie: Estar.
Allan: To be.
Lizzie: Estar, estar.
Allan: Now, we have…
Lizzie: Bienvenido.
Allan: Welcome.
Lizzie: Bienvenido, bienvenido.
Allan: After that…
Lizzie: Yo.
Allan: I.
Lizzie: Yo, yo.
Allan: And finally…
Lizzie: Tú.
Allan: You.
Lizzie: Tú, tú.
Allan: It’s great to hear those words broken down, Lizzie. Thanks.
Lizzie: You got it.
Allan: Well, let’s look really quickly the pronunciation of one of these words.
Lizzie: Which one?
Allan: How about the verb llamarse, which is “to call oneself”? Let’s hear it nice and slowly.
Lizzie: Llamarse.
Allan: Now we’ve got the ll or the double “l” here. Llamarse. It’s a sound between the English “y” sound of “yours” and the soft “g” sound of the word “courage”. Llamarse.
Lizzie: Llamarse.
Allan: Alright, enough of that. Now, how are these words used and how can we learn to use them? Let’s look at the vocabulary usage. First, Lizzie. How about Hola?
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Lizzie: Hola Allan. Hello, Allan.
Allan: This is the universal Spanish greeting. In fact, you know, it’s so universal that it will even work in an English speaking world. Also we should mention that in Spanish, there is no difference between “hello” and “hi”. We use the word hola for both of them.
Lizzie: Notice how the stress falls on the first syllable hola.
Allan: And speaking of syllables and stresses, how do you say “welcome” in Spanish?
Lizzie: It’s bienvenido.
Allan: Right. Bienvenido. And can we have the syllable breakdown one more time, Lizzie?
Lizzie: Sure. It’s bienvenido. Bienvenido.
Allan: And which sound are you stressing?
Lizzie: “Ni”. Bienvenido.
Allan: Great. So now that we can say it, let’s learn what we can do with this word. It’s an adjective and, like all adjectives, it’s going to have to agree with a noun it modifies both in number and gender. So, if we want it to welcome one woman, we would say Bienvenida, Lizzie. And if we want to welcome more than one woman, we would use Bienvenidas señoras.
Lizzie: Right. Or Bienvenido Allan! for just one male or Bienvenidos señores! for more than one.
Allan: Okay. Now, back to the word llamarse.
Lizzie: To call oneself.
Allan: “To call oneself”. Alright, so if I say “I call myself Allan” I’m not the one who’s calling, but the one who’s being called.
Lizzie: You’re both.
Allan: And when I say “I call myself Allan” I’m not calling to myself, I’m naming myself.
Lizzie: Me llamo Lizzie.
Allan: Right.
Lizzie: But you can also simply say mi nombre es and then add your name. But the construction with the verb llamar is really, really common, so it’s a good idea to learn it.
Allan: Next up, we have a verb that you can’t live without.
Lizzie: Which one?
Allan: Estar. “To be”. How about a quick example?
Lizzie: Estoy muy bien.
Allan: Estoy muy bien. I am very well. So we had a good look at this verb in Newbie Lesson 1 and you can look for a Newbie 2, 5 and 6 as well. The verb estar means “to be” and it refers to temporary states of being. As we see here Estoy muy bien. “I am very well. I am currently in a very good status.” We remember that the form estoy is the first person singular of the present, that is “I am”.
Lizzie: Good review. Okay. This brings us to the last vocabulary word today which is dia. Allan, how about an example?
Allan: Con gusto. Hoy es el día miércoles. “Today is Wednesday.”
Lizzie: Okay. So we noticed that the word dia even though it ends with an A it’s masculine. That’s why the masculine and singular article el before it. El dia.
Allan: So dia means “day”. You know the saying Carpe diem for Latin which we use in English to mean “for each day”. This could be a good way to remember the meaning.
Lizzie: Allan, let me ask you. You’re having so much experience in learning and teaching language. What are some good ways to help keep the vocabulary fresh in our minds?
Allan: Good question, Lizzie. Really, it’s different techniques for different people. It really depends how you learn but one of the best ways I know is simply keep a notebook with two columns, English on the left, Spanish on the right and just review, review, review. And in the measure that you learn those words you just cross them off the list. Now, what’s really important here is: don’t put every word that you come across on the list. Be reasonable. Put the words that you are using now. Keep them in context in terms of what you are learning around. Don’t put the really complicated ones, put the easy ones first and again in the measure that you learn them, just scrape them off. It’s as simple as that. And it’s cheap. A small little notebook.
Lizzie: Mmm muy buena idea, Allan. Veo que eres muy inteligente.
Allan: Thank you very much. But, sometimes, Lizzie, the simplest ideas work the best.
--
Allan: Ahora si, Lizzie.
Lizzie: La gramatica.
Allan: Alright. So, up to now, we’ve been describing words and phrases and given you different contexts where they can be found. Now, let’s learn a little something that will let us say something in Spanish that we couldn’t say before.
Lizzie: Vamos.
Allan: Today, we’re going to have our first look at the phrase me llamo “My name is”. And we’re also going to look at a few common expressions used in greetings. First, let’s start with the verb llamar.
Lizzie: Okay.

Lesson focus

Allan: As we said, the verb llamar means “to call”. So when we say yo me llamo we’re really saying…
Lizzie: I call myself.
Allan: That’s right. And then we follow this paronym. Lizzie, would you please take us back to where this appeared in the conversation?
Lizzie: Yo me llamo Daniela.
Allan: “I call myself Daniela”. So before we translated this as “My name is Daniela”, but here we’re going to look at it this way. “I call myself Daniela.”
Lizzie: Oh, I would stick to Allan. You don’t really look like a Daniela.
Allan: That’s because you didn’t see me last night. I was just joking. Okay. But seriously, if we look at it this way, “I call myself Daniela”, I’m both the one naming and the one being named, right?
Lizzie: Right. The action of calling reflects back on to you.
Allan: That’s a good point. And that would be the same if I said Como te llamas?, literally “What do you call yourself?”
Lizzie: Yeah.
Allan: But there are other expressions like: You call me. Now, here, Lizzie, it’s the person who’s calling also the one who’s being called?
Lizzie: No, this time is you who are doing the calling and it’s me who’s receiving the action.
Allan: Okay. A great thing about this expression is that you can really use it. You can’t just think that to collect these phrases without doing anything will help you. You’ve got to apply them. Introduce yourself to someone. Put yourself in that situation that obligates you to speak. Me llamo Allan. Me llamo Lizzie. Me llamo Ernesto.
Lizzie: Right. Or ask the question: Como te llamas?
Allan: “What do you call yourself?” Or in other words: “What’s your name?”
Lizzie: Allan, tell us about a time when you introduced yourself to someone. What did you say?
Allan: Okay, well, and this has happened in a number of occasions. I will say Hola! Me llamo Allan. and they’ll say: Allan? Como Allan García ? Because coincidentally, Allan Garcia is the president of the country so I share his first name, and he is not the most popular person among some people, so sometimes I get a bit of a hard time about my name, Lizzie.
Lizzie: That’s funny because Allan is not a very common name here.

Outro

Allan: So now, the task: introduce yourself to someone. Stop by the sites SpanishPod101.com and introduce yourself to our community, or speak to that co-worker of yours who you know is a native speaker.
Lizzie: Buen consejo maestro.
Allan: And remember guys, these lessons are designed to be used in tandem with the language tools of the Learning Center at SpanishPod101.com.
Lizzie: Thanks for joining us today.
Allan: We’ll see you soon.
Lizzie: Eso fue todo por hoy y nunca nunca renuncie a sus sueños.
Allan: Chicos y chicas, damas y caballeros hasta la próxima. Chao!
Lizzie: Chao!