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Lesson Transcript

Lizzie: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com!
Lizzie: Hola hola, soy Lizzie.
Allan: Hey everybody, I’m Allan. Beginner Series, Lesson number 36 - love in the time of cholera.
Lizzie: Hola amigos ¿cómo estan? Es un gusto nuevamente acompañarlos aquí en SpanishPod101.com.
Allan: That’s right. And here I am with Lizzie, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Lima, Peru.
Lizzie: Welcome to another lesson from the Beginner Series brought to you by SpanishPod101.
Allan: That’s right, guys, we’ve got 35 lessons now under our belts. Getting kind of crowded in there, and we’re ready for lesson number 36. Lizzie, today's topic is an awesome one - la literatura.
Lizzie: Wow, la literatura!
Allan: And we’d like to thank one of our students, Mariposa, for offering the suggestion. And to the rest of you we just want to remind you that if you have a topic you’d like us to cover, just make a request in the forum. In that way, you can have some customized lessons too.
Lizzie: Oye, Allan a propósito, ¿viste la pelicula que hicieron sobre El amor en los tiempos del colera?
Allan: Did I see the movie El amor en los tiempos del colera? No, I must admit I have not seen that movie even though it has been sitting on my shelf for the past couple weeks. What about you?
Lizzie: Bueno realmente si pero… no me capturo tanto como el libro.
Allan: You didn’t like it as much as the book? I guess that’s a common thing. Well, anyway we’re going to cover this in today’s conversation. We run in to Ana and Jose. Ana is reading the book “Love in the time of cholera” by the Nobel prize-winning author from Columbia, Gabriel García Márquez.
Lizzie: ¿Y que vamos a estudiar?
Allan: Well, aside from a fascinating vocabulary list, we’re going to continue our study on the sequence of tenses.
Lizzie: Muy bien pero muy bien. Es un tema importantísimo.
Allan: It’s super important. And now, guys, it’s time to open up your pdf and get ready to follow along. As always we’re gonna start up by listening to a lesson conversation in Spanish at normal speed, then slowly, and the bilingually.
Lizzie: In the PDF be sure to follow along in the transcripts.
Allan: That’s right, guys. So much of the learning in Spanish is learning to associate the sound of a word with its written counterpart. And, as you know, another great way to reinforce what you learn is by using your new vocabulary expansion section in the Learning Center. Guys, there you get text and audio for all the vocab words that we’ll go over today. Plus, and this is where it gets really cooking, you also get sample sentences for each word.
Lizzie: And are these just in Spanish?
Allan: No mam we recognize that many of our students don’t speak English as a native language, so to better facilitate them we’re publishing all of this extra audio in Spanish and English. What a great tool. Alright, Lizzie, it’s about that time.
Lizzie: Yes, listen closely to the following conversation.
JOSÉ: Hola, Anita. ¿Qué estás leyendo?
ANA: Ah, una novela. Se llama 'El amor en los tiempos del cólera'.
JOSÉ: ¡Ah, mira tú! Te gustan las obras de Gabriel García Márquez, ¿no?
ANA: Bueno, de hecho no soy fanática del realismo mágico, sin embargo, por lo que he leído, es posible que este libro cambie mi opinión.
JOSÉ: No lo dudo. Tiene sus poderes. Además, es una de sus obras maestras.
ANA: Así dicen, ¿no?
JOSÉ: Hey there, Annie. What are ya' reading?
ANA: Ah, a novel. It's called 'Love in the Time of Cholera'.
JOSÉ: Wow, look at you! You like Gabriel García Márquez's work, huh?
ANA: Well, I'm not much of a fan of Magical Realism, however, from what I've read, this book may possibly change my opinion.
JOSÉ: I don't doubt it. It has its powers. What's more, it's one of his masterpieces.
ANA: So they say, right?
Allan: Well, Lizzie, I haven’t read that book but I’ve read “100 years of solitude” and this whole issue of magical realism. That’s when they take time ,a historical time and mix in magical elements, It’s very, very dream-like. Frankly, I just I can’t wrap my arms around it, I can’t sink my teeth in to it. What about you? Do you like it?
Lizzie: Este… veo que eres más de las obras literarias que van a la realidad. Bueno a mi sinceramente me gusta más la literatura romántica, Allan.
Allan: Oh, you’re just a hopeless romantic. You’re right, I’m more for the realism. Ok, friends, but enough about us. On to the vocabulary. Here we’re going to break down these words syllable by syllable, so that you can hear exactly how each word sounds.
Lizzie: Vamos
Allan: So let’s begin with…
Lizzie: cólera
Allan: Cholera, anger.
Lizzie: cólera, cólera
Allan: Ok, next we’ll hear…
Lizzie: obra
Allan: Work.
Lizzie: obra, obra
Allan: Ok, good. Now we’ll listen to…
Lizzie: fanático, fanática
Allan: Fan, fanatic.
Lizzie: fanático, fanática, fanático, fanática
Allan: Now we have…
Lizzie: realismo
Allan: Realism.
Lizzie: realismo, realismo
Allan: And then…
Lizzie: mágico, mágica
Allan: Magical.
Lizzie: mágico, mágica, mágico, mágica
Allan: And finally…
Lizzie: poder
Allan: Power.
Lizzie: poder, poder
Allan: Ok, friends, time for a very quick pronunciation tip.
Lizzie: A ver.
Allan: Estudiemos la pronunciación de la palabra cólera.
Lizzie: cólera
Allan: Now, guys, this is a cognate which means that it’s kind of a freebee word. I mean it means the same in Spanish as it does in English, but there’s only one big difference - and that the way it's pronounced. Listen to the Spanish - cólera.
Lizzie: cólera
Allan: Spelled with a C-O with and accent over it, L-E-R-A.
Lizzie: cólera
Allan: Notice we’re not pronouncing this O sound like the open A of cholera. It’s got to be the very deep O of cholera.
Lizzie: cólera Muy bien ahora al vocabulario.
Allan: Cool, we’ve got a nice set of words to study today. Let’s start by adding just one more thing about the word cholera.
Lizzie: Adelante
Allan: bueno por un lado se refiere a la enfermedad cólera pero por otro lado significa ira.
Lizzie: como por ejemplo: eso me da cólera.
Allan: Right, while we take this word as a cognate in the sense that Adelante and “cholera” both refer to the sickness, the Spanish word can also be used to express anger, and it’s really common. So this expression that Lizzie just gave us, me da cólera really shows how this second meaning is put to use.
Lizzie: ¿Algo más, Allan este...acerca de esta palabra?
Allan: Well, guys, just remember that you need to put the accent over the O. It’s not optional.
Lizzie: Muy bien. Ahora prosigamos al vocablo obra.
Allan: Obra. Lizzie, where did we hear this in today’s conversation?
Lizzie: cuando José pregunta: Te gustan las obras de Gabriel García Márquez, ¿no?
Allan: Ok, so that was translated as “You like Gabriel García Márquez’s work, huh?”
Lizzie: Wait, you’re translating obra as “work”.
Allan: You got it.
Lizzie: But don’t we use trabajo to mean “work”.
Allan: Well, sometimes obra refers to an artistic word that’s why we say obra maestra and translate it as “masterpiece”.
Lizzie: Pero a veces cuando están arreglando una calle levantan un letrero que dice: ¡Cuidado! Obras. No me vayas a decir que estamos hablando de la misma obra.
Allan: Ok, point taken. So we should also add that obras usually in the plural in the sense is also used to mark out a construction site. You might see a sign that says ¡Cuidado! ¡Obras!, so that just means something like “Careful! Men at work!”
Lizzie: Men at work, wow! Eso me recuerda a un grupo Australiano de música muy bueno. ¿Seguimos a la proxima palabra?
Allan: Con gusto. Ahora enfoquemos en la palabra realismo.
Lizzie: realismo
Allan: Alright, Lizzie, what’s the root of this word? I mean what word can we recognize in it?
Lizzie: real
Allan: Right, spelled the same in English and Spanish. Pronounced “real” in English and real in Spanish. Now, after this root we see the ending ismo, which coincides perfectly with the English ending ISM.
Lizzie: How does this change the meaning of “real”?
Allan: Well. when we add the ending or suffix ismo to a word we’re talking about a doctrine or a theory related to it. among other things of course.
Lizzie: So what’s the doctrine or theory here?
Allan: Well, in the conversation we hear the phrase realismo mágico, which of course is a literary genre and we translate this as magical realism. So, in this case, we’re talking about a whole set of tenets related to this literary school of thought. For example in the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez it’s often the case that everything seems to be happening as it would in real life, then all of a sudden something magical or absolutely illogical just happens.
Lizzie: So when we say realismo mágico, we’re talking about a story that follows the scheme.
Allan: That’s right. But going back to the formation, this suffix is used all the time. For example, another literary genre – modernism. Lizzie how would we say “modernism” in Spanish?
Lizzie: sería modernismo
Allan: And what about “romanticism”?
Lizzie: romanticismo
Allan: So/ guys/ this is one of the formations you can really fake it if you’re not sure.
Lizzie: What?
Allan: No, I’m serious. You’re never going to be old to remember every word you learn, so it’s a big part of building your vocabulary this trick of just learning how to intuit the formation of a word.
Lizzie: Buen consejo.
Allan: That’s right. So, guys, last word - poder.
Lizzie: Como por ejemplo, tiene sus poderes.
Allan: “It has its powers.” Now, you may be thinking poder, I know this one. It means “to be able” or “can”. What are we going over this again for? Again, why? But I have to warn you, we’re not looking at a verb here.
Lizzie: No señor. Aquí la palabra poder es un sustantivo.
Allan: That’s right, and we recall that sustantivo means noun. So that’s right, the word poder can also be used as a noun, and as such it would mean “power”.
Lizzie: Sometimes when we use a verb as a noun it can sound very poetic.
Allan: I think you’re right, Lizzie. But can you give us an example of what you mean?
Lizzie: Por ejemplo… los poetas siempre hablan de sus pesares.
Allan: Good one. So as a verb pesar, on one hand means “to weigh” or “to be heavy”, but on the other hand it means “to regret”. And when we use this as a noun as in: el corazón es un refugio de mis pesares, we tend to translate this plural noun as “sorrows”, so we would get “my heart is a refuge of my sorrows”.
Lizzie: Or one more example of this is deber.
Allan: That’s probably a more common one in spoken Spanish. We know that the verb deber means “should” or “ought”, but when we use it as a noun it means “duty”.
Lizzie: Asi es.
Allan: Ok, Lizzie, you mentioned earlier that you had read el amor en los tiempos de cólera. What did you think of it?
Lizzie: Ay Allan, me impacto muchisimo.
Allan: Very, very strong impact. ¿Y qué fue lo que más te gusto?
Lizzie: Bueno ya que estábamos hablando del realismo mágico, en cada página puedes descubrir algo nuevo y eso te va a atrapar.
Allan: That’s right, that was a book full of surprises but, hey, it’s the matter of taste. Ok, friends, let’s switch gears. Now and focus on today’s grammar topic now last time we looked at the infamous sequence of tenses, which is really just a fancy way to describe how we move from one mood to another in compound sentences.
Lizzie: Y hoy Allan ¿qué estamos estudiando?

Lesson focus

Allan: Well, I want to build on this topic a little more since it’s so common and since it came up again in today’s conversation.
Lizzie: Buena idea, puede ser un poco complicado este tema ¿no?
Allan: Puede ser, pero bueno vayamos al grano. Lizzie, can you repeat the sentence where this came up?
Lizzie: Anita says: es posible que este libro cambie mi opinión.
Allan: “This book may possibly change my opinion.” Ok, how many verbs do we have here?
Lizzie: Dos
Allan: ¿Y cuáles son?
Lizzie: They are es and cambie.
Allan: Let’s start with the verb es. What’s this verb in the infinitive?
Lizzie: It’s ser.
Allan: And what’s the person and number of this verb form es.
Lizzie: It’s the third person singular.
Allan: Ok, here’s the big question: what’s the mood of this verb here?
Lizzie: Es el modo indicativo. The indicative mood .
Allan: Great. So here we have the clause es posible que. Literally “It’s possible that. Now, guys, here’s a little trick.
Lizzie: Another one of Allan’s secret tips.
Allan: Whenever you see this phrase, es posible que, the verb in the following clause is always going to be formed in the subjunctive mood. I’m going to repeat that when you see this phrase es posible que, the verb in the following clause is always, always going to be formed in the subjunctive mood. So let’s take a look and see just how this happens. Lizzie, could you repeat the entire question one more time?
Lizzie: es posible que este libro cambie mi opinión.
Allan: So after the phrase es posible que, we have the clause este libro cambie mi opinión. So what’s the verb here?
Lizzie: El verbo es cambie.
Allan: And the person in tense?
Lizzie: Tercera persona singular.
Allan: Ok, third person singular, cambie. Now, the big question again, what’s the mood of this verb?
Lizzie: Esta vez es el modo subjuntivo.
Allan: Ah, the subjunctive mood. So, again, the verb in the first clause is in the indicative mood es posible que, and the verb in the second clause or the subordinated clause is the subjunctive mood. este libro cambie mi opinión.
Lizzie: bueno imagino que ya quieren saber por que usamos el modo subjuntivo aquí.
Allan: You’re probably right. Guys, we tend to use the subjunctive mood after a clause that expresses possibility or doubt.
Lizzie: Claro. Por eso podríamos decir: dudo que ese libre cambie mi opinion.
Allan: Exactly. And this means “I doubt this book will change my opinion”.
Lizzie: Bueno Allan hoy ya hemos conversado sobre la obra de Gabriel García Márquez.
Allan: Oh well, gosh, I have to say Mario Vargas Llosa, the famous Peruvian writer. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. I think we will be talking of him in a future lesson, but you know me Liz I’m more of a… I’m more to the realism so I read a lot of non-fiction. I just read a wonderful book by Andrés Oppenheimer, who’s a journalist. He lives in Miami but he writes in Spanish wonderful book called Cuentos chinos, and it’s about the rise of China mostly and the effect it’s going to have on south America. He really takes a swing at Chavez and Venezuela. And then another book I’m looking at is by a local journalist called Jaime de Althaus. And it’s about capitalism in Peru, probably not that fun. But hey, I enjoy it. To each his own.
Lizzie: Y a ami aunque me gusta más leer sobre metafísica y romance debo decir que hay dos autores latinoamericanos que me atrapan: Paulo Coelho y José Ingenieros de Argentina.
Allan: Great guys too.
Lizzie: Bueno hasta aqui llegamos por hoy chicos chicas.


Allan: Alright, guys, so this is as far as we go today. Now a couple of suggestions. If it seems like we went just a little fast for you, try playing this podcast from the beginning again. On the other hand if you think you understood today’s topic, stop by the learning center at SpanishPod101.com and try your hand at today’s review. Also check out the new flash cards feature with audio.
Lizzie: No sean timidos, déjenos sus comentarios y sugerencias en el forum.
Allan: That’s right, guys. Have a suggestion for lesson, a topic you’d like us to cover? All you need to do is let us know and we’ll work it into the curriculum of upcoming lessons.
Lizzie: That’s all. Cuidense, chao.
Allan: That’s right, guys. Thanks so much for joining us for this highbrow lesson where we dealt with literature.
Lizzie: Chao
Allan: That’s right. We’ll see you guys soon. Have fun. Bye.
Lizzie: Chao


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Dialogue - Bilingual


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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the music in today's lesson. Has anyone out there seen the new film adaptation of "Love in the time of cholera"??? It is really good; beautiful story plus great screenplay. It features performances by Javier Bardem, Catalina Botero, and John Leguizamo. Try watching it in Spanish with subtitles to boost your skills!

Sunday at 11:27 AM
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Hola Evgeny,

Gracias por tu comentario.

We are sorry this was very hard for you, but we recommend reviewing the lesson at least 3 times.

Please let us know if you have any question about the lessons.

Sigamos practicando.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Friday at 01:18 AM
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Esta leccion era muy dificil - too many new words, comments of Alan and Lizzy in Spanish + more new words + grammar

Wednesday at 12:40 PM
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Hola Nicole,

Thank you for your kind feedback and suggestion. They are very much appreciated and we will definitely keep it in mind while developing our lessons. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.



Team Spanishpod101.com

Tuesday at 02:07 AM
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I can appreciate that some listeners want to hear dialogues involving great works of literature, but when you're trying to immerse yourself in the language, while constantly learning new words, tenses and phrases, learning how to say "Magical Realism" does not seem very critical at this stage in the game. I need to be able to hold a conversation regarding basic needs, wants and ideas. Expounding on great works of fiction seems a little advanced for Beginning Lessons as well as not very relevant/critical. Sadly, I feel like this is a perfect example of a Spanish language course that is teaching me things that I won't use in every day life.

In addition, why aren't the translations for the exact phrases Allan and Lizzy speak in Spanish made available? More and more, Alex and Lizzy are discussing concepts in Spanish. It would be incredibly helpful to be able to click on the sentence in the Lesson Transcript and see exactly what they are saying AND how they are saying it. Extra learning. Extra vocabulary. It takes forever to look up all the words we haven't been introduced to yet.

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 01:32 AM
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Hola Ken,

Thank you for sharing!

Though, the correct translation of the name of this movie based on a book uses "cholera" not "choleric".

Therefore we will keep the official translation.

Please let me know if you have any question.




Saturday at 02:18 PM
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Colera cognate - see choleric - google it -




bad-tempered or irritable.

synonyms: bad-tempered, irascible, irritable, angry, grumpy, grouchy, crotchety, testy, cranky, crusty, cantankerous, curmudgeonly, ill-tempered, peevish, cross, fractious, crabbed, crabby, waspish, prickly, peppery, touchy, short-tempered; More


influenced by or predominating in the humor called choler.

"a choleric disposition"

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:18 AM
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Hi Krystl,

Thank you for your comment.

For Absolute Beginner and Beginner levels, we choose literal translation if that can help listeners understand the meaning of each element better. Therefore, you might find some translation that might not sound naturally in English, but will match well with Spanish sentences.

But if you find any translation that you see we can make it better, feel free to let us know.

Thank you again,


Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 04:38 PM
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Also, you know you're a #languagelearner when it takes over an hour to post two paragraphs to a forum... Haha

Thursday at 04:37 PM
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Hola! Gracias por estos lecciones increíbles. Sin embargo una pregunta :). Cuando hablando de las secuencias de tiempos Alan dijó > (Hay que cambiar de un modo a lo otra de lado mientras se quede en el mismo tiempo.) Entonces por qué ha traducido el subjuntivo como "will" en la oración > (Tradució como "I doubt that the book WILL change my opinion.")

En inglés supongo que diga "I doubt the book changes my opinion" para significar "I doubt the book will change my opinion."* Quizás torpe, si, pero es técnicamente correcto. De algún modo lo comprendo. Pero pienso que una explicación será útil para mi y para los otros.

¡Gracias por su ayuda y sus correcciones!

* ¿Usé el subjuntivo correctamente?

(What I was trying to say, in English)

Thanks for your amazing lessions! A question though. When discussing the sequence of tense, Alan said, "You move laterally from one mood to the other while staying in the same tense. So why have you/has he translated the subjunctive as "will" in the sentence "Dudo que ese libro cambio mi opinion" ? (It was translated as 'I doubt that the book will change my opinion.)

In English I suppose that one could say 'I doubt that the book will change my opinion." It might be awkward, but it is technically correct. In a way, I understand it. But I think that an explanation would be useful for me and others. Thanks for your help and your corrections :)

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:59 PM
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Hello Rosemary,

Thank you for posting.

Yes, Allan meant this comment section and the Vocabulary and Sample sentences that you can find in your Lesson Notes. You can also find those Sample Sentences with audio in the Lesson Materials > Vocabulary > Expansion.

Please, let me know if you were able to find them. Also, feel free to comment and ask as often as you need.

Kind regards,


Team SpanishPod101.com