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Lesson Transcript

Lizy: Buenos días, me llamo Lizy.
Alan: Alan here.
Lizy: Newbie series, lesson 3.
Alan: “Who Are You?” Hi my name is Alan La Rue and I am joined here by Lizy. ¿Cómo te va Lizy?
Lizy: Muy pero muy bien, Alan. What did we study in our last lesson Alan?
Alan: Well in newbie lesson 2, we covered greetings and asking, “how are you all?”
Lizy: Right. “¿Cómo están?”,”How are you?”. And today Alan, what do we have for our audience?
Alan: Well Liz, today we have a very practical lesson. What I think is a natural follow up to “how are you all.”
Lizy: And that is...
Alan: “Who are you?”
Lizy: And what grammar point are we looking at?
Alan: Today we are going to be talking about the verb “ser” which means “to be.” See Lizy, would you say “ser” is a commonly used verb?
Lizy: Let’s just say it would be hard to speak Spanish without it.
Alan: “Ser”. I have to say one of the most basic and essential tasks that anyone new to the language has is learning how to express “being”, “existence” or “the way something is” or “the way things are.”
Lizy: Definitely. Let’s get into today’s conversation.
CÉSAR: ¿Quién eres tú?
AMANDA: Yo soy Amanda. ¿Y tú?
CÉSAR: Yo soy César. Soy músico.
AMANDA: ¡Qué bueno! Yo soy profesora.
CÉSAR: ¡Qué interesante!
Alan: And now slower. Una vez más esta vez lentamente.
CÉSAR: ¿Quién eres tú?
AMANDA: Yo soy Amanda. ¿Y tú?
CÉSAR: Yo soy César. Soy músico.
AMANDA: ¡Qué bueno! Yo soy profesora.
CÉSAR: ¡Qué interesante!
Alan: And now with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
CÉSAR: ¿Quién eres tú?
CÉSAR: Who are you?
AMANDA: Yo soy Amanda. ¿Y tú?
AMANDA: I am Amanda. And you?
CÉSAR: Yo soy César. Soy músico.
CÉSAR: I am Cesar. I am a musician.
AMANDA: ¡Qué bueno! Yo soy profesora.
AMANDA: Great! I am a teacher.
CÉSAR: ¡Qué interesante!
CÉSAR: How interesting!
Alan: So Cesar is a musician. What’s music like in Latin America, Lizy?
Lizy: Well, seeing that Latin America is a very large place, there are a lot of different kinds of music.
Alan: What are some of the most popular kinds of music?
Lizy: Each country has its own kinds of folk music and all over Latin America, you can hear salsa, merengue and a bunch of different fusions of this and other kinds as well.
Alan: Aha, I see... So Lizy, tell me what’s your favorite kind of popular music?
Lizy: Well, my favorite kind would have to be Latin pop, Reggaeton, even Christian music. I have really eclectic tastes.
Alan: Really eclectic from Reggaeton to Christian Music.
Lizy: Yes.
Alan: That’s a pretty broad range. Hey Liz, I understand that you are a singer.
Lizy: To tell you the truth, I love singing, but in my house...
Alan: A shower singer. Hey Liz, why don’t you give our audience a sample of that beautiful voice of yours?
Lizy: Oh thank you, thank you for that. It’s a song written and sung by one of my favorites Ricardo Montaner. “Tan enamorados que así la noche dura un poco más…”
Alan: Lizy, congratulations. Okay guys, now let’s focus on how some of the words from today’s conversation sound.
Lizy: Great idea.
Alan: So let’s begin with...
Lizy: “Quién”.
Alan: “Who.”
Lizy: “Quién”, “quién”.
Alan: Now we will hear...
Lizy: “Ser”.
Alan: “To be.”
Lizy: “Ser”, “ser”.
Alan: Next we will listen to...
Lizy: “Músico”.
Alan: “Musician.”
Lizy: “Mú-si-co”, “músico”.
Alan: Next we will hear...
Lizy: “Profesor”.
Alan: “Teacher”, “professor.”
Lizy: “Pro-fe-sor”, “profesor”.
Alan: And finally...
Lizy: “¡Qué interesante!”
Alan: “How interesting!”
Lizy: “Qué in-te-re-san-te”, “¡Qué interesante!”
Alan: Lizy, we see that the word professor ends with an “or”. Can you tell us a little bit about the formation of this word?
Lizy: Well “profesor” refers to “male teacher” and “profesora” with an “a” refers to a “female.”
Alan: And if we are talking about more than one teacher?
Lizy: In that case, we would say “profesores” adding an “es” to the end when we are talking about more than one male teacher and we would say “profesoras” adding an “as” to the end when we are talking about more than one female teachers.
Alan: That’s a great point. And this seems to be the case for all nouns that end in or in the masculine singular.
Lizy: I think that would be fair to say.
Alan: So if that’s the case, then we could say “doctor”, “doctora”, “doctores”, “doctoras” since the word “doctor” has a same or ending as “profesor”.
Lizy: You got it.
Alan: Let’s have a look at the usage for some of the words.
Lizy: Okay, what’s the first word?
Alan: “Quién” Lizy, would you be so kind as to provide us with an example sentence. You can sing it if you want. I am sure our audience wouldn’t mind.
Lizy: “¿Quién eres tú?”
Alan: “Who are you?” Now this example comes right from the conversation, correct?
Lizy: Yes.
Alan: So how could we translate “quién”?
Lizy: We see that the word “quién” means “who.”
Alan: Okay how is “quién” most often used?
Lizy: It’s often used as a question word.
Alan: Okay so other than the question, “¿Quién eres tú?” what other question could we use as an example?
Lizy: “¿Quién es?”
Alan: Ah “who is it?”, good one.
Lizy: What’s our next word Alan?
Alan: Well our next word is the verb that you said was very important to learn.
Lizy: “Ser”.
Alan: Haha that’s the one “ser”, “to be.” How about an example?
Lizy: “Soy de América Latina.”
Alan: “I am from Latin America.” Okay, so we see that the verb “ser” means “to be” but this is a different kind of being than that of the verb “estar”, right Liz?
Lizy: Exactly. In lesson 1 and 2, we looked at “estar” which also means “to be”, “ser” has a different meaning.
Alan: Which is...?
Lizy: The verb “ser” refers to permanent states of being like “where you are from?” or “what kind of profession you have?” among other things.
Alan: Okay so your example is pretty fitting then. “Soy de América Latina”. “I am from Latin America.” That’s permanent. That’s something you cannot change.
Lizy: Exactly. Just like you will always be Canadian no matter where you happen to be in the world.
Alan: Moving on, next is the word “músico”. Lizy, how about an example with “músico”?
Lizy: “Mi hermano es músico”.
Alan: “My brother is a musician.” We can see that “músico” is a noun that means “musician.”
Lizy: Right and we can see that it is masculine.
Alan: How do we know that?
Lizy: We can tell that by its “o” ending. This word is closely linked to “música” which means “music.”
Alan: Lizy, when did you get interested in music and singing. Did you always know how to do it?
Lizy: Since I was a child. I used to listen to the radio frequently.
Alan: Ah really, probably a lot of people get started that way. Okay, now the last word we are going to look at today is “profesor”. Lizy, would you give us one more example please.
Lizy: “El profesor está aquí”.
Alan: “The teacher is here.” Now the word “profesor” sounds an awful lot like “professor.”
Lizy: Sometimes it even means “professor.”
Alan: But there is an important distinction right?
Lizy: In Spanish, “profesor” means both “teacher” and “professor.” There is an educator at either the high school or collegiate level.
Alan: Okay great. Now, just a second ago, we heard the example, “Soy de América Latina”.
Now Lizy, what does America Latina mean?
Lizy: Buena pregunta. That’s a great question and also a difficult one to answer.
Alan: Aha, that’s just what I am getting at. This is kind of a hard word to explain, isn’t it?
Lizy: Well thanks for putting this one on me.
Alan: Come on now.
Lizy: Umm on one hand, America Latina or Latin America refers to the countries in the Americas where the Roman’s languages are primarily spoken.
Alan: And the Roman’s languages are those that come from Latin, right?
Lizy: Correct, right. And on the other hand, the idea of Latin America has a lot to do with the cultural identity of an extensive international community.
Alan: Hey that’s a great way to describe it, an extensive international community. I mean if you even look only at Peru, the cultural variety is tremendous and that’s just in one country and here we are talking about Latin America with countries as diverse as Brazil is to Bolivia and Bolivia is to Mexico.

Lesson focus

Alan: Let’s have a more thorough look at the grammar used in this lesson.
Lizy: Okay.
Alan: Today we are going to have a look at the verb “ser” which means “to be.”
Lizy: Right and as we’ve said in newbie lessons 1 and 2, we looked at another verb that means “to be.”
Alan: Which would be “estar”. Now what’s the difference again, Lizy?
Lizy: Now with the “ser”, we describe permanent states of being.
Alan: Right. This is the kind of being that we talk about when we say “I am American” for example or “you are a doctor” and “Lizy is a great singer.”
Lizy: A great singer, me? I hope to be in the future. Seriously I think I will study singing Alan.
Alan: Really Liz, well that would be nice. Okay guys, let’s go back to where this appeared in the conversation. Can you repeat that sentence?
Lizy: “Yo soy Amanda”.
Alan: “I am Amanda.” So we can see that “being Amanda” is not temporary at all.
Lizy: That is why “ser” is used.
Alan: The word “soy” is always used to say “I am.” It is called the first person singular but there are two other forms of “ser” which we are going to look at today. Lizy, can you give us another example of “ser”.
Lizy: “¿Quién eres tú?”
Alan: “Who are you?” This time the verb “ser” takes the "tú" form, “eres”.
Lizy: This is informal “you” form for the singular.
Alan: The word “eres” is always used to say “you are” when talking to someone informally.
Lizy: Notice also that to ask the question “who are you?”, all you have to do is add “quien” to the beginning.
Alan: Good point. Let’s have a look at one more form of the verb “ser”. Lizy, would you give us the sample?
Lizy: “Ella es amable”.
Alan: “She is nice.” So here, we are talking about “she.”
Lizy: So the form of “ser” that we are using here is “es” which is really close to “is” in English. “Es” in Spanish, “is” in English.
Alan: Right on and that’s exactly how it’s translated making this form the easiest one to remember. This “she” form is also used for “he” and for “you” when you address someone in a formal way.
Lizy: So we see that “ser” refers to permanent kinds of being.
Alan: Lizy, can you think of a good way to remember this?
Lizy: You can also remember that “un ser humano” is “a human being.” So “ser” refers to an unchangeable kinds of being. You can’t be a human one day and a rabbit the next.
Alan: I guess not. Well I am pretty sure you can’t.
Lizy: The verb “estar” on the other hand refers to changeable kinds of “being”, like “being happy” or “being sad.”
Alan: Hey that’s a good distinction I think. So “ser” is a being while “estar” refers to states of being. You made it very clear and I know that it’s becoming clear for our audience.


Alan: That’s it for today’s lesson.
Lizy: Sigan practicando y creo que también una buena forma, aparte de nuestro forum en spanishpod, es escuchar mucha música en español. ¡Chao!
Alan: That’s right. Listen to lots of Spanish music, be well people, work hard, study hard, learn lots. ¡Chao!


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Dialogue - Bilingual