Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Lizy: Buenos días, soy Lizy.
Alan: Alan here. Newbie series, lesson #4. “Who Are You All?”
Lizy: Hey Alan. Hi, how are you doing?
Alan: Well, I am melancholic Lizy, but appreciative. You know how winter is in Lima. The sky gets so gray. So I feel you know melancholic but as a good Canadian, I appreciate the fact that it never really gets very cold. So hey melancholic and appreciative, how are you doing?
Lizy: Fine, fine, Alan. Bienvenidos a la cuarta lección del ciclo de nivel principiante.
Alan: You are listening to the fourth lesson of the beginner series coming to you on demand from spanishpod101.com.
Lizy: All ready on lesson 4.
Alan: And there is plenty more to come, Lizy.
Lizy: Well let’s not waste any time.
Alan: Yeah, we are moving right along in the series and today we’ve got a great lesson planned for you, a lesson that you will always remember, like it or not.
Lizy: Today we are going to continue our discussion on the verb “ser” which means “to be.”
Alan: This conversation takes place all the time when people travel to a Spanish speaking country.
Lizy: Who are we meeting today Allen?
Alan: Well here we are at a party where Luisa and Antonio introduce themselves to each other for the first time.
Lizy: This is very useful. If you are traveling, you will usually be in a lot of parties. Do you throw parties for your students or your school “El Sol” as part of immersion?
Alan: Yeah, we do Lizy. We try to celebrate all the important dates in the country with students. We have Christmas parties, independence day parties, birthday parties even.
Lizy: I would imagine that would help.
Alan: It is a big help. It shows students what Peruvians consider to be important dates.
Lizy: Here comes today’s conversation.
LUISA: ¿Quiénes son ustedes?
ANTONIO: Nosotros somos amigos de Gabriel.
LUISA: ¿De dónde son ustedes?
ANTONIO: Nosotros somos de Nueva York.
LUISA: ¡La gran manzana!
Alan: And now slower. Una vez más esta vez lentamente.
LUISA: ¿Quiénes son ustedes?
ANTONIO: Nosotros somos amigos de Gabriel.
LUISA: ¿De dónde son ustedes?
ANTONIO: Nosotros somos de Nueva York.
LUISA: ¡La gran manzana!
Alan: And now with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
LUISA: ¿Quiénes son ustedes?
LUISA: Who are you all?
ANTONIO: Nosotros somos amigos de Gabriel.
ANTONIO: We are friends of Gabriel.
LUISA: ¿De dónde son ustedes?
LUISA: Where are you from?
ANTONIO: Nosotros somos de Nueva York.
ANTONIO: We are from New York.
LUISA: ¡La gran manzana!
LUISA: The big apple!
Alan: So here it looks like there is a couple of New Yorkers somewhere in Latin America. Lizy, tell me, can you recognize a New Yorker’s Spanish accent as easily as you can recognize a New Yorker’s English accent? I mean it’s very distinct.
Lizy: I agree with you my friend and they notice a big difference between that accent and the British accent.
Alan: Yeah you are right, Lizy. I always find it interesting too how accents mix. Like someone speaking Spanish with a heavy accent from the Southern United States for example. Hey Lizy, what would you say Tourism is like in Central and South America?
Lizy: Bueno. In most Latino countries, tourism is very, very popular. Also there are different kinds of tourists.
Alan: I know I have heard that ecotourism is very popular. Do you agree with that?
Lizy: Most definitely. In the Amazon, the Andes, Patagonia and the Galapagos. Ecotourism is huge but there is also a lot of luxury tourism in some really beautiful and remote places all throughout Latin America.
Alan: And what would you say is the nicest spot?
Lizy: The Amazon. It’s tremendously rich, Alan. It’s unbelievable.
Alan: Time for the breakdown of today’s vocabulary.
Lizy: Syllable by syllable.
Alan: So let’s begin with...
Lizy: “Quienes”.
Alan: “Who.”
Lizy: “Quie-nes”, “quienes”.
Alan: Now we have...
Lizy: “Ustedes”.
Alan: “You all.”
Lizy: “Us-te-des”, “ustedes”.
Alan: And then...
Lizy: “Amigo”.
Alan: “Friend.”
Lizy: “A-mi-go”, “amigo”.
Alan: Next...
Lizy: “De”.
Alan: “From”, “of.”
Lizy: “De”, “de”.
Alan: And finally...
Lizy: “Man-za-na”.
Alan: “Apple.”
Lizy: “Man-za-na”, “manzana”.
Alan: Guys, a quick pronunciation tip before we move on to the usage.
Lizy: Adelante.
Alan: Let’s look at the word “manzana”. This word easy enough “manzana”.
Lizy: “Manzana”.
Alan: Hey but notice the way it’s spelled “m-a-n-z-a-n-a”.
Lizy: Okay.
Alan: So the letter “z” doesn’t buzz like it can in English. It’s not the “z” of “Zebra” but rather the “s” of “sand.”
Lizy: “Manzana”, “manzana”.
Alan: Okay now on to the usage. The first word we will look at is “quienes”. Lizy, can you give us an example sentence, please?
Lizy: “¿Quiénes son ellos?”
Alan: “Who are they?” So we see that “quiénes” means “who.”
Lizy: Right and remember in our last lesson, we looked at the word “quién” which also means “who.”
Alan: Well, what’s the difference?
Lizy: The difference between the two is that “quién” is a singular form while “quiénes” is a plural form.
Alan: And that would be why the latter is used with “ellos” which means “they.”
Lizy: ¡Así es!
Alan: Muy bien. ¿Seguimos?
Lizy: ¡Sigamos!
Alan: Next up today is the word “ustedes”. Lizy, how about an example with “ustedes”?
Lizy: “Ustedes están bien”.
Alan: “You all are well.” So Lizy, how may we translate “ustedes”?
Lizy: “Ustedes” means “you all.”
Alan: Like “quien” and “quienes”. It sounds a lot like “usted”. Could you explain the difference?
Lizy: Claro! It’s the plural form of “usted” which means “you” in the formal sense.
Alan: Here we go with formality again.
Lizy: Yes, but it’s important to remember that in Latin America “ustedes” is used for both formal and informal when you are talking to more than one person.
Alan: Right. And in Spain?
Lizy: In Spain, “usted” and “ustedes” are only used in the formal sense.
Alan: That’s a good distinction to make but and I really think this is important. It’s by no means an excuse not to learn the “vosotros” form.
Lizy: De acuerdo.
Alan: It’s important to learn this form not only so that you understand the language as a complete system but also because rest assured, one day you will run into an Iberian Spanish speaker and you will encounter it.
Lizy: Very true.
Alan: Okay next we have “amigo”.
Lizy: “Ellos son amigos”.
Alan: “They are friends.” Now this is how we heard the word in the conversation. “Amigos”, “friends.” Lizy, how can we tell this word is plural and not singular?
Lizy: We can tell that it is in the plural because it ends with an “S.”
Alan: Right. So it’s similar to English and hey this word isn’t too hard to learn seeing this that we often hear “amigos” used in the English language. Okay, so the last word that we are going to look at today is “manzana”. Lizy, how about one more example?
Lizy: “Él es de la Gran Manzana”.
Alan: “He is from the Big Apple”, right. Now that’s how we saw this phrase in the conversation “la Gran Manzana” which means “the Big Apple” but also the word “manzana” is used to refer to the fruit “apple” just like it is in English.
Lizy: I think it’s funny sometimes when we translate phrases in English to Spanish and vice versa like “the Big Apple.” What do you think Alan?
Alan: Well Lizy, probably the funniest moments I’ve had in Spanish is when I’ve tried to literally translate idiomatic expressions. Speaking of food, I tried once to translate, there is no free lunch and people say you know, who is this weirdo talking about lunch and another time, I tried to literally translate “Every cloud has a silver lining” and again I was just faced with vacant, blank stares. People looking at me thinking who is this weirdo and it wasn’t until later that I learned that the way to say that is “no hay mal que por bien no venga”.
Lizy: So there is one more point to add about the word “amigo”.
Alan: Well what’s that Lizy?
Lizy: Well we often use it to address someone in a friendly way.
Alan: Right. For example, we can say “hola amigo, a los años”, “hey buddy, it’s been years” or how about “¿qué tal amigo?”, ¿cómo estás amigo mío?, we hear it all the time.

Lesson focus

Alan: Let’s have a closer look at the grammar used in this lesson.
Lizy: What are we looking at today again?
Alan: We are going to have a look at the verb “ser” which means “to be.”
Lizy: Right. In newbie lesson 3, we looked at “ser” in the singular for the first, second, and third person.
Alan: Today let’s build on this.
Lizy: How?
Alan: By looking at “ser” in the plural again for the first, second and third person. Let’s go back to where this appeared in the conversation. Lizy, would you repeat that sentence?
Lizy: “Nosotros somos amigos de Gabriel”.
Alan: “We are friends of Gabriel.” The conjugation of “ser” that we find here is “somos”. Lizy, how would we translate that?
Lizy: This means “we are.” It’s often used with “nosotros” which means “we.”
Alan: Right, but in Spanish this “we” is implicit in the verb. So again, “nosotros somos amigos” means “we are friends”. How can we label this tense?
Lizy: This is called the first person plural of the present tense.
Alan: Okay, let’s move on to the second word, “sois”. How about an example?
Lizy: “Vosotros sois músicos”.
Alan: “You all are musicians”. Here we see that “sois” is the conjugation of “ser”. This means “you all are.” Now what conjugation is this Lizy?
Lizy: “Sois” is used with “vosotros” which means “you all” and again it is not required.
Alan: Why not?
Lizy: Because the subject you all is indicated by the verb’s ending. The verb “sois” is in the second person plural of the present tense.
Alan: Okay guys but we really want to stress this. You should know that the “vosotros” conjugation is not used in Latin America but it is used in Spain. Lizy, could you share with our audience what is used in Latin American “vosotros”?
Lizy: In Latin America, the “ustedes” form is used instead.
Alan: Okay, so let’s look at the final word here which is “son”. Lizy, how about one more example?
Lizy: “Ellos son profesores”.
Alan: “They are professors.” Now here we see that “son” means “they are.” The pronoun “ellos” literally means “they” but now we know that it is not required. How is “ser” conjugated with “son”?
Lizy: The verb “son” is in the third person plural of the present tense. This is the same form that is used for “ellas” which means “they”, “the women” and “ustedes” which means “you all” in a formal tense in Spain and in both a formal and informal sense in Latin America.
Alan: So again, we see that the “vosotros” form isn’t used in Latin America and we know that in Spain it’s used to address you all in an informal way. Does this mean in Latin America you treat your friends formally?
Lizy: “No es así”. “It’s not like that.” It’s just a way of speaking. The “vosotros” form has disappeared from speech in Latin America but that doesn’t mean we treat our friends and close ones formally.


Lizy: That’s it for today.
Alan: Another one down. Take care guys, be well, learn lots.
Lizy: Mucha suerte a todos. ¡Chao!


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Dialogue - Bilingual