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Lesson Transcript

Lizy: Buenos días, me llamo Lizy Stoliar.
Alan: Alan La Rue here. Newbie series, lesson #6. “Why are you here?”
Lizy: Muy bienvenidos.
Alan: Yeah, hi everybody. We are recording from a quiet district called La Molina which is in a sunny, beautiful area of Lima, Perú, one of the largest cities in South America. Isn’t technology cool that we can be recording from here and it’s going to there coming out of your little headset? Ten years ago, that wouldn’t have been possible.
Lizy: Las maravillas de la tecnología.
Alan: A little recap always helps, Liz.
Lizy: We’ve been talking about the verbs “ser” and “estar” both of which in Spanish mean “to be.” Today we are going to further our understanding of how to distinguish their usages and we are also going to learn how to ask the question “why?”
Alan: “Why?”
Lizy: “¿Qué?”
Alan: “¿Qué?”
Lizy: “¿Qué?”
Alan: Now that’s all right, Liz. I can’t resist. Now tell us, where does our conversation take place today?
Lizy: This lesson’s conversation takes place in a party where Diego asks Anna why she is in Ecuador.
Alan: Ah, a little Spanish Smalltalk, always good, very useful.
Lizy: Well, let’s get into today’s conversation.
DIEGO: ¿Por qué estás en Ecuador?
ANN: Yo estoy en Ecuador para trabajar.
DIEGO: ¿Qué tipo de trabajo tienes?
ANN: Yo soy bióloga.
DIEGO: ¡Ah, eres científica!
Alan: And now slower. Una vez más esta vez lentamente.
DIEGO: ¿Por qué estás en Ecuador?
ANN: Yo estoy en Ecuador para trabajar.
DIEGO: ¿Qué tipo de trabajo tienes?
ANN: Yo soy bióloga.
DIEGO: ¡Ah, eres científica!
Alan: And now with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
DIEGO: ¿Por qué estás en Ecuador?
DIEGO: Why are you in Ecuador?
ANN: Yo estoy en Ecuador para trabajar.
ANN: I'm in Ecuador to work.
DIEGO: ¿Qué tipo de trabajo tienes?
DIEGO: What kind of job do you have?
ANN: Yo soy bióloga.
ANN: I'm a biologist.
DIEGO: ¡Ah, eres científica!
DIEGO: Ah, you're a scientist!
Lizy: Alan, tú que viajas tanto, que te encanta viajar, ¿por casualidad has ido a Ecuador?
Alan: Ah, I’ve never been to Ecuador but I know a couple of scientists. My dad is a scientist. I think Diego should go for it with Anna. Hey, smart woman. Okay on to the vocab. Here we are going to break these words down syllable by syllable so that you can hear exactly how each word sounds.
Lizy: ¡Vamos!
Alan: So let’s begin with...
Lizy: “¿Por qué?”
Alan: “Why?”
Lizy: “Por qué”, “¿por qué?”
Alan: Next we will hear...
Lizy: “Para”.
Alan: “For”, “to”, “in order to.”
Lizy: “Pa-ra”, “para”.
Alan: Now we will listen to...
Lizy: “Trabajar”.
Alan: “To work.”
Lizy: “Tra-ba-jar”, “trabajar”.
Alan: Next...
Lizy: “Tipo”.
Alan: “Type”, “kind.”
Lizy: “Ti-po”, “tipo”.
Alan: Let’s hear...
Lizy: “Tener”.
Alan: “To have.”
Lizy: “Te-ner”, “tener”.
Alan: And finally...
Lizy: “Científico, científica”.
Alan: “Scientist.”
Lizy: “Cien-tí-fi-co, cien-tí-fi-ca”, “científico, científica”.
Alan: Liz, since we are talking about “why”, let me ask you a question. Do you know “why” we should begin our vocabulary usage section?
Lizy: Why?
Alan: Because our first expression is “why.”
Lizy: Clever.
Alan: Not really and I apologize to you and to all of you.
Lizy: “¿Por qué estás contento?”
Alan: “Why are you happy?” Well, hey, other than spanishpod101.com success, I am just overall happy about life Liz, I got to tell you. The school that I founded also is doing really well, Peru is beginning to boom. My family is good, my friends are good and I can see too that you are great too. So hey…
Lizy: Cool. Todo bien, todo bien. Excelente.
Alan: Happy, happy, happy, happy. All happy people here.
Lizy: Okay the phrase “por qué” literally means “for what.” That is “for what reason.”
Alan: And we usually translate it as “why.” Now in fact, if someone says something to you and you want to know the reason behind their claim, all you have to do is say...
Lizy: “¿Por qué?”
Alan: Also if you want to ask a complete question, the word order is “por qué”. Then the subject if it’s explicit, then the verb and then the direct or indirect object if there is one. All right Liz, can you help us out with an example because I know that was a lot of grammatical words.
Lizy: “¿Por qué estás triste?”
Alan: “Why are you sad?” Great example Liz, but I am not sad. I told you, I am happy. Come on, work is going well, life is good, Peru is booming.
Lizy: Good, because next word is “trabajar”.
Alan: As in...
Lizy: “Yo trabajo mucho”.
Alan: “I work a lot.” Hey Liz, don’t we all?
Lizy: So the verb “trabajar” which means “to work” is a regular “ar” verb.
Alan: That means it belongs to the first conjugation.
Lizy: That means that its conjugations will be the same as other regular “ar” verbs like “tomar” which we will look at in lesson 8 of the series. Alan, “¿Qué tipo de profesor eres?”
Alan: What kind of professor am I? Me? Well, hey I run a private language school which means I don’t really have to teach that much anymore. You know I have the great pleasure of finding great teachers and they are doing all the teaching. In fact, you know Liz, about the only time I really get to teach is in these lessons spanishpod101 and boy it’s great. I love it.
Lizy: We enjoy these lessons. “¿Qué tipo de profesor eres?” From this example, we can see that the word “tipo” literally means “type.”
Alan: And it can also mean “kind” in the sense that we just used it.
Lizy: If it doesn’t modify anything, it usually has a derogatory connotation as in “este tipo” which we can translate as “this guy.”
Alan: “Este tipo”. But the word “tipo” is very commonly used just like it is in English to mean “type” or “kind.”
Lizy: This brings us to the last vocabulary word of the day which is “tener”.
Alan: Lizy, how about one more example?
Lizy: “Ella tiene muchos amigos”.
Alan: “She has a lot of friends.” That was a good one. Now the verb “tener” is a really important one in Spanish. It’s just as important as “to have” is in English.
Lizy: Yeah, but I think it can be a little tricky.
Alan: Why do you say that?
Lizy: For two reasons. First, it is an irregular verb which means that it’s conjugations don’t follow the most common patterns.
Alan: Okay, that’s reason #1. Other reasons?
Lizy: And second, it’s not used as an auxiliary verb which means that it is not used in expressions like “I have eaten.”
Alan: Hah, the verb “haber” is used for that but we will get into that distinction a little later on. For now, it’s enough to remember that “tener” means “to have” and so far as you have something or someone.

Lesson focus

Lizy: In newbie lesson 5, we started to distinguish the verb “ser” from “estar” both of which mean “to be.”
Alan: Today we are going to pick up where we left off. Lizy, where is “estar” in the conversation?
Lizy: “Yo estoy en Ecuador para trabajar”.
Alan: “I am in Ecuador to work.” That’s temporary.
Lizy: Let’s ask herself why do we use “estoy” which is a form of “estar” instead of “soy” which is a form of “ser”?
Alan: Hey, because here we are talking about location.
Lizy: Whenever you are talking about the location of someone or something, the verb “estar” is always used.
Alan: Location, location, location. Another example always helps, bring it on.
Lizy: Okay. “Nosotros estamos en los Estados Unidos.”
Alan: “We are in the United States.” Again what we are talking about is “where we are”, which means we are talking about location.
Lizy: And location requires the verb “estar”. Okay, now let’s contrast this with the usage of the verb “ser”.
Alan: What a coincidence! We have an example from the conversation, Liz.
Lizy: “Yo soy bióloga”.
Alan: “I am a biologist.”
Lizy: Now let’s ask herself, why are we using “soy” which is a form of “ser” instead of “estoy” which is a form of “estar”?
Alan: Because we are talking about an occupation.
Lizy: Remember that using the verb “ser” is like using an equal sign.
Alan: It’s like saying “I equals biologist.”
Lizy: “I am a biologist.”
Alan: Liz, how about a third example just for good measure.
Lizy: Con mucho gusto. “Tú eres profesor”.
Alan: “You are a teacher.”
Lizy: Again we are talking about an occupation which means that a form of “ser” is required instead of “estar”. When you can say that, the subject equals the predicate. Then the verb “ser” must be used.
Alan: You know that reminds me liz, when I first came to Peru and I would call somebody on the telephone, I used to make that mistake. I would phone and say “estoy Alan, yo quiero hablar con Lizy” and later on, I learned that I had to say “hola, soy Alan, ¿Lizy está?”, “soy Alan” because “soy” is permanent. I am always going to be Allen but I would ask Lizy “está”? Because that’s a location, “is she there” or “is she not there.” So it’s a location, it’s temporary and maybe she is there and they will say “sí, pero está dormida”, and that’s temporary. “She is sleeping”, but that’s a temporary state. We would hope that’s a temporary state Liz and they would ask, “who are you?” and I would say “soy su amigo”. You know,” I am her friend.” That’s a permanent situation. It’s a permanent scenario. So just recapping, “hola, soy Alan, ¿Lizy está? ¿Está dormida? Bueno, yo soy su amigo Alan. Pues llamaré de nuevo mañana”.
Lizy: Well said Alan.


Alan: Okay guys, that brings us to the finish line.
Lizy: If you wanted to say that in Spanish, would you use “ser” or “estar”?
Alan: Lizy, are you fishing for comments.
Lizy: Yes, they need to know that we are there to answer their questions.
Alan: That’s a good point. You guys heard the lady. Leave comments on the forum, ask your questions
Lizy: And be sure to check out the vocabulary lists with audio in the learning center at spanishpod101.com
Alan: See you soon everybody.
Lizy: Nos vemos pronto. ¡Bye!
Alan: ¡Chao!


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Dialogue - Bilingual