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Carlos: Costa Rican Spanish series, lesson 13. She’s Got Game. I am Carlos and as always, I am joined by Natalia, get down Natie.
Natalia: Pura vida Carlos.
Carlos: Welcome to the 13th lesson of the Costa Rican Spanish series on spanishpod101.com
Natalia: If you want to learn about the Spanish spoken in the Jewel of Central America, this is the spot.
Carlos: It really is. This is the only place to get the low down on the Costa Rican customs and culture.
Natalia: Carlos, you are becoming a fan of tequicia.
Carlos: Well Natie, I know a good thing when I see it plus with spanishpod101, I’ve been provided with all the information I need to navigate through Costa Rican customs and culture.
Natalia: Tú lo has dicho, Carlos. You said it.
Carlos: I am also very happy to say that we are continuing our current topic of Costa Rican cuisine.
Natalia: You are liking this thing right. You are just going to get an apron that says “cocinero”.
Carlos: You know I already have it at home. No I do.
Natalia: All right.
Carlos: I think this food kick is really beneficial I mean it inspires when they get down in the kitchen.
Natalia: Well yeah if I keep providing such insightful recipes.
Carlos: Seriously, I don’t even have to pat her on the back. Well today Natie, where is that conversation taking place?
Natalia: Today we meet Ramone and Jocelyn who are reading at a friend’s house.
Carlos: I don’t doubt. So this is more of a chill meal, less formal.
Natalia: I would say so.
Carlos: And what else do we get for the lesson?
Natalia: A beautiful, beautiful thing.
Carlos: Umm I am intrigued.
Natalia: Well you have to wait until localisms.
Carlos: I am not even going to attempt to say what I would like to right now.
Natalia: Ah you don’t have to.
Carlos: Okay without further adieu, let’s get into today’s lesson. So for those of you who are new to the regional series, we always start out by going back to a newbie conversation and then compare it to a similar conversation as it would sound here in Costa Rica.
Natalia: That’s right. So today, let’s go back to newbie lesson 13 where we heard the following conversation.
HUMBERTO: ¡Qué rica la paella!
CLAUDIA: ¡Qué gustosa está!
HUMBERTO: Los mariscos están exquisitos.
CLAUDIA: Sí, están muy jugosos.
HUMBERTO: ¡Qué bien preparada está la paella!
Carlos: This time with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
HUMBERTO: ¡Qué rica la paella! What delicious Piaggia!
CLAUDIA: ¡Qué gustosa está! How tasty it is!
HUMBERTO: Los mariscos están exquisitos. The Shell Fish are exquisite.
CLAUDIA: Sí, están muy jugosos. Yeah they are very juicy.
HUMBERTO: ¡Qué bien preparada está la paella! How well prepared this Piaggia is.
Carlos: So Natie, as always I think with our newbie lessons, this conversation will be understood by anyone who speaks Spanish.
Natalia: Yeah I mean the vocabulary might change a bit here and there but for most part, that was pretty standard conversation.
Carlos: Now let’s hear what this conversation might sound like if it were taking place in San Jose, Costa Rica.
RAMÓN: ¡Demasiado buena la olla de carne!
JOCELYN: ¡Es como la de mi abuela!
RAMÓN: La carne quedó suavecita.
JOCELYN: ¡Ay, sí, y la yuca también!
RAMÓN: La señora se la juega cocinando.
Carlos: Once again slowly. Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
RAMÓN: ¡Demasiado buena la olla de carne!
JOCELYN: ¡Es como la de mi abuela!
RAMÓN: La carne quedó suavecita.
JOCELYN: ¡Ay, sí, y la yuca también!
RAMÓN: La señora se la juega cocinando.
Carlos: Well that sounds like a very positive conversation.
Natalia: Definitely even if you are not fluent in Spanish, you can sense the positivity.
Carlos: Well, where would you like to begin today Natie?
Natalia: I think starting with “demasiado buena la olla de carne”.
Carlos: “Demasiado”. You know, I hear that all the time.
Natalia: I am sure you do.
Carlos: Alright. Now that this was the first line of the conversation, in newbie lesson 13, we heard Humberto say what delicious paella!
Carlos: ¡Qué rica la paella! What delicious paella. ¡Qué rica la paella!
Carlos: And in the Costa Rican version
Natalia: ¡Demasiado buena la olla de carne! ¡Demasiado buena la olla de carne! The stew meat is so good.
Carlos: And what does this word “demasiado” mean exactly?
Natalia: Well “demasiado” translates as too much or it is just simply too.
Carlos: Okay.
Natalia: But it’s used isn’t limited to that. You can use it in very different ways.
Carlos: Okay examples.
Natalia: I know. There is one I say to you in English all the time. Hablas demasiado rápido.
Carlos: Okay wait “hablar” needs to talk.
Natalia: Right.
Carlos: And “rápido” means fast right?
Natalia: Right.
Carlos: Oh come on Natie, Throw the dog a bone.
Natalia: Man, “Hablas demasiado rápido” means you speak too fast.
Carlos: Okay all right, well yeah you do tell that to me all the time and what kind of word is “demasiado”.
Natalia: Well here it’s being used as an adverb, “un adverbio”.
Carlos: Got you. It’s telling us how I talk.
Natalia: Right.
Carlos: But now Natie, in our conversation the word “demasiado” is modifying an adjective, isn’t it?
Natalia: “Demasiado buena la olla de carne”. Right, it is modifying the word “buena”.
Carlos: But it looks like these words don’t agree with each other.
Natalia: Well the thing is that when the word “demasiado” is used as an adverb, its form doesn’t change and in this case, it’s modifying the adjective “buena”.
Carlos: Okay so an adverb can modify an adjective.
Natalia: That’s right and when it’s used this way, we can translate it as so or to. “Eres demasiado chistoso.” You are too funny.
Carlos: She is lying to me.
Natalia: It’s an example.
Carlos: Okay all right, all right. But what about when the word “demasiado” is used as an adjective?
Natalia: Then it’s going to agree with the noun it modifies in number and gender. So it will either be “demasiado” or “demasiada” in the singular and either “demasiados” or “demasiadas” in the plural.
Carlos: Sorry but how about one more example before we move on?
Natalia: Let’s say. Me haces demasiadas preguntas.
Carlos: And what does that mean?
Natalia: That you ask me too many questions.
Carlos: Well I am trying to learn over here. I mean….
Natalia: Eventually you are going to ask me Natie, how big is the universe, how many stars are in the sky, how did dinosaurs die, why is my tummy so big.
Carlos: I am never going to ask that question but I may ask her about the universe and how to write something or say something in Costa Rican Spanish. Let’s go back to recap. In newbie lesson 13, we heard, what a delicious paella. Qué rica la paella. And in the Costa Rican version,
Natalia: Demasiado buena la olla de carne.
Carlos: That stewed meat is so good.
Natalia: Demasiado buena la olla de carne.
Carlos: Cool. Now let’s move on and look at how the phrase, she’s got game in the kitchen was rendered. I mean to start off, let’s go back to the newbie conversation. There we heard ¡Qué bien preparada está la paella! How well prepared this paella is! ¡Qué bien preparada está la paella! And in Costa Rican version
Natalia: La señora se la juega cocinando. This woman’s got game in the kitchen. La señora se la juega cocinando.
Carlos: I see the gerund.
Natalia: Yes Carlos, the gerund.
Carlos: Don’t stifle my enthusiasm. I used our explanation in reverse on my other job. It was a real teaching moment.
Natalia: Okay Michelle Pfeiffer, talk about your dangerous mind’s fantasies you know some other time.
Carlos: That was cold for even you.
Natalia: Oh my god, you know, sometimes it just hits me. I never turned that away.
Carlos: Man, she is mean. La señora se la juega cocinando.
Natalia: La señora se la juega cocinando.
Carlos: How can we translate this?
Natalia: Well first I want to specify something.
Carlos: By all means
Natalia: “Se la juega” is what we call a “frase hecha” or a set phrase.
Carlos: Okay so kind of like “pura vida”.
Natalia: Exactly.
Carlos: So how can we translate “se la juega”.
Natalia: “Se la juega” could be roughly translated as you know, she is good at it.
Carlos: Okay so it’s kind of like “got game”. You know, I like that. It just made sense to me. “Jugar” to play but you know what, this is one of those tricky verbs.
Natalia: Why is that?
Carlos: Well the infinitive is easy enough “jugar” but when it’s conjugated, it switches up.
Natalia: Right and how does it do it?
Carlos: Well for example, conjugated in the present tense of the indicative mood, it becomes “juego”.
Natalia: Juego
Carlos: Yeah juego and does the verb follow this pattern all the way down to the line of conjugations?
Natalia: You tell me.
Carlos: Alright hold on “juego, juegas, juega... oh.
Natalia: Keep going.
Carlos: Well when the subject is “nosotros” or “vosotros” there is not stem change. We just say “jugamos” or “jugais”.
Natalia: Uhoo but then.
Carlos: “Juegan”. And you know, this is kind of confusing. I mean, Natie, you got to give me some little tricks or something, some little secrets to remembering these irregular verbs.
Natalia: Umm just one thing, practice.
Carlos: That’s what it all comes down to, doesn’t it?
Natalia: Yeah the more mistakes you make
Carlos: Especially when someone points it out all the time.
Natalia: Carlos, you are doing really good, “se la juega”.
Carlos: Oh, oh thank you, thank you. I take it as a compliment now. Okay so when someone is like extraordinarily good at something, we could say
Natalia: Se la juega.
Carlos: Nice and combining that with the gerund, it becomes “La señora se la juega cocinando”. She got game in cooking and how about another example, I mean to really get this to sink in?
Natalia: Well let’s say “Se la juega bailando.” you know like she’s got game dancing.
Carlos: When I see a beautiful piece of jewelry that you’ve just made to show me every Saturday, I could say
Natalia: You could say “Se la juega haciendo joyería Natalia.”
Carlos: See, compliments go both ways.
Natalia: Ah we are being nice today.
Carlos: But I have no idea what’s in the air. Natie, it’s time for the beauty in life. Localisms, so what are you going to explain today?
Natalia: Olla de carne.
Carlos: Ah sublime in its simplicity.
Natalia: What do you mean?
Carlos: Well I mean isn’t it the translation of pot of meat…
Natalia: Yeah so…
Carlos: Well I just think it’s funny. I mean such direct translation.
Natalia: Well Carlos, it’s not like it’s a pot made of meat.
Carlos: Well of course, it’s not a pot made of meat. You can’t have a pot made of meat but it’s a pod of meat.
Natalia: Anyways do you want me to explain this dish or not?
Carlos: Wait!
Natalia: What?
Carlos: Señora y señores,
Natalia: No!
Carlos: hoy en la cocina con Natalia Araya estamos preparando la deliciosa olla de carne.
Natalia: Oh Jesus Christ. You just don’t stop, do you?
Carlos: Oh man, I can’t, I can’t help it man. I just….
Natalia: All right.
Carlos: But wait, could you explain this dish to us please chef Araya.
Natalia: Dude, I am getting this seriously. I am going to get one of those hats. Okay I am going to explain the dish. “Olla de carne” is pretty much like a big soup with big chunks of vegetables. We are talking here corn cob, “yuca”, potato, it’s all served with a little side of rice and then it’s just like a big, big soup with beef, big chunks of beef.
Carlos: It sounds mouthwatering.
Natalia: Yeah well, the thing is that when you go out to the restaurants, usually well you know, families do it on special occasion sometimes and then when you go out to the restaurants, there are some places where they only cook it some days because you know it’s something so, so, so, so big that they shouldn’t be cooking it every day you know.
Carlos: So like if I wanted to go and have this on a Sunday, so it’s a big deal. I should like starve myself all day and then go to a small “soda” and fill up.
Natalia: I am telling you man, you can’t stand up afterwards.
Carlos: I will keep that in mind. Now I can’t wait for tomorrow tomorrow being a Sunday. I am going to get down some “olla de carne” or pot of meat.
Natalia: Ay, Carlos. well this wraps up today’s lesson.


Carlos: To further compare what we’ve covered here, check out newbie lesson 13 and be sure to quiz yourself on grammar and vocabulary in the learning center at spanishpod101.com
Natalia: Also ask us a question in the forum or leave us a comment. See you soon.
Carlos: Peace.

Dialogue - Costa Rican

Dialogue - Standard


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Tuesday at 02:25 PM
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This broadcast was recorded on location in San Jose, Costa Rica. Thanks to Kevin MacLeod for the music used in today's lesson. Alright, let's see the conjugation of that verb "jugar" to find out where the change occurs and where it doesn't.

Sunday at 03:51 AM
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How come the icons for the dialog are all disabled in this lesson?

The verb quedar(se) appears to have a lot of uses. I have a question about the use in this lesson.

From the dialog:

La carne quedó suavecita.

The meat came out so tender.

From the expanded vocab:

Mi mama cocina muy bien; la carne siempre se queda suavecita.

"My mother cooks really well; the meat always comes out tender."

Why is the reflexive form used in the vocab? It doesn't appears to affect the meaning.

As an aside, I thought it was ironic that Natalia says that Carlos speaks too fast in English. Using American slang, I would that was the pot calling the kettle black. Natalia is probably the fastest Spanish speaker in spanishpod101.com. I am only now beginning to understand what she is saying when she speaks Spanish. It is good that we have several different Spanish speakers to listen too. I like Natalia, but she can be discouraging to beginners. I wish she would slow down a little.

Monday at 11:25 PM
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I've just gone through and tested each link. I discovered a couple of little problems in the filepaths. Sorry for the inconvenience. All of the links should be working fine now. Thanks for understanding.


Monday at 02:00 PM
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I'm hitting some pretty consistent broken links to the podcast. This time it is the link to the pdf file. Are any others experiencing similar problems?

Monday at 01:35 AM
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Let me take a crack at it...conjugated in the present tense of the indicative mood (which we know from Joe and Bea's verb conjugation series, means that the action expressed is 'real').

Jugar - Infinitive

Juego - 1st person singular of the indicative mood.

Juegas - 2nd person singular of the indicative mood.

Juega - 3rd person singular of the indicative mood.

Jugamos - 1st person plural of the indicative mood.

Jugáis - 2nd person plural of the indicative mood.

Juegan - 3rd person plural of the indicative mood.

So, we see that the stem of the verb jugar stays unchanged only in the 1st person plural (nosotros form) as well as the 2nd person plural (vosotros). Throughout the other conjugations, the stem changes to U-E. Can we think of any other verbs that might follow a similar pattern?