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Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 4 – Directions in Spanish

Ever been lost in a Spanish speaking country? Frustrating isn’t it? How much better is it to have all the tools you need to find your way?

Listen in as we guide you, in the fourth of our intermediate Spanish lessons, through the vocabulary needed to not only ask, but understand directions when they are given to you by a Spanish speaker.

¡Siga todo recto!

Remember to make the most of all the additional information and guidance found in the comprehensive Spanish worksheets.

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Beginner Spanish Podcast 3 – Alphabet H to Z

In this our third free Spanish lesson online for beginners, we continue to help you polish your Spanish pronunciation and gain greater speaking confidence by teaching you the rest of the Spanish alphabet. Listen in to discover how to develop your “R” sound so you talk like a true Spanish speaker.

¡Buena suerte!

Remember, in-depth, additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets for beginners.

Advanced Intermediate 3 – Spanish Past Tense – Preterite and Imperfect

The Spanish Past Tense using the Preterite and Imperfect.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to a professional story teller you will perhaps have noticed that one of their skills is that of being able to weave the story together through the clever use of all the various past tenses.

To some extent we are all story tellers in our own right. Most days of our lives we tell our friends and family of things that have happened to us. Of course, there are those of us who can tell a great story, and there are others who struggle to keep their audience’s attention.

Why is that?

A lot of the problems can depend on their choice of past tense. Have you ever listened to someone who uses the Preterite tense too much? They list action after action, event after event, like as though it was a policeman’s report.

Then there are those who favour the Imperfect tense and fill their story with so much description that they leave you longing for some action so you end up saying to them: “Just get on with the story, will you?”

The Spanish past tense is no different

The same applies in Spanish, of course. To tell a great story you need to be able to command the Preterite and the Imperfect Spanish past tense and to be able to weave them together to create an interesting and gripping story.

In this free Spanish podcast we incorporate the Preterite and the Imperfect into stories of our recent holiday experiences. As you listen in, pay attention to the way the Imperfect is used to set the scene, and how the Preterite then brings in the action. ¡Dispara!

Remember that you already do this quite naturally in your own language and you can do it too in Spanish. All you need to do is ‘dominar’ the Spanish past tense in a confident way. This is the first in many podcasts that deal with the past. So, sit back and enjoy it!

For all the additional information and guidance on this free Spanish podcast, then why not try our comprehensive Spanish help-sheets? We have even provided you some free ones to give you an idea of the wealth of information and help they contain. Why not try them out?

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Advanced Spanish Podcast 3 – Comida y Cultura Pt. 2

This is the second advanced Spanish podcast on the subject of food in Spain. We have had to split the topic into two because it’s such a massive area about which to talk. And don’t think for a moment that we are dragging things out! The fact of the matter is that any true Spaniard would be able to fill a dozen videos with information on the rich choice of food that exists in Spain.

Unlike other cultures that might be less enthusiastic about their cuisine, the Spanish simply ooze with pride whenever they get the opportunity (something which comes around frequently) to wax eloquent about the vast array of dishes they enjoy.

Without any encouragement, they’ll talk you through the processes, the preparation and the joy found in the tasting of any of their foods. As a listener, you have one job and one job only… and that is to listen enthusiastically, ask questions at appropriate intervals and never, but never, make a joke about what they say.

The Spanish take their food far too seriously to ever talk lightly about it and as a foreigner, they know that you will never experience better food than theirs. So, be warned!

Every podcast is transcribed and translated and all the additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets that have been designed and developed with you, as our student, in mind. Esperamos que te gusten.

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Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 3 – How to Order Food in Spanish in a Restaurant

How to order food in a Spanish restaurant.

In this intermediate Spanish lesson, we walk you through one of the most important activities when on holiday: waiter drinksscaleHow to order food in Spanish in a restaurant.

Just like in a bar, there is a certain etiquette to ordering in a Spanish speaking restaurant.

How do you get the waiter’s attention?

In many phrase books and beginners Spanish work books they tell you that when you want to attract the waiters attention you simply shout:

“¡Oiga!”

This is the imperative tense and means, “Hear” which doesn’t translate very well but is equivalent to the English, “I say!”

The problem is that this is NOT the most common way of shouting for the waiter and what is more, in the wrong region it can sound a little offensive.

Certainly, in central Spain it is not what people say. In the ten years that I have been eating in restaurants in Madrid I haven’t heard anyone shout it at a passing waiter.

So why do they put it in the books?

The answer to this is easy. It’s in the books because it’s one of those standard phrases that everyone is supposed to use but hardly ever does. We could ask why Spanish speakers learn the greeting: “Hello, how do you do?” when, in fact, it’s used only in very formal situations and rarely at that!

The other issue is that many of the Spanish text books out there were written decades ago and just keep getting reprinted with the same old, archaic Spanish in them. Not only that but it is very difficult to offer a Spanish that is used throughout the entire Spanish speaking world.

This is a real challenge and so, when we produced this podcast about how to order food in Spanish we tried to provide you the kind of language that would travel and could be used in all countries.

Aviso/Warning

Our advice is always this: Use what you have learnt until you find the place that you really want to spend time in. Once you are there, start listening to what the locals say when they order food in Spanish and copy them. Even from region to region in Spain there exists different vocabulary and verbs that that area prefers to use in conversation.

That’s why it’s important to start with something non-polemic and very general and work from that as a base.

In this podcast we help you with:

What should you expect when the waiter comes to the table?

What do you order first?

What else can you say other than “La cuenta, por favor.” when the meal is over?

Listen in as we give you the most important vocabulary to use when you are in a restaurant.

You can sound just like the natives do. ¡Que aproveche!

A mountain of additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets.

Audio for This Spanish Lesson