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Recommended Spanish Programs

Most readers of the Spanish Small Talk “daily email” usually ask me where to go to find more resources, or a Spanish learning program that they can practice with daily. There’s are really three key resources that I can recommend to anyone who’s looking to learn more Spanish.

Spanish Learning Programs:

SpanishPod101.com – Learn Spanish from over 1,030+ Spanish Audio and Video lessons from beginner to advanced. Also contains the 2,000 Must-Know Words.

Rocket Spanish – A fun, easy-to-use program for speaking, reading and understanding Spanish. Complete with 32 downloadable MP3 lessons.

Speak from Day One – Benny has already mastered 5 languages, and he shows you the ultimate method to learning any language. He’s got a cool TED talk on YouTube, that you can view from his site.

Spanish Learning Communities:

LingQ is a FREE online community where you can choose to learn one of 9 languages: www.LingQ.com

 

 

LiveMocha is another online community where you can learn Spanish for Free: www.LiveMocha.com

 

 

Learn Spanish with Free Podcasts!

How do I make the Spanish Ñ “Enye” on the keyboard?

enye in Spanish, spanish enye, type the spanish enye    There are a few ways to type the Spanish “enye” (ñ or Ñ) on the keyboard:

 

1. Copy and paste the ñ or Ñ

2. For a lowercase ñ Press “alt” and then 164 or “alt” 0241

3. To make an uppercase Ñ, press “alt” 165 or “alt” 0209

4. Add the Spanish language keyboard to Microsoft Word: www.spanishsmalltalk.com/2014/03/12/how-to-add-spanish-spell-check-for-word-2011-and-word-2013/

A few fun facts:

  • The weird squiggly above the n is called a tilde.
  • It’s pronounced “en-yay”
  • Español contains the enye, so learn how to say it!
  • Wikipedia: “Historically, “ñ” arose as a ligature of “nn”: the tilde was shorthand for the second “n”, written over the first.[1] This is a letter in the Spanish alphabet which is used for many words, for example, the Spanish word año (anno in Old Spanish) “year” is derived from Latin ANNVS.” (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%91)

 

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10 Tips from an a guy who speaks Nine Languages

Ok, so the guy who speaks nine languages is not me. Haha. I only speak Spanish. But here’s a really good post on www.babbel.com/magazine/10-tips-from-an-expert on how to increase your Spanish language ability, here’s a quote and some of my favorites:

” . . . It’s crucial to practice your new language every single day:

“I tend to want to absorb as much as possible right from the start. So if I learn something I really, really go for it and try to use it throughout the day. As the week progresses I try to think in it, try to write in it, try to speak to myself even in that language. For me it’s about actually putting what you’re learning into practice – be that writing an email, speaking to yourself, listening to music, listening to the radio. Surrounding yourself, submerging yourself in the new language culture is extremely important.”

That was number #2 listed “Dive In.” My other two favorites from the list are these and my personal commentary.

#5. Have Fun With it

– My greatest gains in Spanish have been the times when I’ve been having fun with friends watching a baseball or soccer game, or going to a concert, or checking out a new restaurant. I’ve found that it’s way easier to continue doing something if I’m actually enjoying it. It’s a natural motivator and when you start having fun it gets addicting, you all of a sudden want to know more, and more and you start checking dictionaries and asking your friends to help you. This is a healthy addiction!

#10 Talk to Yourself

– Early on in my Spanish language adventure someone told me that I should out loud to myself. The reality is that we all need practice forming these words with their accents and their unique pronunciations. If you think these will naturally come up in conversation, you’re wrong. You’ve got to practice it on your own time, before it comes up in a conversation! Practice it before you need to use it. That’s great advice in life, but especially with language, you’ve got to get used to saying these words. Yeah, you’re going to look a bit silly looking like you’re having a conversation with yourself, but it’s totally worth it!

 

How to add Spanish Spell Check for Word 2011 and Word 2013

Are you looking for an easy way to type in Spanish inside Microsoft Word? It’s super easy to add Spanish into Word, and as soon asword-2013 you do, you’ll be able to type with all the Spanish accents and punctuation. What’s more, you’ll be able to use the Spanish Spell Check and Grammar option. Which is awesome. I put together a small guide to assist you in adding the Spanish language pack to Microsoft Word 2011 or Microsoft Word 2013.

How to Type in Spanish for Word 2011 and Word 2013

Step 1. First open up Word and go to the Review Tab

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Step 2. Select “Language Preferences”

 

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Step 3. Go to “Add Additional Editing Languages”

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 Step 4. Select “Spanish (Mexico)” from the list.

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Step 5. Word will add the Spanish language pack into the list of editing languages, and you may have to enable it. Click on “not enabled” to add it.

 

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Step 6. Windows should open up your control panel and the “clock, language and region” settings  where you can add a language. Click on this button.

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Step 7.  Scroll down until you find the Spanish category


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Step 8. Select the Español (Mexico) setting.

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Step 9. You should see this added to the list of languages.

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Step 10. Go back into Word and type some Spanish words

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Step 11. Now click on the language bar “English (United States)” Choose “Spanish (Mexico)” from the list.

 

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Step 12. When you type some more Spanish words you’ll be able to “Right-Click” and fix the words if they are spelled incorrectly or are missing an accent.


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Step 13. You can even go back to the Review Tab and choose Spelling and Grammar to run the spell check on the entire document.



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Step 14. Here’s an example of the dialogue box it will bring up.

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Step 15. And it’ll even  catch missing punctuation.
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Here’s a “quick copy and paste” option if you want to make some quick edits:

http://www.spanishsmalltalk.com/2012/01/15/copy-and-paste-spanish-letters/

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Excellent Spanish Learning site: Spanishpod101.com

I have been learning a lot about this Spanish lessons site called: Spanishpod101.com

Here’s what they say about themselves:

“Why Study with SpanishPod101?

Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101! No more dry, out of date textbook story lines! Here at SpanishPod101, you’ll learn Spanish with fun, interesting and culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to. But not only are they fun – they’re effective too! Join the hundreds of thousands of people already learning Spanish through the power of our mobile apps, desktop software and website with free Spanish lessons released every week!”

spanishpod101

Best Spanish Apps for the iPhone

I wanted to give you the top 5 Spanish iPhone Apps that I use on a day-to-day basis. Most of these apps are free, but if they cost anything, it should only be $0.99 or a few dollars. What’s great about these apps is that they are portable and sync across your iPad and your iPhone. Whenever you have a few free minutes during the day just open up one of these programs and learn a few new words!

1. Duolingo App – FREE

Duolingo - Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian for free

Description: Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Totally fun. Totally free.

PC Magazine Editors’ Choice for Language Learning: “Among iPhone apps for learning or practicing a language, you can’t beat Duolingo.”

“Far and away the best free language-learning app.” —The Wall Street Journal

“We’ve also tried a few other methods such as book learning and Rosetta Stone, both of which bombed. That’s why I jumped at the chance to try Duolingo. And believe me, it’s addictive.” —FluentIn3Months.com

With Duolingo, you learn a language completely free, without ads or hidden charges. You have fun while you learn, leveling up and competing with friends. You have the opportunity to translate real-world texts in the language you are learning, and in doing so, help us translate the Web into other languages.

2. AccelaStudy – Learn Spanish – FREE 

Learn Spanish FREE - AccelaStudy®Description: AccelaStudy is the award-winning language education software for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad that helps you understand and pronounce words in the shortest possible time. Learn new Spanish words quickly, easily, and permanently with AccelaStudy.

Join over 6,000,000 people worldwide who have used AccelaStudy to master a language. Perfect for students, travelers, executives, and anyone who wants to quickly increase their fluency.

• PRONOUNCE each word perfectly after listening to NATIVE SPEAKER audio for all words.

• Fully functional version of AccelaStudy with a useful subset of its 2,400 professional translations
• The vocabulary includes commonly used Spanish VERBS
• SPACED REPETITION feature helps you quickly memorize new words
• Automatic STATISTICS help you track your learning progress
• Searchable DICTIONARY of all vocabulary
• Flashcards
• Multiple Choice Quiz
• Audio Quiz
• Completely HANDS-FREE mode allows you to study vocabulary while driving or jogging

• All text and audio content is contained within the application. No Internet connection is required.

3. MindSnacks – Learn Spanish – FREELearn Spanish - MindSnacks

Description: Start reading, speaking & learning Spanish today with MindSnacks! Our language apps feature 9 addictive games that build essential vocabulary & conversation skills. Perfect for students or travelers of any age who want to learn Spanish.

This app will teach you the language skills you need (and without subjecting you to boring flashcards). Soon you’ll be able to get directions, order food, meet new friends, shop, relax — and more!

“This app is not just your average, run-of-the-mill crash course… It includes complex exercises, challenges, and lessons that make the learning process fun and effective.” – App Safari

“MindSnacks’ games deliver ‘bite-sized’ learning experiences that use social elements and game mechanics to engage users.” – TechCrunch

* FEATURES *

— Nine unique mini-games
— 1000+ words and phrases to master
— Native speaker audio clips and hand-illustrated image library
— 50 Spanish lessons designed by Ivy League instructors (Upgrade required for full access)
— Personalized learning algorithms to maximize memorization, retention & contextual usage
— Enhanced review mode lets you focus on current or mastered lessons
— Additional quests & challenges to keep you motivated

Spanish Word of the Day

4. Spanish Word of the Day – FREE

Description: Start to improve your Spanish today with this easy to use application. Learn with this app daily to

improve your Spanish vocabulary (verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs).

* Spanish word with English translation
* Example sentence showing the usage of the new word
* The data gets updated daily

 

5. Google Translate – FREEGoogle Translate

Description: Translate words and phrases between more than 60 languages using Google Translate for iOS. For most languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations.

With Google Translate you can:

• Translate text between 64 languages
• Translate by speaking the text instead of typing it (17 languages)
• Listen to your translations spoken aloud (24 languages)
• Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others nearby to read
• Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
• Access your translation history even when you’re offline
• Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, etc..) in Latin characters to read it phonetically (e.g. Pinyin, Romaji)

 

Making some huge updates to the web site!

Hey Spanish Small Talk amigos, I’ve been traveling for the past 4 months in Latin America and have been collecting a wide variety of resources. Look for more updates to the web site coming soon!

What is Spanish Fluency

When you think about your goals in learning to Speak Spanish, what do you think of? Sipping coffee with a  Spaniard? Navigating your way through a backpackers trail in Central America?

Let’s take a look at this more official definition from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluency#Language_fluency

Language fluency is used informally to denote broadly a high level of language proficiency, most typically foreign language or another learned language, and more narrowly to denote fluid language use, as opposed to slow, halting use. In this narrow sense, fluency is necessary but not sufficient for language proficiency: fluent language users (particularly uneducated native speakers) may have narrow vocabularies, limited discourse strategies, and inaccurate word use. They may be illiterate, as well. Native language speakers are often incorrectly referred to as fluent.

Fluency in English is basically ones ability to be understood by both native and non native listeners. A higher level would be bilingual, which indicates one is native in two languages, either having learned them simultaneously or one after the other.

In the sense of proficiency, “fluency” encompasses a number of related but separable skills:

  • Reading: the ability to easily read and understand texts written in the language;[3]
  • Writing: the ability to formulate written texts in the language;
  • Comprehension: the ability to follow and understand speech in the language;
  • Speaking: the ability to produce speech in the language and be understood by its speakers.

Spanish FluencyTo some extent, these skills can be acquired separately. Generally, the later in life a learner approaches the study of a foreign language, the harder it is to acquire receptive (auditory) comprehension and fluent production (speaking) skills; however, the Critical Period Hypothesis is a hotly debated topic. For instance, reading and writing skills in a foreign language can be acquired more easily after the primary language acquisition period of youth is over.[citation needed]

So What Does it Take to Become Fluent in Spanish

I would say that for most of us, we’re not really interested in becoming foreign diplomats, so we really aren’t interested in a super high level of Spanish fluency, what we really want, instead is to learn how to speak to our friends in conversations. And for that, we have Spanish Small Talk!

101 Most Common Spanish Phrases – With Audio

101 Most common Spanish Phrases - With Audio

I want to point you over to: http://learn-spanish-courses.topchoicereviews.com/101-most-common-spanish-phrases-with-audio.html

They spent a lot of time compiling this list, here’s a sample below and check out the link for full content!

101 Most common Spanish Phrases – With Audio

I have compiled a list of the most commonly used phrases in the Spanish language. For each word, it’s English translation is shown as well as an audio clip to demonstrate pronounciation. If you are interested in learning Spanish, this is a great place to begin. If you like this presentation, be sure to check out our 101 most common Spanish words collection.

Audio Clip Spanish
Word
English translation
1. Hola. Hello.
2. Adiós. Goodbye.
3. Hasta la vista. See you later.
4. Hasta luego. See you later.
5. Buenos días. Good morning.
6. Buenas tardes. Good afternoon.
7. Buenas noches. Good night.
8. Mucho gusto. It’s a pleasure.
9. Por favor. Please.
10. Gracias. Thank you.

source: http://learn-spanish-courses.topchoicereviews.com/101-most-common-spanish-phrases-with-audio.html

Copy and Paste Spanish Letters

Are you looking to copy and paste Spanish characters? These are sometimes referred to as letters, characters, accents, and I can show you how to change your keyboard layout, but for right now.

Spanish Letters on Your Keyboard

Here’s a quick list for you to just select the character and copy it for what you need.

á

é

í

ó

ú

¿

¡

ü

ñ

Spanish Characters: Using the Alt Key + Numeric Pad

You can also use your numeric keypad to type these special characters.

Instructions: (press and hold) ALT and then enter the number

á = 0225
é = 0233
í = 0237
ó = 0243
ú = 0250
ñ = 0241
ü = 0252

¡ = 0161
¿ = 0191

——

If you’re going to do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word, you’re probably going to want to add the ability to type in Spanish. What’s cool about this option is that it will fix the accents for you, and you can do spell check. It’s really easy to set up and I wrote a post about it here: “How to add Spanish Spell Check for Word 2011 and Word 2013

 

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