Archive Monthly Archives: October 2017

Where to Stash Emergency Travel Cash

Check out this short one minute video for several ideas on sneaky places to hide emergency cash for international travel!

Plus, learn how to say cash in Spanish!

Where's your favorite emergency cash hiding spot? Let me know in the comments!

Put your Spanish knowledge and this tip to good use in Machu Picchu in October 2018! 

10/26 Facebook Live Stream Replay

Every Thursday evening I host a Facebook Live stream session for about 30 minutes in the Speak Better Spanish Hangout Facebook group. It's usually a really fun chat where participants get to practice Spanish listening, writing in Spanish, and can ask questions! It's also a great way to get to know other Spanish learners.

I've decided to start recording these sessions to share outside of the group. If you enjoy this video, be sure to join the group to participate in the next one live and get lots of other great free resources for learning Spanish!

Let me know in the comments what you are celebrating today (bonus points if you write it in Spanish!).

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Spanish + Travel + Laughter

Find out how to say "to laugh" and "to laugh at" in Spanish and how this applies to travel in this short video!

Can you use reir or reirse de in a sentence in Spanish? Give it a shot in the comments!

For those struggling to make consistent progress in Spanish, wanting to make new friends with similar interests, or to have epic adventures in a breathtaking setting far from home- I have a very exciting experience to share with you! Imagine weekly Spanish learning, a private group environment to get to know other Spanish learners with similar goals, all culminating in a week spent speaking Spanish and being immersed in Peruvian culture in the stunning city of Cusco. This one of a kind opportunity combines learning, friendship, and adventure for those who want it all! The experience begins upon registration and lasts until October 2018. Up to 10 students will have the opportunity for this one of a kind hybrid learning and adventure model. Learn more.

Free Resource Recommendation: Best Spanish Word of the Day Emails

In this new series, I'll be offering up free resources for Spanish learners!

It doesn't get much more convenient then a short email in your inbox every day with a new Spanish word of the day. What a great way to build vocabulary! I signed up for every free Spanish word of the day service I could find, and these two came out on top!


SpanishD¡ct Word of the Day

  1. Vocabulary word + translation + audio
  2. Two contextual examples in Spanish and English
  3. A "Do You Remember?" Section with clickable randomized vocabulary words from the last month
  4. Hannah says: Simple & Thorough
  5. Get it here for free



Transparent Language Spanish Word of the Day

  1. Vocabulary word + translation + part of speech + audio
  2. One contextual examples in Spanish and English
  3. The option to find that word used on Twitter
  4. Hannah says: I like having the part of speech. Otherwise, the main difference is one example instead of two but it has the Twitter option.
  5. Get it here for free



I highly recommend you check those awesome free resources out! Have another free resource recommendation for Spanish learners? Let me know in the comments!




For those struggling to make consistent progress in Spanish, wanting to make new friends with similar interests, or to have epic adventures in a breathtaking setting far from home- I have a very exciting experience to share with you! Imagine weekly Spanish learning, a private group environment to get to know other Spanish learners with similar goals, all culminating in a week spent speaking Spanish and being immersed in Peruvian culture in the stunning city of Cusco. This one of a kind opportunity combines learning, friendship, and adventure for those who want it all! The experience begins upon registration and lasts until October 2018. Up to 10 students will have the opportunity for this one of a kind hybrid learning and adventure model. Learn more.



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Self Study Recommendation: Anabela Por Siempre Short Story

This is the first of what I hope will become a helpful new series of blog posts- self study recommendations! Some will be free, some will be for a cost, but all will be things I have personally tested myself or with my students. There are so many Spanish learning resources out there, it's hard to know what is worth your time and money...that's where these blog posts come in.

Today I'm sharing a short story. It's a novel, but it's not extremely long. "Anabela por siempre "is geared for intermediate Spanish learners, is 6,400 words long and uses all of the Spanish tenses and moods. The vocabulary is limited and some of the difficult words are translated within the text itself.

"Anabela por siempre" was written as a project by a Spanish IV class and their teacher in 2009 (revised in 2014). This mini-novel paints suspense and enduring friendship on an El Salvadoran canvas. Spanish students with an Intermediate level of Spanish will race across the countryside with Anabela and Robert, college students at the University of El Salvador. The presence of traditional Salvadoran mythological characters, such as the horrible Siguanaba, bring fantasy to this intermediate level novel.

Here's what one of my students, John P. has to say about it:

"It was a good little story, and I'd certainly recommend it for sort of intermediates like me.  It was very helpful in my working with past tenses.  The last 2 or 3 chapters got so easy to read, and I was only having to look up a few words a chapter.  I decided to check out the author's website, and ended up buying 4 other ones.  Recommend these for your other students."

If you are interested in picking up a copy, you can click my affiliate link here, or a non-affiliate link here. (That's right, I like it so much that I will recommend it even with no financial benefit to me! Enjoy!)

What's your favorite Spanish learning resource and why? Let me know in the comments!



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Facebook Live Spanish Chat- All Levels Welcome!

Join me for an informal Spanish chat for all levels- free! Let's get to know each other in Spanish! Ask questions in a supportive and encouraging environment. Get practice writing in Spanish and listening. Boost your confidence.

You can drop in anonymously and view the video right here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1880508425558368/. I can't see who is watching unless you choose to comment. If you want to participate in conversation, that's great too! All you have to do to participate is click the link to join the FB group and then at the scheduled time click the live streaming notification when I start the video!

If you can't make it live and have questions, just email them to me (hannah@speakbetterspanish.com) and I'll answer them on the video, which will be available for replay. These have been a lot of fun and a great opportunity to practice Spanish for free in the past. Hope to see you!

Check for upcoming dates and times.

Recently, these events have been held on a weekly basis on Thursday evenings from 8:15-8:45 pm Central US time, but that schedule may change in the future.



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Comment Policy

This policy applies to the Speak Better Spanish Hangout Facebook group, all social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn & Facebook), the Speak Better Spanish YouTube channel, and all comments on SpeakBetterSpanish.com.

Comments are welcomed and encouraged, but there are some instances where comments will be edited or deleted as follows:

  1. Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the post topic.
  2. Comments including profanity will be deleted.
  3. Comments containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive will be deleted. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
  4. Comments that attack an individual directly will be deleted.
  5. Comments that harass other posters will be deleted. Please be respectful toward other contributors.

The owner of this business reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted without notice. This comment policy is subject to change at any time. If you have any questions on the commenting policy, please let us know at hannah@speakbetterspanish.com.



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7 Key Spanish Phrases for Law Enforcement

Language barriers come into play in a variety of workplaces, including law enforcement. All sorts of roles can benefit from this vocabulary. Whether you are a police officer, detective, criminal investigator, correctional officer, jailer, sheriff, security guard, private detective, private investigator, or any of the numerous other roles law enforcement officials can play- this can help. Occasionally an interpreter may not be available to help a law enforcement officer communicate with a Spanish speaker. That’s when these phrases will really come in handy!

7 Key Law Enforcement Spanish Phrases:

Stop. = Parése (to one person)/Parénse (to multiple people).

Show me your hands. = Muéstreme las manos. (to one person)

Drop it. = Dejelo.

Do you have any weapons or contraband? = ¿Tiene algunas armas o contrabando?

What is your name? = ¿Cuál es su nombre?

What was he/she wearing? = ¿Cómo se vistió?

What did they take? = ¿Qué llevó? (in the sense of what item was taken)

What did they take? = ¿Qué tomó? (in the sense of what medicine/drugs were taken)

These are all written in the usted form, which is the formal and more respectful way to speak to a stranger in Latin America and Spain (or the plural, which is ustedes and indicated as plural.

More Resources on Law Enforcement Spanish:

To learn even more law enforcement Spanish, check out this awesome list from Slanguage, where pronunciation is made easy.

Want more practice with Spanish? Join our free private Facebook group for Spanish learners of all levels!

BONUS CONTENT! Click here to get access to a free deck of online flashcards with a total of 45 Spanish words and phrases for law enforcement!



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Spanish Q&A #1 with Hannah

Trying something new, which is answering some of the questions I received from Spanish students this week in a video and this accompanying blog post. If there is interest, I may continue doing this on a weekly basis. Submit your questions for the next video in the comments!

  • What’s the difference between hablar and decir? Hablar means to talk or to speak and decir means to tell. There is some overlap, but generally they are used the same way that we use to talk/to speak/to tell in English.
  • What’s the difference between the preterite and the imperfect (how do I say something in the past in Spanish)? The preterite is for completed actions, something within a specific time frame with a specific beginning and end, or something that happened a specific number of times in the past. The imperfect is used for something ongoing in the past, when we are expressing something in the past without a specific number of repetitions or a specific beginning and end point, and setting the scene/giving descriptions in the past. Learn more: https://studyspanish.com/grammar/lessons/pretimp4
  • Is familia singular or plural? Would you say “La familia está feliz.” Or “La familia están felices.”? Even though the meaning of the word is plural (since a family usually has multiple members) the actual word is singular. We know it is singular because it does not end in an s. Since it is singular, we need to apply third person singular verb conjugations (the él/ella/usted form) when we are using it in a sentence, so “La familia está feliz.” La gente is in the same category (means people so has a plural meaning) but is a singular word.
  • When we use the present progressive (a form of estar plus a verb ending in ando/iendo- example Estoy comiendo), and a woman is doing the action, does comiendo change to comienda? Here, comiendo is a participle and is part of the verb tense. We do change the form of estar to match up with the subject (the person doing the action) BUT we do not change the participle, no matter whether the person doing the action is singular, plural, male, or female.
  • How do I say that something doesn’t work in Spanish? Trabajar means to work in the context of a job. Funcionar also means to work, but in the context of to function. If the lamp doesn’t work, we say “La lámpara no funciona.” Sometimes native speakers will use trabajar in place of funcionar, but if you want to be grammatically correct we need to use funcionar there.
  • (Not a question, but an observation.) The contraction al is formed from a + el. Instead of saying “Voy a el restaurant,” we say “Voy al restaurante.”

Questions? Let me know in the comments.




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