All posts by Hannah

5 Fun Facts on Peruvian Culture

1. Things don't always run on time in Peru, and that's nothing out of the ordinary. Peruvians value time spent with their family and relationships more than being punctual.

2. There are three official languages in Peru- Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. You can get by with Spanish, especially in major cities like Cusco and Lima, as many people speak Spanish and one native language.

3. There is a big difference between the rural and urban areas. In rural areas, farming and herding and the seasons dictate the main way of life.

4. The main religion in Peru is Catholicism. Indigenous Peruvians often practice a mix of Christianity and native religions. 

5. When meeting for the first time, Peruvians will often shake hands. According to Rischmoller, "When you get to know each other better, men will often pat each other on the back and women will kiss each other on one cheek. If you are a man meeting a woman for the first time, let the woman initiate the first greeting: She may offer her hand or approach for a cheek kiss.  If you do not know someone really well or are first meeting them, you should address them by SeñorSeñora or Señorita and their last name. Only close friends and family use first names, unless they ask you to call them by their first name. Professionals are addressed by their titles and last names."

What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

Want to experience Peru for yourself? And learn more Spanish? I've got a one of a kind opportunity for you! Check it out here- but don't wait as enrollment closes 12/31/17!

Surprising Travel Essential + How to Say it in Spanish

Spanish travel tip! Don't forget your papel higiénico! It's good for more than just under supplied bathrooms!

What's your favorite non-bathroom related use for TP?

Got the travel bug? Join me and a small group of Spanish learners in Cusco, Peru in October 2018! Learn more!

Dominican Republic Adventure Immersion Trip November 2017

November 2017

The first ever adventure immersion trip with Speak Better Spanish. After almost a year planning this trip, my dream became reality! When I started this business in 2015, I dreamed of growing it to the point where trips like this one would be a possibility, and it is such an amazing feeling to finally experience such a trip with my students!

Three of my adult Spanish students from all over the US joined me for a week in the Dominican Republic to practice speaking Spanish, learn about Dominican culture, enjoy Dominican food and beaches, and have fun!

We spent three nights in a hostel in Santo Domingo, where we went out to eat for typical Dominican food, enjoyed drinks in hammocks and at the hostel pool, visited Tres Ojos National Park for some hiking, walked around the historic Zona Colonial, visited Roman ruins, and took a day trip to Isla Saona via catamaran and speed boat.

Then we took a bus to Las Galeras in Samaná where we explored the town on foot, rode on motorcycles under the stars, ate dinner on the water,  and spent time at the beach. The highlight of the trip was going on an all day horseback riding excursion to a lookout point in Cabo Samaná, with a traditional lunch on a farm, hiking to a deserted beach where we had fresh coconuts and went swimming, hiked up to an overlook over the beach, and explored a cave. We also watched the stars from the roof of an abandoned house and played Jenga over drinks at our hostel.

Check out the full photo album here.

Sad you missed out? Don't be! Join me in Cusco, Peru in October 2018 for another week of Spanish and adventure! If you have been looking to get out of your comfort zone, here's your chance! Payment plans available, but don't delay as registration closes 12/31/17.

Dominican Republic Group Adventure Video

Music credit: Brandon Thompson. You can listen to this track and more by clicking here:

Want in on the next adventure immersion trip?​

My first ever compilation video, featuring a small group of my Spanish students from all over the US. Scenes from:

-Tres Ojos National Park, Santo Domingo, DR
-Speedboat back from Isla Saona, DR
-Horseback riding to Punto, Finca de Cachorro, and Playa Madama in Las Galeras, Samaná, DR
-View from Punto in Cabo Samaná
-Our guide Bernabé cutting open a coconut with his machete on Playa Madama for us to eat the coconut fruit inside
-Deserted Playa Madama beach, Samaná, DR
-Overlook over Playa Madama
-Kite Beach, Cabarete, DR

Looking for more adventure in your life? Join in on the next trip to Peru in October 2018! Payment plans available and almost everything (except the flight there) is included! Join me- but don't wait! Registration closes 12/31/17.

Hannah’s Spanish Vlog: A Day in the Life of an Online Spanish Teacher

My first bilingual vlog! Find out what a day in the life of an online Spanish teacher is like! I'm a digital nomad based in Alabama. In this vlog you'll get some Spanish listening practice as well as a little insight into my life (like what I do all day!).

Let me know in the comments how you are doing (bonus points for answering in Spanish!)

Want more practice speaking Spanish? Join me in Machu Picchu in October 2018 with a small group of Spanish learnering adults of all ages!

Spanish Travel Vocabulary: Locals vs Tourists

Get some quick Spanish vocabulary for locals and tourists, and learn which group I prefer to hang out with when traveling!

Want to put this tip into practice? Join me in Cusco, Peru with a small group of Spanish learning adventurers in October 2018. Learn more.

Spanish Self Study Resource: 12,000 Spanish Idioms Book

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. This is the third in a series of self study resource reviews- some are free, some have a cost, but all are resources I or my students have personally tested and approved!

Today's resource is a Spanish idiom reference book. "The Big Red Book of Spanish Idiomsis geared for beginners and intermediate Spanish learners.

For every learner who has wasted dictionary time looking up the individual parts of a Spanish saying only to have the whole add up to nonsense, The Big Red Book of Spanish Idioms provides innovative and easy access to scores of turns-of-phrase and their idiomatic English equivalents.

With more than 4,000 Spanish expressions arranged by keyword, numerous example sentences, and an extensive index for cross-referencing, you can quickly find phrase-based translations by way of either English or Spanish. Compact and comprehensive, this tool is perfect for a student's backpack or a translator's briefcase.

Here are my thoughts:

This is a pretty comprehensive resource. There are so many idioms that don't translate literally, and they can be so tricky to understand. This resource helps! It is great to be able to look idioms up in either language and find the translation easily! If you want to up your Spanish game to the next novel, learn some idioms!

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!)

If you want to put your new idiomatic knowledge to the test, join me for one on one personalized Spanish lessons for a year and a week of adventure and immersion in Machu Picchu, October 2018.

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

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Self Study Resource Recommendation: Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook

This is the second post in a helpful new series of blog posts on Spanish 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 Spanish travel phrase book by Lonely Planet. "Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook and Dictionaryis geared for beginner and intermediate Spanish learners and is pocket sized for a tiny but very helpful travel tool. Lonely Planet is the world's #1 phrasebook publisher.

Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Spanish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Enjoy the thrilling conversation with a local over sangria, ask about a tucked-away a tablao flamenco or eat your way through a tapas menu; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!

Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation!

  • Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings
  • Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder
  • Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips
  • Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary
  • Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology
  • Meet friends with conversation starter phrases
  • Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides

Inside Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary:

  • Full-colour throughout
  • User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories
  • Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues
  • Convenient features
    • 5 Phrases to Learn Before You Go
    • 10 Ways to Start a Sentence
    • 10 Phrases to Sound like a Local
    • Listen For - phrases you may hear
    • Look For - phrases you may see on signs
    • Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases
    • Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked
  • Covers
    • Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules
    • Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport
    • Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather
    • Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions
    • Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients

Here's ​what I say:

This handy reference guide is both tiny and packed with helpful information. It is divided into sections and each phrase has the Spanish version, English version, and how to sound it out. It also offers questions with appropriate answers, for a real two way conversation. Lots of great travel vocabulary for a variety of travel situations in Spanish, this would be ideal for beginners who may otherwise find themselves struggling to communicate when traveling through a Spanish speaking country. I would definitely recommend this!

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!) There is also a Latin American version.

Want to put those new phrases to good use? Learn more about the October 2018 adventure immersion trip to Machu Picchu plus a year worth of Spanish lessons!

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

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4 Friends Chat in Spanish Online About Their Lives, Plans & Spanish Studies

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!

On 11/2, we discussed:

  1. How we are doing
  2. What we are having for dinner tonight
  3. Our weekend plans
  4. What we are celebrating
  5. If we have a dog or cat (and how to say pet in Spanish)
  6. How long it takes to learn Spanish
  7. Working out
  8. How to say chocolate milk in Spanish
  9. My upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic with my Spanish students
  10. & more!

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

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Top 5 Phrases for Telecommunications Spanish

Language barriers come into play in a variety of workplaces, including the telecommunications industry. All sorts of roles can benefit from this vocabulary, including cable technicans and support staff. When you are assisting Spanish speaking customers, these phrases will really come in handy.

5 Key Telecommunications Spanish Phrases:

  • ¿Qué problemas tiene usted con su red? = What problems do you have with your internet?
  • ¿Usted tiene problemas con su red, verdad? = You are having problems with your internet, right?
  • Los alambres = wires
  • La red = internet
  • Poste telefónico = telephone pole

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.

More Resources on Telecommunications Spanish:

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

You can also work with me one on one to improve your industry specific Spanish! Here's what Cable Technician Eric from FL said about working with me:

"Working in a business dominated by English and Spanish languages is really demanding to be able to communicate effectively. When I asked Hannah to tailor my communication skills I was very pleased with how flexible she was at accommodating the jargon I use with my customers. Thanks Hannah!"

BONUS CONTENT! Click here to get access to a free deck of online flashcards with a total of 13 telecommunications Spanish words and phrases!

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