Press & Praise Website Updates

I have a couple of new and exciting updates to share today!

  1. I’ve updated the Press page on my website. I’ve been featured on Quora, Spanish with Estefy, The Leap Podcast & RemoteSource. The formatting isn’t exactly the way I would like yet, but hey, it’s a start! Progress over perfection. More website updates coming little by little.
  2. I’ve added Praise to my website (well, a link to my facebook page’s reviews).  See what students have said about working with me!
  3. You can now join my DuoLingo classroom for free, for extra accountability. I get a weekly email update on your progress. This has been added under free resources.
  4. I’ve officially changed over the name on just about everything from the original business name, Rompiendo Las Barreras (Breaking Barriers) to Speak Better Spanish. Since my target market is English speakers that want to learn Spanish, as much as the name Rompiendo Las Barreras calls to me, Speak Better Spanish makes more sense from a marketing perspective. Now “Rompiendo Las Barreras” is my tag line. I’ve even changed it over on facebook, which was the most difficult process, surprisingly!
  5. I set my intention at the beginning of this year to focus on Spanish related work, and here I am 9 months later, doing almost all Spanish related work. When I graduated from college 6 years ago with a Spanish degree, the only thing I wanted in a job was for it to use Spanish. I didn’t want to be a public school teacher, and it never occurred to me that I could and would become an online Spanish teacher working one on one with individuals! It took 6 years, but I’ve finally achieved that goal. Sometimes the things we want most take a lot longer than we would like- but don’t give up!
  6. I’ve been doing monthly giveaways like this one (ends 9/18 5:00pm Central)
  7. The Speak Better Spanish facebook group has grown to 68 members as of this post. That is awesome! I share daily Spanish content, including weekly live videos. We had a really fun informal Spanish conversation during the live video two weeks ago!
  8. I’ve just begun writing what will eventually become an e-book resource for Spanish learners! It will be exciting to see how it evolves over time. For now, some things that will be included are:
    -how to speak Spanish when you are afraid to do so
    -reference guides on conversational topics with 1 on 1 conversational prompts and example dialogues (for example- I’ll present weather related vocabulary and phrases then a dialogue then questions to facilitate a conversation in spanish using the weather vocabulary)
    -grammar faqs (when to use ser vs estar, plus plus a dialogue, plus convo prompts )
    -all the best free spanish learning resource recommendations
    -and way more!!!

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1 Spot Left- Dominican Republic November 2017!

1 spot just opened up to join me in the Dominican Republic from November 12-18, 2017! 3 other students plus Matt and I will be spending a week adventuring through the beautiful island. Excursions, meals, beverages, all in-country transit and tips are included! Go on an all day horseback riding excursion to a secluded beach, visit Tres Ojos National Park where three lakes are hidden underground, explore the historic Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, take a speedboat and catamaran to a day of relaxation on Isla Saona, and so much more! Learn more: http://www.rompiendolasbarreras.com/dominican-republic-trip/

Email me with questions: hannah@speakbetterspanish.com

 

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latin-american-phrasebook-giveaway

Latin American Phrasebook Giveaway

Latin American Phrasebook Giveaway! This pocket sized reference book is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Latin American Spanish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Share your entry link (that you will see immediately after entering), and if a friend signs up through your link you automatically get 1 bonus entry!

Contest ends 9/18/17 at 5:00pm Central.

Enter here: http://woobox.com/ri27dh

Learn more about the book (affiliate link) or click here for a regular link.

Have a request for a future giveaway? Let me know in the comments



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Spanish Listening Practice

I know a lot of us learning Spanish struggle to understand spoken Spanish. It’s one of the hardest parts of learning the language is listening comprehension. I’ve recently discovered podcasts and there are lots of great (free!) podcasts out there for Spanish learners! If you aren’t familiar with podcasts, basically they are audio recordings, much like a shorter version of an audio book. They can vary in length from less than 5 minutes, to 15 minutes, to an hour. They often contain educational or fun talks on different topics or interviews with experts. Here’s what you need to do to get started (you will need a smart phone or tablet and internet connection).

1. Download a free podcast app- just search the app store on your phone or tablet for podcast. I have podcast go- I really don’t think there’s much difference among them.

2. In the search bar, type in Spanish (or whatever other topic you may be interested in).

Here are some beginner & intermediate Spanish podcasts (mostly in English with some Spanish, followed by English explanations):
Coffee Break Spanish
News in Slow Spanish
Spanish Q&A
Accelerated Spanish
Beginner Spanish With Spanish Obsessed

Here are some of my favorite advanced Spanish podcasts (most of these are completely in Spanish):
Medical Spanish Podcast & Spanish Grammar Review
Español automático
learn spanish- spanishpodcast.net
yabla
advanced spanish with spanish obsessed

3. Then you can “favorite” podcasts to be updated when you log into the app of their new episodes. Lots of podcasts haven’t shared anything in months- I usually don’t subscribe to those because I want something I can listen to consistently.

4. You can also add individual episodes to your playlist and come back to them later.

5. You can also download podcasts so that you can listen offline (for example while in your car or on an airplane). That’s it!

If you are a podcast listener, whether to Spanish podcasts or otherwise, I’d love to hear from you which one(s) is your favorite and why!

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GIVEAWAY! Win 4 Online Spanish Lessons!

Win Free Online Spanish Lessons!

Whether you are a total beginner to learning Spanish and know less than 10 words, are an intermediate learner, or simply want practice speaking in Spanish, you can win 4 free online Spanish lessons! Each lesson is an hour long and completely personalized to your goals, prior knowledge, and learning style!

Click the image below to enter, but hurry as contest ends at 5:00pm Central on Monday 8/21/17!

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Speak Spanish With Confidence

As an English speaker learning Spanish, it's natural to feel nervous or uncomfortable when you are speaking with Spanish speakers, including native speakers. Try these tips to Speak Spanish with Confidence!

Tips to Speak Spanish With Confidence:

1. Try not to worry what other people think of you. Most of the time, everyone is more focused on themself then they are worried about other people.

2. How do you feel when someone makes an effort to communicate with you in English, when English is not their native language? You probably appreciate their effort, right? Now put yourself in their shoes.

3. Work through the "pain period," where it feels uncomfortable to speak Spanish. It's uncomfortable, and you might not be saying everything 100% right, but pushing through and continuing to speak during this pain period is the only way to get better.  Studying grammar and the rules of the language alone won't get you to a conversational level- only practice will! Remember: if you can get your point across, even if you didn't say it 100% correctly, isn't that what communication is all about? Then you have successfully communicated!

Even More Tips to Speak Spanish With Confidence:

4. Context is essential! Different words can mean different things in different  context. When asking for clarification, be sure to give the full context. Example: ¿Cómo se dice 'used"? Used to talk- hablaba VS used car- carro usado

5. Try rephrasing what you want to say in English, to see if when you rephrase it triggers some Spanish knowledge that will help you communicate. Example: most of my friends = the majority of my friends = la mayoría de mis amigos

6. Use similar English words when you can, like mucho or grande to broaden your vocabulary.

Bonus tip: Memorize one phrase and practice it on a Spanish speaker to build confidence. Try "Hola, ¿cómo está usted?" for "Hi, how are you?"

More Ways to Speak Spanish With Confidence:

To build your confidence, try traveling to a Spanish speaking country! Immersion is a great way to learn! 1 spot left for the Dominican Republic adventure immersion trip and registration closes 7/31/17. Sign up today to get a bonus of 4 free Spanish lessons, personalized to your level! 

Here are some more great tips from FluentU on Spanish confidence!

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How to say “I Love You” in Spanish

Have a loved one that you want to express your feelings to in Spanish? The rules change depending on whether that person is a significant other, friend, or family member. Watch this video to make sure what you say is what you mean, when you say I Love You in Spanish!

How to say I Love You in Spanish:

Te quiero = I care about you
Used for friends, extended family, and loved ones. Not used for a romantic "I love you."
Ojo (careful), querer means to want, so you might guess that te quiero means I want you (in a sexual/physical way). This is not the case!

Te amo = I (romantically) love you.
Only used with your romantic partner or immediate family members (parents and siblings).
Not used as frequently in Spanish speaking countries as it is in the US. Rather than many times a day, it might be said once a day in general in Spanish speaking countries.

Te adoro = I adore you
Used with your romantic partner as a sweet alternative to te amo.

Other Vocabulary Related to I Love You in Spanish:

Enamorarse- to fall in love
casarse- to get married
comprometerse- to get engaged
esposo/esposa- spouse
una boda- wedding
una cita- a date
el amor- love
la atracción- attraction
tener una relación- to have a relationship
convivir- to live together

Other Resources Related to I Love You in Spanish:

In the facebook group for Spanish learners that I run, I just shared this sweet love song. You can find the lyrics in Spanish here for reference.

Fall in love with the Dominican Republic in November 2017, with a small group of Spanish learning adventurers! One space just opened up- will it be yours? Learn more here!

What's your favorite way to say I Love You in Spanish? Let us know in the comments!​

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How to say “I Miss You” in Spanish

Have a loved one that you miss? Want to express that in Spanish? Check out this video and blog post to find out howto say I miss you in Spanish!

How to Say I Miss You in Spanish:

Te extraño. = I miss you. (Latin America).
Te echo de menos. = I miss you. (Spain)

You will notice that the way to say I miss you varies from Spain to Latin America, but in both cases, the phrases are reflexive (use te to mean to you). These examples utilize the informal you (tú), rather than the formal you (usted), assuming that if you miss someone you are likely very close and familiar with them.

Te extraño comes from extrañarse, which means to miss someone (Latin America). Te echo de menos comes from echarse de menos, which means to miss someone (Spain). 

Echo is pronounced a-cho, which is not how it might appear to be pronounced based on a similar English word. The video above will help with what it should sound like!

Examples of I Miss You in Spanish:

Mi amor, te extraño tanto. = My love, I miss you so much.
Mi cielo, te echo de menos. = My love, I miss you.
No me gusta estar tan lejos de ti. Te extraño. = I don't like to be so far from you. I miss you.
Papá, te echo de menos. Espero que estés bien. = Dad, I miss you. I hope you are well.

In each of the above examples, be sure to match te echo de menos or te extraño with the appropriate region of Spain or Latin America. You can use te echo de menos or te extraño with anyone you are close to- friends, family, or a romantic partner.

Other Relevant Spanish Resources:

Recently I found out about the Slow News in Spanish Podcast, which looks like an excellent resource for Spanish learners. Listening can be a difficult exercise, so this is a great way to practice if you love podcasts!

Additionally, if you have been wanting to learn Spanish but haven't made the progress you wanted on your own, and you are craving an adventure in a Spanish speaking country, check out the just released Peru adventure immersion trip in 2018! It's a unique package including up to a year and 5 months of weekly Spanish lessons over video chat, monthly video chat calls to get to know other participants, plus a week long trip with your new friends to Cusco! Sometimes having a deadline and something to work for, plus the accountability of regular online lessons is enough motivation to help you achieve new levels of Spanish success! Check it out here!

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5 Key Medical Spanish Phrases

Disclaimer: Practitioners should not rely solely on the medical Spanish content of this website to evaluate, diagnose or treat medical conditions. The information on this website is meant only to serve as a tool for health care providers who want to improve their ability to communicate with their Spanish-speaking patients; it does not replace the services of a trained medical interpreter (which may be required by law).

If you work in the medical field, you won't want to miss this video and blog post! I will teach you five key medical Spanish phrases including ones relating to medication!

All sorts of different medical professionals can benefit from this vocabulary. Whether you are a doctor, nurse, EMT, paramedic, dietician, or any of the other numerous roles that medical providers play- this can help. Occasionally an interpreter may not be available to help a medical provider communicate with a Spanish speaking patient. That’s when these phrases will really come in handy!

5 Key Medical Spanish Phrases:

​¿Adónde le duele? = Where does it hurt?
¿Toma algún medicamento? = Do you take any medication? (If the patient response is 'Sí,' then you can ask '¿Cúal?' to clarify which medication(s) they take.)
¿Cúales medicamentos ha tomado hoy? = Which medications have you taken today?
¿Está embarazada? = Are you pregnant?
¿Tiene alguna condición médica? = Do you have any medical condition(s)?

The third and fourth phrases are similar in meaning but have different implications. For example, a patient may normally take a medication, but perhaps had not had their dosage today. In certain scenarios, this is an important difference, such as if it was a seizure preventative. 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 Medical Spanish:

To learn how to name different parts of the body, check out this awesome list from Study Spanish.

Want more practice with Spanish? Join our free private Facebook group for Spanish learners of all levels! Or, come along on an adventure immersion trip!

BONUS CONTENT! Enter your email address below to receive 71 other helpful Spanish phrases with audio and English translations, for a total of 76 medical Spanish phrases!​

Get the 71 bonus Spanish medical phrases (with audio) now!

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Discussing the Weather in Spanish

Discussing the Weather in Spanish

Talking about the weather is a common pastime. Learn how discussing the weather in Spanish can not only help you pass the time with your Spanish speaking friends and acquaintances, but also how it can help you prepare for the day when visiting Spanish speaking countries!

Examples of Discussing the Weather in Spanish

​Asking about the weather:

1. ¿Cómo está el clima? OR ¿Cómo está el tiempo? - How is the weather?
2. ¿Qué tiempo hace? - What's the weather like?
3. ¿Cómo está el clima/tiempo en (name of city)? - How is the weather in (city)?

How to respond using hace:

1. Hace calor - It's hot
2. Hace frío - It's cold
3. Hace fresco - It's brisk/cool
4. Hace sol - It's sunny
5. Hace viento - It's windy
6. Hace buen/mal tiempo - The weather is good/bad

​How to respond using hay:

1. Hay humedad - It's humid
2. Hay nubes - It's cloudy
3. Hay niebla - It's foggy
4. Hay lluvia - It's raining

​How to respond using está:

1. Está lluvioso - It's raining
2. Está nublado - It's cloudy
3. Está oscuro - It's dark

Single Verb Responses:

In addition to using hace, hay, and está, sometimes you can easily use a single verb to describe the current weather, such as using llueve to say 'it's raining,' or nieva for 'it's snowing.' And for more information on weather expressions in Spanish, check out this link for a comprehensive guide.

Tiempo for Time and for Discussing the Weather in Spanish

Finally, talking about the weather in Spanish usually prompts the question, 'How do you know when tiempo means time versus weather?' ¿Cómo está el tiempo? and ¿Qué tiempo hace? will always mean 'How is the weather?' And '¿Qué hora es?' will always mean 'What time is it?' Otherwise, use context clues. For example, 'Tenemos mucho tiempo antes de la fiesta' probably means 'We have a lot of time before the party,' rather than 'We have a lot of weather before the party.' However, if you said 'Tenemos mucho tiempo acá en Seattle,' then you might be talking about having a lot of weather (rain), or having a lot of time to spend in that city if you are on vacation. Additionally, if that sentence was followed by 'Me gusta la lluvia,' then you would know that the original use of tiempo was in reference to weather!

Thank you!

We appreciate you taking a moment to read over this blog and watch the video above. Please submit any Spanish related questions you have in the comments below, and be sure to check out the other free resources on our site. ¡Muchas gracias!

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