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Monday, April 5, 2010

SPANISH LESSON - Spanish lesson #2


Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that easy to learn Spanish just by living in Mexico. If you want to communicate with locals and enhance your language skills, you have to make an effort.

The easiest way to learn is to start with little chunks at a time. To assist you, each month we will provide just a few nouns, verbs, conjunctions, phrases, road signs, etc. In addition, the Pronunciation Guide for vowels and consonants will be available in each issue.

As well as practicing the words and phrases every day, be sure to get out and talk to locals. Talking with natives . . . in Spanish! . . . will assist you with proper pronunciation and tone, and enhance your listening and speaking skills. If you practice the information given in each edition every day, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your Spanish skills in no time.

¡Hasta luego!


PRONUNCIATION

Vowels
a - like a in father
e - like e in ten
i - like ee in see
o - like o in rose
u - like oo in shoot; silent following q or g, except when written with an umlaut (ü)
ai, ay - like y in try
au - like ow in cow
ei, ey - like ay in day
ie - like ye in yellow
oi, oy - like oy in boy

Consonants
b - b and v are the same; at the beginning of a word or after m or n, like an English b without a strong puff of breath; otherwise intermediate between an English b and an English v.
c - before a, o, u, and any consonant but h, like k in kitten; before e or i, like s in sit.
cc - like cc in accept
d - at the beginning of a word or after n or l, like English d without strong puff of breath; otherwise, like a softer th in this.
g - when followed by e or i, like h in hit; otherwise like g in gold.
h - silent
j - like h in hot;
ll - like y in yes
q - like k in kite, followed by ue or ui (u is silent)
r - at the beginning of a word or before a pause at the end of a word, like rr; otherwise like dd in ladder.
rr - with a pronounced trill
ü - like ny in canyon
v - same as b
x - like English x; in words derived from Native American languages, sometimes pronounced like h in hit (Mexico)
y - standing alone, like Spanish i; otherwise like Spanish ll
z - in Latin America, like s in sit


ADJECTIVES

aquel - that (over there)
alguno - some, someone (pron)
bueno - good
cierto - certain, sure, true
cada - each, every


ADVERBS

además - also, as well, besides
ahí - there
ahora - now
allí - there, over there
antes - before


CONJUNCTIONS

aunque - although, even though
como - like, as
cuando - when
donde - where
mientras - while, whereas; as long as


NOUNS

año - year
casa - house
caso - case, occasion
parte - part, portion
cosa - thing
PREPOSITIONS

a - to, at
ante - before, in the presence of
bajo - under, underneath
contra - against, opposite
con - with

PRONOUNS

algo - something, somewhat
cuál - which?
cual - which, who, whom
él / ellos - he / them
eso - that



VERBS
Regular verb conjugations: Present (when it is happening now)

PERSON Hablar - to talk comer - to eat vivir - to live
"AR" "ER" "IR"
I - (+o) hablo - I talk; I am talking como vivo
yo

you (friend/child) - (+s) hablas comes vives

he, she, you - (+ ) habla come vive
él, ella, usted

we - (+mos) hablamos comemos vivimos
nosotros, nosotras

they, you all - (+n) hablan comen viven
ellos, ellas, ustedes


abrir - to open
preguntar -
to ask

bailar - to dance
buscar - to look for
caminar - to walk


COMMON PHRASES

My name is... Me llamo...
What's your name? ¿Cómo te llamas?
How are you? ¿Cómo está?
Fine, thanks, and you? Bien, gracias. ¿Y usted?
I'm lost. Estoy perdido(a).
Thanks for your help. Gracias por su ayuda.
Hello/Hi! Hola/Qué tal!
Good morning/Good afternoon. Buenos días/Buenas tardes.
Good evening/Good night. Buenas noches.

ROAD SIGNS


ACOTAMIENTO - Soft Shoulders

ALTO - Stop

AREA DE DESCANSO - Rest Area

ASCENSO Y DESCENSO DE PEAJE A 100 m - Toll Booth Barrier Ahead in 100 m

CALLE SIN SALIDA - Dead End

CAMELLON CENTRAL - Center Divider

CAMINO CERRADO - Road Closed

CAMINO SINUOSO - Winding Road

CARRIL IZQUIERDO SOLO PARA REBASAR - Left lane Only for Passing

CARRIL LATERAL SOLO POR VEHICULOS LIGEROS - Laterals Only for Light Vehicles

CASETA DE COBRO - Toll Booth

CEDA EL PASO AL PEATON - Give Way to Pedestrians

CON LLUVIA DISMINUYA SU VELOCIDAD - In Rain Reduce Your Speed

CON NEBLINA ENCIENDA SUS LUCES - In Fog Turn on Lights

CONCEDA CAMBIO DE CIERRE SU ESCAPE - Close Muffler By-Pass

CONCEDA CAMBIO DE LUCES - Dim Your Lights Approaching Traffic

CONSERVE LIMPIO BAJA CALIFORNIA - Keep Baja California Clean

CONSERVE SU DISTANCIA - Keep Your Distance

CONSERVE SU DERECHA - Keep to Your Right

CRUCE DE ESCOLARES - School Crossing