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Stay with a Family in Latin America and Learn Spanish

So you have started learning Spanish and you want to take it to the next level? Well, by staying with a family in Latin America you will be able to become fluent in Spanish very quickly. A few years ago I ventured to deepest, darkest Peru to stay with a Peruvian family on the coast. […]

Jan 15, 2014  Comments: 0

Make Learning Spanish Fun – Mix Up the Learning Experience

That old adage that variety is the spice of life is absolutely true. When it comes to learning Spanish by mixing up your learning experiences you will have far more fun learning the language and will come into contact with a wide range of Spanish too. While it is great to enroll in a Spanish […]

Jan 6, 2014  Comments: 0

Watch TV and Learn Spanish

Using TV, whether it is broadcast programs or DVDs, can be a great tool for helping you to learn Spanish. It might be called the idiot box from time to time, but when you are trying to master Spanish that is a misnomer. In fact, it can be one of your greatest resources. Using video […]

Jan 4, 2014  Comments: 0

How The Internet Can Help You Learn Spanish

What would we do without the Internet? It has changed our lives in so many ways, one of which is helping to learn a foreign language. The Internet is flush with millions of Spanish language learning resources that are waiting for you to utilize them. There is no doubt about it, the Internet has drastically […]

Jul 23, 2013  Comments: 0

Leaning Spanish – Part 6 – Using Text Books

In my last article I started to talk about a Spanish textbook called ‘Pasos’. This was the textbook I used when I first started learning Spanish. When I started studying from it I didn’t use it to its full potential. This was really down to time constraints and the fact I was about to embark […]

Jul 18, 2013  Comments: 0

Be Realistic, Learning Spanish Takes Longer Than Six Weeks

People often sign up for a six week Spanish program and are shocked when they complete the course and cannot communicate with aplomb in Spanish. If this statement sounds like it holds just a grain of truth for you, then you need to be realistic. Learning Spanish takes longer than six weeks. Think about this: […]

Jul 14, 2013  Comments: 0

How to Build a Strong Spanish Vocabulary

Building up a strong Spanish vocabulary is important to improve your ability to understand conversations that happen around you and to make you sound like a smart cookie when you speak or write in Spanish. There are many different ways that you can strengthen your vocabulary, try using a few of the following techniques and […]

Jul 5, 2013  Comments: 0

The Benefits of a One on One Spanish Teacher

There are several benefits to getting yourself a one on one Spanish teacher. Since I have run the gauntlet of just about every study Spanish option there is, I am going to share with you my experiences and you can decide for yourself which road to go down. It cannot be denied that a personal […]

Jul 4, 2013  Comments: 0

Part 4 – Learning “Parrot Fashion” or Learning Spanish grammar?

In my last article I started to write about some of the first steps I took when I decided to learn the Spanish language. In this article I want to talk about two different approaches to learning a new language that you may want to think about before you dive head long into a text […]

Jul 3, 2013  Comments: 0

Travel Through Latin America and Learn Spanish at the Same Time

Latin America with its hypnotic rhythms, exotic cuisines, verdant rainforests, ancient civilizations and tropical beaches offers a dizzying concoction of potential travel experiences. From hiking the Inca Trail to penguin spotting in Patagonia, Latin America is an exciting and memorable travel destination. Spanish dominates Latin America, in fact there are more than 400 million Spanish […]

Jul 1, 2013  Comments: 0

What Makes a Good Spanish Student?

There are several factors that add up to create a good Spanish student. Having been a language teacher and language learner for many years I have seen first hand many different learners: I have seen people excel in language learning and for various reasons I have seen people stagnate in their learning. If you want […]

Jun 28, 2013  Comments: 0

Why Study Spanish Grammar?

It is true that one of the best ways to learn Spanish is to dive right in and immerse yourself in the language. Throwing off your inhibitions and chatting away to Spanish speakers helps to develop good pronunciation, fluency and a grasp of juicy slang words. This is the way that you and I learned […]

Jun 26, 2013  Comments: 0

Learning Spanish – Part 3 – Taking Your First Steps

In the last article I talked about mental preparation. If you are thinking about learning Spanish then it makes sense to think carefully about what you hope to achieve and how you hope to achieve it. This is because the learning process is likely to be a long one and full of trials and tribulations. […]

Jun 25, 2013  Comments: 0

Where does the Spanish language come from?

Languages are living and malleable: that is, they are constantly evolving and changing. Spanish is no exception and what we know as Spanish today is the result of the blending of several linguistic elements. Spanish is typically classed as a Romance language that is, one that has evolved from Latin. It also belongs to the […]

Jun 24, 2013  Comments: 0

A Guide to Learning Spanish – Mental Preparation

In the last article; ‘Anybody can learn Spanish’ I talked about the different reasons why people might decide to learn Spanish. I also talked about the great sense of achievement that learning another language can bring you. In this article I am going to talk about the different things you should consider before embarking on […]

Jun 23, 2013  Comments: 0

Where Does the Spanish Language Come From?

Languages are living and malleable: that is, they are constantly evolving and changing. Spanish is no exception and what we know as Spanish today is the result of the blending of several linguistic elements. Spanish is typically classed as a Romance language that is, one that has evolved from Latin. It also belongs to the […]

Jun 22, 2013  Comments: 0

Whats The Best Way To Learn Spanish

So you have decided that you are going to take the plunge and learn Spanish? Great idea, with more than 400 million Spanish speakers in more than 20 countries around the world, it is a very handy language to have up your sleeve. You may be wondering what the best way for you to learn […]

Jun 20, 2013  Comments: 0

The Best Way to Learn Spanish is to Get a Spanish Speaking Girlfriend / Boyfriend

People often talk tongue in cheek about the “language of love” when two people from opposing cultures and languages get together. But… if you want to become fluent in Spanish, then one of the best ways to do it is to get a Spanish speaking girlfriend or boyfriend. I met my partner in Japan: he […]

Jun 18, 2013  Comments: 0

Teach English in Latin America and Learn Spanish at the Same Time

Feel like adding a bit of spark to your life and broadening your horizons? Why not consider teaching English in Latin America and learning Spanish at the same time? There are multitudes of locations all around Latin America that offer programs where you can teach English to locals while becoming a Spanish speaker. If you […]

Jun 17, 2013  Comments: 0

How is Latin American Spanish Different?

There is a far bigger difference between the Spanish that is spoken in Spain and Latin American Spanish than exists between British and American English. The Spanish from Spain has some very different grammar, vocabulary and slang to that which is spoken in Latin America. Latin Americans differentiate the Spanish they speak by calling it […]

Jun 15, 2013  Comments: 0

Los Professiónes - Professions (What do we do?)
All nouns in Spanish are either masculine or feminine. Nouns that refer to inanimate objects (those that are not living), usually only ever have one gender. Sometimes a noun can take both a masculine and feminine form when it refers to a person or other living thing that can be separated by gender.

The names we use to describe our professions are examples of nouns that usually take both a masculine and feminine form. This is even common practice in English where gender is much less important (waiter / waitress - for example).

accountant el contador la contadora
artist el artista la artista
barman el camarero la camarera
bouncer el gorila
builder el constructor la constructora
butler el mayordomo  
cashier el cajero la cajera
chef el cocinero la cocinera
cleaner el limpiador la limpiadora
cook el cocinero la cocinera
dancer el bailarín la bailarina
dentist el dentista la dentista
doctor el doctor la doctora
driver el conductor la conductora
entertainer el artista la artista
fireman el bombero la bombera
hairdresser el peluquero la peluquera
housewife el ama de casa
maid   la criada
mechanic el mecánico la mecánico
nurse el enfermero la enfermera
painter el pintor la pintora
pilot el piloto la piloto
plumber el fontanero la fontanera
poet el poeta la poeta
politician el político la política
postman / woman el cartero la cartera
presenter el presentador la presentadora
receptionist el recepcionista la recepcionista
salesman / woman el vendedor la vendedora
secretary el secretario la secretaria
guard el guardia la guardia
singer el cantante la cantante
soldier el soldado la soldado
lawyer el abogado la abogada
street entertainer el artista ambulante la artista ambulante
surgeon el cirujano la cirujana
technician  el técnico la técnica
vet el veterinario la veterinaria
waiter / waitress el camarero la camarera
writer el escritor la escritora
Professions and gender

It is not always easy to identify the gender of a particular noun by the way it is spelt! When learning Spanish nouns it is a good idea to learn the article that goes with the noun; 'el' for masculine and 'la' for feminine.

Much more information on articles is given in the lesson entitled 'Articles - definite / indefinite.' Some professions in Spanish have only one gender. 'el gorila'
(bouncer) and 'el ama de casa' (housewife) are examples.

You might be wondering why the Spanish word for housewife which is feminine takes a masculine articel 'el'!

Some feminine nouns that begin with 'a' or 'ha' take masculine articles. Without them the two words together would sound strange.

Some professions in Spanish take the same masculine and feminine forms but take different articles; 'el artista' - masculine and 'la artista' - feminine.

Asking and saying what we do

¿Qué haces? - what do you do?

¿A qué te dedicas? - What do you do? (At what do you dedicate yourself?)

¿Cuál es tu profesión? - What's your profession?

¿Dónde trabajas? - Where do you work?

Soy un carpintero, ¿y tú? - I'm a carpenter, and you?

Much more information about how we ask questions and how we talk about ourselves is given in the online lessons.
In Spanish many of the masculine nouns end in 'o' and many of the feminine nouns end in 'a'. Sometimes the noun takes the same form for both genders.
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