- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
You're no idiot, of course. You know the difference between a verb and a noun, know "adios" means good-bye, and can even order margaritas with just the right flair. But when it comes to mastering a language, all you can do is order the "taco grande." Don't rip up that menu just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Spanish on Your Own, Second Edition makes learning the language fun and easy. Whether you're planning a vacation or a business trip, this new edition adds new phrases and vocabulary words to help...
Ships from: Lake Elsinore, CA
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from: acton, MA
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
You're no idiot, of course. You know the difference between a verb and a noun, know "adios" means good-bye, and can even order margaritas with just the right flair. But when it comes to mastering a language, all you can do is order the "taco grande." Don't rip up that menu just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Spanish on Your Own, Second Edition makes learning the language fun and easy. Whether you're planning a vacation or a business trip, this new edition adds new phrases and vocabulary words to help you gain confidence in speaking Spanish. In this fully revised and updated edition, you get:
Presents a quick and easy way to learn Spanish, and gain confidence speaking the language. Provides quick and easy ways to make sense of unfamiliar words and phrases, understand grammar, and culture of Spanish speaking countries. Softcover.
Part 4: Problem Solving
Chapter 19: Getting Great Service
[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]
Do you love chocolate? How about potatoes and tomatoes? Do you take a taxi often?When the weather is nice, do you sit on your patio? Can you play the piano? Perhapsyou have a sweater made from the wool of an alpaca. And you've probably been stungby a mosquito more than once in your life. Well, look at that--you know some Spanishalready! You're probably unaware that your vocabulary is filled with words and phrasesborrowed from Spanish. Many other words and expressions are so similar to ours thatyou'll be able to use and understand them with very little trouble. By the time youfinish this chapter, you'll be well on your way to creating simple, correct Spanishsentences that will enable you to express your ideas and opinions.
My husband makes frequent trips to the video store, especially in the summer whenall the television stations show reruns. He takes his time and often spends an houror more trying to pick out the pe rfect film for the evening. His taste is very eclectic:One night we'll watch a Japanese samurai warrior film, and the next night we'll watcha French romantic comedy. More often than not, he picks out foreign films. He thinksthey are interesting and different from what we are used to. Although he only speaksEnglish, he enjoys the experience of listening to native speakers.
One night he rented Like Water for Chocolate, a wonderful but sad Spanishlove story. We sat in front of the TV for about two hours, totally involved in thetale being told. At one point, to my great astonishment, I noticed my husband wasn'treading the titles. I thought perhaps he was bored by the romance, but that wasn'tthe case. When I asked him why he wasn't reading, he said he understood what thepeople were saying. How could that be? He had never even studied Spanish. He repliedthat the words sounded just like English to him. I gave it some thought, and I understoodhis point. There is a logical explanation.
That explanation is cognates. Simply put, a cognate is a word that is spelledthe same, or almost the same, in two different languages and that has the same definition.In many cases, we've borrowed a word from Spanish and have incorporated it into ourvocabulary without giving much thought to the word's origin. Naturally, cognatesare pronounced somewhat differently in each language, but the meaning of the Spanishword will be perfectly clear to an English speaker.
Let's take a closer look and see how much Spanish you already know.
Table 3.1 is a list of cognates with the same meaning in both Spanish and English.The first column is adjectives you can use to de scribe the nouns in the middle andlast columns. Using the skills you've learned, pronounce the Spanish words and comparethem to their English equivalents. Your goal is to sound Spanish.
When you look at the list of cognates, notice that the Spanish nouns are listedunder a specific definite article, el or la. These articles both mean"the," and each indicates the gender of the noun (masculine or feminine,respectively). All Spanish nouns (people, places, things, ideas) have a gender. Thismight seem strange to you at first because we do not have anything similar in English.For now, just remember that if you want to express that Spanish is easy, you mustsay, "El español es fácil."
Although a noun's gender is often easily identifiable in Spanish, it is best to learn the noun with its corresponding article. See Chapter 6, "Sexually Speaking," for more details. For now, just remember that el is the article for masculine singular nouns and la is for feminine singular nouns.
Table 3.1 Perfect Cognates
Adjectives Masculine Nouns El (ehl) Feminine Nouns La (lah) horrible (oh-rree-bleh) color (koh-lohr) banana (bah-nah-nah) natural (nah-too-rahl) chocolate (choh-koh-lah-teh) fiesta (fee-yehs-tah) popular (poh-poo-lahr) doctor (dohk-tohr) alpaca (ahl-pah-kah) sociable (soh-see-yah-bleh) hotel (oh-tehl) plaza (plah-sah) terrible (teh-rree-bleh) soda (soh-dah) radio (rrah-dee-yoh) tropical (troh-pee-kahl) motor (moh-tohr) taxi (tahk-see)
Many English words have infiltrated the Spanish language. We politely refer to these words as spanglish. Examples include los jeans, el bloque, el CD, la soda, el bistec, el rosbif, el champú, el cóctel, la hamburguesa, el sandwich, el béisbol, el fútbol, el básquetbol, and el boxeador.
Near cognates are words that look so similar in both languages that their meaningsare unmistakable. Perhaps a letter or two is different, or there might be an accentmark on the Spanish word; essentially, however, the words are the same. Look at Table3.2 and see whether you can figure out the meanings of all the words. Are you upto the challenge?
Table 3.2 Near Cognates
Masculine Nouns El (ehl)
Feminine Nouns La (lah)
curioso (koo-ree-yoh-soh) banco (bahn-koh) blusa (bloo-sah) delicioso
ciclismo (see-klees-moh) catedral (kah-teh-drahl) diferente
diccionario (deek-see-yoh-nah-ree-yoh) computadora
difícil (dee-fee-seel) grupo (groo-poh) dieta (dee-yeh-tah) elegante
jardín (har-deen) familia (fah-mee-lee-yah) excelente
limón (lee-mohn) hamburguesa
famoso (fah-moh-soh) mecánico
lámpara (lahm-pah-rah) grande (grahn-deh) parque (pahr-keh) medicina
plato (plah-toh) guitarra (gee-tah-rrah) imposible (eem-poh-see-bleh) presidente
región (rreh-hee-yohn) posible (poh-see-bleh) teatro
probable (proh-bah-bleh) teléfono (teh-leh-foh-noh) turista (too-rees-tah)
In Spanish, adjectives must agree in number and gender with the nouns they describe. We'll cover this in detail in Chapter 9, "Getting to Know You." For now, just remember to use adjectives ending with -o to describe masculine nouns and adjectives ending with -a to describe feminine nouns. Adjectives ending in -e can describe either one.
Spanish words that begin with es- are often near cognates. You can guessthe meaning of many Spanish words beginning with es- by simply dropping theinitial e-:
Word Pronunciation English Meaning escarlata ehs-kahr-lah-tah scarlet escéptico ehs-kehp-tee-koh skeptical escultor ehs-kool-tohr sculptor espacio ehs-pah-see-yoh space España ehs-pah-nyah Spain especial ehs-peh-see-yahl special espectáculo ehs-pehk-tah-koo-loh spectacle, show espía ehs-pee-yah spy espiral ehs-pee-rahl spiral espléndido ehs-plehn-dee-doh splendid esquí ehs-kee ski estudiar ehs-too-dee-yahr to study estupendo ehs-too-pehn-doh stupendous
Practice reading the following Spanish sentences and then decipher what they mean.(The pronunciations of the Span ish phrases are provided below them.) Keep in mindthat the Spanish word es means "is." (Answers can be found on page405, in Appendix A.)
Try writing and saying the following sentences in Spanish. You can peek back atthe cognate list to make sure you are using the correct article (el or la)and to check your pronunciation. (Answers can be found on page 405, in Appendix A.)
Many Spanish verbs (words that show action or a state of being) are so similarto their English counterparts that you should have no difficulty recognizing theirmeanings.
Spanish verbs are governed by certain rules that will be explained in Chapter7, "Going Places." For now, look at the three major verb families--verbsending in -ar, -er, and -ir. Any verbs belonging to a familyare considered regular; those that do not belong to a family are irregular. Eachfamily has its own set of rules that will also be explained in Chapter 7. (Irregularverbs don't follow the family rules. Think of them as the black sheep. More informationabout irregular verbs is available in later chapters.) Check out the following membersof the three major families and see whether you can determine their meanings.
-ar Verbs acompañar entrar negar reparar adorar explicar observar reservar celebrar ignorar pasar terminar comenzar invitar practicar usar declarar marchar preparar verificar eliminar modificar refusar -er Verbs comprender responder vender -ir Verbs aplaudir dividir omitir decidir persuadir recibir describir preferir sufrir
In a Flash
Create five flash cards with a Spanish word on one side and the English cognate on the other. Practice looking at the English and giving the correct Spanish pronunciation.
The preceding section showed that you know a lot more Spanish than you realized.As a matter of fact, I'll bet you can easily read and understand the following sentenceswithout any problems. (Answers can be found on page 405, in Appendix A.)
Pretend you are a tourist in a Spanish-speaking country. Use what you have learnedto express the following feelings to a fellow tourist. (Answers can be found on page405, in Appendix A.)
2. The park is popular. __________________________________________________________________________
3. The dish is famous. __________________________________________________________________________
4. The restaurant is large. __________________________________________________________________________
5. The theater is modern. __________________________________________________________________________
6. The program is magnificent. __________________________________________________________________________
7. The actor is dynamic. __________________________________________________________________________
8. The hotel is comfortable. __________________________________________________________________________
Table 3.3 False Friends
Spanish Word English Meaning Spanish Word English Meaning asistir to attend hay there is (are) caro expensive librería bookstore comer to eat joya jewel fábrica factory pan< /TD> bread flor flower sopa soup
A complimentary copy of a Spanish newspaper was delivered to your hotel room.Curiosity has gotten the best of you, and you've decided to see how much Spanishyou already know. Identify the sections of the newspaper shown below and determinethe contents of the articles. (Answers can be found on page 406, in Appendix A.)
Posted March 24, 2003
Posted October 24, 2002