2020 Spanish blog posts

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Intermediate level. Consistent practice with Clozemaster. Watching and listening to content (mostly on Youtube) for native Spanish speakers. Limited reading and writing practice.

If the source of a link isn't obvious, it's SpanishDict or WordReference.

Jump to earliest post: #18


2020-12-31. #91

It's the last day of the year. My Clozemaster stats for the year: 5,030 sentences played and 604 sentences mastered. My overall stats for the year: studied Spanish for a total of 107 hours over 139 days. My best month was September, when I studied for 29 hours, followed by November, when I studied for 25 hours.

Made a post on Mastodon about my New Year's resolutions after rewatching the New Year's video I mentioned back in #33.

  1. Esta vez te has pasado de la raya.
  2. Deja que te ayude a hacer el trabajo.

The sentences above are from Clozemaster.

2020-12-21. #87

Been using Clozemaster consistently. Came across a couple sentences that used idioms. One of them was "No pondría la mano en el fuego por ello." Clozemaster's translation was "I wouldn't bet on it." But SpanishDict translates it a bit differently, offering two English-language idioms: "to stick one's neck out" or "to put one's head on the block". But they're all kind of similar in that they all involve taking a risk or taking a chance on something.

Read a FluentU blog post that had a list of 11 Youtube channels with Spanish captions. Was happy to find science-related channels. Watched a MinutoDeFísica video (translated from the original MinutePhysics video) explaining why the night sky appears dark. Extremely happy to see that there are Spanish captions available. This video was excellent practice because the subject matter is super interesting, there are captions, and the illustrations are clear. Must watch every video.

  1. La casa invita.
  2. Espero que te encuentres bien.
  3. Ellas piden prestado libros de la biblioteca de profesores.
  4. Si no tuviéramos atmósfera, como en la Luna, el cielo siempre sería oscuro, por mucho que brillara el Sol. (0:12)
  5. Por lo que sabemos, el Universo tuvo un principio. (1:07)

Sentences 1 to 3 are from Clozemaster. Sentences 4 and 5 are from the MinutoDeFísica video.

2020-12-16. #85

Was confused about how I only had 59 new sentences today in Clozemaster. New sentences show up 5 at a time, so 59 meant there was somehow a missing sentence. Then I noticed I was only playing 19,998 sentences instead of 19,999. That means I must've accidentally hit "ignore" on one of today's sentences. Kind of annoying that there's no way to see which sentences I've ignored.

Randomly watched a video by Recetas de cocina about how to make hamburguesas de berenjena. I was confused about sentence 4 using "cualquier" instead of "cualquiera", so I looked up the difference. Someone on Stack Exchange explained it pretty well. Someone also recommended a useful Youtube video explaining the difference. It's a good video, and it's all in Spanish, but unfortunately the channel only has four videos.

  1. Vendré a las tres si a usted le viene bien.
  2. No hace falta que responda.
  3. Ya sacamos las verduras del horno. Ahora dejamos enfriar y pelamos... Ya tenemos las verduras cocidas y peladas. Ahora procedemos a cortarlas en cuadritos muy pequeñitos. (0:36)
  4. Por último yo voy a agregar una taza [de] pan rallado. Por ustedes también pueden utilizar cualquier harina que tengan en casa. (1:30)

Sentences 1 and 2 are from Clozemaster. Sentences 3 and 4 are from the recipe video.

2020-12-14. #83

Made some more Mastodon posts. Even though the point of posting on Mastodon is to practice Spanish in a low-stress environment, emphasizing quantity over quality, I ended up spending too much time looking stuff up. Looked up how to say "to procrastinate" in WordReference and found people discussing "procrastinar" in the Spanish-only forum and the Spanish-English forum. Apparently it's a rare word, but possibly becoming more common in some places due to the influence of English. Translations using "dejar" are more common, like "dejar para más tarde".

Was curious about the use of quotation marks in Spanish, so I read a few articles about punctuation. According to the ThoughtCo article on Spanish punctuation, comillas españolas (« and ») are more common in Spain than in Latin America, though the SpanishDict punctuation guide makes no mention of this.

The Spanish Wikipedia article on quotation marks has a chart comparing different languages' usage of quotation marks, which lists español as using comillas españolas and español americano as using comillas inglesas (" and "). The whole reason I was looking up this stuff was because I was wondering how to make distinctions between using and mentioning words, so I also read the Wikipedia article on la distinción entre uso y mención.

2020-12-12. #82

Signed up for Mastodon a few days ago to practice Spanish more, but I've been neglecting my account. Today I decided to make a post in Spanish and spend some time reading other people's posts in Spanish. Too scared to interact with strangers though. Also learned from Clozemaster that RIP ("rest in peace") translates to QDEP ("que descanse en paz").

2020-12-07. #80

Wanted to be able to talk about my Clozemaster streak, so I looked up "racha de * días" to see if it was a valid phrase. Ended up seeing plenty of examples, including people using it on the Duolingo forums to talk about their Duolingo streak. One person posted about their 100-day streak and another posted about their 1500-day streak. Wow.

  1. Él intentó llamar a la puerta.
  2. Estoy esperando la fiesta con ilusión.
  3. No te des por vencido a medio camino.
  4. La racha es el número de días seguidos en los que completaste una lección.

Sentences 1 to 3 are from Clozemaster. Sentence 4 is from el Centro de Ayuda de Duolingo.

2020-12-05. #78

Came across a review of Parasyte: The Maxim on Twitter. I had just finished watching the anime and was curious to see what people thought about it. This person thinks the anime was good, but not a masterpiece, and wishes the characters were better developed. Here's the first tweet:

Posted on 2020-09-20 by rukatsuu1

hace poco me vi parasyte, una amiga me lo recomendo ya que para ella, este anime era "la obra maestra infravalorada" pero no hay nada más lejos de la realidad, si bien es un buen anime, siento que le falta muchisimo para ser llamado una obra maestra

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 8 on Youtube. Lots of onions in this one. Tried watching it at normal speed, and I didn't feel super lost. Though I did spend a lot of time rewinding and trying to decipher the auto-generated captions. Got a bit carried away...

  1. Ahí está, amigo. Cortaron este bosque de alerce por completo. / Es un verdadero crimen. [...] Frente a nosotros aperece un bosque de alerces destruido. Creí que se trataba de un meteorito que había caído, pero Huachimingo me explica que fue el hombre el responsable de todo esto. / Es estrictamente prohibido cortar el alerce vivo. Solo se puede utilizar el alerce muerto, pero muchos inescrupulosos los matan o [?] para después vender su madera que es muy cara. / Y si los cortan tanto, ¿por qué no planta más alerce, Huachimingo? / Porque los alerces tardan miles de año se crecer. Imagínate que en un año, crece tan solo un milímetro. (8:55)
  2. Tío Pelado cayó en nuestra trampa como un niño de pecho. Buen cabezazo, Rosario. (11:58)

2020-12-02. #77

Decided to go with L, M, X, J, V, S, D for my bullet journal abbreviations. I was still setting up my December pages when I found a ThoughtCo article about writing and pronouncing dates. It says that months can be represented by Roman numerals. For example, July 4, 1776 can be abbreviated to 4-VII-1776. Pretty cool. It also says that while years in English are pronounced by separating the century from the decade (2040 would be "twenty forty"), years in Spanish are pronounced just like cardinal numbers (2040 would be "dos mil cuarenta").

2020-12-01. #76

Practiced with Clozemaster. One of the sentences was "Tráeme un plato limpio y llévate el sucio" (translated as "Bring me a clean plate and take the dirty one away"). Good way to remember the difference between "traer" and "llevar". But if I ever forget, I can just use SpanishDict to compare them.

Accidentally wrote "diciembre" instead of "december" when setting up my bullet journal for the new month, so I just went with it. But I had to look up how to abbreviate the days of the week in Spanish. The Clozemaster blog says you can do single-letter abbreviations (L, M, X, J, V, S, D) or two-letter abbreviations (Lu, Ma, Mi, Ju, Vi, Sa, Do). It also says the latter is more common. Side note: The Clozemaster blog is really nice. Very simple aesthetic, and only one unintrusive ad at the end of the blog post.

Another blog, Fluent in 3 Months, gives the same abbreviations, except it keeps the accents (Sá instead of just Sa). It also includes three-letter abbreviations (Lun, Mar, Mié, Jue, Vie, Sáb, Dom).

Someone on Stack Exchange asked the same question. The top answer provided single-letter and two-letter abbreviations. Someone remarked that they'd seen three-letter abbreviations, but not ones with two letters, and then someone from Argentina said they mostly saw the two-letter version. A separate answer said that Costa Rica and Puerto Rico have a different single-letter version: L, K, M, J, V, S, D.

Looked up "acuarelas" on Youtube and tried looking for a Chilean channel. Watched a Croquera Vanitas video where she paints on wood using watercolor. (Sentences 1 and 2 are from this video.) The video was hard for me to understand. The editing was normal and she spoke calmly, it's just that my ears are still too slow. The art was really cool though. Will definitely watch more of her videos.

  1. La madera que yo me conseguí se llama pino cepillado. Y lo primero que hay que hacer antes de empezar a dibujar y pintar es lijarla. (0:44)
  2. Usé los guantes de la cocina para no lastimarme las manos. (1:13)


2020-11-30. #75

Been doing lots of practice with Clozemaster almost every day. Currently playing 3,195 sentences in Fluency Fast Track. Finally mastered a sentence, which means it'll be 180 days before I see that sentence again. Wild.

Picked another channel on the Social Blade list of top Youtubers in Chile. Watched an ilonqueen video where she paints her walls. Thought it would be an art video, but it ended up being just a vlog. Learned a couple words from context because she kept repeating them. The auto-generated captions helped too. Might watch more of her videos later.

Looked up "pintura mate" on Youtube after hearing ilonqueen mention it. Watched a short video by Pintar Sin Parar explaining three types of paint finishes: acabado brillante, acabado satinado and acabado mate. Clear and informative, but a little boring.

Decided to watch two more Youtube videos about art. The first video I watched was a Dani Hoyos video where she paints a bright rainbow-like design on one of her walls, apparently the first in a series where she'll paint her entire house. There was a lot of fast-paced editing, but it helped that there were occasionally big words on screen to emphasize something. A piece of catchy slang: she says "Jesús de Veracruz" at 12:39 (and other times) to express surprise. Just for that, I'll watch more of her videos.

The second video I watched was an Abel Rosales video where he paints a pumpkin to celebrate Halloween. He doesn't speak super fast, which means I understood more and the auto-generated captions were more accurate. Will probably watch more of his videos later.

Read the third Wikipedia article in the booklet, which was about 31 minutos (el primer álbum del programa) and a lot shorter than the previous two articles.

  1. El ladrón fue atrapado con las manos en la masa.
  2. Tengo un montón de manchas por todas partes. (9:45)
  3. Quiero decirles que lamentablemente esto no salió tan bien como me gustaría. Y la razón es que se supone que era una pintura mate lavable y se ensucia con mucha facilidad. (9:12)
  4. Por eso, para el video del día de hoy, les voy a enseñar cómo hice esta calabaza con mis acuarelas. Pero primero, les voy a enseñar los materiales que utilicé y luego nos ponemos manos a la obra. (0:51)
  5. Y la última capa de acuarela va a ser esta de color café. Para la parte del tallo voy a usar el mismo color café que acabo de poner, pero esta vez empezando con una capa de acuarela bastante diluida en agua. (4:00)

Sentence 1 is from Clozemaster. Sentences 2 and 3 are from the ilonqueen video. Sentences 4 and 5 are from the Abel Rosales video.

2020-11-29. #74

Picked a random channel towards the top of the Social Blade list. Ended up watching a Jadipia video, where a couple tests their telepathic connection. They spoke in English about half the time, probably because it's their common language (Jason is Korean, Clau is Chilean). They were a fun couple to watch, but I figured I'd probably get more practice by watching Clau's solo channel.

Watched a Claudipia video where Clau tries making miniature Japanese food. When the video started, my immediate reaction was to check if I'd accidentally set the playback speed higher. Nope. But despite the rapid-fire Spanish, I understood a decent amount. The large text on screen highlighting important words and sentences really helped. Will definitely watch more Claudipia and more miniature stuff.

  1. ¡Mira la piel de gallina! (2:22)
  2. ¿Sabes qué? Lo mentalicé. Quizás esa sea la telepatía. (7:58)
  3. Todo está en japonés así que no entiendo nada. Vamos a usar el día de hoy mi sentido común. (3:04)
  4. Tiene olor a puré de papas. Ya tengo miedo. Una vez que mezclamos nuestras papitas tenemos que aplanar todo. (10:36)

Sentences 1 and 2 are from the Jadipia video. Sentences 3 and 4 are from the Claudipia video.

2020-11-28. #73

Came across a FluentU article about doing immersion at home instead of abroad. It recommended six methods, but I was most interested in two of them: think in Spanish for a few minutes each day, and create a playlist with a bunch of Youtube videos in Spanish about a topic you enjoy.

Tried thinking in Spanish for only one minute, but my brain was too slow to come up with anything. Settled on two minutes as my goal.

Had fun looking for videos. I looked up terms like "dibujo" and "acuarela" and "pintando", clicked on any video that seemed interesting, checked if the channel was from either Chile or Mexico, and added the video to my playlist if so. Also used Social Blade to get a list of the top 250 Youtubers in Chile.

JuegaGerman and HolaSoyGerman (owned by the same person) were at the top of the list, with more subscribers than the next five channels combined. Decided to watch, with the auto-generated captions turned on, a recent JuegaGerman video where he reacts to scary Halloween makeup. He ended up being less entertaining than the videos he was reacting to, but at least he picked really cool videos. Might watch more of him later.

Picked a random channel that was much lower on the list. Ended up watching an Alfred.Okay video where he uses an app to make himself look like an old person. But it was too difficult for me to understand because there was so much fast-paced editing. And it just wasn't that funny or interesting. Worst of all, there weren't even auto-generated captions. Didn't feel like trying another video of his.

2020-11-26. #72

Read the SpanishDict guide on ordinal numbers. Super helpful. It covers everything from first to one thousandth, plus abbreviations and placement. The first ten are the most common, so I'll just copy those ones:

  1. primero
  2. segundo
  3. tercero
  4. cuarto
  5. quinto
  6. sexto
  7. séptimo
  8. octavo
  9. noveno
  10. décimo

2020-11-25. #71

Read the second Wikipedia article in the booklet. It was about el desierto de Atacama, a place in Chile. Here's a quote from the article:

"El desierto de Atacama es considerado el mejor sitio del planeta para observar el firmamento y desarrollar la astronomía: su altura respecto al nivel del mar, la escasa nubosidad, la casi inexistente humedad del aire y la lejana contaminación lumínica y radioeléctrica hacen que la visibilidad de su cielo nocturno sea muy nítida. Debido a esto, más de una docena de observatorios se ubica en este lugar..."

Bodoque visited the Atacama Desert during la Nota Verde of season 1 episode 16. Really appreciate that the 31 minutos channel has separate videos for individual segments, in addition to full episodes. Makes it easier to find and share specific moments.

2020-11-22. #68

Spending too much time in front of screens makes my eyes hurt. Decided to look for six interesting Wikipedia articles and print them out for nighttime reading. Put them together into a little booklet. Today I read the first one, which was all about la baraja inglesa.

2020-11-21. #67

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 7 on Youtube. In this one Bodoque is depressed and everybody tries to cheer him up. Very funny episode, and probably one of my favorites. Also, go to 17:12 for a surprise.

Trying to limit myself to three vocabulary words per episode so I don't end up obsessing over definitions. Need to spend more time watching videos, not reading the dictionary.

  1. La resistencia de la telaraña depende del tamaño de su tejedora. (13:16)
  2. Vencía mi aracnofobia. Nada podía acabar con mi felicidad. Al menos eso creía hasta que me fui a dar una nueva ducha. (13:56)
  3. ¡Somos nosotros, Juan Carlos, tus amigos! ¿Nos echabas de menos? (28:54)

Some comments under this video that made me laugh:

Posted 5 months ago by Pierre St. John (verified)

Juan Carlos: Las arañas me pueden matar

Nivaldo Churreto: No. Pocas arañas tienen la fuerza suficiente para inyectar su veneno en la piel humana.

Yo: Pero Juan Carlos es un conejo.

Posted 1 month ago by R4ND0M G4CHA

Juan carlos bodoque: grita

subtitulos: APLAUSOS

2020-11-20. #66

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 6 on Youtube. The one where Lulo Serrucho, master of disguise, impersonates various characters. This one has English subtitles and auto-generated Spanish captions. As usual I slowed down the playback speed, but I also tried using the auto-generated captions for the first time. Even though they were often wrong, they helped me understand a lot of difficult phrases.

Another thing I tried for the first time is WordReference's Spanish-only dictionary and thesaurus. I usually use the Spanish-English dictionary, but I don't wanna rely on it so much anymore. It was a real challenge. Had to keep looking up words used in the definitions.

  1. El peligroso delincuente Lulo Serrucho, más conocido como el maestro del disfraz, el más astuto imitador de gente de todo el país, ha huido esta mañana de la cárcel. (1:32)
  2. Aquí lo vemos haciéndose pasar por miembro de una familia de martillos. (3:01)
  3. Para producir energía eléctrica a partir del viento, se requiere un generador eólico, que se fundamenta en los mismos principios que los molinos de viento. (10:44)
  4. ¿Y por qué es tan conveniente su famosa energía eólica? / Porque no contamina. Es inagotable y evita el cambio climático. (11:34)
  5. Se escapó Lulo Serrucho, el famoso suplantador de personas. (19:47)
  6. Son exactamente iguales, Juanín. Claro que éste acá está demasiado gordo. / No seas ridículo, Juan Carlos. Yo soy más gordo — quiero decir — más macizo que este Serrucho. (26:20)

2020-11-19. #65

Read a short review of Linguee from All Language Resources (which I'll call ALR here). ALR says that Linguee "is unique in that it does not use machine-translation to provide examples of words in context — instead, it sources words from articles and research papers in the original language".

It sounded useful, so I tried looking up "día por medio", a phrase I learned recently, in Linguee. There were over 20 results (like sentences 1 and 2), but more than half of them weren't relevant. The problem was that a lot of the other sentences contained the similar and more common phrase "por medio de". When I looked up "por medio de" in Linguee, all of the 30 or so results (like sentences 3 and 4) were relevant.

In summary: Linguee is good because it shows you real-life writing translated by real people, but because it gives you a lot of sentences, not all of them will be relevant to what you searched. Also, ALR is really useful for finding language-learning resources.

  1. Paso la aspiradora cada día", dice Baker, "y saco el polvo día por medio.
  2. ...hace ejercicio día por medio y boxea "una vez por semana" en el gimnasio de su casa.
  3. Por otra parte, la corrección de los defectos y daños del cuerpo humano por medio de tejidos y células es una cuestión delicada.
  4. Haga una encuesta o determine por medio de conversaciones informales si los padres están satisfechos.

2020-11-18. #64

Did way more Clozemaster than usual today. Currently playing 2,500 sentences in Fluency Fast Track, which means there are 17,500 I still haven't seen. Decided to increase my daily goal from 100 points to 500, which means 50 new sentences each day. At this rate, it'll take me 350 days to see all 20,000 sentences.

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 5 on Youtube. No captions again, so I decided to check the rest of season 2. Turns out, none of the episodes after this one have Spanish captions. Shit.

At least this episode was funny. The story is, the show tries to be as sad as possible because happiness has apparently gone out of style. Anyway, the following sentences aren't necessarily correct, but I tried my best.

  1. Que corra video. (7:17)
  2. Declaro Juan Carlos Bodoque culpable de la destrucción del planeta. [...] Y lo condeno a tener hipo de por vida. (10:58)
  3. Estaba agotado, abrumado. Había sido una pesadilla, pero también un mensaje. (11:40)
  4. El calentamiento global puede acabar con la humanidad. Y la humanidad debe saber. (11:50)
  5. Si eso no es triste, mejor vete al diablo, Cósimo. (12:25)
  6. Papá, ¿cuánto falta? / Ya falta poco. (20:50)
  7. Todo niño tiene derecho a ser escuchado y jamás ser agredido ni verbal ni físicamente. (22:23)

2020-11-17. #63

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 4 on Youtube. This episode's story is that Señor Manguera, the owner of the channel, sold the channel to Japanese businessmen, who then go on to change the show to fit their culture. There are... so many stereotypes. So many. I feel like this episode would've been way funnier if done now instead of in 2004.

There are no Spanish captions, which means this episode ended up being kind of a waste of time, since most of the characters are either speaking Spanish with a (fake) Japanese accent or speaking (fake) Japanese. Managed to get a couple sentences by turning on English subtitles when I was confused.

  1. Lo volvimos a subir porque en la subida anterior le faltaba una escena insignificante entre la nota de los niños con cabeza de caja y la nota del monstruo Kaibutsu. Gajes de la arqueología televisiva.
  2. Mientras tanto, yo me voy a unas largas vacaciones a contar mi dinero. Adios. (6:47)
  3. Pero para mi decepción, no había nada. (11:27)

Sentence 1 is a comment from the official 31 minutos Youtube channel. It uses an interesting word: "gajes". In the context of the sentence it sounds like "risks", but the WordReference English translation said it means "bonus" or "reward". That didn't seem to fit, so I checked the WordReference Spanish definition, which gave more information.


  1. m. Retribución complementaria del sueldo. Más en pl.
  2. "gajes del oficio" loc. irón. Inconvenientes inherentes a un empleo: "tengo la vista cansada, pero eso son gajes del oficio, porque me paso el día frente al ordenador".

Definition 1 goes along with the English translation, but definition 2 emphasizes that the word is often used ironically. SpanishDict agrees, providing a negative meaning and a positive meaning, though it doesn't identify the latter as ironic. Just like WordReference, it notes that the plural form is more common.


masculine noun

Usage note: This word is often used in the plural.

  1. (perk)
    1. perquisite: Cambié de trabajo porque aunque el salario es el mismo, los gajes son mucho mejores. — I changed jobs because although the salary is the same, the perquisites are much better.
  2. (drawback)
    1. hazard: Es la tercera vez en el mes que la doble resulta herida. Supongo que es un gaje del oficio. — It's the third time this month that the stuntwoman is injured. I guess it's an occupational hazard.

The comments section under this video was pretty funny. Lots of people making anime jokes.

Posted 8 months ago by B04 art Hiaden animations and gameplays

bodoke sera el futuro hokage de todo chile xd

Posted 1 year ago by Isabel Catribil

Cuando chicos veiamos 31 minutos , y ahora algunos somos otakus y.... me quedo impactada , la pelea de calsetin con rombosman es mejor que la de goku vs jiren :v

Posted 1 year ago by pincui cp

31 minutos ahora es anime xd

Posted 8 months ago by Αяαητζα

21:25 la mejor pelea del mundo del anime, y quien diga lo contrario nos damos de madrazos

2020-11-16. #62

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 3 on Youtube. This episode doesn't have Spanish captions, just like the previous one. I hope they're not completely gone. Same disclaimer as yesterday's: The following sentences are not necessarily correct, they're just my best attempts, plus quotes from the comments section. Except for sentence 1, which is from the video description.

  1. El programa le rinde homenaje al Tío Horacio, antiguo animador de programas infantiles e ídolo de todos, salvo de Tulio.
  2. Querido Tío Horacio, yo soy zurdo, es decir, escribo con la mano izquierda. (7:12)
  3. ...que muestran diversas escenas de la vida cotidiana entre los años 800 y 1200. (14:11)
  4. ¡Cómprenlo por favor y díganle a sus padres que se endeuden! (16:05)
  5. ¿Sueldo? ¿Qué es eso? Yo solo soy un ancianito mágico que alegra a los niños. No sé nada de dinero. (18:29)
  6. Y hemos llegado al mejor momento en nuestro programa: eligiendo al niño peor peinado. [...] Cuéntame, niño, ¿quién te cortó el pelo? ¿Un carnicero? (27:27)

2020-11-10. #58

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 2 on Youtube. One of the few episodes that don't have Spanish captions. Set the playback speed to 0.75x but a lot of it was still too fast for me. The following sentences are not necessarily correct, they're just my best attempts. (Fortunately the comments section had a couple quotes from the video.)

  1. ¿Cuánto se demora una flor en florecer, un hielo en derretirse, un pez en reírse? (4:19)
  2. Encontrarlo no sería fácil. En la planta recicladora de chatarra, había miles como él. (9:48)
  3. Señor técnico, apague de nuevo la luz... Ahora, enciéndala. (14:11)
  4. Pero que insolencia. Yo nunca me ha robado nada, salvo unos penales cuando fui árbitro. (17:28)
  5. Cada vez que veo su reloj, ¡me da risa! / Por lo menos tengo uno. (18:49)

2020-11-09. #57

Watched 31 minutos season 2 episode 1 on Youtube. This episode is all about what everyone did on their vacation. Mario Hugo's segment was very funny, Mico el Micófono deserves his own show, and I like Juanín now. Overall this episode was pretty good.

  1. ¡No hables así, Cindy! / ¡Tulio, no te burles! Tú sabes que tengo un problema de pronunciación. (0:53)
  2. Oh, está bien, ¡lo reconozco! ¡No hice nada! [...] ¡Me aburrí como en un peaje durante todo el verano! (8:31)
  3. Aquí estoy puliendo la estatua del Señor Manguera. (9:34) En el segundo día, decidí pulir el piso. (10:13)
  4. Soy su vecina del camping, y espero que no tengamos más problemas de convivencia. (11:36)
  5. Si hacemos una fogata, debemos recoger la leña que que está en el suelo. Además, la leña debe ser más delgada que el ancho de la muñeca para que se queme entera. Se deben hacer fogatas sin dejar rastro. (11:51)
  6. Así como llegué, me fui. A costa de un desengaño, aprendí a no dejar mi devastadora huella en la naturaleza. (16:58)
  7. Oh, es esa música odiosa de nuevo. / Ya me empezó la jaqueca. (31:43)

2020-11-08. #56

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 20, which is about the neutral article "lo", on Youtube. It's a concept I've been aware of but still have trouble with, so this video was very helpful.

At 0:47 the host says "sustantivizar". I like knowing grammatical terms, so I looked it up to find more info, but there's no definition for it. WordReference suggests "sustantivar" instead. So the concept exists, it's just that the word is slightly different.

Linked underneath the "did you mean" page is a WordReference forum thread where someone asks about the use of "sustantivizar" over "sustantivar".

Posted on 2010-01-31 by Pinairun

Veo cada vez con más frecuencia el uso de "sustantivizar" y "sustantivizado" (que no encuentro en el diccionario de la RAE ni de María Moliner) en lugar de sustantivar y sustantivado.

¿Podrían decirme en qué países se usa habitualmente y con preferencia la forma "sustantivizar"?

Muchas gracias de antemano

There's a lot of advanced Spanish I can't understand since it's the Spanish-only forum, but basically, people sometimes say more complicated versions of existing words. Maybe because they want to sound more sophisticated or simply because it's a back-formation. Examples given in the thread:

2020-11-07. #55

Watched the 31 minutos season 2 episode 0, the Christmas special, on Youtube. It kind of makes me uncomfortable when they mention other parts of the world. I feel like they rely on stereotypes too much. Anyway. Bodoque gets to sing a great song during this special.

  1. ¿Demorarme? No conozco esa palabra. ¡Iré raudo como el rayo!(9:11)
  2. ♪ Mi conciencia me va a liquidar (31:28)
  3. ♪ La culpa debes enfrentar / ♪ La cara, tengo que dar (31:33)

2020-11-06. #54

Watched the 31 minutos Teletón 2003 special on Youtube. Makes me sad that not all of their videos have Spanish captions. Understood maybe 5% of the video, not only because of the rapid speech, but because I had no idea what the Teletón was.

Gotta include a great interaction that happened in the comments section involving the official 31 minutos Youtube channel:

Posted 1 year ago by The Yisus 23

Lo sorprendente aquí no es la crítica a la Teletón sinó COMO LLEGARON A APROBAR ESTO?

Reply from 1 year ago by 31 minutos (verified)

Aunque no lo crean, nadie de la Teletón revisó el video hasta que lo pasaron por la tele. Es fácil entender por qué nunca más nos invitaron.

Decided to visit the Teletón website to get some background info. Read their entire history page and a bit of their FAQ page. They seem to have a long and interesting history in Chile. But of course their own site would have solely positive descriptions. Went to the Spanish Wikipedia article about them and jumped to the criticism section, which talked about multiple issues. One important criticism is that Teletón, and other big charity events, can disrespect disabled people by encouraging the public to view them with pity instead of compassion.

2020-11-05. #53

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 21 ("Policarpo Top Top Top Awards") on Youtube. Fun episode. Nice to have all of the songs in one place so I can compare them more easily. Also, I never realized the first season only had nine (now ten) original songs. Felt like there were more. Anyway, my three favorites are the ball one, the haircut one, and the talking doll one. Don't like the other songs as much. Looking forward to next season's music.

  1. ¡Te noto cambiado! / ¡Es que me llegó la madurez, Patana! (6:01)
  2. ¿Y podrías cantarnos un trocito? (6:17)
  3. Las siguientes tres canciones en competencia serán presentadas por el periodista más destacado de nuestro noticiero. (14:04)
  4. Aprovechando de sensibilizar un poco al público sobre temas medio ambientales, Tulio. (15:05)

2020-11-04. #52

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 20, or part two of yesterday's flashback episode, on Youtube. Got to see glimpses of the unavailable episode 14. Sad I didn't get to watch it.

  1. ¡Devuélveme mi dinero, estafador! (7:59)
  2. ¡Le aplasté los dedos sin querer! (10:04)
  3. Mientras me sano, estoy fingiendo. (13:32)
  4. ¿Quieres que recordemos la nota más farsante y poco seria que se mostró en el programa? (16:09)

2020-11-03. #51

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 19 on Youtube. It's the flashback episode, presenting various moments from throughout the first season. It was actually kinda nice since I forgot a lot of the moments. This show will be fun to rewatch a year or two from now. Hopefully as a much more advanced Spanish learner. Also, the best line from this episode is at 10:34, when Tulio says to Bodoque, "Gracias a tus notas, ¡mucha gente cree que este es un programa educativo!"

  1. No tienes que acordarte de verdad, tarado. Mira el torpedo. (2:39)
  2. Pero tuvimos que invitarlo al estudio porque es parto de su contrato, así que disimula por favor. (15:54)
  3. ¡Dejen de tirarse flores y sigan con el programa, ¿ya?! / ¡Amargado! (16:35)

2020-11-02. #50

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 18 on Youtube. This is the funniest episode so far. The comedic timing and delivery are great as always, but the inherent humor of the premise, which is that the world is suddenly ending, is the cherry on top.

  1. De improviso, una hermosa pelota pasó por mi lado. Sus colores me cautivaron, y la seguí hipnotizado. (4:51)
  2. Por sus aguas, el hombre se ha transportado para descubrir la vastedad del planeta. (7:42)
  3. Ramón rompe en llanto. (16:03)

Note: Below are posts transferred from my previous blog.

2020-11-01. #49

Practiced with Clozemaster. For sentence 1, it seems the phrase "a las tantas" means "very late into the night", but it can mean "very early in the morning" if you use "madrugada" instead of "noche". At least that's what SpanishDict and WordReference seem to be saying.

  1. Disculpa que te llame a las tantas de la noche, pero necesitaba de veras hablar con alguien.
  2. Papá puso la alarma a las seis en punto.
  3. Sé que debes estar asustada.


2020-10-30. #48

Practiced listening with Clozemaster. I wish the sentences were read aloud by actual people instead of robots or whatever, but it's fine. Good enough for a couple minutes of practice. The following sentences are the ones I had trouble hearing.

  1. El prisionero fue puesto en libertad ayer.
  2. Llevo un par de horas leyendo esto.
  3. Si no puedes estar con la que amas, ama a la con que estás.

2020-10-29. #47

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 17 on Youtube. Patana is really funny in this episode. She's one of my favorites now.

  1. Yo quiero ser animadora para hacer un programa muy tierno, lleno de cosas tiernas y románticas y sentimentales que hagan llorar de alegría. (2:49)
  2. ¡Y ahora tiene un negocio de pollo frito! / ¿Qué es ese olor de fritanga? (4:39)
  3. ¡Porque esto es un trabajo muy difícil, que requiere mucha seriedad! (7:18)
  4. Lo primero que vamos a hacer es prender mi estufa a parafina. (8:27)
  5. ...vamos a barrer un poco el polvo que hay en el patio. (8:41)
  6. Me equivoqué a propósito para probar si estabas atenta, sobrina. (15:10)
  7. ¡Deja de dar la lata y sigue con el programa, Tulio! (22:55)
  8. Y ahora apretaré el botón de inicio. (27:07)
  9. No le creas. Se está haciendo el muerto. (30:03)

2020-10-27. #46

Practiced with Clozemaster. Negative statements like sentence 2 always trip me up. Need to get used to using double negatives.

  1. No lo volveré a ver mientras viva.
  2. No conozco a ninguno de los dos.
  3. Su viejo auto anda en las últimas.
  4. Es muy difícil estar a la altura de su reputación.

2020-10-26. #45

Practiced listening with Clozemaster again, but using text input instead of multiple choice. Much better experience because it forces me to listen more closely. Sentence 1 confused me for a while because of the first word. Kept thinking it was the definite article instead of the pronoun.

Sentences 2 to 5 are taken from 31 minutos season 1 episode 16, which I watched on Youtube.

  1. Él fue tan amable de llevarme en auto hasta la estación.
  2. Vengo a cobrar un cheque muy caro. (3:08)
  3. ¡Arriba las manos! / ¡Por favor, no dispare! (3:40)
  4. Pero no me servía, para saciar mi creciente sed. (10:08)
  5. "Géiser" es una palabra del idioma islandes que significa: estallar con violencia. (11:49)

Also, there was a word from this episode that I thought referred to styrofoam based on context clues. But since it didn't show up in my usual dictionaries, I decided to look it up.

Searching "plumavit" didn't give great results, so I searched "+plumavit styrofoam", which led me to HiNative, where someone explained that many countries use a brand name to refer to styrofoam instead of the rather lengthy and technical phrase "poliestireno expandido". That makes sense, since the same thing happened in US American English. The Styrofoam brand name has been genericized to refer to expanded polystyrene in general. (Even though, as I found out from Wikipedia, Styrofoam is a brand of extruded polystyrene.)

Went looking for a real-world example and found a 2019 article from Plastic Oceans ("Chile Works to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic") that mentions "plumavit" as a synonym for "styrofoam".

The HiNative answer listed a bunch of countries. Looked up some of the other names to check if they were correct and found a 2019 article from The Yucatan Times ("Mexican scientists create biomaterial to replace styrofoam") that uses both "unicel" and "styrofoam". Couldn't verify the others though.

2020-10-25. #44

Practiced listening with Clozemaster for the first time. It was a little too easy. Should've done text input instead of multiple choice. Also, you only get one free round each day. If you want unlimited listening practice, you'll have to pay for Clozemaster Pro.

2020-10-24. #43

Went through the Babbel article ("The 10 Best Slang Expressions In Spanish") I mentioned before. The good: The slang expressions are large so you can find them easily. Under each expression is its figurative meaning, its literal meaning, a short written explanation, and a simple illustration. The last bit of the article is a paragraph combining all ten expressions into one story.

The bad: Didn't enjoy the upbeat, overly familiar tone and writing style, but whatever. I might just be a negative person. More importantly, the article's explanation for "ponerse las pilas" seemed different from the explanations in the three sources I wrote about before, so I was a little suspicious of the rest of them. Decided to check them all. Turns out, most of the explanations are correct.

  1. ¡Mucha mierda!
  2. ponerse las pilas (see previous post)
  3. hablar por los codos
  4. estar piripi
  5. echar una mano
  6. dejar plantado a alguien
  7. en un abrir y cerrar de ojos
  8. llueve sobre mojado (see below paragraphs)
  9. la gota que colmó el vaso
  10. otro gallo cantaría

Unsure about expression 8. The article says it means "to beat a dead horse", but WordReference says it means "it never rains but it pours". There are two WordReference forum threads that mention it, one from 2007 and one from 2009. People in both threads suggested multiple translations, including "when it rains it pours", "like water off a duck's back", "more of the same", and "from bad to worse". But no one mentioned "to beat a dead horse", although "more of the same" is kind of similar. What's interesting is that "more of the same" and "from bad to worse" are opposites.

Linguee has another suggestion. In Spanish: "Dado el conocimiento y los cambios de perspectiva, ya no es aceptable que los líderes de opinión de la diabetes sigan 'lloviendo sobre mojado'." And in English: "Given the knowledge and shifts in perspective, it is no longer acceptable for diabetes opinion leaders to continue to 'preach to the choir'."

While looking up expression 7, I found an interesting website: milexpresiones.com. The page I linked includes the definition, example sentences, similar idioms, and idioms that have the opposite meaning. Seems pretty useful.

2020-10-10. #42

Today was all about the idiom "ponerse las pilas", meaning "to get one's act together". Found a really nice article from Tío Spanish, combining three great elements: a written definition, a video, and an illustration. Each element is good enough to stand on its own. Too bad the website seems to be dedicated to peninsular Spanish only.

Went back and read the three articles i mentioned a few days ago. The first one is from Dichos y Refranes, which only provides a written explanation and a stock photo. But the explanation is written for native Spanish speakers, which is what I prefer, and there are a lot of posts on the website.

Skipped the second article since it doesn't focus solely on "ponerse las pilas". The third article is from expresionesyrefranes.com, which is also written for native Spanish speakers. But I was too distracted by the vosotros conjugations. While I can understand them, they slow me down too much because I'm not used to them.

2020-10-05. #41

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 15 on Youtube. In this one, Juanín gets fed up with everybody else and quits. Learned a fun expression: "ponerse las pilas", which kind of sounds like you're putting your batteries in. Looking it up online gave me some cartoons illustrating what it means. Found three interesting articles, which I'll read later.

  1. ¡Esto es el colmo! ¡Nadie se pone las pilas! (1:47)
  2. Me aburrí de la irresponsabilidad y de la frescura. (8:13)
  3. No hay nubes. De hecho, al año tenemos 350 noches despejadas. (11:32)
  4. Pero yo quería saber, si había alguien más en el universo. Marcianos, selenitas... (13:36)

2020-10-04. #40

Practiced verb conjugation with Conjuguemos. Did the activity combining all the tenses and moods and got 66 out of 70. Big improvement.

Couldn't watch 31 minutos season 1 episode 14. It said: "Video unavailable. This video contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds." So I settled for reading the episode summary on the 31 minutos wiki. Sentence 1 is taken from that wiki page.

Practiced grammar with Conjuguemos. Did the fourth "por" vs. "para" activity and got 9 out of 10. Keep getting questions with "viajar" wrong. How am I supposed to know if you mean "traveling through" or "traveling to" without more context? Also annoying that this activity was displayed as one paragraph when each question should be separate. Anyway, sentence 2 is taken from this activity.

  1. Esta canción la ponen en la nota verde, cuando se habla de las momias y luego se llega a la sala de taxidermia.
  2. ¿Me podrías dar ese trapo para limpiar esta superficie?

2020-10-02. #39

Kat Dahlia's song "Gangsta" is an old favorite of mine, but today was my first time studying the lyrics. Back when I first heard it years ago I could only catch the first line. But today, while I was casually listening to the song to feel some nostalgia, my brain started recognizing more phrases. Went to genius.com to compare the lyrics I heard with the actual lyrics. Here are the ones I heard correctly.

  1. Tú no me impresionas
  2. Es un sobreviviente de los casinos y los juegos
  3. Analizando esta situación
  4. Con más pasión, un fracaso, una lección
  5. Yo no confío en nadie

2020-10-01. #38

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 19 on Youtube. This video explains grammar differences between English and Spanish. Was happy to see timestamps in the description listing each topic: conjugation, gender, adjective position, subject omission, attribution and possessive nouns, phonetics, orthography, using "tener", and using "ser" and "estar".

Good video, minus one mistake at 5:10 when Juan starts giving examples of masculine nouns ending in "a" and he includes "el agua". That's actually a feminine noun, but it uses the masculine article because it begins with a stressed "a" sound. When plural, it goes back to normal, as in "las aguas". Same thing happens with "el águila" and "las águilas".

  1. Pues porque pensamos en inglés en vez de pensar en español. (1:38)
  2. ...para que estén conscientes que entre angloparlantes e hispanoparlantes comunicamos las cosas de manera distinta. (2:15)
  3. ...porque no es tan relevante para el tema de hoy y no quiero espantarlos. (4:24)
  4. Cuando queremos enfatizar la descripción de un sustantivo [...] solemos poner el adjetivo antes. (6:50)
  5. Asimismo los sustantivos posesivos [...] no existen en español así que utilizamos la misma ayuda de las preposiciones... (9:46)
  6. ...me enojo mucho cuando la gente menosprecia la ortografía del español... (11:35)


2020-09-30. #37

Trying something new for today's post. I think including the entire sentence will make new vocabulary stick in my head more easily. Context is very important.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 18 on Youtube. In this video, Juan goes to the beach and uses beach-related vocabulary. Sentences 1 to 6 are taken from this video. Was wondering why sentence 6 is in the subjunctive, and found the answer in a SpanishDict guide. The guide explains the use of the subjunctive for conditional outcomes, time limitations (the category sentence 6 falls under), concessions, and results.

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 13 on Youtube. Really funny episode involving Risotrón, a laughter machine. Also, there was a segment at 7:47 where some characters are making puns, and I only immediately understood one out of three. Tried looking up words to understand the other two, but only figured out one more. Failed to solve the third pun. Anyway, sentences 7 to 9 are from this episode.

  1. En las playas el turismo es bastante alto. (1:50)
  2. La gente se quita los zapatos para ir a nadar. (2:20)
  3. Las personas toman bebidas alcohólicas a pesar de que no está permitido. (4:22)
  4. Estoy caminando a lo largo del puerto. (4:53)
  5. Son las 8 de la noche, la luna se asoma y el sol se oculta. (6:33)
  6. Aquí me despido antes de que anochezca. (7:05)
  7. Me transformo a voluntad. (4:48)
  8. Ni yo puedo reírme con ese chiste. (7:14)
  9. ¿Qué sé yo? ¡Se echó a perder! (7:43)

2020-09-29. #36

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 16 on Youtube. It's just a long list of examples of the present progressive tense. One sentence at 1:36 goes, "Yo estoy agarrando la taza con la mano izquierda porque soy zurdo." Juan says it while holding a coffee cup with his left hand. That moment is great because it shows me what "agarrar" and "zurdo" mean, and it reminds me to use definite articles when talking about body parts.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 17 on Youtube. In this video, Juan goes to the market in Mexico. I like that he starts listing types of vendors at 4:22 because it shows a pattern:

Just realized today that I should include the timestamp for when a word is used in a video. Context is important.

2020-09-28. #35

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 12 on Youtube. This episode introduces Patricia Ana, or Patana. It was pretty fun. Noticed the phrase "salir en la tele", which sounds like it means "to be on television". Couldn't find a definition page for it, but there are lots of examples of it online, like a wikiHow article titled "Cómo salir en la TV".

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 14 on Youtube. This video talks about how to use the past tense. Most of the info wasn't new to me, but I was confused about Juan calling the past tense "el pretérito perfecto simple". I always thought it was just called "el pretérito". Looked it up and found that SpanishDict uses both terms.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 15 on Youtube. This video compares the imperfect and the present perfect. I liked how Juan uses his personal life to illustrate the differences between the tenses.

  1. insoportable = unbearable; insufferable
  2. nickname = el apodo; el sobrenombre
  3. a propósito de = regarding; concerning
  4. la represa = dam
  5. la etapa = period; stage; phase

2020-09-27. #34

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 11 on Youtube. There's a segment in this episode that really confused me. The segment shows kids playing a game called "las naciones", which looks like one of those playground games where you try to hit opponents with a ball. But I didn't understand the use of "quemar" in that context. I searched "las naciones juego" and found a website called Mis Juegos Tradicionales. The website gives an explanation of how to play the game, but it seems like the kids in the episode are using different terms. Still confused.

  1. la gotera = water leak
  2. tropezar = to stumble; to fall over
  3. el aprieto = predicament; awkward situation; tight spot
  4. escaso = rare
  5. sagrado = sacred

Found something funny in the comments section under the episode:

Posted 8 months ago by gabriel egr

"No me dijo que cortar Araucarias era ilegal." Juan Carlos luego de haber ido al mercado negro para conseguir una Araucaria.

2020-09-26. #33

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 10 on Youtube. This show's dark humor is so amusing. For example, in this episode an abandoned dog named Rolando tells Bodoque about the hardships he faced after his family left him behind. Rolando makes a throat-slitting gesture and sound effect to imply that he was close to dying at one point. Then he and Bodoque repeat that gesture at each other multiple times, so it ends up being funny.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 10 on Youtube. This video is about popular New Year's resolutions. (It's also the first episode that's on the Easy Spanish channel instead of the Easy Languages channel). A little disappointed there aren't any relevant visuals in the video. Like, when Juan talked about exercising, he could've stood in front of a gym. Or when he was talking about saving money, in front of a bank. Or he could've used props, like a dumbbell or some cash. But maybe I'm asking too much. It's still a useful video, especially for beginners.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 11 on Youtube. This one about "ser" vs. "estar". Already knew most of the info, but it did remind me about the phrase "estar por hacer algo", which means "to be about to do something". Didn't know this usage is specific to Latin America, at least according to SpanishDict.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 12 on Youtube. This one actually taught me something new. The video is about using the verb phrase "ir a hacer algo", but conjugated in the imperative mood. The comparisons between the non-imperative sentences and the imperative sentences were really helpful.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 13 on Youtube. While I already knew all the info, it was still good review. The video explains three types of verbs that use reflexive pronouns: pronominal verbs, reflexive verbs, and reciprocal verbs. Basically a shorter version of the blog post I mentioned in #19.

  1. morder = to bite
  2. apretar = to squeeze
  3. ladrar = to bark
  4. el OVNI = UFO
  5. la fecha límite = deadline

2020-09-24. #32

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 9 on Youtube. Had to do a bit of research for a couple words used in this episode. Couldn't find a definition for "manguerearse", but based on context clues I figured "la manguera" was being used as a verb meaning "to hose oneself down".

Ended up being right. Looked up "hose down" in WordReference and found it. But for some reason clicking on "manguerear" links to nowhere. Tried to report it as an error, but I hesitated because it seems like the report will become a forum thread that anyone can see and reply to. Scary.

Another word I couldn't find a definition for was "asá". Tulio says it while trying to show off a trick with his fingers. He says, "Miren, se ponen las manos así... Y después se ponen asá." I took a wild guess and decided to look up the phrase "así o asá", which did have an entry.

  1. el truco = trick; skill
  2. el living = living room
  3. aguantar = to put up with; to endure; to tolerate
  4. la manguera = hose
  5. manguerear = to hose down
  6. así o asá = one way or another; however you like

2020-09-23. #31

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 8 on Youtube. In this episode Mico el Micófono shows up in an unexpected place. That made me happy since he's my favorite minor character. Also enjoyed the creepy talking doll song during this episode.

Checked LyricsTraining for that song, but it wasn't there. Chose "Un Poco Loco" again since it'd been a while since I last heard it, way back in #9. Ended up replaying it five times, partly for the practice and partly because it's such a fun song. I made it to expert level by my fifth time, which required typing all of the lyrics.

It's fascinating how different the English version of the song is from the Spanish version. It has to be, or else how would anything rhyme? In English, "red" gets rhymed with "head". In Spanish, "azul" gets rhymed with "tú".

  1. el asesor = advisor; consultant
  2. botar = to throw away
  3. el payaso = clown

2020-09-22. #30

Listened to Duolingo Spanish Podcast episode 7 ("Las cartas de papá"). It amazed me that I could recognize the imperfect subjunctive as I was listening. I counted five sentences that used it.

SpanishDict has a guide for expressing wishes and desires with the subjunctive, which applies to sentence 1. They also have a guide for making recommendations and requests with the subjunctive, which applies to sentence 5. But I don't really know why sentences 2 to 4 are in the subjunctive.

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 7 ("El señor amable"). Lots of new vocab in this one.

  1. No quería que la abuela Schmidt sufriera de depresión.
  2. Leí las cartas en voz alta para que la abuela escuchara.
  3. Todo esto pasó antes de que yo naciera.
  4. Pasé el Día de la Madre con la abuela para que no pensara en la muerte del abuelo.
  5. Mi papá me dijo que abrazara a la abuela por él.
  6. entretener = to entertain
  7. la vergüenza = embarrassment; shame; shyness
  8. aprovechar = to take advantage of; to make the most of
  9. desinteresado = selfless
  10. despedido = fired (from work)
  11. la estafa = rip-off; fraud
  12. la jaula = cage

2020-09-21. #29

Went back to that 2016 document I first mentioned in #23 to find another link to explore. Found two links that are about cognates. The first one is a list of false cognates from SpanishDict. It has about 100 or so false cognate pairs, divided into three categories: adjectives & adverbs, nouns, and verbs. Would be good to turn into a flashcard set.

The second link is an article from Language Learning Advisor. The article is called "Learn Spanish Cognates!" and it lists a ton of cognates, divided into categories based on word endings: -ción, -ario, -ico, -mente, -al, -oso, -dad, and many more. Probably too many to turn into a flashcard set. Best to just read it once and learn to recognize the patterns.

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 6 on Youtube. Funniest one yet. Not sure if there are just more jokes or if I'm actually understanding more Spanish. Here are two jokes I liked from the episode that are purely verbal, not visual: Mico's question of the day is "Qué haría si fuera invisible?" and someone responds, "Primero que nada, me pintaría para ser visible." During the interview segment, Tulio starts a question with "Dígame..." and the interviewee responds, "Me."

The false cognate list helped me out twice during Bodoque's segment. He says about a singer he's searching for, "Debía estar vieja y jubilada." The list taught me that "jubilación" means "retirement" and so I was able to figure out that "jubilada" means "retired".

Another word from the false cognate list that shows up is "engañar", which means "to deceive". Bodoque says it while telling off someone who scammed him. I recognized him using "engañar" in the preterite tense. Felt good to be able to put newly learned words to use.

2020-09-20. #28

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 5 on Youtube. Unfortunately there are no Spanish captions for this episode. But I was able to learn something new anyway. There's a moment where Tulio has his back turned to the camera and Bodoque tells him, "Date la vuelta." I'd never heard that phrase before, but I figured it out from context clues. Made me feel like I leveled up in listening.

Also getting more comfortable trying to read the comments. Here's one I like:

Posted 3 years ago by MEGA Erio

nada es mas gracioso que escuchar a juan bodoque gritar de dolor

Practiced grammar with Conjuguemos. Did the third "por" vs. "para" activity and got 8 out of 10. Worse than my earlier scores. In my defense, there was one sentence that was unclear and could've meant either "travel through" or "travel to". I have seen people use "viajar para un lugar" to talk about traveling to a destination. But then again, I'd rather use "viajar a" for that. Guess I gotta practice this more.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 9 ("How Mexicans celebrate Christmas") on Youtube. Pretty interesting. I was vaguely aware of Las Posadas before, but I didn't know people celebrated with piñatas. Side note, there are some comments whining about the resemblance of one of the piñatas shown in the video to a certain famous president. Fortunately there are also people who found it funny.

2020-09-19. #27

Practiced verb conjugation with Conjuguemos. Did five minutes each for the ustedes and nosotros commands, which meant I'd gone through all of the conjugation activities.

Decided to try the activity combining all of the tenses. First try: only conjugated 25 verbs correctly in five minutes. Completely forgot what the hell pluperfect was. Second try: much better. Third try: got interrupted and didn't finish, but that one was going well too. Still very difficult though, so I'll definitely need to practice regularly.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 8 ("Things you see in Mexico City streets") on Youtube. The comments section has some interesting comments about saying "lunch" instead of "almuerzo" and paying for parking in mexico city. Reading comments is good for extra Spanish practice. I should do it more.

  1. el aditamento = accessory
  2. por todos lados = everywhere; all over the place
  3. el préstamo = loan
  4. arreglarse = to get ready (before going outside)
  5. de segunda mano = secondhand; used

2020-09-18. #26

Practiced verb conjugation with Conjuguemos. Spent ten minutes on tú commands. Made a few mistakes, like with "maquíllate" (I thought it was "maqúillate"). But I did alright despite not reviewing beforehand.

Also got some of the irregular commands wrong, so I read the SpanishDict guide on affirmative informal commands to refresh my memory. Here are the eight verbs that have special irregular informal command forms (infinitive form in parentheses):

Also decided to check out the SpanishDict guide on indirect commands. Thought it was gonna be a completely new concept, but I'd actually seen them before on signs (like "no fumar", or "no hablar" in the library).

Went back to Conjuguemos and spent ten minutes on usted commands. Easier than the informal commands since the negative and affirmative versions aren't so different.

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 4 on Youtube. There was a joke involving a fly, which I'd never realized was "mosca" in Spanish. I'd always thought that word referred to mosquitos, and then it hit me that "mosquito" is literally Spanish for "little fly". Because mosquitoes... are little... flies... And I am very stupid.

2020-09-17. #25

Practiced grammar with Conjuguemos. Did the second "por" vs. "para" activity and got 10 out of 10 this time. Let's see if I can recall the differences... Use "por" with time periods, durations, movement through or around a place, and exchanges. Use "para" with opinions (like "para mí") and before verbs. That's all I can recall. Need to practice more.

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 3 on Youtube. Bodoque's reports are really the highlight of this show. The previous episode's Nota Verde is about recycling, and this episode's is about desertification. They're moments of seriousness in a mostly ridiculous show. Not that there aren't still funny moments during Nota Verde. Like when Bodoque touched that cactus, or when that skeleton puppet appeared out of nowhere.

  1. dar un paseo = to go for a walk; to take a walk
  2. el columpio = swing (playground)
  3. el rombo = diamond (shape); rhombus

2020-09-16. #24

Looked through that 2016 document I opened yesterday to find a link I could explore today. Today's link goes to the SpanishDict definition for "to be able", which is a little more detailed than other definition pages. It explains that "to be able" can translate to "saber", "poder", or "ser capaz de", depending on the context. There are also times when it doesn't really translate, such as when used with a verb of perception.

Watched 31 minutos season 1 episode 2 on Youtube. This episode seemed less chaotic, but I think that's just because I understand the format now. I expect random shit to happen. Also realized that the names of the characters are probably all puns. Noticed two during this episode: Balón von Bola is a soccer ball and Raúl Guantecillo is a boxing glove. Will have to check the rest later.

Listened to Duolingo Spanish Podcast episode 6 ("En el camino"). This was when I realized how similar the words for "smile" and "laugh" are in Spanish: "la sonrisa" and "la risa", respectively.

  1. a la vez = at the same time
  2. principalmente = mainly
  3. en cuanto = as soon as
  4. la jirafa = giraffe
  5. por día = per day
  6. saludar = to greet; to say hello to; to wave to

2020-09-15. #23

Back when I was still going to school, I kept a list of links to all of the language-learning resources I found. Forgot it existed until yesterday. Checked the date, and it was last updated in 2016. Ancient times. Will try to go through the whole thing and pick one link each day to explore.

Today's link is 31 minutos, which I picked because I had no memory of what it was. Turns out, it's a satirical Chilean TV show. Spent an hour reading the Wikipedia article about it. The article says: "31 minutos es una serie de televisión y banda musical chilena [...] que empezó a ser transmitida el 15 de marzo de 2003 por la señal de Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN)." The name parodies 60 minutos, a news show that aired on the same channel in the '70s and '80s.

Anyway, the official 31 minutos Youtube channel has a playlist with all 68 episodes of the show, plus the season 2 Christmas special. Amazing. Wish more shows would provide their episodes online for free.

Watched the very first episode of 31 minutos. It was fun, but... wow. The rapid-fire Spanish wasn't a surprise, and neither were the ridiculous moments (the target audience is children), but I didn't expect it to be so chaotic. Of course, part of it is probably me feeling lost by not knowing the language. The most important thing is that I enjoyed watching it. Even laughed several times. Doing a news report on literal shit for a first episode is a bold move.

One question that was on my mind while watching: Are the characters using "nota" to mean "news report"? Couldn't verify that exact usage anywhere, but someone in a WordReference forum thread used it similarly. I copied the whole post almost exactly. (My only edit was separating the definition into two bullet points for clarity.)

Posted on 2012-10-11 by lucia2

Hola foreros:

Tengo un supervervisor mexicano que siempre dice "nota" para hablar de un "newspaper article". Busqué en el diccionario de WordRef y no puedo encontrar este uso entre las definiciones de la palabra. WordRef dice que es un :

1. (noticia breve):

Pero mi supervisor se refiere a cualquier artículo en el periódico como una 'nota."

¿Llamar un artículo una 'nota' es un mexicanismo? ¿Se puede decir 'noticia' para referirse a un artículo?

Muchas gracias.

Anyway, I am absolutely gonna watch all of the episodes. Gotta absorb that natural spoken language, even if I'm confused 90% of the time.

  1. la pista = track (music)
  2. el sello = record label
  3. la gira = tour (music)
  4. el títere = puppet
  5. la banda sonora = soundtrack
  6. el sencillo = single (music)
  7. la nota de prensa = press release

2020-09-14. #22

Practiced verb conjugation with Conjuguemos. Did the pluperfect (or past perfect) subjunctive tense. It wasn't that hard, but I knew using it in a sentence would be more difficult than just conjugating. Decided to look at the grammar section of Conjuguemos for the first time, but couldn't find anything about the pluperfect subjunctive tense. There were plenty of other topics though.

Tried the "saber" vs. "conocer" activity, which consisted of a two-person conversation about guitar lessons. Some sentences had blanks, which I had to fill in with either "saber" or "conocer", conjugated appropriately. Easy to use, and good practice. One small complaint is that because of the way it was formatted, it took me a moment to realize it was a dialogue, not one paragraph.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 7 on Youtube. The video shows seven ways to use "para": receiving stuff, destinations, dates & deadlines, opinions, work, instructions, and purpose. Also, because I was too lazy to include it in my previous post, here are eight ways to use "por": gratitude, movement, habits, causes & consequences, with the verb "ir", exchanges, passive voice, and multiplication.

Went back to Conjuguemos to try another grammar activity. There are five about "por" vs. "para". Tried the first activity and got 9 out of 10 sentences correct. Took me a little longer to complete it because the differences between "por" and "para" are a lot less obvious than between "saber" and "conocer". But the formatting was clearer this time.

  1. echar un vistazo = to have a look; to take a look
  2. el plazo = period (of time); deadline
  3. el gozo = happiness; pleasure

2020-09-12. #20

In 2019 I did 32 hours of Spanish practice, an average of five minutes per day. In 2020, as of today, I've done just over 33 hours. With a few more months left in the year, that's a pretty good improvement.

Watched Super Easy Spanish episode 6 on Youtube. The video is about "por" and how to use it. It's kind of a complicated topic, so I really gotta practice it. Tomorrow...

2020-09-10. #19

Practiced verb conjugation with Conjuguemos. Did the present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive -ra, imperfect subjunctive -se, and present perfect subjunctive (five minutes each). Getting the hang of all of them.

Listened to Duolingo Spanish Podcast episode 5 ("Helen Brown"). This episode reminded me about using "volverse" and "ponerse" to mean "to become". My brain tends to translate those words as "to return" and "to put", respectively. But that's incorrect because the pronoun "se" changes their meanings. Need to get rid of the impulse to translate word by word.

Got curious about what kind of verbs "volverse" and "ponerse" are. Apparently they're pronominal, a term that means "relating to a pronoun". SpanishDict has a guide about verb types: transitive, intransitive, pronominal, reflexive, and reciprocal.

But it doesn't go into detail about pronominal verbs specifically, so I looked around and found a blog post from FluentU titled "The Cheat-sheet to Pronominal Verbs in Spanish". That post is pretty in-depth, explaining purely pronominal verbs, reflexive verbs, reciprocal verbs, ethical datives, pseudo-reflexive verbs, and meaning-changing verbs. It was a fun read.

Since that blog post was so helpful, I decided to learn more about FluentU. It offers a library of real-world videos in Spanish (and other languages) to learn from. You can watch music videos, movie trailers, and other types of videos with interactive subtitles.

Seems like a good resource, but it's kind of expensive. I'll just stick to the blog, which is free, includes a variety of topics, and has only mildly annoying written ads for FluentU itself. ("Annoying" because the ads are snuck into the middle of each post and distract from the current topic, but "mildly" because they don't move around or make any noises.)

  1. de guardia = on duty
  2. impresionante = impressive
  3. desesperadamente = desperately
  4. arrepentirse = to regret; to be sorry
  5. sudar = to sweat

2020-09-08. #18

Practiced verb conjugation with Conjuguemos. Did five minutes of present subjunctive. Starting to get the hang of the irregular nosotros forms. Also did five minutes each for imperfect subjunctive -ra and -se.

Read SpanishDict's guide on the present perfect subjunctive, then practiced it for five minutes using Conjuguemos. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it even though the example sentences make sense. I think my brain's just trying to juggle too many perfect tenses...

Here's an example sentence from SpanishDict: "Mi profesor duda que yo haya leído el libro." So I guess the present perfect indicative version would be something like, "He leído el libro." But the subjunctive is triggered when using a verb like "dudar". I think?

  1. en juego = at stake; on the line
  2. poner atención = to pay attention
  3. discutir = to argue; to discuss; to talk back