Online Spanish

OK!  I’m trying a new way.  Visit this page often and try your hand at Spanish Lessons. Email questions or comments in the comment box or come to my “Office Hours”, Saturdays at 4 or whenever you see me sitting on my patio. I can help with pronunciation and I can help with your homework.
I am thinking that singing familiar lyrics will help you process sentences in Spanish as opposed to individual words. The goal is to gain a basic understanding of what is being said instead of focussing on the details of each word. Let me know if this approach works for you. You must do it over and over and over again for it to work.
Good Luck!
LESSON ONE  – Richie Valens’  “La Bamba”
Para bailar La Bamba  – Para bailar La Bamba         In order to dance the “Bamba”
“para” a connecting word meaning “in order to” or “for” – “bailar”  the infinitive “to dance” – “la” feminine pronoun – “Bamba” a noun name of the dance
Se necessita una poca de gracia     You need a little bit of grace
“se” – Personal pronoun meaning “you” – “necessita”, “you need”, 2nd person conjugation of the infinitive “necessitar”. It’s an “-ar” verb, so drop the “-ar” and add “-a”. Click this link for a complete conjugation of “necessitar” – “una” feminine adjective meaning “one”  – “poca” feminine adjective meaning “little” – “de” connecting word meaning “of” – “gracia” feminine noun meaning “grace”. Look for the common Latin root in many words, “grace”/”gracia”
Una poca de gracia        A little bit of grace
Pa’ mi, pa’ ti, ay arriba, ay arriba   for me, for you, faster faster  
“Pa” contracted version of “para”, see above – “mi” personal pronoun meaning “me” or “mine” – “ti” personal pronoun meaning “you” or “yours” (familiar)  – “Ay”  throwaway word –  “arriba”  technically the command form of “go up”, here it means “faster” (it’s also a common colloquialism, or local phrase)
Por ti sere, por ti sere, por ti sere       I will be here for you
“por”  connecting word meaning “by” or “for” – “ti” see above – “sere” (it needs an accent) future tense, 1st person of the verb “ser”, meaning “to be”. Drop the “-er” ending and add “ere” (should have an accent on the second “e”, but I can’t put one in)

All Together Now!! Click this link to sing along!  
Yo no soy marinero , Yo no soy marinero      I am not a sailor
“yo” – personal 1st person pronoun I – “no” “no” or “not” – “soy” 1st person conjugation of the verb “ser”. It’s irregular. To see the conjugation for “ser” click this link. “marinero” – masculine noun meaning “sailor”. To see a list of common verbs and their worker names, click here.

Many professions are described by the verb for the work, then drop the ending and add “-ero”, “-ora”, “-ador”, “-ista”. For example: “marinar” to sail, drop the “-ar” and add  “ero” (masculine).  A female sailor would be a “marinera”. “Trabajero” – worker,  “trabajar” to work + “-ero”.
Soy capitan, soy capitan       I am a captain
“soy” – see above. “capitan” noun.  There are two Spanish verbs meaning “to be”, “ser” and “estar”. You use “ser” when the condition of being is not likely to change. For example. “Soy una mujer”, “I am a woman”. Use “estar” for a condition that is likely to change; for example, “Estoy feliz”, “I am happy”. “Estoy” is the 1st person conjugation of “estar” and is irregular. Just memorize it.
To see Spanish Class Lesson One, click here.
HOMEWORK – Click here
After you finish your homework, click here  for a karaoke version of La Bamba and sing along using your new lyrics!!

LESSON TWO – Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va”
As performed by Carlos Santana
Oye, como va, mi ritmo bueno pa’ gozar, Mulata    Hey, how’s it going? My rhythm is good for partying, Sweetie.
“Oye” – command form of “oir”, “to hear”. Here it mean “Listen”. Click here to learn more about command forms. “como” – connecting word meaning “how”.  “va” – 2nd person, present tense of the verb “to go”. Click here to see the conjugation of the verb “to go”. “mi” – personal pronoun meaning “my” or “mine”.  “ritmo” – noun meaning “rhythm”. “bueno” adjective meaning “good”. It modifies “ritmo” and so is masculine. “pa” is a contraction for “para”, a connecting word meaning “for” or “in order to”. “gosar” or “gozar” means “to party” or “to enjoy”. “Mulata” is technically a female who is half Spanish and half Indian. Common usage is an endearment.

Click here to hear the music

[<div style=”padding: 3px; width: 400px; text-align: center;”></div><a href=””>Lyrics</a> | <a href=””>Santana lyrics</a> – <a href=””>Oye Como Va lyrics</a>]

LESSON THREE Ceilito Lindo (First popularized by Pedro Infante as in Pedro & Lola)
First, sing or speak along with the Trini Lopez version several times and tune your ear into how the words roll off your tongue. Take note of where one word ends and the next begins.

<a href="“>
Cielito Lindo………………….Lovely Sky
“Cielo” is sky, “ceilito” is the diminutive form. Note that “lindo”, meaning pretty, ends in an “o” in order to agree with the masculine noun. It also follows the modified noun. “Linda” is the feminine form of pretty (think of Shaw, Lyster).
De la sierra morena, ceilito lindo, vienen bajando…….From the dark mountains, they come down.
“Sierra” is “mountain range” (think Sierra Nevada in California). “Morena” is a word meaning “dark complexion” (think of Rita Morena, a stage name). “Vienen” is the third person plural conjugation of the verb “venir”, “to come”. The easiest use of this verb is when you want to call your dog; “Ven” or “Venga”. Just memorize it, it’s irregular. “Bajando” is the gerund form of “bajar”, meaning to lower (think of Baja California). Click here for the lesson in “-ing” endings,
Un par de ojitos negros, ceilito lindo, de contrabando……a pair of forbidden dark eyes.
“Ojo” means “eye and “ojito” is the diminutive. Note that the modifier “negros” is plural (as in two eyes) meaning that the modified noun must also be both masculine and plural. “Contrabando” is literally, “contraband” but can be loosely translated as anything illegal, immoral or fattening. Remember that in Spanish, regular, run of the mill words can take on related meanings depending upon their context. For example: “Cierra la puerta”, “close the door” can also mean “lock the door”. Also English words, especially ones with Latin roots, are remarkably useable with an additional “-o” or “-a”. It works best with the harder vocabulary words. For example: It would not be “file-o”; it would be “archivo”. Don’t try it with “embarrassed”, though. “Embarasada” means “pregnant”. English words that end in “-tion” are pretty much the same. Other examples are “adorer”, “alarmar”, accidente, “aroma”, “amplio”, “abusivo”. And those are just some “a”‘s. Click here to see a longer list of ringers.
CHORUS Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores,……Oh, Oh Oh, Sing don’t cry
“Canta” is the command form of “cantar”, “to sing”. Commands are easy to form if you stick with the 2nd person, “you” (1st person is unknown because you would never command yourself to do something!). Give it a whirl, you just might be right! Take the root of the infinitive, in this case “cant-” and add an accentuated “-a”. In the case of “-er” or “-ir” verbs, add an “-e”. Your intent will be communicated by the accentuated last syllable. Don’t worry about getting it 100% right as many commands are irregular (see “Venga” above). “Llorar” is “to cry”. Again, the command form is irregular in the negative. “No llores” means, “don’t cry”.
Porque cantando se alegran los corazones…….Because singing makes the heart glad.
“Porque” is a great word. Your intent is 100% communicated by your vocal inflexion. A lilt at the end and you say “Why”. A deliberate pronunciation of both syllables in a falling, metric tone, and you say “Because”. I am not sure how you would accentuate a “because” said as a question. Maybe then it’s time to break out the body language. We have already covered “cantar”. The “-ando” is the gerund (as in “-ing” ending). In Spanish, gerunds are associated with a helper verb, “estar”, “to be”. “Estoy cantando” “I am singing”; “Estamos cantando” “We are singing”. Note that the gerund itself does not change, only the conjugation of the helper verb, “estar” does. Click here to see the Spanish Lesson. Reflexive verbs are also great. Any verb can be a reflexive verb if you do whatever the verb commands to another person. For example: “I’m mad (at myself) is “me enojo”. “I’m mad (at you) is “me te enojo” or “me enojote”. The pronouns “me”, “te”, “se”, “nos” and “sus” are stuck in front of the verb and sometime attached to the end of the verb to communicate who it is you are talking about. So wing it. Memorize the “me”, “you”, “us” & “them”‘s and precede the verb when it involves persons. So back to the lyrics. “Corazon” is “heart”. QUESTION: How many hearts are gladdened in the song? (a) none (b) four (c) one (d) more than one. Answer:
Ese lunar que tienes ceilito lindo junto a la boca………The lovely sky has the moon in its lips
“Ese” is one of those possessive pronouns that, in Spanish, are moderated by the distance from you to the object. “Este” (accent of the first syllable) means something right at hand or better yet, in your hand. “Ese” means is just out of reach or far away; either one, take your pick. “Lunar” is another word for moon (think lunar landing). The word order is jumbled because in Spanish, verbs most often follow the object of a sentence. Envision your 9th grade English teacher (in my case, Mrs. Canup, with her ever-present yard stick in hand). “Subject” “Verb” “Object”. In Spanish, it’s “Object” “Subject” “Verb”. Plus you have remember to reverse the “noun” “adjective” order as well as the “verb” “adverb” order. DON’T STRESS! Even if you say your sentence in the subject, verb, object order, they are gonna get it. Try it! You’ll get a response. “Junto” means “around”. “Junta” is not a feminine “around”. It is a meeting, convention or a conference, sometimes involving a group of leaders. Think headlines during the Iran/Contra Era, “Junta Denies Weapons Shipments from Iran”. “Boca” technically is “mouth” (think Boca Raton. I’ll give extra credit to those who know what a “raton” is) but can be translated as lips. “A la”, “de la”, “del” “al” are all very useful words that you should keep a handful of in your cheek pouch. Throw a few in like seasoning for every sentence. It makes it easier, the sentence will flow. Once you get used to adding them in, wrongly or not, you can then get a feel for which ones might be the correct ones. Note that “del” is a contracted form of “de el”. “De el” is just too damn hard to say, so they shortened it to ‘del”. Same with “al”. Think about it.
No se lo des a nadie su a mi me toca……….Don’t give my turn to anyone
“No des” is the negative command form of “dar” (I told you commands were irregular), “to give”. The positive command form is “da”, as in “da me”, “give it to me”. “Se” is the reflexive pronoun associated with “no des”. “Lo” has been stuck in there to refer the listener to “it”, “my turn”. “Nadie” means “anyone”. “Tocar” is an interesting verb. Technically it means “to play” or “to touch”. You “play” an instrument and you play a record on a record player, “tocadisco” (at least you did 50 years ago). If you want to knock on a door you must “tocar a la puerta”. If you want to take a turn, as in “it’s my turn!”, you have to “tocar a uno”. Finally, “tocado” means “crazy”, think “touched”. “Me”, “mi” and “su” are all possessive pronouns. Again, throw them into a sentence to help your listener understand exactly who it is you are taking about.

1 Response to Online Spanish

  1. Lisa says:

    Well, that was more fun than Rosetta Stone!!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s