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Why I’m Thankful for Learning Spanish

by Jake Beus November 21st, 2012 More

Friends Thanksgiving episodeEvery year around Thanksgiving I take time to reflect about the things for which I am thankful. You can bet that I am grateful for the opportunity to learn Spanish. Learning Spanish has opened doors and provided me with opportunities I would not otherwise have.

I met a Guatemalan man in Boston, Massachusetts on a work visa. His name is Eric Quixaj, and he became one of my great friends. We were able to take part in some service activities together and he has a giant heart. He has since returned to Guatemala and I have been unable to contact him, but the memories remain.

I am certainly not the brightest star in the sky, but I do know that learning Spanish has sharpened my memory. I am under the opinion that, with regard to memory, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I believe that it’s important to continue learning no matter what age you are.

And how can I not take a moment to be thankful for all the Spanish-speaking people I’ve met in my life. I have had the privilege of meeting people from nearly every Spanish-speaking country in the world. I have also had many wonderful home-cooked meals with these wonderful individuals.

Those are a few reasons I’m thankful for learning Spanish. What language are you learning, and why are you thankful for it?

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Learning a Second Language….. and a Third….. and a Fourth…..

by Brent Jenkins October 5th, 2012 More

Ioannis Ikonomou speaks 32 languages.

Do you know who Ioannis Ikonomou is?  I didn’t either – that is, until I ran across an article about one of the smartest living human beings.  Most of us would consider speaking a second language as a great feat.  A third language? Incredible.  A fourth language?  Impossible.  Not Ioannis Ikonomou.  This 46-year old Greece-born, world-citizen “feels comfortable” speaking and communicating in 32 languages.  That’s not a typo – 32 (as in thirty-two).

As a native Grecian, his mother-tongue is Greek.  He began learning English when he was 6 years old.  After English came German…  Then Russian…  Italian…  Turkish…  Arabic…  And so the story goes.  Ioannis is now employed as the only in-house translator for the European Commission of the United Nations.  He spends about half the year in Beijing, China as a representative of the European Commission.

What does this mean for the rest of us?  Are we to find the story of Ioannis as encouraging or discouraging?  I say that we ought to be encouraged, and here is why:

  • Mr Ikonomou is amazing, but he is still a human being.  If he is capable of learning 32 languages, shouldn’t I be capable of learning at the very least, a second language, and maybe even a third?
  • His second language started when he was 6.  He is now 46.  That means 40 years of dedicated language-learning.  What’s my point?  My point is that this isn’t a race.  You don’t have a deadline for learning that language that you’ve been working on (unless you’re moving to Costa Rica at the end of the month – odds are, you aren’t).
  • “There’s really no hard or easy language to learn,” he says. “Anyone can learn a language if they fall in love with it.”  He goes on through-out the article explaining that his single greatest key to success is falling in love with the language.  That makes sense.  Everything from using it daily, learning the culture, eating the food, watching TV and reading in that language, and eventually dreaming in it.

It’s possible – as long as we fall in love with it.  I completely agree.  I’m bilingual and working on my third – the periods of the greatest success come at times when I’m genuinely interested in the language itself, not just in learning the language.

This blog is hosted by LearnALanguage.com– a site that is dedicated to helping people from all around the world learn languages, all for free.  The learning material is here, but that’s not everything that you need.  My challenge to you, is to dive in and don’t just learn the language, learn about the language.  If you’re learning Russian, do some research on Russia: the weather and seasons, the culture, the food – you can even download a recipe and try it at home.  If you’re learning Spanish, study the several countries where Spanish is spoken and find out about the people who use these languages.

Learning about the language and those who use it will help us to become better learners of the language itself.

Language learning tips, Learn a Language, Learn French, Learn Italian, Learn Spanish, Meet Famous People , , , ,

Spanish Speaking Countries

by Jake Beus October 4th, 2012 More

There are too many people in the world who think that the only Spanish-speaking countries are Spain and Mexico. In addition to that, people often assume that all latinos are Mexicans. This is simply not true. There are 21 Spanish-speaking countries in the world, and here is a list of those countries and their capitals:

  1. Argentina – Buenos Aires
  2. Bolivia – La Paz, Sucre
  3. Chile – Santiago
  4. Colombia – Bogotá
  5. Costa Rica – San José
  6. Cuba – Havana
  7. Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo
  8. Ecuador – Quito
  9. El Salvador – San Salvador
  10. Equatorial Guinea – Malabo
  11. Guatemala – Guatemala City
  12. Honduras – Tegucigalpa
  13. Mexico – Mexico City
  14. Nicaragua – Managua
  15. Panama – Panama City
  16. Paraguay – Asunción
  17. Peru – Lima
  18. Puerto Rico – San Juan
  19. Spain – Madrid
  20. Uruguay – Montevideo
  21. Venezuela – Caracas

There are millions of people in the world who speak Spanish, and now you are familiar with 21 Spanish-speaking countries and their capital cities. We have created a Spanish-speaking countries page and we will be updating it with all kinds of information about each country ranging from culture to travel. Bookmark that page and we’ll do our best to give you the information you want to know about each country.

Learn Spanish

Spanish Love Poems

by Jake Beus October 3rd, 2012 More

There is something about October that seems to make people fall in love. Here in Utah, the weather starts to cool down for the autumn/fall season and makes all the summertime singles want to settle down with someone for the winter. My grandpa told me that if you can make it through the winter with your favorite gal, then you ought to continue to court her through the spring and marry her in the summer. Good ‘ole grandpa. Maybe it has something to do with Major League Baseball? Either way, it’s time to get romantic on this blog with some Spanish love poems.

I have scoured the internet for some of the best Spanish love poems and Spanish love phrases, and I’ll post my favorite and include some links to some other great ones.

Verdades (Anonymous)
No me preguntes si te amo,
porque esa pregunta me ofende,
si pudiera colocar moneda sobre moneda
para hacer una torre de todo lo que siento,
créeme llegaría hasta el cielo.

Te amo mujer,
amo tu historia,
amo tu vida,
y amo tu paz,
inclusive me gusta verte estornudar,
tu manía de tocarte el cabello,
tu nerviosismo cuando beso tu cuello.

A pesar de que estés lejos,
lo que siento aquí dentro crece y crece,
que a veces me asusta el pensar
donde voy a poner tanto amor,
cuando ya no me quepa en el pecho.

No importa que te mudes a otra galaxia,
tu siempre estas aquí,
y sobra decir que yo vivo en un mundo dentro de ti.

Porque por más lejos que estés,
por más preguntas que hagas,
no importa el lugar donde estés,
donde tu vives es aquí… en mi corazón.

Definiendo el amor
Amor Eterno
Me gustas

 

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