This summer we are experiencing a bit of a heatwave in the UK. It isn't much compared to what people are used to in Spain or other hot countries but it is unusual for a British summer. I was explaining this in a chat with a Chilean friend today, and realised I didn't know the Spanish word for heatwave. Fortunately it is one of those words where my first guess was the right one. I just put together the words for heat (calor) and wave (ola) to get 'ola de calor'. This turned out to be the right word, but I could also have used canícula. This is similar to the French word for heatwave - canicule - which I always remember since it sounds a bit like saying 'I cannae cool down'.
heat - calor
wave (in the sea) - ola
heatwave - ola de calor, canícula
heatwave - ola de calor
I have just come across a great looking site called Fun Learnin Spanish. I will post a more detailed review when I have explored it more thoroughly but I wanted to give it a mention straight away. My first impression is that it is a big, fun site that caters to all levels of learners. There are lessons, dual language articles and games. I'm finding the Spanish Verb Space Invaders strangely addictive at the moment. There is clearly a lot to look at on the site and I'm looking forward to doing just that.
Having mentioned 'irse' in yesterday's post I thought perhaps it would be a good time to revive the 'Conjugation of the week' posts. This is the first one using the reflexive form which changes the meaning of 'ir' from 'to go' to 'to leave'. By the way, 'irse' is pronounced roughly like 'ear-say'.
irse - to leave
me voy - I leave
te vas - you leave (sing. fam.)
se va - he/she/it leaves, you leave (sing. pol.)
nos vamos - we leave
os vais - you leave (pl. fam.)
se van they leave, you leave (pl. pol.)
On Monday I'm leaving Chamonix (in France) and heading back to the UK for a while. Hopefully I'll manage a trip to Spain in the next couple of months. It seems appropriate then to introduce the reflexive form of 'ir' (to go), i.e. 'irse' = to leave. It is similar in use to 'salir' (to go out, to leave) but is more common for leaving and not used in the going for a night out sense.
Hasta luego, ahora me voy - See you later, I'm leaving now.
When speaking a language, one way to sound more natural is putting in those little linking words that give you time to think. Words like 'er' and 'um' are often used by English speakers, but there are others like 'well', 'then', 'so', 'okay', 'good' which have meanings but can also be used to some extent to fill a gap.
The same is true in Spanish, and learning these can give you the moment you need to choose the next word, letting you sound that bit more fluent. I've learnt a lot of these from listening to real people but also from podcasts, dialogue in books and TV programmes. Some of these are region specific so try to find out what people say in the version of Spanish you want to learn.
bueno - good
pues - well
pues nada - well, nothing (used for a longer pause)
bien - well
a ver - let's see
entonces - then
vale - okay (in Spain)
dale - okay (in Argentina)
de acuerdo - okay (everywhere, as far as I know)
venga - come, come on
perfecto - perfect
vale, perfecto - okay, perfect
These are my translations for the headlines I gave in yesterday's post. Obviously there are many ways to translate these, and in some cases I used a knowledge of the context to choose the most appropriate word - e.g. songwriter rather than composer in the last example.