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Learn Spanish with Fairy Tales! 6 Enchanting Stories to Read and Watch Online

Let’s be totally honest here: Everyone loves fairy tales. Am I right?

We all have a super soft spot for the stories we learned as children. They’re engaging, enchanting and full of excitement.

Filled with castles, creatures, heroic adventures and all the stuff that dreams are made of, fairy tales are just plain fun!

If something is fun, we naturally feel extra enthusiasm for it.

Enthusiasm encourages regular usage. Think about it: If you like something you want to experience more of it, right?

In this case, going heavy on using Spanish fairy tales in a language learning program leads to increased fluency. It’s a logical assumption that the more we practice, the faster we’ll get proficient.

Bringing Spanish fairy tales into your program is a win-win—not to mention a wonderfully entertaining way to boost your Spanish skills.

Let’s check some out!
 

How Spanish Fairy Tales Help Language Learners

Fairy tales are geared toward children so in any language, they utilize pretty basic vocabulary and sentence structure. For Spanish learners, that’s a plus because simple words and phrases build a solid foundational vocabulary.

The stories are short so they require a minimal time investment to read. They’re perfect for grabbing a small slice of Spanish learning when you’re on a tight schedule.

Since fairy tales originate from across the globe they’re often glimpses into different cultures. The cultural information encourages children to be aware of other global experiences—and it’s a great reminder of that fact for adults, too. Extra bonus? Fairy tales end with a happily-ever-after so they’re uplifting!

How to Use Fairy Tales to Learn Spanish

It’s not difficult to incorporate Spanish fairy tales into your learning program. To start, pick one or two that appeal to you and channel your inner child.

On a basic level, fairy tales are great for working your Spanish reading comprehension skills. But that’s not all!

You can use Spanish fairy tales to widen your vocabulary. While reading, compile vocabulary lists, create a customized flashcard set or jot down interesting or peculiar expressions. Remember, fairy tale lingo often includes dragons, rescues and other fabulous topics!

You can listen to audio versions of Spanish fairy tales to gain extra listening practice. Again, it’s a great idea to note interesting words and phrases.

Finally, Spanish fairy tales can also be used to power up speaking skills. Use audio or video to model pronunciation—and remember, it’s beneficial to hit pause and replay a passage if you need to hear it again.

When you’re feeling confident, try reading aloud to gain both reading and speaking practice!

6 Enchanting Spanish Fairy Tales to Read and Watch Online

Había una vez una chica llamada Rapunzel. Vivía en una alta torre en el bosque.
(There was once a girl named Rapunzel. She lived in a tall tower in the forest.)

The captive Rapunzel with her long braided hair is a fantastic story for Spanish learners to pull into their language programs. It has everything fairy tale lovers look for: authentic characters, an interesting premise and even a witch!

This version offers both Spanish and English translations which are set up for optimal learning. The Spanish is presented in tidy, manageable blocks. It’s beneficial to attempt to read these without clicking the link to bring up the English translation. Often, we know more than we think we do, so give it a go reading in Spanish!

Audio and video versions are also available. Accessing those options requires purchasing a subscription to the service. Or, you can watch this free Spanish version on YouTube. Watch and see if you can note any differences between the two versions.

Whether you read or listen, “Rapunzel” is great for learning the construction and usage of Spanish commands. That’s excellent information to learn—even if you’re not planning on telling someone to toss down their braid for climbing purposes!

“Cenicienta” (“Cinderella”) is a sweet tale that’ll make any Spanish language learner smile. It’s the story most of us heard as children, but this version features lovable animated characters. Here, even the mean stepsisters are almost likable!

The version of Cinderella we’ve linked to is especially good for language practice, since it’s hosted on FluentU.

In other words, FluentU teaches you Spanish by showing you authentic content made by and for native speakers. FluentU videos enhance any Spanish learning program by introducing carefully curated content that make learning fast, fun and successful.

A fabulous aspect of using a FluentU video is the interactive caption feature. It helps ensure that nothing is missed—and that’s a valuable asset when you’re watching something especially fun—like “Cinderella.” If you find yourself at a point where you’re unfamiliar with vocabulary, don’t fret. Just click on the words or phrases that are new to you to get immediate in-context definitions!

This particular fairy tale is a solid resource for core vocabulary. From a life of drudgery to dancing in a castle, the characters use so many useful words and phrases that are worth noting!

This classic tale about three billy goats and an especially gruff troll is a fun read in any language. But honestly, it seems to come alive in Spanish! I heard this story in Spanish before English, and I’ve always preferred the Spanish version.

The version linked to above offers two translations, when relevant. It includes the literal translation as well as a more contextual translation, which is a neat way to see how languages differ.

A prime example of the usefulness of a literal translation is seen every time the grouchy troll yells from beneath the bridge:

 “¿Quién está ahí arriba? ¿Quién está haciendo taca-taca sobre mi puente?”

(“Who’s up there? Who’s clip-clopping over my bridge?”)

This translation sounds more natural in English, but it’s not literally what the troll says:

 “¿Quién está ahí arriba? ¿Quién está haciendo taca-taca sobre mi puente?”

(“Who’s up there? Who’s making clip-clop over my bridge?”)

Here learners see how the Spanish language works with regard to vocabulary usage.

The audio version of this fairy tale is also available on the site.

This charming video presents a well-known fairy tale in Spanish with English subtitles. The sentences are short which makes this an excellent choice for a beginning learner program.

The vocabulary used in this tale is very basic so this is a solid resource for learning a core vocabulary. Additionally, the vocabulary covers colors so watching this fairy tale is an easy method for learning those crucial words!

“Érase una vez que había una mamá cerda que tenía tres cerditos…”
(Once upon a time there was a mama pig who had three little pigs…)

Any story that begins with “once upon a time” just makes most of us smile, regardless of the language that it’s being told in. But this version of the popular fairy tale is especially endearing.

The story is told in Spanish with an English translation. The illustrations are colorful and vividly bring this tale to life.

There’s an audio version that’s available, so after you read the story, feel free to listen to it—or vice versa. I read and listened, and enjoyed both options.

One of the biggest values of this particular tale is that this version has a twist at the end. If you think you know how the fairy tale ends you might be surprised. This twist gives learners the opportunity to read for comprehension and perhaps be challenged to discern what exactly happens to the wolf in this story!

This presentation of “Hansel and Gretel” is geared toward more advanced learners. The language is a bit more complex than some of the others mentioned here. Additionally, the sentence structure isn’t short and simple throughout the tale.

Another point that makes this a bit more challenging for learners is that the English translation isn’t on the same page as the Spanish fairy tale. This encourages learners to stretch a bit, and perhaps spend some time translating passages on their own without relying on the English translation.

Both the full English translation and the Spanish version are sure to please Spanish language learners—and remind them that sometimes those we meet in a dark, shadowy forest aren’t who they pretend to be!

Adding fairy tales in Spanish to any Spanish language program instantly increases the fun factor of learning!

Diving into these beloved bits of popular literature increases reading skills. But it also gives learners the opportunity to grow their vocabulary, practice speaking by reading out loud and add fluency on every level.

Spanish fairy tales invite learners to curl up, relax, read or listen—and learn while having fun!
 

If you liked this post, something tells me that you’ll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.

This content was originally published here.

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Which Countries In Africa Speak Spanish? (Actually, Only Equatorial Guinea)

With 480 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world.

The primary reason for this is of course Spain’s history as a colonial empire which spread the Spanish language to 19 countries in the Americas in the 15th-18th centuries.

But what about Africa, you might ask? The African continent, like the Americas, has been severely influenced by European colonial powers during the last few centuries, but unlike the Americas, Africa is much more known for its Portuguese, French, Dutch and English-speaking former colonies.

So aren’t there any Spanish-speaking countries in Africa?

In Africa, only one country has Spanish as an official language. That country is Equatorial Guinea, where around 68% of the population of 1,3 million people speak Equatoguinean Spanish as their mother tongue, and while Portuguese and French are co-official languages in the country, these are much less current. One reason for the Spanish language’s limited presence in Africa might be that “the scramble for Africa“, when most African territories were claimed by European powers, took place in the 19th century, when the Spanish Empire was on a steep decline.

Equatorial Guinea is a West-African country bordered by Cameroon to the North and Gabon to the South and East and with the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to the West, where the island of Bioko is located to the North of the coast of Cameroon.

How Spanish Came To Be Spoken In Equatorial Guinea

The first time European came into contact with what is now Equatorial Guinea was in 1472, when the Portuguese explorer, Fernando Pó, arrived at the Island of Bioko. The island was in turn attempted colonized by the Portuguese, but for several centuries with very little success.

in 1778, the Portuguese queen signed the island over to Spain in what is known as the treaty of El Pardo. After a failed expedition to take hold of the new colony, the Spanish only hesitantly took hold of the new colony, which they mainly used for hunting slaves.

With the Spanish abolishment of Slavery in 1817, the island became less valuable to the Spanish and it ended up being used mostly for plantations. The efforts to establish plantations were set back numerous times due to epidemics and diseases which killed many of the Spanish settlers, and for a time, the Island was mainly populated by freed slaves, African immigrants, Cubans, Filipinos as well as Jews, Catalans and and a few Spaniards – many of the latter groups being deported criminals.

It’s not impossible that the different ethnic and linguistic groups have left a footprint in the dialect of Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea today.

In 1926, the island of Bioko and the mainland region of Rio Muni united into Spanish Guinea, which by the time that it gained its independence in 1968 became known as Equatorial Guinea.

During the whole period in which Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony, Spain was preoccupied with its territories in America which all gradually declared independence during the 19th century. In addition to this, the Spanish-American war in the end of the 1800’s meant that Spain was disadvantaged when it came to settling their new colony, let alone claiming supplementary colonies.

This is probably the main reason why there aren’t more Spanish speaking countries in Africa.

Equatorial Guinea And Its Languages

Spanish, in its local dialect called Equatoguinean Spanish, is spoken by 90% of the country’s population, 68% of which being native speakers. The Equatoguinean dialect of Spanish is known for being closer to European Spanish than the Spanish variants spoken in Latin America.

The Equatoguinean Spanish dialect is the official language of Equatorial Guinea along with Portuguese and French although the latter two are spoken by a relatively small number of people.

The local and indigenous languages spoken in the country mostly belong to the Bantu family of languages (the same language family that Swahili belongs to). They include such languages as Fang, Bube, Benga, Ndowe, Balengue, Bujeba, Bissio, Gumu, Igbo, Pichinglis, Fa d’Ambô and Baseke.

To listen to an example of Equatoguinean Spanish, watch the following video:

Other Spanish Speaking Regions In Africa

Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign state in Africa where Spanish is an official language, but one other country in Africa speaks Spanish:

Spain.

At this point you might want to point out that Spain is a European country, not an African one, but you’d only be partly right, because Spain still has some African territories (or colonies, if you will).

The Canary Islands, although not part of continental Africa, is an island group located in the Atlantic sea to the west of Southern Morocco. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the North African Amazigh (or Berber) language was spoken on the Canary Islands, but today, they’re completely Hispanophone.

The same goes for Northern Morocco, where Spain officially possesses two cities, Ceuta and Melilla, as well as Mauretania and Western Sahara where the Spanish language remain present although not dominant.

This content was originally published here.

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Spanish Lessons

Sitting at my Shabbes dinner table on a Friday night during the plague, I learned that Spanish had two words for assassin. The first was asesino and the second was sicario. According to the dictionary, sicario is more of a hitman, while asesino is an assassin. A distinction without a real difference. Our houseguest, Darwin Ramos used them interchangeably. A Honduran asylum seeker, he knew about assassins and hitmen from personal experience. Darwin was an environmental activist who fled Honduras, having to leave behind his wife and children, because his name was on a hit list. He was number eleven. (A police officer had shown him the list at a demonstration to intimidate him.) After nine of his friends and fellow activists were killed, he fled.

My Spanish was almost non-existent before Darwin came to live with us. I had a sprinkling of activist chant Spanish (Amazon escucha la la la en la lucha!) so our early conversations were conducted with the help of Google translate. Darwin had studied religion, and we spoke about religion and theology. He was very interested in belief in God, and Judaism, and whether I thought the Bible was literally true. These were topics about which he also had strong opinions (except Judaism, about which he was eager to learn and supplement the very superficial knowledge he had). I started to hear about what life had been for him in Honduras. On Shabbes, when we did not use electricity, and Darwin would join Andrea (my partner) and I for dinner, conversations were enabled by Andrea’s translations. Her Spanish is okay, though sometimes we fell back on charades. (Yes, we could have bought a dictionary.) Over time my Spanish has gone from nonexistent to poor. So, my ears perked up when Darwin, in the middle of telling his story used the word sicario. I knew I was not mistaken because he raised his two hands, as if firing a gun, when he said the word.

I am a Talmudist by training and have a basic reading knowledge of Greek. Sikarios in Greek, is a bandit. It is (mis)transliterated to the Hebrew of the Mishnah as sikrikon. Josephus speaks of the sikarios, the highwaymen,in the Galilee. The Mishnah’s memory of the Roman occupation of the Land of Israel led to the enactment of the law of sikrikon which governed whether or not a property bought from an agent of the Empire (soldier of other) was a valid purchase, and whether the original owner could sue the purchaser for restitution.

None of this, of course had anything to do with Honduras and the cartels and the narco-traffickers that, as Darwin said, had “big control” over every aspect of the government of Honduras. The way that language travels, however, brought me a little closer to the story that Darwin was telling us.

That story was almost unbelievable. Unbelievable yet excruciatingly true.

Darwin lived in a small village in southern Honduras called Catacamas. It is part of the Olancho Department which is more or less in the Western part of Honduras. He was part of an environmental movement which was trying to stop the clear cutting of the jungle which bordered Olancho. As he understood it at first, the clear cutting was done in order to sell the timber and to grow livestock illegally. One night when he and his comrades were out taking pictures of the clearcutting, a plane landed on what became clear was not a makeshift ranch but an improvised airstrip. The plane was loaded with cocaine bound for the US. When Darwin and his fellow activists reported this activity to the police, they fell into the web of the “big control.” The police were being paid by the narco-traffickers and they tipped them off. (pagar is payoff; mucho dinero is exactly that) Darwin and his friends were kidnapped and tortured (tortura) and forced to work offloading drugs from the planes.

When Darwin was released but continued to organize and demonstrate against the destruction of the jungle, the police came to the demonstrations (manifestaciónes), took pictures of the activists and gave them to the cartels (carteles). This is how Darwin came to the attention of the death squads (escuadrones de la muerte), and why he used the word sicario. Apparently, the carteles outsourced the assassinations to the mafia whose main job was killing people.

(I was having a bit of a moment at this point. When we took to the street in Los Angeles to demonstrate, the police often roughed people up, the police would take pictures of us and with the aid of face recognition software might want to make legal trouble for us. When Darwin and his fellow activists went to demonstrations, the police took pictures of them, made a list, and a hit squad assassinated them.)

This was when Darwin realized that he had to leave Honduras. He spent a bit of time in safe houses but then joined one of the caravans traveling north. He was one of the people that the President sent the army to the southern border to stop. Darwin, however, did not intend on going to the United States (Estados Unidos). He was going to seek asylum in Mexico.

Arriving in Tijuana, Darwin found a room in a hostel and started working in a restaurant. One afternoon, after he finished work, he noticed a van parked outside. As he was walking home, as if out of a bad B movie, the van started following him, and then the people in the van jumped out and tried to grab him. They tore his clothes off but he got away. They chased him through the streets. Running through back alleys and climbing fences and walls he made it to the hostel. In a hotel near where he was staying some human rights lawyers (abogados de derechos humanos) and activists (activistas) who were helping asylum seekers trying to get to United States, were staying. Luckily the lawyers and activists were at his hostel helping other asylum seekers. They saw him, found out was going on, jumped into a car and headed north for the border. They drove around all night so as not to be caught. Fortunately, an urgent call to a congressperson convinced the Border Patrol to open up a crossing and take Darwin into custody. He was greeted with open arms by officials of the United States Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Just kidding. I wish that were true. Actually he was detained. In two different states for nine months in execrable conditions before being released.

Like I said the story is unbelievable. Parts of it have been indirectly supported by indictments introduced in the Southern District of New York against the brother of the President of Honudras, known as El Tigre, or the tiger. He was, according to the allegations, as Chief of Police, in charge of the escuadrones de la muerte, the Death Squads. He is in custody on charges of narco-trafficking.

Darwin has been staying with us for eight months. When COVID hit, the courts closed and his hearing has been pushed off until December. The Trump administration keeps trying to close the door on asylum seekers. Darwin speaks to his family often. It is not good news. He still speaks out on environmental issues. We still have dinners together on Shabbes. We have finally bought a dictionary.

The post Spanish Lessons appeared first on Jewschool.

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Spanish Lessons on Central America – Spanish Playground

Forest Resener is the Communications and Operations Director for StoveTeam International, a nonprofit organization that has provided over 76,300 improved cookstoves in Central America. He created four free online lessons about Central America for Spanish levels 2 and up. He writes about the unit below.

When I created these Spanish lessons, my intention was to raise awareness of issues faced by people in Central America, including the problems caused by open cooking fires. Our organization StoveTeam International works to prevent the damage cooking fires cause. However, the unit has become something bigger. It’s helping students become global citizens, raising cultural awareness, and even helping students come together to take action and make a difference. 

Around the world, 3 billion people still cook over open fires, usually indoors, and the consequences are dire for women and children inhaling smoke all day long. Despite the extent of this problem, people in other countries often hear little about it. So, StoveTeam has set out to raise awareness.

Spanish Unit on Central America

These Spanish lessons use photos and stories collected by StoveTeam during our work in Central America, specifically in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The lessons contain a mix of beautiful photos, interactive exercises, videos, class discussions, quizzes and more.

Lesson 1

The first lesson explores Central America and begins to discuss what life is like for many families living with few resources. Students learn new vocabulary like “fuego abierto”, watch a video, take a quiz, and pair up for a creative exercise.

Lesson 2

The second lesson dives into specific problems related to the worldwide issue of open-fire cooking, which kills over 4 million people each year, mostly women and children. The lesson explores how StoveTeam has been able to help over half a million people, and what that means for these families. During this lesson, classes have the option to video chat with Alex Eaton, StoveTeam’s staff person living full time in Guatemala. We’d love to answer your class’s questions, so contact us for more info.

Lesson 3

The third lesson shares several true stories from people whose lives have been changed by receiving an improved cookstove, or finding a job building stoves in their community. 

Lesson 4

Lesson Four, called “Tomar Acción”, shows students that StoveTeam’s work is only possible thanks to the generosity of people who take action. The lesson lists several examples of campaigns that have raised awareness and money to provide stoves, including an 8th grade Spanish class that recently raised over $1,200!

Using the Spanish Lessons on Central America in Class

I’d love to hear from anyone thinking about using this unit in their class. This is a new venture so I’m open to any thoughts you might have, and I’m happy to answer any questions. The unit “Centroamérica y el aire que respiramos” is available free on StoveTeam’s website.

Forest Resener, StoveTeam International

During my frequent trips to Nicaragua over the course of several years, I saw the damage caused by open cooking fires. I believe the Spanish lessons about Central America from StoveTeam International could be an effective way to learn more about the region, both its tremendous strengths and the challenges it faces.

I was in Nicaragua doing education workshops. Read about a few activities from that work in Spanish Question Game: El Repollo and Simple Spanish Word Games: Nicaragua.

This content was originally published here.

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Spanish Cactus – Learn Spanish ASAP

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Latinxs Don’t Need to Speak Spanish | The Nation

Nahuatl Indigenous women offer corn, flowers, and light candles to the sun during celebrations of the winter solstice in San Andres, El Salvador, in 2006. (Luis Romero / AP Photo)

Like many Latinxs raised in the United States, I’ve taken shit for not speaking perfect Spanish. Mexicans even have a word for someone like me—someone born to a Mexican family north of the border, who speaks Spanish with an accent. Pocho. In its simplest sense, pocho (literally meaning “faded”) describes an Americanized Mexican. It’s not a compliment, but like any Mexican slur, it gets equal use as an insult and as a term of endearment. Growing up, I even found comfort in the word. In California, I rarely had to explain myself to other Mexican Americans at school. Instead, it was always white kids who took it upon themselves to police my race and ethnicity. “You’re not really Mexican,” they would say when I spoke stilted Spanish.

In Latinx spaces, especially online, there’s a growing consensus arguing that knowledge of the Spanish language isn’t a prerequisite for Latinx identity. It’s sometimes spilled into the wider public. Last fall, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke candidly about her nerves speaking Spanish in front of an audience. (After the congresswoman’s recent conversation with the Puerto Rican rapper Residente, one Latina journalist commented on Twitter, “Her pocha Spanish is so relatable to me.”) And in the most recent Democratic primary, after TV pundits repeatedly questioned Julián Castro’s identity because he didn’t speak Spanish, the former San Antonio mayor lamented that the media treated it as “the only variable as to whether somebody is Latino or not, which is completely out of line with reality.” The ability to speak Spanish, he told The Washington Post, “is just one part of the overall connection to the Latino community.”

This discourse has resonated with many Americanized Latinxs. But missing from this discourse about Latinx identity is the reality of people who never spoke Spanish to begin with. After all, Spanish—like English—is a colonizing tongue. Today, across Latin America, millions instead primarily speak Indigenous languages. For these people, the consequences of not speaking traditional Spanish fluently can be serious and dangerous. And as climate change, political violence, and migration patterns have uprooted these communities from their homes, many of these same people now face similarly oppressive environments within Latinx communities in the United States.

Hilaria Cruz, like me, was singled out by other students in grade school for not speaking Spanish. Cruz, however, was born and raised in Mexico. She grew up in the country’s mountainous southwestern region, living in a community of Chatino people, an Indigenous group that has inhabited the peaks and canyons of Oaxaca for thousands of years. As a child, she spoke a rare form of the Chatino language with her family; it wasn’t until she was 8 that she heard Spanish for the first time. Her parents wanted her to get a formal education, and since Mexico offered no schools in Native languages at the time, her family walked five hours into the nearest mestizo town (“mestizo,” in a simplified sense, means a mix of native and Spanish culture). At her school, the children would form mobs and chase the few Chatino students, shouting racial slurs at them: “Indi*s! Indi*s!

Cruz, now an assistant professor in the department of Comparative Humanities at the University of Louisville, has studied how the Spanish imposed their language on Native people in Mexico. She says that soldiers, missionaries, and interpreters traveled North America throughout the 16th and 17th centuries creating maps. When the Spanish reached the mountains in modern day Oaxaca, they asked the people living there for their name and language. They responded that they were called the qne-a tnya-e, and their language was Chaq-f tnya-b. The Spanish heard “Chatino.” They christened a town in one of the canyons and called it San Juan Quiahije, the same town that Cruz walked five hours from so she could attend school. Five hundred years later, the town still resembles a colonial frontier in many ways: Native people face blatant discrimination, and the language barrier prevents their access to many social services. For Cruz, the most fundamental institutions of the state—the schools, the courts, the hospitals—all existed in Spanish.

Cruz is not alone. In Mexico, millions of citizens speak Nahuatl, Mixteco, Zapoteco, and over 280 other native languages (including over 40,000 Chatino speakers). In Paraguay, Guaraní shares status with Spanish as the official language. In Guatemala, people speak over 20 different Mayan languages. In northern Colombia, the village of San Basilio de Palenque was founded by escaped African slaves, and today their descendants speak Palenquero, a blend of Portuguese and Kikongo, a Bantu language.

For many Indigenous people across the Americas, repression and colonial violence didn’t end with European rule. Cruz recalls that in the mountains where she grew up, Spanish-speaking landowners constantly push to expand their farms into Native land, often with bloodshed. In the Amazon basin, illegal logging and gold mining have constantly encroached on Indigenous peoples’ lands. Along with deforestation and violence, the land grabbers may have recently brought the coronavirus to some isolated Native groups in Brazil. During the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s, US-backed regimes committed genocide against Maya and other Indigenous people.

Current Issue

In recent years, severe violence, climate change–fueled drought, and entrenched poverty have forced hundreds of thousands of Native people to leave their communities, especially in Central America. Many have made their way north to the United States, meaning that the brunt of the repression the US government has enacted on the border since 2014 has largely fallen on Indigenous people: In the last two years, five of the seven migrant children who died in US custody have come from Indigenous communities, and in immigrant detention centers across the country, lawyers have described a translation crisis, as both the government and NGOs fail to find translators for Native people in their court proceedings.

For Indigenous people who successfully immigrate to the United States, the presumption that Latinxs all speak Spanish can have serious repercussions. With the spread of Covid-19, the stakes are even higher. For example, few informative resources on proper hygiene and social distancing exist in Indigenous languages (though there have been some valiant efforts). If Native people need emergency care, hospitals across the country may incorrectly call in Spanish interpreters. In 2008, a Chatino woman named Cirila Baltazar Cruz (no relation to Hilaria Cruz) gave birth in Mississippi, but had her baby torn out of her arms by child protective services, after the Spanish-language translator incorrectly interpreted the mother’s description of her living conditions. It took over a year—and a Southern Poverty Law Center legal case—for her to get custody of her daughter back.

Indigenous people and Afro-Latinxs also face a structural racism that reaches across Latin America and extends into “Latino” communities in the United States, in which immigrants who speak Native languages are often ostracized. Scholars have a term for this latter form of racism: linguistic discrimination. Spanish-speaking ability in a country like Mexico, or English-speaking ability in a country like the United States, can work like skin tone: a gradient that correlates—with heartbreaking consistency—to wealth, educational access, and even life expectancy.

Afro-Latinxs also endure intense racism that often centers on language. In the United States, Cardi B—who is a Dominican Afro-Latina—has spoken out about facing racism for her accent in English, and facing bigoted challenges to her blackness simply because she speaks Spanish. Even in Spanish-speaking countries, Dominicans (a majority-black population) often face prejudice because of their accents, which get unfairly criticized as “deficient” Spanish. (Meanwhile, Hatian Creole speakers in the Dominican Republic face often brutal exclusion for not speaking Spanish at all.)

“Stereotypes about language and stereotypes about racial categories get co-naturalized—they get constructed together,” says Jonathan Rosa, a professor of linguistics at Stanford University. Rosa says that linguistic discrimination doesn’t affect only foreign or minority languages—in the United States, racists have often criticized African American Vernacular. “Language is never too far from the picture when you talk about any racialized population,” he says. “That population’s language is always stereotyped as linguistically deficient.”

There’s irony in the fact that many people in this country will call both Cruz and me “Hispanic” or “Latino.” If Latin Americans speak many different languages—and if language is only “one part” of what makes someone Latinx, as Castro says—what, then, actually defines Latinx identity? What do I, in California with my Spanglish and my quesadillas, have in common with a Mapuche person in southern Chile speaking Mapudungun and eating milcao?

At the offices of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, or MICOP, Indigenous identity in the context of Latinidad, or “Latino-ness,” is a critical part of everyday work. On any given day in MICOP’s headquarters, on California’s central coast, the office is filled with the sounds of Mixteco, English, and Spanish as people go about their work building political power among Mixteco immigrants, especially among California’s farmworkers. MICOP was founded to help strengthen Mixtec and Indigenous community living in Ventura County. (While Mixteco people are native to southwestern Mexico, tens of thousands of Mixtecos migrated to the United States in the 1980s and ’90s.)

Genieve Flores-Haro, the associate director of MICOP, says that one of the fundamental challenges the organization faces is how to work with the concept of Latinidad: “If you ask certain members of my staff, they’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m Hispanic’; others will say, ‘I’m Latino, Latinx.’ Then others members will say, ‘No. I am not Latino, Latinx. I am Indigenous. And then there’s another sect that takes that even further and says, ‘No, I am not even Indigenous. I’m Native.’”

When I ask her about it, Hilaria Cruz says she “finds it a little silly” that people in the United States use “Latina” to refer to her. In the states, the people who called themselves “Latino” were the same people who in Mexico asked her to go back to her community to find them a muchacha, a maid. “The only thing they thought Indigenous people were good for was to be servants. So when I get grouped with these people, I don’t take it really seriously. I know I come from a very different experience, even though I now speak fluent Spanish.”

Cruz’s attitude is mirrored by many Native people with a Latin American heritage living in the United States. While Americanized Latinxs often wave a broad, ostensibly inclusionary banner of Latinidad, many Native people and Afro-Latinxs maintain a more separatist attitude: Why search for a place of belonging among one’s own oppressors? Such groups have promoted the idea of the abolition, of Latinidad, which many see as a white supremacist construct, and an empty form of solidarity that both buries racial violence and erases black and Native experiences.

When I ask Cruz about what should be done, she says she’s not focused on identity as much as the practical issues such as health care, which has been made all the more serious during the pandemic. “It doesn’t feel like an imposition to me,” she says of Latindad. “But it does bother me that there’s not a recognition of the existence of linguistic diversity in [Latin America]. This is the same reason, when Indigenous people seek access to medical care, that doctors and nurses will be completely ignorant and call a Spanish interpreter. And if the patients can’t understand the Spanish interpreter, then they don’t get help.”

This content was originally published here.

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Learn Spanish with Olga. My new page. #Spanish #languages – authortranslatorOlga

Hi all:

Those of you who follow my blog know that I have recently completed a course to qualify as a language teacher. The director of the course suggested told me that they were always looking for Spanish teachers (I hope they might need people when language schools open again, fingers crossed!), and I’ve been trying to get organised since I completed the course.

Recently I shared the first video of a series I hope to create covering basic Spanish topics, and I have also added a page to my blog with a variety of resources for those interested in learning the language. I decided to share the page today here as a post (also because I’m reading a fairly long book, so I have no new review to share), with a link to the actual page, so you can check it regularly, as I intend to keep adding more videos and resources.

Here it is:

 

Hello everyone!

In case you don’t know me, I’m Olga and although I’m originally from Barcelona (Spain), I moved to the UK for work reasons (I was a doctor and wanted to specialise in psychiatry) in 1992 and spent there over 25 years. During those years I did plenty of things: I worked as a psychiatrist (in a variety of specialities, mostly forensic psychiatry), I studied (a BA and a PhD in American Literature, an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice), I wrote and published a number of books (in English and Spanish) and also translated the books of quite a few authors into Spanish and English.

A couple of years ago I returned to Barcelona to support my mother, started volunteering at a local radio station and for a couple of years taught English Composition online at the University of the People. That experience made me realise that I’d like to teach languages, and in March 2020 I completed a course and obtained the CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. With the pedagogical insights gained from the course, and as a native speaker fluent in English, I thought I could help English speakers interested in improving their level of Spanish, especially those eager to become more fluent, to practise what they have learned and brush up on their studies, those working on presentations or specific projects they would like a hand with, and people who want to communicate with the locals in a variety of situations. If you think you might be interested in that, we can chat about it in more detail. Just get in touch with me.

I am preparing a series of short videos with some basic topics, and I’ll share the links here as they become available. You can also check the following resources if you are interested in learning Spanish.

Websites:

Instituto Cervantes (Plenty of materials, from courses to articles on all kinds of topics. A well-known institution with offices all over the world.

Video ele (A whole course based around videos)

Tu escuela de español (Elena Prieto offers regular videos in her YouTube channel. There is also a Premium option)

Tio Spanish (You can also test your level and that allows you to choose level appropriate activities).

Dictionaries:

RAE (Diccionario panhispánico de dudas). The RAE (Real Academia de la Lengua Española) is the official institution tasked with creating the official dictionary and revising and updating the grammar. There are many other options, including other kinds of dictionaries, available on their website:

Many thanks, good luck, and keep learning!

And here is the link to the page, so you can bookmark it for future reference:

Thanks so much for reading and watching, and if you’re interested, remember to like, share, comment, and leave me suggestions for future videos as well. Ah, if you check the video, you’ll find a link to the presentation as well. ♥

Share this:

This content was originally published here.

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Learn Spanish with Olga – authortranslatorOlga

Hello everyone!

In case you don’t know me, I’m Olga and although I’m originally from Barcelona (Spain), I moved to the UK for work reasons (I was a doctor and wanted to specialise in psychiatry) in 1992 and spent there over 25 years. During those years I did plenty of things: I worked as a psychiatrist (in a variety of specialities, mostly forensic psychiatry), I studied (a BA and a PhD in American Literature, an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice), I wrote and published a number of books (in English and Spanish) and also translated the books of quite a few authors into Spanish and English.

A couple of years ago I returned to Barcelona to support my mother, started volunteering at a local radio station and for a couple of years taught English Composition online at the University of the People. That experience made me realise that I’d like to teach languages, and in March 2020 I completed a course and obtained the CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. With the pedagogical insights gained from the course, and as a native speaker fluent in English, I thought I could help English speakers interested in improving their level of Spanish, especially those eager to become more fluent, to practise what they have learned and brush up on their studies, those working on presentations or specific projects they would like a hand with, and people who want to communicate with the locals in a variety of situations. If you think you might be interested in that, we can chat about it in more detail. Just get in touch with me.

I am preparing a series of short videos with some basic topics, and I’ll share the links here as they become available. You can also check the following resources if you are interested in learning Spanish.

Websites:

Instituto Cervantes (Plenty of materials, from courses to articles on all kinds of topics. A well-known institution with offices all over the world.

Video ele  (A whole course based around videos)

Tu escuela de español  (Elena Prieto offers regular videos in her YouTube channel. There is also a Premium option)

Tio Spanish (You can also test your level and that allows you to choose level appropriate activities).

Dictionaries:

RAE (Diccionario panhispánico de dudas). The RAE (Real Academia de la Lengua Española) is the official institution tasked with creating the official dictionary and revising and updating the grammar. There are many other options, including other kinds of dictionaries, available on their website:

This content was originally published here.

Categories
spanish

Ana G. Méndez University Launches Virtual Course for Professionals to Learn Spanish | Miami’s Community News

Workshops are designed for people who have little to no knowledge in Spanish speaking, a vital tool for career advancement in a state experiencing an exponential growth in Hispanics.

With a sustained growth of almost 20% annually in the Hispanic Florida population, the basic knowledge of the Spanish language becomes a vital and necessary tool for professionals who want to be successful in their career or business.

In tune with this demographic reality and as part of its growing portfolio of community-focused initiatives, Ana G. Méndez University (UAGM) announces the launch of a modular and interactive short program for teaching Spanish. UAGM, a leading institution for the professional development of Hispanics in the United States, designed the curriculum for professionals who have little to no knowledge of this language.

First to launch on June 8 “Spanish for Professionals”, will be delivered over an 8-week period.

“This program was created as a result of a demand from Florida companies and corporations that have long sought an accredited education institution offering these courses so their employees could aquire basic knowledge of Spanish to serve a growing customer base that demands products and services in the language,” said Eduardo Cases, director of Business Development at UAGM.

“We have created this short, practical and effective course not only for corporate employees, but for the general public who wishes to enrich their knowledge and increase their chances of success in a competitive job and economic market like Central Florida,” he added.

In 2018, the Hispanic population had an extraordinary population growth of 26.1%, according to the Federal Census Office. An upward demographic trend is expected to be documented when the agency analyzes 2019 data and continues to grow by 2020.

Florida has a population of 21.1 million, 5.5 million of which are Hispanic. The majority of Hispanic groups are Cubans, with a population of 1.5 million; Puerto Ricans, who number 1.2 million; and Mexicans who reach a population of 736,566, according to the Census.

The course is designed with three levels. Level 1 is an introductory level intended for professionals who have little to no knowledge of the language. It includes vocabulary, basic grammar as well as emphasizes pronunciation, reading, comprehension and basic communication in Spanish. Customs and cultural insights are also presented. 

This introductory course will be offered virtually on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning next Monday, June 8. The duration of the course is 32 hours and the cost is $399. Registration can be completed through this link: http://bit.ly/uagmspanish1.

Intermediate and Advanced Courses

Beginning August, UAGM will begin to offer Intermediate and Advanced Spanish courses.

The Intermediate or Level 2 course not only expands new vocabulary and conversational skills, but participants will have a more active and intensive participation in oral communication, reading, writing and grammar practices. At this level, listening and speaking skills will be emphasized.

In Advanced or Level 3, students will engage and participate in authentic experiences simulating real-life situations during which they will be able to use Spanish. To achieve a more immersive and meaningful experience, these practical excercises will include sample situations respective to the professional field of the student. 

“UAGM is committed to empowering Floridians with the skills they need to thrive professionally,” emphasized Cases.

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This content was originally published here.

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Learn Spanish With a Lifetime Rosetta Stone License, Now $40 Off

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

Como estas? Mi nombre es Quentyn. And that’s about the extent of what I remember from the one semester of Spanish I took. If you’re like me and could brush up on basics of the world’s most common languages, Rosetta Stone deals like this one are juicy. You’ll get a lifetime license to learn Spanish—of the Latin America vernacular, specifically—for $160, which is $40 cheaper than its usual going price of late.

Considering the 12-month license is currently $20 more, this is a deal you shouldn’t hesitate to hop on if you’re looking to expand your tongue’s capabilities.

P.S.: For what it’s worth, the promo graphic at Amazon suggests this license also includes 100% access to all 24+ Rosetta languages. We can’t verify the legitimacy of this offer right now, so your safest best to buy it only if you know for certain you’d be fine with Spanish alone. Consider anything more a sweet bonus.

Peak Design Is Donating All of Its Travel Tripod Launch Profits to…

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This content was originally published here.