Picture_1_1 This year I decided to learn Spanish. One would think the surname, the place I grew up, the sombrero, would all indicate some working knowledge of Spanish–but no, I'm pretty much illiterate when it comes to the language.

"¡Hola, Andres!"
"¿Que? Que es, plato?"
"Yo vivo en una escuela de pescados. Plato."

See? Gibberish. Don't be fooled, I have excellent pronunciation, mainly due to years of practice imitating my dad saying "Chicago", otherwise, I'm a mess.

So, I did some looking around and it turns out there's a podcast being produced by (I'm not joking) a pair of Scottish podcasters in Scotland. The chemistry between them is outstanding, and Mark, the teacher is very good at balancing the lessons so they aren't too advanced but stay interesting. I think the key to the podcast is they try to keep it around 15 minutes and each episode builds on the previous work.

It's called "Coffee Break Spanish" and it's entirely free.  There are study materials that cost a nominal fee (like $1) that are produced along with each podcast, but I haven't needed them.

The only thing that's a little odd is the differences between the Spain Spanish versus the Mexican Spanish  my parents speak. For example, "mujer" in Mexican Spanish means "woman" but in Spain it means "wife".  And of course there is the Spain Spanish lisp that would probably get a few laughs if I tried talking to my relatives with it.

But I can't recommend the podcast enough. Check it out.



Thanks for the review, Andre! To be honest, the differences between Mexican and "Spanish" Spanish aren't really huge. There are a few different words as you point out, but no more than the difference between US and UK English. The thing is, we know exactly what you mean when you say "trashcan" or when you pronounce "aluminium" on the "u". That's pretty much the same for Mexican and Spanish Spanish.

It's great to read people talking about CBS on their blogs and you'll be very welcome over on the Coffee Break Spanish forums where your New Year's Resolution will hopefully be assisted by our growing community.

¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!

Ruben Miranda

DUDE...this is exactly what I needed. It's tough being the only relative from a Puerto Rican family that doesn't speak Spanish.

Thanks for passing this along.


ah muy bien! vamos a hablar solo en espanol en la officina. si?

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before this i wrote links for 2006-12-25 after this i wrote coffee break spanish, continued


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