Languages & Cultures

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Days of the Week in Spanish

Maybe you’ve seen an international calendar listing the days of the week in different languages, including Spanish. But which of those were the Spanish words? Here are [more…]

Making Excuses with the Conditional Perfect in Spanish

The conditional perfect is a Spanish verb tense you can’t live without. It enables you to provide excuses in Spanish for actions that would have taken place if certain conditions had existed. “I would [more…]

Handling Violent Situations in Spanish-Speaking Countries

If you're planning a vacation to a Spanish-speaking country, you don't want to think about getting robbed, attacked, or caught in a violent situation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t figure out how [more…]

Spanish Nouns Whose Meanings Change by Gender

Gender plays an even more important role in Spanish nouns than you might think. The gender of some Spanish nouns can actually affect the words’ meanings. In the masculine form, a word in this category [more…]

Spanish Nouns That Don't Have Separate Gender Forms

There’s no escaping the importance of gender in Spanish nouns. Or is there? A select few Spanish nouns aren’t really affected by gender. These nouns keep the same spelling, regardless of gender — a fact [more…]

Shopping for Quality Fabric in Spanish

In Spanish department stores, you may notice that poorer regions favor fabrics made with artificial fibers, and that the prices for these fabrics aren't any lower than those of natural fibers. The following [more…]

Brightening Your World with Colors in Spanish

Shopping for clothes, home décor items, and other household goods in Spanish-speaking countries requires some familiarity with describing these colores [more…]

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Bajar (to Go Down)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like bajar, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs [more…]

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Haber (to Have)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. Haber(ah-bvehr) (to have) is used only with compound tenses. It serves as a helping verb that completes an action [more…]

Filling Out Hotel Registration Forms in Spanish

When registering at a Spanish hotel, you may be asked to fill out a registration form. Following are some Spanish terms for information you’re likely to be asked for when you check in: [more…]

How to Hire a Taxi in a Spanish City

Like many urban areas worldwide, taxis are often available for hire in Spanish-speaking cities. To take advantage of this service, though, you need to know how to go about hiring a taxi. Following are [more…]

Using Travelers’ Checks in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Travelers’ checks are a safe way to carry your money. One inconvenience of using travelers' checks in Spanish-speaking countries is that you need to find the right place to cash them. Banks do, and many [more…]

Renting a Car in a Spanish-Speaking Country

One way to feel like a local when you’re visiting a Spanish-speaking country is to rent a car. In fact, renting a car is also a good way to practice your Spanish because you’ll be exposed to road signs [more…]

Measuring Up: Weight and Volume in Spanish

Spanish-speaking countries use the metric system to measure weight and volume (the United States uses the English system). So instead of asking for a pound of [more…]

Minding Your Business: The Spanish Idiom Asunto

The Spanish word asunto (ah-soon-toh) (matter; business; that which concerns you) is an idiom that’s used in several Spanish phrases. In some parts of South America, [more…]

Renting or Leasing a Home in Spanish

If you need to rent a house or apartment in a Spanish-speaking location, you need to be able to talk about leasing terms and the type of housing you’re looking for. The following Spanish words and phrases [more…]

Dealing with Unique Spanish Punctuation

One distinguishing feature of Spanish is its use of double punctuation in written questions and exclamations. Spanish uses punctuation to indicate the tone of what you’re writing at both the beginning [more…]

Deciphering Spanish Surnames

The construction of a Spanish surname (otherwise known as a last name) is quite different from that of an English surname. Here’s an example to help you understand how Spanish names are constructed: [more…]

Asking about Hotel Parking in Spanish

If you plan to stay in a Spanish hotel, finding a place to park your car, if you have one, is important, especially where parking spaces are limited, as they tend to be in the beautiful colonial downtown [more…]

Going to a Spanish Theater

A Spanish theater can be the perfect place to absorb the Spanish language. But first, you’re likely to be engaged in a conversation like the following one about going to the theater: [more…]

Going the Distance in Spanish, and Measuring It

When you talk about distances in Spanish, you generally use the metric system, which is based on units of 10. That makes it easy to convert between centimeters, meters, and kilometers. But occasionally [more…]

French Vocabulary for Shopping

Develop a French shopping vocabulary to gain a new cultural experience when traveling. Whether you're shopping for clothes, food, or souvenirs, you can use the following phrases in any French-speaking [more…]

How to Make Small Talk in French

Making small talk in French is just the same as in English. Touch on familiar topics like jobs, sports, children — just say it in French! Small talk describes the brief conversations that you have with [more…]

How to Order Food in French

Knowing how to order food in French is essential, whether you're on a short visit to a French-speaking country or planning to live there. Eating out at French restaurants and cafes can be a lot of fun, [more…]

How to Say Dates and Times in French

When making plans, appointments, and travel arrangements in French-speaking countries, you need to be able to state dates and other calendar terms in French. Knowing how to say and understand dates, the [more…]

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