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costa-del-sol

Guest Blogger: Kay, Rocket Spanish 6 Day Course

It’s that time of year when, along with the coffee and toast, my green, white and red copy of Easy Spanish & English Dictionary makes its appearance on the breakfast table.

Hay pan tostado y mermelada,” I pronounce in what I hope is best Castilian. “La tostadora no funciona,” my husband replies conversationally, his finger and one eye on page 242, knowing that according to my rules, it doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be in Spanish.

This early morning crash course seems like a fine idea. Sadly, a proper study effort just isn’t going to happen. El jefe siempre está ocupado… and who has time for learning anything in these last few hectic weeks before we shut up shop for the Christmas holiday? But we both agree that arriving in Spain with a few useful phrases that trip lightly off the tongue makes the transition into holiday mode a whole lot easier and more fun.

The first thing to get right is the instructions to the taxi driver. Last year, in an effort to ease the traffic flow, the local authority introduced direccion unica to the streets around our favorite pueblo on the Costa del Sol.

We knew our way on foot, but for the taxi, the change meant a complicated circumnavigation of the entire village. Just giving the street address to the taxi driver didn’t cut it; I had to be able to tell him which narrow street he needed to turn into, and when.

For us, it’s nearly a 24-hour plane trip to get to Malaga, and jet-lagged and crotchety, I was tongue-tied when I had to conjure up the Spanish for “Go right at the stop, and then continue to the next intersection.”

We made it. But that’s how the pre-holiday desayuno-en-Espanol idea came about.

So now it’s “La dirección que buscamos está al norte de la ciudad”- quick gulp of coffee –”y la casa está a la derecha”.

¡Buen provecho!

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It’s one thing to stroll aimlessly through the markets in Spain, Mexico or South America, with all the time in the world and nothing in particular to buy, but where do you go when you have to cook up a storm Spanish style?

This quick audio lesson will help you with grocery shopping in Spanish – at least it will help you get to the right place – as for what happens when you get there – that’s a whole other lesson!

If you’re a beginner Spanish learner, these are some essential Spanish words for you to know – even just being able to recognize these words will make sure you never go hungry!

Listen carefully to my pronunciation and repeat each word aloud until you feel confident.

La carnicería Butchers

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La confitería Sweet shop / Candy store

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La panadería Bakery

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La pastelería Cake shop / Pastry shop

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La pescadería Fish shop / Seafood store

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La verdulería Vegetable market

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La frutería Fruit shop

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La cervecería Brewery

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La bodega Wine cellar

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La heladería Ice-cream shop

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La pizzería Pizza shop

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La lechería Dairy

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La tienda de comestibles Grocery store

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And if there’s a spare seat at your table, I’m always open to invitations!

Best wishes,

Mauricio E.

If home is where you hang your hat, home never looked so good as after a long day of sightseeing.

When you’re hot and weary, and could kill for a cold beer, you want to sort out your bed for the night as fast as possible right?

Whether you’re traveling in Spain, Mexico or another Spanish-speaking country, you’ll have several different types of accommodation – alojamientos – to choose from. Just think, you’ll be one step closer to that beer if you already know how to describe the kind of place you’re looking for…

Here’s a quick audio lesson on a few essential Spanish words to know for your vacation. Listen carefully to my pronunciation and repeat each word aloud until you feel confident.

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Youth hostel  Un albergue para jóvenes

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Inn (Spain)  Una fonda

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Inn (Mexico)  Una posada

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Spanish villa  Una villa

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Boarding house  Un hostal

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Guest house (Spain)  Una pensión / Una casa de huéspedes

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Country houses (Spain) Casas rurales

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Travel Tip: Cases Rurales (literally “rural house”) are country houses in the Spanish countryside. This is ideal accommodation if you’re seeking a quiet, natural environment, local food and contact with local people.

On a shoe-string budget? A great way to travel around Spanish-speaking countries on a budget is backpacking.

As a backpacker – un mochilero – you’re more likely to discover and explore areas that only the locals know about…

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Backpacking  Viaje de mochilero

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Backpacker  Mochilero

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Remember, practice makes perfect! You’ll be happy you saved your precious vacation time by learning these essential Spanish words. There’s plenty more where this came from – you can tune in for more free Spanish lessons by subscribing to this blog.