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6 Pithy Quotes About Life from Great Spanish-language Writers

One of the great pleasures of taking on a new language is discovering its top writers.

Revered Spanish-language literature is motivating because you get more out of it than just language practice, and because there is unique color to be enjoyed from reading in the original Spanish.

However, this can all seem a bit inaccessible at first.

How can beginning students get the above benefits without the frustration of trying to slog through a heavy tome, looking up every few words in their dictionary?

Bite-sized literary chunks can be the answer. That is to say, quotes, proverbs and sayings might hold the solution.

In this post I’m going to look at six approachable quotes from some of the most celebrated Spanish and Latin American writers. We’ll see what they have to say about life, plus some useful Spanish rules and vocabulary that can be picked up along the way.

#learnspanish

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/spanish-quotes-about-life/
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70+ Spanish Weather Expressions to Improve Your Small Talk

Just like you can’t control the rain, you can’t possibly control every conversation your Spanish language journey may lead you into.

You can, however, bring an umbrella.

Over the past two years of my time abroad in Spain, there have been countless moments when bringing up the weather has saved me from otherwise uncomfortable silences with Spaniards.

Luckily, for a sometimes awkward conversationalist like myself, the weather in Madrid is sporadic enough (and extreme enough) to always be a relevant topic when I find myself grasping at straws to make small talk.

While it may be the easiest way to strike up conversation with a stranger, discussing the weather is also seen as the indicator that conversation has gotten a little awkward or dull when talking with close friends.

Either way, it’s certainly the conversation default no matter what culture you’re coming from and, for this reason, it’s a vital tool to have while trying to navigate small talk in a foreign language.

Let’s get you started with the basic weather expressions and then we’ll build to some fun phrases about weather that really get a conversation flowing!

#learnspanish

 Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/spanish-weather-expressions/
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Tú vs. Usted: Navigating the Vexing Distinctions of Formality in Spanish

If you hail from a language without formal and informal forms of you (like modern English), you’re probably perturbed by having to navigate complex distinctions of friendship and respect in just about every Spanish sentence.

The good news is that this subject can be just as vexing for Spanish speakers.

Exactly how old do “older” people have to be to merit the respect of usted (the formal “you”)? If you’re in a new job and people seem to be using (informal “you”) between themselves, should you just immediately use it with everyone too?

There’s no right answer to these questions. The answers vary and depend on personalities, regions and the subtleties of the situation. The most perfect Spanish speaker in the world is bound to offend someone at some point due to these levels of formality.

On the other hand, the distinction can also be one of the pleasures of Spanish. I love that I can cling to usted, for example, with someone who’s being too friendly and with whom I don’t want that sort of relationship (this is particularly useful if you’re getting unwanted advances from someone). can be useful for the converse: to indicate that a relationship has gone beyond the business at hand and become more social.

#learnspanish

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/tu-and-usted/
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Flirt in Spanish: Key Phrases for Navigating Every Stage of Your Relationship in Español

Is your international love life being held back by a lack of Spanish vocabulary?

Have you got your eye on someone special but get tongue-tied—like you just attempted a Spanish tongue twister—whenever you see them?

While the language of love speaks volumes, sometimes you need to actually know how to talk about love, in another language, for your relationship to progress.

Wouldn’t things be easier if you just understood each other without having to make any effort? Well, yes, but here’s why you should persist…

#learnspanish

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/flirt-in-spanish/
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7 Strategies to Make Reading in a Foreign Language the Easiest Thing You Ever Learn

If you’re reading this, congratulations!

English is one of the most difficult languages to learn to read. From word to word, the same sounds in English are often spelled differently, or the same spellings are pronounced differently. Research has shown that English-speaking children take more than twice as long to learn to read as children who speak most other European languages.

But you’re not reading this article because you want to bask in the glory of being able to read English; you want to learn to read a whole other language!

The good news is that reading in whatever foreign language you’re interested in is probably easier than reading in English. The even better news is that reading in a foreign language can actually be the easiest thing you ever learn. With the right strategies, it’ll come much more naturally than getting down all that vocabulary or sharpening up your listening comprehension skills.

With the right techniques, language learning can usually be fun, but this is even more true of learning to read in a foreign language: basically all you have to do is read whatever you want, and you’ll get better at reading.

Of course, there are a few tricks you want to use along the way to make your “reading whatever you want” as efficient, effective and painless as possible. Here they are.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/reading-in-foreign-language/
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Mind to Mouth: How to Speak a New Language Fluently Faster

You’re doing it wrong!

Well, only if you’re not focusing the brunt of your attention on speaking your new language.

Are you building your language learning process upon grammar rules and written exercises?

Focused on those little details of the language?

Writing out tons of vocabulary lists?

Of course those aspects are super important too, especially when it comes to mastering reading, writing and listening. However, you won’t get far if you’re missing the crucial element of fluency: speech.

There’s a common problem for many learners who focus on rules and proper writing, but who don’t practice their speech: They cannot understand native speakers and they choke during real conversations. We don’t want that to happen to you.

We want you to act completely natural when you start speaking to a native, so you’ll make new friends and so everyone will be impressed. That’s why we’ve nailed down the 10 best learning tactics that will help you speak fluently. The best part is that they’re applicable to any language you decide to learn.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/how-to-speak-a-language-fluently/
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Learn Spanish with Music from 5 Unlikely Artists

Let’s be honest, here.

Does the thought of Spanish music conjure up images of an endless ream of Enriques, Rickys and Diegos regaling you with smoochy numbers about amor?

Would any of you just rather listen to songs you already know in English?

Well, you’re in luck. Because with the songs you’re about to discover, you can combine your love of English pop stars with some seriously fun Spanish learning.

Yes, pop stars means that means Beyoncé is on this list, you guys! I know, right? Why did no one tell you this before?

#learnspanish

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/learn-spanish-with-music/
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The Learner’s Guide to Spanish Numbers for 4 Key Uses in Everyday Life

Think you’ve got the numbers covered in Spanish?

Can you count all the way to cien (100) and back again?

Well, there’s a little more to numbers in Spanish than you might expect.

There are plenty of little differences between the way we use numbers in English and in Spanish, and it’s easy to get yourself tied in knots trying to figure them out.

But never fear, because this guide will help iron out any questions you have about using numbers in Spanish.

But past the obvious scenarios of buying things, telling people how old you are and giving them your phone number (all very useful skills!), when else does knowing the numbers really help?

#learnspanish

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/learn-spanish-numbers/
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7 Sharp Lesson Plan Templates to Streamline Your Foreign Language Classes

Quick question: How many lesson plan templates are there in the whole wide world?

Quick answer: As many as there are teachers.

Everybody’s online these days, posting and swapping ideas faster than ever before— it’s like one huge teacher meeting, where thousands of the world’s foreign language teachers have united to brainstorm, collaborate and share.

In this post, I’m gonna give you just seven. They’re incredibly effective templates that will turn any language class into learning central, and they’ll give you a great idea of what to expect from all the templates you’ll come across online.

But first, let me share with you four P’s that make for effective lesson plans.

#teachlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/educator/blog/foreign-language-lesson-plan-template/
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You’re in Demand! 10 Jobs That Require Your Spanish Skills

There are plenty of compelling reasons to learn Spanish, but there’s one that really makes bank: Employability.

In virtually any career field, Spanish can come in handy and help you advance. However, there are some careers that actually require Spanish language skills.

If you travel to any Spanish-speaking country for work, you’ll certainly need to know travel phrases at the very least. In any work scenario in which you need to use Spanish, you’ll also ideally understand advanced phrases to communicate more fully. Conversational fluency is key. But regardless of how you intend to use Spanish in the workplace, it’s important to brush up on your Spanish for business.

With your incredible Spanish language skills at the ready, you’ll be one step closer to some great jobs.

#learnspanish

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/jobs-that-require-spanish/
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13 Brilliant Blogs for Learners and Lovers of Languages

Ever feel like you’re all alone out there in the big scary world of learning a new language?

Like, you’ve got all the “how-to” walkthroughs and “expert” advice you could ever hope for, but you’re just missing that human touch, someone who really gets what you’re going through.

As language learners, we’re people first, and there’s nothing like a human perspective to motivate us and remind us that we’re not alone in our endeavors.

We feel frustrated by our own awkwardness in a second language, when we just can’t figure out how to pronounce that one awful sound or when we hit a pothole on the road to fluency.

It’s easy to get discouraged when your language learning isn’t progressing along perfectly according to plan, but don’t give up—there are plenty of bloggers out there who are living the struggle with you, and they’re writing about it as they go!

The Internet is crawling with blogs ranging from general linguistic geekery to learning a specific language in a particular country. Sorting through all that digital noise and trying to figure out which blogs to add to your reading list can be absolutely overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together a solid reading list for you. We’ve mentioned some of these blogs on FluentU before (because we think they’re that awesome!), but most of them are fresh faces that we’re adding to our own content feeds.

Here are 13 of the best blogs on the Internet for powering up your language learning game and reminding you that you’re not alone in your linguistic struggles.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/language-learning-blogs/
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5 Keys to a Creative Language Classroom

Want to know a secret?

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Lack of creativity did.

The world has woken up to the fact that creativity is not just a fluffy term assigned to kindergarten art projects.

It is essential to human development, happiness and last but not least, learning!

Chances are that you already invoke creativity in your language lessons, but teachers can never have too many tricks up their sleeves.

Let’s start with some reminders on why creativity is a tool that’s worth the extra effort.

#teachlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/educator/blog/creative-language-classroom/
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FluentU brings Spanish to life with real-world videos!
Introduction
FluentU is a new way to learn Spanish through videos like music videos, movie trailers, news, and inspiring talks. 

With engaging and immersive content, we empower users to learn Spanish with fun videos exhibiting the diversity and vibrancy of Spanish-speaking cultures.

We also have a popular Spanish learning blog which provides useful tips on how to learn Spanish.
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