My native born Latino friends often complain: ‘The average American has no idea that we come from more places than just Mexico or Spain. “ Thanks to the early explorers’ migration from Spain, they proudly boast heritages from over 20 countries in North, Central and South America. Their country of origin provides a sense of association and cultural identification. Every country has characteristics that make them unique and if you are sensitive to that you will go a long way to building rapport and connection. They carry their countries with pride and truly appreciate when they are asked: “What country are you from?” Don’t assume a Latino’s heritage – you (and they) will be happy you didn’t.
We are all getting used to the abbreviations everyone uses for texting – such as brb (be right back), 2 (too), bc (because), omg (oh my gosh), ect. Well, I just recently discovered Spanish texting and it is really amusing. For instancea2 (adios – goodbye), 100pre (siempre – always), bss (besos – kisses). Here are a few more. See if you can figure these out::
d2, ers2, tq, kbza, nph, pf, sbs?, tb, qdms…. The answers are at the bottom of this paragraph. Don’t look until you give it a good try…..
Where there are Latinos, chaos is not far behind. One time my husband and I were in Mexico and rented a jeep to tool around the island of Cozumel when all of a sudden, totally unexpected, the road ceased to exist. My Irish husband was surprised and a little annoyed – me? I just screamed – that’s what I love about Mexico – always surprises! That’s what I love so much about being Latina!
It seems like most places that I go, I see and hear Spanish. I am often tempted to connect to these Spanish speakers but feel a little bit shy to “start a conversation.” When I do however, I am most often met with genuine interest, willingness and even appreciation to converse.
Now, because we all know that in order to develop and improve our Spanish we need to SPEAK and practice. I am introducing Viva Tees as a way to encourage Spanish speakers to connect!
With Viva Spanish! on the front and ¡HABLA CONMIGO! on the back Spanish speakers know just what to do.
I have a squad of Spanish speakers circulating in NE Ohio (wearing Viva Tees) to discover how often they connect with Spanish speakers because of Viva Tees. Stay tuned….
If you are interested in getting your own Viva Tee, please email me directly at with quantity, size and shipping address. I have a limited number of tee shirts left – get yours FREE now just for helping me with my market research!
Most Spanish words have the same Latin-based form as their English equivalents Many words in both languages look almost the same.
It is easier to understand the word if you read it than if you hear it said. Consider these words:
doctor, profesor, altar, favor, chocolate, crisis, horror, similar, simple… and the list goes on. When you are learning Spanish, if you guess you are probably right!
But take note: You will embarrass yourself if you use the word “embarasada” which does not mean “embarass” but means “pregnant!”
Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) is a great excuse to celebrate Spanish culture. The date commemorates the victory of the underdog small Mexican army against the much larger French army during the Battle of Puebla in 1862, The date has come to represent unity and pride for the Mexican people. In the USA, it has become akin to St. Patrick’s Day for the Irish, where everyone celebrates the fun and culture of Latin America. What will you find to do this year for Cinco? Make it memorable for you and your family!
One-liners are a good way to gain confidence when you are learning a new language – they are short and meaningful. Using them will make you feel more confident. Try adding them to your English conversation and you will be creating your own version of Spanglish (Spanish and English combined). Buena suerte (good luck!),
Viva Lesson of the Day
One liners -
Por supuesto – Of course! (por-soo-poo-ehs-to)
Quizás – Maybe (kee-sahs)
Me alegro – I’m so glad (meh ah-leh-groh)
Es verdad – That’s the truth (ehs ver-dahd)
¡Cómo no! – Why not? (koh-moh noh)
¡Claro! – Sure! (klah – doh)
My parents are from Paraguay and Venezuela. When I was just 3 yrs old my parents were baffled when my older sister, younger brother and I searched frantically for our Easter baskets that early Easter morning. ”Que pasa?” they asked. We cried, “the Easter bunny forgot about us! He is supposed to leave Easter baskets filled with candy!” My sister had just started in Kindergarten that year and learned about the famed “Easter bunny” and how he visited houses and hid Easter baskets for all the kids in the world.
We were so disappointed and my parents tried to console us. They then realized that our little “Latino” world had been influenced by forces outside of our little home.
In an effort to rescue Easter for us that year, my father left with the excuse that he needed to go to the store to buy groceries. He returned with 3 giant Easter baskets and this story: ”I was at the grocery store when I ran into the Easter bunny. I called over to him and asked why he forgot to leave Easter baskets at our house. He said that if I could catch him then he would give him 2 Easter baskets. So I chased that bunny all over the store, up and down the aisles until I finally caught him! He gave me 2 Easter baskets and then I realized that I have 3 children! So he made me chase him again! When I caught him that 2nd time he gave me another basket.”
I vividly and fondly remember that story and now realize how foreign that Easter bunny was to my Latino parents but how they wanted us to feel like we “belonged” as much as the American kids who found Easter baskets in their homes on Easter morning.
I am told that filling eggs with confetti is a popular, fun activity in Mexico. While we here in the US boil eggs and then color them, in Mexico they hollow out the eggs and then fill them with confetti. They call them “Cascarones.”
Why confetti you may ask? Well…because it makes a mess when they are cracked on each other’s HEADS. I just love Mexico! They know how to crack me up!