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Learning Easy Spanish

picosrider

Active Member
There is no doubt that it is very useful, if not essential, to speak at least a bit of Spanish when undertaking the Camino. However it does take time to learn a foreign language and most of us are short of time. However it is not too difficult, or time consuming, to learn just enough to get by.
I have a friend who over 50 years has cycled in many countries of the world and has done that, learned just enough of various languages to get by. These include Spanish, French, German, Polish and even Japanese!
From experience he has learned that you can get by with about 150 phrases. He starts with a phrase book which includes phonetic pronounciations. He recommends the combined phrase book/dictionary by Berlitz, but there are others. From this he writes up the 150 most useful phrases onto flash cards, and then starts to learn and practise them. This way you only have to learn a minimum of words/phrases, those which are most likely to be of use during your trip.
There are some phrases which will not appear in your phrase book, for example:
Please can you stamp my credencial - Por favor, puede usted sellar mi credencial.
And instead of asking if there are rooms free, at a hostal you will be asking for a vacant bunk bed.
But you get the idea, it just needs a bit of thought and adaption!
So perhaps it would be useful to set up a pilgrims crash course of 150 useful phrases. So to start the ball rolling, any suggestions for inclusion is what should go into the top 20 most useful phrases? Are there any phrases that you want to know, or wish that you had known?
 
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Sojourner47

Guest
In my experience - not only in Spain, but other countries - it's not so much learning the basic phrases, but understanding the (usually) rapid-fire reply which is the most difficult bit!! :D
in fact the most useful phrase would be, "Please can you speak more slowly...."
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Sojourner47 said:
In my experience - not only in Spain, but other countries - it's not so much learning the basic phrases, but understanding the (usually) rapid-fire reply which is the most difficult bit!! :D
in fact the most useful phrase would be, "Please can you speak more slowly...."


England too :lol:
 

picosrider

Active Member
HELP!
Always be polite, e.g. start off with Buenos dias/Buenas tardes and don’t forget the please and thank you. Then the most important phrase to learn is “Please, do you speak English?” - Por favour,habla ingles?
If the answer is “Yes”, then problem solved! However the reply might be “No. Lo siento, no habla ingles” - No, sorry I do not speak English.
A tip. Younger people are more likely to speak/understand some English than older a people. Also if you ask a group (two or more) you increase the chance of one of them speaking English.
Spanish is spoken quickly with words joined together, making it difficult to understand, so next you need to slow them down. “Mas despacio por favour” – more slowly please!
So your next must know phrase is “I understand a little Spanish if you speak very slowly please” – Yo comprendo un poco español si usted habla muy despacio por favor.
Some other useful phrases:
Can you (are you able to) help me please? – Puede ayudar-me por favor?
Please, can you tell me where(is) the pilgrims hostel? – Por favor,puede decir-me donde está el aubergue des peregrinos?
Where is the nearest (most near) pharmacy? – Donde está la pharmacia mas cercana?
I have a blister, do you have an ointment (antiseptic cream) for the foot please?
Tengo una ampolia, tiene una pomada (una crema antiséptico) para el pie, por favor.
Hope these suggestions gets some more from you experienced pilgrims.
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Have to admit languages freek me out big time, I tried & tried........think I need to live in Spain :D

Eventually I end up speaking french german spanish all mixed up, I don't find it easy, but also am very polite and get on/by. I also believe we talk with song rather than lanuage :) & of course I smile a lot.
 
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picosrider

Active Member
Why are Brits so poor at speaking foreign languages? Are we too shy or embarrassed to try, or too lazy to learn, or perhaps too dim?
When I did my last Camino del Norte, we had lunch on the fine beach at Colunga (near the aubergue at La Isla) and then cycled the camino along back roads to Ribadesella. Coming to a junction by a farm in the middle of nowhere, I stopped to let all of our party get together before we turned off. There was a young boy of about 6 or 7 years of age, by the farm entrance. He was a scruffy little urchin, but as I started to count my companions in - one, two, three, four - to make sure we were all together, the little lad continued in perfect English "five, six, seven" and continued upto 20.
In England most kids of 7 can't even count upto 20 in English!
English is a very difficult language to learn, but foreigners seem to have no problem speaking it. Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn so why are we so loathe to make the effort?
I have read that in Spanish, 100 words are repeated over and over in 50% of conversation and that there are only about 20 verbs which are most commonly used. Now these should not be too difficult to learn, should they?
And you do not have to be a genius to understand hundreds of Spanish words which are so easily identifiable to the similar English word. For example: reparer = to repair, estation = station, repetir = to repeat, color = colour, durante = during, comprender = to understand/comprehend.
So make your Camino experience more enjoyable, and interesting, by learning a bit of basic Spanish.
 
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Sojourner47

Guest
picosrider said:
Why are Brits so poor at speaking foreign languages? .
In England most kids of 7 can't even count upto 20 in English!

A somewhat unwarranted generalisation, I would have thought.....
 

picosrider

Active Member
THE NUMBERS GAME.
Sojourner47 said:
picosrider said:
Why are Brits so poor at speaking foreign languages? .
In England most kids of 7 can't even count upto 20 in English!

A somewhat unwarranted generalisation, I would have thought.....
Oh dear I seem to have hit a raw nerve. But I thought us Brits were supposed to have a sense of humour!
But if they could count upto 60 they could learn to tell the time! And that is a good way to start learning Spanish. Numbers are very useful, essential I would say.
What time is it? - Que hora es? It is twenty past three - Son las tres y veite.
What is the date today? - Cual es la fecha hoy?
Today is Saturday the 14th of July - Hoy es sabado el catorce de julio.
What time does the bus leave for Gijon? - A que hora sale el autobus para Gijon?
It leaves at 16.15. - Sale a las dieciseis quince.
How much is that doggie in the window? - Cuanto es el porro en la ventana?
It is very cheap, only 105 euros. - Es mucho barato, solo ciento cinco euros.

So yes there are lots of very good reasons for learning Spanish numbers.
We are all clock watchers in this modern age, every time you check a clock/watch convert it into Spanish time. You will soon be an expert!
Another tip that I use to improve my number skills is that as I cycle along I convert the registration numbers of passing cars into Spanish. This worked very well until now. The problem is that most car numbers seem to be either 05 or 59!

Look at the time, past my bed time, sorry must rush.
 

picosrider

Active Member
tyrrek said:
I love your Spanish translations, Picosrider. Especially 'How much is the spliff in the window'. Keep 'em coming! :D

Buen Camino!
Hi Tyrrek, yes the doggie in the window was supposed to add a bit of humour to what would otherwise be a dull subject.
Tyrrek and what looks like you wearing baggy shorts (and being from Yorkshire) suggests that you might be a tyre wrecker or mountain biker? If you are I am also a keen cyclist (first bike since I grew out of short trousers) was a Muddy Fox Courier, which is my Sunday ride bike. I used this to cycle to Santiago in 2005. My current touring bike is a Specialised Rock Hopper which is currently undergoing a major refurb in anticipation of this year's tour to Santiago.
Had some great times in 2010 en route to the Picos mountains when my friends bottom bracket bearings gave up. Try translating that into Spanish! We did manage to get the bike shop mechanic to understand that we wanted a Shimano cartridge bearing, after lots of pointing and saying "Esta roto, aqui" It is broken here. I have had many other amusing episodes on foreign cycling holidays, which have taught me that it is very worthwhile to speak at least a bit of lingua franca, or should that be El idioma espanol?
 
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tyrrek

Veteran Member
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picosrider said:
Tyrrek and what looks like you wearing baggy shorts (and being from Yorkshire) suggests that you might be a tyre wrecker or mountain biker?
Hi Picosrider!

No, I'm afraid not. And I wouldn't even know how to say these biking expressions in English, never mind translate them to Spanish!

I do agree that a little bit of effort can go a long way, especially on things like appropriate greetings and learning numbers etc. Numbers have got so much easier since Spain moved to the Euro, so in shops/bars you're now dealing (no pun intended) in tens and units rather than hundreds and thousands as you did with the peseta.

Buen Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
GOOD TIMES.
In my last posting I suggested that learning numbers, and making a start by learning to tell the time in Spanish, was a very useful introduction to Spanish.
If you are interested in having a go, or need a bit of practise for the bits that you have forgotten, you might find this useful.
This is a primer for telling the time:
http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish ... me_spanish
And this is a link from the web page which goes to a simple quiz test using clock faces.
http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish ... _time_quiz
There are several other useful links to other pages, for example days of the week, months,etc.
The 123 Teach Me web site has lots more very useful topics/lessons to learn or improve your spanish. You can learn/practise a lot for free!
Of course if you are a complete beginner you may need to learn to count in Spanish. If so try here.
http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish ... m_0_to_100
 

tyrrek

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JohnnieWalker said:
We may be dim but at least some of us know the difference between a "perro" which is a dog and a "porro" which is a joint - as in marajuana.
Yes, as a student I was terrible at Spanish and always ended up in Class B (no pun intended). Fortunately my then girlfriend was half Spanish and fluent, so my coursework was often a joint (no pun intended) effort.

Buen Camino!
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
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picosrider said:
Of course if you are a complete beginner you may need to learn to count in Spanish.
If you can't get asleep in your albergue bunk, and if you want a sleepless night, start counting the sheep in Spanish! Much better in your own language. (btw even Spanish pilgrims are pretty bad at counting - particularly when surrounded by snorers)
 
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fraluchi said:
picosrider said:
Of course if you are a complete beginner you may need to learn to count in Spanish.
If you can't get asleep in your albergue bunk, and if you want a sleepless night, start counting the sheep in Spanish! Much better in your own language. (btw even Spanish pilgrims are pretty bad at counting - particularly when surrounded by snorers)

Except the ones who took their porro for a walk before retiring :)
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
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JohnnieWalker said:
picosrider said:
How much is that doggie in the window? - Cuanto es el porro en la ventana?

We may be dim but at least some of us know the difference between a "perro" which is a dog and a "porro" which is a joint - as in marajuana. Good luck picosrider on your language adventure!

Life gets really complicated when you've a dog called "Smokey" .... :lol:

Stephen
 

picosrider

Active Member
tyrrek said:
I love your Spanish translations, Picosrider. Especially 'How much is the spliff in the window'. Keep 'em coming! :D

Buen Camino!
It is just great to hear from so many of you and to learn that you have been having such a spiffing time on the Camino. From all your comments it is clear that our sense of humour is not dead!
I did not realise that there were so many linguists amongst our pilgrims. Must write up a few more flash cards as none of this is in my Berlitz, Spanish Phrase Book!
 

tyrrek

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Stephen Nicholls said:
Life gets really complicated when you've a dog called "Smokey" .... :lol:
Un perro con un porro! Great! Do you also have a cold turkey? :D
 
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Kiwi-family

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I keep checking this thread to see if the 150 useful phrases will be posted....looks like I'll be asking for a joint of dog (and I thought dog consumption was restricted to Vietnam!)

BTW, all said with tongue in cheek. Enjoying the thread even if it's not helping!!
 

miguel_gp

Veteran Member
Kiwi-family said:
I keep checking this thread to see if the 150 useful phrases will be posted....looks like I'll be asking for a joint of dog (and I thought dog consumption was restricted to Vietnam!)

BTW, all said with tongue in cheek. Enjoying the thread even if it's not helping!!
One useful phrase that you might learn is "Sonríe a la cámara" (smile at the camera) as you all appear to have looked the opposite way in your avatar :lol:
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Yes & you've got the sun on the wrong side :lol:(now take tongue out of cheek) "tienes el sol en el lado equivocado"

help, my Spanish is terrible : ayuda, mi español es terrible
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
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JohnnieWalker said:
We may be dim but at least some of us know the difference between a "perro" which is a dog and a "porro" which is a joint - as in marajuana.
:lol: I thought i was called marijuana :lol: ...but i am not a native speaker of English. :lol:
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
anniethenurse said:
JohnnieWalker said:
We may be dim but at least some of us know the difference between a "perro" which is a dog and a "porro" which is a joint - as in marajuana.
:lol: I thought i was called marijuana :lol: ...but i am not a native speaker of English. :lol:

Sorry Annie - I was using Castellano. And your English is excellent...when we had dinner you only became incoherent after the second bottle of brandy.
 
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picosrider

Active Member
Kiwi-family said:
I keep checking this thread to see if the 150 useful phrases will be posted....looks like I'll be asking for a joint of dog (and I thought dog consumption was restricted to Vietnam!)

BTW, all said with tongue in cheek. Enjoying the thread even if it's not helping!!
Hi Kiwi, yes we do seem to have been side tracked, but just watch this space, service will be resumed as soon as possible. But to quote from a progressive pilgrims latest adventure "it wont be written before tomorrow at the earliest!"
Incidently, it was your posting about "Essential Spanish" (thread at miscellaneous-topics/topic13933.html#p94352) which prompted me to start this Easy Learn topic. I am a 150 phrase person and have found it useful on many occasions to be able to communicate, even if I can't hold a conversation. And it definitely adds to the experience and enjoyment of a Camino.
So must get the phrase book out and pass on a few more gems, but as I said before, not before tomorrow at the earliest. Which I think translates as "pero no antes de manana en el mas temprano!"
 

picosrider

Active Member
picosrider said:
I have read that in Spanish, there are only about 20 verbs which are most commonly used. Now these shouldn’t be too difficult to learn, should they?
YES I CAN! Si puedo!
Spanish is renowned for the complexity of its verb forms. Whole books are written just about their verbs, regular, irregular, tenses, conjugations, etc, etc. Unfortunately many of the most used verbs are irregular, so have to be learned. To cut down on the amount of learning you can get by with just the present tense. And then concentrate on just the “I” and “you” forms, e.g. I want = Quiero and Do you have? = ,Tiene?
Just to give an example, a commonly used, irregular verb is: To go = in Spanish, Ir.
This gives us: I go = Voy; I went = Fui; I will go = Iré; I was going = Iba. And there are lots more!
However as a minimalist you can go a long way with just the present tense - “Voy” - meaning I go, or I am going.
Thus, “Today I am going to Santiago = Hoy voy a Santiago”, “Tomorrow I am going to Santiago = Manaña voy a Santiago”, and if you say “Ayer voy a Santiago = Yesterday I am going to Santiago” I am sure that Alfredo or Anna will understand what you are trying to say!
“Poner” is another much used irregular verb. Poner means to be able, or in English more commonly said as “can”.
I can, or can I? = Puedo or puedo? Can you, or you can? = Puede or puede?
Can I have….? (Am I able - to have) which becomes in Spanish = Puedo tener….?
Or we might ask, Can I/am I able - to go – there? = Puedo ir alli?
Now with “You”.
Can you/are you able – to help - me? = Puede ayudar-me?
Can you /are you able – to tell – me? = Puede dicer-me
Can you/are you able - to speak - more slowly” = Puede hablar mas despacio.
In Spanish they do not have food/drink, but take them. To take = Tomar.
So, am I able – to take – a cup of tea = puedo tomar - una taza de té.
To take/Tomar, is also useful in giving directions.
You take the first street on the left = Toma la primera calle a la izquierda.
Some other commonly used, irregular verbs are:
To have = Tener. I have/do you have? = tengo/tiene?
To leave - = Salir. I leave/ it leaves = salgo/sale (note that sale means both you leave and it leaves)
To want = Querer. I want/do you want? = quiero/quiere?
To come = Venir. I come/are you coming? = vengo/viene?
To say = Decir. I say (or tell)/do you say? – digo/dice?
This might seem a lot to learn, but a few minutes practise each day and it all begins to fit together. The above verbs, being irregular, are more difficult to learn, but they do fit into a pattern. Knowing the pattern makes it much easier. Suggest you have a look at http://www.studyspanish.com/verbs/lessons/pireg.htm to find out more about AR, ER, and IR verbs, and what these patterns are.
 

tyrrek

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Hi!

Yes, I agree with Picosrider that if you have time it's worth learning how to conjugate a few key verbs in the present tense. There are a couple of subtleties to be aware of in Spanish, though.

1) Spanish has both a polite and informal way of saying 'you'. In effect when speaking politely you are addressing the person as 'he/she' rather than 'you'. Picosrider's examples use the polite form. The informal form is getting more common and would usually be the most appropriate with other pilgrims. The polite form is sometimes better with people you don't know (in shops etc), especially older people. so;

Quieres un porro? Do you want a spliff? (Informal)
Quiere (usted) un porro? Do you want a spliff? (Formal)
Quiere un porro? Does he/she want a spliff?

2) There are 2 verbs for 'to be' in Spanish - 'Ser' And 'Estar'.
Ser is used to define something, while estar is used to locate something or to describe a temporary state. It can be confusing. E.g.

Es un perro. It's a dog. (Ser)
El perro esta en Santiago. The dog is in Santiago. (Estar for location)
El perro esta cansado. The dog is tired. (Estar for temporary state)

I'd suggest starting by learning these 2 verbs, plus, tener (to have), poder (to be able), and querer (to wish/want).

Buen Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
tyrrek said:
There are 2 verbs for 'to be' in Spanish - 'Ser' And 'Estar'.
Ser is used to define something, while estar is used to locate something or to describe a temporary state. It can be confusing.
YO SOY UN DODO!
Hi Tyrrek,
Right on the button. Ser and Estar are numero uno! Those with "L" plates should go to http://www.studyspanish.com/verbs/lesso ... restar.htm.
Yo soy, I am, featured in my very first words spoken in earnest, or should that be ernesto. And this is how it went:

I bought my Berlitz Spanish Phrase Book and spent about 6 months, first writing useful words onto flash cards, then short sentences, and very important, practising pronunciation. The phonetic pronunciations shown in the phrase book were invaluable!
Then the big day arrived.

We (four of us) flew into Santander Airport and after passing thru controls, looked for someone to stamp our Credentials to mark the start of our pilgrimage. I saw an important looking, uniformed señor, totting a baton and firearm on belt. I approached him with credentials in hand and in my best Spanish said, “Disculpe, yo soy peregrino voy a Santiago de Compostella. Puede…..?” – “Excuse me, I am a pilgrim going to Santiago. Can you …..?” And that’s where I stopped. My phrase book didn’t have “stamp our credentials”, or anything like that!
I tried again in English which he obviously didn’t understand. He looked at me with disdain in his eyes, took the credentials and without a word, walked away, clip clopping across the marble floor. Not sure whether or not he had confiscated them, I stood and waited. Eventually after about 5 minutes (but which seemed like 10), he returned, gave back our documents, said a lot, of which I only understood “lo siento” and clip clopped away again. After he had gone I checked the credentials, but no stamps! That was obviously the “lo siento” - “I’m sorry”, bit.
My next attempt was a bit more successful. Several miles from the airport we stopped at a bar and I managed “Quatro tortilla por favor y quatro cervesas”. And later, the finale “La cuenta, por favor”.
Not bad for 6 months of linguistic studies!
 

tyrrek

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picosrider said:
I approached him with credentials in hand and in my best Spanish said, “Disculpe, yo soy peregrino voy a Santiago de Compostella. Puede…..?” – “Excuse me, I am a pilgrim going to Santiago. Can you …..?” And that’s where I stopped. My phrase book didn’t have “stamp our credentials”, or anything like that!
Hi Picosrider!

I think you were quite unlucky in that case. Usually they would already have interrupted you by that point and said 'Si, Si!'.

I think you can often get away with one word. For example, on one of my Caminos I wanted to plug in my mobile phone charger in a bar, but thought it polite to ask first. Not wanting to shout my poor Spanish across the bar I just waved it at the barman and asked 'Puedo?' (Can I). No problem. Likewise, if you need a replacement battery, for example, you can take the old one into the shop and ask 'Tienes?' (Do you have?)

It's obviously better to finish the sentence, but with a few basics and props people will understand.

Buen Camino!
 
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Just want to say thankyou PicosRider for starting this thread as Im finding it very helpful in regards learning various Spanish phrases. Couldn't agree with you more regarding the lack of English-speaking countries learning lanugages, of which I sadly fall into but wish to learn/speak more before my first Camino. Gracias!
 

picosrider

Active Member
FaithandGratitude said:
Just want to say thank you PicosRider for starting this thread as Im finding it very helpful in regards learning various Spanish phrases as I wish to learn/speak more before my first Camino. Gracias!
Thank you for showing interest in learning some basic Spanish. I had intended to add some more info, but it appeared that no one was interested in this topic. So now, you, me, and one other makes three!

I am off tomorrow on a school trip to Normandy, France, for a week. It is an 8 hour coach and ferry journey each way. I will be taking my Berlitz Spanish phrase book with me, as I will have lots of opportunities during the journeys to get some language learning in.
I have read several sources which all say that it is best to learn language in lots of short sessions rather than long ones. They suggest that for example, two 30 minute sessions are better than one of an hour. Even 5 or 10 minutes with your flash cards is very useful for busy people. After about 30 minutes the brain slows down its ability to retain information, so short sessions are more time efficient.
Given that most of us only have a short time available to learn some basic Spanish, what should we concentrate on?
From experience I would put these at the top of the list:
1. Asking directions. At some time during your Camino travels you will get lost, or be unsure of the correct way to go!
2. Buying/ordering food and drink. At self serve mercados finding what you want is easy. However up in the hills, at the local village grocery shop (la tienda de alimentacion), you will have to ask for things. And don’t expect the store keeper to speak English!
3. Finding accommodation. Not only do you need to be able to ask for rooms and pay for them. You will probably come to an aubergue which is shut but has a notice on the door. It might say in Spanish, ” You can find the key at ...." ( Puede encontrar la llave a ....) or perhaps “ If shut, phone Jose at …….” (Si abierto , llama Jose a numero ....).
4. Other needs, problems and difficulties. Injuries/medication, boot / bike repairs if walking or cycling the Camino, lost items or replacements required.

Whilst on my trip to France I will expand my repertoire to cover these eventualities, so watch this space for the next exciting installments!
However before I go, see my next posting. Some useful words to add to your flash cards and learn whilst I am away.

Hasta luego, feliz aprendiendo!
Until then, happy learning!
 

picosrider

Active Member
ESTOY PERDIDO – I am lost!
With the very detailed route instructions given in Eric Walker’s guide books Los Caminos del Norte (see http://www.csj.org.uk/acatalog/The_CSJ_ ... in_23.html ) it is very difficult to get lost. But not impossible! New, major road construction and consequent route diversions were our first reason. And the second was cycling thru busy traffic in the city of Gijon when it was impossible to read a guide book! Completely lost and unable to find the pilgrims hostel we stopped and asked the way. But every one pointed us in different directions. We had arrived at dusk, it was now getting dark. By chance we arrived at the railway station where you can always find taxi drivers. They should know their way around town.
It went something like this, pointing: “You continue until the traffic lights” – Continua hasta el semáforo, “There you turn to the right” – Allí gira a la direcha, “You go straight on until the square and then you take the second road on the left” - Va todo recto hasta la plaza luego toma la segunda calle a la izquierda. He even drew us a little map. So off we went, past the square, it was now dark and we could still not find the hostal. In England, if you get lost, ask a policeman. And at that very moment a policeman suddenly appeared. He directed us past the police stn, and there was the hostal!
So you need phrases like: Can you tell me where is – Puede dicer-me donde está; Is it far – Esta legos; Is this the way to – Es este el camino a; Where is the nearest (most nearby) bus stop – Donde está la parada de autobus más cercana.
Now some words to put on your flash cards, features and landmarks commonly used in directions, e.g:
Roundabout – La rotunda, the hill – la colina or la cuesta, the church – la iglasia, the bus/train station – la estation de autobus/trenes, the school – el colegio/la escuela, over/under the bridge – sobre/bajo el puente. I am sure that you can think of others.
Feliz Aprendiendo
 

tyrrek

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picosrider said:
ESTOY PERDIDO – I am lost!
With the very detailed route instructions given in Eric Walker’s guide books Los Caminos del Norte (see http://www.csj.org.uk/acatalog/The_CSJ_ ... in_23.html ) it is very difficult to get lost. But not impossible! New, major road construction and consequent route diversions were our first reason. And the second was cycling thru busy traffic in the city of Gijon when it was impossible to read a guide book!
I thought you were going to Normandy. Head north, as much as the coastline allows. :D
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
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yay - keep this up! I'm reading and copying.....
 
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picosrider

Active Member
Kiwi-family said:
yay - keep this up! I'm reading and copying.....
Hi Kiwi, You were one of the other two! So for you and number 3
MORE DIRECTIONS Two more tips.
First: I find that it helps to put English translations into the Spanish word forms. For example:
Are you able to say-me (tell me) where is the hostel of pilgrims?
Peude dicer-me donde está el aubergue de peregrinos?
What hour is it? They are 10 less quarter (It is a quarter to 10)
Que hora es? Son las diez menos cuarto.
Tip two: Practise makes perfect.
When I am walking/cycling/driving I give myself directions about where I am going or what identifying features I see. For example:
When you come to the cross roads, you take the road to the right.
Cuando viene al cruce, toma la calle a la derecha.
At the next corner you turn to the left.
A la proxima esquina gira (or dobla) a la izquierda.
The shoe shop/bicycle shop is opposite (of) the town.hall.
La zapateria/ la tienda de bicicletas está enfrente del ayuntamiento.
The bus stop is in front of the bank = La parada de autobus está delante deI banco
The bakers shop is next to the (at the side of) hospital = La panaderia está al lado del hospital
Some more locations: Behind the= detrás del/de la; near to the= cerca del/de la; far from the= legos del/de la.
I hope that this is useful = Espero que este es útil.
To day I go to Normandy, until next week (the week that comes), adios.
Hoy va a Normandy, hasta la semana que viene, adios.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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Esto es útil. Gracias.

Enjoy Normandy.
 

picosrider

Active Member
KIDS PLAY.
Just got back from school trip to Normandy, France. We had 30 children aged 10/11 years, and part of this educational experience was for them to learn some French. For example on the first day they went to a small bakery where they made organic bread. Starting with flour, water and a pinch of salt, they mixed, kneaded, and baked. The baker conducted the “lesson” almost entirely in French. He was teaching them that French was not a difficult language to learn because English and French (and Spanish) are based primarily on Latin. Thus many words are very similar and so easily understood. In many cases it is just the pronunciation that is different.
He told them: For example = Por example, he makes bread = il fabrique le pain. In Spanish this becomes: Por ejemplo el fabrica el pan. The Spanish “j” is not dissimilar in sound of the English/French “x”.
He explained that bread rises (levitate/lifts) due to fermentation caused by bacterial action. Now you would think that this would be too difficult to explain in a foreign language, but see if you can understand these Spanish words:
El pan lleve debido a la fermentación a causa de la bacteria.
So the baker was right. Learning French, or Spanish, is not as difficult as it first seems!
At the end of each day the children were required to write a daily diary. I used this as a means by which they could practise the little French that they should already know, and when describing what they had done each day, to add in the new words that they were learning. This is also an excellent way for us to learn/practise our Spanish.
I got them to start each day with Day, date, and time, using words not numerals. So using the Spanish word form it would start like this:
Today is Monday, the eighteen of June. They are the seven and twenty of the evening.
Hoy es lundes el dieciocho de junio. Son las siete y veinte por la tarde.
Then follow this with a factual and/ or made up diary of events. For example I might write:
At 9 minus a quarter in the morning I take the breakfast. I take two eggs boiled and some toast with marmalade (jam of orange). To drink I want the tea with milk and sugar. The tea, it pleases me very much!
A las nueve menos cuarto de la manaña tomo el desayuno. Tomo dos huevos hervidos y unos tostado con mermelada de naranja. Beber quiero el té con leche y azucar. El té, me gusta mucho!
At the 10 I go to do the shopping. Today it makes sun, it makes much hot. I want to buy some bottles of water for the walking tomorrow.
A las diez voy a hacer la compra. Hoy hace sol, hace mucho calor. Quiero unos bottellas de agua para el senderismo manaña.
Etc, etc. You can use your imagination. Puede usar su imaginación.
Did you know that there are at least 320 English words ending in TION which like “imagination” translate into an almost identical Spanish word ending in CION, as in “imaginación”
Here are 10 for example - Aqui diez por ejemplo: atención, descripción, destinación, información, intención, liberación reservación, porción, pronunciación, reservación, variación
 

tyrrek

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picosrider said:
Did you know that there are at least 320 English words ending in TION which like “imagination” translate into an almost identical Spanish word ending in CION, as in “imaginación”
Here are 10 for example - Aqui diez por ejemplo: atención, descripción, destinación, información, intención, liberación reservación, porción, pronunciación, reservación, variación
...and they're almost always feminine, which makes it even easier.

Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi Picosrider,

Keep up the great work ! I am devouring every word you say !! I leave for Granada on September 14 to walk to Santiago. I started Spanish lessons 3 weeks ago, and your instructions are more beneficial. Last week we had 2 hours on verbs , and I am still lost. I think I will follow your classes !!!

Walking the Mozarabe will require much more Spanish language than I will have , so I am also packing a very large, invisible, bag of TRUST. With my Spanish classes and your help, I will get to Santiago.

I look forward to the next instalment. Thank you, Picosrider , and anyone else who contributes.

Sandra.
 
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picosrider

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Hi Sandra,
Glad that you are finding this thread useful. I set off for Santiago in a months time, 16 July to be precise. This will be my third Spanish pilgrimage, and each time I learn a bit more of the language, and I can promise you that the more you learn the easier it gets!
Tyrrek points out that Spanish words ending in "cion" (like la destinación) are feminine. I am sure that you already know that most words ending in "a" (la casa) are also feminine. But not all! Many words ending in "ma" are masculine, for example el problema, el programa, el sistema. Unfortunately the only way to know whether it should be el/un or la/una, is by learning the correct gender.
My method to help me to learn, is this. When I write feminine words onto flash cards I write the la in red and underline it in red. I find that this helps me to remember/recall which words are feminine.
However, don't get hung up on this. If you say "la" when it should be "el", or vice versa, our Spanish hosts will know what you are trying to say, so no problema!
 

Meredith1

Member
Past OR future Camino
September 2012
A book suggestion: Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, originally published back in the '50s, republished in '89--I found it on http://www.half.com a couple of years ago, cheap. The "magic," I think, is that the method focuses at the beginning on creating in Spanish, not memorizing. Encouragingly, it starts with lists of Spanish words divided into categories based on spelling, demonstrating just how many Spanish words you already know: e.g., words ending in -or: el actor, el doctor; in -al: el animal, el canal; -ble: posible, horrible; -ic: el publico, el Atlantico; -ent, -ant: el presidente, diferente, etc. These (and similar categories) are followed by exercises in creating sentences. (English is a Germanic language - but a notorious borrower of words from other languages, which is why we have so many words from Romantic languages at our disposal.)

This is not to say that I have worked my way all through the book and am now fluent. :D But I keep it handy to pick up at odd times to browse in, and it does help to refresh the Spanish I studied years ago. I also am really, really glad that this forum has collected specific phrases useful for the Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
Meredith1 said:
A book suggestion: Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, I keep it handy to pick up at odd times to browse in, and it does help to refresh the Spanish I studied years ago.
Hi Meredith,
Like you, I am a browser. My limited knowledge of Spanish is self taught, starting with the Berlitz Phrase Book. It is still my bible. In anticipation of my visits to Spain (third one starts next month) I do a crash re-learning course and add a bit more new grammar and vocabulary. I have got to the stage now where I actually enjoy learning Spanish, I just wish I could speak it!
Your suggestion about the book, "Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish", would appear to be just the sort of book that I would now enjoy. You mention that it contains details of hundreds of Spanish words that are virtually identical to the English equivalent. I have previously written that there are over 320 “cion”, “sion” words, and that is not una exageración! There are over 250 English words ending in “ic” to become in Spanish,“ico”, such as: doméstico and eléctrico. And as you say, hundreds more similarities in the other categories that you mention. And how do I know this?
I got my lists of words from this web site http://www.shortcuttospanish.com/spanishshortcut1.html This offers a course which appears to use the same principles to teach Spanish, that I assume are shown in Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish. There is a lot of useful information, for free, on this web site, but also a lot of sales blurb to get you to become a paying student. However it is well worth a visit for its ideas and encouragement to learn Spanish. But like all books/courses, only a very small percentage is of immediate use to a pilgrim walking el Camino who is a newcomer to the Spanish language. In my opinion, a good phrase book is the best and most economic option in both time and money. But even then, probably less than 20% of the phrases will be applicable to someone walking/cycling to Santiago, of which a few are specific to a cyclist, and a lesser number of different ones applicable to the foot slogger.
What I have been trying to do with this thread, is to highlight some of this most useful 20%. If nothing else, it is good practice for me!
 

picosrider

Active Member
Travel Tips
At some time along your Camino due to bad weather, sore feet etc, you may want to take a bus or train. For example on the Camino del Norte, to avoid traffic (el trafico) around the industrial areas of Gijon/Aviles we took the train with our bikes to Cudillero.
So some useful phrases. (And don’t forget the Buenas dias, por favor, gratias!)
Where is the station of buses/trains? Donde está la estation de autobuses/trenes?
From where am I able to take the bus to Santiago? De-donde puedo tomar el autobus a Santiago?
You could say “to catch the bus” – coger el autobus, but coger (to catch) would be another verb to remember!
From what platform goes the train to Cudillero? – De que anden va el tren a Cudillero?
Where is the bus stop more nearby (nearest)? – Donde está la parada de autobus más cercana?
What number bus goes to…? – Que numero autobus va a...?
Is this the bus/train to...? – Es este el autobus/tren a…?
At what time (hour) leaves the bus/train to...? – A que hora sale el autobus/tren a…?
Four single tickets to… - Cuatro billetes de ida a…
Note that billete can also mean a bank note, as in: Sorry, only I have a 50 euro note, are you able to change (it)? – Lo siento, solo tengo una cinquenta euro billete, puede cambiar?
 

picosrider

Active Member
Unos Confusiónes
It is amazing how often these “sión/cción” words keep cropping up! Here are another two, “direcciónes y instrucciónes”, which might cause “unos confusiónes”
I have been trying to avoid grammar as much as possible, but just a few words about “imperatives”. These are verb forms used when giving orders (stop!), instructions and directions.
In England when giving directions, we would probably say for example: You turn right at the crossroads – Gira a la derecha al crece. Whereas a Spaniard would more likely use the imperative: Turn right at the crossroads – Gire a la direcha al cruce.
More (más) confusión
To keep things as easy as possible, in previous postings I have been using the term “you” in the singular form. In English the word “you” is the same when referring to one person or a group of people. Not so in Spanish. Whilst not grammatically correct, when using the singular “you” in referring to more than one person, a Spaniard will still know what you are trying to say. So let’s keep it simple for now!
However if you ask for directions, the reply from a Spaniard will be grammatically correct! So you do need to at least be aware of the different word endings that you are likely to hear.
The plural “you” form for “you turn” becomes – Giran, and the imperative plural for “Turn” becomes – Giren.
Girar – to turn, is a regular “AR” verb and you will have noticed that in the imperative, only a small change is made, the “a” becomes an “e”. Similarly, the imperatives for Tomar – to take, become Tome and Tomen. To continue – continuar, to cross – crucar, etc, follow the same format.
Two irregular imperatives that you are likely to hear are “go” – vaya/vayan and “follow” – siga/sigan, Examples being: “go that way – vaya ese camino” and “follow the signs – siga las señales
For those who want to know more detail about forming and using imperatives, and a learning quiz, have a look at http://www.studyspanish.com/verbs/lessons/formcomm.htm
And finally, “direcciónes”. You are more likely to hear this word used in another context. In Spanish it also means addresses, as in: Where do you live? Donde vive? My address is 10 Downing Street, London – Mi dirección está número diez, Calle Downing, Londres, y los pequeños cerdos podrían volar!
 
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tyrrek

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picosrider said:
Unos Confusiónes
Tut! Didn't I warn you these words are feminine? 5/10 and could do better. Only joking. Keep it up Picosrider.

Just a point. Imperatives are much easier in the informal rather than formal mode, although for day to day Camino Spanish you can probably ignore them if you're new to Spanish. You're unlikely to be dishing out too many instructions to people. Easier to request than require.

OK Picosrider, next get us onto the subjunctive. Everyone will love it! 'Ojala que...' (Only joking!)

Buen Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
WHERE IS MARIA?
It was my first Camino and my first time at trying to speak a little Spanish. We arrived at Santander Airport late on a Friday afternoon. The plan was to cycle to the pilgrims accommodation at Santilana del Mar on the Camino del Norte. Unfortunately a series of punctures delayed us, and with darkness falling we saw road side boards advertising rooms nearby. We decided to stop there and find B & B for the night. Our requests “ Por favour, tiene habitaciones libres?” were all met with “No. Lo siento, no” Unbeknown to us it was a Spanish national holiday weekend so there was no room at the inn. Getting desperate we asked if there were any other local places where we might stay overnight. I understood little of the rapid stream of Spanish, other than the first few words “ Vuelva, tome la primera calle a la izquierda ...” - “Go back and take the first street to the left”. The lady obviously knew that we didn’t understand so kept repeating “Casa Maria, - Casa Maria”. So off we went, looking for the house were Maria lived. But no joy. After a fruitless search we knocked on a door and asked for help. Luckily the resident spoke English and after a little explanation to him of our problem, he laughed and said “ No, it is not the house of Maria – casa Maria, but casa amorilla – the yellow house!” Very similar sounding to my inexperienced ear, but very different in meaning!
We did find the yellow house and the kind lady, who was not Maria, put the four of us up for the night.
So we did get a buena noche!
I hate to think what Tyrrek will have to say about this incident. Not many out of 10 for this!
If I then had a better understanding of Spanish, and the confidence to try to speak it, I might have fared better. If I had asked the first lady to slow down I might have understood a bit more. I should have said: "Lo siento, no comprendo" – Sorry I do not understand.
"Puedo repetir-lo más despacio "– Can you (are you able to) repeat it more slowly.
if I had queried “Casa Maria?”, she would probably had repeated very slowly “No. casa am-or-lla, am-or-lla”, and our problem might not have arisen.
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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picosrider said:
I hate to think what Tyrrek will have to say about this incident. Not many out of 10 for this!
Picosrider, I admire what you're doing and the time you're taking to do it. As you can see I haven't even learned how to put accents on letters on an English keyboard, because I'm so lazy. Even if only a few people pick up tips from this thread it could benefit their Camino massively. You promote language learning, and I promote litter collection. I think you have the advantage on me there! :D

You still haven't taken back the allegation that we're dim, though. :D

I have had so many linguistic incidents/accidents in Spain that I could write a book - that's how we learn. What you are doing is giving people a place to start. Good on ya!

Buen Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
Were Penitent Pilgrims Lie
I would expect that most pilgrims will be staying in the pilgrims hostels, where bunk beds are the norm. This makes it easy because all you have to ask is: Tiene literas libres? – Do you have any bunks free?
You might want to ask: Cuánta es/son? How much is it/are they?
And probably: Por favour, puede sellar la credencial – Please can you stamp the credential.
If you are staying in other accommodation you may need a few more phrases. For example:
Quiero una habitacion individual/doble, solo esta noche – I want a room single/double room, only this night.
Quiero dos habitaciones, una con cama matrimonio y una con dos camas – I want two rooms, one double room (married bed) and one with two beds.
You may have made a reservation: Tengo una reserva, mi nombre es …. – I have a reservation, my name is ....
You may see: Solo la habitacion ? euros – Room only ? euros. Or, Desayuno incluido – Breakfast included.
A couple of weeks ago we received our Credentiales from the London office of the Confraternity of St James. This prompted me to write this item: http://anerleybc.org/where-penitent-pilgrims-lie/
 
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picosrider

Active Member
I will shortly be travelling the Camino Primitivo. I have just came across a posting which suggests that I must keep the Spanish practise up! Here is an edited quote about this route:

On the subject of the people, at the time of my travel they were overwhelmingly Spanish. In general almost all spoke exclusively Spanish. Yes it is Spain and that is the language, but for one not fluent in speaking it can feel very isolated both along the route and in the albergues.

The full posting can be seen at camino-primitivo/topic14368.html

Another posting which might be useful to others is about the Spanish “Menu del Dia” Food will be one of your major expenses when travelling the Camino and this posting explains the pros and cons of what can be a cheap meal.
See el-camino-del-norte/topic14325.html#p97886
There is an informative posting from a Spanish pilgrim, in Spanish. So use this as a test to see how much you can understand. It is not easy, but you will see quite a few words that are similar enough to the English, to be obvious. He has kindly also given an English translation if you get stuck!
When you then compare the English translation back to the Spanish you will see even more similarities between the two languages.
 

picosrider

Active Member
Food for Thought – Comida para Pensamiento
If you are fussy about your food, or want to know what you are eating, a phrase book is very useful. I have found the Berlitz to have one of the best (the best?) listings of different foods and food related terms.
Along the Camino del Norte, as befits a coastal route, you are spoilt for choice with a wide variety of fish – pescar and shell fish – marisco. So if for example you saw on the menu, Gambas a la plancha al ajillo the Berlitz alphabetical listing will tell you that it is prawns, grilled, with garlic.
I prefer meat – carne dishes such as Chuletas de cordero – chops of lamb or Solomillo de cerdo – tenderloin of pork.
The most common sandwich is la bocadillo with for example ham – jamon or cheese – queso. But Spain is famous for its tortillas. A plain (egg - huevo) omelette is una tortilla francesa. So if you wanted a cheese omelette you would say “ Por favour quiero una tortilla de queso”, and to drink, a coffee with milk “Y beber un café con leche
I think every one knows this one. “The bill please” – La cuenta por favor. But if you are in a group, perhaps not “We want to pay separately” – Queremos pagar por separado
Don’t forget that whilst we have food or drink, in Spain they take food and drink. Tomar, to take.
So the barman might ask you “Que va a tomar?” – What are you going to take?
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Do you have any blankets?.....could be a useful phrase now that we've decided not to take sleeping bags!

(Oh, and for those cheekies who were giving our avatar a hard time - said with a smile - please do take a look at our latest blog post!!!! http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kiwifamily/725.html)
 

picosrider

Active Member
Kiwi-family said:
Do you have any blankets?.....could be a useful phrase now that we've decided not to take sleeping bags!
Berlitz Phrase Book to the rescue! Yes it actually does include blanket in its dictionary, la manta.So "Do you have blankets for 11 people, please?" would be - Tiene unos mantas para once gente por favor?
A good phrase book is invaluable if you know what is in it, and where to find what you want, when you need it! Then you don't have to learn so many words and phrases. Just learn what is there and where.
Travelling to your start point for the Camino provides lots of time and opportunity, on ferry, plane or train, waiting at airports etc, when you can revise/familiarise yourself with what is in your phrase book. It will not be time wasted!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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Picosrider - YOU are our phrasebook! I'm diligently copying and pasting everything and intend to read it in detail once we hit the road! (actually, I'm familiarising myself with it as I rearrange the posts). I'm really comfortable turning up in a country knowing nothing and so perhaps I'm being a bit slap-happy about it all. I jsut remember arriving in Laos and three weeks later realising I was carrying on a conversation that went even further than "I come from New Zealand, I have eight children, yes eight, four boys, four girls, I am here three weeks, no the baby is not cold, her sling from Thailand, yes like Laos baby sling, two kilos of rice please"

To have a few pages of phrases feels very organised (and if that doens't work, there's always German, French, Polish, Latin or Mandarin to muddle about with - I know, I know they will not be of much help! But German was very useful when I arrived in Poland 22 years ago knowing only the word for icecream - we spoke German until we learnt Polish as everyone had been required to learn German)

Anyway, thanks a million Picosrider and everyone else who has contributed to this thread - it's been so much more fun than getting a phrase book, and lighter to carry too!
 
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picosrider

Active Member
Kiwi-family said:
I just remember arriving in Laos and three weeks later realising I was carrying on a conversation that went even further than "I come from New Zealand,
It is always amusing to look back at the many incidences when we have tried to communicate in a foreign language. Well worth the trying for the stories to tell!
I love one told by one of my cycling buddies who is now a fluent German speaker. The one I have mentioned in previous postings who speaks many phrase book languages. Unfortunately you do need to hear the German to fully appreciate the yarn, but I can't speak German. But this is it in brief:
His first foreign bike ride was to Germany via France in 1951. He had done school boy French so he did the speaking in France. His friend had done 1yr military service in Germany, so his job was to do likewise there. However to my friends disappointment all he had learned in that 12 months was “Two beers “ and a very amusing sounding phrase (phonetically something about a “kertuffle”) which my friend later learned, meant “you are a hot potato!” Presumably something that the British soldiers would try out on the German girls, and not about roast potatoes to go with ross bif!
 

picosrider

Active Member
The Haves and the Have Nots.
In English we say I am hungry/thirsty. In Spanish they say I have hunger/thirst. - Tengo hambre/sed.
Similarly, we say how old are you? They say how many years have you? - Cuántos años tiene?
I am not hot, I am cold, becomes I not have hot, I have cold - No tengo calor, tengo frio.

However, when talking about the weather (el tiempo), whilst we say It is hot/cold, they say It makes hot/cold - Hace calor/frio.
To do or make = hacer, Note that “I do/make is irregular. Instead of the expected haco, it becomes hago.

Now I am thirsty and I need a drink! - Aqui tengo sed y necesito una bebita!
When in Rome, or Asturias, do as the Asturians do. – Cuando en Roma o Asturias hace como los asturianos hacen.
And that means delicious cider! - Y esto significa la sidra deliciosa!


At Cudillero on the Camino del Norte. Asturian cider is flat, pouring into a glass, from on high, is an art form to add life to the drink.
 

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tyrrek

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picosrider said:
I am not hot, I am cold, becomes I not have hot, I have cold - No tengo calor, tengo frio.

However, when talking about the weather (el tiempo), whilst we say It is hot/cold, they say It makes hot/cold - Hace calor/frio.

'Ay! Que calor!' - Isn't it hot! (lit. 'Phew! What heat!)

Anyone in Spain circa 1990 will remember a TV show of that name, which did very little for the feminist movement, and was probably pulled pretty soon afterwards.

Part of the show was called 'frio/caliente' (cold/hot), which was like one of these card games where you have to guess whether the next card is going to be higher or lower in value. However, instead of numbers, the cards had images of women in various states of undress, to represent cold and heat, and the contestants had to guess whether she would be 'colder or warmer' on the next card.

It was obviously very offensive to me as a 20 year old student who would normally shun such programmes even when armed with a six-pack of beer, but somehow there was never anything better on another channel...

I'm older and wiser now, and so is Spanish TV.

Buen Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
DIET!
La alimentación means diet and la tienda de alimentación means the grocery shop. You won’t find a Mc Donalds up in the mountains!
We started off eating lunch and evenings at bars/restaurants but realised that the money - el dinero – would soon run out. So from then on it was shopping and picnics.
We could say: - Eso es demasiado cara comer una comida al restaurente = It is too expensive to eat a lunch at the restaurant. Pero es más barata comprar la comida a las tiendas = But it is more cheap to buy the food at the shops.
At what time opens/closes the bakers? A que hora abre/cierra la panaderia?
To go to do the shopping = Ir a hacer la compra (remember to go (to)= Ir a and to do = hacer) is not a problem because everything looks the same in every super market!
Every morning I go to do the shopping but in the evening my wife/husband goes to the shops.
Cada mañana voy a hacer la compra pero por la tarde mi mujer/marido va a la tiendas.
By now you should have a lot of words that you can put together to make up your own phrases.
how ever as the shop assistant might ask:
Do you want anything more/else? Then (in that case) you can ask me.
Quiere algo más? Pues puede preguntar-me.
 

tyrrek

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picosrider said:
Pero es más caro comprar la comida a las tiendas = But it is more cheap to buy the food at the shops.
Sorry Picosrider but this translation genuinely is confusing.
barato = cheap
caro = expensive or dear.
Hence expressions like 'Hola mi carino(a)' for 'Hello my dear'.

Buen Camino, and keep up the good work!

p.s. 'Caro' also translates well to Italian, as in 'O mio babbino caro' (Oh my dear father) from that opera I've never seen and don't know the name of. I may be talking nonsense now, but I wouldn't be surprised if the English word 'care' came from the same root.
 
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picosrider

Active Member
tyrrek said:
barata = cheap
cara = expensive or dear
Hi tyrrek, you got me again.Yes words were transposed.
More haste less speed. As well as trying to learn Spanish I must also learn to proof read!
I also have a problem with right and left. La derecha y la izquerda, or is it the other way round?
You would be surprised at how many people I have sent north to Scotland, when they wanted to go south to catch the ferry at Dover to France. You win some lose some, or in my case, many!

NOTE: I have amended the posting error.
Now the error is correct! = Ahora el error es correcto!
Eso es demasiado cara comer una comida al restaurente = It is too expensive to eat a lunch at the restaurant. Pero es más barata comprar la comida a las tiendas = But it is more cheap to buy the food at the shops.
 

tyrrek

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picosrider said:
I also have a problem with right and left. La derecha y la izquerda, or is it the other way round?
I always have to think twice even in English! Buen Camino!
 

tyrrek

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I'll just join Picosrider's liguistic mission for a moment with a few other suggesed expressions, based around the word 'caro' (expensive/dear). Using the verb ser (to be);

(No) Es caro - It's (not) expensive
(No) Es muy caro - It's (not) very expensive
Es bastante caro - It's quite expensive
(No) Es demasiado caro - It's (not) too expensive
 

picosrider

Active Member
THE SHOPPING LIST
Shopping in the Spanish supermarket is easy, just browse and pick. It will introduce you to what is available, brand names and packaging. However it is not quite so easy when you get off the beaten track. Then even pointing loses its internationality. What you can’t see you have to ask for!
To keep our energy up over long miles, we wanted some high calorie snacks. We had got fed up with squashed and bruised bananas (los platanos) so decided that peanuts and raisins, dates, or similar were what we wanted. But how do you say it?
La señorita at la tienda de alimentación spent a lot of time trying to help us, offering this, offering that, until instead of repeating “No,raisins” I suddenly said “sultanas”, and bingo we were communicating. Same word in English and Spanish!
Then,“Ah, fruta seca!”, she said – “dried fruit” and went on to produce sultanas, dates = los dátiles, figs = los higos, apricots = los albaricoques, and we discovered that fruta seca also covers nuts, of which there are plenty in Spain.
Having bought our fruta seca, and been asked, “Algo más?” – Anything more? “No gracias. Esto es todo. Cuanto es? = No thanks. This is all. How much is it?, it was smiles all round at a successful purchase.

Our Señorita was so patient and helpful that we had to take a photo. Note the plethora of items hanging up!
In situations like this, phrase book listings of fruit, veg, fish, meat and other groceries are invaluable. I highlight my favourite foods in the phrase book for quick and easy reference and learn the Spanish for many of them. Dátlles and higos have now been added to my list!

CYCLIST NOTE: 88% of Camino travellers walk, for the 12% minority on two wheels I have started a separate thread especially for you! See biking-the-camino/topic14469.html
 

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tyrrek

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I love the photo! One of those nice Camino moments! :D
 
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picosrider

Active Member
WEAR and TEAR
You may need to buy new boots/clothes during an extended walk to Santiago. So some words for your flash cards.
A clothes size is la talla, but a shoe size is el numero. Walking boots are los botas de montaña but just las botas should do. Shoe laces = los cordones. The English “Clothes” is plural but singular in Spanish = la ropa
I want a pair of boots, please. Quiero un par de botas.
Of what size? = De que numero? I take size 42 = Tomo cuarenta y dos.
What colour? = De que color? = Brown please = Marron por favor.
You might only need a boot repair. Not a perfect translation but easier to remember!
Where am I able to repair my shoes/boots? = Donde puedo reparar mis zapatos/botas?
With such a variety of types of clothes, colours and materials, be guided by your phrase book.
 

picosrider

Active Member
EWA COULD NEVER RESIST A BARGAIN!
La señora, le gustan mucho les zapatos! = The lady loves to buy shoes! (They please her very much the shoes)
Tambien le gusta mucho el mercado a Luarca = Also she loves the market at Luarca. (It pleases her very much the market)
Mi numero es triente y ocho. Estos son perfectos!” ella dice.
“My size is 38. These are perfect” she says.


Traditional, wooden clogs worn in Asturias.
 

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picosrider

Active Member
ILLNESS.
Como está? No muy bien. - How are you? Not very well.
Spanish tummy is not as common as it used to be, but I suffered severely during my last camino. We had a doctor in our party who put me on a bread and sugared water diet, and dosed me up with Immodeum. Actually it wasn’t dried bread but babies rusks from a local farmacia! After 4 days I was starving and the kind doctor allowed me a 2 course meal. Two jars of baby food, a disgusting sort of meat broth and a better tasting melocotin (peach) purée. Here I am enjoying el postre, the dessert.

So in case it happens to you, some appropriate phrases!
At the chemists/pharmacy = En la farmacia
Do you have anything for stomach ache (pain of the stomach)? = Tiene algo para dolor de estómago?
I have diarhroea, can you help me? – Tengo diarrea, peude ayudar-me?
I have a terrible headache, do you have some aspirins? – Tengo un terrible dolor de cabeza, tiene unas aspirinas?
I am diabetic/asthmatic/epileptic – Soy diabetico/asmatico/epileptico
I need some medication – Necesito un medicamento
Lots of possible illness, and medical requirements so be guided by a good phrase book.
One last thing. I have a friend who is allergic to bee/wasp stings. He goes into potentially fatal shock without histamine application. So very important that he and his fellow travellers can ask for urgent assistance. Something like:
El es alergico a la abeja pica y necesita la ayuda urgente. El necesita la histamine.
He is allergic to the bee sting and needs urgent help. He needs histamine.
 

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picosrider

Active Member
Me Duele It hurts!
After leaving the coast at Ribadeo it is a long climb up to the highest point at Puerto da Xesto. On the second day of this climb and my fourth day of el problema del estomago we met up with 2 East German girls. None of us could speak German, but my physician who was starving me, is Polish. Both she and the 2 girls, having lived behind the Iron Curtain, spoke Russian. So this became the means of communication.

Like us the girls had started their Camino at Santander, but whereas we were on day 8 of our bike ride, they were into week 3 of their walk. Whilst cyclists might suffer sore back sides, the poor girls were really suffering with sore feet. Big blisters!
So having found the nearest la farmacia, - Where is the nearest (most near) pharmacy? – Donde está la pharmacia mas cercana?
You can ask: “I have a blister, do you have an ointment (antiseptic cream) for the foot please?”
Tengo una ampolia, tiene una pomada (una crema antiséptico) para el pie, por favor.
Or perhaps you have twisted your ankle: I have hurt to the ankle - Tengo dolor del tobillo Or just say and point – Tengo dolor aqui - I have hurt here.
As you can see from the photo above, it was hot and sunny. Another soreness problem can be the sun.
Sun cream is la crema solar. Sun block is la crema solar de protección total and sunburn is la quemadura.
So if you leave it too late you might be asking “Tengo mucho dolor! Tiene algo para la quemadura?” - I am very sore! (I have much hurt). Do you have something for sunburn?
 

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picosrider

Active Member
tyrrek said:
There are a few expressions that are adaptable and useful to know. 'Hay' (pron. Eye) is one. Depending on how you inflect your voice it can be a question or a statement, so 'Hay bocadillos' can mean 'Are there sandwiches?' or 'There are sandwiches' depending on how you say/write it.
Hay un albergue aqui? (Is there an albergue here?)
Hay una misa a las nueve? (Is there a mass at 9 o'clock?)
Hay pulpo. (There is octopus, or better 'we sell octopus'.)
Hay un raton en mi cama. (There is a mouse in my bed.)
Buen Camino!
I have to thank Tyrrek for the above, which he posted in the thread Essential Spanish
(miscellaneous-topics/topic13933.html)
As he says "hay" is an easy word to remember, and extremely useful. It is a multi purpose word which can mean - there is/there are, as well as Is there?/Are there?
It can for example replace - Do you have any vacant rooms? with - Are there any vacant rooms? - Hay habitaciones libres?
Definitely a word to know and use.
 
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Javier Martin

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Hello!

Good idea to translate the most common words to have a better communicaton.

I can say, if not enough words to say, always you can use the non verbal language and it's best "word", a big and sincere smile.

¡Buen Camino!

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

picosrider

Active Member
La Pronunciacion.
My first pronouncement is that in 7 days time I will have already started my journey to Spain and my next pilgrimage!
I hope that this thread has been useful, but anything that you may have learnt has to be practised to be perfected and remembered. So if you are going to try to speak Spanish, even though it might only be a few set phrases, it is still important to get the pronunciation right. Practising pronunciation will also help you to understand what others are saying to you. If you click here http://www.studyspanish.com/pronunciation/ it explains why pronunciation is important and provides some useful audio exercises to help you to improve your speech and listening skills.
As children, when learning to read and write, we are taught the alphabet. In this modern world, how many times are we asked to spell our names? Easy in English, but try it in Spanish! For that you need to know the Spanish alphabet, which is another lesson in pronunciation. There is an alphabet lesson included in the above web site but I think this one is better, http://www.spanishspanish.com/alfabeto_ipower.html
Some situations where you might have to spell your name.
At an hotel: “I have a reservation, my name is ……” “Tengo una reserva, mi nombre es ….
How do you spell it? - Como se deletrea?
Lost property: I have lost my credit card/bag - He perdido mi tarjeta de credito/bolso.
What is your (first)name and surname? – Cual es su nombre y apellido
What is your address? – Cual es su direccion?
Please can you spell it. – Por favour, puede deletrar-lo
Where are you staying? – Donde se hospeda?
So knowing how to spell your name, and/or other details can be very useful.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
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Javier Martin said:
Good idea to translate the most common words to have a better communicaton.
...and that also applies to us, coming from Latin America.
The first time we arrived at a "cabinas" (albergue) in a taxi with a "Maria" (meter), we asked if they had "campo" (plazas). After having been told that they did not have a 'camping', we translated our question in Castellano and were shown a room with "camarotes" (literas). We asked for "cobijas" (mantas) since it was rather cold. The next morning, at breakfast, we asked for a second coffee (me regalas otro caffé) to learn that "aquí no se regala nada, se paga". Upon which the asistant broke out in laughter because she understood our way of speech: she was Nicaraguan.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
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question: how do you say apple cider vinegar?
And is it readily available along the route?
 

tyrrek

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Kiwi-family said:
question: how do you say apple cider vinegar?
And is it readily available along the route?
You're joking now aren't you? I assume it would be 'vinagre de sidra', but I don't know how likely you are to find it, even in the major towns. Cider is relatively popular in North West Spain though, so I may well be wrong.

Oh, and things like sushi are hard to find as well. :D

Buen Camino!
 
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Kiwi-family

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tyrrek said:
Kiwi-family said:
question: how do you say apple cider vinegar?
And is it readily available along the route?
You're joking now aren't you? I assume it would be 'vinagre de sidra', but I don't know how likely you are to find it, even in the major towns. Cider is relatively popular in North West Spain though, so I may well be wrong.

Oh, and things like sushi are hard to find as well. :D

Buen Camino!

You're a rascal! Actually I am serious. We drink a spoonful every morning and if we can get it on the road in a not-too-big bottle we'll keep up the practice. It's good for your gut (and hair and nails and teeth and brain and keeps bugs away). We're leaving the Swedish Bitters at home and won't look out for sushi either - although I must comment that when we stayed with a family in their ger in Mongolia we made sushi together :wink: We'll be looking for paella and chorizo and garlic soup and tortilla de patata....and the kids are hanging out for churros!
 

picosrider

Active Member
SUCCESS!
I hope that I have been able to show you some useful words and phrases. Of course the purpose is not to just learn the phrases, parrot fashion, but to be able to use the words in different situations and contexts.
For example I have used all these words before, so you should now be able to translate these two sentences into Spanish.

This room is too expensive, do you have anything cheaper (more cheap)?
I want to go to the pharmacy, can you tell me at what time the shop opens and closes?

Give it a go and see if you come up with my translations which are at the end of this posting.
You will notice that I have used opposites, expensive/cheap and opens/closes. I have found that using opposites in another way to help learn words and so widen your vocabulary.
Some examples: Easy/difficult – fácil/dificil Black/white – Negro (a)/Blanco (a)
big/small – grande/pequeño (a) right/wrong – correcto (a)/incorrecto (a)
good/bad – bueno (a/)/malo (a) old/new – Viejo(a)/Nuevo (a)
early/late – temprano/tarde clean/dirty – limpio (a)/sucio (a)
And not forgetting verbs: I understand/I do not understand – comprendo/no comprendo
To begin/to finish – comenzar/terminar to come/to go – venir/ir
To arrive/to leave – llegar/salir to give/to take – dar/tomar

And now the translations:
Esta habitacion es demasiado caro, tiene algo más barato?
Quiero ir a la farmacia, puede dicer-me a que hora la tiena abre y cierra
 

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picosrider

Active Member
ANIMAR LOS OTROS - To animate (encourage) the others
Meredith1 said:
A book suggestion: Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, I keep it handy to pick up at odd times to browse in, and it does help to refresh the Spanish I studied years ago.
In reply I said “Like you, I am a browser. My limited knowledge of Spanish is self taught, starting with the Berlitz Phrase Book. It is still my bible. In anticipation of my visits to Spain (third one starts next month) I do a crash re-learning course and add a bit more new grammar and vocabulary. I have got to the stage now where I actually enjoy learning Spanish, I just wish I could speak it!”
Well doing this thread has been my crash course. It has refreshed my memory about what I had forgotten, reminded me of what is in the Berlitz Phrase Book and where, and encouraged me to learn new words/phrases which might be useful. I really am, like many of you, a novice at learning Spanish. But I have learned how to teach myself to learn Spanish. I hope others have found my learning tips useful. I have also found that the more I learn, the easier it gets, and the more interesting. Just don’t over do it. The secret is little and often, not big boring chunks!
My Berlitz Phrase Book remains my bible, but I have added to it, with 2 complementary books,
“Collins easy learning Spanish Dictionary”, and “Collins easy learning Spanish Grammar”.
However, book learning has its limitations. It teaches you to read Spanish, not speak and understand the spoken word! For UK based learners you can get some excellent free practise by watching the BBC videos at http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/ and much more as you advance. There are lots of other free learning resources on the internet, some of which I have referred to in earlier postings.
In a few days time I will find out how well my latest Spanish learnings have prepared me for the real thing! At least I now know more than I did last time.
 

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picosrider

Active Member
QUIEN? WHO?
I have avoided getting into Spanish grammar, but even if you do not want to learn it just yet, it is useful to be aware of some things that you will see or hear.
To get by in Spanish you can be understood by just using “I” and “You”.
I understand – comprendo, Do you understand? – Comprende?
In Spanish the o in comprendo indicates I, but the e in comprende, in addition to you can also indicate he, she, or it.
To be specific about who the person is, you could say “I eat this, but you eat that” = Yo como ese, pero usted come este. Or he/she eats = el/ella come.

The plural of "I" is "We" and the plural of "he/she" is "they".
There will be times when you want to a bit more expressive. For example, instead of saying “ I want rooms for four peple” – Quiero habitaciones para cuatro gente, you might want to say “We want four single rooms” - Queremos cuatro habitaciones individuales.
Taking the above example in the plural, if you wanted to say “We eat this but they eat that” it becomes = Nosotros comemos ese, pero ellos/ellas comen este.

There is a pattern to how the verb endings change according to the person or persons concerned.
These are not too difficult to learn once you are familiar with the pattern.
There are 3 regular verb forms, commonly identified as AR, ER, and IR verbs, for which the verb endings are formed like this.
------------To speak ---To drink ---To live
------------Habl-ar-----Beb-er-----Viv-ir
I = Yo --------Habl-o------Beb-o------Viv-o
You/he/she = Usted?-----Habl-a ------Beb-e-----Viv-e
We = Nosotros -----------Habl-amos--Beb-emos--Viv-imos
They = Ellos/Ellas --------Habl-an-----Beb-en-----Viv-en
When you have learned, or at least familiarised yourself with these verb patterns, you will be much better at understanding and communicating in Spanish. So it is worth the effort!
 

tyrrek

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I always travel with a mini dictionary even though I can converse reasonably freely in (very imperfect) Spanish. Let's face it, words like 'blister' are not among the first you would learn.

Picosrider mentioned encouragement. You'll see graffiti with words like 'Animo!', or hear people say 'Vamos!/Vamonos!' which both kind of translate as 'Let's go!'

The verb 'andar' (to walk) in Spanish can also be used in a similar way in everyday life in Spain, but in the context of the Camino it may be used literally, so;
'Andamos!' - (C'mon!/Let's go!/We're walking!)

Buen Camino!
 

vagabondette

Active Member
I have recently decided to focus more on my language study so I thought I'd share a couple good tools I've found.

1 - http://www.memrise.com/ You have to do this one online but it has *many* languages with pre-made vocab study lists and it's also easy to create your own list just of words you want to study. It's a wiki so each word has great user-generated memory techniques including phrases, songs, poems, drawings, etc. to help you remember the words and phrases. It's a fun, interactive system that focuses on translation, writing, and hearing words. Each lesson introduces 5-7 new words or you can focus on ones you've learned but aren't quite comfortable with yet.

2 - http://ankisrs.net/ This can be used online and also on your smart phone. It's a "flashcard" app with lots of pre-made lists as well as the ability to create your own. It shows (by default) 20 new words a day and as you go though them you can indicate how comfortable you are with the word/phrase and that will impact when it is shown to you again. It's a great quick way to study if you have a few minutes with your phone.

3 - For those who are bringing mp3 players, you might consider loading up Pimsleur or similar so you can study while you walk (I plan on doing this). You might also consider listening while you train as supposedly doing physical exercise while studying a language helps with retention. :)
 

picosrider

Active Member
tyrrek said:
Let's face it, words like 'blister' are not among the first you would learn.
Quite true! But in the context of andando (walking) the Camino, very appropriate! Only yesterday there was a posting on this forum from someone, excited about having their first blister! And I well remember the many blistered feet that I saw along the camino and thanked my good fortune of going on a bicycle. (I expect that statement will cause feathers to fly!)

And to Vagabondette, thanks for the info on more web sites for learning Spanish. There are a lot available, it is just finding the best ones.
 

Kiwi-family

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next question: how do you say "Where can I put this rubbish?" (as in if we have picked up rubbish along the route for the day and have a big bag full and haven't noticed an obvious dumping spot.
 
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picosrider

Active Member
Kiwi-family said:
next question: how do you say "Where can I put this rubbish?"
I think that this would be a case for using the international language of pointing!
Just point at the bag of rubbish and say "Donde?" - Where?
However, as you have asked I looked in my "Collins easy learning Dictionary" and it came up with two examples using the word rubbish, which is = la basura
When do they collect the rubbish? = Cuando recogen la basura?
They sell a lot of rubbish in the market = Venden mucha basura en la mercado.

I don't suppose I will ever need to use la basura, but looking up words in a dictionary is how you widen your vocabulary. I referred a couple of days ago to using opposites to help remember words. And here is another useful opposite, triggered by the above. They sell rubbish and we buy it!
A vendor sells, and to sell = vender.(an ER verb)
I sell/you sell/we sell/they sell = vendo/vende/vendemos/venden.
To buy = comprar (an AR verb, and remember, to go to do the shopping = ir a hacer la compra)
I buy/you buy/we buy/they buy = compro/compra/compramos/compran.

On a different subject,Kiwi, I noted that grandfather is to walk the camino. You mention that he is a keen cyclist. Wouldn't he be better off "montando la bicicleta", cycling. More fun, less blisters!
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Kiwi-family said:
next question: how do you say "Where can I put this rubbish?" (as in if we have picked up rubbish along the route for the day and have a big bag full and haven't noticed an obvious dumping spot.
Glad you're joining the litter pickers Kiwi!
Something like 'Donde puedo dejar la basura?' should work (Where can I leave the rubbish?).

In practice every village has these industrial size wheely bins in the street, so you don't usually have to ask. It's probably more likely that another pilgrim will comment on your activities. Listen for the word 'basura' and then say something like;
'Si, hay mucha basura aqui.' Yes, there's a lot of rubbish here'.
Si, hay muchos plasticos aqui.' Yes there are lots of plastics (bottles etc) here.'
Si, hay muchos papeles aqui.' Yes there are lots of (pieces of) papers here.'
No hay mucha basura aqui.' There isn't much rubbish here.'

With your team it might be an idea to use several smaller bags, or the kids could just carry a cut off plastic bottle to stuff with cigarette packets etc!

Buen Camino!
 

picosrider

Active Member
To Be or Not to Be = Ser o No Estar.
The most used verb is “to be”. Unfortunately, in Spanish there are 2 verbs for “to be”, and both are irregular. But they are so important and much used that they must be learnt.
-------------- Ser -------- Estar
I am -------- soy -------- estoy
You are ---- es --------- está
We are ----- somos ---- estamos
They are --- son --------están
But which verb do you use and when?
Ser is used to express identity, characteristics and continuous state.
Estar describes position, and a temporary or intermittent state.
Some examples:
Santiago is a city = Santiago es una ciudad. States Identity
But, Santiago is in Spain = Santiago está en España States Position.
The cathedral is large = La cathedral es grande. Continuos state.
The albergue is full – El albergue está lleno. Temporary state.
It is a bit confusing! I find it easiest to identify position and temporary state,Estar, and assume that if they do not apply, it is probably Ser. But don’t worry about getting it wrong, I am told that even Spaniards don’t always get it right!
 

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vagabondette

Active Member
Tip for remembering ser and estar: How you are and where you are, that is when you use estar.

That'll get you through 90+% of statements correctly and is easy to remember.

also for those who want to get picky about eso/esto, remember that: this and these have "t"s.

que es eso? what is this? (generally pointing to something right in front of you)
que es esto? what is that? (generally pointing to something a little distance away)
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
vagabondette said:
Tip for remembering ser and estar: How you are and where you are, that is when you use estar.

That'll get you through 90+% of statements correctly and is easy to remember.

also for those who want to get picky about eso/esto, remember that: this and these have "t"s.

que es eso? what is this? (generally pointing to something right in front of you)
que es esto? what is that? (generally pointing to something a little distance away)
Hi vagabondette!

Yes, as you say 90% of the time the basic rules we've discussed work. Some of the exceptions make it confusing. For example 'time' is the most temporary state possible, but we say 'Son las tres' (It's 3 o'clock, using 'Ser'). And you see a mad dog, which is clearly in a permanent state of insanity, but 'Esta loco' (It's mad, using 'Estar).

I really don't know. :? Buen Camino!
 
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vagabondette

Active Member
Yeah. I don't fuss about it much. In 3+ years living and speaking in mexico, I've never had someone correct my ser/estar usage. the rule of thumb I posted is a quick reminder when choosing but no matter what you say people will get it and won't be surprised if you use the wrong form. Sometimes they might chuckle though.

I had one friend who finally got corrected about her usage but that's because she was consistently using the wrong form and saying the wrong thing. She kept saying "soy borracha" instead of "estoy borracha" which would indicate she was permanently drunk (an alcoholic) vs. just drunk for the evening. While technically "soy borracha" was probably correct in her case, it's generally not something you want to advertise to people. ;)
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
vagabondette said:
I had one friend who finally got corrected about her usage but that's because she was consistently using the wrong form and saying the wrong thing. She kept saying "soy borracha" instead of "estoy borracha" which would indicate she was permanently drunk (an alcoholic) vs. just drunk for the evening. While technically "soy borracha" was probably correct in her case, it's generally not something you want to advertise to people. ;)
Ha ha! That was exactly the other example I had in mind. When I was learning Spanish I used 'estoy'. These days I tend to use 'soy'! :D Buen Camino!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
picosrider said:
On a different subject,Kiwi, I noted that grandfather is to walk the camino. You mention that he is a keen cyclist. Wouldn't he be better off "montando la bicicleta", cycling. More fun, less blisters!
He probalby would be better cycling.....indeed, we considered the option for all of us....here's our decision: 1) we are not lugging eleven bikes halfway round the world 2) we want to do this together and when we looked at routes it seemed a fair bit of time would be separated if some walked and others rode 3) the little kids don't have decent bikes anyway 4) I can walk but cannot cycle (knee issues) 5) he was keen to take up walking in case he ever can't cycle!
Thanks for your suggestion though. And because we'll only be doing 13-15km a day, there ought not to be too many blisters :?
 

picosrider

Active Member
Whether walking or cycling the Camino, we are doing it. And doing things means verbs. They are the hub of communicating. I make up flash cards listing conjugations of the most used verbs, of which as I have said before, many are irregular. Such verbs as To Come=Venir and To Go = Ir To Have,= Tener, To Want = Querer, etc. Some irregular verbs can be paired to others which have similar conjugations. This means that you can learn two for the price of one! Some examples:
---------- To Have. --------- To Come
----------- Ten-er. ------------- Ven-ir
I --------- Ten-go ------------- Ven-go
You ------ Tien-e ------------- Vien-e
We ---- -- Ten-emos -------- Ven-imos
They ---- Ten en ------ ------ Ven-en

----- --- To Go.------ ------ To Give
------------ Ir. ---------------- Dar
I --------- Voy ---------------- Doy
You -- --- Va ---------------- Da
We ------ Vamos ------------ Damos
They ---- Van ---------------- Dan

And we are always asking for things – I want, or Can I? So again, important verbs to know.
---------- To Want ----------To be able
------- ---Querer -------------Poder
I ------ -- Quier-o -------- --- Pued-o
You -- -- Quier-e ------ ----- Pued-e
We ----- Quer-emos --- --- Pod-emos
They -- - Quier-en ----------Pued-en

With these verbs you will be able to say and understand much more.
 

vagabondette

Active Member
Just a quick correction:

They ---- Ten en ------ ------ Ven-en

should be: Tienen and Vienen. the irregular conjugation is only regular for the nosotros/we form of the verb.

Also, for those not familiar with spanish verb conjugation, the "you" form outlined above also applies to singular he/she and is the formal version of "you". There is also an informal version which you will likely hear a lot when people speak to you so should be familiar with though in general you should default to using the formal version when addressing someone else, particularly if they are older than you. The informal you version for those particular verbs would be:

tienes
vienes
vas
das
quieres
puedes
 
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picosrider

Active Member
vagabondette said:
For those not familiar with Spanish verb conjugation, the "you"
There are of course 4 versions of "you" in Spanish, but I made a conscious decision to ignore this. The formal "tiene" will get us learners understood, and this is what "how to get by in Spanish" is all about. So at this stage in our learning, why complicate matters!
There is a limit to how much we can absorb in a short time, and ideally it should be in small chunks spread over weeks and months. I don’t have that luxury as I am of to Santiago in 36 hours time. So I have tried to pick words, nouns and verbs, which might be the most useful.
And yes I have made errors, mainly as a result of rushing things. However it is useful for you and others, to point out my many errors, because it is very true that we learn more from making mistakes (or seeing others do so) than getting things right. Other people are more likely to remember your corrections, than if I had got things right the first time. It also helps to reinforce what I said at the beginning of this thread. We are reluctant to try to speak a foreign language in case we make mistakes and make fools of our selves. Well I have made lots of mistakes, and seen by lots of people. So do I feel a fool? Definitely not. I have gained in confidence and now feel much better equiped for my next Spanish adventure.
I just hope that someone will continue where I have left off.
 

vagabondette

Active Member
picosrider said:
vagabondette said:
For those not familiar with Spanish verb conjugation, the "you"
There are of course 4 versions of "you" in Spanish, but I made a conscious decision to ignore this. The formal "tiene" will get us learners understood, and this is what "how to get by in Spanish" is all about. So at this stage in our learning, why complicate matters!

Because, them understanding you is only half the battle. If the person you're approaching responds with a verb form you have never seen before (the informal), you're not going to understand much. In my experience, even when you approach someone using the formal version, they'll respond with the informal version. So, if you don't know what that is, it'll be a problem.

There is a limit to how much we can absorb in a short time, and ideally it should be in small chunks spread over weeks and months. I don’t have that luxury as I am of to Santiago in 36 hours time. So I have tried to pick words, nouns and verbs, which might be the most useful.
And yes I have made errors, mainly as a result of rushing things. However it is useful for you and others, to point out my many errors, because it is very true that we learn more from making mistakes (or seeing others do so) than getting things right. Other people are more likely to remember your corrections, than if I had got things right the first time. It also helps to reinforce what I said at the beginning of this thread. We are reluctant to try to speak a foreign language in case we make mistakes and make fools of our selves. Well I have made lots of mistakes, and seen by lots of people. So do I feel a fool? Definitely not. I have gained in confidence and now feel much better equiped for my next Spanish adventure.
I just hope that someone will continue where I have left off.

Making errors is natural and you definitely shouldn't feel like a fool because of it. I've been speaking spanish for years and my spanish still sucks (mostly because I don't like making errors so I don't practice as much as I should). :) But, last night I let fly at a waiter who was playing over-charge-the-gringa and even though my spanish wasn't perfect, he got the point and adjusted my bill to the correct amount. My post wasn't meant to criticize I just think leaving out the verb tense you are most likely to hear from a local is a pretty big thing to leave out so I wanted to provide the information for those who were actually interested in learning the verb conjugations.

BTW, a few days ago I linked to the online program memrise. Since then I've been playing around with it and it's *GREAT*. If people are interested, I'd be willing to create a "Crash Course to Camino Spanish" taking the phrases/information in this thread and turning it into a course on the site. If people won't use it, I don't want to bother but if people think it'll be helpful, I'm happy to do it.
 

picosrider

Active Member
vagabondette said:
"My post wasn't meant to criticize ...."
And "She kept saying "soy borracha" instead of "estoy borracha" which would indicate she was permanently drunk (an alcoholic) vs. just drunk for the evening. While technically "soy borracha" was probably correct in her case, it's generally not something you want to advertise to people"
I am not complaining about criticism. I agree with what you say. I was just pointing out that I did not have the time to go into greater detail so had to be selective.
And I loved your bit about the imbibing lady. It was a perfect example of the different use/meaning of soy and estoy. Very amusing and one that I and others won't forget.
And I don't think we will forget this evening with the local sidre!
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Another Forum offered a Phrase book for pilgrims some years ago - these are a few of the phrases:

Is this albergue free of bed bugs or can I bring my own?
¿Hay bichos en este albergue, o es que puedo llevar los míos propios?

The first one who snores gets a boot in the nose
El primero que ronca recibe mi zapato en la nariz

I only need one bed. My manservant will sleep with the horses
Solo necesito una cama. Mi sirviente dormirá con los caballos.

Have you got a strong box for my jewelry?
¿Hay una caja fuerte para mis joyas?

Is there room service after midnight
¿Hay servicio en cama después de la medianoche?

Is that a piece of tortilla española in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
¿Es esto un pedazo de tortilla lo que tienes en tu bolsa o es solo que te alegras de verme?

Has anybody seen Uncle Bob?
¿Alguien ha visto al tío Bob?

Where is that $@%#& yellow arrow?
¿Donde está esta $#@%^&*^%#$ flecha amarilla?
 

vagabondette

Active Member
Ok, I pulled out the most common/needed words/phrases from this discussion and created a memrise class for them. For those who don't want to do the online course here's the list I used. If you have any additions, let me know. Or, if I used the LA vs. Spanish word, let me know. Keep in mind I'm not doing sentences, just words/short phrases that, once learned, you can string together to get your idea across.

For those who want to do the (free) course, the URL is here: http://www.memrise.com/set/10036521/cra ... spanish-2/

1 - uno
2 - dos
3 - tres
4 - cuatro
5 - cinco
6 - seis
9 - nueve
8 - ocho
7 - siete
10 - diez
11 - once
12 - doce
13 - trece
14 - catorce
15 - quince
16 - diesiseis
20 - vente
30 - treinta
40 - cuarenta
50 - cincuenta
60 - sesenta
70 - setenta
80 - ochenta
90 - noventa
100 - cien
17 - diecisiete
18 - dieciocho
19 - diecinueve
airport - el aeropuerto
allergic - alérgico
antiseptic - el antiséptico
aspirin - la aspirina
asthma - el asma
ATM - el cajero automático
bad - malo
bank - el banco
bed - la cama
big - grande
blister - la ampolla
Bike - Bicicleta
blanket - la manta
bridge - el puente
bus - el autobús
cheap - barato/a
church - la iglesia
close - cercana
continue - sigue
corner - la esquina
diabetic - el diabético
dinner - la cena
map - la mapa
doctor - el médico
early - temprano
east - el este
easy - fácil
english - inglés
excuse me - disculpa
expensive - caro
headache - el dolor de cabeza
good - bueno
from - de
Friends - los amigos
foot - el pie
Help me - Ayúdame
highway - la autopista
hill - la colina
hospital - el hospital
hostel - el hostal
hostel - el albergue
hotel - el hotel
lost - perdido
in front of - enfrente (de)
included - incluido
intersection - el cruce
late - tarde
left - la izquierda
lunch - el almuerzo
next to - al lado de
no - no
next - próximo
my name is - me llamo
menu - el menu
medicine - la medicina
north - el norte
open - abierto
Over - Sobre
problem - el problema
pharmacy - la farmacia
please - por favor
police - la policía
quickly - rápidamente
reservation - la reservación
School - La escuela / el colegio
river - el río
right - la derecha
sheets - las sábanas
shoe store - la zapatería
small - pequeño
slowly - despacio
south - el sur
station - la estación
straight - recto, derecho
street - la calle
sunburn - la quemadura del sol
west - el oeste
What time is it? - ¿Qué hora es?
where is - dónde está
what is your name - ¿Cómo se llama usted?
under - bajo
turn - el giro
train - el tren
to leave - salir
to arrive - llegar
ticket - el boleto
tell me - Dime
telephone - el teléfono
yes - sí
good morning, good-day - buenos días
Good afternoon (untill 8pm) - Buenas tardes
searching for - buscando
last name - el apellido
he can, she can, you (formal) can - puede
how much does it cost - cuánto cuesta
breakfast - desayuno
you (informal) speak - hablas
address, direction - dirección
difficult - difícil
double - doble
to be (temporary qualities/states, location, feeling) - estar
room, bedroom - habitación
there is/there are - hay
individual - individual
a bus stop, a taxi stand - la parada
to go - ir
count, account, bill - la cuenta
roundabout - la rotunda
free (at liberty, available) - libre
I'm sorry - lo siento
much, many, a lot - mucho
name - nombre
fast - rápido
I can - puedo
he can - puede
a little, few - poco
stamp - sello
traffic light - semáforo
to be (used for lasting attributes) - ser
I don't speak - no hablo
spanish - español
shop, store - tienda
Credit card - Tarjeta de crédito
to have - tener
I have (tener) - tengo
to see - ver
I go - voy
more - más
i would like - quiero
I understand - entiendo
I am - soy
I am (temporary condition) - estoy
pain - dolor
I need - necesito
 
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