Platero y Yo

This book–a classic of world literature–is a collection of vignettes, most a scant few paragraphs each, about a man’s affection for his beloved donkey and his love for the world around him. Jimenez was a renowned poet and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956. Since it is out of copyright, you can download it for free. … [ Read more ]

Demystifying Spanish Grammar

I can’t see this book not being useful for anyone whose native language is not Spanish. Even if you are familiar with the topics covered, chances are you will see things that cause you to say, “Yeah cool, I’ve never really thought of it quite like that–very helpful.” … [ Read more ]

5 Books for Intermediate/Advanced Spanish Learners

Reading in your target language is a wonderful way to improve your language skills, especially when you hit the intermediate/advanced plateau. It broadens your vocabulary and familiarizes you with those more complicated grammatical structures. It opens a window on the cultural – and pop-cultural – context of the language. And it gives you a tiny peek into the underlying joy and mischief of the language: the rules you can break, the words you can play … [ Read more ]

Notes from Spanish Step by Step by Charles Berlitz

These are the notes I took while reading the book, Spanish Step by Step by Charles Berlitz. Chapters/topics incldue:

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Lights, Camera, Spanish

Lights, Camera, Spanish! is a revolutionary, look-listen-and-learn approach to language skills, specially created for you, the movie lover, who wants a crash course in Spanish. The DVD includes a full-length feature film packed with passion, romance, danger . . . and dialogue that’s easy to learn and fun to watch. The workbook features dialog reviews, a Spanish-English mini-dictionary, and written and oral exercises to help you strengthen Spanish skills–while providing a front-row seat to the … [ Read more ]

Demystifying Spanish Grammar: Advanced Spanish Grammar, Clarifying the Written Accents, Ser/Estar (Verbs), Para/Por (Prepositions), Imperfect/Preterite (Past Tenses), & the Dreaded Spanish Subjunctive

Grammar is the glue that holds language together. It governs how sentences are made up, how words change depending on subject and context, and how verbs conjugate to reflect whether something happened in the past, present or future. Unfortunately grammar is also one of the most detested and difficult parts of learning a language. Demystifying Spanish Grammar attempts to shed some of students’ anxiety about tackling these topics.

The book deals with some of the trickier … [ Read more ]

Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish

Many language books are boring–this one is not. Written by a native English speaker who learned Spanish the hard way–by trying to talk to Spanish-speaking people–it offers English speakers with a basic knowledge of Spanish hundreds of tips for using the language more fluently and colloquially, with fewer obvious “gringo” errors. Writing with humor, common sense, and a minimum of jargon, Joseph Keenan covers everything from pronunciation, verb usage, and common grammatical mistakes to the … [ Read more ]

Short Stories in Spanish: New Penguin Parallel Text

If you are at an intermediate level of Spanish, and can understand basic conversations and make yourself understood in most situations then this dual-language book is an enjoyable challenge to your Spanish reading skills.

You will need to have a strong grasp of Spanish grammar and verbs to be able to read the stories without checking a reference book each page, but the English translation provides a complete reference. The most advanced your Spanish is, the … [ Read more ]

Streetwise Spanish: Speak and Understand Colloquial Spanish

“There are a plethora of books purporting to deal with Spanish slang on the market; a surprisingly large number of them have come out in just the last few years. After having checked out many of them, I must say that this is far and away the best one that I have encountered to date.

One of the problems with dealing with colloquialisms in Spanish is that they differ so much from region to region. This … [ Read more ]

Speaking Spanish Like a Native

Speaking Spanish Like a Native makes eye contact with the reader. This book will awaken the student to a more lively way of learning while spicing up their Spanish speaking ability. Written in an entertaining and colorful style, Speaking Spanish Like a Native pulls you out of the classroom and places you into the huddle with native Spanish speakers—giving you the inside scoop on words, phrases, and expressions you cannot get from textbooks. While many … [ Read more ]