As we get ready to begin another año nuevo (new year), it’s the perfect time to look back on 2018. I’ve had a great year and I hope you have, too. Much of my year was spent in the Spanish-speaking world. It started out in Chile, and I also got to visit Peru and Bolivia before returning to my sort-of home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I even made it all the way to Russia for La Copa Mundial (the World Cup) and got to see Mexico beat Germany! But enough about my year. We’re here to look back at the Top 10 Spanish Blog posts of 2018, as decided by you, our readers.
Mexican food is popular all over the world, and for good reason. Unfortunately, what you get in many places isn’t exactly real Mexican food. I mean, Taco Bell won “Best Mexican Restaurant” in the US this year. What a travesty! Don’t get me wrong – I’ll smash a cheesy gordita crunch every now and then, but Taco Bell certainly isn’t real Mexican food.
After living in Mexico for the better part of two years, I’m pretty well-versed in legit comida Mexicana (Mexican food). As a matter of fact, eating is one of my favorite pastimes in Mexico. Learn about common ingredients and dishes in Mexico in this post. Word of warning – you may be drooling by the end of it.
If you’ve been reading the Spanish blog for a while, I’m sure you’re familiar with Laura’s excellent listening practice posts. Our readers clearly love them, as three of them made the Top 10 list this year! In this post and the corresponding video, learn how to use the present continuous tense in Spanish.
Speaking of useful, you have to learn how to count in any language you’re studying. With the help of my wonderful maestro de español (Spanish teacher), we put together a simple video teaching you how to count from 1 to 100 in Spanish. This video is part of my Beginner Spanish Video Series, which also has lessons on how to introduce yourself, survival phrases, and much more. I had a great time making it while I was studying Spanish in Puerto Vallarta, and I hope the videos are helpful.
One of the coolest, most bohemian cities in all of Latin America is Valparaíso, Chile. It’s also the former home of Chile’s most famous poet – Pablo Neruda. He had a place here that he would come to in order to escape the “tiredness of Santiago” and write. There’s no better introduction to this funky city than his poem “Oda a Valparaíso” (“Ode to Valparaíso”).
In this post, you can read the entire poem in Spanish and then check the English translation. I also included a cool video that has scenes of the city and a reading of it in Spanish for you to practice listening. Speaking of videos, you can also check out the short series “Valparaíso en español” to see some more of the city and learn Spanish with the help of my amiga in Chile. Here’s Parte Uno for you:
I don’t know about you, but I have trouble with reflexive verbs in Spanish. For some reason I just can’t seem to get the hang of them. Thankfully, Laura has another super helpful listening practice post to point all of us in the right direction. Follow along with the sample conversation and get more familiar with those pesky reflexive verbs.
Karoly started out on the Spanish blog at the beginning of 2018, and our readers clearly welcomed her with open arms. Her fantastic post about wedding traditions in Mexico was one of the most popular of the year, and deservedly so. Read up on all the important aspects of weddings in Mexico and learn a bunch of useful Spanish vocabulary at the same time!
Everybody loves to Netflix and chill, but why not improve your Spanish at the same time? There are plenty of excellent TV series out there that can add a fun element to your Spanish studies. Karoly has three recommendations for you in this post, including La Casa de las Flores. Check it out in the official trailer and be sure to read the post for more info:
Talking about el clima (the weather) is a good way to make small talk in any language. Clearly it’s also a popular subject for students of Spanish, as it made it into our Top 3 posts of the year. Follow this listening activity to learn some useful words and phrases for talking about the weather in Spanish. Here’s the original video Laura posted for this lesson as well:
We all make mistakes when learning a language. Rather than get distraught by them, it’s much more fun to laugh at them. I posed a question in a Facebook group asking for hilarious Spanish mistakes people have made and got some great responses. You’ll get a good laugh out of this post, which teaches you many useful things like why you shouldn’t say “Estoy caliente!” or “Tengo hombre!”
Expressing your likes and dislikes is a big part of everyday life. So much so that you’ve all made this post about likes and dislikes in Spanish our most-viewed one of the year. We go above and beyond using the verb gustar (to like) in this post, which teaches how to express your affection (or lack thereof) in several different ways.
Por ejemplo – ¡Me encanta viajar! (For example – I love traveling!). I love traveling so much that I’m getting back on the road in Latin America to start 2019. My plan is to explore some more of Mexico and also head to Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. ¿Cuál es tu plan en 2019? (What’s your plan in 2019?).
About the Author:sasha
Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they’re currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.
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