Sunday, March 22, 2009

Video: Why it pays to be multilingual

From the video page:

Professors from the foreign language and literatures department [California State University] explain the benefits of knowing more than one language, including understanding your own language better, being better off in the job market and just having fun.

My favorite quote: “When I travel in countries where I can speak the language, I have a key to the heart of other people.”

Thanks to Mandy Lindgren for tweeting about this video.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Podcast Spotlight: SSL4YOU

For a couple of years now I have been listening to SSL4YOU Español Segunda Lengua para Todos, hosted by Teresa Sánchez de Arriba, an English teacher in Zamora, Spain. The format is straightforward. She talks about a relevant topic and then afterwards explains some of the vocabulary words and phrases used—all in Spanish. ssl4u

In the beginning, I wondered why she was explaining simple vocabulary words at times, but then I really came to appreciate this. How useful it is to describe everyday words in the target language instead of instantly translating them into English.

For example in her latest podcast, Pedir Aumento de Sueldo en Tiempos de Crisis, one of the phrases is mantener la calma which is pretty easy to define—in English, but how about in Spanish? (She goes on to describe it by using the following phrases: estar tranquilo, no perder los nervios and no enfadarte.) 

I really feel like I get more out of this because she does stay in the target language rather than translating into English. In my opinion, listening to this podcast will truly enrich your vocabulary.

Where to find it:
Spanish with English translation with audio (click on titles)
Spanish only with audio
Subscribe to podcast with iTunes 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know this. I am a big fan of the television show Lost. I have been watching it since the first season. In addition to watching it, I also enjoy listening to the Jay and Jack’s Lost podcast for a recap, listener feedback and more.

I started thinking how neat it would be if there was something similar in Spanish to help with my listening comprehension. Just recently I found out that there is such a podcast called Extraviados run by two guys who simply like the show and decided to do a podcast. From their site:

Somos Vii y Camvoya. Nos gusta Lost. Se nos ocurrió hacer un podcast. Fin. Comentamos cada episodio y elucubramos teorías y conspiranoias. A nuestro aire, sin spoilers ni azúcares añadidos.

You can also subscribe to the podcasts through iTunes.