Hi team!

It’s 2017 and I’m much more beautiful, a smaller size and acing all of my jobs in life. Just kidding. If anything I’m going the other way, BUT, our mighty little app Lingogo is all those things and more!

Have you tried our new version? You may have noticed one major change among others… Lingogo is now just for English speakers learning Spanish (I promise we’ll bring more languages in asap!).

To celebrate our new (temporarily) monogamous relationship with the Spanish language I thought I’d share a few facts about Spanish language and culture. Because we’re not spending hours and dollars cramming foreign words into our brains for the sheer fun of it, right? Learning a language gives us access - an inside track, a VIP backstage pass - to a culture we’re interested in. And the best way to get better at that language is to keep feeding that interest with entertaining titbits like these. Talking about feeding… anyone else hungry?

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1. Think Spain, think paella! Next time you’re munching on this delicious dish lose the plates. In true Valencian tradition paella should be shared from the same pan ‘family-style’ and eaten from the outside in with a mussel shell. Just make sure you stick to your section and don’t forget the lemon wedge! Super authentic recipe at the end of this article  and here's a Jamie bastardisation sure to please English tastebuds like mine.

 

2. Spanish has the second highest number of native speakers of any language in the world (that’s behind Mandarin and in front of English). It’s the main language of 21 countries. Cover up the paragraph below with your hand and see how many you can get before you peek.

Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Equatorial Guinea.

 

3. Next time you’re asking for 'azúcar' in Spanish consider what the word says about Spanish history. The Moors were expelled from the Spanish Kingdom in 1492 but you’ll find around 8,000 Spanish words used today that hark back to their Arabic origin. Sugar in Arabic? As-sukkar! More examples in this short and sweet vid. 

 

4. Timetables in Spain work very differently to those in NZ. They rise late, eat late, and wouldn’t be seen dead hitting a club before 2am. Hot weather - yes, but another reason for all this late living is sometimes put down to their literal time zone. In 1940 during WW2, General Franco switched the country to CET (Central Euro Time) in a show of allegiance to Nazi Germany (yikes). It’s the farthest West of any country on the timeframe meaning super late sunrises for many areas during winter (like 9am) and long evenings. Now they’re talking about going back an hour to GMT. 

 

5. Just to be topical let’s visit the USA. Already there are more Hispanics in the US than there are in all of Spain. In 2050 it’s estimated the Spanish-speaking population in the US will reach 132.8 million making it the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. *These predictions were made pre-Trump’s wall…

 

For more insight into real Spanish culture - keep learning Spanish! How handy that an ebook and audiobook version of our latest story ‘La Artista’ is only a Lingogo download and tap away to help you out. Oh, and we’re getting fancy now with a weekly newsletter - put your name down for solid inspiration and free stuff.

Next post in March, happy Spanish learning!

Liz

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