Monday, January 30, 2012

Encontramos de nuevo nos

Write this date down, because today I'm going to do something I promised I would never do on this blog - talk about grammar.   But bear with me, I think you'll find this to be one of the most enjoyable grammar lessons you'll ever have.  And quite possibly the only one you'll get on this blog.

Encontramos de nuevo nos

I'm sure many of you already know this sentence makes no sense.  But mistakes like this are common for beginners, because those Spanish pronouns can be pesky when you're first starting to learn Spanish.

Do they go at the beginning of the sentence, or at the end? To make matters worse, sometimes they can go either at the beginning or the end.  For someone new to the Spanish language, learning the do's and dont's can be a nightmare.

But don't worry, today I'm going to share a video with you that will help you out by giving you some advice about where these pesky pronouns go.

The video is in Spanish, so get those Spanish ears of yours ready.  It does have English subtitles, so don't worry too much. 

Today we'll be visiting with our friends the Huevo Cartoones.  You may remember I first introduced you to them with Huevo Santa.  This episode is a parody of Star Trek, or as it was titled in Spanish "Viaje a las Estrellas". 

 In case you weren't able to catch all of that, let's do a recap of the more relevant parts.

Despite being in some serious danger, our star ship captain finds it necessary to correct the grammar of his nemesis. 

The Evil Captain:
Encontramos de nuevo nos
We meet again
   (Said incorrectly)

Starship Captain:
Quieres decir que "nos encontramos de nuevo"
You mean we meet again
The Evil Captain:
 Eso dije
That's what I said.

Starship Captain:
No, es que pusiste el nos al final de la frase y debería ir al prinicipio
No, you put nos at the end of the sentence and it should go at the beginning

The Evil Captain:
Tus escudos estan a punto de fallar y te mos destruire!!!!
Your shields are about to fail and we're going to destroy you!
   (Also said incorrectly)

Starship Captain:
te destruiremos

The Evil Captain:
¿Que no va al principio de la frase?
What, it doesn't go at the beginning?

Starship Captain:
No, en este caso no

After our heroes come up with a plan to save themselves from being destroyed, we find ourselves back aboard the enemy vessel...

Evil Crew Members:
Pueden destruirnos
They can destroy us

The Evil Captain, now thinking he has an excellent grasp on those pesky pronouns decides to try and correct his crew members about their pronoun usage....

The Evil Captain:
Nos pueden destruir. El nos va al principio de la frase
They can destroy us.  The nos goes at the beginning of the sentence.

Evil Crew Members:
En este caso es igual el principo o el final
In this case is the same at the beginning or the end

The Evil Captain:
No, pues asi no puedo hablar este idioma a veces si , a veces no
I can't speak this language, sometimes yes, sometimes no

Evil Crew Members:
¿Que hacemos con las minas?
What do we do about the mines?

The Evil Captain:
No se si se dice nosotros o otros nos
I don't know if you say nosotros or some other nos

That's all of the dialog pertinent to us today, and sadly, despite being a grammar guru, things didn't work out so well for our star ship Captain. 

Personally, I got a real kick out of that video.  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, although I have to admit it loses something in translation.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Monday, January 23, 2012

No estaba muerto estaba de parranda

At least once a year I try to go to Mexico (Baja California) for a little R&R.  This trip is pura fiesta - nothing but partying .  There's no better way to learn and practice your Spanish then by walking the streets all day and night, hanging out in bars and restaurants talking to anybody and everybody.
With that in mind, I thought I'd share some things I've learned about having a good time.  Para que tu sepas (just so you know),  some of the things in this post may be very Mexican, but are probably understood by many. 

Let's get started.

Ir de parranda

To go partying.  Just that simple.  A  parranda is a party.  This is one of several ways to say party besides fiesta.  In fact, most of the people I talk to rarely (if ever) use the word fiesta when they talk about going partying. 

Manaña voy de parranda para celebrar mi cumpleaños
Tomorrow I'm going partying to celebrate my birthday

A Parrandón (parrandona for the ladies) is someone who likes to party. You can also say Qué parrandón to talk about a great party.   Parrandero (parrandera) is also a term for someone who likes to party.

Ir a Pachanguear

Yep, another way to say you're going to party.  I don't recall where I picked up this expression, but here are some examples:

¿Vamos a ir a pachanguear verdad?
We're going to go partying right?

Estoy pachangueando
I'm partying

El sábado me fui de pachanga con mis amigas
I went out partying with my girlfriends on Saturday

Es muy pachanguero
He likes to party

Panchanguero (pachanguera) is a someone who likes to party.  In English we'd probably say party animal.  A pachanga is a party.

Let's not forget about Ir de fiesta.  It works the same way the other expressions do.

¡Vamos de fiesta!
 Let's go party!

Manaña voy de fiesta para celebrar mi cumpleaños
Tomorrow I'm going partying to celebrate my birthday

Fiestero/fiestera is another way to talk about being a party animal.

I've got one more for you, and this might come as shock.

Ir de party

Vamos de party
Let's go party

While it may sound strange, this is a very, very common way to talk about going out to party.  I've heard the expression vamos de party more times than I can count.  And that's good news for you, because if you can't remember the the other options you will most certainly remember this one.  And you'll sound authentic to boot. 

Well, know that we've established that we ready to party, what kinds of places can you party at?

Un bar.  Yes, a bar, just we like we say in English, but give it your best Spanish accent.  You can also go to "un club".   Again, just use your Spanish accent and you're golden.  If you want to sound a little more Mexican, you can use the word "antro".

¿Hay un buen antro por aquí?
Is there a good club around here?

I will warn you that antro might have a different meaning in other countries.   I mentioned that I like to go to antros to my friend from Peru, and she gave me a strange look.  Turns out that to her an antro was not a club, but a bar, and a dive bar at that.   Go figure.  I think the word discoteca is probably more universal.

Well, after all of that, I'm sure you've figured out what today's expression means.

No estaba muerto, estaba de parranda
I wasn't dead, I was partying

You can also say:

No estaba muerto, andaba de parranda

This is a nice phrase you can use to get a few laughs if you haven't seen someone in a while and they ask you where you've been.  Or why you haven't posted anything to your blog in almost a month.

Well, that's it for now.  I've got some more party and drinking related vocabulary and phrases to share with you all in a future post, so stay tuned!

¡Hasta la próxima!