Your Free Spanish Lesson # 1
Hola a todos and welcome to your first free Spanish class. My name is Ingrid Jackson and even though I am not a teacher, I feel that I am capable of teaching you Spanish and pronto. I am fully bilingual in both English and Spanish and for those of you who would like to learn a bit more about me, feel free to click on the about button found at the top right hand corner of my website for more information.
My goal today is to make sure that by the time we are done you leave having learnt something valuable. Because I am not a teacher, my methods of teaching may come across as a bit unorthodox, but trust me, based on my own difficulties while learning English, I can tell you that I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Tricks that will surely help you learn Spanish.
Today’s lesson will be short and sweet. It will lay a foundation which will make your learning process smooth and straight forward.
Before we start I would strongly suggest that you grab a notebook and a pen or pencil, so you can take notes as we go along.
The first thing that I want you to know is that in Spanish the vowels are never long sounding.
A good example would be the letter A for Ape. The vowels in Spanish will never sound like ā ē ī ō ū, but rather a e i o u, absolutely always flat, no exceptions. (Please refer to the video above for further explanation)
Now, what I want you to do is to write down the following words.
La Ventana, which means the window.
As you read these two words, make sure to sound the vowels flat. No exception to this rule.
(Please refer to the video above for further explanation)
So, now you have learned that the vowels in Spanish will always sound flat and that that is precisely how you read in Spanish. You have written your first two words in Spanish (La Ventana), which means the window and now you also know the meaning of those words.
The next thing that I want you to learn is that in Spanish as in French, people and things are referred to as masculine and feminine. Nothing is an it or a the, but a he or a she.
For example (el carro) which means the car.
Please write this down, El Carro.
In this case (el) replaces (it or the) which are never used in Spanish. (El) is the masculine equivalent of (the or it ) You will grasp this a bit more as we go along, don’t worry about it too much. Just keep it in the back of your mind for now.
We will now move on to the feminine equivalent and in this case we will use (La Cocina) which means the kitchen.
A trick that I would like to teach you which will help you tremendously is that most words and I will repeat, most words not all, let’s say but about 90% of them, will either end with an (o) or an (a), or have either one of those two vowels as the last vowel in the word. For example…
Ventilador, the meaning for this word is fan. Because the last vowel in this particular word is (o) when you are referring to (the Fan) in Spanish, you would refer to it as masculine. So in this case it would be (El ventilador).
As stated before, not all words end or have the last vowel as being (a) or (o), however if you follow this rule, you will be right at least 90% of the time. In other words based on what you have learned today, if you where to do a test right now where you have to differentiate between masculine and feminine words, such as (el) being masculine and (la) being feminine, you would pass the test by simply following the trick that you learned above. Not bad for a beginner I would say, wouldn’t you?
So, let’s recap on today’s lesson.
The vowels in Spanish are always sounding flat, never long, no exception.
In Spanish we refer to people and things as masculine or feminine.
The rule or trick to remember when referring to things is that about 90% of all words will either end or have the last vowel as (o) or (a)
If the last vowel in the word is (o) you would refer to it as masculine using (el) such as the example of (el carro), which means the car.
If the last vowel in the word is (a) then you would refer to it as feminine using (la) for example (la comida) which means the food.
Today you have also learned the meaning of the following words…
La Ventana = The Window
El Carro = The Car
La Cocina = The Kitchen
El Ventilador = The Fan
La Comida = The Food
I am going to give you 10 words and I want you to write them down, so you learn those words. I want you to use a Spanish/English dictionary to find out the meaning of each of those words and write them down next to each word. Next, I want you to write down whether the word is feminine or masculine.
Example: (La) Puerta = Door
Here are your ten words:
We will review these words next week on Friday 04/20/2012 to see how you did.
Good luck and thank you for coming today. Love and light to all, see you next week!