Malaga another beautiful city in Spain.

A Passionate Perspective.

Málaga is a beautiful port city in the Andalusia region of Spain. The city streets are beautifully crafted with diverse architecture styles influenced from the Moorish, Renaissance, and Gothic time periods. With friendly and happy smiles all around I knew that I will really enjoy my time in Málaga. This city is the perfect combination of beach, city, and great night life for any budget traveler. With the great weather all around, cheap rent, and a great community Málaga has attracted a great number of expats to retire there. It seems to me that Málaga is the Florida of Spain!

Streets of Malaga

Luckily enough, my good friend’s student lives in Málaga, so we were able to explore and wine and dine like a local! Since we were there during the Holy Week “Semana Santa” the streets were full of visitors and to avoid all the chaos, our “guide” led us to a local bodega. There…

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Ruben Dario- Father of Modernist Poetry

Ruben Dario

Ruben Dario

 Ruben Dario  marks an important shift in the relationship between literary Europe and America. Before him, American literary trends had largely followed European ones; however, Darío was clearly the international vanguard of the Modernist Movement. The poetry we read now in the twentieth  century is a mixture of Modernism and Post Modernism. Modernist elements include 1)experimentation 2) anti-realism, 3)individualism, and 4) intellectualism.

Here is a poem Dario wrote in honor of Roosevelt. It is a good example of the intellectualism rife in Modernist poetry.


Es con voz de la Biblia, o verso de Walt Whitman,

que habría que llegar hasta ti, Cazador!

Primitivo y moderno, sencillo y complicado,

con un algo de Washington y cuatro de Nemrod.

Eres los Estados Unidos,

eres el futuro invasor

de la América ingenua que tiene sangre indígena,

que aún reza a Jesucristo y aún habla en español.

Eres soberbio y fuerte ejemplar de tu raza;

eres culto, eres hábil; te opones a Tolstoy.

Y domando caballos, o asesinando tigres,

eres un Alejandro-Nabucodonosor.

(Eres un profesor de energía,

como dicen los locos de hoy.)

Crees que la vida es incendio,

que el progreso es erupción;

en donde pones la bala

el porvenir pones.


Los Estados Unidos son potentes y grandes.

Cuando ellos se estremecen hay un hondo temblor

que pasa por las vértebras enormes de los Andes.

Si clamáis, se oye como el rugir del león.

Ya Hugo a Grant le dijo: «Las estrellas son vuestras».

(Apenas brilla, alzándose, el argentino sol

y la estrella chilena se levanta…) Sois ricos.

Juntáis al culto de Hércules el culto de Mammón;

y alumbrando el camino de la fácil conquista,

la Libertad levanta su antorcha en Nueva York.

 Dario emphasises  the cerebral aspects of this poem as he alludes to Bacchus, Netzahualcoyotl, Atlantis ,Montezuma and Plato.

Roberto González Echevarría considers him the beginning of the modern era in Spanish language poetry: “In Spanish, there is poetry before and after Rubén Darío, he is the first major poet in the language since the seventeenth century.” He ushered Spanish-language poetry into the modern era by incorporating the aesthetic ideals and modern anxieties of Parnassiens and Symbolism, as Garcilaso had infused Castilian verse with Italianate forms and spirit in the sixteenth century, transforming it forever.

Azul (Spanish Edition)

Azul...; Cantos de vida y esperanza (COLECCION LETRAS HISPANICAS) (Letras Hispanicas / Hispanic Writings) (Spanish Edition)

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Why Learn Spanish ?

Who’s learning Spanish these days? For starters, residents of the United States, a bunch not known for conquering monolingualism, are studying Spanish in record numbers. Spanish, too, is becoming of greater importance in Europe, where it often the foreign language of choice after English. And it’s no wonder that Spanish is a popular second or third language: with some 400 million speakers, it’s the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world (after English, Chinese and Hindustani), and according to some counts it has more native speakers than English does. It is an official language on four continents and is of historical importance elsewhere.

The numbers alone makes Spanish a good choice for those wanting to learn another tongue. But there are plenty of other reasons to learn Spanish. Better understanding of English: Much of the vocabulary of English has Latin origins, much of which came to English by way of French. Since Spanish is also a Latin language, you will find as you study Spanish that you have a better understanding of your native vocabulary. Similarly, both Spanish and English share Indo-European roots, so their grammars are similar. There is perhaps no more effective way to learn English grammar than by studying the grammar of another language, for the study forces you to think about how your language is structured. It’s not unusual, for example, to gain an understanding of English verbs’ tenses and moods by learning how those verbs are used in Spanish.

Knowing your neighbors: Not all that many years ago, the Spanish-speaking population of the United States was confined to the Mexican border states, Florida and New York City. But no more. Even where I live, less than 100 kilometers from the Canadian border, there are Spanish-speaking people living on the same street as I do. Knowing Spanish has proven invaluable in speaking with other residents of my town who don’t know English.

Travel: Yes, it is perfectly possible to visit Mexico, Spain and even Equatorial Guinea without speaking a word of Spanish. But it isn’t nearly half as much fun. I remember about two decades ago — when my Spanish was much less adequate than it is today — when I met some mariachis on top of one of the pyramids near Mexico City. Because I spoke (albeit limited) Spanish, they wrote down the words for me so I could sing along. It turned out to be one of my most memorable travel experiences, and one unlike most tourists have the opportunity to enjoy. Time and time again while traveling in Mexico, Central America and South America I have had doors opened to me simply because I speak Spanish, allowing me to see and do things that many other visitors do not.

Cultural understanding: While most of us (Pope John Paul II may be an exception) can’t hope to learn the languages of more than one or two cultures other than that of our own, those that we can learn help us to learn how other people learn and think. When I read Latin American or Spanish newspapers, for example, I often find that I gain a sense of how other people think and feel, a way that is different than my own. Spanish also offers a wealth of literature, both modern and traditional.

Learning other languages: If you can learn Spanish, you’ll have a head start in learning the other Latin-based languages such as French and Italian. And it will even help you learn Russian and German, since they too have Indo-European roots and have some characteristics (such as gender and extensive conjugation) that are present in Spanish but not English. And I wouldn’t be surprised if learning Spanish might even help you learn Japanese or any other non-Indo-European language, since intensive learning the structure of a language can give you a reference point for learning others.

It’s easy: Spanish is one of the easiest foreign languages to learn. Much of its vocabulary is similar to English’s, and written Spanish is almost completely phonetic: Look at almost any Spanish word and you can tell how it is pronounced. And while mastering the grammar of Spanish can be a challenge, basic grammar is straightforward enough that you can have meaningful communication after only a few lessons.

Arabic Influence on the Spanish Langauge

If you speak either Spanish or English, you probably speak more Arabic than you think you do. It’s not “real” Arabic you’re speaking, but rather words that come from Arabic. After Latin and English, Arabic is probably the biggest contributor of words to the Spanish language, and a large portion of English-Spanish cognates (words that the two language share) that don’t come from Latin come from Arabic.

The English words you’re most likely to think of as Arabic origin are those that start with “al-,” words such as “algebra,” “Allah,” “alkali” and “alchemy,” and they exist in Spanish as álgebra, Alá, álkali and alkimia, respectively. But they are far from the only ones. A variety of other types of common words such as “coffee,” “zero” and “sugar” (café, cero and azúcar in Spanish) also come from Arabic.

The etymology of English words goes beyond the scope of this article, but the introduction of Arabic words into Spanish began in earnest in the eighth century, although even before then some words of Latin and Greek origin had roots in Arabic. People living in what is now Spain spoke Latin at one time, of course, but over the centuries Spanish and other Romance languages such as French and Italian gradually differentiated themselves. The Latin dialect that eventually became Spanish was highly influenced by the invasion of the Arabic-speaking Moors in 711. For many centuries, Latin/Spanish and Arabic existed side by side, and even today many Spanish place names retain Arabic roots. It wasn’t until late in the 15th century that the Moors were expelled, and by then literally thousands of Arabic words had become part of Spanish.

On the next page are some of the most common Arabic-origin Spanish words you’ll come across. As you can see, many of the words also are a part of English. Although it is believed that the English words “alfalfa” and “alcove,” which originally were Arabic, entered English by way of Spanish (alfalfa and alcoba), most Arabic words in English probably entered English by other routes. Not all possible English translations of the Spanish words are listed.

  • aceite — oil
  • adobe — adobe
  • aduana — customs (as at a border)
  • ajedrez — chess
  • Alá — Allah
  • alacrán — scorpion
  • albacora — albacore
  • albahaca — basil
  • alberca — tank, swimming pool
  • alcade — mayor
  • alcatraz — pelican
  • alcázar — fortress, palace
  • alcoba — bedroom, alcove
  • alcohol — alcohol
  • aldea — village (same source as English word “alderman”)
  • alfombra — carpet
  • algarroba — carob
  • algodón — cotton
  • algoritmo — algorithm
  • alkimia — alchemy
  • almacén — storage
  • almanaque — almanac
  • almirante — admiral
  • almohada — pillow
  • alquiler — rent
  • amalgama — amalgam
  • arroz — rice
  • asesino — assassin
  • atún — tuna
  • ayatolá — ayatollah
  • azafrán — saffron
  • azúcar — sugar
  • azul — blue (same source as English “azure”)
  • baño — bathroom
  • barrio — district
  • berenjena — eggplant
  • burca — burqa
  • café — coffee
  • cero — zero
  • chisme — gossip, gadget
  • Corán — Koran
  • cuzcuz — couscous
  • dado — die (singular of “dice”)
  • embarazada — pregnant
  • espinaca — spinach
  • fez — fez
  • fulano — what’s-his-name
  • gacela — gazelle
  • guitarra — guitar
  • hachís — hashish
  • harén — harem
  • hasta — until
  • imán — imam
  • islam — Islam
  • jaque — check (in chess)
  • jaque mate — checkmate
  • jirafa — giraffe
  • laca — lacquer
  • lila — lilac
  • lima — lime
  • limón — lemon
  • macabro — macabre
  • marfil — marble, ivory
  • masacre — massacre
  • masaje — massage
  • máscara — mask
  • mazapán — marzipan
  • mezquita — mosque
  • momia — mummy
  • mono — monkey
  • muslim — muslim
  • naranja — orange
  • ojalá — I hope, God willing
  • olé — bravo
  • paraíso — paradise
  • ramadán — Ramadan
  • rehén — hostage
  • rincón — corner, nook
  • sorbete — sherbet
  • sofá — sofa
  • rubio — blond
  • talco — talc
  • tamarindo — tamarind
  • tarea — task
  • tarifa — tariff
  • toronja — grapefruit
  • zanahoria — carrot

Learn Spanish with Pop Songstress, Shakira

Shakira, the Colombian chanteuse became the world’s biggest Latin crossover artist with her hit album Laundry Service in 2001. Born to parents of Colombian and Lebanese decent, Shakira Mebarak discovered her love of singing and at very young age. The rest is history.

She’s an excellent song writer and lyricist. Through out the years she’s evolved from Rocker, Belly Dancer, and now she’s in her more diva phase with songs like Gypsy and She Wolf. I personally love her original raspy voice. She sang the soundtrack for the movie, ” Love in the Time of Cholera”. The haunting lyrics of Hay Amores and Despedida. Here are a few songs to see for yourself.

Donde Estas Corazon ? 

Shakira Playlist with over 10 of her most popular songs, please, see below for links to her lyrics

I find  listening to Spanish music an excellent way to learn Spanish. It’s great to hear the song first in Spanish, and then read the lyrics once in Spanish. Next, study the lyrics in English, then, listen to the song again, and see if you don’t have a better understanding. Here are some song lyrics below with the Spanish lyrics, and then the English Translation below.

        Shakira’s Song Lyrics:

For lyrics in English, please contact me and I will send you the Pdf File.

Classics Songs of All Time

This playlist has Classic Latin Songs from all over Latin America and Spain. Many of these songs have been covered by famous artist and bands, all over the world. For example, Pedro Infante’s, “Historia de Amor”, which has been one of the most recorded songs in Latin music history “Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti”, which has recently been recorded by Christina Aguilera, and the classic song Bamboleo which has been recorded by The Gypsy Kings and Celia Cruz. The music in this playlist runs the gamut: Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Flamenco, Tango to the classic Latin Ballads, like ” Besame Mucho”, and ” Guantanamera”, which both have been recorded by the Beatles. This playlist spans a few decades and demonstrates the diversity and soul of Latin music from all over the Spanish Diaspora.

Here are some songs from within this Classic Latin Music Playlist ( 20 Songs), that I believe are some of the most popular and important songs in Latin Music History and will give you a taste of this beautiful music that I grew up listening to here in America. Also, it will give you a taste of Latin Culture, which is very important if you are learning a language to know just language, but culture, which is one in the same and will help you understand the Spanish language at a deeper level. Enjoy ! Que Gozes !

The Song, ” Guantanamera” was a continuation of the poem by Cuban poet and statesman,Jose Marti. It has been covered by all the great artists: Beatles, Sandpipers, and even Julio Iglesias

“Guantanamera” sung by Celia Cruz, Patron singer of Cuba

” Besame Mucho”- Andrea Bocelli

La Cumparsita- Carlos Gardel

” Quien Sera? ” Pedro Infante

” Que Rico El Mambo”- Perez Prado –

Que Gozes !