The story of ñ

Belated happy Spanish Language Day. April 23 is the day each year mandated by the United Nations to celebrate the Spanish language. Google doodle joined the celebration with a story on the unique Spanish letter of ñ.

Who counts as a speaker of a language?

Anna Babel, a Spanish professor at an American university, linked perception of language efficiency with social characteristics. Professor Babel used examples from both Bolivia and the USA to show how a person’s social group and ethnicity can influence others’ perception of whether they are a native speaker of the national language.

The resumptive lo: a Spanish gotcha for English speakers

‘Are you mad at me?’—’¿Estás enojada conmigo?’ ‘I am’. In Spanish, the equivalent answer is ‘estoy’, right? Not quite. The correct answer is ‘lo estoy’. The lo in ‘lo estoy’ is called the resumptive lo. Like the last missing piece of a puzzle, without it, you can still see the whole picture, but it is …

Nifty tool determines CEFR difficulty level of Spanish text

My previous post introduces Common European Framework of Reference for Languages(CEFR), the de facto standard of measuring one’s Spanish language proficiency level. Now that a learner knows roughly their level of proficiency, they may want to know if a specific Spanish text is about the right level for them. Materials that are too easy or …