Showing posts from September, 2018

76 Useful (Castilian) Spanish Conversation Words They Don’t Teach You in School

One of the hardest parts on your journey to fluency in a language is just that—having the language literally “flow” off your tongue in conversation. You’re always going to sound like you’re a foreigner as long as you use disjointed, robotic speech and hesitate from one phrase to the next, even if you manage to communicate whatever message you’re trying to get across with the correct vocab or grammar. Ferrol Is Cool street art in Ferrol, Spain If you want to take the next the step toward having natural, fluid speech in Spanish, you’ve got to have a firm grasp on the kind of words that help you have a back-and-forth conversation with someone—words that you rarely get taught when taking formal classes in school. I’ve put together a list of 76 extremely useful words, phrases, expressions, and interjections that Spaniards commonly sprinkle into things to show they’re interested in whatever you’re talking about. These words are crucial to have a conversation with someone, but they’

Mass Tourism Is Destroying Spain—Here’s Where You Should Travel

One of the best decisions I’ve made on Twitter recently was following Humans of Late Tourism , who shares images and stories that show how absurd and destructive modern mass tourism has become in Europe and beyond. Browse their feed for a few minutes and you’ll see a photo of the hordes that make appreciating the Mona Lisa  all but impossible at the Louvre, a news article from Mallorca about the latest death due to balconing , or a lamppost flyer in Porto accusing Airbnb apartments with causing massive increases in rent. This (presumably) Catalan user’s account has reminded me of the phenomenon I was slowly growing aware of while I lived in Spain—and even participated in on my weekend jaunts from Úbeda and Santiago de Compostela . In short, mass tourism is destroying what we love most about Spain and turning the country’s biggest cities like Barcelona, Madrid, or Granada into theme parks for tourists. “Tourism kills the city” sticker in Reus I first learned about the negati