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Choosing a Domain Name

When you are starting out with a new site,one of the trickiest but most important factors is the domain name. You need tochoose something that speaks volumes about your site, is easy to remember, andis brandable enough to make your new business venture a success.

A domain name is so important because it provides a first impression about your company, but it also affects SEO. Using keywords in the domain name can affect rankings! (yeah, yeah, I know they say they don’t, but they do).

Here are five tips to choosing the perfectdomain name…

1. Make it Easy to Type

The most popular websites in the world areeasy to type because they are easy to spell. Think about it: Facebook, Google,Yahoo, etc… You don’t want people to misspell your domain name and end up onanother website.

Ask 10 people to write down your new domainname without telling them how it is spelt. If they get it wrong, you need tosimplify it. Also, you should keep it concise easy to remember.

2. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers

This is related to the above tip, ashyphens and numbers make domain names harder to type and harder to explain.Domain names should be smooth, which means you have no time for symbols.

Furthermore, it just looks lessprofessional. The nicest, most professional domain names just stick to letters.

3. Think Long-Term

A domain name needs to be future proof. Youcan’t build a business on one domain name and then switch to another when youget bored of it or when you decide to expand. Therefore, you need to keep yourlong-term plans in mind when choosing your domain name.

If you choose a very niche domain name andthen decide to expand your business into other areas, your domain name will nolonger apply. It should not be limiting in this way, but it should stillindicate what your brand is about currently.

4. Use Keywords

People definitely won’t know what your business is about unless you use keywords. This will help to improve your SEO and attract the right kind of audience. Place the keyword at the very start of the domain name for maximum impact.

Note, however, that you should avoidsounding too generic when you do this. Otherwise, you risk becoming mistakenfor other brands in the same industry, and that will only do harm to yourbusiness.

5. Use the Right Extension

The ‘extension’ refers to the part of thedomain that comes after the dot. There are plenty to choose from, and you maybase your decision on whether the domain you have chosen is already taken witha different extension.

If you have started your site throughwordpress or another tool, then the original domain name will be something like.wordpress.com. However, this does not come across as very professional, as itdoes not seem like a true business organisation’s site. As a result, it is bestto change to something else.

75% of domain names end in .com.

The Best SEO Tools for Your Site

No matter what task you are performing, it is important to have the right tools for the job. When it comes to website-building, I can’t recommend enough the importance of having an SEO tool at your fingertips.

If you work as SEO writer having a basic knowledge of this tools can provide you an extra value to offer to your clients.

These tools can help you improve your website’s SEO with ease, without you stressing over whether you’re doing something right or wrong. In this article, I will be giving you my favourite three SEO tools to use for websites, along with some of their features.

Yoast

You might have already heard of Yoast SEO, as they are the number one WordPress SEO plugin. When you install Yoast, there is an option between a free version and a premium version, which costs £79 (excluding VAT) per year, with this cost including updates and support.

When you have the Yoast plugin installed, it will ‘read’ your text to ensure you are using keywords often enough and in the right spots. All you need to do is enter the keyword or keyphrase you would like Yoast to register. In the Premium version, you can also add multiple keywords and keyphrases to search for, including related keywords. Premium also provides you with suggestions for internal linking to improve your SEO in terms of crawlability of your site.

Yoast gives you a little preview of your site in Google, and the premium also gives you an option to preview your page in social media. It couldn’t be easier!

Ahrefs

Ahrefs provides multiple SEO tools to help you improve your website. They will show you how competitors are ranking in search results so that you can check out the competition. You also gain lists of keyword suggestions from an enormous database of over 3 billion keywords.

Ahrefs runs the world’s largest index of backlinks, which is updated every 15 minutes. You can see the backlinks of any site with ease.

This tool is really helpful for finding out what is working for your competitors and how to adjust your own SEO accordingly. Ahrefs can give you a 7-day trial for $7.

SEMrush

Another good tool to use is SEMrush, which gives you analytic insights into competitor’s strategies. This includes advertising research and display advertising. Furthermore, SEMrush can give you an in-depth analysis of backlinks and allows you to gather the right keywords and keyphrases to get ahead. The best feature here is that you can explore multinational and multilingual keywords!

Another good feature of SEMrush is that you can compare different domains side-by-side to get more precise insights into your competitors. The data that SEMrush gathers can be compiled in an easy to read PDF. This really is a great tool.

SEMrush offers different pricing options including Pro, Guru, and Business, which slowly increase in price from $99 to $399. The top end option is definitely pricier, but you can compare the options to see which is best suited to your company before buying.

Spanish expressions with food

Spanish cuisine is one of the best in the world, and I am not saying this because I am from Spain. If you are not convinced it is so, it is probably because you have not tried it yet. As food plays a major role in our day to day lives, I have decided to teach you some expressions with food. Prepare yourself with some snacks, because things are about to get tasty.

  1. Vete a freír espárragos

If you want to tell somebody to leave you alone, a great way to ask him is to send him to fry asparagus, literally. I am not really sure where this expression originated from, but I guess that the first person to use it was not a great fan of asparagus either.  So remember, if your friend is showcasing one again his lack of karaoke talent, just send him to cook a bit of asparagus. He will never know where that even came from.

  1. No todo el monte es orégano

This expression is like a reality check. It literally translates into not every hill is oregano. For this one, I happen to know the background. People used to go up the hills to collect herbs. Not all of the plants that grow are good to eat. Some of them are weeds or even poisonous plants. This is a caution. Sometimes things might not turn out how you want them to be. This is an expression designed to say this exact thing.

  1. Esto es pan comido

You know how in English, we have the expression “it is a piece of cake”. In Spanish, the equivalent is “this is eaten bread”. For those of you who do not know the expression, it means that it is very easy. So, I guess that next time when you have an exam, you could happily say that “esto es pan comido”.

  1. Ser quien corta el bacalao

It is time to add a fishy expression to our list. “Ser quien corta el bacalao” literally means, to be the one that cuts the cod. It basically means that you are the boss, the person in charge. How did we get to this expression? It is quite simple. In the 16th century, the foreman was the person in charge with cutting of the salt cod, along with dividing it along the workers, and sometimes even the slaves. So, in your family, are you the one cutting the cod?

As you can see, there are many expressions related to food. You can also check out my article about expressions with fruits. This way, your vocabulary will definitely improve. As soon as you know it, you will be using expressions better than a Spanish native. Always keep in mind, that in order to truly master a new language, you need to learn, and understand their expressions.

I hope that I did not make you too hungry. Keep on snacking, and keep on learning some food for the mind.

Learn Spanish with flashcards

Learning a new language is always hard. Even though you might find a way to ace the grammar, everybody knows that vocabulary is really the one that makes the difference. The more words you know, the better you can communicate in Spanish, and the more you can immerse yourself in the language, and culture. This is why, today I have decided to teach you a new way of learning vocabulary: with flashcards.

It is said that you have to “meet” with a word 80 times in order to remember it, and never forget it. Just imagine how many different words you have just read. Now imagine just repeating them 80 times. It would be quite tiring. For this reason, flashcards are a great tool to use.

First of all, let me tell you what flashcards are. They are basically some pieces of paper which has a word on one side in one language, and then translated in a second language on the other side. They are practically a really compressed version of a dictionary that helps you learn words quickly.

Let’s say for example that today you want to learn some vocabulary related to fruits. You make a list of all the fruits that you want to learn, and then you start making flashcards for each fruit. Then, you start reading them a couple of times until you think that you have memorized them. After that, it is time to test yourself. You take out random cards from the deck, and try to say the fruit in the language on the back. If you are right, you take out the card. If not you repeat until there are no more cards.

You do not have to use this type of flashcards only for vocabulary. They are also a great tool for learning verbs. A great way that you can do so is to create a set of cards for each verb. On one side, you can write for example ser- presente de indicativo vosotros, and on the other, put the right answer. You can make it even more complicated by writing the verb, the verbal tense, and the person in English. It all depends on how you want to make them.

There are, of course, many other ways in which you can learn words by using flashcards. You can even learn a family of words. You can a word like ‘happy’ (alegre), and make various cards. For example, one can be happy-verb (alegrarse), happy-noun (alegría). The best part is that the options are limitless.

One more fun thing that you can do is to strategically place them around the objects in the cards. For example, if you are trying to learn words related to food, you can place them in the kitchen, or if you want to learn words related to clothes, you can put them next to your wardrobe. This way, it will be even easier for you to identify the word in the cards, and it will make learning new words more fun. All that you have left to do is to try it.

Reasons to Break the Rules of Writing

Writing is a subject most of us were forced to take at school, especially when we were tiny young things coming to grips with our own language. In lessons, the rules of grammar are drilled into you, but are they really that important?

It’s a common misconception that a writer should always have perfect grammar. However, perfect grammar should not stand in the way of writing something meaningful and emotive that really connects with an audience. If you can do both, do it, because grammar is important in terms of actually understanding the language and putting words in the right order. But being picky might only serve to destroy good writing, and not help it.

Here are 4 reasons why you don’t need to have perfect grammar all the time.

1. Nobody is perfect

If you’re really that obsessed with grammar and getting every little thing right all the time, you won’t be able to write at all. Perfectionism is one of the biggest obstacles to writing, because nothing and nobody is ever 100% perfect.

Amazing writers are ones that practice, and keep writing, and get their work done. Without this, you can never reach your full potential. Essentially, getting hung up on grammatical mistakes is not going to allow you progress as a writer. Don’t focus on being perfect, focus on being as good as you possibly can be.

2. Policing grammar wastes time

Rather than googling where a comma should go, you could spend your time much more productively, say, writing. Or, if you want to learn how to write better, read writing blogs that focus on the actual craft rather than linguistic rules.

It’s more important to write in a way that matters instead of constantly scouring your work – or other people’s – for correct grammar.

3. The grammar police have bad attitudes

I’m not just being rude here, studies have actually shown that people obsessed with grammar are more likely to be introverted and disagreeable. The field of writing – especially freelance – relies on networking and making connections, so being likeable and communicative is important.

So next time you catch yourself being pedantic, try to let it go!

4. You have an artistic license

Sure, grammar can be a little important in understanding the fundamentals of a language. But writing for an audience is about making connections and speaking to someone on a deeper level, which is why you have the artistic license to do whatever you please. Read your writing aloud; if it sounds good, then keep it as is.

Final thoughts

Striving for high standards in your writing is not a bad thing – you’re not going to be a good writer if you have a terrible grasp of the language.

That being said, it’s not necessary to be a complete stickler for grammar. Allow yourself to be free and let the words flow from your fingertips to the page. That’s how to be an amazing writer.

New to Copywriting? How to Break into the Market

Are you new to copywriting? It can be a pretty intimidating industry, particularly because it relies on selling yourself to potential clients. If you don’t have an extensive portfolio to sell yourself, however, this can be tricky business.

Luckily, we’ve put together a brief article with a few tips to help you out.

1. Find your niche

If possible, try to delve into copywriting in a specific niche. This way, you will be able to tie your skills to a specific field and promote yourself as an expert. Nowadays, many companies desire field experts, since they are likely to make better sales.

That said, a niche isn’t everything, and it’s good to be flexible. But for the purposes of breaking into the market, it’s advisable to try and find something you are very knowledgeable about to try and plug yourself.

2. Establish a portfolio

You should set up a website where potential clients can view samples of your work. This website portfolio should be very professional and represent your values and work ethics. Most importantly, clients should be able to peruse examples of your amazing copywriting work.

If you haven’t had any employment to date, then write anyway! Set yourself a copywriting task and complete it, then post it online so clients can see your skills. Think of this website as an online resume that will sell your skills for you.

3. Get a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a great way to meet potential clients. Posts on here are sure to get a good level of professional engagement, and it is often high-paying clients that work through this platform. Some freelancers say that clients they find through LinkedIn are willing to pay more than those who stumble upon your website.

4. Connect with businesses on social media

Social media is a great place to meet people. As a freelancer, you have to make sure that all your networks are either completely clean or on private – potential employers won’t hire you if they see bad stuff on your social media profiles!

You could even make separate accounts for your freelancing. It is a good idea to reach out to companies on here instead of just waiting for them to come to you.

5. Research!

Whether it’s reading copywriting books, taking courses, or listening to relevant podcasts and reading relevant blog posts, research will help to propel you into the world of freelance copywriting.

If you are armed with great knowledge and information, you will be a better copywriter, and this will only serve to get you better jobs. Knowledge is power, after all, so make sure you soak in as much information as possible.

6. Don’t let on about your newbie status

As long as you aren’t asked directly about how long you have been copywriting, there is no need to tell the employer that you’re new to this. Providing that you are a great copywriter, there shouldn’t be any need to discriminate based on experience, but employers do it nonetheless.

It might feel like you’re lying by hiding this truth, but it’s nothing that is damaging to anyone else. If you have confidence in yourself and your amazing copywriting skills, then you should be able to provide high-quality work that meets similar standards as a veteran freelancer. So don’t worry, it’s not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes!

Final thoughts

It can be intimidating being a little fish in a big pond, but everyone has to start somewhere. By following our above tips, you should be on your way to becoming a renowned copywriter in no time at all.

Just remember, a freelancer has to be able to sell themselves well, so above all else, think about your online presence and how you communicate with clients. It should all be fine!

Research vs. Writing: Getting the Balance

As a freelance writer, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of over-researching. ‘You can never have too much information!’ You might say, and you’re not exactly wrong, but you can spend too much time researching and end up wasting your precious working day. It’s important to get in more time actually writing, instead of all the bits leading up to it.

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you are doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.

This quote by E.L. Doctorow sums it up. Writing is the bulk of your work! Sure, Doctorow was talking about fiction pieces, but the same logic applies.

Of course, it might be pretty important to research, especially if you’re writing outside your usual niche. That said, how do you actually get the right balance between writing and researching. Well, it depends on a lot of factors, which we in explore in further depth in this article.

So, read on if you want to make sure you’re getting things done, and not just wasting time.

What field are you working in?

Let’s say you’re a writer that specializes in social media marketing. You already know a lot about marketing and business, and if you’re an established freelancer then you already know a lot about writing, too.

If you get hired to write about social media marketing, you’ll not to research very much, if at all. If you are asked to write about search engine optimization and blog writing, then a little more research might be required, but chances are you’ll know a bit of the terminology and basic concepts already. But if you land a job writing about the best dog training techniques, for example, then you’ll certainly need to do a hefty amount of research!

This is pretty much common sense, but you basically need to make sure that the time you spend researching ties in with your existing knowledge on the topic.

How specific is the topic?

Some writers are employed to write reviews, which are obviously a lot more specific than generalized blog posts. Specific posts like require detail, including statistics and particular words or phrases, meaning that you will have to do a little more research in order to really understand the topic.

In short, the more specific the topic, the more research required.

How original is the piece?

Have you been hired to write an opinion piece? If so, you should already be pretty well-versed on the topic at hand. And the clue is in the title: opinion piece. Sure, if you’re including stats and facts to back up your opinion then maybe a little research is required, but all in all a text like this would need less research.

On the other hand, if your piece is supposed to relay facts and only facts, then you will be more or less changing the wording from other studies already out there, which obviously relies more heavily on research.

Final thoughts

Generally, research depends a lot on your confidence. The more you already know, the less you need to research. Furthermore, it depends on how much time you feel you need to plan.

In summary, there is no right amount of research, it’s down to what feels right for you. There are no set rules, but it is important to try and find a good balance so you don’t waste any time.

Writing a content plan for 2019 for a Spanish audience

A new year, new goals, new blog posts. If you happen to have blog, it is really important to plan your posts ahead of time. By creating a content plan for the following year, you are able to avoid the so called “writer’s block” every month, or at least regarding the titles for your blog posts.

Last year, I wrote a post about writing blog posts throughout the year for the Spanish audience. Even though I did not completely stick to this plan, it was quite interesting to look at it whenever I had no idea what to write about.

You see, having a content plan with exact dates when to post on is key, because you write for an audience. They expect constant posts. They want to know when you write. For example, if you post each day, they expect an article to be there daily. It is essential to set a day or some days to post on your blog in order to keep your audience.

There are other aspects that you should keep in mind when you start planning your posts for the following year. Each month is different, and people usually want to read something that they can relate to. I have said it before, and I will repeat myself because it is important: People want to read about events and topics closer to what is currently happening in their lives. I mean, it is quite odd to write about Christmas in the middle of summer, or about Valentine’s Day in October. It just does not make sense.

As this blog is both for people who are learning Spanish and Spanish natives, the topics are quite diverse, ranging from posts about culture, to grammar and vocabulary. In addition, there are posts about content writing, and freelancing. Below, I will write my content plan or some ideas about posts that I want to share with you in the next couple of months. You might even end up getting inspiration for your own content plan for your blog. Let’s start.

January

Given the fact that January is the first month of the year, this is the moment when you should write about your New Year’s Resolutions. You can always write a post in which you look back at the year that has just passed. You can see what you did well and what you did wrong and how you can improve.

Topics for the general public:

1.        What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

2.        How can you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?

3.        A look back at the year that has just ended

Topics for Spanish learners:

In this month, we will learn about expressing possession in Spanish, both with possessive adjectives and by using the preposition “de”. As for the vocabulary part, we will focus on presents, wrapping, letters, and everything related to sending Santa a letter. Why? Because the Spanish celebrate Christmas on the 6th of January, when the Three Kings ( los Reyes Magos) come with gifts. In addition, posts about Christmas traditions are suitable.

February

People usually associate this month with love, as Valentine’s Day is the main holiday.

Topics for the general public:

1. Valentine’s Day date ideas

2. Valentine’s Day gifts

3. Valentine’s Day origins and traditions

Topics for Spanish learners:

In February, we will focus on expressing love. The vocabulary that we will learn will mostly be related to expressing feelings. You will be able to learn some phrases to finally “conquer” the person that you like, or impress the one you love with some Spanish love phrases. As for the grammar, we will focus on the verb “gustar” (=to like) and its different meanings. Finally, for the culture part, we will focus on Valentine’s Day traditions in Spain.

March

This month is usually associated with the beginning of spring. Many people also relate March with Mother’s Day.

Topics for the general public:

1. Ways to show your mother that you appreciate her

2. Gift ideas for your mother

3. How to throw the best Mother’s Day surprise party

Topics for Spanish learners:

In March, we will focus on positioning adjectives, and shortening them. As for the vocabulary, in this month, we will learn about plants, trees, as the whole nature comes to life after a hard winter. You will also get to learn some words about the weather such as rain, fog, and other words that will help you describe spring. In addition, I will talk to you about how the Spanish celebrate Mother’s Day. In this way, you might even incorporate some traditions in your celebrations.

April

This year, Easter falls in April. Suitable topics related to this time of the year are ones related to this holiday.

Topics for the general public:

1. Origins of Easter traditions

2. How to organize an Easter party

3. Easter traditions around the world

Topics for Spanish learners:

In April, the main vocabulary focus will revolve around Easter. Together, we will learn about some key words that you need to know if you are spending the holidays in Spain. As for the grammar, I will teach you about verbs with prepositions, which will help you have smoother conversations in Spanish. As for the culture part, the main focus will be on Easter traditions in Spain, maybe even some foods revolving around the holiday.

May

When we think about May, we think about Labour Day, barbecues, and having fun with family and friends.

Topics for the general public:

1. Labour Day party ideas

2. Labour Day decorations

3. Labour Day traditions

Topics for Spanish learners:

In May, the main we will learn vocabulary related to food, barbecue, and having a party. This will prepare you for a great barbecue with your family and friends. As for the grammar, our main focus will be on negations. Sometimes, you simply have to learn how to say no. As for the culture lesson, we will learn about the main Labour Day traditions in Spain, and maybe even focus on the famous Cinco de Mayo, even though it is a Mexican holiday.

June

June is the first month of summer, so the focus should be on this season, and even the holidays.

Topics for the general public:

1. How to plan a perfect holiday

2. How to post articles while on holiday

3. Organize your office for summer

Topics for Spanish learners:

In June, the vocabulary that you are going to learn is going to be related to summer. We will talk about the beach, some activities that you will get to do there, and maybe even about packing for the holidays. As for the grammar lesson, our main focus will be on the future, about making plans for your vacation. In addition, for our culture lesson, we will learn about what the Spanish do in the summer. Do they have some traditional foods in this season? How do they spend their holidays?

July

While the Americans associate this month with the Fourth of July, the Spanish celebrate their famous bull racing holiday called San Fermín.

Topics for the general public:

1. Summer activities with the family

2. Festivals that you should not miss this summer

3. Fourth of July preparations

Topics for Spanish learners:

This month, our vocabulary focus will be on summer essentials, such as summer clothing, and even some summer foods. As for our grammar lesson, the focus will be mainly on substituting pronouns. In addition, you will get to learn about the holiday: San Fermín, which is the famous bull race in Pamplona, Spain. Who knows? You might even get a chance to see the traditions yourself.

August

August marks the end of summer or the beginning of the summer holidays for some. It depends on how you see things.

Topics for the general public:

1. Prepare yourself for autumn

2. How to enjoy the last bits of summer

3. Vacation ideas

Topics for Spanish learners:

In August, our main focus will be on travelling. We will talk about how to pack your bags, how to book a hotel, and basically the vocabulary you need to know when going on a trip. As for our grammar lesson, our main focus will be on direct object pronouns. As for the Feria in Málaga. Maybe you might even give it a try and embrace the culture.

September

September marks the beginning of autumn. It is an excellent opportunity to write back to school related posts and anything related to autumn.

Topics for the general public:

1. Prepare for going back to school

2. Tips and trips to get in the mood for autumn

3. Make this autumn cozier

Topics for Spanish learners:

September is the ideal month to revamp your autumn related vocabulary. We are going to learn about some season specific vocabulary related to our clothing, the nature, and even some activities. As for our grammar lesson, the main focus for this month will be on positioning object pronouns, which will help you have a better control of the Spanish language. Regarding our culture lesson, I will teach you about some other “ferias” in Spain and even take a look at Fiesta de cartagineses y romanos in Cartagena.

October

When we think about October, our mind immediately goes to Halloween, or Spain’s national holiday. It depends on what you are interested in.

Topics for the general public:

1. Spooky stories

2. Urban legends

3. How to plan a perfect Halloween party

Topics for Spanish learners:

In this month, our main focus will be on Spain and it’s culture. We will talk about some Spanish symbols in our culture lesson. As for our vocabulary lesson, the main focus will be on telling stories, getting scared, maybe even learn about some Spanish legends that are scary. Since we are telling stories, our focus will also be on the past. The grammar lesson will be based on the imperfect tense, since it is the tense that we use when telling stories.

November

November marks the end of autumn. It is also the month when people celebrate Thanksgiving, and lately more and more countries are adopting the Black Friday sales traditions.

Topics for the general public:

1. Thanksgiving dinner ideas

2. Prepare for Black Friday Sales

3. How to get ready for a family dinner

Topics for Spanish learners:

In November, our main focus in terms on vocabulary will be on shopping. We will talk about sales, about how we buy, even prices. You will know everything that you need in order to survive the Black Friday sales. As for the culture part, we can talk about Día de los muertos. It is a Mexican holiday, but it might be of interest.

December

The last month of the year is also related to Christmas, for some. For others it is all about snow and spending time with the family.

Topics for the general public:

1. Winter holiday ideas

2. Looking back on the year that has passed

3. New Year’s traditions

Topics for Spanish learners:

This month is ideal for learning winter vocabulary, along with some greetings related to Christmas and New Year’s. As for the grammar lesson, it is a good opportunity to review the past tenses, maybe learn something new. In addition, the culture lesson will take a look at the main traditions in Spain for New Year’s. You might even get to celebrate New Year’s there, so you should be prepared.

This is my plan for 2019. If you have any suggestions or anything else that you want me to write about, do not hesitate to ask me. I am here to help you and I wish that you have a great year ahead.

 

Spanish fruit idioms

Today, I have decided to share with you some Spanish fruit idioms, because why not make your Spanish vocabulary more fruitful?

I guess that the perfect way to start learning some expressions about fruits is if you are also eating some. In this case, I advise you to grab a plate of fruits, and let´s start learning.

  1. De uvas a peras – once in a blue moon

This expression literally translates into ¨from grapes to pears¨. I guess that now, you are probably a bit confused of how we got to this meaning. This expression is actually related to agriculture. Grapes (las uvas) are usually harvested in September, meanwhile pears (las peras) are harvested in August. This would be the shortened version of the expression. The longer one would be something like ¨from harvesting grapes to the harvest of pears¨. I guess that it makes more sense now.

  1. Media naranja – other half (soulmate)

This expression comes from a legend, according to which people used to be round. However, they were punished and split into half, doomed to search for their other half for the rest of their lives. A variation of this expression is ¨medio limón¨( half of a lemon). It means exactly the same thing. It now only depends on your choice of fruit when describing your soulmate.

  1. Nos van a dar las uvas

As you can see, for some reason, Spaniards have something with grapes. This second grape-related expression has something to do with New Years´. When the clock strikes midnight, the tradition says that, twelve seconds before, you have to swallow 12 grapes, one for each month of the year. The expression, ¨they are going to give us the grapes¨, is used to tell somebody to hurry up, as eating the grapes is the very last thing one does at the end of a year.

  1. La manzana de la discordia – the apple of discord

This expression, the same as in English, basically means the root of an argument. It has many legends revolving it, such as the Trojan war, but I am not going to get into history today.

As you can see, there are many expressions in Spanish regarding fruits. These are just some of the most common ones. I guess that each expression gets you one step closer to becoming a native, if you are not one already.

If you know more fruit expressions, feel free to write them down in a comment or contact me. Maybe we can even do a part 2 with fruit expressions, but this only depends on you guys. Meanwhile, I suggest that you try to learn more Spanish fruit names, and while doing so, you can even look up some expressions with them. Maybe you can even teach me some of them.

If you like this post, you may enjoy this one about Love Phrases in Spanish.

Tools and tricks to help you read in Spanish

Reading in Spanish might be hard at first, as there are many new words, and phrases that you are not familiar with. However, this does not mean that you have to panic, because practice makes things perfect. Just remember what kinds of texts you used to read as a kid. Think about all of the progress that you have made until now. You are able to read specialty texts without finding any difficulties on the way. I bet that you can do the same thing with Spanish too. You will just need a bit of effort, and a bit of time.

Today, I have decided to show you some tips and tricks that are great for improving your reading skills in Spanish. I bet that you have already used some of these. Without keeping the suspense any longer, below are some of them.

  1. Use a dictionary

Probably the most common tool used when reading in a foreign language is a dictionary. You are reading, and reading, and suddenly you are stuck. There is one word that you simply do not understand. What do you do? You simply look it up in the dictionary. If you are using a paperback dictionary, you also have the advantage of stumbling upon more words while trying to find your word. The inconvenience is that it takes more time to find your word.

  1. Start with easy texts

When we were kids, we started by reading picture books. Then we slowly evolved into reading chapter books. Now, we are able to read novels, and even technical texts. Depending on the level of Spanish that you have, you can start with easy texts, and as soon as you develop your vocabulary, you can read harder texts, and your language skills will also evolve.

  1. Use a Kindle or an ebook reader

The Kindle, and even some other ebook readers have dictionaries incorporated in them. This means that you do not have to interrupt your reading every time in order to look for a word. You simply put your finger on it, and the ebook reader will give you the translation or the definition of it. The best part is that some ebook readers, like the Kindle even have an option that memorizes the new words for you. You can see them all gathered in a place. The bad news is that when you switch to reading on paper, you will find yourself putting a finger on a word, and nothing comes out.

  1. Use the frame option

This is an excellent tool when you are reading in a new language. What do you have to do? You need to make a frame out of a piece of paper, and put it around the page that you are reading. What is the idea behind this? Whenever you find an unknown word, you can simply write it on the frame, with the translation. After that, you will find yourself with a frame full of new words.

  1. Try to understand the context

Sometimes you do not need to understand each and every word in a text. You just need to understand the context, and you will remember the new word from the context that you have found it in.

  1. Write down the main ideas

In order to see if you have really understood the text, you need to extract the main ideas. You will see that it is hard at first, but soon it becomes easier and easier. After that, you can even try to make a short summary of the text that you have read. This helps because you can also develop your writing skills. I would advise you at first to also rely on a Spanish proofreader to help you correct your errors.

  1. Try to do some tests

DELE tests are the Spanish international language certifications. Their exercises are an excellent way of testing your reading skills. You will see how much you have understood of what you are reading with every test. You will even learn some tips and tricks, such as looking for key words, or skimming the text.

  1. Read out loud

This is more of a pronunciation exercise then it is a text comprehension one. However, it really pays off. You can start off by reading some short texts, then moving on to larger ones. The best audience that you can have is your dog. He will most definitely listen to you no matter what. The best part is that he will not laugh at you, nor will he know when you make a mistake.

  1. Try reading with different accents

This is a fun way to read in Spanish. It is also a great way to improve your accent. You can start by reading with a normal accent, and then trying some more exotic ones, such as those in Latin America or the South of Spain. It might be challenging at first, but you will definitely have a laugh.

Wanna have a reading Spanish class? Contact me!

As you can see, there are many tips and tricks that will help you read in Spanish. I guess that technology has now evolved to a point in which you can find an app for about everything possible, but more about that later, so just keep on refreshing the site, because you never know when the article pops up.

I hope that the tips and tricks from above are helpful. Do you have any other tips and tricks that if you would like to share with us? If yes, you can write them in a comment down below. Who knows? We can all benefit from sharing knowledge.  Also, if you try them, please let me know which of them works better for you and why. So, good luck reading, and improving your vocabulary.