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Learn Spanish con Salsa Podcast

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome!

The Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast is for aspiring bilinguals that ❤️ Latin music, culture, & travel and want to be confident and comfortable communicating with real people in Spanish.

Let us help you go from beginner to bilingual with expert interviews and culturally-relevant Spanish lessons every week.  

hosted by Tamara Marie

Do you want to speak Spanish fluently, but you’re tired of those boring apps and robotic-sounding courses?

Are you addicted to Latin dance or simply love listening to music in Spanish?

Do you enjoy traveling to Spanish-speaking countries to connect with people, make new friends, and immerse yourself in the culture?

If any of these describe you, this is your podcast.

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate learner, we’ll show you how Spanish is really spoken by native speakers in daily conversation.

Latest Episodes

What can you expect to hear on the podcast? Listen to the first episode to find out…


00:31 Hola y bienvenidos. Welcome to the Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast. In this introductory episode, I’m going to explain a little bit about the podcast and what you can expect from us in the upcoming weeks, but first I want to tell you a little bit about me and why I’m so passionate about helping my coaching clients, language learning communities, and now you the listeners of this podcast, find the most efficient and effective ways to learn Spanish that’s immediately useful in the real world. The main reason this is so important to me is because quite frankly, the way foreign languages taught here in the United States is broken. It’s not only ineffective and boring, but it’s also completely irrelevant to the way people really speak Spanish, and I learned that from firsthand experience. I grew up in the US speaking only English, they finally introduced foreign language study in the seventh grade when I was about 12 years old.

01:28 You were given the choice of French or Spanish, so I chose Spanish. I took Spanish all through my senior year of high school and finish level six, which at the time was considered a high level Spanish class, but I quickly found out, on my first trip abroad that I had learned nothing useful in those six years. I went on a trip to Panama armed with my high school Spanish skills and I was quickly humbled. I remember being on the airplane, descending into Panama City, trying to prepare myself for customs and immigration. I was rehearsing how to say my address of where I was staying in Panama City. I figured all I needed to recognize was the word ‘dirección’ which means address and then I just had to tell them where I was staying. So I get into the airport. I’m in line and I hear the word ‘siguiente’, which means next, so it was my turn and I didn’t understand a word that this man said to me.

02:23 I just looked at him with a blank stare. I handed him a piece of paper where I had written my address and somehow I was allowed into the country. At that point I knew I was in trouble and I found out just how useless my language education had been up until that point. There were basic things like simply how to say, okay, that I had never been taught, which in case you’re wondering if someone asks you a question in Spanish and you want to just say, okay, or that’s fine, you simply say ‘está bien’. But that was something in six years of Spanish that I had not learned. So this all led me to search for a better to learn Spanish and after years of trial and error, after downloading every app I could find and testing out every program in way to learn Spanish,

03:08 I finally figured out that connecting to the culture, learning through music, having conversations with real people in being part of a supportive language learning community where the real secret sauce to becoming a confident Spanish speaker and as I improved my own Spanish proficiency, I had a desire to help other people do the same, so I obtained my language coaching certification from efficient language coaching, which is actually run by Rachel Paling in Berlin, Germany and language coaching really is different from a traditional language class or a tutor and that it’s really a partnership between the coach and the client to come up with a personalized language plan that works for you and it really is the fast track to fluency.

We’re really able to delve into what your interests are and what works best for your learning style. In addition to that, the entire process is backed by neuroscience, so we use lessons from neuroscience about how the brain learns best and particularly learns languages best and we apply that to our coaching conversations.

04:10 So hopefully that answers the question that popped in your mind when you heard the intro and you heard certified language coach and you were wondering what does that even mean?

So hopefully that’s a little clearer now. And now that you know a little bit about me, let’s get to it. I want to tell you all about the Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast and why you should listen in the upcoming weeks. Now, if you’re brand new to Spanish, I’m going to explain a little bit about the name of the podcast. So Learn Spanish con Salsa, the ‘con’ c – o – n is actually the Spanish word for ‘with’. So it’s Learn Spanish with Salsa. Now, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word salsa? Now, you might think of that chunky red tomato sauce that you use to dip your chips or your nachos in.

05:02 That actually is a definition of the word south salsa. It actually translates to sauce so it doesn’t just have to refer to that spicy tomato sauce that we all love so much on our chips in our tacos, but it’s also just used to describe any sauce. Another thing you might think about when you hear the word salsa is the dance. It has become a world wide phenomenon, so beyond just what you see on dancing with the stars.

There are people all over the world from Tokyo to London to Puerto Rico that all enjoy dancing salsa and I’m going to be honest here. Once you get started dancing salsa, it really does become addictive. It’s kinda like eating potato chips right? Once, once you start you just can’t stop. So definitely when you hear it salsa, you also might think about dancing. And lastly when you hear salsa, you may think about music, right?

05:55 Because that salsa dance is actually a compliment to the genre of music called salsa. Now many people might debate and argue about exactly what country salsa came from. I am not going to get into that debate, but I will say this, the word salsa as it relates to the dance and the music was actually not very popular throughout Latin America prior to the 1970s.

Now there were many genres of music that existed throughout Latin America that all sort of came together to form this cultural mix that we now call salsa, but the term really wasn’t popular or used in the mainstream to describe this style of Latin music until a record label called Fania back in the 1970s in New York city actually started promoting this genre of music and a whole group of artists that were the vanguard of a new type of sound at that time in Latin music.

06:56 So what is salsa? It’s really all of those things. It’s a sauce. It means music. It means dance, and that word really does illustrate exactly what we’ll be exploring in this podcast. Without both context and culture, it’s virtually impossible to understand Spanish. There’s so many different ways you can interpret even one simple word like salsa based on your own knowledge background, understanding your exposure to Spanish culture and the language.

All of these give you a different perception of language, so the context and the culture are extremely important when you’re learning Spanish and you know a lot of people forget that you can’t really learn language in a vacuum. Language is actually a part of culture. It’s primarily used to communicate with real people and if you don’t know something about those people and where they’re from, what their worldview is, what their culture is, it’s going to be very difficult to communicate effectively, so we’re going to explore culture as a way of connecting with the people who actually speak the language and giving some real context to what you’re learning.

08:08 We’ll also dive into how to create Spanish immersion experiences both at home and abroad. Many people think the only way to really become fluent in a language is to drop yourself off in a foreign country and just lived there for a year, but that’s simply not the case.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Travel is a wonderful way to have unique experiences in Spanish and you’re immersing yourself not only in the language, but I really like to refer to it as cultural immersion because it’s really difficult to immerse yourself in, say, grammar. Okay, so it’s really the entire cultural experience that you get when you travel that makes it valuable in learning Spanish. So we’ll talk about travel, but also ways that you can create Spanish cultural immersion opportunities while you’re at home because there’s a lot of ways that you can incorporate Spanish into your daily life.

08:58 So we’ll talk about both ways to create these immersion experiences. There’s just something about getting beyond sticking your nose in a Spanish grammar textbook and actually talking to people, learning about them, learning about their culture, the dance, the food, the music that really brings things altogether and it makes learning much more interesting, much more relevant and quite frankly just a lot of fun.

And I’m really excited to talk to you about travel because we’re going to talk about different places throughout Latin America that you can visit. So not only just where you should stay, what you should do when you visit, we’ll even talk about places that you can go to learn Spanish while you’re traveling, and I can tell you from personal experience that traveling to a Spanish speaking country is much more fun, much more enriching when you can actually speak the language. You also even save some money because you get out of what I call the touristy areas.

09:55 I don’t know if that’s a word touristy. Um, I think the formal word is touristic regions or I don’t know, but you get out of the resorts and the hotels and the places that were designed for English speaking tourists that don’t want to get out of their comfort zone and actually experience the culture in an authentic way. You get out of all that and you really get into feeling like you’re living in the country. You’re experiencing it the way that people that live there experience it.

So traveling when you can speak Spanish is much more interesting. So we’re going to talk about culture and travel and immersion experiences. And I’ll also bring you some insightful interviews with people who are already bilingual. We’ll get some insights from successful language learners that they can share with us, not only what they did right and how we can use those principles to celebrate our own learning and make it more effective.

10:47 We’ll also hear from them about what they did wrong or if they had to start all over again, what they would do differently. So I’m looking forward to bringing you those conversations that will help all of us improve our ability to speak Spanish.

And of course, as the name suggests, we’re going to talk about learning Spanish with music. Now you might be surprised to learn that you can really get very far learning Spanish with music. Now, rewind several years ago when I first started learning Spanish music actually really helped me improve my vocabulary, my accent, my pronunciation. And that was without me even really knowing what I was doing. I sort of stumbled upon learning Spanish with music and because I was really just having fun, I was learning about the culture I was incorporating dance with it. I was internalizing what I was learning. It really didn’t feel like I was studying Spanish, but I was learning and I’ll tell you a little secret about me.

11:41 I actually do not have a good singing voice at all. Okay. I can not sing, but I was definitely singing along to my favorite songs when I was in the car or around the house. Anytime nobody could hear me and it really did improve my pronunciation without me really knowing it because I was just having fun. So we’re going to explore some ways that you can incorporate music into your Spanish learning so that you can get fluent that much faster and this really goes beyond googling a few song lyrics and looking up the videos on Youtube.

There actually is a little bit more to it than that and we’re going to get into that in the upcoming episodes. We’ll talk about some effective strategies to use music and language learning and some of our episodes will be many Spanish lessons, so actually going to teach you some Spanish in context.

12:29 We’re going to review a lot of conversational Spanish and that’s the way that people speak Spanish in the real world, so not those textbook examples that you might be used to that start out something like this, ‘Hola. ¿Cómo está usted? Yo estoy bien, gracias. ¿Y Usted?’ Okay, nobody talks like that, so we’re not going to do that to you. We’re going to actually look at the way people really speak Spanish.

We’re going to listen to some real conversations and we’re going to break them down so that we can extract what do people really mean when they’re talking and how can we speak so that we sound more natural and more like native Spanish speakers and less like textbook robots and with that we’re going to explore a lot of dialects of Spanish because I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as quote unquote ‘neutral Spanish’.

13:22 Now people will tell you that, oh, if you go to this region or that region, people are much easier to understand and it’s really neutral, but I will say this. Neutral is really whatever you are familiar with. So depending upon your background, your exposure, who’s around you, who you speak to, that’s the Spanish that is going to be the one that you find the easiest, so there really isn’t a neutral Spanish.

Everybody is from somewhere and all of those places have their own unique culture, their own unique accents and ways of speaking, their own slang and expressions that are particular to the region and sometimes even grammar can be very regional, so we’re going to expose you to Spanish from different countries throughout the Spanish speaking world so that you can get used to those differences and begin to understand real world Spanish. So I hope that gives you a little taste of what we’ll be discussing in the upcoming weeks.

14:18 Now, if any of that sounds interesting to you, I want you to go ahead and subscribe, so whether you’re an iTunes or Stitcher or whatever app that you use to download and stream your podcast content, make sure that you subscribe.

Now that does a few things. One, it lets us know that you’re listening in to you will be the first one notified anytime we release new content. Now you may have noticed during this introductory period we do actually have already a few episodes available so you can go ahead and check those out and let us know what you think. This is your podcast, so definitely, definitely, definitely give us your feedback, whether you leave a rating and a review or you can simply contact us and reach out and let us know what you think. What do you want to hear more of? What do you want to hear less of? A there guests that you would like for us to invite on the podcast?

15:10 Or you can just send us your general questions about Spanish and we may cover it in a Q and A episode coming up very soon. So go ahead and don’t be shy. Send us your feedback. You can contact us directly at host@learnspanishconsalsa.com. So don’t be afraid to go ahead and send us a message.

Now, after this introductory period, we will be moving forward with a weekly podcast, so every Tuesday there will be new content in your podcast feed, so make sure that you’re subscribed so that you can be notified every time we release a new episode. So if that I’m going to close out this introductory episode of Learn Spanish Con Salsa. I look forward to being a part of your Spanish language journey as you go from being a beginner to bilingual. Hasta luego!

16:07 Thank you for listening to the Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast at learnspanishconsalsa.com.

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