Skip to content

Episode 29: The Best Way to Reach Conversational Fluency

    Share with a friend / Comparte con un amigo
    Learn Spanish Con Salsa Podcast

    Episode 29

    The Best Way to Reach Conversational Fluency

    Interview with Shay Spence, Español en 3000

    Struggling to go from the beginner level to conversational fluency? In this episode, I talk to Shay Spence, the founder of Español en 3000. We talk all about how he improved his conversational Spanish and some of his tips for how you can do the same.  He also shares a little about the culture of Medellín and some Colombian slang that will be good to know if you plan to visit the country.  







    Bienvenidos a episodio 29. Welcome to episode 29 of the Learn Spanish con Salsa Podcast. In this episode, I’m bringing you a conversation with Shay Spence, the founder of Español en 3000 or Spanish in 3000. Shay arrived in Medellín Colombia in June, 2017 on his own personal mission to become conversationally fluent in Spanish, but after he advanced past the beginner stage, he really struggled to find resources to study real life conversational Spanish, so he decided to build his own after, working closely with some amazing local teachers in Colombia Español en 3000 was born. Shay doesn’t claim to be a Spanish teacher; he is a Spanish learner just like you. In this episode, we talk all about how he improved his conversational Spanish and some of his tips for how you can do the same. He also shares a little bit about the culture of Medellín and some Colombian slang. That will be good to know if you plan to visit the country, which I highly recommend. At the end of our conversation, I’ll give you more information on how you can get a special seven-day free trial for the premium version of Español en 3000. So, stay tuned until the end so that you can get a link just for listeners of the Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast. Okay. So with that, let’s get to the conversation with Shay.

    02:06– 02:10


    Hola Shay, bienvenido. Welcome to the Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast.




    Hey, Tamara thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It’s yeah, it’s a pleasure to be here.




    I’m excited to finally get this opportunity to talk to you because we’ve been trying to orchestrate this for a little bit because I’m in the U.S and you’re in Australia, correct?




    Yes, I’m in Australia back in Australia at the moment. I’ve been here for about six months with my, with my Colombian girlfriend who’s here learning, learning English, which is cool. Yeah, I was in Colombia before this for about two years, almost two years. So yeah, learn a lot of Spanish in that, in that time. Got like, I arrived to Colombia about a year and a half, two years ago. With like some really, really basic Spanish that I’d learned, for about three months before in Argentina. So, I arrived at Colombia speaking with “Sh” accent, Pollo, está llegando.

    Chicken, Is getting here.




    Yo me llamo.

    My name is.




    Yeah, it’s slow. So, it’s really weird in Colombia because it’s completely different. But I found that, because I found it got a little bit difficult to be honest in Argentina because they speak really fast I find and the accent is like super thick. So I don’t reckon it’s a great place to actually learn Spanish, but it’s definitely a cool country. I love Buenos Aires as a city is really, really nice.




    Yeah, it’s a beautiful city. I went there a few years ago by accident, actually. It’s a long story, but I met one of my travel stories that I’m actually going to be telling in a future episode of the podcast. But yeah, I ended up in Buenos Aires and I’m, yeah, it’s a really, I find it to be a very European city. Like people there have a very Italian sentiment, but they’re speaking Spanish, so it’s kind of interesting.




    Yeah, it’s totally, it’s just exactly like Italians. They’re speaking Spanish, Hey. And they like speak with their hands and you know, all that sort of stuff. But yeah, it’s just beautiful. I’m absolutely obsessed with that city. It’s just like the nightlife and stuff there. It’s just amazing.




    Yeah. So, tell us a little bit about you and then how you got started with learning Spanish and how you got interested in the language. Was it a, your trip to Buenos Aires that got you started or what was it that made you want to speak Spanish?




    Well, basically got, what got started for me really was here in Australia. I’m an electrician and I was running my own business for, you know, almost three years at the time and just didn’t have, hadn’t had a holiday for a long time and just was getting a bit stressed out with work. And one day I just went to the, I went to the travel agent and booked a trip to Colombia, Perú and Chile and long story short, like completely fell in love with the whole sort of Latin experience that I had in those three countries. You know, saw all these people speaking Spanish and like listen to the music and just sort of fell in love with that sort of culture aspect of everything. And so I came back to Australia and I’m like “screw this”, I’m going to like, just go and make this happen for me.




    And so I sold a bunch of stuff, got rid of my car and just flew over to Argentina with like a one-way trip and yeah. Well, initially the plan was to stay in Argentina because I had a friend there that I met on the trip and, and all that sort of stuff and it just seemed like a really cool place to be. But after about three months, I already had a trip planned and I went over to Cuba with a friend and we spent a month in Cuba and the original plan was to go back to Buenos Aires. So I had the tickets, everything booked. But on my, on my way back through, I stopped in back in Colombia because it was part of the sort of the flight path and I was there for a few days and I sort of really realized that like Colombia was a lot of the reason that I sort of fell in love and wanted to go back over to Latin America.




    And like I said before, a little bit as well, but the Spanish is so much easier in Colombia, especially in Bogotá where I was at that time for a few days. It’s just like very clear, sort of neutral if you want to say neutral. I don’t really believe that there is a neutral Spanish, but it’s about as neutral as you probably going to get, I think in Colombia. And so yeah, I just sort of said “screw it”, I’m just going to stay here and see, see how we go. And so I booked a trip to or, or a plane trip to Medellín. And basically just never left Medellín for like a year and a half. And yeah, ended up starting a really cool project with a bunch of Spanish teachers that I met there in sort of my journey to become, you know, fluent and looking for other stuff. But yeah, we’ll get onto that maybe in a little bit.




    Yeah, definitely. And I think it’s interesting, you’re, so you’re initially wanted to travel, right? And I know a lot of people, it’s a huge motivation for language learning, right? It’s like you want to see the world and you want to explore and it’s interesting you’re talking about different dialects as well. Like going from Cuba to Perú, to Chile, Argentina, like they all have their different ways of speaking Spanish. So, how did you approach getting from, you know, sort of traveling around to different places and really getting an ear for these different dialects? Like how did you approach getting to conversational fluency from just kind of struggling through all of that as you were traveling and learning as you went?




    Well I think you pick up different things from different places and, and I think it’s definitely like essential. It’s not like English, English is like for example, really quite neutral in every way where it’s spoken. Like it has its own little like little accents and little words, but Spanish is completely different in some countries than it is in others. And you need to sort of be able to communicate and understand a few of these little nuances. Like for example in Argentina, the double L is a “SHU” in Colombia it’s more of a “YU”. In Chile it’s more of a “YA”. But they all sort of mean the same thing. But it just sounds completely different. So, if you want to be able to communicate with a wide variety of people, you sort of need to be aware of those things. But I think the first place that I started learning Spanish right in Argentina was in hindsight a bad choice because it’s extremely difficult even for some like native speakers, sometimes speaking to a person from Buenos Aires is difficult because they speak really fast and they use heaps of slang and it sounds very different.




    But then jumping over to somewhere like Colombia where it’s very sort of neutral and they find that they speak generally quite slowly and I found it a lot easier and then you can sort of branch out and be able to listen to other resources. Watching movies, initially watching movies really helped me. Like I would literally, even in the first few months of learning Spanish, I would just sit and watch movies. I didn’t understand almost anything, but I would just sit there and watch it with the subtitles on, just repetitively a series for like a hundred episodes. And I found like at the end, you know, you start to understand and see patterns and all that sort of stuff. You might not totally understand everything that’s going on, but I felt they helped me quite a lot in the beginning.




    Let’s switch gears then, and talk a little bit about the project. You mentioned that you started in Colombia because I think, you know, listening comprehension is one of the biggest problems that I hear from Spanish learners across the board. It’s like I can read it. It makes sense if I see it, I can speak a little bit sometimes, but when I hear a native speaker talking to me, I get completely lost. Like that’s one of the number one issues that are for anyone trying to learn Spanish. So, I think the project that you have Español 3000 is really interesting in that regard. So could you tell us a little bit about it and how it got started?




    Yeah, totally. So I’ll start with why it’s called Español 3000. It’s actually a really interesting study that I came across in my process of, you know, I’m the type of person that sort of one when I want to do something I’ll like research and research and research and just read and, and find all the information that I possibly can about that subject. So basically I did that. The same thing with Spanish, you know, reading blogs, you know, similar to your blog cause there’s lots of really good resources out there. And I found this study by a guy named Mark Davies that was done in the Brigham Young University. I don’t know exactly what year it was, but he did a study, right, of about 20 million different Spanish words, not spare separate words, but he had a 20, 20-million-word Corpus. He calls it and he pulls all these words out of different places like newspapers and, and other written things and movies and recordings, interviews, everything.




    And he did a big study and to see what the frequency of words, right? So what is the relation with frequency to how, how easily can you learn the language and how much can you speak in different situations? Right. So in at 3000 words, the most common 3000 words in Spanish, a Spanish learner can communicate in 94% of situations completely fluently. And I was like, that’s a really cool number. You know, because you go to a lot of language classes and sometimes it feels like super overwhelming because you’re like, how am I ever going to learn all this? Like it just seems like there’s just this endless list of words and things to learn. And that 3000 words was just like something really cool to me. It’s like, okay, there’s that like goal, you know, maybe you don’t get there. Maybe I get to 1000 words or 2000 and even at 1000 words, just something like 88% of situations completely fluently.




    So still that’s like amazing. And so, we basically do all of our resources around that sort of 3000 words and, and how we do it. It’s basically, I’ve got a couple of Spanish teachers who were also very good friends of mine and back about 18 months ago we sort of got together and we’re like “How can we build something that can be a really amazing resource for the people learning Spanish?” And at the time it was for me, I was like, I want this resource, this resource basically for me. And the thing that I sort of noticed a lot with a lot of resources out there is there was a lot of sort of apps and other sort of resources that are someone like designs the, the conversation. So they sit down and write them first and they often sound quite sort of manufactured and not very native.




    And it’s just not how people really speak. I think that’s basically, it could be one of the reasons why people get so confused and I got so confused with native speakers is because they just speak and it doesn’t sound like the resources that we’ve got in our textbooks because it’s not.




    Exactly, you ever hear that conversation? Hola, ¿Cómo está usted?

    Hello, how are you? Right? Like Oh wait, that’s how they always start teaching you conversational Spanish and you just go there. I’ve never heard anyone taught that way. Right. That doesn’t have people introduce themselves in real life.




    No. It’s like in real life they’re like Hola, ¿Cómo estas?

    Hello, how are you? like really fast or ¿Qué más pues? Like if you’re in Medellín ¿Qué más pues? Is like super, super common. But it sounds like if you heard that as a Spanish learners like ¿Qué más pues? It’s like what else? Well, in English it’s like what the hell?




    That doesn’t mean anything. But it’s like super common. Everyone from like a 50 year old to a 10 year old will address someone as ¿Qué más?. It’s like, what’s up in English? And they’re those sort of little nuances and other things that you can learn from, from real conversational Spanish. So, basically what we do, I go to these teachers and I said go out and find the most interesting and coolest people you can in the streets, bars, cafes, homes, everywhere here in Medellín and have an amazing conversation with them and let’s turn that into an amazing resource for us to study Spanish. Initially it was just for me cause I wanted to test it out and I was a little bit selfish like I just want to have this all to myself. And then I just started sharing it with, with other friends who are learning and like this is amazing.




    We’ve got to like put this out and help other people. So that’s how I’ve sort of Español en 3000 was born and we sort of made it into more of a resource that was online and people can access it and do all these other things. But we don’t just leave it like at the conversation because listening to a conversation is awesome, but then you get the problem of you don’t understand a word or you know, often when native people are speaking, it sort of blends into this like a wall of sound and it’s like, I can’t really hear where the difference of words is. So, we do a transcription as well, so we have a word by word transcription so you can sort of actually listen and read at the same time, which I found that to sort of skyrocket the results that I was getting because you’re actually listening and also reading so you can have that connection with the sound and the written word. And so then when you’re listening to it in a real conversation, it doesn’t like outside of the resources you can, you know, use that sort of training to, to recognize what people are saying. So it doesn’t sort of sound like just this wall of sound, which I’ve shown you probably hear often. Yeah.




    You get that association between, you know, what you see and then what you hear. So yeah, I think the transcripts are really important too because I found with listening comprehension, especially when you read something right and you’re reading as a native English speaker and you kind of read it out in your head, like you’re pronouncing things in your head with your, you know, your bad gringo accent, right? You’re like in your head, you’re reading it like “Hola, ¿Cómo estas?”

    Hello, how are you?

    Right? And, but when you hear it from a native speaker and you’re reading it along that way, then you start to encoding your brain their pronunciation, which is, you know, a lot more useful than reading without listening. So I always recommend that. So I think that’s a great idea to combine those two because it really does help you, get it into your, into your head and then also make it useful so you can access it when you have to, when you really have to use it and have a conversation.




    Totally. And it might sound a little bit cheesy and stuff like this, but I totally reckon that it’s like printing the vocabulary and the Spanish into your brain like that. Everyone thinks, you know, you can grab an app and do some sort of Duolingo thing and that’s awesome for a certain stage. But I think that once you get to a certain stage where you’re, and this is just my experience, like I don’t want to be some guru, telling people how to learn Spanish. It is just, I’m just speaking of my experience and an experience of, of friends and other people around me that had been using our resources is that, you know, it’s just about repetition and it’s around, it’s about connecting the Spanish that you’re learning with real life, things that are interesting and something that you can, you know, I find personally difficult to remember a flash card. Like there’s nothing interesting about a flash card to me to make me remember it. Maybe if you show it to me every day, I’ll remember it, but it’s nothing interesting about that flash card. But whereas if there’s an interesting subject that someone’s talking about in the conversation and you learn a new word in that conversation, in that sentence, that’s really interesting. And that for me connects in my brain and I’ll actually remember that. If you don’t want, I mean, do you find the same thing?




    Yeah, I mean, I think the context is super important, right? Learning out of context, it’s like “Oh, just give me a list of random words”. And unless you’re like a memory champion or something, right. You’re like, you’re not going to.




    Which is well over majority of us are not memory champions.




    So exactly. Yeah. So I think that, yeah, I mean, and with me, you know, sort of in my own experience too, you know, I found that my connection was similar to your story. Just connecting with the music and the culture was something that was really important to me.




    Especially the salsa. Oh yeah, that’s probably Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast.




    As the name I would suggest. Right. But yeah, it definitely, so for me it was, I fell in love with the dance and the music and it just all sort of connected me. So, I learned a lot through song lyrics because I had context there and I definitely had repetition. Right. And it was something I was just naturally interested in. So I wanted to know what the songs meant. It wasn’t like a forced, you know, “Oh I have to learn these eight units of, you know, this grammar book, you know, to get fluent in Spanish”. It was, “Oh I want to know this song. This is really interesting.” So yeah, I think the context interest really speaks to motivation, which is one of the primary things you need to persevere in language learning. Cause other than that, you know, it can be really difficult to stay going when you get discouraged from not understanding something.




    Totally, or get a girlfriend or a boyfriend in the other language. It’s like a super good motivator. The first, the first date that I had with my, with my current lovely girlfriend. It was extremely sad about my Spanish. It was very early days and she was very patient with me. So it definitely helps. Or even just a friend, it doesn’t even have to be a girlfriend or a boyfriend or anything, but just find a friend that you are interested in and that you want to get to know. And that only speak Spanish and you’d be amazed on how much you would learn just by trying and just by making a fool of yourself trying and making mistakes and then getting corrected. It all helps, I think.




    Yeah. You know, it’s interesting that you mentioned that, you know, someone that only speaks that language because what I’ve found is that my friends that I have that are bilingual, it’s much harder for us to stick to Spanish in our conversation. One, because they live in the U.S and English is the dominant language here. And you know, if you’re in a group where some people speak English and some people speak Spanish, generally we ended up defaulting to English because that’s just more comfortable for everybody. So it’s really hard when you’re talking to someone that’s bilingual because it’s not necessary that you communicate in Spanish. But if you do find someone that has very low English proficiency or just has a higher comfort level of Spanish or like in your cases, extraordinarily patient with you, it is, it’d be easier to really make progress and to focus on your listening comprehension, your conversation skills and all of that.




    Because otherwise, you know, it’s so easy, you know, the brain is looking for the path of least resistance, right? So it’s so easy to go back and see English when you’re struggling to find a word or you want to keep the conversation going. But if you have someone that doesn’t speak English and you can’t use that as a reference point. So I think that’s a great point. You made that. Yeah, you have to be able to talk to people, but also, you know, keep in mind if your goal is to improve your Spanish, that talking to someone that lets you off the hook so to speak, is not always the best. So yeah, I think that’s really, that’s really useful. But I don’t want to ask you too is I always ask my guest this question because I think that it’s good for the listeners to hear that all of us that, you know, speak Spanish and English and we’re learning that we didn’t just magically, you know, fall into this place where like now I’m fluent, right? Like we had our struggles along the way. So, I always like to share those, to kind encourage people that it’s okay to make mistakes. So if you have a story you could share about either like a funniest mistake you made that was embarrassing or not like the main one, you know, what you want to share, but I’m just going to tell us about one of the mistakes that you made and how it stuck with you and how it helped you learn.




    Yeah, definitely. Hey, there’s a really funny one that I, that I always remember and it was like right back in the beginning when I was in, when I was in Argentina in Buenos Aires and I remember getting into a cab, right? And back then, you know, you learn a few words and stuff like this and a few words stick in your brain. And it was like a really hot day. And I got in the cab and I’m like, Oh. And there’s like the cab drivers started talking to me or whatever. And I was like waving my head like trying to, you know, fan my head because it was really hot and I’m like, “Estoy caliente” and I didn’t think anything of it. And he looked at me in the mirror going, what’s going on with this bloke? He didn’t say anything.




    They were just like, gave me this weird look. And I’m like, Oh wow. Anyway, just brush it off, didn’t really understand. And then I learned later on I was maybe I was telling like a Spanish teacher the story or something like that. And then in there, like basically you just said to that, to that cab driver that “I’m like horny” in the backseat of the car, I’m like, what? I thought caliente meant hot. And they’re like, no, that’s like caliente like things or objects or like water. But if you’re referring to a person is caliente and it’s like horny or like sexy, I’m like, “Oh no, Jesus”. That’s why this cab drivers looking at me like a weirdo. Yeah. The difference between calor and caliente, that was a pretty bit of a funny one, but there’s heaps of moments. Like I remember so many times, especially I remember when going to meet my girlfriend’s family for the first time and my Spanish was still very, very weak and just the embarrassment of listeners, like not going, not knowing what’s going on at all.




    And it was like Christmas time and I’m the only foreigner in a big group, in a big group of Colombians and no one else speaks English. And it was super difficult. But it’s like those are the moments that I reckon that I learned the most because it’s, I reckon learning a language is more about confidence than people understand. Like it’s actually people, a lot of people know a lot more words that then they’re willing to use because they’re just a little bit too embarrassed or a little bit too ashamed to just try or to make mistakes but it doesn’t matter if you’re making mistakes as long as that other person understands you. It doesn’t matter if you’re grammatically incorrect. Like even native speakers aren’t grammatically correct all the time just because that’s how people speak. Like we don’t talk in English grammatically correct all the time. I know. I don’t, if we did, we’d sound really uptight. I think. Yeah. Like proper, proper Queen’s English just doesn’t get spoken.




    Yeah. And it’s the same with Spanish too. And I wanted to come back and ask you a questions that you mentioned, like meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time. And we talked a bit earlier about some of the things that are said in Medellín. So, I was curious to know, are there, is there any slang or any words in particular that are particular to the region of Medellín that you learned as you moved there and lived there for a few years? Was there and were there things you found there that weren’t in Argentine or Perú at other places you had traveled?




    Definitely, I mean Medellín is like a super, super cool place. Like if anyone has not been to Medellín or Colombia in general, they’d definitely have to go. The locals actually in the more of a slang word. They actually call it Medallo not Medellín. It’s more common to say Medellín, but it’s sort of more in like the barrios neighborhoods, like the little places, little sort of areas of Medellín they’ll say Medallo which is interesting. But ¿Qué más pues? like What’s up?




    Like what’s up in English that’s super common in Medellín but they add the “Pues”. So in the whole of Colombia ¿Qué más? is very common, but they are pues at the end. And that’s sort of a very common expression or greeting in Medellín actually add pues to everything. So, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean anything. So like questions like, well in English or just, pues it’s like well, it’s like a filler word, but they just add it to the, at the end of every single expression, pause or anything. And it’s, it kinda sounds like if you’re speaking to a Paisa, which is a person from Medellín, often you’ll hear pues every five to 10 seconds, 30 seconds. It’s any kind of famous giveaway word. Yeah. They’ve very famous for using a lot of pues. But there’s also heaps of other words like Parcero dude, Parcero es like dude, you know, man in English or in Argentina, it’s Boludo or in Mexico’s like wey, in Medellín es parcero o parcera.




    But I also sh shorten it and they also say “Parce, ¿Qué más Parce?” another world that is like cool. Or you know, like awesome. They say “Bacano” Great You heard of “bacano” before?




    Yeah, I’ve heard that. I’ve actually, I thought that was more of like the Caribbean where I’ve, I know I’ve definitely seen that before. And I wonder what region exactly what I, yeah, I’ve heard that one before outside of Medellín. That’s interesting.




    I think that, I mean, yeah, words definitely move around all different places, especially in music and stuff as well. They’ll say very similar to that, that he’ll say, say “Chévere”. You heard of that? You would’ve heard of that before. I get “Chévere”. It’s like how cool. Oh yeah, yeah. Chévere. I don’t know. You’ve been to Colombia before avenue.




    I have only been to Cartagena. And that’s on the Caribbean coast, so it’s actually a little different. There’s interesting, they were explaining to me how their, their words and their accent or a little bit different than, or they call la gente de interior people from other parts of the country and not the capitol basically like in Bogota, in Medellín they’re like, they speak different than us, you know? I’m like, okay.




    Yeah. They don’t speak with any “S” in sorry, in Cartagena.




    Yeah, they’re very. This Caribbean place that’s common en Cuba, en Republica Dominicana, en Puerto Rico, they all have that feature. So, I was surprised to find that in Colombia actually is, I didn’t know that much about Colombia before I went. And yeah, they definitely have a Caribbean flair in Cartagena. So I imagine it’s a bit different in Medellín.




    Yeah. It’s, I’ve always think like Colombia there are different like Estados States are like different countries all within them. Like the culture is so different. The people are different, the accent’s different, the food’s so different. It’s like Colombia has like seven countries within one. It’s like each different area, it’s like noticeably different which makes it really cool. So did you have any aguardiente

    alcoholic common beverage in Colombia when you were in Cartagena?




    I did. I did actually, I went on a boat tour and went to Tierra Bomba and yeah we, we try it and had fresh fish too just a beautiful place. I definitely want to go back to Colombia and I haven’t made it to Medellín but you’re, you’re making me want to rethink that




    They, in Medellín they say Guaro for aguardiente. Just like a little slang word. And they drink it in two liter bottles. Like you go out a Fonda, which is a another probably very Colombian word, which is like a nightclub, but a Fonda is a very specific type of night club that plays all types of tropical music.




    You know, your salsas in your vallenatos and reggaetón, bachata or those types of things, merengue and they




    What you’re saying is that’s where I need to go.




    Yeah, that’s right. They call it a crossover. So it’s a crossover like a Fonda, but it’s like a crossover Fonda. Right. And it’s normally painted in really bright, bright colors and they’ve got like, you know, really cool stuff all around in the walls and all that sort of stuff. And you’ll go there with a big bunch of friends and you’ll all put in, you know, 10.000 pesos or 20.000 pesos, 20 20,000 pesos or 10,000 pesos. And your, you buy a Jarra bottle, which is like a big bottle of guaro, which is two liters and they’ll put this big two liters bottle on your table and they’ll put you like a bunch of plastic shot glasses and a big jug of water and maybe some fruit and stuff like that. You’d just drink water and shot guaro and dance or, not.




    Sounds like a party. Thank you for sharing a little bit about Medellín and hopefully you’ve encouraged some people who are listening who haven’t been to, to book a trip there. Okay, so now I’m going to switch gears and go into our quick fire round. So this is where I ask you five questions Español for you to answer off the top of your head. So, listo?

    So, ready?




    Si listo, vamos.

    Yes, ready. Let’s go.




    Pregunta número uno es: ¿Cuál es tu canción favorita en Español?

    Question number 1: What is your favorite son in Spanish?




    Ay no sé. He estado escuchado mucho últimamente de Nicky Jam. Y también escucho mucho vallenato porque mi novia es de Valledupar que es una ciudad un poquito cerca de Santa Marta, como la mitad de Santa Marta y Cartagena y ¿Has escuchado de Vallenato?

    Well, I don’t know. I’ve been hearing a lot lately Nicky Jam. And I also listen a lot to vallenato because my girlfriend is from Valledupar, a city nearby Santa Marta, in between Santa Marta and Cartagena. Have you heard Vallenato?




    Si si, escuché mucho cuando estaba en Cartagena.

    Yes, I heard a lot when I was in Cartagena.




    Si, Vallenato es como la música de esa tierra y la casa del vallenato es Valledupar. Y entonces, escuchamos mucho vallenato en nuestra casa.

    Yes, Vallenato is like the music of that city and the house of Vallenato is Valledupar. So, we listen a lot of Vallenato in our home.




    ¿Y tienes una canción de Vallenato que puedas recomendar?

    And you have a Vallenato song that you can recommend?




    Claro, hay un cantante que se llama Silvestre Dangond.

    Sure, there’s a Singer called Silvestre Dangond.




    Y pregunta número dos es: ¿Cuál es tu palabra favorita de español?

    And question number 2: What is your favorite Word in Spanish?




    He estado buscando esa palabra en inglés pero creo que no existe. Es cansón o cansona, no creo que eso exista en inglés. Cansón es como cuando una persona que esta preguntándote siempre para algo como ¿Por qué no vamos hacer eso?. Esa persona es un cansón, es como que está molestándote.

    I’ve been looking that Word in English but I don’t think it exists. It’s cansón or cansona. I don’t think that exists in English. Cansón is like someone that’s always asking you “Hey, why don’t we go do that?” That person is a cansón, like it’s annoying you.




    Si, entiendo, creo que no puedo pensar en una palabra en inglés tampoco pero es como annoying.

    Yes, I understand, I can’t think of a Word in English either but it would be like annoying.




    Si, un poquito como annoying pero es muy útil. Siempre mi novia me está diciendo “Ay cansón tranquilo”. Yeah it’s like a little bit like that. No creo que tenemos esa palabra en inglés, es como decir Ay you’re so annoying. No hablamos así en inglés.

    Yes, a little. But it’s very useful. My girlfriend is always telling me “Ay cansón take it easy”. I don’t think we have that word in English it’s like saying “Ay you’re so annoying”. We don’t speak like that in English.




    Y número 3: ¿Cuál fue la última cosa que leíste y/o miraste o escuchaste en Español?

    And number 3: What was the last thing you read, watched or listened in Spanish?




    La última cosa que escuche en español probablemente fue una conversación o una mini lección de español en 3000. Porque yo estoy haciendo todas las ediciones entonces tengo que escuchar todas las cosas.

    The last thing I heard probably was a conversation or … Spanish-English. Because I’m making all the editions so I have to listen to things




    Y número 4: Saca tu móvil y traduce el último texto que recibiste al español.

    Number 4: Pull out your phone and translate the last text you received to Spanish.




    Es un mensaje de un amigo mexicano que está viviendo en Buenos Aires pero viene aquí a Australia para vivir con su novia Australiana. Yo le dije en inglés: Good luck with the visa dude, you should have no problems. You’re first class guy y es español: Buena suerte con la visa, no deberías tener problemas. Eres un chico de primera clase.

    It’s a message from a mexican friend living in Buenos Aires but he comes here to Australia to live with his Australian girlfriend. I told him in English: Good luck with the visa dude, you should have no problems. You’re first class guy.




    Y la última pregunta es ¿Algún lugar en el mundo que tú crees que es el mejor del mundo, un lugar que para ti es como el cielo?

    Last question is: Is there some place in the world that you think is the best, a place that for you is like a heaven?




    Pues para mí, me encanta Medellín, me encanta la ciudad, la gente, en general me encanta todo de Colombia. No creo que hay un lugar perfecto en todas las maneras porque hay otras cosas que me encanta de mi tierra aquí Australia y hay otras cosas que me encanta de Perú o de Europa entonces no, no tengo un lugar específico.

    Well for me, I love Medellín, I love the city, the people, in general I love all about Colombia. I don’t think there’s a perfect place in all ways because there are things I like about my country Australia and other things I like about Perú or Europe then no, I don’t have an specific place.




    Okay. So wrapping up, can you tell us just a little bit about if your listeners want to get some information about Español en 3000 how they can find out more about your program and learning Spanish through conversation?




    Yes. Basically Español en 3000 is 100% made in Medellín Colombia with the most coolest, most coolest or the coolest. See?, you know, we always make mistakes in English. We can do that in Spanish as well, right? With the coolest and most interesting people that we could find in Medellín, you’ll immediately find that when you jump in, it’s like stuff that you could use tomorrow or today with your Spanish speaking friends or family or workmates and all that sort of stuff. And you can find our website as http://www.espanolen3000.com, http://www.espanolen3000.com. So it’s E.S.P.A.N.O.L.E.N.3000.com.




    I will include a link on the show notes page. You can look for it there as well. So thank you Shay so much for taking the time to talk to me today in the Learn Spanish con Salsa podcast.




    It’s been a pleasure Tamara. Thank you very much for having me. And all the best, all your listeners with their Spanish get out there and just do it. It’s the only way to become, you know, as fluent or more fluent in Spanish is to get out there and practice.




    I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Shay. He has definitely inspired me to book a flight to Medellín and return to Colombia. Sounds like a lot of fun and it’s a place that honestly, it wasn’t on my bucket list, but now I think that I might consider going to Medellín. Now, if you want a seven day free trial of Español en 3000, go to https://www.learnspanishconsalsa.com/3000 that’s https://www.learnspanishconsalsa.com/3000, and you’ll get a special link to a seven day free trial of the premium version of Español en 3000, which is just for listeners of the Learn Spanish con Salsa Podcast. Now, I have to say I have tried this resource myself. I do not recommend things that I don’t think will be really effective and I really think this is great if you are an advanced beginner or an intermediate level and you really want to challenge yourself to listen to native Spanish speakers but also get that support that he mentioned with the transcripts as well as the lessons that are provided in the premium version are very helpful because they explain some of the grammar and some of the slang that’s used.




    And the conversations are really interesting. The topics they cover are very diverse and they talk to a lot of Spanish speakers that are in Medellín so people are from all over. So it really makes for an interesting mix of personalities and conversations and topics. So I think you’ll definitely enjoy. Now if you’re a complete beginner, this will probably be a little bit too challenging for you, but I do have a resource for you as well. If you go to that same link in the show notes for this episode, which is https://www.learnspanishconsalsa.com/3000, you will find a link to our, a Bulletproof guide to your first Spanish conversation. So this is, if you’re not quite ready to take advantage of a more advanced resource and you’re really just trying to get your feet wet with having your first conversation in Spanish, you can download that guide absolutely free. And it’s also available on the show notes page for this episode. Okay, so that is it for me, I hope that something that you heard today as always takes you one step closer from Spanish beginner to bilingual. Hasta la próxima. Until next time.


    Learn Spanish the Way It's Really Spoken!

    Get your nose out of textbooks and start speaking Spanish!

    Join 2,802 other aspiring bilinguals that are learning to speak Spanish with real people.

    We'll send our best advice and resources for how to learn conversational Spanish, PLUS giveaways of the best resources for learning Spanish directly to your inbox.

    Powered by ConvertKit