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There are several ways for someone to learn Latin American Spanish. * There are Spanish language immersion courses in Latin American countries such as Peru, Nicaragua and many others. Check with colleges and foreign language schools for information on Spanish language immersion programs. * There are local Spanish language courses. Look out for a Spanish language course that features tutors from Latin American countries. * Spanish language lessons from a Latin American tutor would be a quick way of learning Latin American Spanish. * There are book and tape courses on Latin American Spanish that can be purchased from bookstores. * There are online courses that teach Latin American Spanish.
Food is an integral part of Spanish culture. There are three main meals. * Breakfast (desayuno) is a light meal consisting of a white coffee (café con leche) or chocolate with churros or a pastry. Churros are small rolls of fried pastry. * Lunch (comida/almuerzo) is often the main meal of the day and is eaten around 2.30 in the afternoon. * Dinner (cena) is eaten late, often after 10pm. This can also be a light meal. Spain is very family oriented and even small children can be out late at night for cena. Tapas are served with drinks in bars, usually free unless someone wants a large portion. Typical tapas are: * Boquerónes - Small white fish fillets in oil * Albondigas - Meatballs, usually in a tomato sauce * Ensalada Rusa - Russian salad * Ensalada de Boca - Crabstick salad * Huevos en Mayonesa - Eggs in mayonnaise * Callos - tripe with chickpeas * Magro - Pork pieces in tomato sauce * Tortilla - Omelette * Gambas Pil Pil - Prawns in a hot, garlic oil Though popular, tapas are a relatively recent addition to Spanish culture. The custom of offering small side dishes to accompany a drink is believed to date from the 20th century.
A search on the Internet for 'Spanish course' or 'Spanish language course' plus the name of your profession will show links to several courses aimed at professionals. These include: * Business Spanish courses aimed at business people. These courses cover Spanish relating to business negotiations, presentations, meetings and telephone conversations. * Medical Spanish courses for healthcare workers. These Spanish language courses cover patient histories, diagnosis, and treatment. * Tourism Spanish courses aimed at those who work in the tourist industry. These courses cover reservations systems, accommodation and more. * Spanish for Spanish teachers. These courses provide a refresher on Spanish language and Spanish culture specifically for teachers. Most professionals can also benefit from travel Spanish courses. These Spanish language courses cover the essential aspects of travel abroad including making hotel reservations, hiring cars, travel by various means and eating out.
Latin American music and dance incorporates several music dance forms in the countries of Latin America. These are an integral part of the Latin American Spanish-derived culture. Latin American music is generally a blend of Spanish song, African rhythms and European harmony. It tends to be syncopated and rhythmic. Music and dance that are commonly associated with this region include: * Rumba - an Afro-Cuban rhythmic music and dance * Merengue - a vocal and dance style from the Dominican Republic, developed in the early 19th century * Tango - this evolved in Buenos Aires at the end of the 19th century and made its way to Europe in the 1920s * Salsa - which blended Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican musical influences and emerged from New York's Hispanic community in the 1970s * Samba - which was invented in Brazil in the early 20th century. Latin American music and dance began to evolve with the arrival of the Spanish colonists in the 16th century. Spanish culture at the time was quite mixed and this had its influence on the music. Latin American music has continued to evolve, breeding such new forms as the lambada.
Flamenco is a key aspect of Spanish culture. Although it is just one of many musical and dance forms within Spanish culture, it has become the form most associated with Spain. Flamenco originated among the Gitanos (Gypsies) of Spain around the time of the Spanish Inquisition. It consists of three elements: music (cante), dance (baile) and guitar (toque). It is a structured yet improvised form, led by the flamenco singer, who is accompanied by the guitarist and dancer. Flamenco is sometimes accompanied by foot stamping and hand clapping. Flamenco originated in Jerez de la Frontera in Southern Spain, but migrated with the Gitanos to Seville and Andalucía. Flamenco is now an integral part of Spanish culture and is popular around the world. An annual flamenco festival is held in Jerez.
Definitions of Latin America vary considerably. While most people think of it as the area south of the USA where the Spanish language is spoken, there is so much more to explore. Latin America refers to the locations in Mexico, Central and South America that speak Spanish, Portuguese, French or another language derived from Latin. Another view of Latin America refers to the countries in that region that have a Spanish culture. Using this definition, Latin America comprises Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. The countries and dependencies that are sometimes included in Latin America (where the Spanish language is not the main one) are: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.
Bullfighting is an integral part of Spanish culture, but it did not start in Spain. Bullfighting was practiced in Rome and also by the Moors who entered Spain via Andalucía in 711. Within a century, bullfighting had become part of royal spectacle in Spain. The Moors used to attack bulls on horseback, while men on foot used capes to lure the bulls into the correct position. In 1726, Francisco Romero introduced the sword (estoque) and the small cape (muleta) which is still used by matadors today. Matadors and picadors are two essential components of bullfighting. Picadors wound the bull so that it bends its head and matadors (the stars of the show) administer the final killing blow. Bullfighting also takes place in other countries with a Spanish culture or heritage, including Portugal, Latin America and the South of France. Bullfighting is a controversial aspect of Spanish culture because it is thought to be cruel to the bulls.
Spanish culture is a broad term. It covers a number of aspects of Spanish life, including history, cooking, dance, cinema, art, literature and much more. It is worth noting that the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America have their own cultural traditions. You can learn about these cultural traditions as part of Spanish language courses. Each of the aspects of Spanish culture can also be a separate course. For example, people can attend classes to learn flamenco, salsa, samba and other dances emerging from Spanish culture. Spanish culture is often a part of a Spanish language course. Since many language courses use real life situations, those who follow a Spanish language course cannot help learning about aspects of Latin American and Spanish culture.
Castellano is one dialect of the Spanish language. It originates from Castile and is the official Spanish language. Inside Spain, the word castellano is used to distinguish that form of Spanish language from other forms such as Aragonese, Leonese, Asturian, Galician, Extremaduran, Catalan and Occitan. It also distinguishes the recognizable Spanish pronunciations from varieties of Latin American Spanish. Outside Spain, castellano is simply known as español (Spanish).
Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people around the world. Of these, 380 million are native speakers. This makes the Spanish language the second most spoken language in the world (by native speakers), after Mandarin Chinese. Apart from Spain, the Spanish language is spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, European Union, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Mexico (USA), Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.