Regional dialects

Posted by jpeck | Filed under , , , , , ,

If you’re thinking  of traveling somewhere to do an immersion course in Spanish, one of the key things to think about is the predominant accent spoken inyour preferred destination.  Argentina is a popular place to come and take classes, largely because Buenos Aires is a bustling city with thriving arts culture, famous parillas and fabulous ice cream, and of course the lure of the tango (which helps work off the extra calories).  But one thing that isn’t usually a consideration when choosing Argentina is the accent! 

It’s very helpful  to know, and something to consider, that when you come to Argentina that the people in Buenos Aires speak what they consider Rio Platense Castellano and their most definite peculiarity in pronunciation where the double l (ll) is pronounced as a “shh” sound instead with a soft a rather than the “yuh” sound used in so many other latin cultures, and even outside of Buenos Aires.  For example, lluvia, the word for rain, is pronounced ‘shoe-via’.  Pollo is ‘po-sho’ instead of ‘poy-o’.  If you can incorporate the “shh” into your accent in Buenos Aires (and try to drop a che or two) you’ll be quick on the path to earning points with the locals.  


The Phrase "al pelo"

Posted by Tyler | Filed under , , , ,
Alternate Spanish Greetings and Replies

There's nothing more fundamental in learning a new language than the greeting.  "Cómo estás" and "Muy bien" can be found in the first few pages of just about any Spanish textbook.  But what about when you've outgrown "todo bien"?  There are a limitless number of common responses you might give such as "todo tranqui(lo)" or "todo en orden".  Here's another you might not have heard before: Al pelo (literally "bareback").

Like most phrases the seem to make little sense at first glance, "al pelo" has an interesting back story.  During the time of the Spanish colonial rebellion, especially in the area of Columbia and Venezuela, the resistance forces were severely under equipped.  They would often steal or raise horses to be used in battle, but they lacked the resources for saddles.  

Only the generals had mounts and the common cavalry were often bareback.  After a time, the phase "al pelo" came to mean heroism in the face of limited means.  When askes how a journey was, one might reply "al pelo" to means they face obstacles but came out unscathed.  Eventually the phrase became synonymous with strength, health and valor.  Today "al pelo" means fantastic when referring to oneself.

So the next time someone asks you how you are in Spanish and you're feelign on top of the world, you might tell them, "Al pelo"!

Starting up in Chile.

Posted by Tyler | Filed under , , , ,
Loogla + Startup-Chile 2012

CORFO, the economic development authority of Chile, has welcomed Loogla into Start-Up Chile.  For anyone not aware of this innovative program, it attracts high potential startups from around the world to come to Chile and develop their projects.  Applications are reviewed by a panel of industry experts, and we're proud to have been accepted.  We at Loogla will be developing a better way to learn languages along with projects from some of the most prestigious intitutions in the world such as MIT, Harvard, Oxford and the Indian Institute of technology just to name a few.

After a long and interrupted development process to create the language learning system we would have wanted after moving to South America, it is invigorating to receive the endorsement of the Chilean government and a panel of specialists in entrepreneurial viability.  Our participation marks the beginning of our ability to offer Loogla to the public.  We are still accepting names for the closed beta so if you are interested in helping to make Loogla the best self-paced Spanish language eLearning platform out there, sign up for the beta using our no frills signup form.