You may have noticed by now that I have a list of links over there on the right side. Yep, just scroll on down, jump over the button for email updates, skip the recent posts section, and wade through my gargantuan list of Bategories (because, quite frankly, cats have no business hanging around a bat’s abode). See ’em? Good. Those are my online kindred spirits, and you’d do well to take a gander at them. I definitely don’t list sites there just to take up space, nor is there any kind of financial kickback for me. Here’s a rundown, una muestra, of the awesomeness you can expect to find on the sites.
Colombia & Other Countries
Colombia v. Argentina – A very unofficial list of differences in words between Colombia and their neighbor to the south. Worth a quick look.
Colombia v. Chile – You’d never guess it, but I have a strong interest in all things Chilean. This little dictionary is well organized and has pictures– very nice.
Bogotá Lexicon – Amazingly thorough glossary of words that the Rolos use (most of the words, actually, are used in all of Colombia). Plus, gives extremely helpful sample sentences. Highly recommended.
Bogotálogo – This site is simply divine. Unbelievably thorough and helpful. Again, words that are used throughout Colombia, not just the capital. Check out the refranario and you’ll soon sound more Colombian than a bandeja paisa.
Improve Your Spanish
Lang-8 – I intend to write a post at some point about how much I adore this site. It has helped my Spanish improve by leaps and bounds. The concept is simple: you write texts in Spanish and get corrections from native speakers, and then you return the favor. You can write about whatever you want– I frequently ask questions about doubts I have, write humorous posts, and sometimes even upload videos to get feedback. I’ve been able to befriend Spanish speakers and learners from all over the world, and it’s also where I met my ex, if you care.
Notes in Spanish – Very cool website. Ben and Marina, a married couple, offer free podcasts for intermediate and advanced learners on all kinds of interesting subjects. You can also pay for worksheets to help you understand what you’re listening to and practice. Only pitfall: it’s very Spanish! ¡Muy españolete! (So, it’s perfect if you live in Spain or wish to one day) My dream is to put together a Latin American version one day.
My Spanish Notes – Just a normal guy sharing useful words and phrases as he learns them via talking with people, especially Mexican friends of his. Rodney, the writer, is actually the one who gave me the idea to start my own. He didn’t realize it, of course, but after enjoying his posts for well over a year, I decided to piggyback and let people look over my shoulder, too, as I learn Spanish through speaking. Wonderful site that’s always highly enjoyable.
Travel/Language Sites I Like
Bearshapedsphere – An American who’s been living in Chile for 7 years and has fascinating stories, observations, and thoughts on all things expatty. When she writes about Spanish, she always has very keen insights. Here’s a link to her favorite thing she ever wrote on language learning, an essay with which I identify so much it’s almost scary: How I Learned to Shut Up and Listen
Cachando Chile – Another American blogger based in Chile (20+ years!). As you’d expect, she has lots of fun posts on linguistic confusion and craziness.
Don’t Give Papaya – Two bloggers living in Bogotá who always have pithy things to say about their environs. They also write about Spanish from time to time. Two fun features to look for are Music Monday and Fruit Friday. A great introduction to the capital city.
Fluent in 3 Months – If you don’t know about Benny, you really owe it to yourself to read his posts. While our goals are different, our philosophies on language learning are very similar. He accepts no excuses and no whining when it comes to learning languages. He cuts through all the crap to show you exactly why you’ve had the same mediocre level for ages despite “years” of studying and will make you examine whether you are truly motivated to do what it takes to learn a language. Insisting that you only get good at what you do, he argues that studying will never ever help you speak fluently– only constant speaking/listening practice can do that. Be honest about your goals, improve your methods, and start utilizing the number one resource there is: HB 2.o.
Red Angle Spanish – Bradley, a good blogging buddy of mine, and I are on a mission to convince people that Spanish is cool. His blog is chock-full of sweet graphics and hilarious plays-on-words to help you remember Spanish. We’ve been pretty unimpressed with most Spanish blogs out there, and we think ours are some of the funnest reads on the block. Staggered by our pompousness? Well, show us your blog and outdo us. Or start one . . . would love more competition!
Spanish for Social Change – This blog is my latest Spanish discovery, and I think it’s fantastic. This blog writer is really barking up my tree what with combining two of my greatest interests. I really dig blogs that split hairs about the meanings and usages of words and their translations, weaving in their own experiences and observations. It’s also encouraging to see someone using their Spanish . . . not just talking about it. And using it for such good purposes, at that.
So, as you can see, I try to keep things as useful as possible for my readers and only link to blogs that 1) I actually read, 2) I really like, and 3) are focused on Spanish. I don’t do links to friends, family, or other people I like that aren’t Spanish-related. Have any recommendations? I’d like to hear them. My only requirements are that it be not-boring, that it be updated semi-frequently, and that it be quality. I will be the judge on boringness, in case you were wondering, and it’s pretty hard to impress me. ¡Pero no tengas pena! Don’t be shy! I love to find compatriots here on the web, and I am always thrilled to find blogs that are full of personality and good writing. I especially love to discover smaller blogs or websites that are tucked away in the internet, like hidden gems. Cuenta, cuenta.