About

I fly through Spanish-speaking skies. I feed on words. I am the Vocabat.

I’m better known as Katie, though. (Katia with Spanish speakers) I’ve lived in Bogotá, Colombia for around four and a half years total, with about half a year spent in the warmer climes of Medellín midway through. My Spanish is good, but I’m able to hide scores of cracks, fissures, and canyons in my knowledge behind a great accent and a calculated bravado that makes it seem like I’m not even trying (ha!). This blog is about filling in those many gaps, one by one, and the road toward fluency, i.e., the rest of my life.

I’ll try to share what I pick up from keeping my ears vigilantly perked and eyes wide open. As I adore colloquial language, I’ve scurried to and fro the past five years collecting tidbits and jotting them down, and I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the way people actually talk. Some things I share will be particular to Colombia, and others more universal. Please correct any and all imperfect Spanish. I’ll include idioms, slang, exceedingly useful words, good words that I chronically underuse, SPN 101 words that I realize that I’m staggeringly still unfamiliar with, common blunders, false friends, and so on and so forth. Please chime in and make it a conversation, adding info, nuances, more sample sentences, etc.

And if you’re a native Spanish speaker who’s trying to learn more colloquial and advanced English or who simply enjoys all things language, welcome! Do lend us a hand with your fascinating and beautiful language–this is a space where we can all learn from each other.

I usually post a few times a week. Leave a comment or email me at vocabat at gmail dot com to suggest topic ideas.

15 responses to “About

  1. Thank you for your email to my site- spanishforlawyers.wordpress.com.
    Thank you also for your idea of eating almuerzo w/my secretary & speak Spanish w/her. Until i checked out your blog, I thought that maybe she was the one sending the comment to my blog :) Best of luck to your blog & you.
    jeff scholnick

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  2. The name “vocabat” conjures up a funny image in my mind. Imagine a bat wearing a cape covered with items of vocabulary

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  3. Hola Katie!! me alegra mucho que te agrade Colombia y más Medellín. ¿Cuándo vuelves? sería bueno practicarlos dos idiomas. Avísanos cuando llegues :)

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  4. loopingstateofmind

    Hi! I really enjoy your blogs.
    I’ve been living in Spain for about 4 years now and I also love the Spanish language and culture. Look forward to your next blogs!

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  5. Hola :-)

    Me gusta tu blog :-) que interesante

    Me parece que deberíamos hablar; se me hace que podríamos volvernos amigos con un destino común. Que tal? ;-)

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  6. Hola! I’m an English student working for a year as a language assistant at a school in Bogotá. Incredible how similar your experiences learning all those distinctly Colombian words and phrases are to my own. Please keep writing, I found this blog about an hour ago and haven’t left since!

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  7. Katie,
    I am in love with your posts. I hope we can spend some time together again soon. There is always a room and a meal waiting for you here.
    Much Love
    Beth

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  8. Wow! I LOVE your blog. I’ve always loved Spanish and am now taking a Spanish class at my local community college. I learned Spanish in high school from 1962 to 1966 and I still remember a lot. I can’t wait to learn more from you! Thanks :)

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  9. Hi Dear Vocabat

    I found your blog searching piropo

    I am glad that I found your blog in which you write about culture an language.

    I have a blog too but I write in persian, I’ll try a english one soon.

    Best wishes

    Sina

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  10. I really enjoy your blog. Keep the vocabat insights coming, por favor! This gringo is nowhere near fluent, and Colombia beckons.

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  11. OMG. Were we separated at birth? Searching through the internet for information on “pantofles” for a copy editing assignment, I somehow came up this site. I, too, have lived in South America (Chile for 12 years). I, too, am sort of a word nerd. I love to figure out origins and influences. When I have more time, I’ll be back.
    Did you notice the difference in the emotions of the World Cup commentators between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking. What a hoot.

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  12. Hi. Thanks for the great blog. It’s very interesting for me as I am learning Spanish in Colombia. I wondered if there is a URL where I can see say a years worth of posts on one page so that I can print them off all at once? I prefer to read things on paper where I can highlight and scribble notes etc!

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  13. Big Like! Enjoy your Spanish ride! Keep working on this blog and doing what you love! Los idiomas son mi passion tambien! :)

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  14. Hey Katie! Why did you stop posting things? I really adored reading you! :)

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    • Hi Lukas,

      Thank you; that’s so kind of you to say. I guess the honeymoon period (and my desire to pen swooning sonnets and odes) with Spanish ended a long time ago. I also started writing a monthly column for a local newspaper that’s very similar to the blog, but actually better- much more focused and organized. Anyway, I miss it, too. Hearing from readers is the best. I’ll do my best to post tomorrow, OK? Thanks for your comment!

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