Notes in Spanish
My small advanced Spanish language group, which meets weekly, at times tends to flow like a mismatched crowd wave during a baseball game. We’ve been together for about two years and have a great time together every week poring over history books, heavy grammar, or some weeks just hitting the pinot grigio – but our level of interest, schedules, and other life activities of any five members logically influence the amount of time we’ll put into our studies at any given period.
Wanting to listen to something other than my stale iPod rotation I paid a long overdue visit to “Notes in Spanish.” Notes in Spanish is a site run by Madrid couple Ben Curtis and Marina Diez. They began their podcasts in 2005, and post about one a month. They have a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level. Their friendly demeanor is delightfully enjoyable and easy listen to. Their grammar is perfect, and their charm and wit shines through their voices. I feel like I’m sitting at a street cafe chatting and participating in the conversation with these two lovebirds. A fun recent podcast is “Zafiros” where Ben recants his trip to Thailand and getting hustled to buy fake sapphires.
Their podcasts are free, and they supplement them with comprehensive worksheets downloadable for a small cost. Their forum at Notes from Spain is quite active too.
Ben Curtis has a book about moving to and living in Spain, titled “Errant in Iberia”. Also they have a sister site “Notes from Spain“, a site about daily life, living, and working in Spain. Take an internet trip with Ben and Maria to Madrid at notesinspanish.com or notesfromspain.com. From their site:
Ben has lived and worked in Madrid since 1998. He is a travel broadcaster and editor, and has previously worked in Spain as a bilingual translator and teacher. Recent projects include work on Fodor´s Spain Gold Guide, the BBC’s Olive Magazine, podcasting from Spain, India and Thailand for Lonely Planet, researching the Home and Abroad Madrid Guide, and appearing on Classic FM. He has also written in Spanish for Solo Moto 30, a Spanish motorbike magazine.
Marina, a true Madrileña, originally worked as an IT consultant for international tech. companies, and now works full time on Notes from Spain and Notes in Spanish. As well as being the Spanish speaking expert behind our Spanish podcasts, her love of Spanish Cuisine provides the inspiration for our Cuisine from Spain programs.