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20 phrases your DAD will love to hear in Spanish

May 28, 2010

father and son

Since my past post of 10 phrases your MOM will love to hear in Spanish was very well received, I thought you might also appreciate these new ones for Father’s day.

Perhaps you are a mom and would like to know how the kids can say some things to their dad in Spanish. Or perhaps you are just curious about what and how to say it. Or maybe you are a daughter who simply wants to impress Dad…Or a son searching for words to say.  In my case, even though I was not raised by my father I’ve had many great father figures that I still look up to. So, to them these ones go:

Tell him in Spanish

1.  Gracias por todo

2.  Gracias por tus sacrificios

3.  Su ejemplo me inspira

4.  Hoy te invito yo

5.  Eres el mejor papá del mundo

6.  Eres realmente todo un caballero con nosotras

7.  Gracias por estar siempre ahí cuando te necesito

8.  Para el mejor papá

9.  Un fuerte abrazo para tí

10. Estoy muy orgulloso/a por tener un padre como tu

11. Espero te guste tu reloj nuevo

12. Esto te lo compré con mi dinero

13. Espero que te guste esto

14. Salú!

15. Eres un buen padre y amigo

16. En ti siempre puedo confiar

17. Gracias por estar siempre ahí listo a escuchar

18. Al mejor viejo del mundo

19. De hecho, eres buenisima onda

20. Feliz Día del Padre


1.  Thanks for everything

2.  Thanks for your sacrificies

3.  Your example is an inspiration

4.  Today, I’ll take you out

5.  Your’re the best dad in the world

6.  You are truly a gentleman with us

7.  Thanks for always being there when I need you

8.  For the best dad

9.  A big hug for you

10. I’m so proud of having a dad like you

11. I hope you like your new watch

12. I bought you this with my own money

13. I hope you like this

14. Cheers

15. You are a good father and friend

16. I can always trust in you

17. Thanks for being there ready to listen

18. To the best old man in the world

19. In fact, you are the coolest

20. Happy Father’s Day


In the positive spirit of this occasion I hope these phrases may serve you well as you prepare a card, gift, or whatever you plan to do with your father.

Would you like to share other phrases, or ask me to translate some others?  I’ll do my best to reply.


don’t mix ART and Spanish. Yes, DO IT.

May 19, 2010

One of the reasons I started my vamostodos business was because it gave me the advantage of not only helping kids (and adults) learn Spanish, but it gave me the freedom of teaching them that through ART they could also communicate.

As the years have gone by I am stunned to see not only the results in the Spanish development of each of my students, but also the way in which each one of them visualize, conceptualize, and bring to life their thoughts.

So here, I am presenting you with a few things for you to consider if you are: teaching/learning Spanish, or any other language for that matter.

If you are TEACHING,

5 excuses I’ve heard of why you should NOT use ART when teaching Spanish (or any language) to kids

1. Its messy

2. Its expensive

3. Its time consuming

4. We must save our planet’s resources

5. It will never be hung

Now, 5 reasons why you SHOULD use ART when teaching kids

1. Its messy – you don’t have to create a mess to make a piece of art, but sometimes depending on the age group you are teaching, it will happen. Often times this happens if you are not in control of the activity, so, i.e. retain all art materials and pass them one by one to the students. Now, take things as language and vocabulary opportunity to teach about how to ask for things, name of art materials, asking for help cleaning up, and colors in Spanish, just to name a few.

2. It doesn’t have to be expensive – the great thing about art is that it can be done with a variety of elements. From napkins to newspaper, magazine cut outs to old photographs. The challenge for you is to be CREATIVE in how you use what you have at hand.

3. Its time to experiment and practice – teaching/learning a new language while creating art is an exciting adventure.  You are putting two forms of communication into action. Include new words or phrases learned into your creation. Make a collage of it. Paint a word, design something for the phrase you just learned. Have students write words in paper and then paste them on a single paper square. The ideas are endless.

4. Utilize our planet’s resources wisely – instead of teaching your students to sketch and change paper every time they make mistakes, help them understand the importance paper has for us and the environment.  Provide a single piece of paper per student and encourage them to make the best of it. Mistakes are welcomed, but use them as part of the over all art piece. Mistakes will often lead to greater discoveries.

5. Their art is priceless – The art work that kids make during their early years in life is crucial to their future.  They will never replicate the same drawing.  The early works of most artists are among the most valued pieces.

If you are LEARNING as an adult:

10 excuses I’ve heard of why you should NOT use ART when learning Spanish (or any language)

1. Its messy

2. I’m to old to make a mess

3. They have nothing to do with the other

4. Its expensive

5. Why spend so much money on materials

6. Its time consuming

7. I have a job, you know.

8. We must save our planet’s resources

9. It will never be hung in a gallery or museum

10. I don’t even go to galleries

5 reasons why you SHOULD use ART when  learning Spanish (or any language)

1. Its messy – part of the fun about ART is to experiment with new art mediums. So this is your opportunity to let things be. After all, cleaning up is not a bad thing if you are enjoying yourself in the work being created.  To this day I’ve known just a handful of artist who where methodically clean as they worked on their art pieces.

2. It doesn’t have to be expensive – the great thing about art is that it can be done with a variety of elements. From napkins to newspaper, magazine cut outs to old photographs. The challenge for you is to be CREATIVE in how you use what you have at hand.

3. Its time to experiment and practice – learning a new language while creating art is an exciting adventure.  You are putting two forms of communication into action. Include new words or phrases learned into your creation. Make a collage of it. Paint a word, design something for the phrase you just learned. Have students write words in paper and then paste them on a single paper square. The ideas are endless. Go to for ideas and inspiration

4. Your art work is valuable – The art work that you start, and finish…give it to a friend, girlfriend, spouse, mom, dad…the point is to create something that relates to what you are learning. To make it practical for yourself, to help you step out of your comfort zone, to think inspire you to think like a designer by searching for visual solutions to a word, or phrase. To help you see things from a different perspective.

5. I will expand your knowledge – Not only will you be learning Spanish but you will learn more about art techniques, mediums, papers, ways of communicating through both.


Spanish is a language spoken by nearly 329 to 358 million people.  Art is a language spoken world wide. This is why I teach both hand and hand.

It is just a matter of you taking the time to do it, and to stop making excuses for not getting things done….which now that I think about it, this leads me to think that one of my next blogs will have to be about time management in learning a language 🙂

Do you have any other ideas? Are you opposed to Art and Spanish together?

Until then, spread the word, join the conversation, and let’s learn together.


May 10, 2010

Not only did Picasso understand that creating art was a way of expressing himself, but also that he could communicate to individuals and the masses. And he did so not only through his art but through speaking Spanish and French.

I read the news last week that his latest painting auctioned for $106.5 Million. Boy oh boy, what would you and I do with that cash.

I will not discuss details of his biography here, since that is not my intent, but here you have…

7 ways of how you can use ART TO LEARN SPANISH, or other language…say, Picasso style, or not

  1. Start by making a list of vocabulary in English that interests you.  Or start by making a word list of things Picasso included in his paintings. i.e. mujer/woman; guitarra/guitar, etc.
  2. Write down the Spanish translations that you find on the web, or bilingual dictionary, on a separate piece of paper. / You can also try finding these words (translated or not) in bilingual art magazines, newspapers, or old books.
  3. Draw or paint over the surface of your choosing. i.e. acid free paper, canvas, photographs, wood panel, etc.
  4. Cut and paste your new vocabulary onto a canvas, paper, or any surface of your choosing.
  5. Make a collage of words out of it, by placing them in a way that you can easily find the translation for each, or
  6. Place only the new learned Spanish words in an order that makes sense to you.
  7. Title it, sign, and date your new vocabulary rich art piece.

You can try to auction your new art piece for a couple of million dollars, but if that does not work out, at least you’ve gained new vocabulary knowledge, created a piece of art that did not exist before, and found out that, yes, it is possible to learn Spanish while creating something for yourself in a methodical creative way.

What other ways do you propose to create art as you learn Spanish, or French, or…

10 phrases your MOM will love to hear in Spanish

May 7, 2010

With the upcoming Mother’s day holiday I could not resist the temptation to share some phrases she would love to hear in Spanish, even if she does not speak the language.

After all Spanish is among the six most widely spoken Romance languages in the world.

Tell her in Spanish
Te quiero mucho
Eres la mejor madre del mundo
Siempre estás en mi mente
Te llevo en mi corazón
Soy el hombre/mujer más dichosa del mundo por tenerte como madre
Estoy bendecido por tener una madre como tu
Gracias por darme la vida
Todos mis abrazos son para ti
Eres una madre a todo dar
Como tú no hay nadie

English translation
I love you so much
You are the best mother of the world
You are always on my mind
I carry you in my heart
I am the luckiest man/woman in the world for having you as a mother
I am blessed for having a mother like you
Thanks for giving me life
All my hugs are yours
You are an awesome mother
There is no one like you


In all, every mom has a story to tell, and regardless of where you are from, this remains true: mom’s bring life to this world!

Do you have any other phrases you would like to share?

“Spanish is Not Fun!” said a 5 year old once.

April 29, 2010

In a world of brilliant minds, CEOs, entrepreneurs, attorneys, musicians, artists, and the list goes on, nine years ago I was confronted with the dilemma of wheter or not to teach Spanish and its bilingual benefits to kids. I had just returned from Barcelona, Spain where I had been looking for new venues to continue my business as a multimedia graphic designer in Europe but things did not work  out as expected. So, upon my return to Chicago I started teaching kids Spanish as a temporary gig. While doing so, I started listening to what parents expectations were about Spanish, and more important, what their kids were saying about learning a new language.  Then one day I heard this one kid tell his mom “Spanish is not fun” as she was dropping him at another class.  This got me thinking about how to provide a positive solution to this in a creative way, and I asked myself: How can I integrate my life experience as a designer and artist into teaching Spanish to kids using more than just games in a fun environment?  Not surprisingly for me, things worked out great.  By teaching kids Spanish through Art I was providing parents with a solution that they all liked as well as their kids.

Thus, I started vamostodos as a Private Home Bilingual Tutoring program. And for the past nine years I’ve been able to provide the programs to daycares, enrichment programs, bookstores, museums, Children’s Memorial Hospital, and other venues.  I’ve also had the opportunity to self-publish and sell a book from a series I continue to write titled CreARTe Volume 1, and thus, I continue to challenge myself by creating new ways of teaching others Spanish through Art and music, and approaching new institutions to work with in this endless journey.

Now, it is my hope to share the successes, struggles, and vision that I continue to build as an entrepreneur, parent, and educator. One student, one client, one day at a time.

Also, it is my hope that if you are in the field of education, a parent, artist, an entrepreneur, or simply a person who likes languages, that this blog may serve you well.  Share it with others, or write back to me with your questions, suggestions, or answers.

Now, since there is much ground to cover I will start by talking about the “fun” aspect of leaning a language, in this case through Private Home Tutoring.

Its not just about the FUN!

Although “Fun” is a word used by many businesses that teach languages and many other kid programs to entice parents to the amount of entertainment their kids will get if they enroll, in my experience, marketing things as “Fun” is is not the best approach to truly get anyone to learn a language.

Sure, language-learning activities can be fun depending on who is teaching and how they apply them.  But let’s be honest…helping learners get new vocabulary in their head, teaching them how to associate it to things, and helping them see the practical uses of every word for their lives, is a task that goes beyond mere fun environments.

You can still make the teaching/learning experience something fun and meaningful, but don’t loose focus on what you are doing, as it is not just about the fun.

So, here we go with goals that may help you out if you are:

Teaching (as a private tutor)

First goal: provide students with practical situations where language can be immediately used for a real purpose. This may mean you  would be taking them to coffee shops, bookstores, walks around the block, etc.

Second goal: provide specific vocabulary related to the places that you visit, i.e. stick to zoo animal words if you are visiting the zoo! You may accomplish this through reading materials, vocabulary sheets, flash cards, etc.

Third goal: help them connect the words with the objects, places, things they see. i.e. play “I Spy” games, or do a scavenger hunt of things that support your theme.

Now, here we go with goals that may help you out if you are:

Learning (this applies to any age group)

First goal: create a list of weekly themes that you are particularly interested on, and pick one theme a week to learn about. i.e. restaurants, animals, objects, house items, transportation, etc.

Second goal: set a number of words you are willing to learn on a weekly basis that relate to the themes chosen. My recommendation is an average between 10/25 words per week.

Third goal: start your own journal where you can write words or phrases in English that you would like to learn in Spanish, and look them up, or ask for help in translating.


Well, there are many and different ways of learning and teaching a language. For that reason in my next blog I will start by talking about why I chose art as a way of teaching kids Spanish.

Do you want to add anything to the list? Are there topics you want me to address? Post a comment.

Until then, spread the word about this blog, join the conversation, and let’s learn together. Read more…