Newsletter October 2011
  Study Spanish in the Rainforest!  
Here at AMAUTA we offer our students a range of exciting opportunities, from exclusive course combinations to studying in several unique settings. Our Spanish in the Rainforest program allows students to take courses whilst exploring the Peruvian Amazon in the Tambopata National Park. Brimming with fascinating wildlife, flora, and fauna, this reserve is internationally acclaimed as one on the most bio-diverse areas on earth!

As an AMAUTA student, you will be based in our jungle lodge beside the beautiful Tambopata River. You will have the chance to participate in a number of excursions, including nature hikes, visits to local jungle communities, and zip lining! Don't take our word for it, though.

Here in Tambopata, it is definitely possible to easily survive without cellphone and internet! There is so much to do and explore!

One week studying Spanish in Tambopata is full of adventures and great experiences! The boat ride from Puerto Maldonado to the resort is very nice and interesting. On the way to the resort, there is so much to see. You see how the people live and how they uncover gold from the river. Even watching the boat traffic is interesting!

I really liked the AMAUTA Tambopata resort where we stayed. The big swimming pool was definitely refreshing after all the trips we did! The bungalows are lovely furnished, and the AMAUTA staff is so nice! I appreciated the fresh pressed juice we had every day and the food was also very delicious! Every day after class there was something to do, such as a trip to an Indigo village where we could swim in the river and walk through the jungle. I really enjoyed the trip to an elderly Indigo guy who told us about his culture. We even stopped at "Monkey Island" where we observed monkeys. Oh - and let's not forget the zip lining, which was so much fun! The night excursion to watch kaymans was so exciting, especially when I remember that I was swimming close to the same place where we could observe them.

We also played football and volleyball with the AMAUTA teachers and staff on the little island in front of the resort. We had so much, and it was a perfect activity to improve our Spanish skills! The many evenings spent playing pool, dancing and drinking pisco together made it much easier to learn Spanish, too!

We went on many nice and interesting hikes through the jungle, and during these trips we learned a lot about nature and the animals that inhabit the jungle!

I will never forget my week with AMAUTA learning Spanish in Tambopata. I had a hilarious time with an awesome group that I will always remember! Although there were many mosquitoes and sand flies, it was a brilliant time. Besides, with mosquito repellent it is easily bearable! I would go again for sure!

Discover Argentina

No matter where one is, nobody wants to spend all of his or her time in a classroom. Especially if that place is one of the world's most stunning and exciting countries - Argentina!

AMAUTA Spanish School Buenos Aires is proud to offer students the ultimate combination for students to learn Spanish whilst exploring the stunning surroundings of Argentinean cities and landscapes. AMAUTA students get a real feel for the history, culture, and people of this enchanting nation through its unique mixture of Spanish courses and student activities.

AMAUTA students spend their mornings enjoying Spanish classes tailored specifically to their needs through a mixture of both group and individual lessons. Afternoons are filled with a variety of exciting excursions, including horseback riding through the picturesque Pampan countryside and traditional tango dance lessons.

Weekends are filled with adventures further a field. Voyage to the charming city of Cordoba and discover the breathtaking phenomenon of Iguaçu Falls or travel to Mendoza and partake in some of the world's best Malbec wines (check out "Experiencia Malbec" this time of year!). It is Spring in Argentina and the nice weather brings blossoming flowers and exquisite outdoor markets.

What are you waiting for? SIGN UP BY OCTOBER 31 AND PAY NO REGISTRATION FEE (a US$65 value!)

  Top 15 Tips for Learning Spanish  
Learning a new language is challenging at the best of times; however, following these handy hints will help make the process a lot easier (and fun too!).
  • Use flashcards, and keep them with you EVERYWHERE you go.
  • Label all your surroundings in Spanish.
  • Do not expect perfection! Expect mistakes, and do not be embarrassed by them.
  • Develop an ´ear´ for the way the language sounds – watch films, television, listen to the radio, etc.
  • Be consistent with your learning – practice for a set period every day.
  • Talk to yourself!
  • Find a partner – ideally a native speaker who can be your conversation partner.
  • Get immersed - travel abroad to a Spanish speaking country.
  • Involve yourself with literature (e.g. read Spanish newspapers, websites, books and magazines).
  • Read aloud.
  • Watch films with Spanish subtitles.
  • Carry a little notebook with you at all times to jot down words and phrases.
  • Read Spanish children´s stories.
  • Buy a decent dictionary.
  • Get yourself a Spanish-speaking pen pal.

We always appreciate the input of our students since you know best! So, if you have any other tips you would like to add to this list, please do not hesitate to send them to us and we will be sure to feature them in our next list of handy hints!

  Battle of the Bloopers  

BloopersIt is common to make the odd blunder when learning a new language. In all honesty, making mistakes is often the best way of learning (after the initial embarrassment has passed). Throughout July, AMAUTA ran a 'Battle of the Bloopers' competition in which we set out to find some of the most comical language slip-ups. We gathered the best ones, and now we want YOU to vote on your favorite blooper. The winning blooper will receive 2 weeks of FREE group lessons in our Cusco or Buenos Aires location.

A cow, a tube, and a wolf… on my!

I have countless stories of times where I have said the wrong thing on my journey to learn Spanish. I have told a cook in Cuba that there were bears in my fish (I was thinking "huesos", said "osos", and really should have said "espinas" - lesson learned), informed a crowd in Argentina about Vesuvius, the amazing burping mountain of ancient times (apparently "eruptar" does not mean "erupt"), and have made the classic "tengo veintidos anos" error. However, despite all of these slips of the tongue, perhaps my most memorable foreigner-learning-Spanish moment came when I misunderstood someone else who was speaking. The conversation itself was strange to begin with, with a friend native to Argentina telling me about an odd experiment done by the government to discover how much toxic gas was being emitted into the atmosphere by the large number of cattle that roam the South American country. Whether or not this odd experiment is true I do not know, but I listened politely as my friend informed me that the experiment was very simple - all that was required was "una vaca" (a cow), "un tubo" (a tube) and "un lobo" (a wolf). El tubo was inserted (politely, I'm sure) into the backside of la vaca, the originating source of the toxic fumes. On the other end of the tube was attached el lobo, which would inflate, thus allowing the scientists to measure the gas being emitted. I must have had a bewildered look on my face, because my friend asked me if I understood. "Well," I said innocently, "I guess I'm just confused as to why they would put a wolf on the other end of the tube... and how did they get it to stay there?". My friend burst out laughing and it took him a good few minutes to calm down enough to give me the explanation - "GLOBOS" (balloons), not "lobos" were the true recipients of the unpleasant flatulence. We laughed all night about the poor wolf inflating, deflating and inflating again while attached by a tube to a cow's backside.

Excuse me, miss, do you have any books on…?

I was at a bookstore in Lima looking for a present for my girlfriend's mother who likes to sew, stitch, and crochet. I asked the girl working the following question:

"Donde estan los libros de coger?"

She immediately turned red and at that point I realized that without thinking, I, of course, asked for books on having sex but in a probably vulgar way. I corrected myself with the correct verb of "coser" and had a nice laugh.

Sorry, I made pie.

It was an open day at Spanish school in our city, and a teacher from Spain conducted the lecture. I was late and as I was starting to study Spanish, I phoned my friend and asked her how to say "I'm sorry I'm late" in Spanish. When I finally made it to the door, I knocked and opened it. All the students and the teacher drew their attention on me. Probably because of the classroom's excitement or maybe because of poor phone hearing, I said the following: "Hola. Lo siento, se me hizo tarta" instead of "tarde". Students began to laugh hard. But the teacher was not confused, and said, "Bueno! Espero que usted comparta conmigo!"

Famous porn expressions.

On a terrace in Spain, I wanted to ask if we could eat something. The waiter appeared quickly, and I didn't have time to think what to ask. I said, "Tengo algo para comer?" My boyfriend, who doesn't speak Spanish, nodded agreeably, proud that his girlfriend speaks Spanish.

The waiter turned completely red. I did not completely understand until a friend of mine explained later that this phrase is used often in porn movies. Oops!

Mayonnaise without 'preservativos', please.

I was living in Mexico for 7 weeks trying to improve my Spanish. On my first evening with my host family I was helping to clean up the kitchen and I put the jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator. I was told no no don't put that in the fridge. The lime inside of it keeps it fresh. I decided on that day not to eat mayonnaise since it doesn't have any preservatives in it and was not refrigerated. So, for the next few weeks when I went out to eat (everyday!) I would be careful of what I ordered and asked to not have mayonnaise on it. I would say "Por favor, no quiero mayonnesa. No come mayonesa sin PRESERVATIVOS." Which, in my mind was "No mayo please. I don't eat mayonniase without preservatives in it". I often got weird looks, chuckles etc., but it worked. No mayo on anything. On week 6 I was out to a small restaurant and sat at a table across from my Spanish teacher. I once again said my handy no mayonnaise request and he started to laugh. He said "creo que CONDIMENTO es mejor" which to me meant " I think condoms are better" I was convinced he was really weird and could not figure out why he was telling me in a restaurant that condoms are better. The next day at a large banquet for all the students and teachers different students were given different awards. I was given a "COMIDA SEGURIDAD" or "FOOD SAFETY" award. When presented the award the director of the school said the entire town was impressed but a little confused with my passion for food safety so much so that I needed to use a condom to eat mayonnaise. It was then explained to the entire group that PRESERATIVOS are condoms and CONDIMENTOS are preservatives/spices for food and I had spent the past 6 weeks requesting "No mayonnaise, please. I don't eat mayonnaise without a condom." instead of "I don't eat mayonnaise without preservatives." All I could think of were all the wonderful little old sweet ladies that had served me tacos de nopales and I had shared with them my healthy preservation needs.

Vote for your favorite Spanish language blooper story! The winning story will be published on our blog!
A cow, a tube, and a wolf… on my!
Famous porn expressions.
Sorry, I made pie.
Excuse me, miss, do you have any books on…?
Mayonnaise without 'preservativos', please
Think you have a funnier story? Prove it. Send it to: info@amautaspanish.com.
The 50th blooper sent will receive a 25% DISCOUNT on a 2 week group course in either Cusco or Buenos Aires!


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Calle Suecia 480,
Cusco, Peru
Phone. (+51) 84 26 2345
Av. De Mayo 1370
Barolo Palace 3 floor, “10”
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone/Fax. (+54) 11 4383 7706