English Spanish Vocabulary: Car parts

Posted on 01. Oct, 2015 by in Entertainment, Spanish Vocabulary, Travel

¡Hola! Hoy reconoceremos las partes de un coche, automóbil o carro y su motor.

Hello! Today we will discuss parts of a car and its engine.



  • roof: el techo
  • sun roof: el techo corredizo
  • windshield: el parabrisas
  • outside mirror: el espejo exterior
  • windshield wiper: el limpia-parabrisas
  • hood: el capó
  • grill: la parrilla del radiador
  • head light: las luces delanteras
  • bumper: el parachoques, el paragolpes
  • license plate: la placa, patente, matrícula, tablilla
  • indicator light: la luz intermitente, los intermitentes
  • front fender: el guardabarros, la defensa, el guardafangos delantero
  • shield: el brazo transversal
  • wheel: la rueda
  • hub cap: tapacubos, polvera, taza, copa, taparruedas, tapabocinas
  • door: la puerta
  • door handle: manija
  • window: la ventanilla
  • roof post: brazo del techo
  • quarter window: ventanilla trasera
  • back fender: el guardabarros, la defensa, el guardafangos trasero
  • tail light: luz trasera, los antiniebla
  • trunk: el maletero, el baúl, la cajuela
  • rearview mirror: el espejo retrovisor
  • window frame: el marco de la ventanilla
  • seat: el asiento
  • steering wheel: el volante
  • windshield washer: el lava parabrisas
  • air filter: el filtro de aire
  • battery: la batería
  • distributor: el distribuidor
  • radiator: el radiador
  • alternator: el alternador
  • oil filter: filtro de aceite
  • disk brake: el freno de disco
  • muffler: el silencioso, el silenciador, el mofle
  • transmission: la transmisión
  • spare wheel: la rueda de repuesto, de auxilio, de refacción

The Spanish Language in the 2016 US Presidential Race

Posted on 30. Sep, 2015 by in Uncategorized

The United States is not an English-speaking country, and its linguistic diversity is already affecting the coming 2016 presidential elections. The argument is often made that the US federal constitution doesn’t recognize an official state language, which, while true, has few practical implications. What does matter is that 74 million Americans speak a language other than English at home — that’s about the combined population of California, Texas, and Massachusets.

Of those 74 million, more than half speak Spanish: approximately 45 million Americans speak Spanish as a first language. If you include multilinguals, that number exceeds 52 million, making the US the second-largest Spanish speaking population in the world. With these numbers, it’s easy to see why the Spanish language is finally making its voice heard in the 2016 election cycle.

Recently the race for the Republican primary nomination, which will decide which candidate will represent the Republicans in the 2016 national election, has featured some discussion of issues around the Spanish language. Donald Trump vocally criticized Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish at campaign events in Florida, claiming that “he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”

Jeb Bush speaks fluent Spanish and has not been shy about it on the campaign trail. Bush taught English as a Second Language in Léon, Mexico, where he met his wife, Columba. According to Bush, he and his family regularly speak Spanish at home, “particularmente cuándo mi primera dama está enojada conmigo“. See for yourself what he has to say in this Spanish interview with Univision:

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The other prominent hispanohablante on the Republican side is Marco Rubio, a native Spanish speaker born to Cuban immigrants. Interestingly, his use of Spanish on the campaign trail seems to be taken more matter-of-factly and not as often criticized as Bush’s. This may have to do with the fact that Rubio most often engages other Cuban-American voters, a longtime part of the Republican base that is starting to move to the left. As far back as 2010, Rubio has been carefully making allowances for this key voter demographic in his public addresses, like this bilingual speech in Miami:

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With the growing number of hispanic voters and their significance in the electoral process, many in the Republican party have tried in their own ways to reach out to them. Candidates like Ted CruzGeorge Pataki, and Rand Paul have all claimed to speak Spanish or ‘Spanglish’ at some point, but most are yet to back it up in public.

Typically in American politics, the left-leaning Democrats are seen as being more in touch with Hispanic voters, but that may not be so in the 2016 race. Hillary Clinton has made deliberate moves to engage the Hispanic-American community in Spanish, but she admits to not actually speaking Spanish. She’s embarassed herself at least once with attempts to speak Spanish at campaign events.

Still, overall, Clinton appears to be polling best with Hispanic voters, even in Jeb Bush’s political home state of Florida. It’s hard to say exactly what is responsible these favorability ratings, but expressed views on immigration policy is certainly a big factor, as well as the fact that most Hispanic voters simply don’t know who the other Republican candidates are.

Immigration is one of the most divisive issues in the 2016 election cycle, and most would agree that it affects Hispanic-Americans more than anyone else. Most sources figure somewhere around 40% for the amount of the Hispanic vote needed to win the presidential election. That said, it’s easy to see why speaking Spanish will be crucial in 2016, and some of these candidates ought to think about dusting off their high school Spanish textbooks.

Does language or multilingualism influence how you feel about politicians and world leaders? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Spanish English Parallel Texts – The Volkswagen Scandal

Posted on 29. Sep, 2015 by in Pronunciation, Spanish Culture, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary

The Volkswagen Scandal

El escándalo de Volkswagen

BBC News, 23rd September 2015, Russell Hotten

The Volkswagen Scandal

Use the player below to listen to this news story in Spanish:

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The Volkswagen Scandal

It’s been dubbed the “diesel dupe”. The German car giant, Volkswagen, has admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results.

VW has had a major push to sell diesel cars in the US, backed by a huge marketing campaign trumpeting its cars’ low emissions. The EPA’s findings cover 482,000 cars in the US only, including the VW-manufactured Audi A3, and the VW brands Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat. But VW has admitted that about 11 million cars worldwide are fitted with the so-called “defeat device”.

Full details of how the device worked are sketchy, although the EPA has said that the engines had computer software that could sense test scenarios by monitoring speed, engine operation, air pressure and even the position of the steering wheel.

When the cars were operating under controlled laboratory conditions the device appears to have put the vehicle into a sort of safety mode in which the engine ran below normal power and performance. Once on the road, the engines switched from this test mode.

The result? The engines emitted nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above what is allowed in the US.

The case against VW appears cast-iron. “We’ve totally screwed up“, said VW America boss Michael Horn, while group chief executive Martin Winterkorn said his company had “broken the trust of our customers and the public”. An internal inquiry has been launched.

With VW recalling almost 500,000 cars in the US alone, it has set aside €6.5bn (£4.7bn) to cover costs. But that’s unlikely to be the end of the financial impact. The EPA has the power to fine a company up to $37,500 for each vehicle that breaches standards – a maximum fine of about $18bn.

El escándalo de Volkswagen

Se le ha apodado el “timo diesel”. La gigante compañía alemana de automóviles, Volkswagen, ha admitido haber trucado las pruebas de emisiones en los EE.UU.

Según la Agencia de Protección del Medio Ambiente (EPA), algunos coches que se vendieron en los Estados Unidos tenían dispositivos en los motores diesel capaces de detectar cuando tenían una revisión, cambiando su rendimiento para mejorar los resultados.

La VW ha tenido un gran impulso vendiendo coches diesel en los EE.UU., apoyado por una gran campaña de marketing anunciando las bajas emisiones de sus coches. Las conclusiones de la EPA cubren 482.000 automóviles solamente en los EE.UU., incluida el Audi A3 fabricado por VW, y las marcas VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf y Passat. Pero VW ha admitido que unos 11 millones de automóviles en todo el mundo están equipados con el llamado “dispositivo manipulador”.

Los detalles completos de cómo funcionaba el dispositivo son escasos, aunque la EPA ha dicho que los motores tenían programas informáticos que podrían detectar escenarios de prueba monitorizando la velocidad, el funcionamiento del motor, presión del aire e incluso la posición del volante.

Cuando los coches estaban operando bajo condiciones controladas de laboratorio parece ser que el dispositivo ponía el vehículo en una especie de modo de seguridad en el que el motor funcionaba a baja potencia y rendimiento normal. Una vez en la carretera, los motores dejaban este estado de prueba.

¿El resultado? Los motores emitían contaminantes de óxido de nitrógeno hasta 40 veces por encima de lo que está permitido en los EE.UU.

El caso en contra de VW parece indudable. “Hemos metido la pata totalmente“, dijo el jefe de VW America Michael Horn, mientras que el director ejecutivo del grupo, Martin Winterkorn, dijo que su compañía había “roto la confianza de nuestros clientes y del público”. Una investigación interna se ha puesto en marcha.

Con la retirada de casi 500.000 automóviles de VW en los EE.UU., se han dejado a un lado €6.5 mil millones de euros (£4.7 mil millones de libras) para cubrir los costos. Pero es poco probable que esto sea el único impacto financiero. La EPA tiene el poder de multar a una empresa hasta $37,500 dólares por cada vehículo que incumpla las normas – una multa máxima de $18 mil millones de dólares aproximadamente.