How language
may define culture,
on the example of Spanish

Mikołaj Rozwadowski

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:46-50



perro – perrito

casa – casita

pobre – pobrecito

José – Pepe

Francisco – Paco

Dolores – Lola

Concepción – Concha


Él se lava.

He washes himself.

Cuánta propina se deja en Italia?

How much tip does one leave in Italy?

Se me olvidó.

It forgot itself to me(?)

Se rompió la máquina.

The machine broke (itself).

Subjunctive mood

Llegas a casa muy tarde.

You arrive at home very late.

Llámame cuando llegues a casa.

Call me when you
arrive at home.

Quiero un coche que sea rápido.

I want a car that would be fast.

Su coche es rápido.

His car is fast.

Tienes mucha suerte.

You have good luck!

¡Que tengas suerte!

[I wish] (that you have) good luck!

Two kinds of "to be"

Soy una persona feliz, pero hoy estoy triste.

I am a happy person, but today I am sad.

Gender system

El libro

The book (m)

La mesa

The table (f)

El maestro

The teacher (m)

La maestra

The teacher (f)

Las maestras

The teachers (f)

Los maestros

The teachers (m or mixed)

L@s maestr@s

The teachers (mixed, non-standard)

Formal you

¿Cómo te llamas?

What's your name?

¿Cómo se llama usted?

What's your name, sir?

¿Tienes zumo
de naranja?

Do you have orange juice?

Unique words





te quiero

Why is it worth learning
foreign languages?

Because they augment your thinking!