Introduction to Audiria (by AL)
Welcome to Audiria!
We dedicate this first chapter to introducing you to this new Internet site dedicated to learning Spanish via completely FREE Audiotexts.
In effect, we intend to improve your auditory understanding of Spanish, through a DAILY AUDIOTEXT whose content you will be able to check through the associated text.
We are convinced that a language is leaned by PRACTICING; therefore, from Audiria, we believe that it is fundamental that you be able to do a daily "training exercise" through the availability of a NEW chapter.
Why do we root ourselves in audiotexts? Without a doubt, because we are convinced that the AUDITORY aspect is fundamental to learning a new language. All of us, who at some time have confronted learning a language different from our mother tongue, have felt the "impotence" of not understanding what we are hearing, and thereupon we have expressed our determination to maximize this aspect as much as possible.
Having arrived at this conclusion, the next difficulty we face is that of where to find auditory material that can help us in this endeavor? It is clear that whatever the solution, it would be of great interest to make available the TEXT corresponding to the audio, thus making it possible to check whether we have been able to understand everything. In addition, it certainly would do no harm to make material available, complementary to the audio, to reinforce the concepts learned.
Well, this is the central idea of Audiria: to answer this need, and for that reason, just as we advanced in the preceding paragraph, each discourse is accompanied by the corresponding text and by a series of exercises and activities for reinforcement.
As for the content of the audiotexts, another of our objectives is for you to find enough thematic variety so you can enlarge your expressive capacity in different contexts. To this end, we will create seven different types of audiotexts, or what amounts to the same thing, present you with seven channels of audiotexts that will succeed one another every day of the week. Also, whatever your level of Spanish may be, we want you to find audiotexts that can help you to progress in your capacity for understanding and your knowledge of the language. Thus we will be publishing, in a balanced way, audiotexts of different degrees of difficulty, from level 1 (the simplest) up to level 4 (the most advanced, because of the vocabulary and linguistic style employed).
Here are a few “brushstrokes” of what is most characteristic about each of them, presented by the member of Audiria responsible for the same:
Welcome to "Culture" Channel
In this category we want to present you with information related to diverse aspects of the Spanish Culture: its history, the character of the people, touristic places worthy of being visited, traditions,… and even more practical questions, such as what times the stores open and close, or what sport reigns supreme in Spain.
This way, every week you will discover a new aspect of Spanish culture through a new audiotext.
Welcome to the "Grammar" Channel
In Audiria, we are aware of the importance of having a good foundation of knowledge in grammar. It is for this reason that we have devised this category of audiotext in which brief explanations of grammar are presented to bring to the listener different aspects of the Spanish language: spelling, frequent expressions, common sayings", etc.
In Audiria, therefore, grammar gets the place that it deserves, but just as in the rest of the contents of Audiria, the information will be relayed orally, that is, the grammatical explanation will be been able to listened to as in the rest of the channels, and of course you will be able to access the written text to check what you have understood, as always.
Welcome to the "Radio" Channel
Another characteristic and special medium is the radio broadcast. Obviously, it is a means of transmission of information not without its difficulties for those who are starting in a new language, since it lacks the important visual support that having a speaker in front of you entails. Therefore, we think it is also of great interest to practice in this medium and so we have created a specific channel to this end.
Hence, in this channel we will offer small recordings in Spanish taken from diverse programs from radio networks, which without a doubt will allow you to speed up your auditory ability related to this difficult medium.
Welcome to “El Quijote” Channel
This channel is specifically dedicated to what is considered one of the most significant works in Spanish literature: El Quijote. You will begin the book from the beginning and will continue reading it in small sections until arriving at its end. Thus, the first audiotext in this category will begin irremediably with the popular sentence, “En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme…” (In a place of La Mancha, whose name I don’t want to remember…"). We believe that it is an especially appropriate work for discovering, in an amusing and interesting way, a dimension of the language of special quality and expressive beauty. When we finish with El Quijote (which undoubtedly will take a long time) we will select another illustrious work of Spanish literature, which certainly won't disappoint you.
Welcome to the "Press" Channel
Without a doubt the written press is a fundamental means of communication that we all use day-to-day to obtain information, mainly about current events at a local and world level. Therefore, we could not overlook this important channel that typically brings us what is happening with a fresh, direct and, in any case, very characteristic language, and with which we must become familiar to truly understand the information that reaches us via this route. To this end, in this category, small segments taken from newspapers are presented in the Castilian language.
Welcome to the "Books" Channel
This is an eminently literary channel, because through audiotexts it will offer small segments extracted from various books: from adventure novels to books about technology, passing on the way through biographies and historical essays. This will allow the listener to come in contact with different styles of expression and, above all, with vocabulary quite specific to a field or characteristic of each author. In contrast with the previous channel, you now will not proceed by reading through an entire work, but rather will be presented with noteworthy excerpts from each of them. The selection will be made on the basis of its expressive quality, the vocabulary utilized, and also whether it is especially amusing, ingenious, etc.
Welcome to the “Daily Scenes" Channel
We present you now with the audiotexts of this channel which, if we had to characterize them in a single idea, we would say that without a doubt they have been conceived with an eminently practical purpose: to familiarize the listener with the vocabulary and expressions characteristic of different situations of daily life. To this end, each audiotext reproduces a characteristic conversation of the chosen context: a market, the airport, the doctor's office,… they are scenes where one must use certain expressions and fairly specific vocabulary. In addition, as you will see, we have dramatized it to approximate the more informal language that would be used in real life. We hope that with these audiotexts we can facilitate the listener being able to cope with these environments with greater flexibility and ease.
Having presented each of our channels and now to conclude, we wanted to highlight certain additional aspects of Audiria that we think can also be of interest to assist your progress with the language and that we invite you to discover in more detail on the page web itself.
As final message, we welcome you again to this, your new page for learning Spanish, and we wish that your passage through it will be a truly productive one. We would feel completely satisfied if, during this learning process, we also managed to get you to enjoy the Spanish language as much as possible.
En efecto– indeed, in fact, in effect
Comprobar– to check, prove, test out
Realizar– to perform, realize, carry out
Entrenamiento- training, exercise
Acto seguido – immediately alter, thereupon, forthwith
Potenciar– to encourage, promote, strengthen
Empeño– effort, endeavor
Disponer de – to have, make use of, have at one’s disposal
Fortalecer– to strengthen, fortify, encourage
Locución– phrase, locution, style of discourse
Generar– to create, generate, bring into being
Pretender– to try, hope to achieve; pretend, allege
Equilibrado– balanced, sensible
Pincelada– brushstroke; a grandes pinceladas – in broad terms
Idear– to devise, invent, conceive
Acercar– to bring closer
Acceder a– to accede to, come to, access, enter, consent to
Contrastar– to check, verify; to contrast
Exento de– free from, without, exempt from
Ejercitarse – to exercise, train, drill
Agilizar– to speed up, make agile, facilitate, expedite
Proseguir– to go on, continue, carry on
Irremediable– irremediable; unavoidable; hopeless, beyond help
Ameno– enjoyable, pleasant, entertaining
Defraudar– to disappoint; defraud, deceive
Actualidad– the present, current situation, current events
Diversos– several, various [diverso = different]
Lectura– reading, reading material
Desenvolverse– to cope, manage; progress; unwind; unfold
Entorno– environment, surroundings
Formativo– formative, educational
Recopilar– to compile, collect, gather