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Instead of the usual mistake-finding format, this Thursday we’re going work with a story. Take out your best Spanish to translate the first paragraph and then compare your attempt with the one I provide at the bottom of the post.

The wording in the story is specifically designed to challenge your current level, so I can guarantee that your version won’t match mine, but that’s kind of the point:

The point is to learn new expressions in context and notice new mistakes. The point is not to get everything perfect.

You can use dictionaries, Google, or even the Languages | Español section in Wikipedia. I recommend leaving Google Translate as a last resort. Use it only when you have absolutely no idea how to say something, or to sanity check what you’ve already written.

Good luck.


The story in English

I’ve been feeling guilty these past few days because my parents bought me a digital camera with a telephoto lens more than a week ago and so far I haven’t taken one stinking picture. It’s not that I don’t like photography—I love it—, the problem is that I have no idea about lenses, exposures or shutters. After flipping through the manual a bit and binge-watching twenty online tutorials, I decided to take action and go out into the street to take pictures. Like a real photographer.


I got the photography bug when my friend Carmen (who is a real photographer) asked me to hold her camera for a second while she rummaged through her bag trying to find who knows what lens of who knows how many millimeters. When I saw myself with the camera in my hands, I couldn’t resist the curiosity of looking through the viewfinder, and I ended up taking a bunch of pictures. Most of them were out of focus, but there was one with a girl running around that turned out great. When I showed it to her, Carmen said something about beginner’s luck, but eventually she had to admit that the picture was excellent.


So, here I am. Several months later, with my new camera, ready to photograph everything that crosses my path. According to one of the guides I found online, the golden hour is about to start. The golden hour is the best time to be taking pictures, but it doesn’t really last an hour. It’s only a few minutes before sunset, when the sky starts to change colors and the day and the night begin to blend. I don’t know if I’ll be able to repeat my running-girl success, but for now I’m satisfied with not going back home empty handed.

The first paragraph in Spanish

Llevo varios días con sentimiento de culpa porque mis padres me regalaron una cámara digital con teleobjetivo hace más de una semana y todavía no he hecho ni una mísera foto. No es que no me guste la fotografía —me encanta—, lo que pasa es que no tengo ni idea de objetivos, exposiciones ni obturadores. Después de hojear un poco el manual y tragarme una veintena de tutoriales en internet, decidí pasar a la acción y salir a la calle a hacer fotos. Como una fotógrafa de verdad.

Once you’re satisfied with what you’ve learned in the first paragraph, comment below or send me your attempt with the rest of the story and I’ll get back with my suggested answer.

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