Culture

If You Speak Spanish, You’ll Understand Some Arabic

Credit: Fania Records / alex supertramp / YouTube

There are a lot of perks to speaking Spanish, like covertly overhearing chisme or getting out of talking to someone by pretending you “No hablo inglés.” One we had never heard before? If you speak español, you probably understand some Arabic, too.

That’s right, amigos. Joy Diaz, reporter for PRI, learned that from her daughter, whose first language is Spanish and is learning English. Her Lebanese preschool teacher, Rihab Massif, noticed that she was having trouble translating English words into Spanish but, with her Arabic knowledge, she was understanding perfectly.

Camisa (in Arabic, camis), guitarra (in Arabic, guitar) and aceite (in Arabic, ceit) are just a few of the words that she learned were similar. This similarity comes from thousands of years of Moroccan influence in Spain.

The “presence traveled to the Americas with the Spaniards,” says Diaz. “About 4,000 Spanish words are believed to come directly from Arabic.” Just like azucar, which translates to sakar.

Hear the whole story or read the entire article here.

READ: 15 Spanish Words that Don’t Technically Exist but We Use Every Day

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Ali Wong Is Teaching Her Daughter Spanish And Listening To Her Baby Say ‘Feliz’ Will Bring Your Heart So Much Joy

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Ali Wong Is Teaching Her Daughter Spanish And Listening To Her Baby Say ‘Feliz’ Will Bring Your Heart So Much Joy

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Being bilingual has its advantages. Not only does it look good on a job application, but it also opens up a whole new world to the speaker. What better language to learn in your quest to be bilingual than Spanish? As of 2017, almost 600 Million around the world people speak Spanish — nearly 100 million of which are non-native speakers. Spanish is the second most spoken native language in the world and is spoken by 7.8% of the world. By the year 2060, the number of Spanish speakers is projected to balloon to a staggering 754 Million worldwide. 

So, it goes without saying that Spanish is a language totally worth learning. However, you don’t have to wait until high school Spanish classes to pick up the language. In fact, learning a language is easiest at a young age. Doing so has added benefits too. Learning a second language has been shown to increase problem-solving, creativity, test scores and a greater understanding of one’s native language.

It only makes sense to start them young but don’t take our word for it. There are tons of celebrities who also understand this advantage. As such, both native and non-native speakers are setting their kids up for a bilingual future by teaching them Spanish now. Here are some of the celebs who are fostering a love for Español in their kids. 

1. Ali Wong

Instagram / @aliwong

Funny woman Ali Wong is best known for making us laugh with her comedy specials and Netflix original movie “Always Be My Maybe,” but she’s also a really cool mom. In this Instagram video, the comedian is shown reading a Lil’ Libros book about La Catrina to her little one. She even encourages her daughter to read along. We can’t help but approve of her technique. 

2. Ryan Gosling & Eva Mendes

Instagram / @gosling.mendes

Celebrity couple Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have two adorable little girls who they are teaching Spanish to. In May 2019, the actress appeared on “The Talk” and shared her experience teaching her daughters. 

“We’re trying to teach the kids Spanish, and it’s harder than I thought because I speak Spanglish, and that’s what they’re picking up. It’s adorable, but it’s technically not a language.”

3. Salma Hayek

Instagram / @salmahayek

Not every native Spanish speaker decides to teach their children Spanish — especially if their spouse doesn’t speak the language. That hasn’t stopped Salma Hayek, though. The actress has shared in the past that her daughter, Valentina, knows three languages. Her husband is from France so their girl has grown up speaking French, Spanish and English.

4. Perez Hilton

Instagram / @hxrrykidd

Gossip guru, Perez Hilton is a dedicated father of one and is passing his Cuban heritage on to his son through speaking Spanish. Back in 2013, the internet personality shared with MAMAS LATINAS about his strict Spanish-only rule.

“I speak to him only in Spanish in the house, and so does abuela.”  

5. Jessica Alba

@jessicaalba / Instagram

Though she’s Latina, Jessica Alba isn’t a native speaker. Still, she recognizes the importance of learning the language. Back in 2008, she told LATINA that she was determined to learn so she could teach her kids. 

“Hopefully I can pick it up because I want my kids to speak Spanish. I don’t even want them to speak English for maybe the first two to three years, until preschool.”

6. Hilaria Baldwin

Instagram / @hilariabaldwin

Alec Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, was ready to teach their daughter Spanish before she was even talking. The Spanish-national told US Weekly all about her plans. 

“I was on the phone with my nephew, who’s seven. He called me…and he asked me, ‘Is she going to speak Spanish?’ I said, ‘Yes, but you have to help because she’s going to grow up [in the US] probably so you have to help speak to her in Spanish.'”

7. Jennifer Lopez

@jlo/ Instagram

For JLo, her kids learning Spanish was all about la cultura. She and ex-husband, Marc Anthony, made sure to teach their twins the language while they grew up. She explained this mentality during an interview with AMERICA READS SPANISH

“[It’s] Very, very important. I want my kids not just to speak in Spanish but to know the culture of their parents. We come from a rich and vast culture and I want to educate my kids knowing their heritage.”

8. Christina Aguilera

Instagram / @xtina

Christina Aguilera is another Latina who understands the value of teaching her child Spanish. She shared with People that she intended for her son Max to learn the language as it is a part of their Latino culture and he is half Latino. 

9. Roselyn Sánchez

Instagram / @sueltalasopatv

Actress and producer Roselyn Sánchez is a native Spanish speaker and has taught her daughter how to speak it as well. However, her husband, Eric Winter, doesn’t speak the language at all. This led to Sánchez and her daughter giving their favorite guy a few adorable lessons in Español 

10. Ricky Martin

Instagram / @ricky_martin

Pop sensation Ricky Martin helped usher in the Latin explosion of the early 2000s. His culture is obviously very important to the star and he’s shared that gift with his twin sons. In fact, the Puerto Rican dad and his kids only speak Spanish at home. English is only spoken by his boys at school

11. Gwyneth Paltrow

Instagram / @gwynethpaltrow

Goop-founder Gwyneth Paltrow is raising her kids to speak fluent Spanish. Son, Moses, and daughter, Apple, are encouraged to only speak Spanish to each other at home. This immersion therapy is one of the best methods for raising bilingual kids. 

12. Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas

Instagram / @allegraabla

Though she is now grown, Stella Banderas was raised by her parents to be fluent in Spanish and English. Born in Spain, the young actress grew up shuttled between LA and her home country so being bilingual was especially helpful. 

13. Zoe Saldana

Twitter / @MichaelStone64

For Afro-Latina Zoe Saldana, the choice to teach her kids Spanish was an easy one. In fact, according to Girls Talk Smack, she decided to before they were even born. 

“Of course [our children] will speak the languages that we speak; my sisters and I grew up learning French and speaking English and Spanish, and because of that, we’re able to understand Italian and Portuguese. But I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to speak Spanish to my children, because I speak Spanglish.”

14. Tiny Harris

Instagram / @majorgirl

Wife to T.I. and mom to Heiress, Tiny Harris is working on making her daughter as well rounded as possible. In a January 2019 Instagram video, the mom recorded little Heiress practicing her Spanish. Harris’ hope is that she can help her daughter learn a second or third language. 

15. David and Victoria Beckham

Instagram / @beckhamxfamilystyle

Back in 2003, David Beckham and family moved to Spain when he signed on with Real Madrid. The soccer star learned Spanish while playing with his team and taught his sons as well. This goes to show that necessity can be a useful motivation when learning a new language.

16. Matt Damon

Twitter / @enews

Though he is married to an Argentine woman, Matt Damon was a Spanish speaker long before they met. He learned Spanish through immersion as a teenager and also backpacked through Mexico and Guatemala. As such, he and his wife, Luciana Barroso, have raised their four daughters to speak Spanish as well. 

People Are Freaking Out About The High-Pitched Character Danny Trejo, AKA Machete, Voices In The New “Dora The Explorer” Movie

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People Are Freaking Out About The High-Pitched Character Danny Trejo, AKA Machete, Voices In The New “Dora The Explorer” Movie

Dora The Explorer / Nickelodeon

“Dora the Explorer” isn’t the same little bilingual cartoon girl anymore. In the live action sequel, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” we get to see Dora venture into high school and navigate life as a pretty eccentric, curious teenager. The latest trailer for the movie, which hits theaters in less than a month, just dropped and we all have opinions.

The cast looks incredible. Eva Longoria and Michael Peña play Dora’s parents. Danny Trejo will be playing the unnervingly high-pitched voice of Boots the Monkey. Benicio del Toro will play the voice of Swiper the Fox (“Swiper, no swiping!”). We also expect to see Eugenio Derbez offer his talents alongside new talents Isabela Moner and Jeff Wahlberg.

Peruvian actress Isabela Moner is taking on the role of Dora.

Credit: @isabelmoner / Instagram

At just 18 years old, Moner was born in Cleveland, Ohio. While her mom is from Lima, Peru, Moner didn’t start learning English until she reached grade school. By the time she was 15 years old, she was accepted into college. You might recognize her from Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to Do Before High School or Legends of the Hidden Temple. She was also cast in Transformers: The Last Night. Playing Dora will be her biggest role to date.

The trailer shows hilarious scenes of a young Dora at the family dinner table asking the screen, “Can you say delicioso?”

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

We all know Dora as the all-too-patient Spanish language teacher from our childhood who would pause for 10-15 seconds to let the audience practice saying words like “niño” and “delicioso.”

In the trailer, her parents look around the room, concerned, and brush the behavior off as just a phase.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

Eva Longoria and Michael Peña characters look around the room, wondering who their daughter is talking to. Finally, Peña’s character comforts his wife saying, “she’ll grow out of it.” Thankfully, she does.

While Dora isn’t trying to teach us all Spanish anymore, she’s still as curious as her younger cartoon self.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

After spending most of her life in the jungle with her parents, Dora’s parents send her to live with her cousin Diego, in the city. At first, Dora thinks she’s heading off on her greatest adventure yet: high school.

Of course, no girl can go off to high school without their best friend.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

For Dora, that best friend is still a monkey she keeps in her backpack. Ultimately, high school isn’t her greatest adventure. Dora quickly becomes wrapped up in a mystery to find the Lost City of Gold, uncover truths about an ancient Incan civilization and save her parents.

Some fans are most excited just to see Eva Longoria back on the big screen.

Credit: @janefnoda / Twitter

We’re all shimmying, verdad, to see so many actually Latino actors play Latino characters in such a big production. We applaud the white director of this film adaptation for doing right by true cultural representation.

Some fans are praying to see the awkwardness of baby Dora in live action.

Credit: @DonZolidis / Twitter

You will see it, and thankfully, we’ll be fully emotionally supported by Eva Longoria and Michael Peña in the genuine disturbance it causes. We’re moving on from this strange character trait.

Meanwhile, other Spanish speakers are taking a moment to express some latent cringe from listening to grammatically correct Spanish.

Credit: @curlydash / Twitter

That Spanish is so overrated. Some might even say criminal. If you read that last word in Spanish, you probably can relate to what Curly Dash is saying. But we’re all showing out for the movie, dale?

Of course, the racists came out to play. 🙃

Credit: @HostisHumaniGen / Twitter

White folks are still upset that Disney chose to correct some blatant racism in the original screenplay of Little Mermaid by casting a black woman to play Ariel. If you’re using the term “reverse racism,” you’re already wrong. Basta. 

If you always wanted to see a school bus eat Dora’s backpack, show out August 9th.

Credit: FilmIsNow Movie Trailers / YouTube

We love seeing confident, capable young women stay true to their roots and strengths and lead a bunch of teenagers into a jungle to solve impossible Incan mysteries. Can you say, emocionado?

READ: The First Trailer For ‘Dora And The Lost City Of Gold’ Is Here And People Are Surprised And Ready

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