Buenas tardes a todos and welcome to this week’s On Location Spanish update. I’m Grace and I’ll be keeping you posted throughout my Erasmus year in the fast-paced city of Valencia, on Spain’s eastern coast. At the end of my first week here, I’m definitely still feeling like a bit of a novata (a “novice” or a “newbie”). But thankfully I am making new Spanish friends, and I haven’t yet been the subject of any novatadas (“practical jokes” normally played on a new person).
As a new student to the Universitat de Valencia, I am encouraged to participate in a number of welcome activities. Ranging from visits to the city’s Oceonográfico (Europe’s largest Sea Life exhibition) to casual getting to know you sessions over a glass of vino tinto (“red wine”), there is so much the city has to offer. Sadly as a law student facing deadlines and grappling with a language barrier, I’m forced to choose only a select few.
On that note, this week I’d like to tell you about the advice given to me by my friend Iranzu, since she’s of a levelheaded sort. Her advice to me was simple. If I could choose only one activity, it had to be the Paella and Salsa Dancing nights organised by the Erasmus Society, promising me that:
¡Cada año se superan!
They get better every year!
If you’re like me, at times you might find yourself at a loss with reflexive verbs in Spanish. But thanks to this succinct little phrase, I’m finding the whole ordeal a lot more approachable. Consider that the words se superan quite literally mean “they better themselves”, and the whole verb becomes easier to apply in different contexts. For example, if you’d like to congratulate a friend on a winning Paella, you can use the tú form (“you”) of the verb superarse to say:
Una vez más, te has superado a tí mismo.
Once again, you’ve outdone yourself.
I hope you’ve found this week’s blog interesting. While you’re getting to grips with the verb superarse, I’ll continue to try and keep up with these fast-talking Spaniards! I hope you can join me again soon for more On Location Spanish. ¡Hasta luego!