Spanish Vocabulary: International Politics Terms

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  • 0:02 International Politics
  • 1:46 Conversaci?n de Pol?tica
  • 6:18 ?A Practicar!
  • 8:00 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Pablo Serna

Pablo has taught college Spanish at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University, and has a master's degree in Spanish literature.

In this lesson, we will learn some useful vocabulary to talk about international politics in Spanish. We'll look at different governmental systems and learn some political facts about different governments around the world.

International Politics Around the World

In this lesson, we will learn vocabulary related to politics and governments around the world.

A lot of times we hear words like Republican (Republicano) and Democrat (Demócrata) - maybe a little too much - when we listen to the radio, read the newspaper, watch CNN, or when we talk to our friends trying to find the solution to the world's problems. (Raise your hand if you have done that…)

Well, our world has a lot of different governments. Some listen to the people, some don't, and some pretend they do to get their votes. Looking at some places around the world, we see countries like Spain (España) that is a democracy (democracia) and has a king (rey). But at the same time, they have a president (presidente) and a parliament (parlamento). The UK has a queen (reina), but also a prime minister (primer ministro) and his cabinet (gabinete) and a parlamento. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy (monarquía absoluta). Words like emperors (emperadores), dictators (dictadores), presidents (presidentes), senators (senadores), etc. tell us about how the governments of countries work. As you can see, a lot of these words are cognates, because they look very similar in Spanish and English.

Let's take a look at a scenario that will help us learn more vocabulary.

Conversación de Política

Andrés is studying abroad in Spain (España) this semester, and his major is international affairs. He's been emailing back and forth with his good friend, Nicolás, who lives in Colombia and also studies international affairs. Let's read through their emails together. Pay special attention to the vocabulary words.

Querido Andrés,

Cómo estuvo todo en España? Tuviste la oportunidad de conocer al Rey, o a la princesa (princess)? No es en serio. Pero seguramente tu haz conocido (have gotten to know) muchas partes del gobierno (government). Yo todavía no he tomado clases de gobiernos Europeos. Cómo es posible en España tener un presidente y un rey al mismo tiempo?

Oíste ya sobre las elecciones en el congreso (congress) en nuestro país? Los conservadores (conservatives) vencieron (defeated) a los liberales (liberals) y a los independientes (independents). Nuestro departamento obtuvo curules (seats) para cuatro senadores y tres representantes (representatives) en la cámara de representantes (house of representatives). Tú sabes la tensión que existe ahora entre los partidos políticos por querer la paz (peace) a cualquier costo (at any cost). Pero es difícil tener un tratado de paz (peace treaty) cuando hay tanta guerra (war) interna que incluye al ejército (army) y la policía. Algunos países han ofrecido mediar con su diplomacia (diplomacy); incluso príncipes (princes), miembros del senado (senate), y hasta una emperatriz (empress).

Te gusta estudiar en el extranjero? He pensado hacerlo el próximo semestre. He considerado Japón para aprender de su gobierno, especialmente sobre el emperador. O sabes de algún país que sea víctima de una dictadura? Pero probablemente iré a la República de Corea del Sur. Me gustaría ir a un país con un sistema de gobierno diferente al nuestro.

Cuídate mucho,


Querido Nicolas,

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