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Spanish Vocabulary Terms: Politics & Government

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  • 0:03 Importance of Politics…
  • 2:09 Conversaci?n De Pol?tica
  • 3:24 A Practicar
  • 4:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
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 politics and the government in Spanish. We will discuss topics like law, voting, power, and taxes.

Importance of Politics and Government

In this lesson, we will learn vocabulary related to politics and the government.

Have you ever heard someone tell you to avoid discussing politics? Well, in this lesson, we will help break that social rule and rock the boat. I am just kidding, but there are many situations where having the ability to discuss politics is useful. Imagine visiting a Spanish speaking country or your friend's home where Spanish is the primary language, and next week is voting day. Would you like to be left out and stand quietly in the corner or participate in talking about the issues presented on the ballot?

Key topics discussed could include welfare (el bienestar), speeches (los discursos), and most importantly taxes (los impuestos). You and your friends would most likely also bring up the president (el/la presidente), politicians (los/las políticos/as), and the right to vote (votar).

You may have noticed some words related to politics and government are cognates, meaning they come from the same root word and thus sound alike or are spelled similarly. Cognates in this lesson are:

  • constitution (la constitución)
  • speech/discourse (el discurso)
  • government (el gobierno)
  • majority (la mayoría)
  • power (el poder)
  • politician (el/la político/a)
  • president (el/la presidente)
  • to reduce (reducir)
  • unity (la unidad)
  • to vote (votar)

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

Conversación de Política

In New York City, Tatiana (from Guatemala) and Jessica (from the United States of America) were discussing the upcoming election. Let's listen to their conversation and pay special attention to the vocabulary words. (Please see the video beginning at 02:20 to hear this conversation.)

Tatiana: ?Vas a votar la próxima semana?

Jessica: Si. Estoy preocupada (worried) por los impuestos. Quiero que el gobierno reduzca (reduces) los impuestos. ?Y tú, vas a votar?

Tatiana: No, no puedo. No soy ciudadana (citizen) todavía. Pero porque soy de la clase obrera (the working class), quiero apoyar (support) el presidente.

Jessica: El bienestar de la clase obrera es importante, pero a mí me gustan los discursos del otro político y quiero un presidente nuevo.

Tatiana: Vamos a ver que piensa la mayoría. Creo que el presidente encabeza (leads) muy bien y usa el poder para la unidad del país (country).

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