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Sample Lesson

Spanish for Church Missions
Who are the Hispanics?
Hispanic Culture
Dialectal Variations
Sample Exercise
Sample Lesson: Mission Work

You have learned some basic grammar topics of the Spanish language for communication in all circumstances. We'd like to outline some cultural information in this Lesson to introduce you to Hispanics. As you read these points, think how Hispanic culture differs from and is similar to your own.

   Who are the Hispanics?
   Hispanic Culture
   Dialectal Variations

Who are the Hispanics?

Hispanics come from any of 20 nations around the world: in Europe, Spain; in North America, Mexico; and 18 other nations in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The ethnic groups are mainly composed of American Indian, European, and African ancentry. Roman Catholicism was introduced by the Europeans, and is the predominant religion of Hispanics. However, today, there has been increasing influence from the Evangelical churches of many denominations, thereby many Hispanics have had conversion experiences producing many gifted Christian preachers and teachers around the world. Many of these preachers have immigrated to the US and opened ethnic churches to reach out to the growing Hispanic community here. Thus, Protestants number many in Latin America today.

Hispanic Culture

The culture of the Spanish-speaking world differs from the American culture in several ways. One of these obvious differences is that whereas in the US the concept of the independence of each individual is a strong concept, in Hispanic America, it is taught that the individual is a part of a family, and a society. As such, each individual has a role to play in society with responsibilities and obligations. This teaching fosters a sense of loyalty towards family and friends that is strikingly evident to an American when he first visits a Hispanic country.

Another difference is the role that age plays within the culture. In Latin America, the elderly are respected, and sought for counsel and advise. Both experience from age, and education are very important factors in how people relate to each other. For example, a young person can never be too polite or too courteous. Courtesy is expected by both the elderly and the educated segment of society, particularly from the younger generation. Therefore, young Americans must always remember to maintain utmost courtesy and respect.

Dialectal Variations

The Spanish language is not homogeneous. It varies mainly in vocabulary and pronunciation. The grammar is relatively the same, with the difference being preferences for certain grammatical structures over others. In our discussion of the Present Tense, it is mentioned that in the Caribbean region, there is a preference for the Progressive form (estoy comiendo - I am eating) over the simple Present tense (como - I am eating). These grammatical preferences are few, and learned easily by anyone who has a good grasp of the grammar.

Vocabulary is the most affected by new ideas, and concepts. It does differ from region to region even within the same country. There is however, a general basic vocabulary for the entire Spanish language which you are taught in this course. As you travel to different regions, although they will understand the words you have learned and you use, you will learn new words for items in that particular region. Knowing the grammar and vocabulary in these lessons thoroughly, will allow you to properly communicate in all Spanish-speaking countries. Regarding the pronunciation, there are areas of differences: the Caribbean coastal area, the interior mountainous regions, and Spain. Knowledge about these areas of differences will be further discussed in this course as we progress. Review the Biblical vocabulary in Table a below before completing the Exercise.

Table a - Vocabulary
English Spanish
  1. altar
  2. baptism
  3. Bible
  4. birth
  5. blood
  6. (a) calling
  7. Christ
  8. Christian
  9. church
  10. Cross
  11. crucifixion
  12. God
  13. Gospel
  14. heaven
  15. heart
  16. holy
  17. Holy Spirit
  18. Jesus Christ
  19. Lamb of God
  20. Lord
  1. el altar
  2. bautismo
  3. la Biblia
  4. nacimiento
  5. la sangre
  6. llamado
  7. Cristo
  8. cristiano
  9. iglesia
  10. la cruz
  11. la crucifixión
  12. Dios
  13. el Evangelio
  14. cielo
  15. el corazón
  16. santo
  17. el Espíritu Santo
  18. Jesucristo
  19. el Cordero de Diosv
  20. el Señorv

Sample Exercise
(Click on green symbol to listen)


Complete the following exercise by writing the letter of the Spanish word on the right which matches the English on the left. All words are lowercase so they are not readily distinguishable one from the other.

English Spanish
  1. _______calling
  2. _______savior
  3. _______god
  4. _______priest
  5. _______manger
  6. _______love
  7. _______heart
  8. _______sin
  9. _______church
  10. _______holy
  11. _______scriptures
  12. _______testimony
  13. _______cross
  14. _______song
  15. _______heaven
  16. _______prayer
  17. _______lamb
  18. _______birth
  19. _______lost
  20. _______lord
  1. cordero
  2. santo
  3. dios
  4. llamado
  5. corazón
  6. canción
  7. pecado
  8. perdido
  9. oración
  10. iglesia
  11. cura
  12. señor
  13. cielo
  14. salvador
  15. pesebre
  16. cruz
  17. nacimiento
  18. testimonio
  19. amor
  20. escrituras