In this video, two children are describing a common word in Spanish. The video is just one minute long, but they give lots of clues so that you can guess the word. At the end of the video, the Spanish word appears on the screen. This is one of a series of videos called Adivina la palabra de hoy (Guess Today’s Word). The series is produced by the Fundación de la Lengua Española, a private non-profit from Spain that promotes the teaching of Spanish.

Watching these videos is an excellent Spanish language learning activity. The words in the descriptions tend to be used together or are associated with the word you are trying to guess. This is an effective way to expand vocabulary.

Adivina la palabra de hoy is also great listening practice. The sentences are short and the children speak directly to the camera. Spanish language learners will not understand every word of the description, but that is fine. They are practicing listening for the main idea, that is, how the words that they do understand come together to communicate one concept.

For example, in this video many children will understand the clues llora, bebe leche, es pequeño, and no tiene pelo. That is enough to guess the word.  Listening for words that they understand is an important skill. Children need the opportunity to practice listening in order to develop the ability to distinguish the words they know.

This is a list of the common key words in the order that they appear in the following video. You can listen for these words with your child, and try to guess what is being described. You see the mystery word at the end of the video, but if you want to know before you listen, scroll down. A transcript, translation and the answer follow the video.

llora – cries
pañales – diapers
anda – walks
leche – milk
biberón – baby bottle
chupete – pacifier
se dueme – sleeps
cuna – crib
se queja – complains
pequeño – small
pelo – hair
andar a gatas – crawl
silla – stroller  (In many countries, the word for stroller is cochecito. Carreola is common in Mexico.)

Llora. / It cries.
Tiene pañales. / It has diapers.
No anda. / It doesn’t walk.
Bebe la leche en biberón. / It drinks milk in a bottle.
Tiene chupete. / It has a pacifier.
Llora mucho. / It cries a lot.
Se duerme en la cuna. / It sleeps in a crib.
(Se) queja mucho. / It complains a lot. – This verb is reflexive and normally used with se. The speaker does not use se in the video.
Es muy pequeño. / It is very small.
No tiene pelo. / It doesn’t have hair.
Anda en el tacatá. / It goes in a baby-walker.
Puede andar a gatas. / It can crawl.
Va en silla. / It goes in a stroller.

The word being described is bebé – baby.

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