Why only one No-Work Spanish title has vocabulary lists?

by Chief Spanish Learner on July 10, 2010

A few people have asked me why Poster Girl is the only No-Work Spanish title with a vocabulary list. Of course, we don’t call it a vocabulary list, but at the beginning of most chapters, the reader, Michelle Thorson says something along the lines of, “Here are some new words you’ll learn in this chapter” and then reads (for example):

today – hoy or hoy día
poster – póster
lobby – la entrada
school – escuela
school lobby – la entrada de la escuela

which is a very short vocabulary list, described simply as “new words.”

Poster Girl, while it is the second No-Work Spanish title published was actually the first No-Work Spanish title recorded. What I discovered listening to Poster Girl, was that some sentences are overly long for the No-Work Spanish technique to work. For example:

She is so annoying. Qué fastidiosa.

It’s pretty easy when you hear the English and Spanish together to learn Spanish from that sentence. Or another example:

I don’t like it. No me gusta.

These are ideal No-Work Spanish sentences, nice and short. The Spanish is eash-to-follow with no prior Spanish knowledge. But Poster Girl has other sentences, such as:

It’s not even due until tomorrow, and she brought it in today. No hay que entregarlo hasta mañana y ella lo entregó hoy día.

As someone who knew no Spanish, I found that sentence hard to decipher, until I learned that ‘hoy’ or ‘hoy dia’ meant today. So, to make Poster Girl easier to follow, short vocabulary lists were added to the beginning of each chapter. And in writing the next No-Work Spanish titles, I simply learned to watch for longer sentences and to break those into two sentences whenever possible.

Poster Girl will probably be the only No-Work Spanish title to have those vocabulary lists, unless of course customers say they like them and ask for them in future titles.


I love the feedback from users, so no, Kate you didn't go on too long. Actually which words to include in vocabulary was chosen by me based on whenever I heard a sentence that I just couldn't seem to grasp -- something that I felt like I needed a handle or a key or anchor -- then I would go to the text and to a Spanish/English dictionary and choose a word or words that were enough to allow me to understand it. Those words went into the vocabulary lists.

And yes, I do relate to how vocabularly lists can get too long. Some of the vocabulary lists were longer at one point in Poster Girl, but when I heard them I thought, "Now this feels just like any other Learn-Spanish audio program." When I got that feeling I would choose a word or two to cut.

Keep the feedback coming. I hope you are enjoying Poster Girl.


I'm currently listening to Poster Girl and I found today that the Spanish for "school lobby" randomly popped into my head! I don't think it's something I would've remembered if it hadn't been highlighted at the start of the chapter and I think I would've struggled with understanding the chapter without that vocab (ultimately, the whole story centres around a school lobby!)

I do think some of the words featured as vocab are a bit of an unusual choice though. I'm just judging this by the first 2 chapters though (I only started on Wednesday) but in the first chapter I keep hearing what sounds like "silencia" (science class?) and when she's talking about her mum having Thursdays off, everytime I hear what sounds like "cancer" and it sends me off on a tangent of "what does that even mean?!"

Another thing I like about the vocab list at the start is it's nice and short. When I tried out Linguaphone it seemed to be a constant stream of vocab. But a short list of handy things to know I can deal with.

But I've gone on for too long about vocab now, I should've just said "I like it".


This is quite an attractive blog, more so than any page that I own.

Rosetta Stone is so expensive isn't it! I would only pay for something like that if I were rich.

I intend on learning Spanish someday its a pretty language.

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