Kavyata …. is knowledge
Kavyata …. is knowledge

Spanish for Tango Dancers, Lesson 1

Spanish for Tango Dancers – Lesson 1

If you read and speak English, you can learn basic Spanish if you also are a tango fanatic.

Let’s start with vowel pronunciation. Spanish is much easier to pronounce than English because each vowel has one, and only one!, sound no matter where the vowel is in the word.

A” is always pronounced as in the bold letter in “Occupation”

E” is always pronounced as in the bold letter in “Excellent”

I” is always pronounced as in the bold letters in “Eerie”

O” is always pronounced as in the bold letters in “Ohio”

U” is always pronounced as in the bold letters in “bazOOka”

Great, now you can easily read aloud 95% of any Spanish document (you may not understand what you say, but your pronunciation will be good). By the way, the name of the language is Castellano, not Spanish. Spanish means “from Spain.”


The tango phrase of this week is: “Por una cabeza”

“Por una cabeza” means “By a head.”  This is the title of the famous and beautiful tango (1935) from Carlos Gardel (music) and Alfredo Le Pera (lyrics). The lyrics are a metaphoric analogy between horse betting and love betting. “Por una cabeza” refers to losing the horse race by just a head, or losing your lover to another man by a small margin. This tango was also played by Isak Perlman under the direction of John Williams for the movie Scent of a Woman (acting Al Pacino). Watch and listen the melody starting a 1:43 in this video.

Listen Carlos Gardel’s interpretation: