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Episode 66: Updates for the New Year, Eastern European Countries and Key World Organizations

Welcome back to Spanish Answers! I am so excited to begin another year with all of you, my lovely listeners/readers! In today's episode, I'll give you a brief update about the Women in Language Conference, some news about the Resource Library, and then we'll start our episode on vocabulary for Eastern European countries and key world organizations!


Some Updates!

First off, thank you so much for tuning back in! Or, if you are new to Spanish Answers, welcome! I'm very excited to start another year of Spanish Answers, and I hope you are, too! :)

And yes, I still plan to upload an episode every other Monday, but this one is going up Tuesday because something - I'm assuming a storm - knocked out my area's internet for most of the day yesterday. :(

Women in Language

This past weekend was the 5th annual Women in Language (WIL) Conference, and it was full of thought-provoking, energetic talks and conversations, all related to language! And I was honored to be able to present my own talk, "You - Yes, YOU!- Can Teach Your Baby Sign Language!" It was a lot of fun, and I already can't wait until next year's WIL Conference! If you have any questions about what the conference is all about (anyone, male or female, can attend!), or are curious about my talk, please send me an email!

Resource Library

I've completely revamped my Resource Library, and it is now open to the public! Currently, I have the Spanish, English, American Sign Language, French, and Ukrainian libraries completed. :) For now; I plan to keep adding things to them as I grow in my own language studies, and as I find new and useful resources for you guys! In these libraries, I've included my recommendations for podcasts, YouTube channels, books, children's books, online dictionaries, music, and more! Check it out! :) These are meant to be a free resource for you to find more resources on your language journeys, and not just for Spanish.

Current Events Vocabulary

With all of the shocking and horrible things going on in Ukraine right now, I thought I'd focus today on something relevant to our current events, but also distant enough that you don't have to stress while listening. I'm sure you already hear a lot of news from other sources, and the last thing you want is to hear it again here. So don't worry; we are only focusing on vocabulary. More specifically, we are going to learn the Spanish names for various Eastern European countries and a few world organizations. Every language has its own way of pronouncing different city, country, and organization names, and Spanish is no different.

For each section, I'll give you the names in Spanish first, and then we are doing something new! I'll follow up each vocabulary list with a short story that incorporates all of the vocabulary for that section, but it'll be completely in Spanish. See if you can catch the Spanish names! Afterwards, I'll include the translation of some key vocabulary in English, and then I'll repeat the Spanish story one more time. This gives you a chance to try to catch even more of it! :) Let's see how this goes!

Key Vocabulary: Eastern European Countries




la Europa



Eastern Europe

la Europa del Este


la Ucrania


la Rusia


la Belarús


la Bulgaria

Czech Republic

​la República Checa


la Chequia


el Hungría


el Moldavia (not to be confused with Moldavia, or la Moldavia)


la Polonia


​la Rumanía (or Rumania, without the accent mark, in Latin America)


la Eslovaquia

Ser europeo significa vivir en una parte del mundo que tiene una cultura e historia antiguas. Europa está dividida en secciones diferentes, y los países que componen Europa del Este van desde muy pequeños, como Moldavia, hasta muy grandes, como Rusia. La República Checa, o Chequia, solía ser un país con Eslovaquia, pero los dos se separaron, sin violencia, en 1993. La Belarús formaba parte de la URSS y actualmente mantiene una relación estrecha con Rusia. Ucrania también formó parte de la URSS, pero hoy lucha heroicamente para mantener su independencia. En varios puntos, tanto Bulgaria como Rumania formaron parte del Imperio Otomano, mientras que Hungría formaba parte del Imperio Austro-Húngaro. Polonia tiene una historia sorprendente, ya que desapareció por completo como un estado independiente al ser absorbida por tres países diferentes. Afortunadamente, recuperó su independencia en 1918.

Key translations:

history = la historia

to make or form = formar

to fight = luchar

close = estrecho/a

independence = la independencia

USSR = la URSS, o la Unión de Repúblicas Socialistas Soviéticas. Can also say la Unión Soviética

Ottoman Empire = el Imperio Otomano

Austro-Hungarian Empire = el Imperio Austro-Húngaro

Key Vocabulary: Important World Organizations



European Union (EU)

la Unión Europea (UE)

United Nations (UN)

la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN)

La Unión Europea está compuesta por 27 países, incluidos los países de Europa del Este mencionados anteriormente de Bulgaria, la República Checa, Hungría, Polonia, Rumania y Eslovaquia. Todos son estados miembros de las Naciones Unidas, pero solo Hungría, Polonia, Rumania, Eslovaquia, Bulgaria y la República Checa son miembros de la OTAN.

Key translations:

country = el país

previously mentioned = mencionado anteriormente

Remember, learning a language is a lifelong journey.

¡Aprovéchalo, Disfrútalo y Compártelo!


Cultural Tip: Chile

Country Facts

Name: Republic of Chile, or la Republica de Chile

Size: Chile is a really interesting shape for a country. While in size it is about twice that of Montana, the country is extremely stretched out! If you were to put it over a map of the US, its top would reach from about the middle of Canada, go through the US, and continue on down through most of Mexico!

Location: It is located in South America, reaching from the southern tip to more than halfway up the continent. It is south of Peru, southwest of Bolivia, and west and south of Argentina.

Government Type: Presidential Republic. This means they have a President, President Sebastian Pinera Echenique, who is the head of the executive branch and the chief of state. Legislative power rests with the Congreso Nacional, or the bicameral National Congress. Its Senado (Senate) has 50 seats directly elected for 8-year terms, whereas the Camara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies) has 155 seats for 4-year terms. This is what the CIA Worldfactbook says for each one: "directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open party-list proportional representation vote". So figure that one out, if you can! :D The judicial power rests with the Corte Suprema (Supreme Court), made up of 120 ministros and one court president. They are appointed for life by the President, although they must be ratified by the Senate and selected by a list the court provides, and they must retire at 70. There is also a Constitutional Court, made up of 10 people. Three of these members are appointed by the Supreme Court, three by the President, two by the Senate and 2 by the Chamber of Deputies. Each one serves 9-year terms. There is also an Elections Qualifying Court, made up of 5 people appointed by lottery. One by the former president/vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, and same for the Senate, and then two by the Supreme Court and one by the Appellate Court of Valparaiso for 4-year terms. Very different!

Capital City: Santiago

Religion: As of 2012, about 67% are Roman Catholic and 16% are Protestant or Evangelical.

Official Language: Spanish, which is spoken by almost 100% of the country as of 2012.

Currency: Chilean pesos (CLP)

Brief History

Pre-Spanish, Chile was ruled by two main indigenous groups: The Inca in the north and the Mapuche in the rest of the country. This all changed when the Spanish came in the 16th century, who established the Captaincy General of Chile in 1541. The Spanish ruled until Chile declared its independence in 1810. We've talked about the large push for independence across Latin America in other episodes (such as the history of Chile's Fiestas Patrias - Episode 58 - and the cultural tips on Argentinian holidays in Episodes 56 and 55 and on Peru in Episodes 59 and 60), but essentially Chile did not achieve this independence until 1818.

Chile gained its northernmost areas by defeating Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific, from 1879-1883. In 1970, Salvador Allende instituted a Marxist government that was overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet in a military coup of 1973. He ruled until Chile elected a new president in 1990. Since then, Chile has been stable and increased its role on the world stage.



Intro and Closing Music by Master_Service from Fiverr

Cultural Tip Transition Music edited from song by JuliusH from Pixabay

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