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Course Catalog > Professional Development > Legal Studies

Spanish for Law Enforcement  

Master the fundamentals of the Spanish language by practicing basic conversational skills and learning essential Spanish terminology for law enforcement situations.

With more and more Spanish-speaking people living in the United States every year, learning the Spanish language is becoming ever more important. In the law enforcement field, mastering basic Spanish will give you more power to handle situations involving Spanish-speaking victims, witnesses, or criminals. It's also a smart career move, because adding Spanish skills to your resume can open doors to new job opportunities.

Whether you're new to the Spanish language or just want a refresher, this course will teach you the basic Spanish phrases you need for everything from making casual conversation to handling life-or-death situations. You'll start with simple vocabulary for everyday topics including colors, numbers, conversational phrases, family names, and words for asking questions. You will learn Spanish terminology you can use during arrests, traffic stops, medical emergencies, and many other common law enforcement situations. By the end of this course, you will be well on your way to being a Spanish speaker and communicating more effectively with the Spanish speakers all around you.


Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Prerequisites:

There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Communicate more effectively with the Spanish-speakers around you, and add a valuable skill to your resume. This course will help you master basic Spanish and gain more power handling situations that involve Spanish-speaking victims, witnesses, or criminals.

Speaking, Spelling, and Counting in Spanish

¡Bienvenidos! (Welcome!) In the first lesson, you'll master the building blocks of Spanish. First, you'll discover how easy it is to spell and pronounce words en español. After that, you'll learn how to count from 0 to 19.

Family, Pronouns, and Easy Conversational Phrases

La familia is central to Latin American life, and knowing "who's who" can be a big help when you're talking with witnesses, crime victims, or suspects. In this lesson, you'll learn the Spanish words for family members, and pick up some easy conversational phrases you can use every day on the job. In addition, the lesson will talk about pronouns and explore the role of gender in Spanish.

Colors, Directional Words, and Numbers From 20 to 199

What color was the suspect's car? Which way did he go? How fast was he driving? After this lesson, you'll be able to answer all these questions easily en español. The lesson will start by talking about the Spanish words for colors and then move on to directional words (with some prepositions thrown in as a bonus). After that, you'll learn how to count all the way to 199.

Easy Verbs

Law enforcement professionals are always on the go—so you'll want lots of action words in your Spanish vocabulary. To help you use Spanish verbs easily, this lesson will introduce you to a simple conjugation system that uses only three tenses (present, easy past, and easy future). In addition, you'll look at two interesting verbs that mean "to be:" ser and estar.

Vocabulary for Describing People, Objects, and Feelings

Asking questions is a big part of your job, and in this lesson, you'll find out how to query your witnesses or suspects en español. After that, you'll look at powerful words for describing objects, people, and feelings. Finally, you'll master the very important little word hay—something you'll definitely want to add to your repertoire.

Words for Describing People's Appearance, Clothes, and the Weather

In this lesson, you'll add more high-octane words to your vocabulary for talking about people. You'll learn how to describe their ages, their hair colors, their ethnicity, their legal status, and even what they're wearing. In addition, the lesson will talk about the weather en español. It will also introduce you to four handy little words—este, esta, ese, and esa—that will help you stretch out your sentences.

Time, the Calendar, and Body Parts

It's time to talk about . . . time! In this lesson, you'll discover how to talk about the hours of the day, the days of the week, and the months of the year in Spanish. As a bonus, you'll learn how to identify the major parts of the body and obtain answers in emergencies by asking questions like "Where does it hurt?", "Are you ill?", and "What happened?".

Talking About Places and Things

Whether you're taking dispatch calls or walking a beat, you need to be familiar with your neighborhood—so in this lesson, you'll tour the buildings and places in a typical town. In addition, you'll explore a house inside and out and take a look at the objects you're likely to find there. The lesson will also talk a little about weights and measures, including the metric measures many Spanish speakers use.

Legal and Illegal Professions

This lesson's topic is professions—both legal and illegal. You'll start by looking at Spanish words for emergency responders and law enforcement professionals. After that, you'll meet some additional professionals and learn their names en español. Next, you'll investigate words for criminals and check out the weapons they're likely to use. Just for fun, the lesson will also talk a bit about Spanish first and last names—which can be pretty confusing when you're trying to file paperwork.

Describing Vehicles and Traffic Violations

Speeders, drunk drivers, red-light runners—you'll meet all of them in this lesson. You'll begin with a quick look at words for describing drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. After that, you'll discover lots of phrases to describe specific traffic violations. You'll also explore the names for different types of vehicles and learn one word you won't want to use to describe people who break the rules of the road.

Dealing With Criminal Suspects

At a crime scene, you often need to talk firmly to suspects and witnesses. In this lesson, you'll learn lots of useful commands for getting people to do what you want—from polite commands like "sit down" to forceful ones like "Up against the wall!" In addition, you'll find out how to describe your actions when you're giving a citation, arresting a suspect, or administering a drug or alcohol test. Finally, you'll practice saying that all-important Miranda warning in Spanish.

More Words for Handling Emergency and Nonemergency Situations

In your job, you're likely to encounter all sorts of medical crises—from heart attacks to gunshot wounds and broken bones. In this lesson, you'll learn Spanish words that can help you deal with common medical conditions like these. The lesson will also touch on the topic of direct object pronouns, and you'll add to your repertoire of commands for emergency and non-emergency situations.



Tara Bradley Williams has authored several Spanish textbooks and occupational Spanish reference guides, including the "¡A Conversar!" and "¡A Trabajar!" series. She taught Spanish and English as a Second Language at the high school and community college levels for over 10 years. She has also operated a Spanish language school and served as a medical interpreter. Tara has BA degrees in Spanish and Sociology from St. Norbert College and an MA in Higher Education and Adult Studies from the University of Denver. She has studied Spanish at the Universidad de Ortega y Gasset in Toledo, Spain and has lived and traveled extensively in Spain and Latin America.

 

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