Language

This category contains 9 posts

Learn Spanish in Órgiva!

We’ve been here a while and our Spanish has only improved slightly. It’s been a bit like hanging around a restaurant’s kitchen for ages and learning only how to peel potatoes. It’s surely now time to make a tortilla. We do our best watching the breakfast news about floods, drug seizures off the coast and … Continue reading

Torres de Fawlty: if Basil had been Spanish

Watching Fawlty Towers on DVD had us wondering what some of the classic phrases would be in Spanish. After all, most of us have had a car break down or impersonated someone else by wearing a wig and sunglasses. When the programme was exported to Spain, Manuel – Soy de Barcelona – became Italian (Paolo) and … Continue reading

Language MOT

If our language learning was a car we’d be a piece of paper with a child’s drawing of one – you know, the side view with two wheels and a smiley face staring out. Possibly a steering wheel of sorts and maybe lights. There’d be no structure, let alone a finished vehicle. So imagine taking … Continue reading

Falling down man-hole covers – learning the language

In our previous post about learning Spanish we said our progression was snail-like. Move on a couple of weeks and the snail has encountered crushed egg-shells and desert sand. It’s all too easy to abandon verb drills as we walk up the lane into town. Instead, we discuss what to buy for supper or comment … Continue reading

Put it this way – learning the language

If our snail-like journey to learn Spanish were a round-the-world trip by foot, we’d be at the end of the road outside our house. Digámosio de esta manera – let me put it this way – we have a long, long way to go. We haven’t used our language CDs since we’ve been here but … Continue reading

Los días son claros – learning Spanish

Someone told us that a handy way to learn Spanish is from song lyrics – and some good folk out there have bothered to add subtitles to a whole manner of stuff on YouTube from nursery rhymes to heavy metal. No staring blankly at a book – you can enjoy the music at the same … Continue reading

Un día soleado – a sunny day

The English are meant to talk about the weather all the time – in shops, waiting for things to turn up and so on. Forget ‘My kitchen is infested with ants’ (Mi cocina está plagada de hormigas) – learning to talk about the weather is paramount. And the Irish*? Well it’s always raining in Ireland so top … Continue reading

To be, or not to be

(Speak any Spanish? If so, you may as well read something else!) With language, one of the first things you learn – apart from ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ –  is ‘to be’: I am a nun; we are from Finland; are you hungry? and so on. In Spanish there are two verbs for to be: ser and … Continue reading

Spanish Steps – learning the language

An important part of our year in Spain (perhaps longer) is learning to speak the language. S has the advantage of being a natural linguist who can speak decent French – so ‘gets’ Spanish more. M on the other hand got 9% in his Latin school exam and in French failed a comprehension paper by … Continue reading