I started travelling late in 2009 and like a lot of Englishmen I had had very little experience with foreign languages, especially when compared to other Europeans. There isn’t an emphasis on learning languages in the UK like in other countries. Also, I would be lying if I said I didn´t have a slightly bullish attitude to foreign languages, in that I expected everyone else to speak enough English for me to get by. Travelling throughout India I found communication to be a mixed bag. Most people spoke good English in the southern states (it is the official language) but up north it was either very broken or nonexistent. Getting about wasn’t too hard but it was a shame that due to my lack of Hindi I couldn’t form proper friendships with a lot of the great Indians I met.
Last March my wife and I holidayed in Japan and it was the first time I came across such a definitive language barrier. The Japanese were wonderfully polite and you could see that they wanted to help when we asked or enquired, but such distinct and different cultures and languages really did stop any true connection through speaking to one another. As you can imagine there was plenty of body language and pointing from our end and plenty of awkward, polite smiles and bowing from theirs!
An impression I got from experiencing India and Japan, to some degree, was that they didn’t expect foreign travelers to understand their languages. That didn’t make it any easier getting around, but there was an: “Ok, so I can’t understand you, you can’t understand me, let’s work this out the best we can” attitude that helped.
Coming to Argentina has been by far the biggest eye opener in the language stakes. My wife is Argentine but we never talk in Spanish and so I came to Argentina with very little Spanish vocabulary. I have been fortunate because my wife’s family all speak English well enough, but of course tend to talk Spanish when we are together socially. My bullish attitude of expecting everyone to speak English around me has been well and truly shot down!
I have so far struggled to pick up Spanish which has made it difficult at times. I get the impression that there is an expectation to know Spanish when you want to engage with Argentines (and rightly so!) and so understanding conversational Spanish is all the more important.
What I’ve learnt when on the road is that if you want to travel and just do the tourist traps then a limited understanding of that country’s language will get you by, just barely. But, just doing the tourist traps means that you are missing a big part of travelling. Going off the beaten track is how to experience a country’s true culture and people, and this requires you to put effort into learning their language.
What’s wrong with this sentence? Most style manuals agree that there is a problem here. When two independent clauses are connected with a comma without a conjunction, a comma splice is the result. An independent clause is a clause that can stand alone as a sentence. There are several ways to resolve this situation. The easiest way to fix the problem is to separate the two clauses into two sentences.
Pirates have nasty attitudes. This is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.
Another way to resolve this problem would be to combine the two clauses with a conjunction such as or, but, or and. The addition of the conjunction makes one of the clauses dependent on the other.
Pirates have nasty attitudes, but this is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.
A third way to fix the problem is to use a semicolon. This is only possible if the clauses are independent. Semicolons are frequently misused so be careful with them.
Pirates have nasty attitudes; this is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.
For a clear and succinct description of how to use a semicolon, visit The Oatmeal
Which facts about Seattle do you think are true and which are false?
- The basketball team “The Lakers” are from Seattle
- It often rains in Seattle
- Silicon Valley is near Seattle
- Bill Gates and Microsoft are located in Seattle
- Chrysler cars are manufactured in Seattle
- Bruce Springsteen was born in Seattle
- “Grunge” music comes from Seattle
- Seattle is in the Southwest of the United States
Many years ago, I was born in Seattle, Washington USA. Seattle is located in the northwest corner of the USA. Recently, Seattle has become the focus of much international attention. Many films have been made there, probably the most famous of which is Sleepless in Seattle starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Seattle is also known as the birthplace of “Grunge” music; both Pearl Jam and Nirvana are from Seattle. For older people like me, it should be noted that Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle! NBA fans know Seattle for the “Seattle Supersonics”, a team that has played basketball in Seattle for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, Seattle is also famous for its bad weather.
Seattle has also become one of the fastest-growing business areas in the United States. Two of the most important names in the booming business scene in Seattle are Microsoft and Boeing. Microsoft was founded and is owned by the world-famous Bill Gates (how much of his software is on your computer?). Boeing has always been essential to the economic situation in Seattle. It is located to the north of Seattle and famous jets such as the “Jumbo” have been manufactured there for more than 50 years!
Seattle is positioned between Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. The combination of its scenic location, thriving business conditions and exciting cultural scene makes Seattle one of America’s most interesting cities.
Chrysler cars are manufactured in Seattle Chrysler manufactures cars in Seattle
Which sentence is ACTIVE and which sentence is PASSIVE?
The passive voice is used when focusing on the person or thing affected by an action.
- The Passive is formed: Passive Subject + To Be + Past Particple
They built the house in 1989 The house was built in 1989.
- It is often used in business when the object of the action is more important than those who perform the action.
Over 20 different models have been produced in the past two years.
The passive uses the same patterns for the other tenses:
- PRESENT CONTINUOUS: is/are + being + past participle
Susan is cooking dinner Dinner is being cooked by Susan
- PAST: was/were + past participle
James Joyce wrote “Dubliners” “Dubliners” was written by James Joyce.
- FUTURE: will/going to + be + past participle
I will finish it tomorrow. It will be finished tomorrow.
Practice using the passive
1. They make shoes in that factory.
Shoes — are made in that factory.
2. People must not leave bicycles in the driveway.
Bicycles — must not be left in the driveway.
3. They built that skyscraper in 1934.
That skyscraper — was built in 1934.
4. The students will finish the course by July.
The course — will be finished by July.
5. They are repairing the streets this month.
The streets — are being repaired this month.
Change these sentences into the passive voice
1. They had finished the preparations by the time the guests arrived.
2. You should take care when working on electrical equipment.
3. They are going to perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony next weekend.
4. Someone will speak Japanese at the meeting.
5. Karen is going to prepare the refreshments.
Looking for a unique and fun way to learn new vocabulary? Memrise is an online learning tool that uses flashcards augmented with mnemonics partly gathered through crowdsourcing and the spacing effect to boost the speed and ease of learning.
It was founded by Ed Cooke, a Grand Master of Memory, and Greg Detre, a Princeton neuroscientist specializing in the science of memory and forgetting. It works like planting a seed and watering the plant until it has grown into a plant with flowers. After certain periods of time (working alongside the science of how our short, medium and long term memories work) you must water and harvest new seeds to keep learning new vocabulary. You can follow friends and see how they are getting on with their flowers and you gain points which puts you onto a leader board.
It is a great and fun way of learning a new language as well as learning
other things too!
As iconic as the face of Carlos Gardel, the stylized artistic style of fileteado can be seen throughout Buenos Aires adorning storefronts, buses, taxis and just about anything else that porteños care about. The curled flowers, loops and hand painted swirls that began as a simple decoration for produce carts developed over the years into a way of distinguishing the myriad of buses (colectivos) from their competitors. Now the style is recognized as a unique and disctinctive art form of the city. From plumber’s shops to Milongas, the characteristic flowers, cornucopias, and vivid colors are more than just a means of filling the free space on signs; they are an art form as distinctive as Buenos Aires itself.
Excellent examples of fileteado can be found when walking around La Boca or outside the Carlos Gardel museum in Abasto. It is not necessary, however, to make a special trip. Just about everywhere you go in the city, you can see hand painted fileteado signs and walls used for advertisements or simply for decoration.
There are even tours that will take you around the city to see the best examples of this unique art form. Or, if you are feeling creative, you can even take a class from a master of fileteado. Wherever you are in the city, there is a good chance that you can find a beautiful example of this distinctive art within walking distance.
Cuando nos comunicamos, no sólo usamos las palabras; también hacemos gestos que pueden tener tanto significado como lo que decimos. Algunos son universales (como por ejemplo el pulgar para arriba), otros significan diferentes cosas en diferentes lugares. Acá, te enseñamos algunos gestos muy útiles para entender a los porteños.
When we talk, we use more than just words. We also do gestures that can be as meaningful as the words we say. Some of them are universal (such us “thumbs up”), some others mean different things in different places.
People from Buenos Aires are known for “speaking with their hands”. You might feel that we are making senseless chaotic movements but many of them are very meaningful and clear among locals.
Here, some of them.
¡Ojo! – Be careful!/Watch out!
[Pull down your lower eyelid with your index finger.]
¡Ni la más pálida idea! – I don’t know./I have no clue.[The chin flick: tilt your head back a bit and sweep the back of your fingers forward from under your chin.]
Montoncito – What the hell are you talking about?!/Just who do you think you are? [Bring all of your fingers and your thumb together with your hand pointing upward. Move your hand up and down at the wrist.]
¡Hambre! – You’re totally in the dark, out of it. You don’t know what time it is. [Bite your lower lip with your upper teeth and say: “mmmh!”]
20 de enero: 5º aniversario de lvstudio palermo, nuestra segunda oficina!! (ENGLISH VERSION BELOW)
Gracias comunidad LV por apoyarnos. Ya pasaron 5 años de nuestra segunda oficina en Palermo y diez desde que comenzamos en Buenos Aires y vamos creciendo de a poquito, con paso firme. Ojalá que las metas de cada uno de uds. también se hayan cumplido, y que hayan logrado comunicarse en inglés, español, francés, o portugués en sus viajes de placer, de trabajo o exámenes!
Esperamos verlos nuevamente en algún evento de lvstudio o en clase! Até mais! Hasta pronto! See you soon! A bientôt!
January 20, 2013: 5th anniversary of lvstudio palermo, our second office!!
Thank you LV community for supporting us. It has been 5 years now since we opened our second office in Palermo, and 10 since we started, and we’ve grown little by little, at a steady pace. We sincerely wish that each of you have also fulfilled your goals, and have succeeded in communicating in English, Spanish, French, or Portuguese on your trips for pleasure, business, or on your exams!
We look forward to seeing you again soon at lvstudio or in class!
Até mais! Hasta pronto! See you soon! A bientôt!
No começo da colonização do Brasil, a partir de 1530, a produção açucareira apareceu como primeiro grande empreendimento de exploração. Afinal, os portugueses já dominavam o processo de plantio e processamento da cana – já realizado nas ilhas atlânticas – e ainda contavam com as condições climáticas que favoreciam a instalação de grandes unidades produtoras pelas regiões litorâneas no território.
Para que todo esse trabalho fosse realizado, os portugueses acabaram optando pelo uso da mão de obra escrava dos africanos. Entre outras razões, os colonizadores notavam que os escravos africanos eram adaptados ao trabalho compulsório, apresentavam maiores dificuldades para empreender fugas e geravam lucro à Coroa por conta dos impostos cobrados sobre o tráfico negreiro.
No processo de fabricação do açúcar, os escravos realizavam a colheita da cana e, após ser feito o esmagamento dos caules, cozinhavam o caldo em enormes tachos até se transformarem em melado. Nesse processo de cozimento, era fabricado um caldo mais grosso, chamado de cagaça, que era comumente servido junto com as sobras da cana para os animais.
Tal hábito fazia com que a cagaça fermentasse com a ação do tempo e do clima, produzindo um liquido fermentado de alto teor alcoólico. Desse modo, podemos muito bem acreditar que foram os animais de carga e pasto a experimentarem primeiro da nossa cachaça. Certo dia, muito provavelmente, um escravo fez a descoberta experimentando daquele líquido que se acumulava no coxo dos animais.
Outra hipótese conta que, certa vez, os escravos misturaram um melaço velho e fermentado com um melaço fabricado no dia seguinte. Nessa mistura, acabaram fazendo com que o álcool presente no melaço velho evaporasse e formasse gotículas no teto do engenho. Na medida em que o liquido pingava em suas cabeças e iam até a direção da boca, os escravos experimentavam a bebida que teria o nome de “pinga”.
Nessa mesma situação, a cachaça que pingava do teto atingia em cheio os ferimentos que os escravos tinham nas costas, por conta das punições físicas que sofriam. O ardor causado pelo contato dos ferimentos com a cachaça teria dado o nome de “aguardente” para esse mesmo derivado da cana de açúcar. Essa seria a explicação para o descobrimento dessa bebida tipicamente brasileira.
Inicialmente, a pinga aparecia descrita em alguns relatos do século XVI como uma espécie de “vinho de cana” somente consumida pelos escravos e nativos. Entretanto, na medida em que a popularização da bebida se dava, os colonizadores começaram a substituir as caras bebidas importadas da Europa pelo consumo da popular e acessível cachaça. Atualmente, essa bebida destilada é exportada para vários lugares do mundo.
Por Rainer Sousa
Mestre em História
Equipe Brasil Escola
Etiquetate en facebook y etiquetá a tus amigos. Vengan de a 2 a inscribirse y reciban $150 de descuento, para el curso grupal que quieran, en Palermo o Abasto!
Los cursos en Palermo comienzan la la próxima semana, 19 de marzo. Y en Abasto, la primera semana de abril! Reservá tu vacante, que nuestro máximo es de 6 estudiantes por curso, son grupos reducidos!