Monthly Archives: February 2014

Popular Spanish sport: “Pádel” (Padel tennis)

PadelPádel is a Spanish racket sport which is becoming more and more popular across Spain and other European countries such as Belgium, Austria, France and Italy. It is similar to tennis with a smaller court but the same line markings. Surrounding the court are high walls of glass or solid material. Scoring is similar to tennis and you can play singles or doubles matches.
The racket is more like a large table tennis bat without strings and you serve underhand rather than overhand.

When it was first played in Spain in the 1970s it was mainly played by the upper classes. However, these days it is played by anyone and everyone of any age, making it a game that the whole family can enjoy together. It is thought to be more intense and fun than tennis and perhaps a little easier to play.

Nowadays all the main towns and cities in Spain have “pistas de pádel” (padel courts) with inter-club tournaments and national circuits. The “Federación Internacional de Pádel” was officially formed in 1991 and by 1993 the game was recognised as an official sports category. Continue reading

Popular Italian Proverbs

English Italian
The early bird catches the worm. Chi dorme non piglia pesci.
Let sleeping dogs lie. Non destare il can che dorme.
God helps those who help themselves. Chi si aiuta Dio l´aiuta.
A good beginning makes a good ending. Un buon principio fa un buon fine.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Volere è potere.
Haste makes waste. Il gatto frettoloso fa i gattini ciechi.
Live and let live. Vivi e lascia vivere.
What goes around comes around. Chi cento ne fa una ne aspetti.
All’s well that ends well. Tutto è bene quel che finisce bene.
The more you know the less you believe. Chi più sa meno crede.
A dog that barks doesn’t bite. Can che abbaia non morde.
Every cloud has a silver lining. Ogni medaglia ha il suo rovescio.
The early bird catches the worm. L’uccello mattiniero cattura il verme.
Time heals all wounds. Il tempo guarisce tutti i mali.

Tips for GCSE / AS / A2 Spanish – Using connecting phrases

To gain a higher grade in speaking and writing exams one tip is to use a good variety of connecting words and phrases which will help you sound more natural. These connecting words will link parts of a sentence together to make them more complex, earning you extra marks!

Tip: Try to use a wide range of connecting words and phrases rather than sticking to the same one all the time. This shows the examiner that you have a wide range of vocabulary at your fingertips.

Here are some key connecting words and phrases to learn: Continue reading

A buñuelo and a pintadito please! (Colombian delicacies)

BunuelosAfter living in Colombia for a few years now I thought it was time to do justice to my dear friend the buñuelo. Too often do empanadas and arepas steal the limlight from the buñuelo but not today!

It is an engrained tradition here in Colombia, particularly in the coffee region where I live to stop at any time of day in one of the many cafeterias in town and order a pintadito or a tinto and a buñuelo and have a good chat about the state of affairs today.

Now a pintadito is the local name for a coffee with plenty of frothy milk, a tinto is not red wine as many people may think when they first cross the border into Colombia, but instead it is a black coffee. A buñuelo is a lovely ball of fried, cheesy corn dough that has been made to a secret recipe: too watery and it explodes, not enough liquid and it will end up like a rock. They are truly delicious and the ritual of watching the world go by over a cup of coffee and a freshly made buñuelo is one of my favourite things about living in this beautiful country.

When you come to visit Colombia, go ahead try the empanadas and the arepas but please don´t forget to have a pintadito and a buñuelo!

Spanish football phrases

Spanish footballJoin in with the locals by discussing football!

A great way to start a conversation with the locals in Spain would be to discuss a football match. Here are some key words and phrases to start you off.
Remember, some of the endings will change depending on whether they are male or female.

Spanish positions / titles:

football player – el/la futbolista
manager / coach – técnico / el/la entrenador/a
captain – el capitán
goalkeeper – portero/a / el guardameta Continue reading