Monthly Archives: June 2014

Learn Spanish through the news – top news resources

Learn Spanish by Skype

The best way to learn Spanish successfully is to combine it with things you enjoy doing;

• listening to music
• keeping up with current affairs / the news
• sports
• eating out / cooking
• reading

In this post we will look at the best resources to keep up-to-date with the news in Spanish, something that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine even if you lead a busy life. This is the key to learning a language successfully – little and often. Learning Spanish through following the news is a great way to learn useful, everyday vocabulary.

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“Queue here please, we’re British!” Present Perfect vs Past Simple

200330172-002I recently travelled around Italy and Spain for work with an English colleague.  I am very used to both of these cultures having travelled there at length, so it made me smile that my colleague was so outraged when she discovered people there don’t queue like British people!  Anyone who has visited Britain will have noticed that British people love queuing and consider it an important part of their culture.  In fact it’s quite offensive when people try to push in!

My colleague and I were standing in a queue for a taxi outside the airport when 3 people pushed in front of us without a second thought and she said;

“That’s so rude! We’ve been queuing for 20 minutes, how dare they push in!”

I thought I would use this situation to address a problem that often arises with my students; that is when to use present perfect (simple / continuous) instead of past simple.

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The Chinese Characters

There are various legends about the creation of the Chinese characters. One of them tells how Cāng Jié, a minister of the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di), observed the footprints of birds and animals. He noticed that each one was different and distinctive. Inspired by it, he started to draw pictures of objects, and simplified them by reducing the numbers of lines. And these were the first pictographs, called Xiàng Xing.

Some objects can be very well represented by pictographs, for example日:

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