Monthly Archives: April 2015

11 Spanish words that cannot be translated into English easily

Hablamos espanol scaledWhen learning another language you often come across a word that is difficult to translate since it has no direct equivalent in English. Here are some of those tricky words you may come across in the Spanish language:

1. Sobremesa

It is well-known that the Spanish take a lot longer with their mealtimes than the English, mainly due to the fact that they sit around afterwards just chatting. Sobremesa is the chatting that takes place after a meal.

e.g. Pude seguir con la sobremesa porque no tuve que trabajar por la tarde.
I was able to continue chatting after dinner because I didn’t have to work in the afternoon.
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What does “se” mean in Spanish?

People often ask what “se” means in Spanish as they see it used everywhere yet is has no single meaning; it can be translated differently depending on how it is used. If you are just starting to learn Spanish you don’t need to worry too much about it, however, as you advance further with the language, you will begin to understand what it can mean in different contexts.

Keeping it simple – here are the most common ways you will see “se” used:

1. Himself / herself / themselves (Reflexive pronoun)

With reflexive verbs the subject is also the object.

Se levanta = He/She gets up [Literally: He/She gets himself/herself up]

Se duerme = He/She falls asleep Continue reading

The Chinese Clear and Bright Festival

light and color of lampWhen the western Easter holiday is almost over, the Chinese are about to embrace The Clear and Bright Festival (Qing Ming Jie), which normally falls on the 4th or 5th of April, and lasts up to twenty days.

The Clear and Bright Festival is when Chinese people visit the columbarium, graves or burial grounds to pray to the ancestors.

Origins of the festival

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Buying time in oral exams

good language tutorGCSE, A-level speaking exam tips

It is natural to be nervous in a speaking exam and therefore you often end up rushing your answer, however it is important to take your time, make sure you have understood the question correctly and give yourself time to form an answer in the best way possible. A useful tip is to use a few short phrases to give yourself a little extra time to think about how you are going to answer.

Here are a few words and expressions you can use:

Bueno, …Well, …

Pues, Well, … Continue reading