French – the Language of Love

Think of Paris and you can imagine no end of wonderful, romantic scenes … Strolling along the banks of the Seine, wandering hand in hand under the Eiffel Tower, sharing a Menu du Jour in a rustic café, tucked away in the Latin Quarter. But it is not only France’s capital city that conjures up ideas of love – French itself is often nicknamed ‘the language of love’. So, this Valentine’s Day, why not have a go at expressing your romantic side through ‘La Langue d’Amour’, using the following lovely phrases! Continue reading

A taste of Spanish summertime; Receta para gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold, raw vegetable soup typical of Andalucía in the south of Spain but consumed all over Spain, Portugal and parts of South America. It is mainly consumed during summer due to its refreshing qualities and cold temperature. It is believed that it was introduced in to Spain as an Arab soup during the invasion of the moors. The traditional ingredients were garlic, olive oil, salt, vinegar and stale bread. It became particularly popular amongst farmers as it was a good way to cool off in the summer and to use up seasonal vegetables and stale bread. Now there are many varieties which may include ingredients such as meat, seafood, watermelon and grapes. However, the most traditional modern gazpacho recipe (see below) consists of tomato, cucumber, peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and stale bread. Continue reading

What different languages are spoken in Spain?

You have probably heard that there are different types of Spanish spoken in different parts of Spain. For example, you may be confused as to whether to learn Catalán or Castilian Spanish if you are going to Barcelona. You may have noticed differences in the language when going to different regions. Read on to find out about the types of Spanish spoken within Spain. Continue reading

Día de los Santos Inocentes – “Day of the Holy Saints” (Spain’s “April Fool’s Day”)

December 28th is a religious holiday in Spanish-speaking countries. During this day they play practical jokes similar to those on April Fool’s Day on 1st April. It originates from the killing of innocent children by King Herod around the time of the birth of Jesus, hence the name “Santos Inocentes”, (Holy Innocents) as they were too young and innocent to have done anything wrong. Although it stems from a religious festival on the Catholic calendar, nowadays the religious meaning has almost been forgotten and it is more widely known as a day of pranks and practical jokes. Continue reading

How is Christmas celebrated in Spain?

Having spent several Christmases and New Years in Spain, the first thing I noticed is that the celebrations are much more traditional and religious compared to the more commercialised Christmases in England and the US. Spanish people are more family oriented so there is a greater emphasis on spending time with the family and less on present giving and materialism. The celebrations last longer too, (almost a month!) as they also celebrate “Los Reyes” (The King’s Day) on 6th January. Here is what to expect from a typical Spanish Christmas: Continue reading

 

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