Blog de Cristina

a new language means a new vision of life

Archive for February, 2009

And the Oscar goes to…

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General
PENELOPE CRUZ.
Penelope Cruz won an Academy Award on Sunday for her supporting role as a fiery, funny woman in a three-way relationship with her ex-husband and an American woman in the Woody Allen film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.She is the first Spanish woman to win an acting Oscar.
Breathless and tearful, Penelope warned Oscar producers her acceptance speech was “not going to be 45 seconds” before asking: “Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one.”
Cruz delivered part of her acceptance speech in Spanish, saying that the win was for all the actors from her home country.

“I grew up in a place called Alcobendas, where this was not a very realistic dream,” Cruz said.

Congartulations Pe , you probably deserve it!!!
Did you know that the film was shot in Oviedo and Avilés?

¿ Du yu espic inglish ?

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Funny Stuff, The English Language

Esto es la carta que escribió una señora al programa de Luis del Olmo para que la leyeran en directo:

Desde que las insignias se llaman pins, los maricones gays, las comidas frías lunchs, y los repartos de cine castings, este país no es el mismo: ahora es mucho, muchísimo más moderno.
Antaño los niños leían tebeos en vez de comics, los estudiantes pegaban posters creyendo que eran carteles, los empresarios hacían negocios en vez de business, y los obreros, tan ordinarios ellos, sacaban la fiambrera al mediodía en vez del tupper-ware.
Yo, en el colegio, hice aeróbic muchas veces, pero, tonta de mi, creía que hacía gimnasia. Nadie es realmente moderno si no dice cada día cien palabras en inglés. Las cosas, en otro idioma, nos suenan mucho mejor.
Evidentemente, no es lo mismo decir bacon que panceta, aunque tengan la misma grasa, ni vestíbulo que hall, ni inconveniente que handicap… Desde ese punto de vista, los españoles somos modernísimos.
Ya no decimos bizcocho, sino plum-cake, ni tenemos sentimientos, sino feelings. Sacamos tickets, compramos compacts, comemos sandwiches, vamos al pub, practicamos el rappel y el raffting; en lugar de acampar, hacemos camping y, cuando vienen los fríos, nos limpiamos los mocos con kleenex.
Esos cambios de lenguaje han influido en nuestras costumbres y han mejorado mucho nuestro aspecto. Las mujeres no usan medias, sino pantys y los hombres no utilizan calzoncillos, sino slips, y después de afeitarse se echan after shave, que deja la cara mucho más fresca que el masaje.
El español moderno ya no corre, porque correr es de cobardes, pero hace footing; no estudia, pero hace masters y nunca consigue aparcar pero siempre encuentra un parking. El mercado ahora es el marketing; el autoservicio, el self-service; el escalafón, el ranking y el representante, el manager.
Los importantes son vips, los auriculares walkman, los puestos de venta stands, los ejecutivos yuppies; las niñeras baby-sitters, y hasta nannies, cuando el hablante moderno es, además, un pijo irredento.
En la oficina, el jefe está siempre en meetings o brain storms ¡casi siempre con la public-relations!, mientras la assistant envía mailings y organiza trainings; luego se irá al gimnasio a hacer gim-jazz, y se encontrará con todas las de la jet, que vienen de hacerse liftings, y con alguna top-model amante del yogurt light y el body-fitness.
El arcaico aperitivo ha dado paso a los cocktails, donde se jartan a bitter y a roast-beef que, aunque parezca lo mismo, engorda mucho menos que la carne.Ustedes, sin ir más lejos trabajan en un magazine, no en un programa. En la tele, cuando el presentador dice varias veces la palabra O.K. y baila como un trompo por el escenario la cosa se llama show, bien distinto,como saben ustedes, del anticuado espectáculo; si el show es heavy es que contiene carnaza y si es reality parece el difunto diario “El Caso”, pero en moderno. Entre medias, por supuesto, ya no ponen anuncios, sino spots que, aparte de ser mejores, te permiten hacer zapping.

Estas cosas enriquecen mucho. Para ser ricos del todo, y quitarnos el complejo tercermundista que tuvimos en otros tiempos, sólo nos queda decir con acento americano la única palabra que el español ha exportado al mundo: la palabra “SIESTA.”
Espero que os haya gustado… yo antes de leerlo no sabía si tenía stress o es que estaba hasta los cojones”.
Comment:In English you never go footing or puenting , you go jogging or bungee jumping

Learn English watching videos

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Resources
Today I want to show you this interesting site : ESL Video.com

How can this site help you improve? Easy question… by listening .
But How?  Watching  the video and Answering the questions below it or …Reading  the transcript (where available)and  then Checking  your answers.
There are four levels to choose from : beginner, lower-intermediate,Intermediate and High Intermediate. Recordings range from interviews with famous people, to documentaries about Facebook or even listening  to Rihanna’s songs.
Hope  you find it useful!!

Putting the emphasis on Emilia

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Music, The English Language
Have you never heard about her? I’m sure you have .But even if you haven’t ,if  I  hum the words” I’m a big, big girl…”  you’ll probably think,” Yeah ,I know this song or , at least, this small verse but not  the singer”.
Why this song today? Well, the only reason is because I’ve been teaching Emphasis and it’s a good song to illustrate this point. I’m afraid that’s my only reason as she is not one of my favourites.”Sorry , Emilia ! I’ve heard  you are on your way to the European Song Contest and I wish you well, you are just too soft  for me”
Anyway, it is very good for students to see how the emphasis is placed on some words (actually, they can find three different ways).
But, why don’t you go to my website and do the exercises ? or alternatively ,if you are up to your eyes with homework , just enjoy it.
First option, click here.
Are you learning Old-Fashioned English? 
Only this week I asked my advanced students to write a diary entry, telling them that this was the right time to use non-grammatical structures and any informal expressions they could think of .It was only when one of my most advanced students handed in her paper that I realized my mistake..I caught a glimpse of the expression ” it was raining cats and dogs” and I thought  well,well… how are they supposed to know that this expression would sound to a native speaker as “córcholis or “cáspitas” to us?
So, this funny expression “It is raining cats and dogs”is memorable but unfortunatelyit stopped being current in the 1950s.
But there are some others:
Bobbies- The British have not called their policemen “bobbies” for decades.
Whom -Only pedants under 50 will ever use this possessive pronoun.
Gay with the meaning of “happy”- I don’t think a straight happy man would like to be described as “gay”.
 If you  have little or no contact with British speaking culture, be careful when using colloquial expressions. Probably you’ll be understood  only by an English -speaking grandmother.
The good thing is that sometimes words “bounce back”. So maybe in 10 or 20 years’ time we will be using expressions such as “truenos y relámpagos” , “pánfilo” or “botarate” . So ,language can always catch up with us and not the other way round.
Where does that leave us? Well, one of the reasons that native speakers don’t comment when they hear learner say “it is raining cats and dogs” is that learners always look so happy to have been able to use an idiomatic phrase  that it seems uncharitable to correct them. Make it clear to the native speakers you interact with that you want them to tell you when your English sounds quaint.

Knit Night Cupcakes

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Cooking
I’ve been willing to show this gorgeous recipe for some time. Recipe? Shall I call it recipe? Well, I should say it is more like an amazing  display of imagination by the talented Lolo. You can find in her here http://veganyumyum.com/ . She is a vegan so you might not like some of her recipes  but I am sure there are some you’d like to try.
So ,here are some photos of what I was telling you above. Wouldn’t you like to surprise your family with one of those? If you ever try, please let me know or .. on second thoughts, send some.
Awesome!!!! Now you can see her in this clip showing  viewers how to do them  on the Martha Stewart Show

Karaoke on line

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Listening, Resources
 Throughout all these years of teaching I have come to realise the importance of music when learning a language, especially when it comes to pronunciation matters. I have seen and heard students, not even  knowing the verb “to be” and with amazingly  good pronunciation. When asked , they , more often  than not, attribute it to music.
And yes, singing songs is an excellent way of improving your pronunciation. How could it be any other way when you sing your favourite songs over and over again.
So I have found this excellent karaoke site . It is called Karaoke Party
and the great thing is that if you register you can actually get a score for your singing when you hit the right notes.
No excuses . Get singing right now and start practising for our great karaoke party next 19th Feb.
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