Saturday, 30 March 2013

I`m not scared

I'd like to go back now to 1988. I was about 17 years old at that time. I would walk a few miles to the shopping centre and buy my vinyl records. I had been working with my father for a couple of weeks  so that he accepted to pay for our HiFi player. I could play vinyl records and music audio tapes. It did not play CDs! It was a technology breakthrough though; I could make copies of my records and cassettes. We still keep both:  my records and my Hi-Fi records player.

At that time and very pretty and fair singer called my attention. The song sounded rather mysterious and exotic and they rhythm was very sticky. I headed for El Corte Inglés - I would walk a few miles from my house - and buy my 900 pesetas long play.

"I'm not scared" has been one of my favourite songs ever since. As I could read on Wikipedia, the song was orginally written and composed by Pet Shop Boys, who later recorded their own cover version. It contains a  couple of lines in French and in fact, the song became so popular in the rest of Europe that it has got its own version in French.

I wanted to use this song in class for these reasons: to begin with, becuase I like it a lot, the language it uses is rather simple and of course, it brings back memories of my past.

The vocabulary is easy. Grammar is a bit more difficult here: you have to bear in mind a couple of conditional tenses and structures. I like the use of the verb snap, which here means: "chase people trying to bite them".

I understand the song tells the story of a couple. The girl loves the guy but he is a liar. There is some hidden story behind the man: he is a spy or something. The girl does not know why he behaves this way, but she seems to accept anything except for the dogs trying to bite her.

Here are the video, the original song and the Pet Shop Boys´ version as well as a link to the its lyrics.




Wednesday, 13 February 2013

My Rosetta Stone

History tells that a French soldier discovered a stone where a message had
been sculpted in three different languages. The Rosetta stone, as it was 
later called, provided the key to translate the hieroglypic texts.
As I am lately learning German, here's my own key stone:

Zuerst am Morgen klingelt der Wecker, dann schlafe ich noch zhen Minuten.
Ich stehe um sieben Uhr auf. Dann dushe, rasiere un putze ich meine Zähne. Danach früstücke ich um zwanzig nach sieben Uhr. Ich trinke en Kaffee mit Milch un ich esse ein Brötchen mit Butter und Marmelade. Ich ziehe mich um halb acht an. Dann rauche ich eine Zigarette. Ich gehe um zhen vor acht Uhr los. Ich nehme keinen Bus; ich gehe lieber zu Fuss. Danach fange ich die Arbeit um Viertel nach acht Uhr an. Am Vormitag mache ich eine Pause. Um halb drei komme ich nach Hause.Dann esse ich das Mittagessen.

Am Dienstag un Donnerstag lerne ich Deutsche. Am Wochenende mache ich die Deutsch Hausaufgaben. Am Mittwoch treffe ifch meinen Freund. Am Abendspiele ich mit den Computer oder ich sehe fern.  Schliesslich gehe ich ins Bett um zhen Uhr.

To start with, my alarm clock rings, then I sleep for ten more minutes. I wake up at seven o'clock. After that, I have a shower, shave myself and brush my teeth. Then, at about twenty to eight I have my breakfast. I usually drink a white coffee and eat a toast with a butter an jam  topping.I dress myself at half past seven I smoke a cigarrette. I leave  home at half past eight. I don't usually take a bus, I prefer walking. I start work at quarter past eight. Later on, I take a break. At half  past three I come back home. Once there, I have my lunch.

On Saturdays and Sundays I learn some German. At the weekend I also make my German homework. I meet my friends on Wednesdays. In the afternoon I play with my computer or I watch TV. To end up with, I usually go to bedat ten o'clock.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My friend's wedding

A couple of years ago I went to one of my wife's relatives' wedding. Nothing to write home about. The peculiar thing about the wedding was, to begin with that they had a anglican ceremony in Spain which none of the Spanish guests to the wedding attended. The bride's father had moved to London in the late sixties, and his daughter, who later became an economy expert, decided it would be cheaper to hold a wedding party in Spain.

Both Spanish and English people drank a lot, but the former were much noisier. They shouted "vivan los novios" very loud, which the English considered very offensive. The latter gave speeches in English which, of course none of the Spanish guests would understand. They did not hire a music band but they played some music. The English disliked the way Spanish people moved and the Spanish thought the English were too quiet.

All of them had something in common though. The both liked Spanish food. It was delicious.

I forgot something. Spanish guests had to greet the bride's and the groom's parents before they came in the restaurant. Many people found this quite uncomfortable.

It was a really interesting experience but I think I would not advise other people to get married in Spain with Spanish guests if you want to have an English wedding.