Oct
24
2014

Spanish singers: Pablo Alboran´s new hit “Por fin”

¿Cuál es vuestro cantante favorito en español? Estoy segura de que si seguís el blog de Transparent Spanish, o soléis sintonizar alguna emisora española por internet, conoceréis a un chico malagueño que estos últimos años se ha hecho muy famoso: Pablo Alborán.

Su nuevo disco, Terrain, se lanzará el próximo noviembre, pero el single actual, “Por fin” es ya casi número uno en las listas de ventas. Y es precisamente este tema, “Por fin” el que se ha empeñado un amigo en que me aprenda, aunque no sé por qué… Para ello pone una y otra vez esta canción en su emisora, que yo sigo por internet, y cada día me pregunta mis progresos. De momento nadie me saca del “eraaaa” del estribillo, y dudo que aprenda algo más, pues voluntad no es que le ponga mucha, para qué vamos a engañarnos… Lo que sí ha conseguido es que lleve todo el día con la puñetera canción en mi cabeza, y he pensado que quizá, si la compartía con vosotros, saliese de ella. Así que aquí tenéis el video original de la canción, y la letra. Ya me diréis qué os parece, ¡y si la aprendéis antes que yo! Disfrutadla…

Click here to view the embedded video.

Who is your favorite singer in Spanish? I am sure that if you follow the Transparent Spanish blog, or you are in the habit of tuning some Spanish radios on the Internet, you will know a guy from Malaga who has become very famous during these last years: Paul Alborán.

His new record, Terrain, will be released next November, but the current single, “Por fin” is almost number one in the official list of top-selling songs. And it is precisely this song, “Por fin” that a friend insists on making me learn, although I don’t know why. That’s why he keeps on playing this song once and again in his radio station, which I follow via Internet, and he asks about my progress every day. Up to now, no one can make me learn farther than the “eraaaa” in the chorus, and I doubt I will learn much more, as I’m not giving it my best effort, I won´t fool you… What he has achieved is that I have the bloody song in my head all day, and I thought that maybe, by sharing the song with you, it would come out of my head. So here you have the video and the lyrics. Let me know what you think of it, and if you learn the lyrics before I do!
Enjoy…

“Qué intenso es esto del amor,
Qué garra tiene el corazón, sí…
Jamás pensé que sucediera así.

Bendita toda conexión
Entre tu alma y mi voz, sí…
Jamás creí que me iba a suceder a mí.

Por fin lo puedo sentir,
Te conozco y te reconozco que por fin
Sé lo que es vivir
Con un suspiro en el pecho,
Con cosquillas por dentro…
Y por fin sé por qué estoy así.

Tú me has hecho mejor, mejor de lo que era…
Y entregaría mi voz a cambio de una vida entera.

Tú me has hecho entender que aquí nada es eterno,
Pero tu piel y mi piel pueden detener el tiempo… oh…

No he parado de pensar
Hasta dónde soy capaz de llegar,
Ya que mi vida está en tus manos y en tu boca.

Me he convertido en lo que nunca imaginé,
Has dividido en dos mi alma y mi ser,
Porque una parte va contigo aunque a veces no lo sepas ver.

Por fin lo puedo sentir,
Te conozco y te reconozco que por fin
Sé lo que es vivir
Con un suspiro en el pecho,
Y con cosquillas por dentro…
Por fin sé por qué estoy así.

Tú me has hecho mejor, mejor de lo que era…
Y entregaría mi voz a cambio de una vida entera.

Tú me has hecho entender que aquí nada es eterno,
Pero tu piel y mi piel pueden detener el tiempo… oh…

Mejor de lo que era…

Oct
23
2014

Du kannst mich!! 11 ways to express anger in German

ANGER!

Photo by amymctigue on Flickr.com

You ever have one of those days where you just want to tell everyone to go to hell? Let’s do that now – in German. How is this useful, I hear you ask? Well, maybe the next time a co-worker irritates you, you can scream your desired comeback at them in German (since German is such an “”angry”” language, it’s clearly also the perfect language to shout at people in). Then you’ll have practised your German AND told your co-worker where to go – and they won’t even know what you’ve said, so there’s no way you can get into trouble! You win! (Unless they’re German, in which case… maybe don’t do this.)

Seriously, though, everybody loves learning ‘naughty’ things in another language, and swearing just isn’t that big a deal in Germany. So instead, here are some German phrases you can use if you want to let someone know that you’re angry with them. They’re all commonly used phrases.

DU KANNST MICH GERN HABEN!
Is your lazy co-worker asking you to do their work for them? Had enough? Then scream “DU KANNST MICH GERN HABEN!” at them and walk away. This little phrase literally translates to, “You can like me!”, which is a bit of an odd thing to say in anger. But it basically means, “No! Forget it! I am not doing that!” You can also say “Gern kannst mich haben”, which has the same meaning.

DU KANNST MICH!
Literally “You can me!”. A shortened version of “Du kannst mich gern haben“. Its unfinished nature (“You can __ me!”) leaves it open to the imagination!

LECK MICH AM ARSCH!
The German version of “Kiss my ass!”, this insult literally translates to “Lick me on my ass”, and as well as being directed at someone, it can also be used as an expression of shock or disbelief, for example: “Jana ist schonwieder schwanger?! Ja, leck mich am Arsch!” – “Jana is pregnant again?! Well, leck mich am Arsch!”

LECK MICH!
A shortened version of the above, “Leck mich!” literally translates to “lick me!” and basically means “bugger off”.

HAST (DU) EIN WAHN ODER WAS??
If someone is talking rubbish at you, or suggesting an idea that has absolutely no logical grounding whatsoever, then you can ask them, “Hast (du) ein Wahn oder was?” – “Are you deluded or what?” The word Wahn means ‘delusion’.

Screaming pepper

Screaming pepper. By paulmccoubrie on flickr.com

HAU AB!
Quite simply, “Get lost!”. Interestingly, the word ‘Hau’ comes from the verb hauen: to hit. Nice and aggressive.

SCHLEICH DICH!
Another way of saying “Get lost!”. The word ‘Schleich’ comes from the verb schleichen: to creep.

LASS MICH IN RUH!
The old classic, “Leave me alone!”

ACH DU LIEBER HIMMEL!
Been trying to explain something simple to your thick co-worker for the past 20 minutes and they’re STILL not getting it? This phrase is what you might say to yourself in frustration and despair. It literally means „Oh you beloved heaven!“ .

MIST! / SO EIN MISTHAUFEN!
“Mist” is the German word for manure, and a “Haufen” is a heap or pile of something. Therefore, exclaiming the word “Mist!” is like saying “Crap!” and the phrase “So ein Misthaufen!” means “What a pile of crap!”

QUATSCH!
If someone is talking absolute nonsense, you can tell them so by saying one little word: Quatsch – which is pronounced ‘Kvatch’.

Please do let me know if you have any to add – or if there’s an English phrase you’d like me to translate for you, so that you can release your German anger to your heart’s content! Language learning doesn’t have to be about the serious stuff all the time: Emotions like anger come from the very core of a person’s heart, so learning how different emotions are expressed in different languages can be a fascinating business!

On that note, I really hope you enjoyed my post. Now hau ab; it’s time for me to make my dinner.

x

Oct
23
2014

How to use the Past Conditional in Italian

Last week we took a look at the present conditional, which, if you missed it, you can find HERE. Today we are going to look at il condizionale passato (the past conditional). Here are a couple of examples of how we conjugate it, firstly with the auxiliary verb essere (to be):

Coniugazione del verbo essere: Conjugation of the verb to be:
io sarei stato/a
tu saresti stato/a
lui sarebbe stato
lei sarebbe stata
noi saremmo stati/e
voi sareste stati/e
loro sarebbero stati/e
I would have been
you would have been (sing, inf.)
he would have been
she would have been
we would have been
you would have been (plural)
they would have been

This second example is built with the auxiliary verb avere (to have):

Coniugazione del verbo avere: Conjugation of the verb to have:
io avrei avuto
tu avresti avuto
lui/lei avrebbe avuto
noi avremmo avuto
voi avreste avuto
loro avrebbero avuto
I would have had
you would have had (sing, inf.)
he/she would have had
we would have had
you would have had (plural)
they would have had

The past conditional is used:

1. to express a regret:
avrei dovuto seguire il consiglio di mio padre! = I should have followed my father’s advice!
sarebbe stato meglio partire ieri = it would have been better to leave yesterday
me lo sarei dovuto immaginare! = I should have imagined that/it!

2. to express disbelief, incredulity:
chi l’avrebbe mai detto! = who would ever have thought it! (literally: who would have ever said it!)
l’avresti pensato che era così antipatico? = would you have thought that he he could be so unfriendly? (literally: that he was so unfriendly)
chi l’avrebbe mai immaginato che la torre di Pisa pendeva così tanto!
= who would ever  have imagined that the tower of Pisa leaned so much?

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La Torre di Pisa. Photo: (CC) by Maxime Guilbot

3. to report a piece of news that has not been verified, or that we have doubts about:
la notizia sarebbe stata diffusa di proposito dalla polizia = it is thought that the news has been spread by the police on purpose (literally: the news would have been spread)
secondo i giornali il presidente della società avrebbe presentato le dimissioni
= according to newspapers the president of the society has handed in his resignations (literally: would have handed in)
alcune fonti internazionali riferiscono che ci sarebbe stato un colpo di stato in Antartide = some international fonts report that there has been a coupe in the Antarctic (literally: there would have been a coupe)

4. to say what we would have done if the conditions had been different:
se fossimo stati più ricchi avremmo comprato una casa al mare in Liguria = if we had been richer we would have bought a house on the coast in Liguria
se avessi avuto più tempo a Venezia, mi sarebbe piaciuto visitare anche l’isola di Torcello = If I had had more time in Venice, I would have liked to have visited the island of Torcello as well
se ieri non avesse piovuto il bucato si sarebbe asciugato completamente = if it hadn’t rained yesterday the washing would have dried completely

Torcello
Torcello. Photo: (CC) by John W. Schulze

5. to express the future in the past:
Maria mi ha detto che oggi sarebbe andata a Sarzana = Maria told me that she would go to Sarzana today (literally: today she would have gone to Sarzana)
non immaginavo che ci sarebbe voluto così tanto tempo = I didn’t imagine that it would take such a long time (literally: it would have taken)
ho chiesto a Giorgio quando sarebbe tornato da New York = I asked Giorgio when he would come back from New York (literally: when he would have come back)

As usual, if you have any questions please leave a comment.

Oct
22
2014

Advanced Spanish Review Lesson 20 Palabras que comienzan por a tónica

¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

Hoy vamos a practicar las palabras que comienzan por “a” tónica.

Al final de este post encontrarás las respuestas a todas las preguntas de esta lección y puedes seguir el enlace de este post para ver el vídeo teórico original sobre el mismo tema.

To go back and watch the original video lesson please follow this link:

Advanced theory video lesson 20

Click here to view the embedded video.

1. Te voy a decir unas palabras y tienes que poner delante de ellas el artículo “el” o “la”. Por ejemplo, si digo “casa” tienes que decir “la casa”:

Aula
Amiga
Ardilla
Almendra
Águila
Alfombra
Alma
Hambre
Almohada
Azada
Área
Agua
Hacha

2. Ahora tienes que hacer lo mismo con estas palabras precedidas por adjectivo, pero usando “un” o “una”. Por ejemplo, si digo “gran casa” tienes que decir “una gran casa”:

Ordenada aula
Buena amiga
Bonita ardilla
Sabrosa almendra
Gran águila
Preciosa alfombra
Creciente hambre
Cómoda almohada
Cristalina agua
Gran hacha

3. Por último, dime si estas palabras son masculinas o femeninas:

Agua
Día
Hacha
Área
Problema
Tema
Arma
Alma
Idioma
Sistema
Hambre
Fantasma
Programa

Bueno, pues esto es todo por hoy.

El género de los sustantivos es algo que se ve en nivel principiante, pero no es fácil de recordar. Como véis existen varias excepciones, así que tened paciencia y no os preocupéis si cometeis errores con el género. Los hispanohablantes os comprenderán perfectamente aunque lo digáis mal. ¡Lo más importante es practicar!

Nos vemos la semana que viene,

¡Adiós!

I hope you are enjoying my weekly interactive Spanish lessons. Follow this link for many more great resources to help you learn and practice Spanish.

Answers:

1.
El aula
La amiga
La ardilla
La almendra
El águila
La alfombra
El alma
El hambre
La almohada
La azada
El área
El agua
El hacha

2.
Una ordenada aula
Una buena amiga
Una bonita ardilla
Una sabrosa almendra
Una gran águila
Una preciosa alfombra
Una creciente hambre
Una cómoda almohada
Una cristalina agua
Una gran hacha

3.
Agua – femenina
Día – masculina
Hacha – femenina
Área – femenina
Problema – masculina
Tema – masculina
Arma – femenina
Alma – femenina
Idioma – masculina
Sistema – masculina
Hambre – femenina
Fantasma – masculina
Programa – masculina

Oct
22
2014

Google Earth: Visit France from the Comfort of Your Home

Image by planetearth112 on Flickr

Image by planetearth112 on Flickr

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  —Saint Augustine

Reading and learning about France is one thing. Visiting the country is something entirely different. Exploring distant lands and experiencing cultures firsthand is undoubtedly one of life’s most rewarding experiences. You may have a fear of flying or you may never have had the funds to take an international trip. Fear not! Thanks to technology vous pouvez voyager sans quitter votre domicile (you can travel without leaving home)!

Imagine for a moment walking through the streets of Paris. Imagine standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and looking up as if you were literally standing in front of it. Or imagine walking up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. All of this is made possible with Google Earth, a computer application that lets you can cross the pond to take a virtual walk sur les boulevards de Paris (on the boulevards of Paris). You don’t have to deal with traffic, nor do you have to ask for directions if you get lost. It’s one thing to view the city from above but the real fun begins when you enter Street View. With a simple click of the mouse in any direction, you can experience what it would be like walking up and down practically any street in the city. And best of all, c’est absolument gratuit (it’s absolutely free)! If you want to visit a museum or enter any building, of course you’ll have to travel to Paris. But Google Earth is quite possibly the next best thing to being there in the flesh et c’est bien moins cher (and it’s much less expensive).

Not interested in Paris? Why not visit London, Rome, Berlin or any other city for that matter? Thankfully, Google Earth isn’t limited to major cities. In fact, I took some time recently to visit les petites villes (the little towns) where I spent my childhood in southern France. I was overcome by a strong sense of nostalgie (nostalgia) as I stood in front of les maisons de mon enfance (my childhood homes) and retraced my daily walk to school and back. I was surprised that Google had taken the time to travel the streets of these small towns but I’m grateful for their efforts.

So how do you access Google Earth? Visit this link and download the free application to your hard drive. Le logiciel (the software) is available for both Mac or PC and there are versions of the app for your mobile devices on iOS and Android as well. Quad vous voulez voyager (When you want to travel), launch the application, type in a city name or specific address in the search bar at the top left corner of your écran (screen) and watch as Google pinpoints your destination with remarkable accuracy. Zoom in with the controls on the right side of your screen and then enter Street View by clicking the icon.

If you own a Mac and have updated to the latest free version of OS X (Yosemite), there is a new feature in the built-in Maps application that gives you a 3D flyover tours of major cities. Type “Paris, France” into the search bar, click on 3D Flyover Tour and sit back to enjoy the show!