Aug
30
2015

Untranslatable German Words: Arschgeweih

Guten Tag! Welcome to another edition of German untranslatable words, dedicated to teaching you quirky German words, their meanings, and how to use them!

Today the word is das Arschgeweih.

What does Arschgeweih literally translate to?
This German compound noun is made up of the words der Arsch (butt/ass/arse) + das Geweih (antlers). Its literal translation, therefore, is ‘arse antlers’.

What does Arschgeweih mean?
Although an Arschgeweih sounds a bit like it’s describing a deformed deer, it is in fact referring to the tattoos that sit just above the bum, on the lower back. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but tattoos in this area often do look like antlers…

Ordinary People

Photo: faceme on flickr.com

1009091936.jpg

Photo: angeldye on flickr.com

That’s the beauty of these German words – they make you see things in a different light! ”</p

Aug
30
2015

How to approach people.. in Japanese?

kingyo

Photo from TruShu on flikr.com

 

Today’s post is all about how to approach people.. how to start a conversation with someone you might not know too well… in Japanese. On a daily basis, you might meet new people as well as old friends whom you have not seen for many years. For today’s article, I have put together some useful expressions you can use when you want to approach someone, to start a conversation, or to ask their contact information.

 

Asking a person’s name…

失礼ですが(しつれいですが。。)(Excuse me…)

shitsureidesuga…

Example:

Excuse  me, do you mind if I ask your name?

Shitsureidesuga, onamae o oshiete itadakemasuka?

失礼ですが、お名前を教えていただけますか?

or

Shitsureidesuga, onamae kiitemo yoroshiidesuka?

失礼ですが、お名前聞いてもよろしいですか?

 

Asking for his/her contact info from someone you just met…

 

差し支えなければ(さしつかえなければ) ( If it is ok with you~ )

sashitsukae nakereba

Example:

If it is ok with you, can you tell me your email address?

Sashitsukae nakereba meiru adoresu o oshiete itadakemasenka?

差し支えなければ、メールアドレスを教えていただけませんか?

 

You could also ask by using…..  Moshi yokattara…

 

もしよかったら ( If it is ok with you~ )

If it is ok with you, can you tell me your number?

Moshiyokattara, denwabango oshietemorattemo iidesuka?

もしよかったら、電話番号教えてもらってもいいですか?

 

There is also a similar way of asking by using… Moshi yokereba….

If it is ok with you, can you show me the way?

Moshiyokereba, annaishite itadakemasuka?

もしよければ、案内していただけますか?

 

 

Starting a conversation with someone you have not seen for a while…

お久しぶりですね。(おひさしぶりですね。)(Long time no see..)

Ohisashiburi desune.

Example:

Long time no see, how have you been?

Ohisashiburi desu, ogenki deshitaka?

お久しぶりです、お元気でしたか?

or the one below is more friendly way of asking….

Ohisashiburi, genki datta? or Ohisashiburi do-shiteta?

お久しぶり、元気だった? お久しぶり、どうしてた?

 

The above expressions are most commonly used expressions and that it will come in handy when you need to approach someone or start a conversation. Remember when it comes to communicating with someone, it is always good to be polite and use polite expressions.

Aug
29
2015

Can You BRING Me to My French Class? No, but I Can TAKE You…

Image courtesy of Boldomatic.

Image courtesy of Boldomatic.

Unless you are already on the moon, I’m not going to say this to you! It doesn’t matter how much I want to go there.

Logically speaking, ‘bring’ and ‘take’ shouldn’t cause too much confusion, but I hear native speakers make this mistake time and time again (talking about English, by the way).

“I’m going to bring Nicole to the mall.”

No. No, you’re not. You are right in front of me, and we’re not at the mall. If you were to utter that sentence while we’re at the mall, that’s one thing, but that’s not the case.

Simply put, it all depends on where you are when you say ‘bring’ or ‘take.’  It’s a point of reference from the perspective of the speaker. If I want something to come where I am, I’ll ask someone to bring it to me. That means I won’t move and the person comes to me. If someone asks me to hand him son portable (his cell phone), I will get up to take it to him. Basically: bring something HERE but take something THERE.

In the sample sentence, the speaker was talking to me from somewhere that is not the mall, so he can’t bring Nicole there. He can only take her there.

C’est clair (Is it clear)? Awesome. Now for the French.

Both “to bring” and “to take” have 2 forms each in French, but it’s not confusing once you learn the differences. Let’s take a look at them.

*****

To Bring
When to use it?: When you want something/someone to be where you already are.
The 2 forms of “to bring” in French are apporter and amener. What’s the difference?

Apporter is used when you’re describing things you can physically carry.

     J’ai apporté une bouteille de vin ce soir.
     I brought a bottle of wine this evening.
     (said when entering the room, for example)

Amener is used when you bring along people or animals.

     J’ai amené mon chien au bureau aujourd’hui.
     I brought my dog to the office today.
     (this is, of course, only said if you’re at the office)

*****

To Take
When to use it?: When you want something/someone to be in a different location than where you are.
The 2 forms of “to take” in French are emporter and emmener. What’s the difference?

Emporter is used when you’re describing things you can physically carry.

     J’ai emporté une bouteille de vin pour la fête hier soir.
     I took a bottle of wine to the party last night.
     (I’m no longer there but explaining what happened)

Emmener is used when you bring along people or animals.

     Papa va emmener son chien au bureau aujourd’hui !
     Dad is going to take his dog to the office today!
     (Dad hasn’t left the house, but when he leaves, Fido is going with him)

*****

See? Not so difficult!  Need a tip to remember which verb to use?

– Anything you can physically carry (porter in French) has port in it!

– For ‘to take,’ both French verbs start with the letter E. I just remember the small word et to remember that. E for emporter and emmener and T for take = E T.

Aug
29
2015

Receta de torrijas de Semana Santa

Hoy aprenderemos a preparar un postre típico de España para Semana Santa. Se trata de torrijas, preparadas por sor Liliana y sor Beatriz de Bocaditos de cielo.

Today we are going to learn how to prepare a typical Spanish dessert for Easter. These are the torrijas, prepared by sister Liliana and sister Beatriz of Bocaditos de cielo.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Spanish transcription

A continuación vamos a hacer las torrijas. Necesitamos más o menos 1 litro de leche, azúcar al gusto (si les gusta más dulce, más dulce, si les gusta menos dulce…). También una copita de anís. Eso también, si lo quieren ustedes. A los que les gusta el anís, muy bien. Si no…

Aquí en España nos gusta con… en nuestra casa nos gusta con unas gotitas de anís.

Sí, nosotras aquí en el Convento también lo hacemos con anís. Ahora, remojamos el pan, más o menos unos 5 minutos, que todo el pan quede blando. Así. Remojamos. Más o menos unos 5 minutos. El pan tiene que ser del día anterior, para que no se nos vaya a deshacer. Ya tenemos preparado el huevo batido, 2 huevos. El huevo ya es lo que gastemos.

El fuego tiene que estar fuerte. Estas torrijas las hacían antes en los pueblos para aprovechar el pan, las señoras. Por eso es un invento del pueblo, dicen aquí en España. Y además estas torrijas en España son muy tradicionales…

De Semana Santa. Nosotras hacemos muchas y en la Semana Santa es que no damos abasto, se las llevan enseguida, las compra toda la gente. Están muy ricas. Como es tradicional, lo tradicional en España hay que hacerlo porque es así.

Vale, una vez remojadas, ya que estén blandas por todos los sitios, las vamos echando en el huevo. Y las sacamos a la sartén. Echamos las torrijas en el aceite, que esté muy caliente. Damos la vuelta. Para 6 torrijas que vamos a hacer utilizamos más o menos 1 litro de leche, azúcar al gusto, un chorrito de anís, más o menos 3 o 4 huevos, azúcar y canela en polvo para luego espolvorearlas por encima.

Damos la vuelta, que no se nos doren demasiado. Estas torrijas ustedes las pueden elaborar en sus casas en Semana Santa o bueno, aquí en España como siempre lo comen en su tiempo, pero si no para cualquier día. Son muy fáciles, cuando le sobre un pan que esté un poco duro, en vez de tirarlo, lo hacemos una torrija y lo podemos aprovechar. Sí, lo pueden comer de postre.

Sor Beatriz, ¿cómo tienen que estar? ¿Muy tostaditas o mejor así?

Yo creo que esta ya vale.

¿Esta ya vale? Damos la vuelta. Cuidado el aceite.

Muy bien, esta ya está. Deme una fuente. Las sacamos aquí.

Ya tenemos las torrijas preparadas en un plato. Ahora solamente nos quedan los últimos detalles. Echamos la canela en el azúcar, la revolvemos, y ahora las espolvoreamos. También, según al gusto de cada uno. Si les gusta más, le pueden echar más. Así. Y adornamos con unas ramitas de canela. Así. Muy bien.

¡Perfecto!

Bueno, que disfruten las torrijas y los esperamos en nuestro próximo programa de Bocaditos del cielo, con muchas más recetas.

Aug
28
2015

Italian Quiz – August 2015 – The Solutions

Dear Readers, we’re truly touched by your responses, grazie mille!
Our aim has always been to provide you with the kind of learning material that is most helpful to you, and your feedback helps us immensely as it gives us an insight into your needs as learners of Italian.
Here are the solutions to our August Italian Quiz. Rather than simply give you the correct answers I’ve also translated the incorrect answers and given links to articles that deal with specific topics in more depth. Okay, here goes …….

Section 1: The Right Word
Choose the correct word for each of the sentences below:

Orca boia ... che boa!

Orca boia … che boa!

It was a very dark night = era una notte molto buia
boia = executioner, bue = ox, buia = dark, boa = buoy/boa constrictor

There’s no hurry = non c’è fretta/furia
freccia =
arrow, furia = fury/haste, fretta = hurry, fratta = thicket Remember, this one had two correct possibilities

I’ve got a stain on my shirt = ho una macchia sulla camicia
macchina =
car, macchia  = stain/mark, macina = millstone, marca = brand/make

This cake is really tasty = questa torta è molto saporita
saporito =
tasty (masc.), saponata = soapy, sapienza = wisdom, saporita = tasty (fem.)

Giorgio is very hungry = Giorgio è molto affamato
affamato =
hungry, affannato = breathless, affannoso = laboured, affarista = businessman

Section 2: The Right Conjugation.
Choose the correct conjugation for each of the following sentences:

One day I’d like to learn to play the piano = un giorno mi piacerebbe imparare a suonare il piano
piace =
please, piaciuto = pleased, piacerei = I would please, piacerebbe = it would please More info Here

I’m going to Parma at eight o’clock this evening = vado a Parma alle otto di stasera
andrò =
I will go, andavo = I was going, vedo = I see, vado = I go More info Here

Carlo was really tired yesterday = Carlo era molto stanco ieri
stava =
he/she/it was, ero = I was, fosse =  was (subjunctive), era = he/she/it was More info Here

If I had more time I’d learn to play the piano = se avessi più tempo imparerei a suonare il piano
avevo =
I had, avessi = I had (subjunctive), avrò = I will have, avuto = had More info Here

We need to do loads of shopping today = bisogna fare un sacco di spesa oggi
bisnonno =
great grandfather, bisogno = need, bisonte = bison, bisogna = need More info Here

Section 3: General Knowledge.

It was NOT the first capital city of the newly unified Regno d’Italia in 1861

Firenze was NOT the first capital city of the newly unified Regno d’Italia in 1861

It was the first capital city of the newly unified Regno d’Italia in 1861
Torino (Yes, I know the foto showed a view of Firenze … it was a red herring!)

Famous poet, he wrote a Canzoniere (a book of poetry) dedicated to his beloved Laura. He is considered one of the fathers of the Italian language
Francesco Petrarca

Famous scientist from Pisa, he invented the telescope, which he used for several astronomical discoveries, amongst which are sunspots, and the four largest satellites of the planet Jupiter. He was condemned for heresy by the Catholic Church
Galilei

In almost every Italian town you’ll find a monument dedicated to this famous leader. With the help of a thousand volunteers dressed in red shirts he threw out the Borbones from il Regno delle Due Sicilie
Giuseppe Garibaldi

Musician born in Lucca in 1858, he wrote many operas. Amongst his numerous memorable arias is a well know chorus which is sung with the mouth shut!
Giacomo Puccini (il coro muto nell’opera Madama Butterfly)

Well done everyone who had a go, we’re proud of you!