Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And You Think Understanding English is Difficult!!

And you think understanding English is difficult!! Even American have a hard time understanding their older English cousins across the puddle (charco) known as the Atlantic Ocean.

Here's an example from the animated sticom Family Guy of how English people sound to Americans.

Can you identify with that? Well sometimes, We Americans really have a hard time understanding English people. Here's a spoof (parodia) from a comedy show, showing a rude American treating English citizens as if they are speaking a foreign language.

Finally, not only do we not understand the Brits, we often say stupid things from. Here's an example from the popular American Late Night Show hosted by David Letterman. His nightly Top-10 list features the British comedian Rick Gervais, the creator of the British comedy, The Office.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Are you having a party? Do you want something different to serve your guests?(invitado) Why not try some of these spicy picante) chicken nuggets? They are quick and easy to make, and after you eat one you will not be able to stop all night. Happy dipping !( to dip = mojar)
The chicken nugget, like the hamburger, has a bad reputation because of its association with fast food. But when it is freshly made (recién hecho) using different herbs and seasonings,(condimento) it makes a wonderful snack, perfect for parties. You can vary the herbs to create various flavours,(sabores ) increasing the amount of chilli if you want to make them spicier. Children especially will love dipping them into mayonnaise. You can also dip them into mustard (mostaza ) or a mixture of mustard and honey.

Ingredients for 36 nuggets 
2 lbs boneless (sin hueso ) chicken breasts,(pechuga ) cut into 1-inch (pulgada) pieces
3 eggs, beaten (batidos )
½ c plain dry breadcrumbs ( pan rallado )

1½ tsp chilli powder (en polvo)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground (molido) cumin
1 tsp thyme leaves ( hojas de tomillo
¼ tsp paprika
pinch (pizca ) of salt
oil for frying

Note on British measures: 
 lb = 1 pound = 453g   /  tsp = 1 teaspoon(20) = 5ml  / 1 cup = 240ml
First, cut the chicken breasts into pieces. Beat the eggs and dip the chicken pieces into the mixture. Next, mix the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, onion powder, cumin, thyme, paprika and salt in a bowl. Dip the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, coating (cubriéndolo) well.Heat (calienta ) the oil in a large frying pan (sarten and fry the chicken on a medium heat. Drain (escurrir) on kitchen roll (papel de cocina). Serve warm with mayonnaise and  mustard.

Monday, November 21, 2011

U Can’t Stuff This

Do any of you remember the 1990’s song by MC Hammer song, U Can’t Touch This. Well, here’s a funny animated satire of that song dedicated to the Thanksgiving Turkey (el Pavo de Acción de Gracias) called U Can’t Stuff This (No Puedes Rellenar Esto). Turkey is the centerpiece (centro de mesa) of the Thanksgiving meal, which takes places on the fourth Thursday of November. This year it falls on the 24th.

The video comes with subtitles, so it’s easy to follow. But first, familiarize yourself with the vocabulary below.

stuff = rellenar
trot = trotar
strut = pavonearse
hayseed = semillo de heno, pueblorino
roasting pan = bandeja de horno
fresh = fresco
juicy = jugoso
recipe = receta
hold on = esperar
plump = regordete
fit = en forma
free-range = sin enjaular
seasonings = condimentos
giblets = menudillos

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Alien In My Fridge !

A Russian woman found a weird ( raro) extra-terrestrial creature two years ago and kept it in her fridge. Marta Yegorovnam discovered the strange being ( extraño ser in a "crash site" after hearing a loud bang outside her home in Petrozavodsk , western Russia . Marta told boffins (expertos) the alien was in a spacesuit (traje espacial) when she first saw it . She then wrapped (envolvió) the creature in plastic and put it in her fridge-freezer  to preserve it .

The  Karelian Academy of Science in Petrozavodsk is now investigating Marta's story .

I have got an alien in my fridge !

Where is the spacesuit ? 

Do you believe this story or do you think this is just a  rotting vegetable ( vegetal pudriéndose) ?

(Published by The Mirror )

Monday, November 14, 2011

British Government

Since Spain is going to hold elections very soon, I think it would be interesting to have a brief view of how the British political system works. Like Spain, the UK has a constitutional government with a parliament and a royal family, or a constitutional monarchy.

In the UK, the monarch is the head of state and the head of the Church of England. The government consists of a cabinet of politicians and the Prime Minister is the head of the government. There is also a parliament which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The government proposes laws and Parliament can either pass or reject them. If Parliament passes a new law, then the monarch has to sign [1] it.

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet
The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the political party that has the most seats in the House of Commons. The king or queen appoints [2] the Prime Minister after each general election. The monarch asks him or her to form a government. The largest political party in the House of Commons that opposes the party in power is called His or Her Majesty’s Opposition. Its main function is to criticise the government and to be ready to set up [3] a new government if they win the next general election. The leading members of the opposition party are called the Shadow Cabinet [4]. 

The House of Commons
The members of the House of Commons are called Members of Parliament (MPs). They are elected [5] in the general election which usually takes place [6] about once every five years. MPs represent a constituency [7] and everyone in the United Kingdom has his or her own MP. If they have a problem they can write to or visit their MP. Nowadays, the House of Commons is the stronger of the two houses of Parliament, and it is responsible for passing new laws and debating government policy.

The House of Lords 
The House of Lords has less power than the House of Commons. It can delay [8], but not defeat [9], the laws that the House of Commons passes. People do not elect the members of the House of Lords. Historically, most of its members came from the aristocracy and their right to sit in the House of Lords was hereditary. However, the House of Lords Act in 1999, removed this right from all but 92 of its members. The other members of the House of Lords are either Church of England Bishops, or they are life peers [10]. Life peers are appointed by the monarch and their titles are not hereditary. 

General Elections in Great Britain are usually every five years, and are always held on a Thursday. The electoral campaign [11] lasts for four weeks and the politicians make speeches everywhere in Britain. The Government, based in England, controls political affairs in the United Kingdom. However, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales also have their own parliaments. Each country in the United Kingdom is divided into counties [12], and each county has an elected council [13]. The big cities are divided into borough [14] councils (for example, there are 32 in London).

[1] firmar, [2] nombrar, [3] formar, [4] la oposición, (literalmente, el gabinente en la sombra), [5] elegir, [6] tener lugar, [7] circunscripción electoral, [8] retrasar, [9] literalmente, vencer. Aquí significa rechazar, [10] persona con título de nobleza de por vida, [11] campaña, [12] condados, [13] ayuntamiento, [14] distrito

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is This Real Life ?

David has just had his tooth removed and is suffering the after effects of the medication he received. These are some of the questions 7 year old David asks his Dad after his visit to the dentist:

Is this real life ?
Do I have stitches (puntos) ?
Why can't  I touch it ?
Why is this happening to me?
Is this going to be forever?

Watch the video to find out (averiguar) the answers. Have fun !

(puedes ver el video con subtítulos en castellano siguiendo este enlace David after dentist -subtítulos en castellano- )

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pub Music

You can often listen to music in pubs. Some pubs play the latest hits, but others have live music that ranges from traditional folk songs to rock bands, so you can choose your favourite pub depending on the type of music that you like. If you go to Great Britain and you are not very sure about which pub you should go to, you can consult a tourist guide or the Internet. Believe it or not, some people are paid for going on a pub crawl [1] and writing their opinion on the pubs they have visited!

Lots of traditional English songs are about drinking and love, but they don’t always go well together. Here are two songs about the dangerous combination of drinking and love.

There is a Tavern in the Town

This song is about a girl who is thinking about the man she loves. Unfortunately, he doesn’t take any notice of [2] her – he just sits in a pub and drinks.

There is a tavern in the town, in the town.
Where my true love sits him down, sits him down
And drinks his wine mid laughter free
And never, never thinks of me.
Fare thee well, for I must leave thee,
Do not let the parting grieve thee, [3]
But remember that the best of friends must part, must part.
Adieu, adieu kind friends adieu, adieu, adieu,
I can no longer stay with you, stay with you
I’ll hang my harp on the weeping willow tree,
And may the world go well with thee.

What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?

Here’s a funny English about a sailor [4] who is really drunk. The other sailors suggest putting him in bed with the Captain’s daughter!

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
Early in the morning?

Put him in a cabin with the Captain’s daughter!
Put him in a cabin with the Captain’s daughter!
Put him in a cabin with the Captain’s daughter
Early in the morning!

Hey hoe up she rises
Hey hoe up she rises
Hey hoe up she rises
Early in the morning.

[1] ir de tascas, [2] hacer caso a alguien, [3] no deja que la despedida te entristece, [4] marinero

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bonfire Night !

In Britain,there's another popular event in autumn.On November 5th , all over Britain people burn a  guy (nombre dado al muñeco que queman en la hoguera) on a bonfire (hoguera) and they let off fireworks.(hacer estallar fuegos artificiales) Why do they do this ?  Well, in 1605 a man called Guy Fawkes tried to plant a bomb (poner una bomba) in the Houses of Parliament to try to kill king James I and all his ministers when they opened Parliament. However the plot failed (el complot falló) ,Guy Fawkes was arrested and executed.The British still celebrate the King's escape every year by burning Guy Fawkes on a bonfire! Children collect (recaudar) money to buy fireworks and they sing this song :
Remember, remember,
The 5th of November,
Gunpowder,treason and plot.
(pólvora, traición y complot)
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Watch this interesting video about  the 5 main figures behind the 1605 Gunpowder Plot that almost destroyed England's political elite:

Bonfire night in Lewes (Sussex)