Friday, December 30, 2011

Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions !

Have you made any New Year's resolutions ?  Would you like to achieve them this time  ? Watching the following video , in only 59 seconds , you will discover  5 key principles to help you achieve your New Year's resolutions .

1- Break your goal into a  series of smaller steps.
2- Tell your  friends and family what you are trying to achieve.
3- Remind yourself regularly about the benefits of obtaining your goal.
4-Give yourself a  small reward each time you obtain one of the steps.
5- Map out your progress.

As a language learner, why not try these simple principles with your English?


I tracked the lives of 5,000 people as they attempted to keep their New Year's Resolutions.Now most of them failed but 10% did obtain their aims and ambitions.What were they doing that was so different ? It all came down to 5 simple principles:
First of all they broke their goal into a series of smaller steps.
Second they told their friends and family what they were trying to achieve so they elicited fear of failure but also a sense of support.
Third they regularly reminded themselves about the benefits of obtaining their goals.
Fourth they  gave themselves a small reward each time they obtained one of their small stepsand finally they mapped out their progress in a spread sheet on the fridge door or in a journal so they knew exactly where they were.
And those are the 5 key principles to actually achieving your  New Year's resolutions.

Monday, December 26, 2011


What is Kwanzaa? In order to answer this question, I might as well quote [1] the description of the You Tube video of the same name, which you can see further below.

“The celebrations of Kwanzaa are relatively recent. The holiday was founded by Dr. Malauna Karenga in 1966 as an African equivalent to Christmas and Hanukkah. There are many different reasons for celebration incorporated into this holiday. Reconnecting to life, community, and culture are a large part of what this holiday embodies. Freedom, justice, and equality also play an enormous role in the meaning behind the festivities. The holiday lasts one week and is celebrated between December 26th and January 1st. The actual celebrations include lighting candles on the kinara [2], feasts, gift giving, and traditional African dress. The central meaning behind Kwanzaa is to reconnect to ones African roots and meditate on the world and the joys of life. Appropriately the official greeting of this festive holiday is Joyous Kwanzaa.”

The kinara, the festival candelabra, holds seven candles, one for each night of Kwanzaa. Each candle symbolizes a different principle. They are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Below is a song about the first night of Kwanzaa, called Umoja, which means unity in the Swahili language. The video has subtitles, so you can follow along.

[1] bien podría citar, [2] candelabro especial por esta fiesta. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas !!!

Christmas Carols are songs  or hymns whose lyrics are on  the theme of Christmas.  Silent Night is perhaps  the most popular of all . 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Hanukah Song

While Santa and the Kings get the majority of everyone’s attention this time of year, we shouldn’t overlook [1] another holiday that is celebrated by the non-Gentile [2] population, meaning Jews [3], called Hanukkah, an eight-day festival which commemorates the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC, after defeating the Greeks.

This year, Hanukkah starts on December 20th, and in its honor, let’s listen to The Hanukkah Song, by American comedian, Adam Sandler. As Adam Sandler says in his intro to the original song, which doesn’t appear in the live video below, “there's a lot of Xmas songs out there, but not too many about Hanukkah, so I wrote a song for all those nice little Jewish kids who don't get to hear any Hanukkah songs.” Enjoy!

Put on your yarmulke [4], here comes Hanukkah 
Its so much fun-akkah to celebrate Hanukkah, 

Hanukkah is the festival of lights, 
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights. 

When you feel like the only kid in town without a Xmas tree,
here’s a list of  People who are Jewish, just like you and me: 

David Lee Roth lights the menorah [5], 
So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah 

Guess who eats together at the Karnickey deli [6], 
Bowzer from Sha-na-na, and Arthur Fonzerrelli. 

Paul Newman’s half Jewish; Goldie Hawn’s half too, 
Put them together--what a fine-lookin' [7] Jew!
You don't need deck the halls or jingle bell rock 
Cause you can spin the dreidl [8] with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock--both Jewish! 

Put on your yarmulke, it's time for Hanukkah, 
The owner of the Seattle super sonic-ahs celebrates Hanukkah. 

O.J. Simpson-- not a Jew! 
But guess who is...hall of lamer Rod Carew--(he converted!) 

We got Ann Landers and her sister dear Abby, 
Harrison Ford’s a quarter Jewish--not too shabby [9]! 

Some people think that Ebeneezer Scrooge is, 
Well, he's not, but guess who is: all three Stooges [10].

So many Jews are in show biz-- 
Tom Cruise isn¹t, but I heard his agent is.

Tell your friend Veronica, it's time you celebrate Hanukkah 
I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely Hanukkah. 

So drink your Gin-and-Tonic-ah,
and smoke your mara-juanic-ah, 
If you really, really wanna-kah,
have a happy, happy, happy, happy Hanukkah!­
Happy Hanukkah!

[1] pasar por alto, [2] no Judía, [3] Judíos, [4] solideo típicamente llevado por los hombres, [5] candelabro por nueve velas, una por cada noche y la novena para encender las demás, [6] charcutería, [7] guapo, [8] trompo típico de esta fiesta, con 4 lados, [9] desharrapado, [10] Los Tres Chiflados, “stooge” significa literalmente “victima de burlas”

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Another year has gone so quickly  !  You think you have just got rid (acabas de librar) of Christmas and it's upon you again with all its demands  ! 

Christmas is the most important holiday in the whole year for British and American people.It is a time when all the family meets and celebrates.

Christmas tree
This is an old Scandinavian tradition showing that Nature is still alive because the Christmas tree is a green fir tree ( un abeto verde) . The tree is decorated with lights and it usually has a star at the  top.

Christmas presents
On Christmas Day , there are presents for every member of the family. Santa Claus comes down the chimney at night and leaves presents next to the Christmas tree.

Boxing Day
In Britain, December 26th is called Boxing Day. The name "Boxing Day" comes from an old tradition when rich employers  ( jefes) used to give their servants a big hamper of food (lote de comida) , called a Christmas box as a gift.

Listen to the video to discover the greatest gift of all  !

Verse 1
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
Verse 2
Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
Verse 3
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Time For Africa

The FIFA Club World Cup is upon us again! Once again, a Spanish team is representing Europe. Football Club Barcelona is going back to compete for the trophy for the third time in the competition's short 7-year history. Only a year and half ago,  Spain's National Team won the World Cup! You are probably familiar with the anthem of the World Cup, Shakira's hit song Waka Waka (Esto es Africa). But you might not have heard her English version This is Africa. So here's a video of her song in English with subtitles.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

British - American Differences.

Some people say that true English is spoken only in Great Britain and what the Americans speak is another language entirely.While this is  an exaggeration , there are some differences between American English and British English.Here is a list of British words with their American equivalent.

BRITISH                                    AMERICAN                                SPANISH

chemist's                                    drug store                                    farmacia
flat                                             apartment                                    piso
shop                                          store                                            tienda
hire (a car)                                  rent                                             alquilar
petrol                                         gas-gasoline                                gasolina
underground                                subway                                       metro
subway                                      pedestrian underpass                   paso de peatones 
cinema                                        movie theatre                              cine
film                                             movie                                          película
biscuit                                         cookie                                        galleta 
bloke, chap                                 guy                                             tio, individuo
bird                                             chic                                           chica, muchacha
city centre                                   downtown                                   centro de la ciudad
lift                                               elevator                                       ascensor
way out                                       exit                                             salida
crisps                                          potatoe chips                              patatas chips
chips                                           french fries                                  patatas fritas

And remember, a pub in England is a bar in the states. In the States they often say cab instead of taxi, but not always.If you order whisky in England it is automatically Scotch whisky.In America you must ask for Scotch or Bourbon, two very different kinds of whiskies.Or , of course, perhaps you prefer Irish whisky. In England you walk on the pavement (acera), but in the U.S you walk on the sidewalk.In England to go from one city to another you take a coach, in America you take a bus

Monday, December 5, 2011

The History of English in 10 Minutes!

When you first see the History of  English, your first impression might be long and boring. But here's an entertaining, short explanation by the Open University! It is made up of ten chapters. The narrator speaks fast but the illustration helps out. Anyhow, you can appreciate why English is such a hodgepodge (batiburrillo) and why so much sounds so little like it's spelled!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Something In The Water . Brooke Fraser.

Brooke Fraser  is a New Zealand singer and songwriter. This folk-pop and christian music artist   started taking piano lessons at the age of seven, wrote her first song at the age of twelve and taught herself  how to play the acoustic guitar at fifteen  !!  A natural talent, this successful   singer  and  award winning artist  has never taken any singing lessons !

Before watching the video and listening to the song check the lyrics of  her biggest hit until now  “Something in the water “  . Try singing along  !   (Intenta cantar con ella

 Link to the video-clip : Something in the Water


Do do do do do do do do do do

I wear a demeanor ( porte )  made of bright pretty things
What she wears, what she wears, what she wears
Birds singing on my shoulder in harmony it seems
How they sing, how they sing, how they sing

Give me nights of solitude, red wine just a glass or two, reclined in a hammock (hamaca) on a balmy (agradable) evening.
I'll pretend that it's no thing that's skipping my heart when I think
are you thinking bout' me babe? I'm crazy over you ( loco por tí /enamorado de tí

Aaah Aaah Aaah
there's something in the water, something in the water
Aaah Aaah Aaah
There's something in the water, that makes me love you like –

I've got halo's (aureola)  made of summer, rhythms made of spring
What she wears, what she wears, what she wears
I got crowns (coronas) of words a woven  (entrelazadas ) each one a song to sing
Oh I sing, oh I sing, oh I sing

Give me long days in the sun, preludes to the nights to come
previews of the mornings laying in all lazy
give me something fun to do like a life of loving you
Kiss me quick now baby I'm still crazy over you

Aaah Aaah Aaah
there's something in the water, something in the water
Aaah Aaah Aaah
there's something in the water that makes me love you like I do

Give me nights of solitude, red wine just a glass or two, give me something fun to dooooo