Showing posts from May, 2012

Pavement etiquette

Check out this video onPavement Etiquette. Source: Videojug

Image source:Wikipedia (Tomasz Kuran)
If you look up into the sky now, you are likely to see lots of birds racing around catching flies for their young. I find it amazing that, despite their speed, they never crash into one another. It's a pity that the humans on the pavements below couldn't be like them.

I walk a lot around Madrid and each time I am confronted by a lack of "pavement manners" and basic common sense.

Many pavements are narrow and so logically you can't always walk side by side with your friend. You should walk in front of your friend if you see someone coming towards you; otherwise you end up making physical contact with the stranger. Why are people so reluctant to do this?

It's the same on wider pavements.  I often meet six people walking side by side and occupying the whole pavement. Wouldn't it make more sense to divide up into smaller groups?

I think it's great that couples…

Confusing words - disgust

El Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación ha transmitido al Reino Unido “el disgusto y malestar del Gobierno por la prevista visita” que el príncipe Eduardo, hijo menor de la reina Isabel II, hará a Gibraltar el próximo mes de junio.

I have seen "el disgusto y malestar" translated in different ways: "disgust and upset", "disgust and unease", "disgust and concern"...

I think the best way to translate "malestar" is unease. It means you are unhappy or uncomfortable with a situation. (adj - uneasy)
There is growing unease in the country at the direction taken by the government.There is an uneasy truce in the country but I doubt it'll be long before they start fighting again.
I think "concern" is more like worry so I'd translate it as preocupación. (adj - concerned, concerning)
There is a lot of public concern about the high level of crime in the city.I am a bit concerned that she hasn't phoned yet.
I'd transl…

Confusing words - sympathy

sympathy (n): is a feeling of compassion or of pity for another person's suffering. (compasión)
We could only express our sympathy for her loss. I have no sympathy for any bullfighters who are gored. They deserve to suffer in my opinion.
to sympathise / sympathize:  is to understand and care about somebody's problems. (compadecerse)
I can sympathise with you. I know how hard it is when you lose your job.We sympathize with your situation but we don't see how we can help you.
sympathetic (adj): describes someone who shows they care for another's difficult situation. (comprensivo)
Her boss was very sympathetic. He allowed her to have time off to look after her sick mother.Everyone I talked to at Telefonica was sympathetic but they couldn't sort out the problem.

Notice how you translate the following:

simpatía - friendliness
The Scots are renowned for their friendliness. simpatizar - to get on with sb, to like sb
She's the colleague who I got on best with. simpático - nic…

Queen Sofia misses out on second anniversary celebration

Image Source Agencia Brasil
Diamond Jubilee: Spain's Queen Sofia cancels visit
Queen Sofia of Spain has cancelled a visit to the UK to mark Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee because of disputes over the island of Gibraltar.

A Spanish government statement said it was "hardly appropriate" for Queen Sofia, 73, to attend a lunch on Friday.

Source: BBC News

a statement -
off (Gibraltar) -
hip (n) -
to spark -
a complaint -
a household -
to undergo surgery -
a duty -
lavish (adj) -
to starve -
to hold (an event) -
to claim -
unrest (n) -
to host -

Grammar point:
"The prince and the Countess of Wessex are to visit Gibraltar on 11-13 June as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign."
Be to + verb refers to a future action. It is quite common in news reports and official notices. It is used for official arrangements and formal instructions that are imposed on us by other people. The PM (Prime Minister) is to make a stateme…

Prince Charles the weather forecaster

Source: ITN News (You Tube) key words: prince charles weather man Expect reign: Prince Charles reads the weather
The threat of floods and yet more miserable wet weather means all too often these days the television weather report is a thoroughly dispiriting business.

However, viewers tuning into BBC Scotland's lunchtime weather report today had at least a small measure of consolation after receiving the bad news from royalty.

Prince Charles, who was on a tour of the channel's Scottish Pacific Quay headquarters with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, delivered a special weather broadcast live on BBC Scotland.
Source: The Independent

a reign -
a threat -
a flood -
all too often -
thoroughly -
dispiriting (adj) -
to tune into (a TV channel) -
headquarters -
to broadcast -
live (adj) -
to be treated to stg -
unsettled (weather) -
northwards -
outbreaks of rain -
a flurry of snow -
who the hell...? -
a script -
to compliment -

Sunny at last!

Sunny - Boney M

Yesterday my life was filled with rain
You smiled at me and really eased the pain
The dark days are gone, and the bright days are here
My sunny one shines so sincere

Sunny one so true
I love you

(Yeah )
Thank you for the sunshine bouquet
(That sweet bouquet)
Thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all
Now I feel ten feet tall

Sunny one so true
I love you

Thank you for the truth you let me see
Thank you for the facts from A to Z

My life was torn like a windblown sand
And the rock was formed when you held my hand

Sunny one so true
I love you

Ooh ooh

Thank you for the smile upon your face
And thank you for the gleam that shows this grace

You're my part of nature's fire
You're my sweet complete desire

Sunny one so true
I love you
(Yeah eh eh)

I love you
(Yeah, baby)
I love you
(Eh hey hey)
I love you
(Eh eh eh ah eh)
I love you

Now that the sun has put in …

Chasing pavements

Today I was asked what "chasing pavements" meant. I thought it could be the name of a TV series. I didn't know it was the name of a song by Adele.

Dogs chase cats and cats chase mice but chasing pavements? It's a strange title to give a song.

Read this entry to Wikipedia to find out the meaning behind the title.

Chasing Pavements - Adele
I've made up my mind*, No need to think it over, If I'm wrong I aint* right, No need to look no further*, This ain't lust, This is love but,
If I tell the world*, I'll never say enough*, Cause* it was not said to you, And thats exactly what I need to do, If I'm in love with you,
Should I give up, Or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads nowhere, Or would it be a waste? Even if I knew my place should I leave it there? Should I give up, Or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads nowhere
I'd build myself up, And fly around in circles, Wait then as my heart drops, and my back begins t…

Because I'm worth it

It's an expensive restaurant but it's worth it. The food is excellent.

It is worth it when something is good enough or has enough advantages that the negative aspects (the effort that you make, the expense etc) are acceptable. You give some sort of value to stg/sb.
(to a girl after she breaks up with her boyfriend) Don't cry. Forget about him. He isn't worth it.You have to climb up narrow steps to get to the top but it is (well) worth it. The views are spectacular.They paid €30m for the young Brazilian footballer. Let's hope he's worth it.

His latest film is worthseeing. I really enjoyed it.

If something is worth doing or having, it is useful or important to have or do. It's not a waste of time.
Her idea is worth considering. We have nothing to lose.It isn't worthgoing to the meeting. You won't learn anything that you don't already know.It is (well) worthvisiting the museum. It has an impressive collection.
Can you think of things that were worth it…

Common mistakes - want

Unlike in Spanish, we never say "want that" in English.

Do you want that I go with you? X

Do you want me to go with you? ✔

Our boss wants that we work late this Friday. X

Our boss wants us to work late this Friday. ✔

So the verb pattern is: want + sb + to + do stg

Translate the following sentences:
Mi madre quiere que la recoja en el aeropuerto.Quiero que eches un vistazo cuando tengas un momento.Él no quiere que lo vean.Nuestro profe quiere que terminemos de leer el libro antes de fin de mes.¿Quieres que te ayude?Queremos que lo pases muy bien. ¿Queréis que os haga la cena esta noche?No quería que parases lo que estabas haciendo.Quiero que ellos me devuelvan el dinero.Ella no quiere que él se entere.

Crime vocabulary (part 1)

arson (C/U)                                 an arsonist                                         to set fire (to a place)

assassination (C/U)                     an assassin                                        to assassinate

assault (C/U)                                      -                                                 to assault sb

blackmail (U)                              a blackmailer                                    to blackmail sb

bribery (U)                                          -                                                to bribe sb

burglary (C/U)                            a burglar / a break-in                        to burgle / to break into

drug dealing (U)                         a dealer                                             to deal in drugs

fraud (C/U)                                 a fraudster                                         to commit a fraud

hijacking (C/U)                          a hijacker                        …