Travel. Culture. Adventure.
In the middle of March on a full moon day, Indians celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colours. With this festival, the people of India celebrate the beginning of a good harvest and land fertility. The festival is hosted in Mathura and in Vrindavan, cities associated with Lord Krishna.
The festival starts with a bonfire on Holi eve. The next day everybody gathers on the streets to smear each other with bright colours, dance and exchange sweets.
To make sure this doesn't happen to you, we have prepared a useful guide to make sure that you know your "colours" from "colors". Below we'll show you some key differences between American English (AE) and British English (BE), which as you will see often differ in vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, and sometimes in grammar.
An article is a word that modifies or describes a noun while also telling us whether the noun refers to something specific or general. There are three different declension categories for articles: genus, numerus, and case. Genus can be either feminine, masculine, or neutral. The numerus describes whether the noun is present only once (singular) or several times (plural). Lastly, German has four cases - nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive - which describe the relationship of the noun to the other parts of the sentence.
Like most languages, German has two types of articles: definite and indefinite articles. These are usually placed before a noun. The differences between these two types of articles are:
Definite article: A definite article is used in combination with a noun. As the name suggests, definite articles describe a definite object. The definite articles used in German are DER (masculine), DIE (feminine) and DAS (neutral).
Example: The dog is running. - Der Hund rennt.
The dog is a specific one, not just a general one.
Indefinite article: Indefinite articles are used when a thing, object or person cannot be precisely assigned or is unknown. The indefinite articles used in German are EIN (masculine and neutral) and EINE (feminine).
Example:A dog is running - Ein Hund rennt.
We don't know who this dog belongs to, we just know that there is a dog and it is running.
When to use the definite article can cause some confusion, even for native speakers. To avoid making mistakes or using the incorrect article, you should have a look at the following rule.
Golden Bay is one of Malta’s longest sandy beaches. This heavenly bay provides the perfect movie set. This was obvious to director Wolfgang Petersen, who filmed a few scenes for the blockbuster Troy there. Of course, the actual remnants of the city of Troy are in Turkey and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is why shooting the film mainly took place in Malta and Mexico. The scene with the ship at the beginning of the film was shot in Malta, as were the scenes showing the inside of Troy. The beach at Mellieħa Bay and the small town of Mellieħa were also filming locations. Part of the beach at Mellieħa Bay can be seen when Odysseus (Sean Bean) appeals to the hero Achilles (Brad Pitt) for support in battle against the Trojans.
oh là là !
Contrary to how people use it in countries other than France, this phrase is generally used when something wrong or very exciting has happened. It's basically an expression of shock or extreme happiness. The sexual innuendo often associated with "oh là là" is not common in France.
This is the common phrase used by everyone to say "nice to meet you" in French.
Who hasn't heard the French word "voilà"? By itself, "voilà" can mean "exactly" or "here it is". It really depends on the context! You can also say "voilà" to introduce someone: "Voilà Jean, mon meilleur ami".
You know the feeling when looking for a simple word that just doesn't come to mind when you need it? Well, when this happens to French people, they replace the word they are looking for with "truc" or "machin": "où est le truc de ta soeur?" - "where is your sister's thing?". You could also use these words to refer to someone, but this would be very disrespectful and indicates that you do not like the person.
If you spend some time in France, you have to get used to this one! Instead of "oui" (yes), it's not uncommon for French people to say "ouais" (pronounced "wey"). However, children are often taught by their parents not to say it!
This is a simple phrase to express surprise about what someone has just told you. It could be translated as "oh, really?".
This is also a very common word in French. Apart from its literal translation "at last", you can find it in different expressions like "enfin bon" (anyway), "enfin tu vois" (well, you see).
à tout à l'heure / à toute' !
Although "à plus tard !" would be the literal meaning of "see you later", you might want to learn the other common phrase "à tout à l'heure !". And if you want to sound even more French, try the shorter version "à toute' ! "
Some words differ in American and British English. Here are some examples:
The best way to know which definite article you should use is to look at the ending of the noun. The following graphic shows you which endings require which definite article:
During nine days in October, 550 hot air balloons will rise up in the sky during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. More than 850.000 people come to see the special shaped balloons during competitions, glow ups (lighting them up while they are on the ground) and spectacular fireworks. Of course, there are also some open air concerts to listen to your favourite music, while watching all the balloons taking off!
During St. Patrick's day, the Irish remember the day's namesake St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland
Irish-Americans have made this day into an international party. Boston was the first city with a St. Patrick's Day parade. Ever since 1962, Chicago has been coloring its river green.
St. Patrick's Day has become a combination between King's Day and Carnival. But instead of orange, everyone is dressed in green, the national color of the Irish.
Gladiator and much more
Gladiator, released in 2000, was not only shot in Rome, as some may expect. Large parts of ancient Rome were shot at Fort Ricasoli in Malta. The producers even had a replica of the Roman Colosseum built in Malta, about a third of the size of the original structure.
I could go on listing films that were shot in Malta, the most recent of which is probably the Assassin’s Creed film, released in 2016. However, the list would be too long. If you want to discover more you can join a Malta Film Tour and find out which districts have served as movie sets.
N'importe quoi !
With this phrase, you want to tell the person you are speaking to that he/she is talking nonsense. Commonly used as "Tu racontes n'importe quoi !" - "You are talking nonsense!", or simply as an interjection.
Literally "let it fall". French people use it to tell somebody to give up or to simply say "nevermind".
"Bref" would be the translation of "anyway". Generally used to cut the conversation of a particular topic short and point out you do not want to talk about that topic anymore.
Comme d'habitude / Comme d'hab'
Literally "as usual". However, note the common use "Comme d'hab' " very often heard spoken by French people!
Although "okay" is also quite common in French, you will more often hear people say "d'accord". Note the longer version "je suis d'accord" to say "I agree".
C'est clair !
This French expression is used to approve of somebody's saying.
Literally "in a square way"... French people say it either to agree with something, like "totally" or "definitely" or as an adverb to say "very". In this case, if you really like something you would say "c'est carrément bien!"
Of course, the carnival is celebrated in the whole world. But the place to be is in Rio de Janeiro. With more than 300 parties and parades throughout the city, it's easy to see why it is the capital of carnival. The Samba bands of Ipanema is the most famous and impressive one. the parties downtown, like Cordão do Bola Preta, are the biggest. Did you know that you can join the parade yourself? Just get in contact with one of the Salsa Schools and order your own costume. Or order tickets and watch the parade from the side. Either way, it is one of the most impressive experiences in your life!
American words end in "-or" vs British words end in "-our"
color (AE) | colour (BE)
flavor (AE) | flavour (BE)
neighbor (AE) | neighbour (BE)
American words end in "-er" vs British words end in "-re"
theater (AE) | theatre (BE)
meter (AE) | metre (BE)
center (AE) | center (BE)
American words end in "-ize" vs British words usually end in "-ise"
apologize (AE) | apologise (BE)
organize (AE) | organise (BE)
realize (AE) | realise (BE)
In American English words often have only one consonant, while in British English they have two.
traveled (AE) | travelled (BE)
jewelry (AE) | jewelry (BE)
canceled (AE) | cancelled (BE)
Other different spellings:
cozy (AE) | cosy (BE)
catalog (AE) | catalogue (BE)
As with any other rule, there are some irregularities and exceptions with this one. Therefore, you should see the rule only as a very good guide, with which you can reliably find the correct German definite article.
Another useful tip is using the article "Die" when you are not sure which definite article is the correct one. This is because almost 45% of German nouns are feminine, so you have a high chance of guessing correctly. On the other hand, the neutral article "Das" occurs least often, so you should only use it if you are sure that "Das" is the correct one.
Game of Thrones
Lastly, we would be foolish to ignore the fact that it is not only films that are seduced by Malta’s allure. Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogos’ wedding scene in the beloved Game of Thrones series was filmed on the Maltese island of Gozo in front of the famous Azure Window. The renowned natural arch sadly broke apart during a storm in March 2017. More filming locations for the fantasy series can be found in Malta though, such as Verdala Palace, residence of the merchant Illyrio in the series, who establishes the alliance between the Targaryen brother and sister and the Dothraki in the first season.
Merci for your attention! If you know other expressions or typical French words that you want to share with us, visit our Sprachcaffe Facebook Site and comment under the post for this article! Au revoir et à bientôt!
Loi Krathong or ลอยกระทง or The Festival of Lights is celebrated in Thailand and the surrounding countries. The festival starts on the 12th full moon-month of the Thai lunar calendar. During five days there are parades, fireworks and light shows. Tourists and locals will set lighted paper floats (Krathong) in the river and they release lighted paper lanterns in the night sky. While releasing the floats or the lanterns they whisper a prayer. Many Thai people use the Krathong to thank Ganga, the Hindu Goddess of Water. The festival gets more and more environment-friendly, in 2016, 93 per cent of the material was biodegradable. the government also sets up cleaning efforts after the celebrations. So if you are in for a fairy tale experience, book a ticket to Thailand!!
- Americans pronounce all "r" sounds clearly, while the often British pronounce the "r" only as the first sound in the word. If the "r" is in the middle of a word it is usually barely audible, and the emphasis is more on the vowel (far sounds like "fa").
- In American English, the letter "t" sounds more like a "d" (better sounds like "bedder"). In British, you can hear the "t" clearly. In some words, such as 'dance' or 'can't', the "a" is pronounced like an "ä" in American - in British more like a long "a".
- British and American pronunciation differ a lot. To look at them more closely, it is helpful to listen to them. For example, watch an American movie and then a British one and you will quickly notice the differences in pronunciation.
Despite all the difficulties that come with learning German, there are always some shortcuts that will make your life much easier. It is important for you to learn the rule for using the correct definite article in order to train your feeling for the German language. This way, you will gradually think less and less about which article is the correct one.
Interested in testing your German level and your newly acquired grammar knowledge? Then our German language test is exactly what you need!
After detective Starling in the film Hannibal receives a handwritten note from Hannibal Lecter, which emits a strange fragrance, she discovers from a perfume expert that the ingredients for the skin cream from which the smell comes can only be bought from a few shops in the world, and eventually travels to Florence. We see the setting of Florence in the 2001 film as Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) walks across Ponte Vecchio. Since Lecter is also portrayed as a music and art lover despite his feral urges, even the Uffizi Gallery features in the film.
The 27th of April is King's day in the Netherlands. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the birthday of the king. the royal family visits and walk through one of the bigger cities in the Netherlands, which will be aired live on television. The trip through the city ends at a big open air festival.
There are big festivals with amazing line-ups and flea markets going on simultaneously throughout the country. Children sit on blankets to sell their old stuff. The Dutchies spend millions of euros on this day to buy stuff they will probably resell the next year!
But the most amazing thing about this day: everybody wears orange. The royal family's last name is of Orange, so with wearing this colour the Dutch people show the love for their king.
Do as the Dutch do and show your appreciation for the royal family by wearing orange! If you are asking why they do that just know that the royal family's last name is Orange. Who would have guessed!!
Some British and American prepositions work differently:
- For example, in American you say "on the weekend", while in British you almost always use "at" when talking about a time, so "at the weekend".
- In American, the verb "to write" is usually used by itself, while in British you say "to write to", as in "I promised to write to her a letter."
The past participle of the verb "to get" differs between AE and BE:
- AE: get | got | gotten
- BE: get | got | got
Collective nouns (such as "team") can be plural in British English when referring to the individual members. In American English, they are always singular:
- AE: The team is good
- BE: The team are good
The film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel, Inferno, was also produced in close cooperation with the city of Florence, through which Robert Langdon scurries to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic. As the symbologist gets his clues from works of art, the film also gives you a taste of the magnificent art that awaits you in Florence.
Every year during the end of September and the beginning of October Munich celebrates Oktoberfest. Millions of people dress in traditional outfits, Lederhosen and Dirndls. Prepare yourself for a bellyful of the world-famous German beer and Wurst!
Drinking and eating is not the only things Oktoberfest offers the intrepid visitor: rides, live music, parades and even a chance to shoot a crossbow!! Don't miss the 186th Oktoberfest!!
What a Man
Most German films are shot in Berlin, however Frankfurt has also become a popular filming location in recent years. The most well-known German film with a Hessian backdrop is probably Matthias Schweighöfer’s What a Man, released in 2011. The story follows 30-year-old Frankfurt elementary school teacher Alex Nowak as he tries, after a failed relationship, to discover what makes a man a man. The scene at the beginning of the film, as Schweighöfer cycles through Frankfurt, is particularly memorable. He can be seen whizzing through recognizable parts of the city, including cycling over the Eisernen Steg, a bridge offering a fantastic view of the Frankfurt skyline. Palmengarten, Opernplatz in front of the Alte Oper (old opera house), Frankfurt Eissporthalle, Schillerschule in Sachsenhausen and the then King-Kamehameha-Suite (now the Kameha Suite) in the banking district also serve as settings in the film. Quite appropriately for the images on screen, singer Philipp Poisel recorded the ballad Eiserner Steg for the film. Other films shot in the Hessian metropolis include German comedies Schlussmacher and Männerhort.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Any self-respecting Harry Potter fan knows that several scenes throughout the film series are set in Britain’s capital city. The most memorable London location of all may well be platform 9¾ in King’s Cross Station. While there are only train tracks between platforms 9 and 10, fans can find the sign to platform 9¾ on the wall at the back of the main concourse, where the back half of a trolley protrudes from the wall. Another well-known scene from the Philosopher’s Stone is Harry’s first ever encounter with a snake, a Burmese python, which takes place in London Zoo. There is now a plaque next to the snake enclosure commemorating the event.
There are, however, less famous locations from the first Harry Potter film to be found in the ancient heart of London. The curved entrance to the Leaky Cauldron can be found at 42 Bull’s Head Passage, although you’ll be disappointed if you enter expecting a pint of exploding lemonade – it’s only an optician’s. Just around the corner is the splendid Leadenhall Market, where Diagon Alley was filmed. The charming building was built in the Victorian era.
A Clockwork Orange
Directed in 1971, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was one of the most controversial films of the 20th century, resulting in it being withdrawn from circulation until 2000. Now considered one of the best films ever produced, it is set in a dystopian London, with many of the film’s bleak and cold locations reflecting this. All scenes were shot in or near London.
One memorable scene, in which the main character, Alex (Malcolm McDowell), visits a record shop, was filmed in the Chelsea Drugstore. An extremely modern shopping center at the time, the Chelsea Drugstore was also mentioned in The Rolling Stones’ song, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Unfortunately, the building is now host to an unremarkable McDonald’s (or MaccyD’s as the locals call it).
Unlike the colorful record shop, most of the film is set against a cold, grey backdrop. It wasn’t hard for Kubrick to find ideal locations with all the Brutalist architecture being built at the time. For ‘Municipal Flatblock 18a’ in which Alex lives, Kubrick chose to film at the then new Thamesmead Estate, a vast development near Woolwich in South East London.
One of the most unforgettable scenes involves Alex and his gang of “droogs” attacking an innocent homeless man they find drunk in a dingy pedestrian underpass. This was filmed in the labyrinth of underpasses beneath York Road Roundabout at the southern end of Wandsworth Bridge.
The tramp gets revenge later on though, in a scene filmed by Albert Bridge, one of London’s grandest bridges and certainly one of the film’s most traditional locations.
Considered by many to be the best film set in New York, Taxi Driver perfectly captured the murky underworld of New York in the 1970s. Robert De Niro plays main character, Travis Bickle, a young Vietnam veteran working the night shift in his yellow cab. Bickle’s lack of human interaction and sleep, and his observance of the seedy reality of night-time New York, combine until his disgust drives him to do something about the crime and corruption around him.
Much of the movie shows Bickle navigating his way through the Greenwich Village and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods of New York, although director Martin Scorsese mostly avoided widely recognizable locations. One discernible location, however, is Columbus Circle, where Bickle nearly goes through with his plan to shoot a politician. The ugliest scenes, including when Bickle shoots a pimp (Harvey Keitel) in a doorway, were shot on East 13th Street, now a much cleaner district than in the 70s. Aside from specific locations, the constant flicker of neon lights masterfully visualizes the insomnia of the city that never sleeps.
Amélie (2001) is one of the most adored films set in the French capital. Most of the famous Parisian landmarks can be spotted at least once in the film, along with countless other lesser known quaint locales.
The revered Notre Dame Cathedral features early on in the film, when Amélie’s (Audrey Tautou) mother is killed by a tourist falling from its tower.
However, most of the film is set in the inner-city district of Montmartre, which resembles a picturesque French village despite its proximity to the city center. The opening scene of the film shows a bluebottle fly buzzing through the quaint, cobbled rue Saint Vincent and rue des Saules, just behind the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which is situated at the top of Montmartre, the hill from which the surrounding district gets its name. It is on the steps leading up to the Sacré-Cœur that Amélie later lays down a path of blue arrows to discover who the man is who has been leaving his photo all over the ticket hall in Gare de l’Est. The entrance to Amélie’s apartment is at 55 rue des Trois Freres and the grocery store where she shops is Au Marche de la Butte on the same road. Nearby is the scenic Metro station, Lamarck-Coulaincourt, where Amélie describes the delectable food being sold at the rue Lamarck market to a blind man. The location most Amélie fans want to see is undoubtedly the delightful art deco café where she works, Café des Deux Moulins, which is actually a real café and can be found at 15 rue Lepic. Their crème brulée is even named after the film.
Away from the village-like Montmartre, Amélie looks for ‘Bretodeau’ in a phone booth where rue Mouffetard meets rue Clovis in the Latin Quarter. And it’s while crossing the wooden Pont des Arts by the magnificent Louvre that Amélie is overcome with a feeling of love and an urge to help mankind.
If you've now caught travel fever, then check out our language schools in the above cities and immediately set off on a tour of filming locations. Maybe you'll discover more that we overlooked.
As shown by the graphic on the right, to reach one's destination by plane or car is the worst choice when it comes to the health of our planet. Although biking would be the best, given its almost null impact on the environment, it is not doable when travelling long-distance. Good alternatives are travelling by bus or train given the lower emissions these means produce. If you still decide to travel by car, starting a carpool reduces how many pounds of CO2 are emitted per passenger per mile. If there is no choice but flying, then finding a direct flight with an environmentally-friendly airline is the best choice. Once you get to your destination, avoid renting a car and take advantage of the local public transport.
Chinese is the language the most people used as a mother tongue. Not only is Chinese in mainland China the official language but also in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia Singapore and Macao. Over 955 million people speak this language, that means that about 15 % of the world population speaks Chinese. This is perhaps also why many famous people such as Mark Zuckerberg or Malia Obama have studied Chinese. It is also one of the six official UN languages.
If you are a beginner and you are starting with Spanish, we advise you to start with simple podcasts, and this way you will get an idea of the language. And remember that you don't have to understand 100% of what is being said, your brain will assimilate it little by little.
1. ¿Quiénes son Oscar y Sonia, creadores del blog "Viajando por el mundo mundial"?
Who are Oscar and Sonia, creators of the blog "Viajando por el mundo mundial"?
Somos Oscar y Sonia, una pareja peruano - española. Sonia es veterinaria y yo (Oscar) trabajo en Marketing. Actualmente vivimos en la Comunidad Valenciana. La verdad que nos encanta nuestra ciudad, hay muchísimos lugares que ver en Valencia, además se come muy bien :) .
We are Oscar and Sonia, a Peruvian-Spanish couple. Sonia is a veterinarian and I (Oscar) work in Marketing. We currently live in Valencia, an amazing place with incredible cuisine and sights.
Taking a lot of luggage does not equate with travelling sustainably since it impacts the weight of your chosen means of transport, which in return results in higher fuel consumption. Travelling with one backpack or one small trolley is not only better for the environment, but also better for you, since it allows you to be more flexible when visiting your destination.
The Chinese language does not have a segmental alphabet. They use instead of it the standalone characters. The language consists of tens of thousands of characters. But the good thing is that about 98 % of written Chinese consist of the same 2500 characters. To understand a basic text such as a newsletter, you should need to know about 2,500 characters. If you want to use Chinese characters regularly you should know approximately 5000 characters. One other interesting fact about the Chinese characters is, that the writing system is over 3000 years old. It has been found 1600 BC. There are two different characters: Traditional and simplified characters.
Chinese characters have been evolving from scratch and are still in the process of evolution. The most significant evolution in modern times is from traditional to simplified. When the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, the literacy rate in China was around 20%. The government has launched a Chinese Character Simplification Scheme to improve literacy and education across the country. Approximately 2,000 traditional characters were modified, primarily by reducing the number of strokes and/or merging the characters. Traditional Chinese preserves the orthodox characters that have been used for thousands of years, and Simplified Chinese is mainly considered to be the simplified version of the traditional Chinese characters.
Over time, Simplified Chinese is adopted in mainland China, Malaysia, and Singapore, while the people of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau continue to use the traditional writing system.
Fun fact: In simplified Chinese, new words are still being added. Chinese has five traditional forms of Chinese calligraphy: Seal Character, Official Script, Formal Script, Running Script and Cursive Hand. Another fact about the writing is, that the handwriting is considered as one of the most unrecognizable because of the large variation in writing styles and the changes that occur between typed text and handwritten characters.
This podcast is especially aimed at people whose mother tongue is German. With Maria, a Spanish teacher based in Germany since 2003, you will learn the basics of the Spanish language with a slow and concise audio, designed for people who are just starting their journey through the language and want to know more about the grammatical rules and how and when to use them. You will also find short explanations in German, in case you get lost, so that you can recap and continue learning the language.
2. ¿Cómo nace la idea de recorrer el mundo e inmortalizarlo en vuestro blog / IG?
How did you get the idea of travelling the world and writing about it in your blog?
Recuerdo que estabamos en Barcelona, en el año 2017, haciendo la cola para comprar las entradas para visitar la Sagrada Familia. Para ese momento ya teníamos varios países recorridos cada uno por su cuenta y muchos amigos nos pedían consejos para sus viajes. Ahí fue cuando nos dijimos ¿Por qué no crear un blog de viajes? serviría para ayudar a nuestros amigos y a la vez para tener un recuerdo de cada uno de nuestros viajes.
Cuatro años más tarde seguimos aquí, tratando de darle la mejor información a nuestros lectores para que puedan organizar sus viajes de la mejor manera. :)
I remember we were in Barcelona in 2017 queuing to buy tickets to visit the Sagrada Familia. By that time, we had already visited several countries on our own and many friends were asking us for advice for their own trips. That's when we said to ourselves, "Why not create a travel blog?", thinking that it would help our friends and be a great souvenir for ourselves.
Four years later we are still here, trying to give our readers the best information to plan the best possible trips!
Instead of buying physical guidebooks and maps, or buying expensive or disposable cameras, the smartphone that is already in your pocket can provide you with all you need and more. Google Maps, Waze, Citymapper, or Maps.me are the best tools to find your way in a foreign country, and don't have the same environmental impact as a paper map. The quality of pictures taken with your phone has become so high that you don't need to buy a camera to take pictures, reducing the amount of plastic and of batteries that are produced and then thrown away.
In China, the official language is called mandarin. But in the regions in China the people speak different kind of dialects. This leads to the fact that people from different regions can only communicate via Mandarin. Other dialects cannot be understood unless they grew up with the dialect. Over the map, you have an overview over the different kind dialects. As you can see, the regions have a different dialect.
Year 2022. Psychiatrist Elisa Aldunate records the sessions of an enigmatic patient, registered as Case 63, who claims to be a time traveler. What begins as routine therapeutic sessions, quickly transforms into a story that threatens the frontiers of the possible and the real. A story that moves freely between the future and the past of two characters who, perhaps, hold the future of humanity in their hands. Starring Antonia Zegers and Néstor Cantillana. Caso 63 is a Spotify original podcast.
3. ¿Qué país os ha sorprendido para bien? ¿Y para mal?
Which country surprised you for the better? Which one for the worse?
Uno de los que más nos sorprendió fue China. No era para nada como nos lo imaginados. Unos paísajes increíbles, muy ordenado, una tecnología que por esta parte del mundo aún no se ve. Fue un acierto visitarlo.
Para mal, hasta el momento no hemos tenido quejas de ningún país. Esperamos que siga así.
One of the most surprising countries we have ever visited is China. Incredible landscapes, great culture, technological innovations unseen in our side of the world: we were amazed every single day. An absolutely incredible destination.
Thankfully no country has left a bad impression on us - and we hope it stays that way!
The more you travel, the more plastic you use. Water bottles, straws, takeaway food containers and plastic tableware pollute water sources and accelerate the destruction of our environment. Tupperware and reusable cutlery for your food on the go are a great way to reduce your plastic consumption. When it comes to drinking, bringing your own water bottle and metal straw is ideal from a financial and environmental perspective.
From all the languages over the world, Chinese is considered as one of the hardest languages to learn.The reasons are, that they have, compared to the English language, a different writing system, grammar, pronunciation style and sounds. The language is a tonal, that means that a word can affect its meaning. The language has four different tones - from higher pitches to a lower pitch. For example, the sentences "wǒ xiǎng wèn nǐ" can have two different meanings. If you pronounce the word "wen" with a falling pitch, it means "I want to ask you something". But if you pronounce the word with a rising pitch, it means I want to kiss you.
From the acronym: Technology, Entertainment, Design, has been disseminating information worldwide with great speakers, not only in English but also in many languages of the world. This podcast is based on the philosophy of "Ideas worth spreading" touching on topics such as: What is the relationship between love and mathematics? How does an immigrant build his identity? Will artificial intelligence replace us in our jobs? Can entrepreneurs improve education and health for all? The TED en Español podcast is an invitation to ask these kinds of questions, to listen to provocative ideas and to develop new ways of thinking. Each week a new TED Talk from the world's top leaders and creators.
4. Si pudierais vivir en cualquier lugar del mundo, ¿dónde sería?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Sonia dice que le encantaría vivir en Granada una temporada. Es una de las ciudades más bonitas de España. Tiene mucha historia, monumentos muy bonitos, el clima es agradable en ciertas épocas del año, tiene muy buen ambiente, su gente es muy atenta, se come delicioso y además hay muchísimos lugares que ver en Granada.
Sonia would love to live in Granada for a while, one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Spain. Everything from Granada's history, sights, weather, atmosphere, people, and food make it an absolute dream place to live in.
A way to support the local population when travelling is booking a room in a hotel run by locals and not by a big corporation or chain. Water consumption is much lower in a local hotel, as there are no large pool facilities and bed linens and towels are changed every other day. If you go sightseeing, do so with the help of a local guide. This is the best way to really get to know the place you are visiting as well as helping the local economy. Something that might help you ahead of your travels are our Sprachcaffe travel guides, which outline some interesting information about culture and traditions. Lastly, when travelling abroad it is important to experience the local dishes for a truly immersive experience, so don't forget to eat at traditional restaurants and shop at local grocery stores.
Chinese has relatively uncomplicated grammar. Unlike Indo-European languages, Chinese has no verb conjugation and no noun declension. For example, while someone learning English has to learn different verb forms like "speak/spoke/spoken," however, in Chinese, you just need to remember one word: shuo (说). While in English you have to distinguish between "language" and "languages," in Chinese there is only one form: yuyan(语言). In a nutshell, you don't need to memorize verb tenses and all of the grammar variations for gender, article, and plurals in the Chinese language, which make this language easier for beginners to pick up.
With an intermediate level of Spanish, you will be able to understand the context of conversations, even if you miss some words. The Spanish podcasts for B1 or B2 that we recommend are these:
5. ¿A qué ciudad volveríais sin dudarlo?
Which city would you love to visit again?
Uff hay un montón!! Pero siempre queremos volver a Canarias. El clima de la isla nos encanta. Y si tuvieramos que elegir una isla creo que sería Lanzarote. Nos encanta deleitarnos con sus paisajes, sus monumentos, sus volcanes, su gastronomía. Además hay muchísimas actividades que hacer en Lanzarote que seguro nunca nos aburririamos.
Oh there are so many, but the Canary Islands are always at the top of our list. If we had to choose a specific island it would be Lanzarote, its beautiful landscapes, monuments, nature, and gastronomy make it the place to be. We would never get tired of visiting it!
Behaving in a respectful manner and adapting to the local culture is fundamental when travelling. The clothes you wear reflect your character and who you are as a person, so choose your clothing carefully. Wearing something from the culture you are immersed in shows both appreciation and respect. Learning some words of the local language is also incredibly appreciated by the locals, it shows that you have spent time and effort to truly get to know their home country. Body language can be universal, and a nice smile can also take you far.
For nearly a decade, Radio Ambulante has been telling stories from all over Latin America, stories that are poignant, funny and surprising and that reveal the diversity of the region in all its complexity.
With over 200 episodes produced, in more than 20 countries, Radio Ambulante is the most ambitious narrative journalism podcast in Latin America. Distributed by NPR, public radio in the United States, Radio Ambulante offers a sonorous portrait of the region and anywhere Spanish is spoken. We work with a talented community of radio producers, journalists and illustrators to tell the stories that go untold by other media. Radio Ambulante covers Latin American life with stories of love and migration, youth and politics, the environment and families in extraordinary circumstances.
Origin: United States, with accents from all over Latin America.
6. Antes de subir un blog o un post, ¿qué es lo que no vemos detrás de las cámaras?
What goes on behind the scenes before a blog or a post goes live?
Muchas veces nos cuesta mucho organizar el Instagram. Primero debemos elegir las mejores fotos de las cientos que hacemos en cada viaje, luego de esa primera selección hacemos una nueva selección para elegir la que finalmente va en el feed. Luego vemos cómo esa foto cuadra en el feed, la editamos un poquito y luego pensamos que texto ponerle. Un trabajazo!!!
Organising our Instagram feed is no easy thing. First we have to choose the best photos from the hundreds took on a trip, then from that first selection we make a second one to choose which images will go on our profile. Then we check that the photo fits well in our feed, edit it a little bit, and then think of the text accompanying it.
If you want to learn Chinese, a language course would definitely be suitable. Here you will be taught the language properly by a professional teacher. Did you know that Sprachcaffe also offers Chinese language courses? Here you can get more information about this topic.
This podcast is for all those passionate about archeology and paleontology, and 15 minutes a week is enough to better understand what we are. This is what National Geographic Spain proposes, from treasures found in the young country of Somaliland, through emerald mines in Egypt and the rock art of the Caspian Sea, to the history of the first settlers of Patagonia itself. This podcast is presented with rigor and (a lot of) informative spirit by Francesc Gascó and José Priego.
7. ¿Cómo es un día vuestra vida?
How is a day in the life of Oscar & Sonia like?
Nosotros aún tenemos nuestro trabajo como dependientes por lo que es muy monótono. Nos levantamos temprano y luego trabajamos nuestras 8 horas al día. Al llegar a casa nos ponemos con el blog un ratito para ir avanzando o arreglando cosas pendientes.
We both still have our day jobs to keep us occupied for 8 hours a day. We usually get up early, go to work, and then dedicate the evening to posting new blog posts or go through or social media and marketing to-do list.
We hoped you enjoyed our tips on how to travel sustainably! Travelling responsibly does not mean not travelling altogether. On the contrary, it means carefully planning your trip by keeping in mind how your choices effect the local economy and the environment at large.
This podcast is probably the most famous in Colombia, and as its title mentions, Diana Uribe is a Colombian historian who has managed to captivate thousands of people with her audios full of emotion and interesting facts. In this podcast they tell stories, talk about culture, travel, peace and music, addressing topics of general interest and for all kinds of adult audiences. The podcast is actually the continuation of a work of more than 20 years in Colombian radio, taking it to digital platforms such as Spotify or Audible, expanding more and more the interest in "general culture".
8. ¿Qué lugar no habéis visitado todavía y os morís de ganas?
Which place are you dying to visit for the first time?
Hace años tenemos muchas ganas de visitar Kenia, Tanzania y Maldivas. Cada año nos proponemos visitarlo pero simpre surge algo y terminamos cambiando de destino.
We´ve been dreaming of visiting Kenya, Tanzania, and the Maldives for years, but every year something happens and we end up having to change our destination.
Surely throughout the day you have 20 minutes. Think about it. Maybe it's on that commute you take on public transportation, in your car or on a walk. Maybe while you're cooking or before you go to sleep. Choose the moment and this podcast promises to help you understand yourself and them better. Entiende tu mente is a psychology podcast that, in an entertaining way, tells you how the mind works. With the voices of Molo Cebrián -podcaster and psychology student-, Luis Muiño -Psychologist and one of the best-known disseminators of this subject in Spain- and Mónica González -Coach and university professor-.
9. ¿Cuáles son las tres cosas menos obvias sin las que no podéis iros de vacaciones?
What are the three least obvious things you can't go on holiday without?
Solemos llevar ropa extra en el equipaje de mano por si se diera el caso que nos pierdan la maleta que facturamos. Las almohadas para el cuello cuando son los viajes largos, a veces algunas pastillitas para dormir para no sentir el vuelo tan pesado y medicinas por si nos ponemos enfermos.
We usually carry extra clothes in our hand luggage in case our checked bag is lost. Neck pillows for long journeys and sleeping pills are also a must, just as a first aid kit to be safe in case anything happens.
If you already have an advanced level in Spanish, you will be able to easily understand and use this tool that will improve your listening and comprehension quickly. The podcasts to learn advanced Spanish that we have selected are the next ones.
10. ¿Cómo ha sido viajar en tiempos de Covid-19? ¿Cómo os habéis adaptado a esta nueva normalidad?
What has it been like to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic? How have you adapted to this new situation?
Nosotros hemos cambiado nuestra forma de organizar los viajes e incluso de decidir el destino. Ahora ya no se trata de elegir aquel lugar que siempre hemos soñado con visitar, sino aquel con menos restricciones en el que nos permitan entrar.
Hemos tenido que informarnos el doble y consultar las webs oficiales para preparar concienzudamente todos los formularios sanitarios y documentación requerida tanto en destino como en la vuelta a nuestro país.
We have definitely changed the way we organise our trips and even the way we decide where to go. Now it is no longer a matter of choosing the place we have always dreamed of visiting, but the one with fewer entry restrictions.
We always have to keep ourselves informed and consult official sources to properly prepare all the health forms and documentation required by both Spain and the destination we are travelling to.
On Twitter and other social networks, when someone shares a thread it means they're going to dig deeper. It's telling us to prepare for analysis, context, history and more. For the creators, El hilo is all of those things: an invitation to create conversation and deeper understanding about the most important news in Latin America. Each Friday, the hosts speak with journalists, Vice News reporters, contributors from U.S. National Public Radio and the region's most trusted expert voices. What happened and where is the news going?
Origin: Latin America
11. Cuando viajáis, ¿cómo os aseguráis de descubrir y sumergirse realmente la cultura local?
When travelling how do you make sure you really immerse yourselves in the local culture?
Antes de los viajes buscamos mucha información del destino y las costumbres para no meter la pata. Aunque muchas veces vamos a nuestro rollo por falta de tiempo, también nos gusta hablar con los locales y que nos cuenten como es su vida ahí. Un ejemplo claro fue en nuestro viaje a Cuba, cuando decidimos alojarnos en casa de cubanos en vez de hoteles para saber como era realmente la vida.
Before going on a trip, we seek out a lot of information about the destination and its customs. We also take the time to talk to the locals to learn more about their lives and get some valuable first-hand experience of the location we are visiting. An example of this was our trip to Cuba, where we decided to stay in local homes instead of hotels to really immerse ourselves in the Cuban life.
One of the most famous podcasts in Mexico, Ricardo Perez and Slobotzky get to "cotorrear" as usual, but now they are recording it. Every Wednesday they bring out a new episode, talking about strange news, curious facts, hilarious anecdotes and relieving the navel of the week. Recommended for those people who enjoy listening to people for no special reason, just to sit back and laugh a little, with an extra Mexican touch.
12. ¿Qué importancia tiene hablar el idioma local?
How important is it to speak the local language when visiting foreign countries?
Para nosotros es un imprescindible. Aunque es imposible hablar todos los idiomas, en la mayoría de lugares con ingles y español nos podemos defender. Aunque hay países que no hablan ninguno de los dos como Francia (sobre todo París), o China y Japón donde tuvimos que comunicarnos un poco con señas y lenguage corporal por que sino era imposible hacernos entender. Nos gustaría recomendar a todos a estudiar idiomas en SprachCaffe, para que no tengan los mismos inconvenientes que nosotros. :)
For us it's an absolute must. Although it is impossible to be able to properly communicate in every country you visit, you can usually get by pretty well with English and Spanish. However, there are some countries where neither language will work, such as France (especially Paris), China, or Japan, where we had to communicate with a mix of basic phrases and body language - a truly effective mix! To avoid awkward situations, we recommend everyone take a language course with Sprachcaffe to really prepare ahead of your trip.
In this podcast we talk about Stoicism, stoic figures and stoic exercises to improve your life and your resilience in the face of adversity. This podcast requires great control and language skills throughout the audios, as it addresses topics that can be complicated even for native Spanish speakers. However, there is no reason to be discouraged, the Spanish of this podcast is quite neutral and you can understand all the words, and we recommend it for people interested in philosophy, different types of resilience, personal, mental and spiritual growth.
Native speakers can sometimes speak very fast, which makes it harder to understand, but you don't have to worry as you can often set the podcasts to a slower speed to make it easier to follow.
It would be a good idea, especially in the beginning, to focus on the podcasts and do nothing else. If you don't have a lot of time, it is better to listen to a single podcast attentively rather than listening to many in the background, also keep in mind that your subconscious is learning with you.
If you already understand a lot, but still have trouble with vocabulary, stop the podcasts and look up the words. It's best to write them down so you can look at them again later and internalize them.
And now we hope you have fun listening and learning!
In Sweden, Christmas is celebrated in the Smörgåsbord way. This traditional Christmas meal takes place after the Julbord, where the Christmas dishes and alcoholic beverages are served in the form of a buffet. The buffet consist of cold dishes such as pickled herring, ham, salmon and meatballs. Bread, liver paste, cheese, beet salad, and rice pudding are also traditionally served. When it comes to drinks, Swedish liquor and the famous Christmas beer Julöl are commonly consumed along with the food. And we cannot forget about dessert! A Christmas Swedish table cannot be complete without a serving (or two) of chocolate icecream, marzipan and gingerbread.
Japan never really had a strong Christmas tradition, but this changed in 1970 and it is now iconic! When the first KFC fried chicken store opened in Japan in 1970, the owner came up with the idea of selling a Christmas party bucket reminiscent of the classic American turkey dinner to drive up costumers. This became so popular that it is now normal for Japanese people to spend Christmas at KFC. And they even have to book a table months in advance to beat the competition! Now in addition to the classic fried chicken the bucket also features a Christmas cake to consume with your loved ones.
In France, Christmas dinner is a true feast made up of multiple courses, each accompanied by a different wine. To kick the celebrations off in style, French people start by drinking an aperitif like the Dubonnet. Then it's time for the first course, which can sometimes consist of delicious oysters served on a bed of ice and and lemon wedges. The main course consists of roasted beef or turkey and vegetables. What cannot be forgotten on a French Christmas table is nicely-arranged cheese and bread. A typical dessert is the Bûche de Noël, a chestnut or chocolate tree trunk cake often decorated with tiny mushrooms made of meringue and other goodies.
The traditional Christmas dinner seen in all American TV shows first originated in England. The main dish is a large stuffed turkey or ham accompanied by side dishes such as roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy. While beer and wine are of course served, eggnog is the real star when it comes to drinks. A rich, dairy-based beverage seasoned with whiskey, sherry, or brandy, eggnog is boozy and delicious.But dessert is also a very important part of the Christmas meal, with cookies being the n.1 choice across all American households.
People in Colombia celebrate Christmas dinner on December 24. The beginning of the meal consists of various hearty dishes. Especially common is lechona, a pork, ham or turkey stuffed with peas and rice. Dishes like tamales, buñuelos, empanadas or ajiaco are also a must on the Christmas table. Tamales are stuffed and steamed corn on the cob, ajiaco is a potato and chicken stew, empanadas are corn pockets with a cheese or meat filling, and buñuelos are deep-fried cheese dough balls. When it comes to desserts, Colombians have a rich selection to choose from, such as natilla, a pudding cooked with cinnamon and milk, to manjar blanco (sweet rice cream) and hojuelas (sweet pastry). Colombians also have their own version of mulled wine called Canelazo, the perfect drink to accompany such a rich feast.
In Poland, a total of 12 different dishes are served on Christmas Day, a number based on the twelve months and twelve apostles. To get all 12 dishes ready, the preparations usually start 2 days in advance, and people tend not to eat anything before this rich meal to be able to eat all 12 dishes, a real marathon! However, beverages are allowed. Part of the dishes are for example breaded doughnuts, bread, bean soup, salads, deviled eggs and beet soup. Interestingly enough, Polish people don't eat meat on Christmas Eve since it is mainly consumed in the following days, a tradition coming from the Lent. Alcohol is also not the star of the dinner, with people mainly focusing on the delicious food.
Australians tend to celebrate Christmas a little bit different than anyone else since they have sun and heat rather than snow and cold. For this reason, different types of beer as well as seafood and fish dishes are the norm in Australian households. That doesn't mean that the traditional turkey and ham are not served. On the contrary, these are very popular, but are served cold instead of warm because of the temperatures. For dessert especially popular is the pavola, a meringue-based cake filled with whipped cream and garnished with fruits. The perfect way to finish a light yet still festive dinner.
We would love to hear (and see!) what you and your loved ones eat for Christmas, so please message us on Instagram and tell us all about your festive meals!
Main Working Abroad Options
- Internships and Learnerships – If you have completed your studies you can apply to do an internship at an international organisation. Not only will this help you gain valuable experience but it will also allow you the opportunity to discover the world. Something to note – not all internships offer payment so finance is a point to be discussed.
- Bridging-the-gap work experience – This option is ideal for school-leavers who want to experience the world before they settle down to study. Agencies specialise in these job placements which usually include work as waitron staff, office temping, promotional work, au pairing, hospitality and housekeeping. Work abroad agencies assist individuals with the entire process. From choosing a specific destination to outlining the criteria of work possibilities – agencies help with every aspect of the trip. Most agencies offer accommodation as well as job interviews or job placements. A number of the agencies specialise in specific jobs with au-pairing being a favourite amongst school-leavers. Au-pair agencies in particular set up various job interviews between families and applicants prior to their arrival and only finalise applications once a job placement has been finalised.
- Volunteer Working Holidays – Developing countries and underdeveloped countries are always looking for English speaking individuals who are eager to offer English conversational and grammar classes for both children and adults. All that is required from you is a good standard of English and the ability to speak to groups ranging from 2 students to 25 students. Agencies dealing with volunteers usually use distance recruiting with most applications being handled on line and through live Skype interviews. Once the application is considered successful the agency will place the volunteers within their certain field in a destination of their choosing.
- Cruise Liner Careers – Individuals who want to travel the world, meet new people and enjoy a wonderful working environment often look into working abroad on vacation cruise liners. Most cruise organisations hire recruitment agencies to handle the recruiting for front line staff; these jobs usually include hosting, hospitality, kitchen work and basic management. Hairdressers, beauty therapists and even personal fitness trainers are also in demand but training and experience are essential in order to fill these positions. Entertainers are also required but undergo strict recruiting procedures; applicants are required to submit a written portfolio, an audio-visual audition disc and will need to attend an interview/audition if they reach the second level of the application procedure. Before the application can be finalised they will need to undergo a full medical assessment, acquire a police clearance certificate and will usually have a strict training regime in place before they dock off for the first time. It is advisable for individuals interested in these positions to contact the cruise liner directly in order to find out the ideal agency to choose or if the organisation accepts direct applications. First impressions are of the utmost importance.
Conditions for Working Abroad
In order to be accepted into various work-abroad options there are conditions that need to be met:
- Valid passport
- Some agencies only accept applicants between the ages of 18 and 35.
- Visa requirements must be met prior to departure; these differ from country to country.
- If applying for specific mid-level positions a detailed résumé with an experience record will be required.
- Internships & Learnerships will request academic records from all applicants. Relevant qualifications are required for certain positions.
- Agencies require payment in full prior to departure with up to 50% required to secure your slot in the project.
- Police clearance certificates are required. It is imperative that criminal records be declared prior to any arrangements being made; it is within the agency’s rights to deny access to any individuals.
- Successful applicants are required to prove that sufficient funds are available for the duration of their stay in their destination; this is usually a requirement for visa applications as well.
- Applicants are required to undergo a full medical assessment prior to their application being approved.
More Information on Visa & Passport Requirements – Every country has different immigration regulations depending on your nationality. The United Kingdom is quite strict with regard to their visa requirements. Euro (EU) Passport holders do not require visiting or working visas when entering the UK. The UK has a number of working visas that are relative to the particular field, level and experience. These visas are divided into groups known as tiers, if you are required to obtain a visa for the UK you will need to select the tier visa that you will need, agencies will be able to assist you with all of the necessary information.
Tourists visiting some European countries will be required to obtain a Schengen Visa. The Schengen visa includes 25 European countries and is essential in order to be granted access into countries like France, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Finland and many more. US citizens are granted access for a period no longer than 90 days; any stays that exceed the stipulated 90 day period will however require a long-stay visa which will permit employment for the duration of their visa.
What you can expect from a work-abroad agency:
- Information on the destination, visa requirements, health requirements and advice on how to adjust to working abroad. While agencies do provide necessary information it is up to you to obtain the visa and all relevant travel documentation from the relevant embassies or agencies.
- Accommodation, some agencies offer accommodation of anything up to 2 nights to 3 months. These usually take the form of flat-sharing or hostels.
- Some agencies do obtain start-up jobs on your behalf while others may just set up interviews with employment agencies and prospective employers. It is your responsibility to provide a detailed overview of your qualifications and experience and find out what is expected of you in each role.
- Bank accounts and Tax numbers. Most work-abroad agencies set up a local bank account on your behalf as well as a national tax number. This bank account is entirely your own and is merely opened on your behalf.
Learning a new language nowadays is much easier than it was before. First, there was the Internet; and then everything that comes with it: computers, phones, tablets, etc. The possibilities to learn a new language are endless! Having a positive attitude will take you far.
“Learning a new language is too expensive”
The good thing with those mobile Apps is that they are FREE. A simple download on your phone and off you go! You have access to everything you need to learn the language you want!
“I don’t have time to learn a new language”
There are different ways to “find time” in your everyday life: you take the tram or underground in the morning and in the evening? You always have to wait at the doctor’s? You are queuing for your administrative papers? Your partner is late for your date at the restaurant? Mobile Apps give you the opportunity to practice your language EVERYWHERE and EVERYTIME you want it.
We collected for you 5 Apps to learn languages online. Each one of them offers something special so that you will find the App that is made for you! You can download them all online for free.
Check them out now !
Number 1 - Plan Ahead
Yes, spur of the moment vacations are quite exciting but do you know what beats the adrenaline of a last minute rush? Knowing where you are going, when you are going and what you plan on doing whilst there! Not only does planning ahead alleviate a lot of the stress of traveling but it also almost always ensures cheaper options from flights to accommodation! You are more than likely going to find specials coming out around the 6 week mark so keep a lookout for the best deals with weeks to spare.
Number 2 - Browse for the best airfare option
Your national airline might feel like the best bet but be sure to look at a variety of airlines. For example compare your national airlines rates with that of your destination’s local airline, you might be surprised at the deal you can get. Also keep an eye open for up and coming airlines, these airlines are trying to attract repeat clients and will often offer great deals and excellent customer service. Don’t reject layovers without taking a closer look at the times and destination, who knows you might enjoy a break from the aircraft for a few hours to explore an exotic airport or even the surrounding city – visas permitting, of course.
Number 3 - Plan your days’ adventures
Your plans don’t have to be set in stone but by having an idea of the places you’d like to go and the things you would like to do you will have the opportunity to research admission fees beforehand. Also make sure you check for discount days, a lot of attractions offer special rates for students or even 2 for 1 deals. Some places even have a specific happy hour special where visitors can save up to 50% on tickets. Keep an eye out for these deals and make sure you have your Identity Document and specific cards proving that you qualify for those discounts.
Number 4 - Experience life as a local
Tourist hot-spots are always buzzing but not only are the prices almost doubled but the crowds can become a bit overwhelming, especially if you are traveling during a peak period. Save yourself the stress and the extra money by enjoying your destination as a local. Balance your touristy time with a more laid-back exploration of your surroundings; you will more than likely see the truly hidden gems of your destination while saving a lot of money and enjoying your vacation in a truly unique way.
If you need a language course in Germany, here is a selection of courses for adults and teenagers, in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Oberwesel.
German Courses for Adults
German Courses for Teenagers
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Learn German from anywhere in the world with a German tutor!
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Take London for example; it is a wonderful multicultural city and it would be a shame not to make the most of it! Whether you’re going there for just a few days or for an indefinite period of time, why not spice up your days and get social?
To help you find what suits you best, we have made a list of the 10 best Meetups in London
Click on each word for details!
Some will say: "What’s the point of going to Oktoberfest without drinking a good pint of beer?". Others will tell you that this festival is above all a popular and friendly gathering, aiming at celebrating Bavarian traditions with joy and good spirit! Still not sure if this is worth going? Go ahead and try to enjoy Oktoberfest no matter what, otherwise, you might end up missing on the most famous event of Germany! Check out below how you can, in your own way, enjoy these weeks of Bavarian festivities…
When you're in a foreign country
and don't speak the language
When you suddenly find out about what you really ordered
(because you had no idea and it sounded like “Beef”)
When you think you're really good in a language
and hear native speaker talking
Compliments from your teacher
When you're repeating grammar
When you're trying to keep up with the conversation
When you did a good job in class
When you're trying to understand complicated grammar
When you make a really basic mistake
"F*** this, I'm learning to play chess instead!"????
When you're trying to explain why you're
learning a really difficult language
When you're fluent in a foreign language but
the natives talk really s l o w and LOUD
When you start dreaming in another language
Realising how much you're able to say
When you are not paying attention,
and suddenly the teacher asks you to read a whole text aloud.
When a native speaker asks you for the way
When you are trying to get everything right on a vocabulary test
When your friend still doesn’t know the conjugation
and you correct them
Annemarie in Sprachcaffe Málaga
English Courses for Adults
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Learn English online with a private teacher!
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They say French is the language of love. However, why not express your love in multiple languages to add a little flair?
Whether you met your partner in your homeland or while travelling abroad, whether your both speak the same language or not, what could be more romantic than expressing your love in another language? With our list, you will be not short of a romantic vocabulary this Valentine's Day.
With a little bit of research you will find out that there are many more cultural habits to get used to than just adapting to using chopsticks in China, or burping to express satisfaction after a meal in Arabic countries!
Don't you know this funny feeling: You understand the concept of a foreign word but cannot find any word in your own language that translate the exact idea? If you do, welcome to the language-learner world! There are actually hundreds and thousands of those words around the planet. Find below our personal collection of funny words that are almost impossible to translate in any other language - untranslatable words - but that everyone would like to use every day!
Prepping time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
CAKE Ingredients for 6 to 8 people:
150 g flour
1 sachet of baking powder
80 g of sugar
100 g of melted butter
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 2 oranges
2 spoons of sugar
Preheat oven to 160 ° C.
Melt the butter and mix together with the zest of the oranges. Separate the yolks from the egg whites and put the whites aside. In a big bowl, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture whitens. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, melted butter / zest mixture and orange juice.
Whisk the egg whites together until they become foamy and steady and pour them gently into your bowl.
Pour your mixture into a baking form which you have already buttered and floured. Place in the oven and leave for 30 to 40 min depending on the type of oven you have.
Shortly before taking your cake out of the oven, prepare the syrup by boiling the juice of 2 oranges and the sugar in a saucepan.
Once your cake is baked, take it out of the form immediately, lay it on a plate and pour the syrup over it.
Allow to cool before serving. You can sprinkle it with icing sugar for even better presentation.
Read an original recipe in Portuguese here.
Pronunciation is particularly important when learning a new language. This is especially true for Italian, as the correct or incorrect pronunciation of certain words (e.g., "gnocchi") quickly reveals what your language level is. So, how can you improve your pronunciation? The best way is to listen. Be it Italian radio or television, listening will teach you a lot. Some useful links are listed below:
TuneIn Radio: This great website allows you to listen to radio stations from all around the world. Tune in to different stations until your find one that's not too hard to follow.
BBC Italian: A variety of free exercises for beginner and advanced learners.
Podclub: On this website you can listen in to Italian podcasts. The written dialogue is written next to each video so you can read along if the conversation is too fast for you to keep up with.
Eurocultura arranges internships with different companies in the city of Vicenza, Italy, for approximately 250 interns each year. Applicants are matched with companies based on their professional skills and expectations. As well as internships, Eurocultura organises accommodation, cultural programmes and an Italian Language and Culture course for participants, making this the perfect opportunity for anyone looking to improve their Italian skills while working in Italy.
At Warner Bros. Studios you get to experience the real sets used for the eight Harry Potter movies. As Harry Potter fans know, the books were still being written by J.K. Rowling after the films had started being produced, so the production crew saved a lot of the iconic sets, props and costumes created for the movies in case they were going to need them again later on in the series. Thankfully for us, Warner Bros. Studio decided to keep the props and costumes after the movies had all been filmed and decided to offer studio tours, allowing Harry Potter enthusiasts to revisit Hogwarts and experience the magic of filmmaking.
a rip-off / to get ripped off
A rip-off is something that is very overpriced, for example a fake Rolex watch being sold at the price of a real one despite being of inferior quality. If someone bought the fake Rolex, only later to realise that it was fake, they could say, “Oh no, I got ripped off!”.
This is another way to say “I should…”
E.g. “I better go buy food before the shop closes”.
can't make it
This phrase simply means “can’t attend”.
E.g. “ I can’t make it to the football match. I’ve already made other plans”.
cheesy / corny
This is used to describe things that are overused, unoriginal and obviously sentimental, especially certain films, music and chat-up lines.
chill / chill out
While “chill” can be used similarly to “hang out”, but not necessarily requiring company, “chill”, “chill out” and “calm down” can also mean to relax after feeling upset, angry or excited. They are often used in the imperative, when someone thinks someone is overreacting.
coulda / shoulda / woulda
Short for “could have” / “should have” / “would have”.
couldn't care less
You can probably work out the meaning of this one. If you really don’t care about a topic and someone asks your opinion, this is the right phrase for you.
doesn't matter / don't mind / don't care
These phrases can be used when you have been asked for your preference between different options, but you really have no preference. They are short for, “I don’t mind”, “I don’t care” and “It doesn’t matter”.
E.g. “Do you want to watch an action movie or a romantic movie?” Response: “Don’t mind”.
Don't worry about it /No worries / No problem
These are informal ways to say “You’re welcome”.
Down to earth
This is a phrase used to describe people who are practical, realistic and not arrogant or overly dramatic.
dude / man
These are informal ways to refer to your friend, especially if male
Short for "don't know".
easy-going / laid back
Two phrases used to describe people who are relaxed and tolerant.
This is an informal phrase used to express that something you have been told is acceptable or understandable.
E.g. “I’m sorry I can’t come to your party, I have a really important exam the next day.” Response: “Oh that’s such a shame! But fair enough.”
to be free
While being free means being able to do what you want or that an item costs nothing, it is also often used to mean having time to do something.
E.g. “Hi dude, are you free tomorrow? Want to play football?”
I get it
This simply means “I understand”.
Go ahead / Go for it
This is an informal phrase used when giving someone permission to do something.
gonna / wanna / gotta
Short for “going to” / “want to” / “got to”.
This is short for "I've got you" and is an informal way to say “I understand".
Although “grab” often means “hold”, people often use it informally to mean “get”.
E.g. “Hey man, want to grab a coffee?”. This person is asking their friend if they want to go out to get a coffee together.
Hey / Hi / Hiya / Yo / What's up? / 'Sup / How's it going? / How you doing?
English speakers rarely say “hello”, and it’s far more common to hear them use one of these greetings in informal situations. The question greetings normally function more as greetings than questions, but it is just as acceptable to answer the question as to simply greet the person in response:
E.g. 1: “How’s it going?”. Response: “Hey. What’s up?”
E.g. 2: “How’s it going?”. Response: “Good thanks. You?”
This phrase simply means “wait”.
to hang out
This means to spend time enjoying yourself with other people in your spare time. E.g. “Mum, I’m going to hang out with my friends today”.
This question often confuses non-native speakers when they are first asked it, but it is simply another way of asking “why?“. Keep it in mind though, as English speakers use it very often.
Although afraid normally means the same as “scared”, it is often also used to mean “I’m sorry but…”.
E.g. “I’m afraid the tickets are already sold out for the show today. You will have to try again tomorrow”.
It's up to you
When you are with someone else and you or they have a decision to make, and you want to express that they can make the decision, just say “It’s up to you”.
E.g. “Shall we order Chinese or Indian food tonight?” Response: “It’s up to you”.
Long time, no see
This is what you say to someone when you see them for the first time after having not seen them for a long time (i.e. at least a few weeks)
Make yourself at home
A phrase used when welcoming people into your home and trying to make them feel comfortable.
may as well / might as well
These phrases are used to agree to do something reluctantly when no better option seems available or when the something is seen as an inevitability.
E.g. 1: “I know he’s not our best friend, but there’s nothing else going on tonight. Shall we just go to his party?” Response: “Yeah, might as well”.
E.g. 2: “As it’s raining, shall we just clean the house now so we don’t have to do it when the weather is nice?” Response: “Yeah, might as well”.
This means “my mistake”.
not my thing
Used to express that something is not what you like or are interested in.
This is also an exclamation of surprise, but is common among all English speakers.
Speak of the devil!
When people are talking about someone else, and the person who is being talked about arrives, one of those talking can say “speak of the devil” to express that the person who just arrived was just the subject of their conversation.
Take care / Take it easy
These are both friendly and informal ways to say “good bye”.
To be up for...
Very common phrase when organising plans in your spare time. Being up for something simply means wanting to do something. E.g. “Hi James, are you up for playing football today”. Response: “Yeah, I’m up for that”.
What are you up to?
This phrase simply means “What are you doing?”, and is mainly used in informal situations.
E.g. “What are you up to later? Do you want to go to the cinema?”
What do you do?
This is short for “What do you do for a living?”, which simply means “What is your job?”. This is a very important one to remember, as native English speakers often ask this question the first time they meet somebody.
Whatever has a few different meanings:
- It can be used in the same way as “any” or “no matter what”. E.g. “I’m going to go to the park whatever the weather”
- You’re probably more likely to hear it used as a response to express that you don’t fully believe what someone has just told you. E.g. “I promise, it wasn’t me who broke your CD”. Response: “Whatever”.
Whatshisface / Whatsherface
These are very useful terms for when you want to mention someone but you can’t remember their name. If it’s a male, simply use “whatshisface” in place of his name, and if it’s a female use “whatsherface”.
"Yeah" instead of "Yes"
This one is very important. Although yes is the word most people are taught in their English lessons, outside a few formal situations it is almost always more appropriate to say “yeah” as “yes” makes you sound more irritable. Therefore, “yes” is mostly used when someone feels impatient, sad, angry, argumentative or generally in a bad mood.
We’ve all heard of and used Google Translate, right? However, this tool is not only used to translate texts, but also images. A few months ago, an extended version of Google Translate was launched that’s able to translate 27 languages into simple sentences. It’s a great advantage for anyone visiting exotic countries with different languages and alphabets. There’s no need to have mobile data and you’ll be able to learn new vocabulary at the same time, while in a completely new country. Google’s Augmented Reality Tech is here to stay.
Ah Italian cuisine! It has become famous around the world. Many of its special delicacies such as ice cream rarely tastes better than when they are bought from shops on Italian streets. Besides that, Florence has specialties to offer than you won’t want to miss.
The famous almond cookies Cantuccini are one of them, first baked in the area around Florence. The traditional dishes of the Tuscan Cuisine, such as the Bistecca alla Fiorentina or La Ribollita are also big hits! It is customary to begin a meal with an Antipasto (starter), then proceed to the Primo and Secondo Piatto (first and second servings), and to finish your culinary experience with a Dolce (sweet dessert) or an Espresso.
And of course one must not forget the wine! Tuscany has a multitude of local wine growers: the well known Chianti originally stems from Florence as well. Let the Tuscan food take you on an adventure of taste to match the beauty of Florence itself.
If you are planning a holiday or language trip to Cuba you will probably want to know whether you can send messages or post on your social media whilst you are on site. People who stay in a hotel can remain calm in the knowledge that most hotels are equipped with contemporary technologies such as Wi-Fi, although this might be limited to the lobby. You shouldn’t count on a quick internet connection, but it should be enough for data usage that does not require a large amount of online processing. In order for you to use the Wi-Fi there are several steps that you’ll need to complete first:
Everyone is alright!
After staying in the UK for a few days you will have heard the phrase “You alright” a fair amount of times. This is one of the first things to confuse tourists when they visit for the first time. In other countries, the question ‘are you alright’ often means that someone is asking you how you feel and wants you to tell them about this. In the UK this phrase is used as a simple greeting and does not imply that people who ask it want to know how you feel. It is just another way of saying ‘hi’ and when someone is asked “You alright”, they respond by saying “Yeah, you alright”. This is usually said while passing by someone and the exchange of words ends after both people have said their greeting.
Britain prides itself on helpfulness and politeness and this is generally expected by all members of society. When doing something helpful people will often say “Cheers” or in some cases “Cheers mate”. This phrase means thank you and does not imply that the person is cheering, nor that they are your mate or friend. “Mate” is predominantly used by males of all ages and “bro” is mainly added at the end of the phrase by younger males. Contrary to people’s beliefs, being called mate or bro does not mean that you have any kind of particular relationship with the person who says this to you. It is a nicety very many people use.
The Bird’s Nest Ice and Snow Festival
You probably have heard of the Bird’s nest stadium or Beijing national stadium before. It was built and used for the 2008 Olympic Games. Since December 2008 the area of 2000 square meters is transformed into a snow resort were people of all ages can enjoy winter activities like skiing and sledding every year. During the winter month the Bird’s nest is turned into the biggest ski resort in Beijing thus bringing winter cheer to the capital.
Date: 1 January – 28 February
Tourism in Boston is very developed. Indeed, people from all over the world are drawn to the charm of this United States city. On a first trip during your language stay in Boston, for example, there are some tours that you should not miss. Here is a small summary of these places!
In Spain Christmas songs are also known as "villancicos". If you turn on the television during December you will witness a chorus singing "Los peces en el río" or "Campana sobre campana", classic songs for decades. Most of them have a very close relationship with Catholicism, either at the birth of Jesus or the next months. We have examples of very varied Spanish Christmas carols, but the most common ones are generally "Ay el Chiquirritín", which remains immediately in our head because of its rhymes, "Noche de paz" which speaks of the passage from 24 to 25 December (internationally, known as "Silent Night", composed by Franz Xaver Gruber in 1818 and declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011, "La Marimorena" talks about the Virgin Mary and "the Arre burro arre " the way of the family of Jesus in Bethlehem. Without a doubt, one of the best-known Spanish Christmas carols is "Los peces en el río".
The day starts early on Sunday. New students arrive throughout the day and are taken care of by the team members and given a little tour. Meanwhile, the other team members go with the students who stay longer than one week on a day-trip. On Sunday is the Best of Malta Tour, a trip through the best destinations in Malta. A market in the fishing village Marsaxlokk, Blue Grotto, Dingli Cliffs (the highest point of Malta) and then end the day on one of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Malta, Golden Bay. Tired, but full of new experiences, we return to campus around dinner time. We quickly jump into the pool to cool down, get dressed and go to the table. In the evening there is a quiz or a workshop so that the newer and older students get to know each other.
Also, this year it will be possible to enjoy traveling to Malta! Thanks to our comprehensive safety concept, our language students will be able to enjoy a safe trip to Malta! The concept includes, for example, outdoor classes, distance and hygiene rules, as well as additional compliances in accordance to the certified measures catalog. Our legendary Sprachcaffe campus with spacious outdoor areas will make your Malta trip a great experience even with the new conditions! Learn more about our holiday concept »
The word 'Halloween' originates from the evening before All Saints' Day, called 'All Hallows Eve'. It is not entirely clear who first celebrated it, with some historians attributing it to Celtic origin, others a Christian one. However, many agree on the fact that it was a popular custom in Catholic Ireland. The dire conditions in their homeland forced many Irish to look for new ways to feed their families. One of the solutions they found was leaving their home behind to embrace the American Dream, bringing many traditions with them that became part of American culture.
Not all universities offer exchange student options but there are other ways to experience studying abroad without a whole lot of hassle.
ISEP has been sending students abroad since 1979 and is one of the study abroad programs that make it possible for students to study at universities across the United States. Organisations like the ISEP help students register to further their studies further afield. These organisations assist with the course registrations as well as offer advice on how to get started on the planning process. Most study abroad programs do include students’ residential accommodation, meals and course advisers that help make the process as simple as possible.
- A Semester Abroad – Students who aren’t ready to commit to studying abroad permanently are encouraged to try a semester abroad first. These semesters are conducted at one of the organisation’s campuses while the students live in their chosen destination. This is the most popular form of student exchange and assists students in continuing their studies while enjoying a new destination – as well as a new academic university environment. Students are granted admission into a foreign university for 3 – 6 months (an average tertiary academic term) where they will continue earning credits for their major qualification. Agencies that handle exchange programs assist with the registration process, accommodation and other basic information about the destination. In order to apply students will have interviews conducted, their grades will be reviewed and some universities will request entrance examinations to be taken prior to the application being finalised successfully.
- Semester Break Abroad – These programs are designed to be held during academic vacations and are ideal for students who want to use their vacation time to further their academic pursuits, obtain extra-curricular credits or learn a new skill. These courses can either contribute to the student’s main qualification or it can be an additional course of interest taken abroad. Also known as Summer/Fall Programs these semester vacation programs include accommodation, registration assistance and course advisers.
- Complete your Studies Abroad – Students can decide to attend or transfer to the ideal university for their qualification and profession. Students who decide to complete their entire qualification abroad can contact the university directly for information on accommodation, course registration and any other course related enquiries. This option is available for students who want to complete their entire qualification in a university abroad or can request an institutional transfer after the course has commenced. This option is entirely at the university’s discretion and will have to handled directly through the relevant educational industries (i.e. home university, destination university).
Study Abroad and Exchange Student Organisations usually offer the following:
- Information on the available program options, course information and university contact personnel.
- Assistance with course registration with your destination university. If you are using an external agency to assist you with your studies abroad it is usually up to you to inform your home university of your plans, arrange for credit transfers and confirm the accreditation of your specific course-related classes.
- Accommodation and full/half board. These accommodation options are usually school residences, flat shares or university residences.
- Course Advisers to offer assistance and advice.
- Social activities and a variety of cultural excursions to enhance the experience.
- Students are required to have completed their secondary education with university exemption. Academic records will be requested.
- A valid passport
- Students are required to have met the institution’s entrance requirements which will differ from university to university. This may be in the form of an entrance examination, detailed application or interview.
- Police clearance certificates may be required before admission is granted into a specific educational institution.
Visa requirements differ depending on your intended destination as well as your nationality. While agencies do advise you on the process required as well as any other travel regulations, it is up to the student to acquire the necessary visa and travel documents. Students intending on studying at a foreign learning institute will require a valid passport to travel as well as a student visa and permission to study from the relevant authorities, this is however dependent on the destination. In order to find out whether or not you need a student visa in order to complete your studies it is advisable that you consult the immigration authorities of your intended destination or consult an immigration/travel agency.
Health Requirements & Regulations
Some destinations require tourists to receive vaccinations prior to their arrival. For instance, students intending to study in some regions of South Africa and other African countries are encouraged to take anti malaria pills or other malaria prophylaxis. It is essential that tourists and students who intend travelling to remote destinations consult their medical practitioners beforehand as well as find out the health requirements of their destination.
"Guten Morgen" is not so much used by German people. A simple "Morgen!" is more than enough to say hello to someone in the morning.
Duolingo is a fun app. You have several different lessons, all corresponding to different levels. Each lesson brings you new words and ask you to write, listen to words, or select correct answers. Pictures are also included when introduced to a new word.
Every success make you win ingots with which you can "buy" options like timing an exercise or being given a quiz to test your level.
If there’s one thing you absolutely have to do during Oktoberfest, it’s wearing the traditional Bavarian outfit, which you will see everywhere in the streets of Munich. You might have already seen these: short and leather suspenders for men – the Lederhose – and the amazingly low-necked dress worn by women – the Dirndl. They are a must-have for this event. Early birds will have the best deals, as they are out of stock pretty quickly, and cost less during low season! You can also wear accessories like hats, jewellery, shoes…all Bavarian-inspired, of course! So hurry up and get dressed for Oktoberfest!
German love beer indeed but they also love eating. Oktoberfest is one more excuse to discover the typical cuisine of South Germany. On the menu is generally some chicken, roasted pork, sausages, Spätzle, Knödel (potato balls), some cabbage… and of course some pretzels! Please note that the actual German spelling is Brezel. You will not find more traditional food as during Oktoberfest, so do no forget to eat when you get there!
Prepare yourself, Oktoberfest is also about singing your heart out on some of the best ‘hits’ of the German but most of all Bavarian popular songs. Be sure to learn the lyrics beforehand if you want to give your body and soul to this traditional activity. The atmosphere is very lively and there is no need to sing right to join in. These songs are also very popular during Carnival time in February, they are very festive and very well known by anyone, even the youngest ones!
If you already have a bit of German knowledge, you will quickly realise that people there speak… with a particular accent! Here are a few words from the Bavarian dialect:
Grüß Gott / Servus : Good day / Hello
Pfiaddi : Goodbye
Bía : beer
Minga : Munich
Daitschland : Germany
Munich - München in German – is a go-to when travelling in Germany during Oktoberfest. This is THE place for the festivities. With its 1.5 million inhabitants, Munich is not only the third biggest city of the country but also the capital of Bavaria. There, you will find the old city with its magnificent architecture including the Rathaus on Marienplatz, have a walk around the Englischen Garten, one of the biggest innercity garden in the world, and visit the Frauenkirsche or the Deutsches Museum if you have time! Otherwise, you can always pay us a visit in our new language school in Munich and learn a bit of German for the occasion!
The gigantic empty land where the Oktoberfest is hosted – commonly called the Wiesn – transforms into a huge fairground, which is supposed to be the biggest in the world: it has around 200 rides and 6 million visitors every year. Among the most popular rides are the Riesenrad (Ferris wheel), the Hexenschaukel (a ride based on optical illusion) and also slides… some of them dating from the 19th century!
Oktoberfest is primarily a popular fest. And fest means party! Many music sets and concerts are organised during the two weeks of the event and you will also be able to attend the opening parade of Oktoberfest and dance (or sing) along with the crowd! The city of Munich also changes and every bar and restaurant opens its doors to welcome groups of friends or families. You will find that there is a genuine festive mood among the people of Bavaria!
Making the most of Oktoberfest also means getting the opportunity to explore Bavaria. This 'Land' is the biggest in Germany and provides its visitors with amazing landscapes made from mountains and beautiful nature. The image you might have already in mind when thinking of Bavaria isn’t a myth. South Germany is a place everyone finds charming and mesmerising! So if you are going to Oktoberfest with the Bavarians, do not miss on their wonderful region and explore the wonderful countryside around Munich! You will not regret paying a visit to Germany...
There are many flight comparison websites out there. Here are some of the best:
Often you will find the best prices by using these sites to scan through many different airline fares.
Google Flights is a fantastic, flexible way to search for flights. It shows you the best features of a city destination (such as concerts, nightlife, shopping, etc), it gives you ideas if you are not sure where to go, you can set parameters such as your date range, price range and so on.
Often, this should be your first stop when travel planning.
Matrix Airfare Search is for more advanced users. ITA Software, the company originally behind Maxrix Airfare Search, is the 'secret sauce' behind Google flights after being bought by Google, think of it as a more advanced way to search.
Kayak is a wonderfully intuitive way to search for flights. You get graphs of price over time, choice of airlines, which you can tick on or off, you can pick your preferred airline alliance (e.g. OneWorld or Star Alliance). Highly recommended.
Sky Scanner is another popular website, if you need another option.
✓ Nationality: German
✓ Age: 17 years old
✓ Destination: Málaga, Spain
✓ Dates: 02.08.2015 - 09.08.2015
✓ Language travel for Young People
English TV channels - Online Streaming
|BBC||National TV Service with 9 different channels.|
|ITV||"The largest commercial television channel in the UK"|
|Channel 4||Innovative and alternative content.|
|Sky||Movies and TV series online.|
American TV channels - Online Streaming
|NBC||The largest network in the US: news, sport, TV series...|
|CBS||The most watched network in the US: news, sport, TV series...|
|ABC||Original programming, sports, news|
|FOX||Owned by 21st Century Fox, programming sport, prime times and politcal talks on Sundays.|
Note: most of the American channels are not available if you do not live in the US.
Australian TV Channels
|Australian Plus Television||International TV service with a special "Learn English" section.|
SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH
YOUTUBE CHANNELS – Language & Cultures
Number 5 - Prepare and pack your own meals
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Find yourself a local supermarket and stock up on the snacks that you enjoy, these will cost a fraction of the price that you will pay at tourist kiosks. Bear in mind that dining out for every meal time will cost a lot more and can be quite tiring so keep easy to prepare meals at hand, most hotels have a microwave either in the room or on their premises so getting these meals warm and ready to eat won’t be a hardship. Just bear in mind that attractions like amusement parks might not allow food to be brought in so keep in mind your plans for the day before packing a 5 course gourmet picnic basket.
Number 6 - Opt for public transport instead of taxis
While taxis are more convenient they are also a lot more expensive. Find out about the public transport in the area, most tourist destinations do have easily accessible public transportation which is inexpensive and authentic. If you do find yourself lost in a strange city then you can rest assured that a taxi service will be available to come to your rescue.
Also check out if the city you're in has a special card to travel everywhere by bus, tram or with the underground, something like a group card if you are several persons or a day-card to use during 24 hours. It is oftentimes much cheaper than buying a one-way ticket.
And finally if you have to go further and can't afford paying for the train, try also car-sharing, it's the best way to travel really cheap and to meet people!
Number 7 - Compare credit fees to foreign exchange
Some banks offer excellent swipe rates where as some banks might double or even triple their bank fees when swiping your card abroad. The key to deciding on the way to spend is knowledge, contact your bank and find out the rates they offer and then compare it to the cash fees involved with foreign exchange. Browse for the best time to buy your foreign currency and also be aware of the additional costs incurred by using a travel agency as opposed to your bank.
✓ In a country like GERMANY, you will see people knocking on their table rather than clapping to applaud at the end of a master class or a really good meeting. In Beer-land clapping is reserved for theater and concerts! And talking about beer, if you want to respect German customs, don’t forget to clink glasses and say Prost! every single time you start a new beverage. And make eye contact to your fellow toasters, otherwise it is said that you will suffer bad sex relations for the next 7 years! Germans are quite organized people but there are times when the reality really doesn’t match the expectation. Join a queue in a German supermarket and see what happens when a new checkout opens. They rush to the new queue! If you are not fast enough maybe you can spend more time than expected waiting in line
✓ Have you never noticed how people introduce themselves in SPAIN? Spaniards are well-known for being loud and friendly. If you happen to visit Spain, don’t be surprised if a girl kisses you twice - once on one cheek and once on the other cheek- to introduce herself. It’s the Spanish way of saying “Hello!”
✓ Do you like cheese? If so, when you stay with a French host family make sure to spare some space in your stomach for the dessert. In FRANCE people tend to enjoy a cheese tasting plate accompanied by a good red wine after meals. Oh! And remember: if you are drinking a red wine and want to change to white wine, please don’t pour it in the same glass without cleaning it beforehand, if you don’t want to be the laughingstock of the party.
Prepping time: 45 minutes – 12 hours resting time
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Makes about 30 Stars
3 egg whites
250 g powdered sugar
2 drops of lemon juice
140 g ground hazelnuts
140 g ground almonds
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of kirsch liquor
Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Whip them using an electric mixer with 2 drops of lemon juice until they become foamy and steady in the bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar to the whites and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff and forms a nice meringue. Keep about 100g powdered sugar to the side for glazing.
Add the hazelnuts, almonds, cinnamon and kirsch liquor to the rest of your meringue.
Mix until the dough becomes smooth and slightly sticky.
Put the dough on a flat surface and roll it out to about 1 cm thick. Make the stars with star-shaped cookie cutters. Make a ball with the dough that is left, flatten to 1cm thick and repeat until no more dough remains.
Using a cooking brush, cover the top of each star with the glazing you kept from earlier. Place them on a baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. Let them set for 12 hours at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 160 °C and bake for approximately 8 minutes. The glazing must stray white and not become colored.
Allow to cool fully before storing in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
Read an original recipe in German here.
Italy Made Easy: Manu is Itlaian and his passion is helping others learn and understand his mother tongue. On his channel he's created a playlist called "From Zero to Italian" for beginners, as well as the series "Italian Accelerator" for advanced learners. His videos also include travel tips for Italy and vlog posts about everyday life. All videos have subtitles.
Sprachcaffe can help you organise a work/internship/volunteer placement abroad, beginning with an in-country language course to get your language to the right level before your work begins.
Work in media, childcare, IT, arts & culture, event management, NGOs, marketing, social work, sports & leisure, tourism, environment, animal welfare or a Sprachcaffe school.
Language course: min. 8 weeks
Destinations: USA, Canada, UK, Europe
The most memorable London location of all may well be platform 9¾ in King’s Cross station. While there are only train tracks between platforms 9 and 10, fans can find the sign to platform 9¾ on the wall at the back of the main concourse, where the back half of a trolley protrudes from the wall. What most fans don’t know is that J.K. Rowling actually confused King’s Cross station with another station, because in reality there is no wall between platforms 9 and 10. For the movies, the wall between platforms 4 and 5 has been used. A small Harry Potter Shop has been set up close to the original filming location, selling Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Beans.
Everything to do with water
You can never get enough of H2o? Neither can Bournemouth! There are water activities of all kinds and for all tastes, regardless of whether you enjoy immersing yourself completely in the sea or staying entirely dry while surrounding yourself with beautifully clear blue water. From surfing and jet skis to snorkeling and diving, you name it, Bournemouth has it. These are of course only a few of the water sports that you can take part in whilst staying in Bournemouth. Many more splashing adventures await you when you get there!
If you are not a fan of swim suits, waves and sand beneath your feet, fear not, because you can still enjoy the fascinating sights that a trip underwater could give you without needing to plunge yourself into water or sand. The large Oceanarium is the perfect place for doing just that. During your visit you can discover the lives of countless sea creatures you’ll want to adore and admire within the shimmering water above and all around you.
If you love art and architecture, it goes without saying that you need to visit Florence. During their lifetime, the rich and famous avant-garde entrepreneur family 'Medici' were patrons of numerous artists, thereby causing Florence to be the birth place of the Italian renaissance. You will still get this very feeling when traversing through the astoundingly picturesque streets of Florence today. In terms of visual art, Michelangelo’s David is only one of the world famous pieces to be found in the city. The Uffizi, one of the most famous art museums in the world and the wonderful Boboli garden are full of treasures that await you.
First you need to acquire an ETECSA card. What is ETECSA you ask? Simply put, it is a Cuban telecommunication company that is owned by the state. It provides mobile internet and Wi-Fi to both tourists and locals that live in Cuba. These cards are also sometimes referred to as “Nauta”, but the more commonly known name is ETECSA.
The available offers for mobile internet are prepaid cards or “Tarjeta de Navegación” that you pay 2 CUC for per hour. These cards are usually available in most hotels as well as ETECSA shops. It is important to note that there can be very long queues in front of the places at which these cards are sold. When making your purchase you should always have either your ID or passport on you as some sales spots require you to show one of these documents before you can buy a card. Another important fact to know is that the popularization of these mobile internet cards has sparked the dealing of said cards on the black market. Black market sales people can be found on the streets and in parks near Wi-Fi hotspots, but while it might save you the time to wait in a long queue, cards bought from these people are more expensive than legitimate cards and are also likely to malfunction.
Walk on the left
The UK’s traffic system will stand out as being the other way around to many people from all around the world. If you are used to walking or driving on the right side of the road you will have to change which road or pavement side you walk on in every situation during your stay in the UK. Walking on the right might cause you to bump into people who might not be expecting anyone to come walking in front of them, but this is of course not as lethal as its driving equivalent.
Even though London is just one of the UK’s cities it can be distinguished from many others by its unique pulse as a city and the way of life that seems to run differently than in most other cities in the UK. Of course this can only properly be understood through a firsthand experience. In order to make your first experience a safe and secure one it is very useful to know one thing: Never walk close to the edge of the pavement. Busses and other vehicles will often drive so close to the pavement that standing near the edge is dangerous for passengers and might result in people getting scraped or hit by passing traffic. It is therefore best to keep a safe distance from the road and walk as close to the buildings as possible. This can be hard sometimes as pavements become quite narrow in some areas of London, but the same rule still applies and you might need to walk very close to the walls of buildings next to you in order to avoid coming in contact with cars and buses.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is China’s biggest celebration of the year and is in parts similar to other countries New Year. But unlike the western New Year’s Eve, Chinese people also celebrate the spring festival on New Year’s. Another difference is that the date varies each year depending on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year, the year of the dog, Chinese New Year was celebrated on the 16th of February. In case you missed it, of course you can join the festivity next year on the 5th of February and enjoy the start of the year of the pig.
April is definitely one of the best months to visit Florence. The celebrations begin after the Easter Sunday with a festival called - Scoppio del Carro, that is, a traditional explosion of fireworks and a procession in medieval costumes. If the fireworks will be successful, throughout the next year the city's inhabitants will live in happiness, prosperity and prosperity.
If you like ice cream, you will surely enjoy the 5-day Florentine Craft Ice Festival, which also takes place in April.
This museum and replica of a life-size ship gives you a good idea of the history of the city. Here, you are told all about the "Tea Party" demonstration that took place on December 16, 1773. This act of resistance was directed against the British colonial powers and their new tax regime on products such as tea. Protesters poured a load of tea into the harbor in anger.
Enjoy an unforgettable vacation in 2021, learn English and get €10 on top for every day you spend in Malta! The Malta Tourism Authority is providing a total of €1 million to support language students who stay between 15 and 30 nights in Malta with a daily €10 voucher which they can redeem at various stores on the island! Book your language trip now »
- China's most traditional and well known food are dumplings, a dish that has been prepared since the 1800s. Nowadays, it is a tradition in China to eat dumplings on the New Year to say goodbye to the old one. Eating this dish is also considered as bringing good luck and family reunions. Dumplings are made of dough that contain a filling. The dough is either potatoes, bread or flour, while the filling is either cheese, fish, meat, vegetables or something sweet like red bean paste.
- If you are more about sweets, then why don´t you try the delicious Chinese Moon Cakes? Traditionally, people eat this desert for the the Mid-Autumn Festival and serve it with tea. Moon Cakes, like dumplings, also symbolize family reunions. These cakes can be either sweet or salty, as the fillings can be quite different, for example nuts, ham, black sesame, red bean paste, roses, rock candy, lotus seed paste, osmanthus, egg yolk, dried plums or ginkgo.
The first stop on our spooky journey is Ireland. The tradition of Samhaim (Sam=summer, Fuin=end, i.e. "end of summer") celebrates the last harvest. People said goodbye to summer by lighting a big fire and throwing animal bones in it. The flames of this large fire were used by the families to light their own fireplace, a way to strengthen the community. The Celts believed that on this day the dead came to earth to visit their relatives. Instead of being afraid of them, the locals welcomed them with delicious food to drive away evil spirits.
Today, Ireland is reviving many of its old traditions. In County Meath, which claims to be the origin of the celebration, Halloween is celebrated for almost a whole month as part of the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival. Londonderry in Northern Ireland, with its largest Halloween festival in Europe, is also worth a visit at the spookiest time of the year.
If you are as fascinated by oriental culture like us, then Rabat should definitely be on your travel list. Rabat is an open-air museum, with cultural and historical masterpieces everywhere you look. Morocco's capital is a perfect blend of classic oriental flair and exciting modern metropolis. Located on the banks of the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean, Rabat has many beautiful parks and beaches where to relax after a long day of exploring and sightseeing. In the cultural metropolis of Morocco, historical sights, cultural centers, cinemas and theaters await you. One of the sights not to be missed during your visit is the Hassan Tower, an impressively 44 meters high building which was left unfinished due to an earthquake occurred in the 12th century. When in Rabat, one cannot miss a trip to Medina, the city's old town. Medina is the soul of the city, its colourful silks, spices, and alleyways an exciting reality waiting to be explored. Another reason to travel to Rabat is it's closeness to Casablanca, the economic lung of Morocco.
From backpacking to organised group trips and solo explorations, as a tourist the opportunities for adventure are endless! Whether you want to discover Europe as a cultural explorer or you want to enjoy a backpacking trip across the states of the USA, there are a million and one ways for you to discover the world and gain valuable life experiences along the way.
Types of Holidays Abroad
- Backpacking – Plan a globetrotting, city skipping tour where you will meet like-minded adventurers and enjoy experiences that will embed themselves in your memory for the rest of your life. Enjoy the excitement of discovering a variety of different cities, living in true backpacking style and making the most of the authentic hostel accommodation experience.
- Group Tours – From Gap Year Tours of Europe to Contiki Tours in the Mediterranean – there are variety of group tours especially designed to suit every tourist. Organised tours are perfect for individuals who want to enjoy every element of a destination while meeting new people and experiencing a unique worldly culture. Organised tours allow tourists to enjoy the famous attractions of a destination as well as a few of the lesser known hidden gems of a region.
- Solo Explorers – Travelling does not have to be experienced in a crowd in order to enjoy the wonders of the world at large. Solo explorers have the freedom to choose and plan their own itineraries as well as alter their plans as it suits them. While some hotels do offer prices on a “per person sharing” rate there are accommodation options that focus on individuals travelling alone. Travelling alone also makes booking airline tickets easier as travellers can opt for stand by fares and make the most of last minute cancellations.
- Language Trips Abroad – Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language but never got around to signing up for the local classes? Combining a language course with a vacation abroad is the perfect way to broaden your horizons while acquiring a worthwhile skill. Organisations such as Sprachcaffe Languages Plus specialises in destination language courses affording you the opportunity to learn the language from the classroom to the streets of your surrounding cities. These language trips are available to students (16 years and older) as well as to adults and corporate professionals. Most language courses are held over several weeks with students/tourists having the freedom to decide upon the ideal course duration to suit their needs. 6 weeks is the most favoured course length with some courses lasting up to 3 months.
- Cruise Liners – From trips to nowhere to luxury 6 month cruises around the world and everything in between – cruises are a luxurious and exciting way to experience the world. With meals, entertainment and accommodation all taken care of from the moment you board a luxury cruise liner your holiday begins from the moment you arrive. Whether you are using the cruise ship as a means to get you from point A to point B or you plan to enjoy your vacation aboard these magnificent vessels there is a cruise option that will suit your needs perfectly! Most cruise ships have everything from swimming pools to day spas and fully equipped gyms making it a well-rounded holiday experience, make the most of the balcony views and meet new people. Cruise packages do not include flights or transfers to the departure dock, alcoholic beverages on board or some activities (i.e. gambling) while all meals are catered for as well as entertainment making it a perfect choice for families, couples, students and solo travellers. Most packages do include shopping opportunities and stop-offs so be sure to have your foreign exchange ready or simply do an exchange on board. From 3 day excursions to 6 month splurges a vacation aboard a cruise liner is undeniably an unforgettable way to experience the world.
Group Tours and Travel Packages Includes:
- Flights * inclusive in some packages
- Accommodation * an average of 3 star accommodation options including bed and breakfasts, hotels and chalets. **Luxury options are available and offer 4 star, 5 star and 5 star + accommodation options.**
- Breakfast and dinner, drinks not included
- Queue skipping tourist attractions
- Cultural and adventure excursions *some entrance fees are not included in the package deals
- Tours and transport
- Travel Insurance, some organisations do include travel insurance in the package while all tour organisers do insist on it.
Language Trip Abroad Packages includes:
- Accredited language courses conducted by professional language teachers.
- Course materials
- 2-3 meals daily
- Some group activities and excursions
- Airport transfers
** Flights and transport fees not included in the package**
***Visa letters will be charged for but may be essential for a successful visa application***
- Valid passport
- Travel Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Proof of sufficient funds (visa requirement)
Es freut mich!
This is what you are supposed to say when meeting someone for the first time in Germany. It is the equivalent of “nice to meet you!”.
Download Duolingo on your phone:
Youtube has many fantastic, free videos for learning German. The channels below are of particularly high quality, with well-organised playlists and good structure for learning grammar rules and vocabulary. Wanted Adventure and DontTrustTheRabbit are especially fun, focusing on funny differences between English and German as well as more informal German that you definitely won't learn in school. But don't take our word for it, take a look for yourself and you'll see there's far more to discover about the German language!
A wonderful way to practice a language and to socialise. This group not only organises a weekly language exchange but also some social, cultural and sporting events. Members are aged between 18 and 40 and practice more than 30 languages. Beware, your jaw might feel a little sore after a full evening of chatting in two or three different languages!
- The first Oktoberfest took place in October 17th 1810.
- At the root of Oktoberfest is actually a wedding. Indeed in 1810, in Munich, Louis the 1st of Bavaria wedded Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Thus, huge festivities were organised, making it a tradition to celebrate the anniversary of this royal marriage.
- The land where is celebrated Oktoberfest was originally named Theresienwiese – literally "the meadow of Therese" – from the name of the Bavarian princess. Nowadays, the place is more commonly called the Wiesn.
- In 1872, organisers decided to push forward the date of Oktoberfest to mid-September in order to enjoy the last weeks of summer. Therefore, they decided to extend the festivities to the 1st weekend of October.
- In the 1920s, during Oktoberfest, visitors were only served Munich-brewed beer. No other beer could be commercialised. Every tent on the Wiesn belonged to a brewery from Munich (Augustiner, Löwenbrau, Paulaner...).
- It was only in the 1950s that Munich Mayor started to traditionally open the first beer of Oktoberfest, on the first Saturday of the fest, at exactly noon.
- Since 2010, the 200th year anniversary of Oktoberfest, a southern section of the Wiesn offers differents attrations illustratring the history of the popular fest. The place is called Oide Wiesn and it is 3-euro entry.
These days, budget airliners doesn't always equal bad food and worse service! You may get basic service, but you can often pay for comforts, such as jumping to the front of the queue with priority boarding to avoid the rush or an emergency row for extra legroom. You also can take comfort in theknowledge the money you save on flights can be spent in shopping at your destination!
Sometimes, budget airlines do not show up in the flight comparison websites mentioned above. Other times, they only fly from less popular airportswhich may not be on your radar. So if you are willing to travel to an outofthewayairport, you can get great deals!
Number 8 - Get a local SIM/phone card
International roaming is expensive! Everyone knows that mobile phones are an essential part of daily living but enabling your phone for international roaming can set you back a huge chunk of cash. Buy a local SIM/phone card and let people know about your temporary number, this will keep you in contact with the people you need to be in contact with, without costing you a fortune! And no, you won't have to wait until you have Wi-Fi to finally send the last selfie you have just done...!
Number 9 - Shop where the locals shop
As mentioned above tourist shops can be a whole lot more expensive than the local chain store supermarket so make sure you stock up on your supplies at a local supermarket rather than the tourist kiosk just outside of your hotel. From groceries to toiletries and even gifts you will be able to find a bargain at the shop instead of breaking the budget.
Number 10 - Opt for budget hotels
If you are not planning on spending a lot of time in your hotel then there is really no need to splurge on 5 star accommodations. 3 or 4 star hotels or bed and breakfasts are great for budgets and still offer you a comfortable and relaxing place to call home for the duration of your stay. Keep an eye on your hotel’s destination, while you definitely don’t want to stay in the slums of the city you don’t necessarily need to be in the heart of the hustle and bustle of tourist central.
TOP TIP: Keep an eye on your spending!
Writing down a daily spending allowance and recording everything you have spent will help you keep track of your money while giving you the opportunity to curb your spending or enjoying a little bit of luxury on your next outing.
Travelling does not have to be a huge expense, let these tips leave you with a little bit more in your pocket while not skimping on the things that really matter – making memories in a new and exciting destination! So what are you waiting for? Start planning the trip of a lifetime today!
✓ Italians are very superstitious and for them, nuns and ambulances are associated with death. So if you plan to spend your holidays in ITALY and you bump into one of them, don’t hesitate and bless yourself with the sign of the Cross… Just in case!
✓ Now a little further afield, in RUSSIA you will discover that you receive a light stamp if you accidentally step on someone’s foot. Why? The first thought that will come to your mind is that it’s due to revenge. Far from this, Russians do that to avoid future conflict with this person.
In India is usually to see two men walking holding hands. This doesn’t mean that they are in a romantic relationship. This is just a sign of friendship. On the other hand, you will never see a couple expressing their love in public in India.
Prepping time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
SAFFRON BUNS full recipe:
5 dl oat milk (or other plant milk)
1 dl agave syrup
1.5 dl rapeseed oil
1 g saffron
50 g fresh yeast
11 dl wheat flour
flour for kneading
rapeseed oil for brushing
Heat the oat milk slowly and stir in the agave syrup, rapeseed oil and saffron.
Remove from heat when it’s warm but not too hot to touch (37°c).
Crumble the fresh yeast in a bowl and pour in the milk mix. Stir until smooth.
Add the flour a little at a time. Let sit for 40 minutes, preferably somewhere warm.
Knead the dough with more flour until not sticky and workable.
Form into cute shapes and pop in the raisins.
Let sit for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 225°C.
Brush the buns with a little bit of rapeseed oil.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.
Read the recipe in Swedish here.
Awaken the cowboy within you and discover authentic ranch life in the USA or Canada. You’ll stay with an extremely welcoming farming family, ensuring your English or French improves tremendously, whether you’re on a horse ranch, cattle ranch, alpaca farm, orchard or any other type of ranch.
Language course: min. 8 weeks
Destinations: USA, Canada
For the really adventurous, you could even dedicate yourself to panda conservation in China! Everybody loves pandas, and this is your chance to get up close and become an expert in one of the most endangered and lovable animals on Earth. And all while becoming fluent in Chinese!
Language course: min. 8 weeks
You all remember when Harry had his first encounter with a snake in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, don’t you? Well London Zoo certainly remembers the scene, because it was filmed in their very own Reptile House. Although Harry is seen speaking to a Burmese python, the enclosure used in the scene is actually home to a black mamba. There is now a plaque next to the snake enclosure commemorating the event. The Reptile House was built in 1926 and was considered one of the most sophisticated buildings of its type at the time. Whether you’re a Harry Potter freak or not, London Zoo is a great place to visit, with an incredible 752 animal species (as of 2011).
Here are some everyday expressions that are used so abundantly in the USA, it's hard to believe they haven't caught on across the pond:
The American meaning to spend time doing unimportant things instead of what you should be doing, or to take excessive time getting ready to go somewhere.
E.g. “Stop dillydallying, we need to be at the airport in half an hour”.
Don't mention it
An informal American phrase meaning “You’re welcome”.
to be down
While being down can mean to be sad, in America it is often also used in the same way as “to be up for something”. E.g. “You down to go to the party tonight?” Response: “Yeah I’m down”.
An American term for “stuff”. Note: the “K”s are silent.
Knock it off / Quit it
Informal American phrases meaning “Stop it”, used when telling someone to stop doing something, especially if it is something that annoys you. Note: the “K” is silent.
American word used to describe:
- people who are dishonest/unreliable;
- things, especially places, that are potentially dangerous;
- things that are of low quality.
American term meaning “very tired”.
In our highly connected world, language barriers will soon be a thing of the past thanks to Waverly Labs’ new technology. The Pilot, as they have named their futuristic earpiece, currently only translates between English, French, Spanish and Italian instantaneously, but the company wants to add a further 15 languages before 2018. We have already seen incredible technological advancements getting smaller and smaller in the famous smart watch, but nothing that’s come before compares to the capabilities of the Pilot.
Explore the English Gardens
Bournemouth might seem like all water and beach, but nature and greenery lovers will not be disappointed. The town’s luxurious gardens remind of exotic plantations and parks with abundant plant life all around. Be surprised by each new corner and turn of the town in which you will stumble upon more and more beautiful green spots to relax and admiring your surroundings in. The English Gardens of Bournemouth are also the perfect location for people who want to capture this gorgeous scenery with their cameras.
If you are interested in seeing nature from an even wilder side, you simply must venture into the New Forest in which you will find not only vast amounts of untouched natural grounds, but also wild horses, free roaming cows and other animals that inhabit the forest. These grounds are rich with wonderful sights behind each bush and tree. Many people who are local to the UK never cease marveling at this large and beautiful piece of land, which is why we recommend that you give it a visit at least once.
If you want to get to know the Italian language, Florence is the right place to do so! The Italian language of today is based on a dialect spoken regionally in Florence in earlier centuries.
The development of modern Italian language was mostly influenced by the authors Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca and Giovanni Boccaccio. All three are commonly referred to as the three crowns (tre corone) of the Italian language, because they used a certain form of the spoken dialect known as the Florentine dialect. Dante’s highly praised ‘Divine Comedy’ (originally ‘Divina Comedia’) was written in a version of this very dialect.
The linguistic unification of Florence with the rest of Italy happened a lot later than the national unification in 1861, however the stepping stones for the contemporary Italian language have been set by the three authors named above. Alessandro Manzoni’s novel ‘The Betrothed’ (originally ‘I Promessi Sposi’) is often seen as the final influence for the shaping of the Florentine dialect as the main way of speaking Italian.
Once you have successfully obtained a card you will be able to access your username and password that are written on it. Please also note that you will not be able to use the same prepaid card for multiple different devices. Every single device requires its own individual internet card in order to access the Wi-Fi. The card can be used multiple times, which means that you do not need to use up the quota of an hour within one session before the access ceases. You will be able to use the card for 30 days after your first use.
Britain is famous for its tea and rumor has it that everyone drops what they are doing at noon and sits down to have a cup of tea. This may sound funny and a bit farfetched, but it is actually also a common stereotype of British people. It may also come as a surprise that this is not completely untrue. Dinner time, which is the meal that is commonly had in the evening or late afternoon, is commonly referred to as ‘tea’ in many parts of Britain. And yes, tea is also often had around that time, if one so wishes. Stories about people stopping what they do to have tea at 12 O’clock are however false, as you may have guessed.
Etiquette and unspoken rules
Good manners, posh behavior and a strict etiquette that all citizens abide by; these are all stereotypes that people associated the UK with. Whether all of these are true can best be found out by observing people on the street and anywhere you go in your day-to-day life. It is in fact true that people will expect each other to be polite and helpful. Instances of this behavior can be seen in situations where people bump into each other on the street for example. Both parties will usually say ‘sorry’ after this occurs. You will also often hear people saying ‘thank you’ to the bus driver one by one when stepping off the bus. By doing so they express their appreciation of the bus driver's dutiful service. Niceties, such as saying thank you and sorry in any possible situation, come very naturally to locals. The everyday practice people care most of all about is being patient and queuing. It is greatly looked down upon if others do not wait their turn, which means that you should always make sure to arrange yourself accordingly in every queue.
For lovers of art and culture, one of the most important festivals will be the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. This festival is dedicated to opera, theater, drama, classical music and dance. The concerts take place from May 5 to July 13.
This 4 km (2.5 miles) drive through downtown Boston goes through 16 historic places. If you're looking for a fun and interactive tour of the city while taking a short history lesson, jump on the Freedom Trail and discover some of Boston's most important sights like the Boston Common, Massachusetts State House, the Old North Church, Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, the USS Constitution and many more.
In France, there are two Christmas carols that stand out above others: “Il est né le Divin Enfant” and “Douce Nuit - Sainte Nuit”. The first one talks about the birth of a divine child and first appeared in 1874. The second, as we mentioned earlier, the 'Silent Night' translated into French. In addition, French speakers have a very famous singer for Christmas songs, Celine Dion. She has created some versions of the most classic Christmas carols, such as “Petit Santa Claus”' which tells the story of a child asking Santa Claus not to forget his gifts.
Monday is an exciting day for everyone looking forward to go to their classes. At 08:00 everyone has breakfast in the beer garden. The team members take the new students to the square in front of the school to introduce ourselves to our new students so that they know who their teamer is. We next lead our students inside the school and tell them more about ourselves, explain the rules and distribute them among the classrooms. After a quick break, the students start their intensive courses. Other groups of students go to the swimming pool and the volleyball court. Who will participate in the mini-tournament?
After the students are finished with lessons, we gather our bearings. We give them a tour of our site and then ease on to the pool.
After dinner the tables go to the side, the disco lights go on and the volume goes up. The welcome party has started! There are snacks and mocktails (cocktails without alcohol). Needless to say the mood is excellent.
- Indonesian cuisine is incredibly diverse. One of the most famous dishes is satay, meat skewers grilled over cabbage. They are served with a rice cake, which is called ketupat, doused with peanut sauce. This dish is so beloved in Indonesia that it can be found almost everywhere in the country.
- Another specialty in Indonesia is Nasi Rawon. This is a beef stew from East Java with a nutty flavor and black color because of the combination of keluak nuts. The locals like to serve this dish with rice.
The longest lasting Halloween tradition in England is Nut Crack Night. Here couples throw nuts into the fire. If they burst and make a loud bang, the couple can expect a rosy future.
Every year Singapore is visited by more that 12 million tourists, a sign of the country's growing presence on the international market. Despite its size (Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world) the island has much to offer. One of the most beautiful and unmissable sights is the Gardens by the Bay, a calm and blooming green space working as a break from city's tall and modern skyscrapers. If you are more into the hustle and bustle of the city, then you have to head over to Sentosa Leisure Island, where you can experience everything from Ancient Egypt, Far Far Away, The Lost World, New York, Hollywood and Madagascar. The island also has wonderful beaches, themed restaurants and roller coasters. Another must-see is the city's landmark: the Merlion, a half fish half lion water installation reachable by boat. When in Singapore one must not miss all its culinary delicacies. The Singapore Food Festival is the place to be to taste an incredible selection of local and international dishes.
If you are looking at exploring the world at large why not take a closer look at what Sprachcaffe has to offer! From language courses to working holidays – your dream adventure might be closer than you think! There are an overwhelming number of opportunities out there waiting to be discovered so what are you waiting for?
Alles klar is used to show the person you are talking to that you understood perfectly what she said. You hear it sometimes at the end of a conversation: alles klar, tschüß! - “all right, bye!”. German people also uses it as a question to check if everything is all right: alles klar?
Memrise, as its name reveals it, is an app helping you memorise words and sentences. You will work quite a lot on repetitions, either by choosing the right answer or by writing. At the end of each session, you will get a list showing you which words you learnt quite well and which one were more difficult for you according to your answers and also to you rapidity! You don't want to lose time with Memrise...
Listening to German while working or doing other activities is a great, free way to learn German. I have included a list of German stations, and a further list that is split by the German speaking countries so that you can learn the specific regional dialect or accent you are most interested in.
German Language Radio Stations
Learn German with Spotify
It gives tips on how to browse and discover German artists with Wikipedia, Youtube and Spotify. Also shows how to use the lyrics feature of Spotify, tips for finding German courses on Spotify and searching for German audiobooks. You can also find German comedians on Spotify.
German Language General Podcasts
- German podcasts subreddit
- Deutschlandfunk - Live radio, podcasts and on-demand audio. Three sections: Deutschlandfunk, Deutschlandradio Kultur, DRadio Wissen
- Deutsche Welle Podcasts - Variety of topics, via iTunes
- WRINT - Large variety of topics
- Tagesschau Audio - a daily look at the news
- SWR2 Wissen - Radio Features about a specific topic (often science)
- Bayern 2 Wissen - Features either a specific scientific topic or the scientific news of the day
- BR2 - Die Frage - Takes a specific issues and discusses it in depth
- Radio Eins - Sanft & Sorgfältig - Satirist and TV host Jan Böhmermann and singer-songwriter Olli Schulz talk about anything and everything
- Not safe for work - Hosts Holger Klein and Tim Pritlove, the co-founder of the Chaos Computer Club talk about politics, society, technology and everything that was important for them in recent weeks (discontinued)
- Chaos Radio Express - Tim Pritlove and changing experts talk about interesting topics in the areas of technology, culture or society
- Omega Tau - Podcasts about all sorts of high-tech topics
- Game One Plauschangriff - The guys from Germany's most succesful Gaming TV show GameOne, better known as the Rocketbeans (24 hour Twitch channel) talk about gaming, movies and the whole nerd universe
- Celluleute - Four friends and movie nerds talk about new releases and their all-time favorite movies
- Stevinho Talks - Gamer and teacher Steve Krömer (Stevinho) talks about his life, gaming, football, movies and gives helpful advice to his community
- Radio Tatort - Radio version of the popular German TV crime series
- Stay Forever - Podcast in which two former video game journalists talk about video game classics
- Vorleser - Free audiobooks in German, mostly classics
German Language Learners Podcasts
- German GrammarPod - German GrammarPod explains the world of German grammar. Its aim is to be accessible to all levels of learner and to give you tips to help you achieve maximum effect for minimum effort. Via iTunes.
- Slow German - As the title suggests, these podcasts are in slow German. Features a transcript as well for each episode. Faster recordings are behind a paywall.
- Germanlingq - Podcasts for language learners. Transcripts can only be viewed when logged in (free).
Photography can be tricky. It feels very easy to just push the button and take a picture. But finding originality and technique isn't such an easy task at all. This Meetup group is where you can learn about photography, or teach it, if you feel like it. This group offers several workshops on different types of photography: still-life, outdoor photography, portrait and much more.
So go ahead and take part in the wonderful festivities of Oktoberfest ! The official programme is here: Oktoberfest programme 2015.
Dates of the event: from September 19th to October4th.
And for the bravest ears, here is an extract of Bavarian music!
Boston to Dublin for $199, including a stopover in Reykjavík? Yes, that price is correct. Wow Air are certainly shaking up the transatlantic flights. If you don't mind the stopover, this is a great way to save money on flights.
A top-rated European low-cost carrier. Norwegian Air Shuttle offers incredibly cheap flights to Scandinavia and London from all over the United States, such as Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, and Orlando.
A great low-cost airline, that offers direct flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. Roundtrip rates start around $590 from New York City to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Annemarie loves languages: Although I also like mathematics in school, I am fascinated by languages but for different reasons. Speaking other languages not only helps you to get to know other cultures, countries and traditions, but even helps you to get to know yourself. That was my point of departure, so I decided in October 2014 to make a language trip to Barcelona. There, I came upon Sprachcaffe and after my trip with them and it became suddenly clear: I somehow had to convince my parents to let me travel with Sprachcaffe once again. The trip to Barcelona was my first travel on my own, but everything worked well and I didn’t feel lost. On the contrary: I met so many interesting people!
Annemarie decided to travel back with Sprachcaffe and discover our school in Málaga. She had a warm welcome from her host mother: She greeted me with kisses on the cheeks (left and right!) and offered me plenty of drinks and delicious food and so it went on the whole week, I really felt comfortable. Her apartment was 2-minute away for the school and not far from the beach!
"The lessons in Málaga were totally different from the Spanish lessons in my school."
After the compulsory placement test, Annemarie was placed in the B2.2 group and really enjoyed her classes: A week full of funny moments began, we learned Spanish but also danced and sang during class! Maria, my teacher was really great. When I told her about the Sprachcaffe video contest, she even helped me with it! The lessons in Málaga were totally different from the Spanish lessons in my school. Although I have a very young teacher in Germany who designs the lessons really well, learning abroad has some benefits: switch to your own language is not possible and this way you learn the most. Even the atmosphere is much better, everyone came here to learn and is particularly motivated. What I also noticed is that everyone really appreciated the others’ progress, everyone is willing to help each other. As for homework, we met each other at one’s host family on the terrace and worked on it together. Discussing with my host mother also improved my speaking and understanding abilities.
"We always had so much fun and were able to improve our language skills together."
Annemarie is still in contact with many of her classmates; they even sent each other Christmas presents: I met so many people from different countries – Germany, Norway, Holland, Turkey, Poland, England and much more. We spend so much time together, drinking the daily cocktail in the bar „La Tortuga“, playing volleyball on the beach, at the salsa lesson, visiting the museums of Málaga, shopping in the city or going on a trip to Tarifa for surf – we always had so much fun and were able to improve our language skills together. The secretary and the other teachers of the school were so nice that I am just going to organise a holiday in Málaga with my friends of my school in Germany to see everyone again and to say thank you for this great summer!
Annemarie made a really nice video illustrating her trip and won a 2-week course with Sprachcaffe: I was waiting for the results while in the gym and when I found out I was one of the winners, I was incredibly happy and didn’t know what to do with all this joy. I told it directly to my trainer and other good friends. I also wrote to my parents and all the people I met in Málaga. I still had a grin on my face the next day.
What's next for Annemarie?
Annemarie will go to Sprachcaffe Malta in April 2016 to learn English this time. We hope to get some news from her very soon!
✓ In some ASIAN COUNTRIES such as China, Korea or Japan, a sign of approval and appreciation of someone’s cooking is to slurp the soup loudly - what is considered rude in most western countries. However, in JAPAN don’t blow your nose loudly! It is considered very rude. So if you need to clean your nose while you are in the Land of the Rising Sun, do it in privately or turn your back to your companions before doing it. And remember, do it quietly if you want to avoid offending anyone.
✓ If you are looking for a job in IRELAND, the UK or the US, remember not to add personal data in you CV (date of birth, sex, marital status or even a profile picture!). Equal opportunity legislation in these countries requires employers to recruit based on merit alone, and emitting these data enables organisations to choose candidates fairly!
These are some amazing cultural facts driven by external factors such as religion, idiosyncrasy or even geography, which determine the way people behave. Because…to sum up: we are all human beings, but our lifestyles are exceptionally diverse!
Prepping time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
For the MARRONS:
750g sweet chestnuts (skin on)
500g granulated sugar
A splash of lemon juice
1 vanilla pod
For the GLAZE:
450g granulated sugar
With a sharp knife, make a couple of nicks across the pointed end of each chestnut.
Place all the chestnuts in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile put 500g granulated sugar in a pan with 250ml water. Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, then add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil.
Remove the chestnuts from the heat. Have a bowl of warm water ready with a splash of lemon juice in it. It is important to remove only one chestnut at a time from the pan of hot water: peel back the thick leathery skins and the thin, papery inner skin of each nut, to reveal the golden kernel inside. Drop each peeled chestnut into the bowl of acidulated water. When the chestnuts are all shelled, drain and dry them thoroughly.
Drop the chestnuts into the hot sugar syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 25-30 minutes or until tender (the time will depend on the size of the chestnuts).
Meanwhile, prepare the final glaze by putting the 450g sugar and 150ml water in a small pan. Heat slowly, stirring, to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the chestnuts from their cooking syrup and place them on a wire cooling rack. Add the chestnutty cooking syrup to the glaze syrup and bring back to the boil. Then remove from the heat.
Put a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour a little of the glazing syrup into the bowl, so it stays hot. Have a second small bowl ready with freshly boiled water in it. Using a skewer, take a chestnut. Dunk it first in the hot water, then swizzle it in the hot sugar syrup in the bowl. Place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with all the chestnuts, topping up the bowl of syrup with more syrup from the pan if you need to. Leave the chestnuts to dry in a warm airing cupboard or in an oven on a very, very low heat (around 50°C) for 10 to 12 hours. Then wrap each chestnut in a twist of greaseproof paper.
Read the recipe in French here.
Every Sunday and Thursday, Lucrezia uploads a new video to her channel Learn Italian with Lucrezia. She puts the smaller details of the Italian language under the microscope and explains the differences between similar words. So this is for you if you have trouble deciding when to use "bello" and when to use "buono". As with Italy Made Easy, Lucrezia's videos are divided into different playlists. In addition to the playlist for beginners, you will also find a playlist of Vlogs and stories of everyday Italian life. Lucrezia won us over easily with her friendly nature.
Summer Camps, which are prevalent in the USA, Canada and France, are supervised programs for children or teenagers, which usually focus on specialised activities and skills. For example, there are camps for performing arts, music, outdoor activities and sports, children with special needs and many more. Being a summer camp counselor involves leading activities you’ve highlighted in your application and supervising campers as they move between activities. If you’re energetic and love having fun, you’ll enjoy being a summer camp counselor as your time will be filled with lively and rewarding experiences.
When in London, you better remember to check if there’s a chance to catch a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eight part of the saga, live in the Palace Theatre. The story begins nineteen years after the events of the previous book. It follows a 37 year old Harry Potter, now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his youngest son Albus Severus Potter, who is about to begin his schooling at Hogwarts. The audience gets a glimpse of what happened to our beloved characters and also introduces some exciting new ones. You should buy your tickets as early as possible though since they quickly sell out. Should you decide to go and see the play, you should keep in mind that it’s a two-part stage play, which takes place on two consecutive days.
Are you interested in fashion? One more reason to visit Florence. Milan is well known as a city of Italian fashion, but Florence is on its heels. For instance, the world famous brand Gucci was founded in Florence in 1921 and the company’s headquarters are still located there today. In addition, the men's fashion fair Pitti Immagine Uomo takes place in Florence twice a year.
When you use your card to access the internet for the first time you may notice that it does not log you out automatically after you have stopped using online functions. The following instructions will help you avoid using up all of your mobile data quota whilst you are not using the mobile functions of your card: You will want to manually log out by typing 126.96.36.199 into the main browser. This will take you to the log out screen where you can press “cerrar session” in order to quit your current online session. You will however need to replace your current card with a new one once you have used up your full hour’s quota of online time.
International Long-Distance Running Festival
The ILDR Festival was first held in 1956. Since then Beijing holds this Festival each year during the month of April. In 2017, the number of runners who joined the festival was around 12,000 in total. The route of this running festival leads you from Tiananmen Square to Xian Long Stadium and it also takes you through some of Beijing’s most historical areas.
Date: 18th of April 2018
For all residents of Florence, one of the most important holidays is June 24 - the feast of the patron saint of the city - Saint John. Also on this date the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, a brutal historical ball game in 16th century costumes takes place. There are no rules and the victory in this tournament is very prestigious. The city also organizes performances and a fireworks display in honor of Saint John on that day.
In the morning there are lessons, followed in the afternoon by a half-day excursion. This is to Valletta, the beautiful capital of Malta. Our route starts at the city gates, where we make a group photo for the big fountain. Then we walk past the old buildings to the Upper Barrakka gardens. Here we get a beautiful view of the harbor with a chance to see a cannon which fires a volley every afternoon. Then we walk through narrow streets to the next highlight, the cathedral ta 'San Gwann. The students get a chance to explore and buy a few souvenirs at the market. The next stop is one of the largest squares. The students get about an hour and a half of free time to eat ice cream and buy souvenirs. This gives the team members a well-deserved break. Often this means sitting on a terrace and enjoying the beautiful weather, bonding with students and discussing ideas for the upcoming evening.
This evening is very much loved by students over 17 years old, we go to Paceville! This is the party street of Malta. Although the students can decide where they are going, they are happy to come with us to one of our favorite places: Hugo's Bar. It is a big party until 02.00.
The new safety concept for the Sprachcaffe Campus in Malta has been certified as a "Certified Compliant COVID-19 Safety Protocol" by the "Malta Tourism Authority"! This means that in addition to our Sprachcaffe holiday concept, we follow a certified catalog of safety measures.
For more information about the certification, visit mta.com.mt.
- Moroccan cuisine is one of the most popular ones in the world. No wonder, Moroccans know how to create a creative combination of flavors by combining different spices and exotic ingredients. Ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger and pimento are often used in cooking. One famous dish is B'stilla, which originated in Fez. This dish is a puff pastry cake with a pigeon meat, almonds and eggs filling, and spices such as cinnamon, coriander and saffron.
- Haria is especially popular with Moroccans during the fasting month of Ramadan. The reason is that as soon as Moroccans break their fast at sunset, they start by eating a bowl of Harira soup. This soup consists of lamb broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, red lentils and other legumes as well as a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped cilantro. This soup is thickened with a mixture of flour, tomato paste and water. The soup is traditionally served with sweet dates and chebakia, which is a baked pretzel topped with sesame seeds and honey.
The Day of the Dead is probably the best known Halloween custom and one of the most important Mexican holidays. Similarly to Ireland, Mexican people believed that the dead came to visit their loved ones. Instead of mourning, the living join the dead in celebrating a cheerful winter reunion with delicious food, music and dancing. Some of the most iconic treats you can eat are the Calavera de Azúcar, skulls made of sugar and the "Pan de Muerto", a sweet bread with anise seeds decorated with bones made of dough. The big highlight of Dia de Muertos are the colorfully-decorated streets and the breathtaking costumes.
London is now one of the most diverse cities in the world, with an impressive history and one of the most significant cultures in the world. The capital of England offers constant entertainment, no matter what hour of the day or night it is. Whether a ride on the London Eye or a visit to one of its dozens of theaters to watch a musical, London has so much to offer! For example, a shopping trip to Camden Market is a must, with its wide range of clothing stores for all tastes and sizes. And after you are done shopping you can also sit down and eat a delicious meal for an affordable price! Another highlight is Hyde Park, the largest park in London offering its visitors an escape from the city's constant hustle and bustle. In Hyde Park you can take a nice long walk along its lakes, feed the squirrels, or go on a paddle boat and look at the Hyde Park's famous swans. No matter what you choose, visiting this park should definitely be on your to-do list. Also worth seeing are London's incredible museums, such as the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and the incredibly popular Madame Tussauds for a selfie with the Queen herself! No matter what you choose, there are so many museums in London that you won't have a problem to find one you like. London is truly the perfect destination for entertainment-hungry tourists who want to make the best out of their trip.
Using genau in a conversation will make you sound like a native in German! This short word is very common and easy to use in a sentence. This word means “that’s right”, “exactly”, “you are right”… Try listening to German people; you will hear it all the time!
Download Memrise on your phone:
German pronunciation is often tricky for beginners. Here are some guides to some tricky sounds in German, and some exercises to improve your pronunciation.
London is a great city, but costs can easily add up if one is not careful. This meetup offers fun (and most importantly free) ways to keep yourself entertained. From free live music and running bootcamps to Paper Mache Monster Mash and Stand-Up Comedy lessons tasters, you'll never complain about your lack of money again!
How about snagging an ultra low priced offer? Don't fancy the thought of constantly checking flight comparison websites? Read on...
If you know your approximate travel dates and have a budget, you can setup email alerts for your chosen parameters. This means you get an email alert as soon as your dates and budget matches an offer.
Viktoria in Sprachcaffe Frankfurt
Songs Lyrics Games
- LyricsTraining: Listen and find out the lyrics of your favorite songs!
- Lyrics Gasps: While listeneing, fill in the lyrics of a song and check out your score at the end!
Audio books in English
Prepping time: 3-4 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
5 tablespoons warm water (45 °C)
2 (7g) sachets dried active baking yeast
500g plain flour
125ml warm milk
125g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
325g mixed glacé fruits
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream
To make sponge, warm a small bowl by rinsing it with hot water. Pour in warm water and sprinkle 1 sachet yeast on it. Let stand until yeast has dissolved. Stir in 60g of the flour, cover with cling film, and let stand 30 minutes, or until doubled. Sprinkle remaining yeast over warm milk. Let stand until dissolved. Beat together sugar, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in milk-yeast mixture. Add sponge and stir until well incorporated.
Combine butter and remaining flour until crumbly. Slowly pour in egg mixture and beat on high speed 3 to 4 minutes, until dough is elastic looking and long strands form. Beat in fruit and zests. Turn dough into oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 2 to 3 hours.
Fold down moulds to form a 7cm cuff. Brush inside and out with melted butter. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to deflate. Divide dough into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and drop into prepared moulds. Place bags on a baking tray about 10cm apart and cover loosely with cling film. Let rise in a warm place until doubled again, about 2 hours.
Heat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Cut an X in top of each loaf with oiled scissors. Combine egg yolk with cream. Brush tops of loaves lightly with egg wash.
Place baking tray in bottom 1/3 of oven. After 10 minutes, lower heat to 190 C / Gas 5. Bake for 30 more minutes; if tops get too brown, cover with foil. Loaves are done when a wooden skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Read the recipe in Italian here.
Like a summer camp counsellor, but even better. As a Sprachcaffe Teamer, you get to be a group leader, local guide, best friend, big brother/sister and guardian all at once. What’s more, you’ll be surrounded by people who are also there to improve their skills in the local language, so you’ll get constant practice, whether its English in England or Malta, French in France or German in Germany. Teamers receive €140 per week, and this goes up to €165 for experienced Teamers. On top of that, your travel to and from the destination, your accommodation and your food will all be paid for by Sprachcaffe. You can choose to work for anywhere between 3 weeks and 3 months, any time between March and November each year.
At 26 Greek Street, Soho, the two designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima present a beautiful exhibition of the graphic art by MinaLima from the Harry Potter films. You’ll see lots of “Have you seen this wizard?” posters from Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban as well as Hogwarts Express Tickets, the Marauder's Map and Harry Potter’s very own Hogwarts letter! A little shop on the ground floor gives you the opportunity to buy small souvenirs from the Harry Potter universe for friends and family. On special days there is even the opportunity to meet the two designers themselves and ask them questions. You can find the exact dates on the MinaLima Website or on their Facebook page.
And some frequently used British words that you definitely won't hear in the States:
This is short for “a cup of tea”.
This British greeting is another way to say “Hello”. It comes from the question, “Are you alright?”, but is not normally intended as a question unless part of the longer versions, “You alright?”, or, “Are you alright?”
And Bob's your uncle!
This phrase might sound strange, but it is used often in the UK. The meaning is very similar to the French “et voilà!”, meaning “and there you have it!”. It is mostly used after giving explanations or instructions that are relatively simple. E.g. “To get to Big Ben, just keep walking along the river, turn right, cross the bridge and Bob’s your uncle – you’re there!”
I can't be bothered
A British phrase to express that you do not have the motivation to do something.
This is the most common thing to say when clinking glasses of alcohol in the entire English-speaking world. However, “Cheers” is also a very common way of saying “Thanks” in the UK.
Crikey / Blimey !
These are both very British words that you definitely won’t hear in the USA. They are different exclamations of surprise, shock or amazement, like “Oh my God!” and ”Wow!”.
A British word used to describe:
- people who are dishonest/unreliable;
- things, especially places, that are potentially dangerous;
- things that are of low quality.
to faff (around / about)
A British phrase meaning to spend time doing unimportant things instead of what you should be doing, or to take excessive time getting ready to go somewhere.
E.g. “Stop faffing around, we need to be at the airport in half an hour”.
Another British word for “disappointed”, but “gutted” can also be used as a response when someone tells of something unlucky or disappointing that happened to them or someone else.
British term meaning “very tired”. Be careful, the “k” is silent.
A British word with the same meaning as “dude” and “man”.
A more informal way to say “thanks” in the UK.
Although the meaning seems obvious, “not bad” is often used in the UK to mean “good”, and is seen as quite a positive opinion of something. However, in the USA, “not bad” is considered slightly negative, as its translation in many other countries would be.
not bothered / not fussed
Two British phrases that mean the same as “Don’t mind”, “Don’t care” and “Doesn’t matter”.
not my cup of tea
Used in the UK to express that something is not what you like or are interested in.
A common British slang term meaning “crazy”. It is used to refer to people’s mental states but, like crazy, can also be used to describe things that are extremely impressive, incredible, risky, or tragic. Therefore, it can be used in both positive and negative contexts.
Positive example: “Did you see that amazing goal Messi scored the other day?” Response: “Yeah! That was nuts!”
under the weather
A British expression meaning “sick” or “ill”.
Thanks for your attention! If you know any other expressions or typical English words that you want to share with us, visit our Sprachcaffe Facebook Site and comment under the post for this article! See you later!
One of the most recent creations in online marketing is the chat bot, artificial intelligent robots designed to communicate with users and find the information faster than any real person could. Duolingo is starting a big project using the same technology and the results are impressive to say the least. It’s one of the most downloaded apps in Google (check out some other great language-learning apps here). Duolingo uses a predictive text to correct your responses within the app, depending on what you write or say in the conversation. For now, there are three different bots to interact with: Chef Roberto and his restaurant, Renée the taxi driver and Ada the police officer.
You have probably realized it by now: Florence is brimming with history. This very fact has also made it the setting and key location for so many novels, movies and even video games. We’d still be here tomorrow if we named all of the works that were inspired by the world famous Italian city!
Here are a couple of examples to get you in the mood. Florence was chosen as the set location for the new film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. It is the book many are talking about at the moment and what better way to really relate to the intriguing story than to experience where it takes place for yourself first hand.
One part of the vastly popular Assassin’s Creed video game series takes place in Florence, enabling you to see an interpretation of what Florence looked like in the past while playing the game. If you have enjoyed the game, visiting Florence in person is bound to be an exciting adventure that allows you to physically walk through the streets that you may have seen in the game before. If you wish to follow the path of so many creative thinkers and visionaries, then Florence is the place to go in order to get the full feeling and experience of what they must have seen and thought about when they chose Florence to be the setting of their work. Let Florence inspire you and you could even be the next one to come up with a story that touches and moves the masses.
Fame in Bournemouth
The scenery in Bournemouth can be described as magical to behold. People usually associate magic and fantasy with some of the most famous works of literature in the world, one of them being The Lord of the Rings series of novels. J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of said series, is often considered the father of modern fantasy and fictional creatures common in today’s fantasy works. Something that is not so commonly known about him is that he lived in Bournemouth before he died. Even though Bournemouth is filled with many exciting activities, it once was and still very much is a place that you can very comfortably relax in, which is why Tolkien chose to move to this marvelous town in his later years.
Very much in contrast to the famous author, Andy Summers also lived in Bournemouth. As people know, his life was a lot less quiet, but he too is not necessarily associated with Bournemouth as much as he should be. Bournemouth often expressed pride for being the town that Andy Summers grew up in when he was younger. His many awards in the music industry have made him a famous figure around the world and Bournemouth showcases landmarks and locations in which he was active during his time there.
It is not common for private properties and accommodations to have Wi-Fi connections or to offer internet access. This is why external Wi-Fi hotspots such as parks and areas around hotels often have crowds of people gathered around them with phones and laptops so that they can gain access to the internet provided within the reach of Wi-Fi in surrounding spaces. This is why you should not count on having local access to online functions if you have booked your stay inside a private accommodation.
Festa della Rificolona is one of the most picturesque events in Florence. This is the oldest festival, which dates back to the tenth century. The colorfully dressed procession with lanterns takes place on the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary. In the Santissima Annunziata square there are games, competitions and a fair.
The month of September is also ideal for traveling to Florence for wine lovers who want to see the harvest and making the new "novello" wine. There are also numerous wine events and celebrations and parades like the Carro Matto.
This is the fifth largest museum in the United States, the MFA has an impressive collection of 450,000 works of art and can be explored for hours if you have time to wander through this grand building. Many works of art of local historical value are on display here.
See also: The Temple Hall, which has the most beautiful Buddhist collection outside of Japan.
Germany is not the most religious country in Europe and that is why many Christmas songs in German are known also as "winter songs". During this time of the year, families meet and celebrate the end of the year together. The most typical Christmas songs are "Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen", which deals with falling snowflakes and their beauty. "In der Weihnachtsbäckerei", which talks about the fabulous meals that take place on these dates; 'O Tannenbaum', the German version of 'Oh Christmas Tree'.
- A lesser known but delicious dish is the Osso Buco. Osso Buco is originally from Milan and is made from veal shank. This meat is braised with red wine and vegetables. The dish is typically refined with gremolata, a spice mixture of garlic, lemon peel and parsley. The locals especially like to serve it with risotto alla Milanese.
- Polenta is another delicacy from Italy. Polenta is made from corn semolina as a solid porridge. In the classic polenta, butter, black pepper and Parmesan cheese are added. This dish is especially popular in the north, since it can get rather cold in the autumn and winter seasons.
In Korea Halloween is celebrated with a three-day pumpkin festival during which the ancestors are celebrated by hosting a Thanksgiving feast. The more famous trick-or-treating is not part of the celebrations.
Istanbul is one of the most exciting places you will ever visit. Istanbul is one of Turkey's main cities, located between the borders of Asia and Europe. The city has many sights waiting for you, among which are Istanbul's colorful mosques. A visit to Hagia Sophia is also a must. The cathedral was built in 534 AD and was one of the city's main churches for 900 years before being converted into a mosque in 1435. If you are looking for some souvenirs for your friends and family, then the Grand Bazaar is the place to be. What makes Istanbul such a great destination is it's diversity, everything from amazing beaches like the Princes Island Kinali and street food festivals. A trip to Istanbul is just a great way to embrace all that both Europe and Asia have to offer: culture, history, and diversity.
Gott sei Dank!
Literally "Thank God". Like in English quite a lot of German phrases are influenced by religion. You will also hear Meine Güte or Oh mein Gott.
Improving your language skills is fun when you have someone interesting to chat with! 2 million Tandem partners worldwide help each other reach their language goals. They use instant messaging, voice clips, pictures and video chats to communicate, while enjoying smart messaging features like in-app translation and correction. For extra help, there are certified tutors on hand for some more intensive one-to-one lessons.
|Cheat sheet created by redditors||Common word roots and the different cases, broken down by corresponding endings, personal pronouns, and prepositions.|
|Grammar cheat sheet||Pronouns, articles, prepositions, conjugations, auxiliary verbs, adjective declension, gender.|
|Gender indicator cheat sheet||Helpful hints on which gender to use.|
|Gender Hints||Great, clear picture to help with genders, by object types, e.g. rivers, metals|
Online German Dictionaries and Tools
- Very high quality dictionary, with conjugation lists and phrases- LEO English to German
- Also a very high quality dictionary, available o switch between German/English, and German/Many other languagesDict.cc
- Very nice dictionary with audio and word lists, from TU Chemitz
- German to Chinese dictionary, and vice versa - Handedict
- Babel online Wörterbuch
- German verb conjugation tool
- A different way to learn German - Sayings, phrases and word games
- DerDieDas Game- an ingenious, fun way to learn der, die, das for a variety of German words.
For all of you film lovers out there, this Meetup group is perfect. Each month, members vote on a film, meet up for a screening and go for a drink to discuss it afterwards. And you don’t need to know all about Orson Welles or La Nouvelle Vague to feel comfortable in this group, it is all about discovering new genres and sharing opinions on some of the greatest (and sometimes not so well-known) films.
Don't hesitate to check out the online newspapers' Facebook or Twitter pages, they are generally full of great materials (videos, texts, etc)!
- BBC News (UK)
- The Times (UK)
- The Guardian (UK)
- The Sunday Times (UK)
- The New York Times (US)
- The Washington Post (US)
- National Post (CA)
- The Globe and Mail (CA)
- The Australian (AU)
- The Advertiser - Adelaide (AU)
- The Age - Melbourne (AU)
- IOL - Pretoria News (SA)
- Mail&Guardian (SA)
ItalianPod101 is a Youtube channel that complements the website of the same name. The channel is run by a group of different people who upload videos with widely varying themes. Many of the videos also relate directly to everyday life, so there are not only classic learning videos, but also videos on subjects like "the most used Italian break-up lines" and the "top 10 phrases that you must learn in order to fascinate native speakers"..
Just as in winter, people also flock to the mountains in summer to go mountain biking, hiking, climbing and much more. If you love entertaining, working as a chalet host for a couple of months could be the perfect experience for you. All you need to do is keep the chalet clean, be welcoming and sociable and in some cases cook. The rest of the time you get to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature, while perfecting your French, German or Italian, depending on which part of the Alps you are in.
There are also less famous locations from the Harry Potter films to be found in the ancient heart of London. The curved entrance to the Leaky Cauldron can be found at 42 Bull’s Head Passage, and just around the corner is the splendid Leadenhall Market, where Diagon Alley was filmed. The charming building was built in the Victorian era. Discover all these places by booking a guided Harry Potter Tour.
Perhaps this is not an invention for learning languages, since it wasn’t made with language learning in mind, however it’s on this list because of the way we use the available tech rather than the invention itself. Many smartphone users argue about who’s the best personal assistant: Siri or Cortana? So, why not try to maintain a conversation with both of them? Change their language and ask for information on anything you’re curious about, places, history etc., and you’ll realize each conversation takes on a life of its own.
Want to enrich your travel experience? Take a look at out our language school in Florence.
Active day and night!
Day times are best spent by taking part in the countless activities that Bournemouth has to offer. Try out the entire palette of possibilities by visiting the arcade, the all year ice skating rink and the bouldering, climbing and zip lining companies. These and many more indoor and outdoor activities are available for almost all ages, depending on each company’s specifications.
At night, the clubs and bars open their doors to you and all of your friends, whether they be locals you met during your time there or people you are travelling with. The people in Bournemouth are very friendly and you will not have a hard time getting into conversation with them if you want to get to know the town’s locals. Dance together with old and new friends and have drinks whilst talking about your journey and stories about your experiences in the beautiful city of Bournemouth that you’ll never forget.
Facebook and Instagram are accessible on the Cuban internet, not to worry. Apps that do function in Cuba may have a slower loading times than what users from other cities and countries are used to, but there are also some apps and services that are blocked from use completely. PayPal, Skype and calls on WhatsApp are all not available in the Cuban internet services, but there is an alternative app called Imo with which you can use the video call feature for free. That is provided that your internet connection is strong enough.
Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon
This Marathon takes place in May. Participants actually run on the Great Wall and the runners have three courses to choose from: 42.2 kilometers (Full-marathon), 21.1 (Half-marathon) and 8.5 kilometers (Fun run). There are usually more than 2,500 runners from over 50 nations coming to this event. You can find more about it on this website:
Date: 3rd Saturday of May each year
Amici della Musica is a music event for friends of music that begins in October. If you prefer art to music the 1st Sunday of each month is a Free Museum Day – a chance to visit The Bardini Museum, Uffizi, Duomo museum, and David’s statue in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Wednesday is a quiet day. In the afternoon there are a few fantastic activities, shopping or laser tag! Sliema is one of the largest shopping centers in Malta. Small boutiques and well-known. If there is still room in the suitcase, you can find enough padding here. Laser tag is the coolest activity there is! Together with your team, you try to conquer the three points and of course keep them. An afternoon full of adventure, action and fun. As a result, satisfied teenagers and wonderful action photos!
We are happy to announce that all Sprachcaffe employees are already vaccinated at this time.
The confirmed Corona cases in Malta are developing in a positive way.
- Malta's cuisineis an incredible mix of Sicilian, British, Spanish and French dishes. In Malta, people often cook with rabbit meat, such as for Stuffat tal-fenek, and incredibly popular meat stew. The meat is cooked slowly and mixed with a tomatoes, red wine and garlic sauce.
- Although Maltese winters are not too cold, the locals still like to cook a soup called Minestra, a thick vegetable soup eaten with bread and oil. This soup is made of vegetables such as pumpkin, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and cauliflower. To this are added small noodles and parmesan cheese.
The land of Count Dracula does not disappoint on Halloween! Many spooky fans associate the word alone with Transylvania, the place where Castelul Bran (Bran Castle) is located, known to many as Dracula's castle. The figure of Count Dracula was inspired by the legend of Prince Vlad III Draculea, who supposedly impaled his enemies with wooden stakes.
The city of love should also definitely be on your bucket list! The capital of France is a global center for fashion, art, culture and gastronomy. Great landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral are waiting for you. But Paris is also known for its top cuisine and beautiful architecture. As you can see, the city has a lot to offer! The museums Louvre and Rodin are especially worth a visit. In the Louvre, the original painting of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo are exhibited. The Rodin Museum is dedicated to the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, and has a beautiful rose garden on top of its great exhibition. If gardens fascinate you, you should also visit the Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin des Tuileries. Jardin du Luxembourg is divided into French and English parts and has a total area of 26 hectares. Here you can find numerous chestnut trees, a Medici fountain, over 100 different statues and the Parisian Statue of Liberty. In the Jardin Tuileries you can take a lovely walk among the statues of Rodin, Goacometti and Mailol and two water pools. If the weather is good and you want to relax after a full day of walking around, a picnic by the Seine River is a great day to finish the day.
You may have learnt in class that “happy birthday” in German is: Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag… Literally “Heartful wishes on your birthday”. If you feel like you can’t actually say that, don’t worry! Oftentimes German people greet friends or family with a simple Alles Gute! which means “all the best”. Much easier, right?
Download Tandem on your phone:
What is Spaced Repetition Software (SRS)?
Spaced repetition software can help you to learn German more quickly and effectively. This software will make it much more likely that you will remember the material that you learn in your language courses and from books and other sources.
It works by using 'flashcards' to highlight the material you struggle with the most, and bringing the material to the top of the 'deck', allowing you to revise it until you remember the material.
SRS Applications - to Download and Online
- Anki is a superb, free SRS application suitable for making custom language lists. Pre-made lists also avilable. You can download it for all major operating systems.
- Quizlet is an online SRS application with pre-made and custom lists. Here are a large group of German list.
- Memrise online flashcards and mnemonics for various languages using SRS.
SRS Flashcard - Pre-Made German Decks
- Huge list of German flashcards for Anki
- Memrise list of German courses
- Here is the Deutsch für Euch Memrise list (accompanies the Youtube Deutsch für Euch video series above.)
How to Setup Anki to Learn German
Setting up Anki, using movie subtitles as memory guides. This is a great video for using pictures instead of just to memorise new words in your SRS application.
Apps for Learning German
We created an article especially for learning languages! Top 5 Mobile Apps to learn German.
Themes and activities are very important when selecting a Meetup group. But they’ll never be as important as the people taking part! You'll find many age related groups on Meetup, and you should probably have one on your own list.
This group's age range might be narrow but its activities on the other hand are not: pub quizzes, nights out, museums, paintballs, picnics, secret theatre... Its members are really easy-going and open-minded, and if you are still a Twentysomething year old (or feel like one), go ahead, they will welcome you with open arms.
- Grammar Girl - Quick and Dirty Tips: Work on grammar rules with fun!
- Opdome: Learn English vocabulary with pictures! Choose a set a words and start learning!
- LearnEnglish: English Grammar and vocabulary help from the British Council
- ToLearnEnglish.com: Everything you need to practice the language (lessons, exercices, games,)
If you simply can’t wait until winter to get back onto the ski slopes, then there is another option. New Zealand and Australia also have great winter sports resorts, fantastic for both ski and snowboard enthusiasts... and since they are in the southern hemisphere, their winter is at the same time as our summer. So why not spend the ski season on the other side of the world, sharing your passion for skiing or snowboarding, hitting the slopes every day and taking your English skills to new heights along the way?
You should always keep in mind that the internet connection in Cuba can run into difficulties at any times, even when you are using your internet card. Certain new phones will recommend that you do not access the Cuban Internet due to the outdated security programs of the local internet. It is possible that these kinds of mobile phones will reject the use of the Cuban internet cards. For certain phone models there are tricks and hacks that allow you to disable this security warning or the rejection of the internet card. If you are unsure about these procedures it is advisable to contact your phone company in order to receive further details. Since issues may arise it would also be worth investing time researching the Cuban sights and all of the places worth seeing, which you can also keep track of by taking a travel guide with you.
For cinema lovers, the most important event will undoubtedly be Festa Dei Popoli, a film festival that takes place in November.
At the beginning of December, there is a festive atmosphere and many opportunities to do Christmas shopping at Christmas fairs and markets.
When we ask what to visit in Boston, the first answers is probably the city's great monuments or institutional places. It is not bad in itself, but know that you can make your trip a different experience by doing the activities that present and introduce you to the daily life of the citizens of this beautiful city.
In this southern European country there are also two Christmas songs that overshadow the rest. Most families usually sing them during the last week of December, all while sitting around a table full of food. On the one hand, there is a religious carol called “Tu scendi dalle stelle” that young children usually learn at school, and it is much related to the Catholic tradition of the country. The second most typical Christmas song, although somewhat more modern, is “A natale puoi”, a hymn to the joy of parties and how you can live with yourself doing things for others.
Thursdays always run smoothly. There are lessons in the morning and in the afternoon a few hours of beach time. Relax, swim and enjoy together with the students. Then the buses arrive at five o'clock. We're going to a boat party! A boat full of students who swim, dance and have fun. Together we choose the music and make it a big party.
- French people especially like to cook with simple combinations of natural flavors. A delicious dish from France is the soupe à l'origen, a soup made of onions and beef broth. It is served with melted cheese and croutons.
- A delicious dessert is the world-famous crêpe. Crepes are usually eaten with jam, Nutella, whipped cream, or cinnamon and sugar. Some people prefer their crepes to be salty, and eat it with ham, cheese or vegetables.
This tongue twister does not only sound like the curse of an evil witch, but is also a Phillipino tradition that takes place on October 31st or November 1st. Groups of people representing the souls trapped in purgatory go from door to door singing, asking for alms and prayers meant to help the dead ascend to heaven.
If you always wanted to travel to South Africa, you cannot miss a visit to Cape Town! A combination of city flair, beaches, and a varied hinterland awaits you. Cape Town is the largest city in South Africa and the capital of the Western Cape. Cape Town is the perfect destination for nature lovers who also enjoy trips to the city for a traditional breakfast in the morning or a homemade dish in one of the many local restaurants in the evening. If you're on your way to Table Mountain, one of the best natural landscapes of the city, you should also have a look at the local flora and learn about coffee and basket making at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The region is also known for its amazing vineyards and winemakers, so a taste of the local wine is a must! Cape Town is a foodie paradise, with incredible fish dishes and stews that will leave a long-lasting memory. Cape Town has so much to offer, and its waiting for you to visit!
Zack, zack, would be the English “chop, chop!”! It gives you the idea of a quick move to go on with something else. Zack, zack, so let’s move to the next one quickly!
This app is a word game app. It could be described as a kind of dictionary: a word is given as a flash card and you need to find the correct definition. You also have the possibility to hear words and repeat them out loud. The app is supposed to be designed for words lovers who enjoy such games as Scrabble, Crosswords or even Hangman. It is mainly thought to enlarge your vocabulary.
Here are some websites and blogs with great articles and tips for learning German.
- Smarter German
- Jabbalab German - some great charts, videos and examples for common topics where German learners struggle.
- Transparent Language German - some nice posts to improve your vocabulary, such as English words that are actually German.
- Angelika's German - experienced German teacher with simple, direct posts.
- Learning German in Munich - a view of learning German in the popular city in Bavaria with some good resources.
- Learn German with Nicole - learn about German culture and the language.
- German Island - Lots of nice resources for a German learning class.
- German with Andrew - Talks about successful learning methods.
- About German Forum - this forum covers many German topics, from tutoring, to fun, to German news, and much more.
- Easy Deutsch - nice sections with video and explaining grammar and vocabulary.
German Language Newspapers
You've got to pump it up
Clear your browser cache. There is conflicting information online about whether this works. However, some airlines have been known to increase their prices in the past based on multiple searches (indicating higher level of interest in a particular flight.) It doesn't hurt to clear your cache for this reason.
Switch currencies! Use dollars, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, euros, pounds and more to save. Sometimes, you will save money simply by booking in a different currency! Even factoring in exchange rate differences and fees on your credit card for currency exchange, this can save you money. Especially worth checking on more expensive flights.
Travel within Europe cheaply with the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet. This is a great way to save, even if sometimes you go to airports far from your destination.
Viktoria is currently studying Russian language at the University of Tampere in Finland together with Czech language, Finnish and Pedagogic as minor subjects: I love to meet people from different countries and to speak and at the same time learn languages with them, travelling to other countries is always an extraordinary experience! I am in permanent contact with Erasmus students in my city and enjoy the international atmosphere by meeting different kinds of cultures. That is the reason why I decided to come to Frankfurt am Main as an au pair and improve my German skills.
"The best thing was that the common language outside of our classes was also German."
Viktoria decided to come to Frankfurt as an au pair and improved her German skills: this summer was really nice! I enjoyed my everyday life there and the best thing was that the common language outside of our classes was also German so I could practice the language even better. Sometimes, we were meeting with my classmates after the lessons and tried to speak German as much as possible without switching to English.
"these courses in Frankfurt [...] have also inspired me a lot concerning my future plans of becoming a teacher."
Viktoria said that with the three-week German course her skills improved much more than she expected: I have studied many languages but I noticed that the best way for me to learn them is talking to people while also living in the same country the language is spoken in. My second teacher, Paolo, was teaching that way. We were speaking a lot during classes and it was very helpful! Actually, my dream is to become a teacher for foreigners like him in multicultural firm like Sprachcaffe. So these courses in Frankfurt am Main with such a nice group atmosphere and great teachers have also inspired me a lot concerning my future plans of becoming a teacher.
After her course, Viktoria visited other cities in Germany such as Köln, Stuttgart, Passau and Berlin: I was also travelling to the Czech Republic and Poland that summer since they are closer to Germany than they are to Finland from where I always need to take a plane to visit Central European countries.
In her video, Viktoria wanted to show a part of her “Sprachcaffe life” with views of beautiful Frankfurt am Main and her classmates: I was really happy to hear that I was one of the winners and immediately started to see what would be the best opportunity for me.
What's next for Viktoria?
She is willing to go further into learning German: I do not want to start a new language anymore because I think that it would be better to improve a language that I already know instead of learning just the very basics of another language. So I am planning to continue my German language studies in summer but this time in Sprachcaffe Munich. Bavaria, here I come!
These two youtubers hold their Italian lessons entirely in Italian, so they're videos aren't suitable for beginners. But for those who can already understand Italian, these channels are perfect for improving your pronunciation and grammar.
Sgrammaticando was originally conceived as a Youtube channel for Italians who wanted to learn more about the grammar of their own language. When more and more non Italians started visiting the channel, Youtuber Fiorella began adapting her videos to an international audience.
If you’re more of a beach bum than a snow rat, and you’re particularly well-versed in a specific water sport, whether it be sailing, windsurfing, surfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding or something else, you could land yourself a summer job as an instructor at a seaside holiday resort. The Mediterranean coastlines of Spain, France, Italy and several other countries offer tons of holiday resorts and water sports courses, with great conditions for sailing and waterskiing. For surfing it’s better to head to the Atlantic coastlines of the UK, France and Portugal, or venture further afield to Morocco, the USA or one of the many other surfing hotspots the world has to offer.
Maybe having a conversation wasn’t the main function envisioned by robot engineers, but many robots have been developed over recent years that we can interact with. If in the near future you have a humanoid robot at home, you’ll most likely be able to practise foreign languages with it, whether English, Japanese Portuguese or something else. You’ll be able to practice while doing everyday activities like eating breakfast and cooking dinner. Nowadays, this tech is only available for a small percentage of the population, but it’s never too early to think about the future. It would be a fantastic way to learn new vocabulary, grammar and entire languages.
If you decided to book a language trip to Havana with Sprachcaffe you will be able to pay for and use the Internet in the Sprachcaffe building. Should you want to stay in the offered Hotel accommodation you will also be able to use the internet available in the lobby. You will also be able to purchase a ETECSA card at the hotel.
Dragon Boat Festival
The festival is a traditional holiday in China in memory of the Minister and poet Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan). Long story short, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River after being accused of treason during the Zhou Dynasty. Local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him but his body could not be found. So they dropped rice dumplings into the river so that the fish would eat the dumpling instead of Qu Yuan’s body.
Because of this, the festival is all about eating rice dumplings (zongzi), drinking Realgar wine (xionghuangjiu) and racing dragon boats. The festival takes place in Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park on the 18th of June this year.
Sport is part of Boston culture (especially baseball) and it would be a shame to visit Boston without attending the all-American show of crowds who take advantage of "Fenway Frank" and sing "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond, which has become the anthem of the Boston Red Sox. This baseball stadium is the oldest in the world and remains very impressive.
Spending a moment here will make you feel really strong, as if you were part of the Fenway Park story. If you have the chance to see the Red Sox match against the New York Yankees (an impressive rivalry), be sure to encourage the right team ... The local one !!
Improve your English skills during the vacation and have a fantastic experience with great excursions and new friendships at a language trip for students in Malta!
Having a great vacation in Malta and learn English at the same time? That’s easily possible with our language courses for adults!
- All German regions have their own peculiar dishes and delicacies. But often most recipes use pork, bread, cabbage and potatoes as the base ingredients to create delicious foods from. A popular food eaten at every time of the day is the currywurst. It consists of chopped sausages, fries and a spicy ketchup sauce, a fast meal especially popular in Berlin.
- Käsespätzle comes from the southwestern regions. It is a dish of small spaetzle with cheese and topped with fried onions. It is often served with salad and apple sauce.
The Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival. In the seventh month of the lunar calendar the spirits of the deceased roam this world. The burning of paper money and paper-shaped items such as jewelry, cars and other material things is said to appease the deceased, whose material needs are taken care of even after death.
China's capital Beijing offers a variety of great sights like the Temple of Heaven, the largest temple complex in the country, so important that even the Emperor makes a visit every year to wish for a good harvest. Another Beijing highlight is the Summer Palace from which you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city. What you should not forget on your trip is a visit to the Forbidden City. The Imperial Palace was only opened to the public in 1924 because it used to be the Emperor's official residency until then. In the Forbidden City you can expect a 70-hectare area and around 890 palaces for you to visit. Beijing also offers so much when it comes to culinary experiences, from its famous Peking duck to the Mongolian fire pot. One of the ways in which you can really get to know the city is going to the Peking Opera. These performances combine singing and dancing. Beijing really has it all, so take your time to take all that the city has to offer, and you might never leave!
When you want to say ach Quatsch , it’s like saying “don’t be silly” or “that’s nonsense!”.
Download PowerVocab on your phone:
You love (or would love) to exercise but hate the testosterony feel of the gym? Well, no need to stock up on protein-shakes to join this group. It is all about getting a bit of fresh air and energising in the most healthy and positive way. Afterwards, the group enjoys a nice and well-deserved breakfast together. Getting fitter while making friends is probably a good plan for next weekend.
Have you ever thought about pairing Yoga with Raves? Well, this very unique and rather quirky Yoga Meetup in London brings together activities like Social Yoga Tuesday's, Yoga Raves and even helps you boost your love life (if necessary) with original events like Yoga Dating.
Urban Yoga communities are growing faster than ever, why not join in?
So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed these tips. If you have further ideas, please tweet @Sprachcaffe with the hashtag: #FlightHacks
Oliver in Sprachcaffe Toronto
- VOA - Learning English: News, audio broadcasts, videos, grammar...this website is in American English and is dedicated to all English learners willing to read or listen to the language regularly!
- Lang-8: Write in English and someone will correct your mistakes for free! Their moto is "Let our community of native speakers support your language learning".
- FluentU- English Language and Culture Blog: Read more about English learning thanks to those articles and find good tips to follow!
- BBC Learning English: A whole website offering you different activities all related to English learning. Choose your level and work on different units.
- Go Speak English: Enter the community of English learners, make friends, share content in English and communicate!
- Speak like a Star!: A blog dedicated to the English Language. Interesting facts about the language, pronunciation tips, choice of words...in short a blog "to help you speak clearly, correctly and confidently".
- EnglishClub.com: Grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, listening...choose the field you would like to practice!
While people volunteer all over the world, the regions of Central and South America, Africa and South Asia have a particularly large number of volunteering opportunities, often requiring minimal previous experience. Combine service, adventure and education while improving your language skills, particularly if the language you’re learning is Spanish, French or English.
From Mexico all the way down to Chile’s southern tip, the vast majority of countries have Spanish as their main language. The most popular countries among volunteers include Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
For anyone looking to improve their French while volunteering abroad, Africa is the place to be. French is an official language in many African countries and spoken by a large proportion of the population in Madagascar, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, Senegal, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros.
Africa also hosts a great many English-speaking volunteers in countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya. Two popular non-African volunteering destinations where English is spoken are Jamaica and India.
Needless to say, most of these destinations also have other local languages that date back long before European languages became so widespread. If you give the local indigenous language a shot, you’re sure to impress the locals. Widely spoken languages include Hindi and Punjabi (India), Yoruba and Igbo (Nigeria), Hausa (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo) and Swahili (Kenya), among many more.
Here are a few of the most respected volunteering organisations:
In case the internet does not always function when and where you want it to try to take it calmly and explore the country of Cuba, even if this means traveling back in time to a century in which smart phones did not yet exist.
In Holland, the tradition of Christmas carols is not very popular. They generally translate and adapt international versions, so they do not have any local songs. This happens with "Stille Nacht" which is the local version of "Holy Night"; with "Oh dennenboom" which is their version of "Oh Christmas tree" or with "Hoor, from eng'len zingen of eer" as a version of "Hat! The Herald Angels Sing." However, there is a version that people typically sing at church, it expresses that on a winter's night, heaven opens on Earth and there is peace in all parts of the world because Jesus was born. This Christmas song is called "Midden in Winternacht".
The last day of school has arrived and there is a full program planned. The morning starts as usual with breakfast in the beer garden and lessons. Because of the boat party, some students will still be in bed, so we are going to surprise them with music to ensure that they are present at least the second half of the day. After the lessons, we take the students to Comino. This is by far the most beautiful place in Malta. With the speedboat we arrive at this beautiful small island surrounded by azure blue sea. We jump from rocks, lie in the sun and make the most beautiful photos for Instagram #sprachcaffemoment. When we return from this beautiful place, we quickly shower get ready for another Paceville night out with the 17-year-olds. After a great, but long day/night we go to bed. Ready for the next morning!
- When you think of the USA, you often have burgers, fries and hot dogs in mind. But that's not all the country has to offer. One traditional meal, for example, is the lobster roll, a dish made of lobster and served with mayo and celery in a bun. This is not a typical fast food dish because you have to pay at least $15 for it, but we promise it is absolutely worth it!
- Barbecue rib is also very popular dish in the USA. A barbecue rib is made of a pork rib, because it's soft on the bone and it comes off immediately after grilling. But before the grilling, a marinade is prepared, which consists of soy or Worcester sauce, spices, ketchup and whiskey or honey.
Honoring the deceased has a very special role in Hinduism. In fact, the loved ones make sure that the deceased leave the material world with dignity. A 16-day ritual known as the Shadda is performed to make sure that the passage is completed successfully. Usually the eldest son of the deceased or another male relative performs this ritual, during which the deceased is honored with food offerings.
We could have talked about dozens if not hundreds of other places worth a visit, but we also want to hear what you think! Feel free to write us on Instagram which places or cities you especially liked for a chance to be featured on our profile.
One way to really immerse yourself in your dream destination is to communicate with the locals. So why not take a language class ahead of your trip? Sprachcaffe offers tons of language classes suited to your educational needs, take a look at our website »
Stimmt is to agree with someone. It is often used when the person you are talking to convinced you about something or tells you about something you did not think about. It is like “oh yes it’s true” or “you are right”.
With Rocket Languages, you will be able to practice the language. The exercices make you repeat and record yourself and you have access to several audio lessons. You can even download them directly on your phone to work later if you want.
Note that with Rocket Languages, only full members have access to a complete module, which means you will have to pay to listen to everything.
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Oneworlditaliano. Veronica is an Italian teacher who has also been uploading videos to help those learning Italian since 2008.
Embark on an international internships, gap year experience, volunteer trip or high school/group volunteering programme in Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Tanzania or Thailand. Internships are available in the areas of global health, social work, and economic development.
GVI arranges volunteer and internship trips in Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America in countries like Mexico, Fiji, South Africa, Seychelles, and Thailand. Internships vary in length from 6 to 24 weeks and are arranged on a case-by-case basis.
This organisation describes itself as the “Intercultural Center of Latin America” and facilitates volunteer and internship placements in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Perú. Maximo Nivel partners with local hospitals, schools, and other community organisations where interns work for a minimum of 4 weeks.
Tailor-made international internships, volunteer projects, and study abroad opportunities in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Shanghai. You can focus on a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, human rights, social work, and much more, depending on your interests and background.
Projects Abroad operates placements in over twenty-five countries in all kinds of specialties, from medicine and healthcare to journalism to advocacy and human rights. Internship timelines vary and can start on any date, depending on the availability of the program, but typically last from four to twelve weeks.
Golden week is a national holiday in China which runs for 7 days starting on the 1st of October and was introduced in the year 2000. This time is a popular holiday period for Chinese people to travel around the country because the weather is clear and the temperature is comfortable.
To kick of the festival week many cities host a big parade including typical Chinese fireworks.
Dates: 1st – 7th of October 2018
Red Leaf Festival
This festival usually takes place at Fragrant Hill in Beijing from the middle of October to early November each year. The festival attracts more than ten thousand visitors. They are able to enjoy the red leaves covering the entire hill alongside the most magnificent landscape of Beijing.
The "Quincy Market", located in the city center not far from the port is the place to be for food lovers. Take a stroll through this magnificent indoor market and indulge in various bakeries, slices of pizza, groceries and other local delicacies that will delight you. This gourmet touch will make your stay in Boston an incredible moment.
This is where our list ends. We have provided you with a small insight into the various activities you can do in Boston and make your trip a memorable one. If you have other places to suggest, do not hesitate to tell us on Twitter!
Today will be an emotional day for many because it the day many of our students go home. Those who remain bid farewell to their friends. Telephone numbers and social media have been exchanged so it is not a goodbye, but a see you later. The remaining students go with us to Gozo. We arrive at the second island of Malta with the ferry. We start our visit to Azure window, continue to Ta 'Pinu and discover the capital of Gozo Victoria. Luckily we have enough free time to guide the students to the Cittadella. After this, the students explore as we sit on a terrace with an Ice coffee and a piece of warm apple pie with ice cream. The ideal lunch for such a nice day! After an hour and a half, we leave for our last destination for today: Ramla Bay. Here we stay for almost two hours enjoying the cool water and the wonderful warm sun. In a quiet bus full of sleeping students, we return to the campus via the ferry.
- If you travel to Canada, you absolutely must buy maple syrup. This is not a dish, but definitely a product worth mentioning in our article. After all, maple syrup is the most popular symbols of Canada, as shown by the fact that the leaf of this tree has even made it onto the country's national flag! Maple syrup is an amber-colored syrup obtained from maple trees and is especially used to sweeten pancakes, waffles or crepes.
- A dish that Canadians love to eat is poutine. This is freshly cut fries topped with cheese and gravy, also available as a vegan option.
- Canadians also like to eat meat. A famous steak is the Alberta steak, which takes its name from the Canadian province of Alberta. This meat is ethically farmed and thus is also antibiotic-free beef. Especially due to factors such as the environment, the diet of the cattle as well as the climatic conditions, the steak tastes absolutely delicious!
The USA are the country whose Halloween traditions are the most widely known. In the US houses are spookily decorated with spiderwebs and the obligatory pumpkin at the front of the house or in a window. The tradition is particularly popular with children, who go out in the evening and parade from house to house in the hope of getting sweets (treats). If the owner of the house refuses to give out sweets, kids prank him as an innocent revenge.
If it’s true there is in German the formal phrase Guten Appetit; it could be useful as well to know this other version when wishing someone to enjoy his meal. You can even find a literal translation of the English sentence: Lass es euch schmecken!
Download Rocket Languages on your phone:
These people called themselves 'Outdooraholics' and that is for one reason only. In this group, you'll have the chance to participate in flawlessly organised trips to get away from the traffic jams and packed streets of the city. It goes from a nice daytrip in the outskirts of London through to a 2-week hiking holiday.
German Language Movies
Movies Dubbed into German
Movies from Hollywood and other places, dubbed into German.
German TV Stations Online Streaming
What better way to improve your German speaking, pronunciation and listening skills than watching German television? Watching formal and colloquial German is a great way to learn.
|ARD Mediathek||Watch ARD programmes live or on-demand|
|Das Erste Mediathek||Watch Das Erste programmes live or on-demand|
|ZDF Mediathek||Watch ZDF programmes lives or on-demand|
|ORF TVThek||Largest Austrian broadcaster, live or on-demand.|
|DW (Deutsche Welle)||Watch the different DW channels live or on-demand|
|Euronews||Watch the German edition of the European news channel live|
|3sat||Artsy / cultural TV channel - watch live or on-demand|
|HR||ARD channel for Hessen|
|MDR||ARD channel for Central Germany|
|rbb||ARD channel for Berlin / Brandenburg - watch live or on-demand|
|WDR||ARD channel for Western Germany - watch live or on-demand|
|BR||ARD channel for Bavaria - watch live or on-demand|
|NDR||ARD channel for Northern Germany - watch live or on-demand|
|ARTE||ARTE - watch live or on-demand. Nice artsy and original documentaries and films|
|Tagesschau24||24/7 News channel. Great way to learn German!|
If you need to download subtitles for a German movie, or want to watch a movie in another language with German subtitles, look no further than this list.
WWOOF offers a very different volunteering experience, with opportunities all over the world, and not just in developing countries. As a volunteer (or WWOOFer as they are known) you live alongside and receive meals from your host and, in return, you help with daily tasks and get to experience life as a farmer.
Opportunities are incredibly diverse, from working on husky farms in Finland, to picking fruit in Australia. With opportunities in every continent except Antarctica, you won‘t have trouble finding an opportunity to improve whatever language you want to work on.
So, that’s it! Those are the current weirdest and most futuristic inventions for learning languages’, but we’ll keep updating the article as soon as new inventions come to our attention. But don’t forget learning languages is also about the experience, and nothing could replace the feeling of travelling around the world, immersing yourself in a new destination and meeting and socialising with locals.
If you are worried that you will encounter closed doors during Christmas, come to Beijing. Everything in Beijing: churches, theatres restaurants and shopping centers are open! The capital really celebrates this time and you will discover a winter wonderland. During this time shopping malls will display special offers and extended business hours starting from the middle of November. Here is a list of great shopping malls in Beijing that take part in this: Beijing Lai Tai Flower Trade Centre, Tianyi Small Goods Wholesale Market and Tianyi Market.
We move to another continent, America, to Brazil to be more specific. A very typical Brazilian song is "Então é Natal". In the video below, we see how Simone sings it. This song wishes everyone happy holidays and a prosperous new year. There are more common songs like "Noite Feliz" or "Bate or Sino", but as in other countries, these are translations of known international Christmas songs.
- Cuban cuisine is very diverse, as it consists of a mix of Spanish, African and Caribbean dishes. A traditional dish from Cuban cuisine is "ropa vieja", which means old clothes. The dish was named this way because it consists of torn beef, which reminds of old clothes. Ropa vieja started getting popular in the 16th century, since back then people were very poor and had to make do with leftovers such as small pieces of meat and vegetables, cumin, pepper and a spiced tomato sauce. Over time, the locals became richer and were able to use better meat and add more vegetables such as peas and peppers. To this day it is one of the most popular dishes for Cubans.
- The Cuban national dish is Congris. An interesting fact about Congris is that it is often cooked at the end of the month, when money is getting short. For this reason the dish doesn't require many ingredients. The typical Congris consists of rice, onion, green peppers, garlic, lard, red beans and tomatoes. The spices used are pepper, cumin and salt. The dish is often served with a piece of pork.
The Nepalese Halloween is called Gai Jatra or the Cow Festival, which takes place over six days in June. On this day the locals remember those who have passed away. Cows are paraded through a Kathmandu, as locals believe that a cow will help the deceased travel to heaven. Locals wear different costumes, each reflecting the mythical figures of the city.
This is the equivalent of the English phrase “take care”. This is the perfect thing to say when leaving someone and say goodbye.
Note that those mobile apps will help you learn a basic language and useful vocabulary, but do not expect to become completely fluent in the language you are learning. Learning a new language is, above all, learning how to communicate with people. Using mobile apps to learn a language will help you get into the language, discover its pronunciation and grammar, but there are limits to such tools.
Never forget that a language is supposed to be spoken, or at least help you talk to other people to have a conversation. Do not fall too much into the online world but instead explore the world or at least use the languages you know all the time in your "real life"! Listen to music in the langue you like, watch movies in O.V, find native partners to talk to, go abroad and travel to a place where the language is spoken, and so on.
But as a start, go and discover those magical tools !
A bit of culture please...!
Oliver is from Brno in Czech Republic. He is currently studying IT and in his free time, he plays music and DJ.
"Learning languages was always fun for me"
It was the first time that Oliver went on a language trip of this kind and he chose our school in Toronto: Even though the trip to Canada was going to be long and I was little bit worried about the people I would meet, the whole trip was just amazing! And everybody was super-friendly! Learning languages was always fun for me. I started learning English as my first language (even before I learnt Czech), because I used to live in England.
Oliver also works as videographer so the video contest was the perfect opportunity for him to make a great video: I was shooting during my entire stay, without knowing about the contest. When I found out I had plenty of materials. And I knew I had a lot of support from my friends. With that and the quality of my video, I confess that I believed I would get one of the winning spots. And I did! I was really happy about that!
What's next for Oliver?
Entering the contest, Oliver knew that if he won, he would probably go back to Sprachcaffe Toronto, as he loved his stay with us. So we will see him very soon!
Mobile apps are a new method of language acquisition. They enable you to learn languages from anywhere: be it on the train to work, in the doctor's waiting room or at home on the sofa. Here are a few incredibly practical apps:
On the free app, Duolingo, you can learn Italian through quick games and lessons. The app reminds you to continue learning daily. The app gives equal attention to training your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Memrise: This app was created by experts in the field of brain research and guarantees that you will not forget any new words learnt through the app. See for yourself how quickly you can learn new vocabulary with this app!
If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, you should check out Babbel. It is similar to Duoingo and Memrise, but you just have to pay a small amount.
A similar concept to WWOOF, but also offering opportunities to help out at non-organic farms, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers' hostels and even sailing boats. You could end up helping a family decorate their new home in Paris, working at the reception of a lively backpackers’ hostel in Argentina or building an eco-lodge in the rainforest of Nicaragua.
A week of a teamer is long and busy, but the work is fantastic! Do you think you’d want to spend your summer this way? Then contact us!
- If you travel to Mexic, you must try chilaquiles for breakfast! It consists of warm quartered corn tortillas topped with either green or red salsa. It also comes with scrambled or fried eggs as well as chicken, cheese and cream. On the side comes a serving of frijoles, which are refried beans.
- Another highlight in Mexico is Elote, corn on the cob. The corn is traditionally cooked before serving and is then sold either on a stick or in a cup. The corn on the cob is often topped with mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, butter, lime, salt and chili powder.
For horror phobics and spook haters, this Austrian Halloween tradition might be a welcome change from the ghoulish customs around the world. That's because instead of creepy disguises and trips to old, spooky castles, there's the tradition of "Striezelpaschen" in Austria's wine district. Every year on the 31st of October people compete for the Allerheiligenstriezel, a sweet yeast plait.
Tschüss would be the general word to use every time you want to say goodbye, whether you know the person or not. Of course you also have the famous auf Wiedersehen but let’s say that if you are not sure about its pronunciation, just go for a Tschüss…!
Always wondered where Jack the Ripper committed his crimes or where Shakespeare’s inspiration came from? Well, no one is more enthusiastic about discovering the heart of London than these guys! Discovery walks, museums and art galleries, opera, plays, daytrips or even a simple coffee meetup are on the list of their monthly activities.
Many of us have dreamed of knowing all about wine and exotic foods (and boastfully talk about it at fancy parties). However, it may be a difficult thing to achieve, given that there are hundreds of things to discover in the culinary arts and one usually don't know where to begin. Activities in this group not only include food and drink tasting, but also glass painting, winery visits and many more.
Margot in Sprachcaffe Malta
Games to learn English for Children
- LearnEnglish Kids, by The British Council: A whole range of games focusing on listening, watching, writing, reading and speaking.
- Enjoy your English!
- Poisson Rouge
Games to learn English for everyone
- LearnEnglish, by the British Council: Different games using English vocabulary and grammar
- ELG, English Learning Games: hangman, memory, math, crosswords...and even more!
- Vocabulary.com.il: Free vocabulary learning games
- Games to learn English: Around 30 short games playing with English vocabulary, verbs and grammar.
Blogs offer an exciting and often funny alternative to regular newspaper articles. Here are 4 blogs that are sure to help you reach the next level in your Italian learning journey:
How do the months of the year sound in Italian and what about numbers? You'll find answers to that and much more on The Italian Experiment.
Ilearnitalian.net: This blog includes loads of exercises for you to take part in. It is arranged into 3 categories: "Blog"; "Grammar Lessons"; and "Songs". The "Songs" section provides a long list of Italian songs, handpicked to help those learning the language.
On the blog, Italianoautomatico, Alberto lists tips for learnign Italian. His treasure trove of pointers includes book and video recommendations, as well as his own podcast.
Italianeveryday: This Tumblr account aims to teach people a new Italian word every day.
Although tradition varies by country, there is a well-known author in most parts of Latin America. His name is Pastor López, and when December comes, you can hear him on radio and TV. The most famous Christmas song in Latin America is “Faltan cinco pa las doce”, from Nestor Zavarce's. It talks about the year's end and the time when families gathers for a dinner to welcome the New Year. The rhythm is totally different from what we can hear in Europe. Indeed, Christmas songs tend to be more melodious. In Colombia, for example, "Adonay" by Rodolfo con los hispanos, a song about the wedding of the protagonist or a cumbia song like "Yo no olvido el año viejo", all this to be able to gain the calories of the hearty meals during this period of the year.
- Bobotie is South Africa's most popular national dish. It is mainly found in Cape Town, where it is truly a dish that gets consumed daily. Bobotie is a casserole that consists of minced lamb, dried fruits and many spices. The meat is marinated beforehand with raisins and apricots and spices such as coriander, turmeric, ginger, apricot jam and cumin.
- The most popular street food in South Africa is Bunny Chow. This dish originated in Durban in the 19th century. It is a hot curry that consists of vegetables and minced meat served in a bread bowl. A vegetarian option is also available.
✓ Nationality: French
✓ Age: 16 years old
✓ Destination: St Julian's, Malta
✓ Dates: 28.06.2015 - 18.07.2015
✓ Language travel for Young People
We do hope this list of resources to learn English will help you in your learning process! If you happen to know or use other resources that we might have forgotten, please contact us and we will add them to the list!
Discover funny phrases in German that have a special flavour…!
Es ist mir Wurst
Literally: This is me sausage
Meaning: I don’t care
Ich freue mich wie ein Schnitzel
Literally: I am as glad as a Schnitzel
Meaning: I am very happy
Literally: Soft white cheese
Meaning: Like "Quatsch", it’s nonsense
Alles in Butter?
Literally: Everything in butter?
Meaning: Everything okay?
Abwarten und Tee trinken
Literally: Wait and drink tea
Meaning: Being patient
You are now all set up to go! However, you’re probably thinking 'can I turn up alone?’, the answer is YES, you can. It is even better as you really get to experience the concept. Find many, many more meetups in London here.
Children's books are particularly suited to beginners of and language, as the text is almost always written in a simpe form. On The Italian Experiment you can read fairy tales in Italian, such as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Litte Pigs".
For a few more book suggestions for learners of different abilites, take a look at this list of Enjoyable Books for Practicing Italian.
Mariah Carey is a classic of the Christmas season in the United States. She has several Christmas songs and sometimes performs concerts with this repertoire, as her songs are internationally recognized. One of them, for which you have the video below “All I Want for Christmas Is You” dates from 1994 and was one of the best-sellers in Australia, Japan, Norway or the United Kingdom. This song has generated more than 50 million US dollars in profits over the years.
In addition, another classic of American folklore is "White Christmas", played by Bing Crosby. It is considered the most sold Christmas song in the world with more than 50 million copies sold. His song's composer was Irving Berlin.
We hope you enjoyed this run down of delicious dishes from around the world! If you ever decide to try and cook these dishes at home we would love to see that. Please share your story with us on Instagram and we will feature you on our profile. Bon appetit!
If you have any other words or phrases you would like to share with us, go to our Sprachcaffe Facebook page and post them as a comment under this article’s post! Tschüss und bis bald !
Margot is 16 years old and lives in Alsace, France. She loves travelling, going to the beach, spending time with her friends, and singing.
Margot went to Sprachcaffe Malta with her good friend Laura and she told us that the trip left a mark on both of them: We met amazing people who later became our friends. Even though we spoke different languages, learning English made it easier and we had no problem sharing interests and talking about our cultural differences.
"After my language trip, I feel that I have definitely improved!"
Margot and her friend attended one of our intensive courses: we were practicing English all the time, during class but also with everyone we met. I feel that we do not practice speakingas much in the regular class in high school. After my language trip, I feel that I have definitely improved!
The island was also an environment they really enjoyed: even though, we had class for half of the day, we really enjoyed the holiday atmosphere of the island. The sea, the sun, beautiful beaches, beach volley games and friends makes everything better for a perfect holiday!
Margot created her video with the help of her friend, she added pictures and videos of the best moments from her holidays: we must have watched this video at least thirty times, as it reminds us of our trip and all these wonderful memories.
What's next for Margot?
Both Margot and Laura want to go back for a language trip with us, but are still hesitating between going back to Sprachcaffe Malta and visiting one of our many destinations.
How good is your Italian? Find out by taking our Italian test.
Do you have any other websites, blogs, YouTube channels or podcasts to suggest that we missed? If yes, please write to us on Facebook or Twitter so we can make our list even better.
The Italians are known not only for the zeal of their spoken language, but also for their animated gesticulation, which expresses so much more than you might think! If you want to know what these hand gestures mean, check out the very informative video below. Enjoy!
If you are the kind of person who only refers to Google Translate whenever you need to translate something, you might want to take a closer look at this article. Sprachcaffe members form an international team and use translation tools everyday, mostly online. We thought it might be worth it to share our knowledge with language learners around the world!
Merry Christmas from our Sprachcaffe Team!
The Sprachcaffe Team wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Can you guess which languages we used in the video?
Joyeux Noël de la part de Sprachcaffe!
Votre équipe Sprachcaffe vous souhaite un joyeux Noël et une bonne année !
Saurez-vous deviner quelles langues sont parlées dans la vidéo ?
Frohe Weihnachten vom Sprachcaffe Team!
Das Sprachcaffe Team wünscht Ihnen frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr! Können Sie erraten, welche Sprache welche ist?
Buon Natale dal team Sprachcaffe!
Il Team Sprachcaffe ti augura un Buon Natale e un Felice Anno Nuovo! Riesci a indovinare quali lingue abbiamo usato nel video?
Wesołych Świąt życzy Sprachcaffe!
Zespół Sprachcaffe życzy Wesołych Świąt i szczęśliwego Nowego Roku! Czy potrafisz rozpoznać, w jakich językach mówimy na świątecznym filmie?"
Feliz Natal da nossa equipe Sprachcaffe!
A equipe Sprachcaffe deseja a você um Feliz Natal e um próspero Ano Novo! Você sabe quais línguas foram faladas no vídeo?
¡Feliz Navidad del equipo de Sprachcaffe!
¡El Equipo Sprachcaffe les desea una feliz Navidad y un feliz año nuevo! ¿Puedes adivinar en qué idiomas felicitamos la Navidad en el video?
The word "inspiration" comes from Latin and it means "to breathe into". The terms is colloquially used to express the the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Finding inspiration can be a challenge for many, especially when work and a strict routine might exhaust your energies. So if you're looking for inspiration, why don't you:
There are typically four stages you go through when moving abroad. Of course, everyone’s experience is different and you won’t necessarily encounter these stages with the same intensity and for the same duration as we describe them here. However, this article offers all future travelers a heads up on what to expect.
"I love bab.la online dictionary! It’s not only translating the words or phrases but it also shows them in context sentences. As the founders of the project say, “knowing the exact translation often doesn't really help. You really need to "live" the language to come up with the right word.” And that’s the point! What’s even more special about it? The context sentences are real and up-to-date. The dictionary browses the content of the indexed websites and chooses the sentences which are used in real notes or articles. It’s my favourite!"
- Phone calls: Phone calls with family and friends can make you feel closer to them. Although they can be very useful when you are feeling down or need some advice, try not to rely on them too much. The whole point of you being abroad is being present in the moment, making new memories, and being with your new friends: your loved ones will still be there when you go back!
- Bring home to you: If you want to feel closer to home, they why not do something that reminds you of it? Eat a typical dish, listen to your favorite local singer, read a book set in your country, or watch a movie or series that is set in the familiar streets of your town. These are all great ways to feel immersed in your culture again while being abroad.
- A busy to-do list: In order to keep homesickness in check you must avoid moments of boredom at all costs: that’s when your brain usually goes back to good memories of your hometown and your loved ones! So if you feel yourself getting bored and starting to miss home organize something with your new friends! Go to a museum, the movies, learn how to cook a new dish, or go on a hike. Keeping yourself active and in the moment is truly the best medicine.
- Make new friends: Getting to know new people, their stories, and learning from them is one of the most enriching aspects of travelling abroad. The people you meet will become lifelong friends, and you will stay in contact and even visit each other long after your trip is done. And if you ever go back to the place where you first met you will remember all the things and the place you visited together, a lovely trip down memory lane!
- Share your feelings: It is very important to talk openly with other people about your feelings. From your host family to your teachers and your new friends, don’t be scared to share how you feel with the new people in your life. Talking about your feelings is the best way to learn how to deal with them and find a solution. And remember, there is no reason to feel embarrassed about how you feel, and you might find that the person in front of you has gone through something similar and might be able to share their experience and how they overcame it.
- Create a routine: Having a routine while being abroad is very helpful because it makes you feel more in charge of your new surroundings and day to day activities. Doing things similarly to how you did them at home can help in making you miss the comfort and familiarity of your home less. So why not create a detailed schedule of times and activities you want to do in a specific day or week? That will also help fight boredom!
- Be patient: The more time passes, the less homesick you will feel.So be patient with yourself and remember: your trip has an end-date, so you will be home before you know it!
- Be open to new things: When abroad, learn to say Yes more. Yes to local food, new music, art museums, adventures in the wild, dance classes. Being open and willing to experience new things will give you invaluable experience and make you grow as a person.
"When looking for a German translation of a word or phrase, my first port of call is always dict.cc. The best thing about dict.cc is that it provides a full list of translations in order of how frequently they are used. This is really useful for deciding which word fits best to the specific context in which you want to use it. I have found that dict.cc has more phrases than any other translation website I've used. There is also a free app which works offline and which, for a very small price, allows you to add words to a personal vocabulary list and test your knowledge on this vocab with the vocab trainer."
The "honeymoon" stage is the first of the four: everything is new and you are more than eager to discover the country and culture surrounding you. You’ve never been to this country before and you only know about it from travel blogs, National Geographic photos or TV series.
Of course, that's easier said than done. In your cozy comfort zone, everything is uncomplicated and risk-free. But what if the best inspiration is waiting for you outside your comfort zone? You don't have to go all out and take a trip around the world or anything extreme like that. Even small changes can make a big difference. Eat at a new restaurant, watch a movie alone, or talk to a stranger on the street. Just dooing things you've never done before because you're afraid of them will charge your energy batteries and make you see what is around you in a different way. One step further can also be spending some time abroad: this is the best and most effective way to leave your comfort zone behind!
We hope these tips will make you less homesick and more open to have the adventure of a lifetime. Never forget to cherish the journey, because although every trip has an end date, memories stay forever!
"As I'm learning German at the moment, I wanted to use a specific dictionary and I have to say I am very pleased with Leo Wörterbuch! You generally get quite a long list of results, allowing you to choose the right translation for your word. Leo even gives you examples of common phrases used with the word you were looking for. Also try the mobile app, it's worth it!"
You are completely amazed by the simplest things, just because it’s your first time seeing them in reality
Writing down your ideas, whatever they are and regardless of how developed they are, can be very useful for the future. So if you find yourself brainstorming in the comfort of your living room or on a beach in Cuba, write everything down! In that moment you might think that these thoughts you are having are without value, but in the long run they might inspire you in one way or another. It is also a good way to make more space for new thoughts and ideas. Mind maps are a good alternative if you prefer quicker and more visual ways of presenting ideas.
"Linguee is an excellent tool for quick translations of more complex words. It’s my go-to website for translations - be it for single words or groups of words. The strength of this tool is that it shows every word in its context and enables to pick the exact translation in the meaning it was intended. It used to exist only for a few languages but the team seems to have been working hard on adding other languages. Hats off to them!"
When was the last time you were completely alone with your thoughts? Sometimes life can get overwhelming, and a little peace and quiet can take you a long way. Turn off your smartphone, TV and laptop, close the door or go for a walk and take a moment just for yourself. Let your thoughts run free and don't try to come up with the perfect idea right off the bat. The best ideas come spontaneously, so try not to think too hard. Think of it more as a creative break and let your quiet surroundings positively influence you.
“For each word you are looking for, the dictionary proposes different meanings and also shows different contexts of use. Just choose the translation you prefer and at the same time glance at the different uses of the word. Additionally the dictionary Pons offers a tool to translate texts which is very useful and fast. Personally I like it very much! As it is also available for IOS and Android I really recommend it to you! “
You listen to locals talking on the street and already imagine yourself being part of the community
Learning something new can really stimulate your brain. The challenge of facing something unfamiliar, as well as the seeing yourself improve day by day, will renew your energies and really give you a boost. Think about what you've always wanted to do. Playing the piano has always fascinated you? You think French is a beautiful language and you wish you could understand it? Think now about what is stopping you - and too little time or too much effort are not good excuses! So book that language course, buy or borrow that musical instrument, or join the gym, you will not be disappointed!
"I turn to ProZ.com when a regular online dictionary fails to offer a solution to a translation problem. ProZ isn´t exactly a dictionary, it is the biggest virtual community of translators. Besides allowing registered users to broadcast their professional services, everyone can take part in the forums or make use of the terminology databases, you don´t need to register or be a professional translator! In the forums you will most certainly find the right translation for what you are looking for and you can rest assured it has been validated by professional translators. It is particularly useful to translate official documents, where no risks can be taken!"
Inspiration is often associated with specific places. It is not always easy to find your inspiration at your desk or in your too-familiar apartment. By exploring new places you will definitely have a new perspective on your life, needs, and desires. Even travelling a couple kilometers away from your front door or office can be enough. If you have a little more time and resources, a vacation is guaranteed to help you expand your sources of inspiration.
"English is not my mother tongue but I use it 90% of the time: for work but also in my everyday life. When I have to use a dictionary I will usually turn to WordReference. I favour it above others because it lists all of the nuances of the word I look for. It features English translations from and to about 20 languages and has a very active forum where some native speakers proofread your translation and will answer any of your questions. So if I somehow don’t find a satisfying answer from the basic list, I will always find it there."
"However, when I am looking to understand slang words or acronyms, I will search on Urban Dictionary. For each word (mostly English ones but not only), there is a list of meanings, nuances and examples suggested by users. It is a good tool if you are currently watching Californication or trying to put a bit of swag into your vocabulary."
After all this wonder subsides, the "culture shock" strikes. Your destination has its share of enchantment but you slowly start to notice the cultural differences between there and your own country. You will need to adapt to all of this and it can be scary. The language barrier seems hard to overcome and you are far away from home.
Reading books can always give you a new perspective. Biographies are especially great if you're looking to gain new perspectives or ideas, the inspiring lives of others a true well of inspiration. You can either read books by authors you like and who have similar views to you, or you can read completely new genres that you have never tried before, taking you outside your comfort zone quickly and effectively.
You sometimes don’t understand anything you are told, which is frustrating
On vacation everything is usually new to you - new surroundings, different people, and a foreign culture. Sometimes taking time from your everyday life and discovering something new is enough to boost your energy and your inspiration. Anything from big cities with stimulating culture to quiet nature getaways is a trip worth taking. Going on a language trip is an optimal solution combining vacation and learning, two great sources of inspiration that will gift you new ideas, new insights and, in renewed inspiration.
Last year the translation company ELAN made this funny advertisement video comparing 2 English translations of a Japanese recipe. The first one was translated by their own online translator and the second one by Google Translate. So what can happen with a wrong translation? Check it out yourself:
It's always good when you can talk to others about your ideas and future plans. If you are lucky, you already have someone in your life who is very similar to you, and whom you can exchange ideas with. But it can also be someone new in your life. Often, fresh thoughts and diverse perspectives can help you come up with new ideas.
There are a lot of things you miss - your family and friends but also tea and cheddar cheese
Some people find it easier and some harder to strike up a conversation with new people. If you are a very sociable person, try to approach a stranger that sparks your interest and chat about your interests. However, if the idea of actively going to someone you don't know and starting a conversation terrifies you, then why not join a group of like-minded people? Travel, sport, or culture groups are a great way to meet people with similar interests. Meeting new people will definitely Meeting new people often brings a new perspective that inspires you.
However, always keep in mind that online translation has its limits and need to be taken very carefully. In case you have any doubts about a translation, always ask a native person to help you out!
One fundamental thing in your search for inspiration is time and patience. Don't immediately throw away the piece of paper with just wrote because you're not happy with the result. Time and space away from it will give you a new perspective, and will allow you to see the value of it. It can take a little longer than anticipated to be satisfied with the result of what you've done. Often you have to rework something and look for new inspiration again before it gets to where you want it to be. Inspiration is a process that takes time. Sometimes you might get a sudden inspiration followed by weeks of nothing. Don't worry, it will come to you again. The important thing is to start simple and not be afraid to make a mistake.
But don’t stress! It is very normal to be a little unsettled. Everything will get better soon! It's called the "adjustment stage": you gradually start to feel more at ease and get to know your surroundings, the culture and the local people better. Your ability to understand and make yourself understood improves day by day!
If you are at a loss for ideas in one area, a creative phase in another can be extremely helpful. Painting, sowing, or writing a poem can clear your head, and allow you to face your actual problem with a freer mind.
You managed to order a pizza on the phone with extra cheese and olives but no onions and when it arrived it was exactly what you had meant to order
Inspiration usually comes spontaneously. How, when and where inspiration will strike can't really be planned in advance. If you try to force yourself to be inspired it will usually produce the opposite result, leaving you frustrated and without ideas. Although it might sound rather cliche, inspiration does happen spontaneously and come from within you. So try to focus more on yourself instead of constantly focusing on finding inspiration - and the inspiration will come.
You invited your neighbors for tea and they said yes
No one corrects your mistakes anymore and people often congratulate you on your languages skills - so much that it becomes a bit embarrassing!
You have successfully integrated and become part of the community! Congratulations!
Expatriation is, indeed, the main motivation for many people to learn foreign languages. Spanish, English, French and German are spoken in many different countries and those who master them are equipped with an indispensable prerequisite for smooth integration into the communities where they are spoken and an international professional career. That’s why those who know a foreign language often make the exciting decision to live and work abroad.
"You learn from your mistakes". You've probably heard this saying a thousand times, and not without reason. It's so banal, yet so true. You can't learn a new language without making mistakes. The only way not to make mistakes is not using the language - which isn't really possible if you want to learn a new language! You have to try to break out of your comfort zone and just go for it, even if you mispronounce something or miss words you don't know yet. Trust that you will improve with each mistake. No one is going to judge you or think less of you when you make mistakes, because everyone knows how difficult it is to learn something as hard as a completely new language. On the opposite, it is very impressive to start on a language learning path, something to be truly proud of!
Hundreds of thousands of people leave their native countries every year to live and work somewhere else in the world. It’s an adventure you undertake on your own, with your partner or with your family, and which starts long before the plane takes off. Sometimes it takes people years to obtain their visa and have everything else prepared before leaving. Getting ready is, in fact, the key to success if you want to live abroad.
To start with, it’s worth getting information from relevant institutional organizations, embassies or consulates. Traveling to the country for a few weeks beforehand is also extremely helpful to be sure you are making the right decision. You could also read specialized books or find interesting blogs by and interviews with expats: this will help you learn more about the advantages and challenges of living abroad. Forums for expats are also very useful for asking questions and sharing with people already living where you want to go.
Some websites, set up by seasoned expats, are dedicated to helping other expats by sharing the knowledge they have accumulated through years of experience living abroad. Among these is Expat.com, which provides its members with a large range of free services to help them prepare thoroughly for expatriation. As a true participative platform, Expat.com is a living community thanks to its 1.6 million members who share advice and help each other.
Children learn differently than adults. They tend to think "I can't do this yet" because they know they will learn sooner or later, and don't tend to get discouraged at the first difficulties. They take it for granted that they will eventually be able to do it and are happy with every little bit of progress. Children don't question so much why something is the way it is, but just accept it as it is and are not afraid to make mistakes at the beginning. A mistake a lot of people make at the beginning is giving up because they don't think they are natural language learners. There is no such thing! Even the most talented students need to put a lot of work in what they do. So don't give up, and remember: practice, practice, practice!
Every single expat will agree: living abroad is an adventure. A personal adventure that allows you to learn more about yourself than ever before. A human adventure where sharing and discovering becomes part of your everyday life.
Once abroad, and after the exciting first weeks, expats are faced with the task of finding their feet in their new community. One of the most common problems expats face is loneliness. Creating and developing your own network of friends will be just as important as finding a place to sleep and a job. To help with this, Expat.com is again at hand offering its members several tools to ease the process of meeting people and finding your place in your new country, with job offers, accommodation suggestions, ads, event listings and more.
Being an expat is a lifestyle choice. To make the best out of this wonderful experience, it is important to move forward with the right people by your side. Friends, family and other expats are essential to the success of your adventure. To be happy, surround yourself with nice people!
'Learn by doing' literally means taking any opportunity you have to learn and apply what you learn. Whether it's watching a movie with subtitles, writing new vocabulary on a post-it and looking at it while brushing your teeth in the morning, or reading through the packaging of your French cheese, everything is useful. Even if it's just placing an order at your favorite Italian restaurant or making small talk with your Portuguese co-worker, these small things will improve your vocabulary and build your confidence. We truly believe that you learn the most when you use the language in everyday life! We really advise you to do more than simply follow your textbook and trying to understand every single grammar rule. Instead, try to develop a feeling for the language by using it in real situations.
On the contrary, it helps to memorize new words better if you keep saying them to yourself. A useful trick is to repeat words you've heard and try to form simple sentences with them. This will also prepare you for real conversations, making these easier since you will already have practiced by yourself. The more you speak, the better - whether it's to yourself or others. Of course, it's not always possible to say everything out loud, and you may find it distracting when you're on the train or in other public places. In that case, it really helps to think in your new language. Ask yourself simple questions that you answer in your head. You don't have to change your entire way of thinking, especially in the beginning, but just try to let your thoughts run free in the foreign language for a few minutes every day.
Finding someone who wants to learn the same language as you can be a huge help in your educational path. There are so many advantages to knowing you're not alone: you can talk to each other, make mistakes and improve together, learn together and motivate each other. And remember, learning a language doesn't just mean sitting down at a desk, try to get creative! For example, you can organize themed evenings where everything revolves around Spain and prepare delicious tapas together, listen to Spanish music and, of course, talk to each other in Spanish. Sprachcaffe tip: texting is a great way to practice your day to day language!
This is of course easier said than done, but it is always forgotten when learning a language. You will not be able to carry on a complete conversation without problems after one day of intensive training. Not even after a week. A language takes time and requires a lot of patience. You have to practice and internalize what you learn until the language comes naturally to you. Languages are extremely complex,and between vocabulary, sentence order, and grammar rules, there is a lot to learn. It will take some time for you to be patient with yourself, as well learning from your mistakes and turning them into successes.
Always keep in mind the reason you are learning the language and don't give up too soon! One of the best way to truly learn a language is being in its origin country and speak it with the locals. And that is what our language trips are all about! International students, expert teachers, and language learning in beautiful locations! Take a look at our amazing selection of languages and destinations and start learning!
There are many websites to help you improve your English completely free of charge. You can really find anything online, from grammar and pronunciation to listening and reading exercises.
Here are our picks for the most useful websites to use:
- English Help: Here you can find simple explanations of grammar rules, vocabulary lists, games, tips, etc.
- Talk English: Lessons for all levels, business, conversations, and more
- ESOL Courses: Free interactive listening lessons, reading exercises, quizzes & games.
- engVid: Learn English for free with 1722 video lessons by experienced native-speaker teachers.
- Easy English: Mitch and Isi upload videos with lots of conversations on various topics that will help you improve your vocabulary and spoken English. They also have videos where they interview people from Great Britain, a great way to get to know the people and culture while learning the language - educational and entertaining at the same time!
- BBC Learning English: Every day a new video is uploaded about different topics of the English language. Grammar explanations, new vocabulary and even live English lessons, a great channel to learn the language!
- Watch English-speaking Youtubers - just choose the ones you like the most and learn English while being entertained!
Flexible learning experience: language learning apps allow you to improve your English skills from anywhere. Whether you're on the train or want to study during your lunch break, just open the app and start learning!
- Babbel: Learn English as well as 13 other languages! Babbel offers 40 lessons for free, when you're done with those you need to sign up for a subscription. are free at Babbel - after that you have to sign up for a subscription.
- Duolingo: With over 100 million users, Duolingo is the most popular language learning app. There are different lessons and levels that cover different topics, all free of charge!
- Memrise: Listen to audio recordings of native speakers, learn words and phrases from everyday situations and start chatting!
Listening to native English speakers will help you become familiar with the language. Pay attention to the lyrics of your favorite songs - you can read them on YouTube while the song is playing, a great reading and listening exercise!
There are podcasts on every conceivable topic - these are some of our favorite ones:
- The Daily: Five times a week journalist Michael Barbaro covers a current topic in about 20 minutes. It's not always just about the news in the U.S., global events are often addressed as well.
- Luke's English Podcast: Luke, an English teacher from London, teaches you important language skills such as pronunciation, topic-specific vocabulary, colloquial expressions, as well as telling you some funny stories about his life.
- Love and Radio: Love and Radio has some very interesting interviews with people talking about their lives or discussing a specific topic.
- No Such Thing As A Fish: The name may not make any sense - but the content of this podcast does. Each week, different hosts present their favorite fact they've dug up throughout the week. So if you're looking to educate yourself in the "useless knowledge" category, this podcast is for you.
- 6 Minute English: As the name suggests, you'll learn 6 minutes of English in one episode. Every episode focuses on a specific everyday situation, offering you some topic-specific vocabulary that you will definitely find useful!
Have you ever heard of a language partner? That's someone who speaks your learning language as a native language and wants to learn your native language. You teach each other your native languages by simply talking, explaining things, and maybe even becoming friends. You can have an online language partner that you write or video call with, or you can find someone in your city so you can meet in person! Check out Tandem and HelloTalk and make friends while learning!
With the English test from Sprachcaffe you can find out what your language level is and learn from your mistakes! We then give you suggestions on how to improve your English skills with us. Test your English skills here »
To watch English movies or series you usually have to pay for a streaming service or VPN.
Watching English-language TV will not only improve your listening comprehension, but will also help you with your pronunciation and knowledge of English idioms. You can choose to watch a movie or series on a streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, or Amazon Prime Video. Some channels we reccomend to watch British, American or Australian content are:
Another way you can learn English for free is by learning by doing it while on vacation. Of course, a vacation isn't free - but if you're there anyway, why not take the chance and speak as much English as possible? In an English-speaking country like England or the US is of course easier since you're constantly surrounded by the language. But even if you travel to Spain or Italy, most people know English. Try to get involved and speak as much as you can - even if you might make a few mistakes at the beginning it is important you don't give up! We assure you you will see your level improving rather quickly.
As you can see, there are many ways to learn English for free. You should add as much variety as possible to your learning routine and not give up! However, for effective learning, we recommend that you take lessons with a professional teacher who will show you the correct use of grammar rules, knows the best methods for learning, and will cater to your individual needs.
The English lessons can take place in groups or individually, for example online or in combination with language trip. Find your preference and learn to speak like a native speaker! Good luck!
Apart from the free resources we have mentioned, the best way to really learn English is on a language study trip to Malta, England, Canada or the USA.
Professional native-speaking teachers cater to the individual needs of each student and support them in their learning path. Our trips are a combination of intensive learning and fun vacation where you will not only learn English, but also get to know the country, the culture and the people, making you feel even more connected to the language. Here are Sprachcaffe's 10 reasons to go on a language trip »
Malta is not only the perfect place for a holiday, an adventure and to relax. It is also the perfect place for Coliving. The reasons for it are clear. The archipelago of Malta is amazingly beautiful and offers a wide range of outdoor activities. It has the perfect weather, with a yearly temperature around 18.7 degrees Celsius and 300(!) days of sunshine per year. Temperatures are evenly distributed across the entire year. Summer can however become very hot and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius are to be expected throughout. Don’t forget that water sports are also in season! The best time of the year is spring and fall, when it is comfortably warm. If you enjoy swimming in the ocean, you will usually still be able to do so up until the end of November, because it will still be warm and sunny enough at the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is also the perfect location for history fans. It has a very multifaceted history, because it has experienced countless diverse mixtures of cultures, which have influenced it in the past and still do today. The different influences are also shown in the language. Maltese is a mixture of Arabic and Italian with some English and French influences. It’s very beautiful to listen to. It’s the only Semitic language written in Latin characters. Despite all of this the period in which the island was colonized by Britain has left it’s a clear mark on Malta. To this day, the island's official language is English and you can even find the typical red phone booths all around. Almost everybody is fluent in English, because it’s the second official language.
If you’re thinking of trying out something new, Coliving in Malta is the right thing to do. The atmosphere is fantastic. You’ll find many open minded people, new ideas and a lot of inspiration.
The Island of Malta is a well-known place to study. The University of Malta has a 400-year-old history and is the hub for international academic exchange. The university system in Malta has more than 11000 students per year, which is quite a lot considering the size of the country. Of course the study system offers some advantages for international students. Malta is a member of both the European Union and the Commonwealth, meaning it enjoys close ties with the UK and the European Higher Education system. A lot of courses at the universities are free for EU citizens, the costs for living are relatively low and most of the courses are in English. And to be honest, who wouldn't want to study on a small island by the Mediterranean Sea?
Economically Malta isn’t doing too bad either. The Economy is one of the most dynamic of the EU. The Online Gaming Industry has grown recently and Malta is now home to over 300 international operators. The economic focus is on specializing in the following priorities: advanced manufacturing, creative industries, financial services, international education services, life sciences, tourism, transportation and advanced logistics. The small country is becoming a location of choice for promising tech entrepreneurs, but also home to a small growing startup ecosystem, with great English-speaking tech talent, governmental support, and a safe business environment. It is the perfect place to seek new creative ideas, meet a new team and create a network. The Mediterranean flair is the perfect environment to develop your talents and find like-minded people you can work with.
The high number of students, it companies and startups gives the island a very productive climate, making it ideal for Coliving.
Coliving is the perfect way to break out of your everyday life. It allows your mind to regenerate and create new ideas, to be social and productive at the same time in order to find new solutions together. It’s the most effective way to live together. Coliving means living, working and improving together. And where better to mix up your lifestyle a little bit than in Malta where there are so many free time activities. In case you need to recharge your energy there is a lot you can do. And thanks to the amazing weather on Malta there are a lot of different festivals for every taste. That small Island offers a wide range of different festivals from the Malta Jazz Festival to the Malta Carnival also the MTV Isle Music Festival.
If you feel like exploring there are multiple things to see. You could go on a Tour and check out the other islands, go scuba diving or check out the night life in Valletta or St. Julian’s. There are so many things to do in Malta, you’ll find enough activity for a couple of weeks or month.
All in all, Malta is the perfect place to combine work, life and fun. The island offers so many opportunities to achieve the perfect work life balance. For example, SC Cowork offers a beautiful campus that can be used for Coliving. There is a fantastic pool, a bistro with delicious food and snacks as well as a great leisure program. The Campus is huge, so you have enough space to work on your own and have your own private space. But if you feel like meeting new people, working together or learning from each other, you will find enough like-minded people. There is something for everyone. You can share one apartment, but have your private room. You can cook together, work together or have fun together. Coliving with people from all over the world is pretty easy here at the SC Campus in Malta
They have a leisure program, which changes every week. There is a day and night program. You can relax at movie night, go out on a bar crawl in Valletta or try out a sushi workshop. There is also a language school on the Campus, so you’ll find a lot of different cultures on the Campus. People from all over the world come together and talk about everything and anything. The Location is close to a bus station so you’ll always have the possibility to explore the island by yourself. The most important thing at the SC Village in Malta is the community. There is always someone there for you. If you need help, there is a 24-hour reception and if you want to have fun, just walk outside your door and let it happen.
Flee from everyday life to let your creativity run free. A relaxed atmosphere increases your work potential and creates a balance with your social life. Join the family and make unforgettable memorieS at SC Cowork in Malta.
It may already be over for this year, but the carnival in Frankfurt is definitely a visitor's highlight. One of the most famous events of this carnival is the 'Rosenmontag' parade, which can be witnessed in the streets of the city center.
The first stop on our photo-tour through Mainhatten (which is how the locals call their city as a reference to Manhatten in NYC, because of the Main river that flows through Frankfurt) is of course our very own Sprachcaffe Language school in Sachsenhausen. Clearly visibly through our red flags it is located in the Gartenstraße 6. Infront of the entrance you will find a lovely little bridge, where you can take your perfect shot. Don’t forget the hashtag #SprachcaffeMoment!
The Festival of Young Talents took place at the Frankfurter Kunstverein from the 3rd until the 6th of May 2018. This relatively young festival is organized by the Verein für Kunstförderung Rhein-Main e.V. and forms a cooperation between the leading regional art academies and universities from the Rhine-Main area. The subject of this year's displayed pictures was "utopia / dystopia".
Another highlight that occurs in May is the Night of the open Museums in Frankfurt, which took place on May 5th. Around 40 cultural institutions are opening their doors at night so that the public can get a glimpse of the rich cultural program in the city of Frankfurt and its neighboring city, Offenbach.
Foodies listen up! The Green Sauce Festival takes place in Frankfurt from the 11th to the 19th of May. What is green sauce you ask? If you have ever been to Frankfurt, especially in the district Sachsenhausen, then you have probably heard of the traditional Frankfurt dish before. You may even have tried it. To make green sauce you need seven herbs: chives, borage, pimpinelle, chervil, sorrel, parsley and cress. The people of Frankfurt are so crazy about their green sauce that they not only made a festival about it, but there is even a green sauce memorial. During the festival, which takes places at Rossmarkt, several stalls offer delicacies based around the traditional "Grie Soss".
You want to learn how to make Green sauce? We found this YouTube Video for you which shows you how to make a vegan version of the sauce:
Within walking distance of our school you will find the famous Euro-sign. You might have seen in the news on TV while the topic was either on the euro in general or when the topic was specifically the ECB (European Central Bank), which is located in Frankfurt. In fact the old ECB used to stand directly behind the Euro sign, but since the number of people grew steadily a new building was needed. The new building is now situated in the East of Frankfurt, while the Euro-sign remained in the inner city for everyone to photograph. The big sign invited you to share a selfie – the perfect symbol to let everyone know that you have arrived in Europe!
Frankfurt celebrates the Tuesday after Whitsun, named Wäldchestag, like no other city in Germany. Some even refer to it as the "highest Pentecost holiday". For years, the day is traditionally celebrated in the Frankfurt city forest. Many companies and even schools stop their work and lessons so that they can all go to the city's forest together. Food stalls, stages, small rides, carousels, target shooting and scores await you here. This year, the festivities will be taking place on the following dates: May 19 to May 22, 2018.
From May 23, 2018 to June 1, 2018, the Fressgassfest will take place at the Alte Oper. Several stalls offer a variety of food and drinks. The street party is ideal for an post-work drink after a long day of work or a language course. Various cover bands provide additional mood on the small fixed stage. The Fressgassfest initiates spring and is just one of many street festivals.
The Rose and Light Festival will take place at the Palmengarten from the 8th to the 10th of June 2018. This festival has been celebrated in the botanical garden since 1931. The festival is all about the Rose: In addition to music, guided tours, lectures and information about the flower, there will also be rose water, rose mustard and other specialties to buy. The highlight of the rose exhibition is the festival of lights on Saturday. Here, visitors are invited to create images from thousands of tea lights and to wait for the spectacular closing fireworks in the dark together.
Our road continues to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Börse), which is located in the inner city of Frankfurt and within walking distance from the Willy Brand Platz. Of course, you can also take the U-Bahn if you prefer getting there faster. The same U-Bahn that brings you from our school to the Willy Brand Platz, also brings you to Hauptwache, which is the closest station to the Stock Exchange. Here you will see two big statues: A bull and a bear. If you know anything about finances, you will already know what they represent. The bull represents the so called "bull market", which describes the upward trend of the market, while the "bear market" describes a downward tendency of the market trends. If you look at the animals, you will note that a Bull often stricks by lifting its horns upward, while a bear attacks in a downward motion using its claws. This is the way the two figures are depicted in Frankfurt as well. The two statues are perfect for your cool Selfie – and if you are sporty enough, you might be able to climb on top of them for an even better snap.
The Höchster Schlossfest takes place at the End of June towards the beginning of July. Frankfurt would be the last city you would expect to see a castle in, since it is filled with sky scrapers and buildings made mostly of glass. The district of Höchst will present you with just these kinds of unexpected sights though! The officials of the Mainzer Erbistum originally lived within the castle of Höchst. It consists of the old castle, which was build between the 14th and the 16th century, and the new castle that was constructed towards the end of the 16th century. The Höchster Schlossfest takes place around the castle of Höchst every year since 1957. This year it will take place from the 30th of June to the 1st of July 2018.
The Christopher Street Day has also gained more importance in Frankfurt. This year, the CSD takes place on the weekend of 20-22 July 2018. The parade through Frankfurt is in the center of the event on Saturday 21.07.2018 from 12 clock from Römerberg. "The Bazaar of Diversity" is also a highlight in the Great Friedberger Straße on Friday from 15 to 22 o'clock. There will also be a 16 o'clock speech at the Römerberg on Saturdays.
The theater festival Stoffel will also start on 19 July 2018. The open air event is organized by the Stalburg Theater in the district of Nordend. The Stoffel offers readings, theater and cabaret as well as live music and food for four weeks.
The Sommerwerft is a comparatively young festival traditionally held at Weseler Werft, in the east of Frankfurt, directly on the River Main. It started as a simple "Theater Festival on the River", but it is much more than that today: everything revolves around theater, dance, music, performance, film and poetry. The festival takes place annually in the summer between July and August. The dates for 2018 are fixed: 20.07. - 05.08.2018.
The station district (Bahnhofsviertel) had a bad reputation for a long time. Today, the district has changed, but remains a main meeting place. The Press and Information Office of the City of Frankfurt invites you to the station quarter night (Bahnhofsviertelnacht) once a year, during which visitors can stroll through the district and look behind the scenes. This exciting tour will show you the culinary highlights of the district or enable you to explore more of its corners. This year's station quarter night will take place on Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 19 to 24 clock.
The Museumsuferfest is a cultural event held on the last weekend of August in Frankfurt am Main every year since 1988. It gets its name from the Museumsufer, the name given to the river side in 1980s, due to the fact that more than 20 museums are located on both sides of the Main river. Every year, more than three million people visit this festival, which is the largest one in the Rhine-Main area.
Naturally it’s not the same as in Munich, but Frankfurt has a little Oktoberfest as well, which starts in mid September and ends in October. If you can’t make it to Munich but would like to experience the Oktoberfest, why not start with the one in Frankfurt this year?
You might be wondering why a shopping mall is on our list? Well, take a look: The building is made out of glass with a giant hole in the middle of it. It was designed by Roman architect Massimiliano Fuksas and is part of the PalaisQuartier development. It was officially opened in 2009 and also looks incredible from the inside, which is why we included a second photo of the MyZeil in this article. The inside as well as the outside are worth your camera shot. So why not mix a little photo shooting with a little shopping? The main entrance faces the Zeil, Frankfurt's main shopping street. There is however another reason for visiting the center as well: it holds a 42 m long escalator, which at the time of the opening used to be the longest indoor escalator of Europe.
At the beginning of October, the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest trade fair for books and book printing, takes place in Germany. It was founded by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels in 1949. Visiting the Book fair presents a great chance to get to know the newest books and meet your favourite authors or publishing houses. If you are an author yourself you might even get the chance to introduce yourself to a publishing house. Every year, a host country is announced, which will be in the focus of the book fair and will have its own pavilion. In 2018, the host country is Georgia and the motto of this year's book fair is "Made by Characters". This year's book fair will take place on the following dates: 10th - 14th October 2018.
If you visit Frankfurt in December, you're in luck because you can visit the legendary Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of Germany's biggest Christmas markets. There are rows of stalls selling mulled wine and hot cider, as well as food, decoration and all kinds of trifles from the Hauptwache all the way to the Römer. You don't yet have a Christmas present for your loved ones? Don't worry, because you're bound to find something special at the Christmas market. In fact there are numerous other Christmas markets in Frankfurt in addition to the one in the city center, such as the Sachsenhäuser Christmas Market or the Swedish Christmas Market in Preungesheim.
Watch this video for more highlights in Frankfurt!
Keep your eyes open for this special graffiti. The Frankfurt City Ghost is painted all over Frankfurt. You can find it on trash cans, at train stations, walls or on power boxes. The Ghost is everywhere. If you want to take a perfect shot with the iconic Ghost graffiti, we have the perfect spot for you. In Bornheim, close to Konstablerwache, you can find a whole mural painted by the artist. A picture infront of that wall on your Insta would be amazing, right?
From our Ghost-Wall it is just a quick stroll back to Konstablerwache, where you will be able to reach the river Main quickly. By the way: On your way to Konstablerwache you will pass the beautiful Bethmannpark, which is also worth your visit. If you walk along the Main river toward Hauptwache and Eiserner Steg (which means Iron Bridge) you will have a spectacular view on the Frankfurt Skyline and the Bridge. Take a quick picture here before continuing.
One of the most famous bridges in Frankfurt is the Iron Bridge (Eiserner Steg). A german musican by the name of Philipp Poisel even wrote a song about the brige with the same title, which was used in a german movie called „What a Man“, which was filmed in Frankfurt. On the bridge, you will find many lovers locks. If you are not familiar with the trend: two lovers attach a padlock to a bridge or fence to symbolize their love. This trend supposedly started in Rome or Paris, but has spread through Europe and even made its way to Germany and the Eiserner Steg in Frankfurt. But most importantly: from the bridge you have an awesome view of the Skyline.
This is just a short list of the many amazing photo opportunities in Frankfurt. Don’t forget the classical hot spots, such as the Dome or the Römerberg, where the cityhall is located, the St. Paul's Church, the botanical garden Palmengarten or the magnificent Campus of the Goethe-University, as well as the photo ops that are not located in the city center, such as the castle of Höchst (Höchster Schloss), which is located in the district of Höchst.
Everyone has a different style of learning, so we've compiled a very diverse list of resources for you to take advantage of. Try out the different websites, blogs, podcasts, videos and much more. Whether you learn best by seeing, hearing, reading, writing or doing, you'll find enough activities in this list to keep you entertained and to stoke your interest in the French language.
You’re in luck if you travel to Malta this year! Due to its nomination as the Cultural Capital of 2018, Valletta is preparing a truly extensive program of activities that will run for the entire year. This is an event that you’ll want to experience for yourself!
Nowadays, the European Union elects two cities to hold the title of Cultural Capital for the year, but this was not always the case. Until 2004, the Union actually only elected one city to be the Cultural Capital in the entirety of Europe. In 2018, the Maltese Capital of Valletta and the Dutch city of Leeuwarden share this title. These two cities will be taking over this title from last year’s nominated cultural capitals of Aarhus in Denmark and Paphos in Cyprus. The nomination of cities as Cultural Capitals is meant to spread a greater understanding of the similarities and the diversity of the cultural heritage found in places all around Europe.
Valletta is offering a Cultural Program in 2018 that is set up for this very occasion. In this festive program you’ll find anything from celebrations, concerts, performances art galleries and many more events. We have summarized the most interesting events of the year below. Taking a look through the official program for a more detailed overview of all available activities is definitely worth it.
Listen to French
Listening to podcasts, radio, songs and poetry recordings is a great way of getting accustomed to the rhythm, pronunciation and intonation of spoken French:
Podcast Français Facile: A website with a wide range of activities to improve your French, including recordings of everyday conversations and poetry.
The French Podcast: Podcast recordings for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners with a focus on natural sounding situations.
News in Slow French: Does what it says on the tin. Current news topics presented at a slower pace than normal, with separate sections for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.
TuneIn Radio: This is a great app which enables you to listen to radio stations from all around the world.
French Songs to Help You Learn French Faster: Polyglot and blogger Benny Lewis lists what he believes to be the best French language songs for learning French
French Poem Readings: Recordings of classic French poems, with the written version and translation underneath and additional information on the backgrounds of the poems and the poets.
France - Carnaval de Nice
Although there is also a Carnaval de Paris, Nice is the French city most known for its carnival. This is due not only to the parade having a view of the sea, but also because carnival in Nice has a lot of tradition: The earliest record of the festival can be found in a travel report by Count Charles d'Anjou from the year 1294. Carnival in Nice is marvellously flowery. Flower battles take place on several days and during the procession 16 flower-strewn floats go by, from which flowers are thrown down to the crowd. There are also numerous costumes worn by the parade’s participants to reflect the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean. The carnival in Nice ends on 25th February with the traditional burning of the carnival king at Place Masséna and fireworks to top it off.
The program began with the opening week which took place in the week of the 14th to the 12th of 2018. On the 20th of January the official opening ceremony took place in the three most important locations, which are the St. George’s Square, the St. John’s Square and the Castille Square. The cultural program began with music, dances and performances which were performed by many different groups, one of them being the Catalonian theatre group ‘Fura dels Baus’.
There are also a lot of apps out there dedicated to helping you reach a high level of language proficiency step by step. Here are our two favorites:
Duolingo: Duolingo is extremely popular because it's so effective! This free app improves your language skills every day with games, questions and complete lessons, through which you'll strengthen your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Memrise: Memrise is another free app. Developed with the expertise of memory scientists, memrise ensures that every new word sticks in your mind and is never forgotten. You'll be amazed how quickly you pick up new vocab with this incredible app!
Italy - Carnevale di Venezia
The Venetian carnival is one of the largest and most famous in Europe. As there’s something going on at every street corner, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of things at Venice Carnival. A look at the programme will ensure you don’t miss the most important attractions. There is something for everyone: on February 26, Corri, a masked run organised by the Venicemarathon Club, takes place in Maschera. Not to be missed is the Volo dell'Angelo, the escape of a disguised woman from the bell tower of San Marco to the main stage. To conclude the festivities, a large flag with the emblem of Venice, the winged lion, is raised above the bell tower. Many of the events do not take place on the Venice’s streets: the Grand Opening is celebrated in the Arsenale, the former shipyard of the city, and dinner parties are organised in the Galeria delle Meraviglie (Gallery of Miracles).
The carnival festivities will continue in February. These festivities take place in the week of the 9th until the 13th of February 2018 in Valletta. There will be several parades with colorful parade floats and decorated vehicles. If you love street-based carnival festivities, you should not miss these parades! Incidentally, carnival is celebrated very extensively on the Maltese islands, which means that you do not have to stay in Valletta if you want to participate in all kinds of celebrations. You may also want to pay Nadur and Gozo a visit where you will be able to join the exciting activities as well.
Comme une française - Géraldine's tremendous knowledge of the French and English languages means anyone who finds her blog will find it hard to leave!
Français Immersion - Thomas' blog and French classes are perfect for beginner and intermediate learners looking for clearly structured and fun grammatical lessons taught 100% in French.
French Crazy - This blog not only has great tips for improving your French, but also a number of guides to help you orientate yourself with different aspects of everyday life and culture in France.
Love Learning Languages - Articles and French language videos to help you learn French in a simple way.
Talk in French - Fun and easy lessons on French language and culture.
I Learn French - Tons of interesting and useful content to keep you fascinated in the French language and culture. Regular features include 'Wordsmith Wednesday' and 'French Food Fight Friday'.
Oui, c’est ça - Eclectic posts on culture, vocabulary, songs, news and grammar for French learners of all levels
French Today - A broad array of posts covering everything to do with the French language and life in France.
Speak French Fluently - As the title suggests, this blog is not only about being good at French, but learning to speak fluently. Great tips andunique content.
French Together - Fun and funny posts to keep you entertained while focussing on essential lessons in the French language.
Nathalie FLE - A great blog for learning French. But be careful, everything is in French so you'll only benefit from this if you have at least lower intermediate level French.
Réseaux FLE Éducation Langues - Another blog written in French. This one suggests entertaining ways to improve your French.
Spain - Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Carnival is celebrated everywhere on the island of Tenerife, but the largest celebration is in Santa Cruz. The traditional procession takes place there every year on Shrove Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras). This year's carnival experience is under the theme "Caribbean". In 1987, a concert during the Santa Cruz Carnival by the singer Celia Cruz even made it into the Guinness Book of Records for the largest gathering of people in an outdoor plaza. More than 200,000 people attended the concert. The festivities end with "The funeral of the sardine", representing the end of the carnival and the beginning of the fasting season. Traditionally, a large, decorated fish figurine (usually made of cardboard or fabric) is lit and driven burning out to sea. This is accompanied by tongue-in-cheek mourning process consisting of lamenting widows and funeral guests. But no reason to mope around: the funeral procession is followed by musicians and dance groups who put everyone in a good mood.
The main attraction of the Green festival that goes on for three days, is the Carpet made of flowers ‘Infjorata’. This carpet is made of 80 thousand potted flowers and is spread out across the St. Georges Square in Valletta. Additionally, you will be able to get the rare opportunity to view the historic treasures of the city, such as the arch bishop’s 4-hundred-year old palace gardens and the gardens of the Saint Katharina cloister. The Green Festival will last from the 4th until the 6th of May 2018.
Another way to improve your level is by using useful YouTube channels. There are hundreds of people you can follow but we are especially impressed by these five great vloggers. They find fun ways to help you learn French. Pretty good, right?
Spain - Carnaval de Cádiz
Another well-known carnival is Carneval de Cádiz. In Cádiz a particularly large focus is placed on the "Tipos", the costumes, as well as the music. Even before the start of the carnival, the whole of Andalusia follows the Falla Theatre, a competition in which about 100 music groups compete over the course of about 20 days, in order to be allowed to participate in the carnival in the categories of choirs, comparsas, chirigotas and quartets. In each category, however, only four groups may perform. The competition is broadcast on local TV channels Canal Sur TV and Canal Sur Radio. Anticipation for the carnival is so great that even small streetfood festivals begin before the actual festival, for example the "Pestiñada", where delicious honey pancakes are served.
Between the 28th May and the 2nd of June 2018 Valletta transforms into a fashion metropolis. During the fashion week you will see a large gathering of catwalk models, stylists, make-up artists, photographers, bloggers and fashionistas. The fascinating fashion week ends with the Chamilia fashion awards, at which the greatest talents of the country are awarded for their works of the previous year. If you are interested in fashion, the end of May is the perfect time period for traveling to Valletta. You can get an impression of what it will be like in this video from 2017:
A classic way to learn a language due to the high quality of journalists’ writing. Reading news written in a formal and sophisticated register is a very good way of improving your level, learning some new idioms and discovering some amazing vocabulary. Usual topics like society and sports are simpler than politics, but it generally depends on your level.
Le journal des enfants: French weekly newspaper aimed at French-speaking children aged 8-14, so the content is perfect for beginner and lower intermediate French learners.
1jour1actu: Great news website which publishes one news story every work day. Uses basic French, so perfect for beginner and lower intermediate learners.
Le Monde: One of the most respected newspapers in the world, Le Monde is essential reading to get in-depth analysis of current events in French.
Libération: French daily newspaper founded by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
L'Équipe: French daily newspaper dedicated to sports, especially football, rugby, motorsport and cycling.
BBC French: Lots of different free exercises to get stuck into for beginners and intermediate learners.
Duolingo: An app which is used by people all over the world to learn many languages. The app is designed to regularly test you on the new vocabulary and grammar you learn, while you decide how quickly you want to progress.
The French Experiment: A comprehensive website to help you master the basics of the French language, with audio recordings on each lesson page, ensuring you know how to pronounce as well as write all that you learn.
Alison: Alison is a website with dozens of free courses in many different fields. There are multiple French courses to choose from, depending on your goal and your current level.
French in Action: An online French course created by Yale University that takes you through the essential French lessons while telling the story of an American students and frenchwoman's adventures in France. (Only available in USA and Canada)
Brazil - Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Especially well-known for its carnival is the Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro, which celebrates the world's largest carnival. The festival is opened with the coronation of the carnival king, Momo, by the mayor. The highlight of the festivities is the Samba Parade. There are also numerous street festivals with music and dancing, as well as carnival balls. The Gay Gala and the Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace are particularly well-known. From Saturday to Tuesday, numerous open-air dances take place throughout the city. The largest and most organised takes place in Cinelândia Square. During the Samba Parade several Samba schools compete against each other to enter the Grupo Especial. Each school chooses an annual motto, after which the festoons and the costumes are finetuned.
Brazil - Salvador Carnival
You undoubtedly aware that carnival was celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, but did you know that it is also properly celebrated in Salvador da Bahia? During the carnival the strong African influence of the inhabitants becomes clear: It is a celebration that celebrates the joy of life. As Rio is particularly known for the Samba schools, the carnival in Salvador thus prides itself on being the biggest street carnival that keenly includes the public.
Carnival wouldn’t be carnival in Salvador without the Trios Elétricos, box-car-like vehicles equipped with high-power sound systems and stages on their roofs which play music for the crowds of people. The actual carnival lasts only 6 days, but pre-festivals like in Cádiz extent the festivities to a total of 12 days.
On the 7th of June 2018, Valletta’s Grand Harbour will be the location of artistic performances on the water. There will be performances of water games that were especially planned for this occasion as well as boats race planned by the local communities who will be participating on their self-made boats. A swimmers race will also be held on this occasion. For the finale of the evening there will be fireworks and lightshows.
These websites place much of their focus on French grammar, and making it as easy to understand as possible through creative exercises and explanations.
Digital Dialects: Great site with fun exercises to help the grammar rules stick in your head.
Tex's French Grammar: Legendary French grammar website used by French teachers around the world because of the creative characters whose stories contribute to the lessons.
The French Tutorial: Entire French course with a strong focus on grammar.
YouLearnFrench: Youtube channel dedicated to teaching French grammar
Bonjour de France: Lots of different grammar exercises for all French learners, from beginners to advanced French speakers.
french.about.com: Website with so much information on the French language. There is not only a great grammar section, but much more too!
Français Facile: An easy way to learn the french language with exercises and language tests on one website!
Valletta’s Film Festival will be organized by the Film Grain Foundation and is Malta’s biggest Film event! There will be more than 40 Full length movies and 25 short movies that were filmed in different places in Valletta. This year the film festival will be divided into various theme and subject categories. Some examples of these are documentaries, ‘teens only’ and short movies. The category ‘without borders’ will also be returning to this year’s film festival, which focuses on different regions of the world. In this film festival the region that will be focused on the most is East Asia. In order to turn the film festival into a lively and all-around community friendly event, there will also be masters courses, conferences and debates about various topics on offer.
Here are two lists of books which are perfect for learning and improving your French. Reading literature is one of the most effective ways of improving language skills as you become immersed in stories that you want to read to the end and discover the language at its most thrilling.
5 easy-to-read French books (beginner & lower intermediate learners)
10 Unbelievably Good Books for French Learners (intermediate & advanced learners)
Bolivien - Carnaval de Oruro
The Carnival of Oruro in Bolivia lasts 10 days and the main attraction of the spectacle is the procession or "Entrada". Since the city of Oruro was built in a holy place of the Uru, an indigenous people from Bolivia, they return every year to perform sacred rituals there. Although the Spanish settlers forbade the rituals in the 17th century, they were still practised, albeit disguised as Christian rituals, which explains why there are numerous elements of the religions of the indigenous peoples in Oruro carnival. For this reason, the festivities of Oruro were included in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO in 2001. In 2008 the carnival was also listed on the “Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity".
Malta’s international arts festival unites the most diverse art forms such as theatre, dance and music over a span of two weeks. Whilst there are of course local artists, performers from all around the world also come to present their arts at this festival. Some of the places they come from are Holland, Croatia, Spain and South Africa. The events will partly take place outdoors and partly in the open air in front of the historic scenery of the Fort S. Elmo. The festival will last from the 29th of June until the 14th of July 2018. If you want to get a taste of what it will be like you can check out this summary of the festival highlights from 2017:
The Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival will be taking place in August. The focus of the festival is not only on the Literature of Maltese authors, but also on the work of authors from the entire Mediterranean and beyond. During the festival there will be readings, music, poetry slams, movies and many more events. The dates of this festival are the 23rd to the 25th of August 2018.
Last but not least, the value of meeting up regularly with a native French speaker cannot be overemphasized. This is the reason we learn a new language, to be able to communicate with more people and have a more complete understanding of different parts of the world and their cultures. There is no better way to improve in a language than conversing in that language. In most cities, you can find potential tandem partners by searching ‘language tandem + the name of the city you want to meet up in’ in Facebook and joining a group dedicated to helping people find tandem partners.
Québec - Carnaval de Québec
Unlike in most other cities, the Canadian carnival is held at the end of January and beginning of February. One of the first things and outside visitor will notice is that this time of year is still extremely cold in Canada. The ambassador of the carnival is a snowman named Bonhomme Carnaval and is a big part of the festivities is the ice sculpture festival. Do you like building sculptures out of ice? No problem: Teams from all over the world can compete against each other to sculpt the most beautiful frosty sculpture. Québec also has Carnival Queens: here they are called Duchesse and there are exactly 7 of them, one for each duchy of Québec. The one who sells the most candles during the carnival is then be crowned Carnival Queen. This is just one of the many traditions that make the Carnaval de Québec worth a visit.
The Malta Jazz Festival is organized by Festivals Malta under the instruction of the Arts Council Malta, which collaborates with the judiciary and culture ministry, the local administration and the Valletta foundation 2018. This festival goes on for 3 days and will show its audiences international performers. There will be a lot of exciting events, like on-stage-collaborations, instrumental masters courses and workshops among others.
In line with the European Night of Explorers, Malta’s science and cultural festival returns to Valletta with an unforgettable, free afternoon full of family activities on the 28th of September 2018.
New Orleans - Mardi Gras
Carnival heartland in the USA is New Orleans. This may surprise you, but if you take a look at the history of the city it is not at all surprising. New Orleans was founded around 1718 by French settlers, who brought the tradition of the carnival from Catholic Europe. For this reason, Shrove Tuesday is still called "Mardi Gras" (French for Fat Tuesday). The events are particularly uproarious in the French Quarter, another souvenir from the time of the French settlers.
The founder of the city, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, is said to have discovered the area around New Orleans on a Shrove Tuesday. You can find out more about that on the official website for the New Orleans carnival. Groups like the "Mardi Gras Indians" also add Native American and African customs and jazz music to the mix between the balls and parades. The festival is also a celebration of cultural diversity. The official colours of the carnival, green, gold and purple, symbolise hope, power and justice.
On the 6th of October it will be that time again: Notte Bianca, the so called white night, illuminates the streets of Valletta. In this night all restaurants, museums and churches are open for visitors until very late at night. On top, small street performers will be celebrating in the streets of Valletta and there will be numerous food stands.
Malta’s book festival has over 30 thousand visitors per year and thereby counts as one of the most important festivals of the Mediterranean islands. In 1979, the festival was originally called Malta Book Fair, but its name was then changed to Malta Book Festival in 2013. This festival, which takes place in November, attracts lovers of literature from all over Malta and the rest of the world. The program activities are book presentations, lyric and literature readings, meetings with authors, conferences and seminars. Literature lovers will get the chance to interact with authors and various publishers.
Namibia - Windhoek Karneval
Cologne Carnival in Namibia? Yes, you read correctly. In this country in the South West of Africa, carnival is celebrated particularly among German Namibians. "Windhoek Karneval" (WiKa), is the largest carnival in Namibia. The whole thing is organised by the Windhoek Sports Club, which was founded in 1951 by German emigrants. While the festivities in Canada start before most other cities, Namibia’s carnivals start later. They begin at the end of March and go on until the middle of April. The reason for this is that in February it is still much too hot for any outdoor events. As is usual in Germany, there is a prince’s ball, a parade, a meeting, a magnificent session, a masked ball and much more. This year's theme is "Spin the world as you like it".
The official ‘Closing Spectacle’ will take place on the 15th of December at the St. George’s Square in Valletta. There will be a lot of music and dancing at this event as well.
We hope that our list of Malta’s cultural activities in 2018 has helped you and that you now know which attractions and events you most want to see. Valletta will only be Europe’s Cultural Capital once and we strongly recommend that you take part in the festivities for this very special occasion while they last.
Next Year’s European Cultural Capitals have already been decided. In 2019 the chosen cities are Matera in Italy and Plowdiw in Bulgaria.
The first reason to take a language trip is obviously to learn a new language.
Languages can help you in every situation of your life: If you are looking for a job, you can impress with your conversational skills, you can read international research papers while at Uni, you’ll be able to understand the restaurant’s menu on your holidays abroad and you’ll be perfectly prepared to work with international colleagues. The more languages you speak – the easier it becomes for you to live your life. Moreover, a new research has also shown that learning a language is a great training for your brain. Only good thing are coming your way!
Motivation is very important while learning. At school, a lot of students tend to see classes more as a burden than fun, they might sometimes struggle to learn a new language and fail to see language learning as a chance.
A language trip on the other hand offers a great atmosphere for learning. Because it combines lessons with holidays, there will be time for you to relax! Having fun makes learning easier.
A language trip is a great way to explore a bit of the world. You can travel to big metropoles like London, New York and Toronto or discover the island of Malta, relax on Malaga’s beaches or wander in the south of France. And if you really want to get out of your comfort zone and discover something completely different, you can also travel to exciting new places like Havana, Cuba to learn Spanish or visit Peking and learn Chinese.
Travelling abroad and communicating with locals or other students like you also means that you’ll meet all sorts of new people from all around the world. You’ll find that making friends in your class is indeed very easy: all of you are new and don’t really master the language so you’ll help each other out and bond through a similar learning experience. And despite of the short amount of time students spend together, they often keep in touch and visit each other long after their language trip!
Travelling abroad will inevitably make you discover not only a new language but another culture as well. Your respect and tolerance will improve through a better understanding for other people’s lifestyle and life choices. While living abroad, you’ll interact with the locals and learn about their culture, but in class, you will be also surrounded by lots of different cultures from the different classmates.
A language trip is a very personal experience. As found out in our language sustainability study, people usually travel alone on a language trip. Meaning that you’ll be completely isolated from your usual surroundings and will experience, a new language, new people and a new culture. Leaving your comfort zone and everything you know helps you discover yourself and often brings the language learners to question their own self and world view. How much of your character is actually you and how much has been influenced by the society you grew up in? Spending some time abroad through a language trip can offer you a broader view of world.
Trying to communicate in a foreign language will be challenging, but it will be a good training for you to step up your game and become more and more confident with daily task like grocery shopping or buying stamps at the post. These experiences will make you more independent on your travel.
One does not often reflect much about their own language, but translating, learning vocabulary and grammar will get you automatically comparing it with the new one you are learning. You notice how nicely resourceful your own mother tongue is: each language has untranslatable words that express something very particular.The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said „Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.“ (Those who don’t know other languages, don’t know their own.“)
At the end of your language course you will get a certificate which will declare the language level you have achieved according to European standards. This will be a written official proof of the skills you have learnt. It will be very valuable and useful to you when sending your resume around for job applications.
While going on a language trip, you’ll also be able to participate in many different activities like water sports in South France or Spain, cooking classes in Malaga or Rabat, various other skills and or daytrips. Maybe while doing so you might actually discover a new hobby! If not we can at least guarantee you that you will have fun!
When learning a language, it’s important to look for information everywhere: audio files, texts, music to name a few examples. The best way is to select different and valued sources of different types and carry on the process you started at school but in a more structured way, like a pro student. Here we go:
Listen to Podcasts
These podcasts are a great way of getting accustomed to the rhythm, tempo and intonation of Spanish speech:
Julia en la Onda: This podcast focuses on current news and also interesting debate topics.
Mexicano Slang: For those interested in Mexican Spanish and especially its more colloquial side, check out this podcast dedicated to teaching and breaking down Mexican slang.
There are also a lot of apps out there dedicated to helping you reach a high level of language proficiency step by step. Here are our two favorites:
Duolingo: Duolingo is extremely popular because it's so effective! This free app improves your language skills every day with games, questions and complete lessons, through which you'll strengthen your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Memrise: Memrise is another free app. Developed with the expertise of memory scientists, memrise ensures that every new word sticks in your mind and is never forgotten. You'll be amazed how quickly you pick up new vocab with this incredible app!
BBC Spanish: Loads of great resources to facilitate your Spanish learning.
Another way to improve your level is by using useful YouTube channels. There are hundreds of people you can follow but we are especially impressed by these five great vloggers. They find fun ways to help you learn Spanish. Pretty good, right?
And here's a brilliant song expressing frustration at discovering words can have different meanings depending on which part of the Spanish-speaking world you're in. However, instead of putting you off Spanish, this is sure to only amplify your fondness of the language and motivate you to get a stronger grasp on its regional variations: Oh, how hard it is to speak Spanish!
If watching videos is your thing, this is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the Spanish media, with debate programs, soap operas, quiz shows, TV series and much more. In Spain there are more than 20 public channels with a lot on offer. We recommend:
RTVE: public channel. On its platform you will find four more channels, each with a different focus: cartoons, sports, politics and music.
Mitele: the leading TV channel in Spain can be found here and it is called Telecinco. This is a Mediaset online platform where you can find lots of talk-shows, reality shows and more. You can watch channels such as Cuatro, FDF, Boing, Energy and Divinity.
Atresplayer: the second private TV group in Spain, known for its TV shows and political debates. You will enjoy channels like Antena 3, laSexta, and other minor channels such as Atreseries, Neox, Nova and Mega.
Paramount Channel: cinema channel. Lately, it has also started broadcasting some TV series.
13tv: traditional channel with informative programs and political debates.
Disney Channel: channel for kids with a lot of cartoons.
A classic way to learn a language due to the high quality of journalists’ writing. Reading news written in a formal and sophisticated register is a very good way of improving your level, learning some new idioms and discovering some amazing vocabulary. Usual topics like society and sports are simpler than politics, but it generally depends on your level. The most important Spanish (from Spain) newspapers (on paper or online) are:
El País: national and political breaking news.
El Mundo: topical news and society.
Públlco: social newspaper focusing on third sector and people,
eldiario.es: politics and the economy are the main topics.
ABC: traditional, one-hundred year old paper.
El Español: split from El Mundo a few months ago. It focuses on long, in-depth articles on interesting stories.
La razón: economy, enterprises and politics are the main topics.
Another source we suggest for finding interesting articles is specialized magazines. Listed below are a few magazines created by organisations in which experienced teachers write about particular elements of the Spanish language. You will also find awesome interviews, analysis and tips about how to prepare for a DELE exam. These magazines are highly recommended guides to Spanish language education and the people behind it.
Revista redELE – Electronic magazine written by the Government and supporting the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language.
RutaELE – Non-profit magazine, without advertising and with no public or private financial support. You will find synonyms, antonyms, and verbs, as well as publishing rules.
SinoELE - Focusing on Chinese students of Spanish, this magazine tries to establish parameters on the teaching and cultural differences between both societies. There are also online resources and materials for classes.
Boletín ProfELE - Webinars, workshops and a lot of articles with useful information about teaching and learning Spanish and why so many people love the Spanish language.
Cuadernos Cervantes - Dedicated to teachers, students and curious people. You will find a list of content for grammar and methodology questions.
e-Aesla - Scientific magazine published by Instituto Cervantes’ website with the best research carried out by AESLA (Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics).
Encuentro - Its purpose is to make grammar easier to understand.
There are some people who have a special affinity with the Spanish language. They love sharing their knowledge with the rest of the world and have therefore created a great community around their blogs.
'Aprende español en México'is the work of Andrea Chávez. She talks about colloquial Spanish, typical Mexican food, recipes, grammar mistakes…everything gets a mention on this wonderful space. If you want to learn more about the Spanish spoken in North America, this is the place.
One of the most popular blogs on the internet is 'Justifica tu respuesta'. You will find inspiration from the experience of a professor who talks about pedagogy, study methods and recommends books and other material for your daily training.
For kids and teenagers, 'La educateca' has videos, audio recordings and interviews where you can find informative content.
'Gigas de tiza' is a blog with a lot of specializations. Online resources to help you learn Spanish with recipes, social network and more. An extensive source to help you improve and delve deeper into the language.
Although using dictionaries to learn seems quite old fashioned, it is always a good option for some unknown words. We recommend these two:
SpanishDict: not just a free translator... the website also offers free video courses, flashcards, and other helpful resources.
RAE: Official Spanish Royal Academy of Languages Dictionary.
Reverso: Words’ definitions and quite good for polysemous words.
WordReference: Online translation dictionary which also features publicly accessible forums allowing registered users to ask questions about vocabulary and grammar.
If you just want small tips every once in a while, you can follow some users on Twitter and receive their updates on your timeline. Quite easy and perfect for orthographic corrections, uncommon words and new material.
Last but not least, the value of meeting up regularly with a native Spanish speaker cannot be overemphasized. This is the reason we learn a new language, to be able to communicate with more people and have a more complete understanding of different parts of the world and their cultures. There is no better way to improve in a language than conversing in that language. In most cities, you can find potential tandem partners by searching ‘language tandem + the name of the city you want to meet up in’ in Facebook and joining a group dedicated to helping people find tandem partners.