25 diciembre 2011
18 diciembre 2011
13 diciembre 2011
Last Friday, on the way back from school, Timur and I talked about difference between números cardinales (cardinal numbers) and números ordinales (ordinal numbers). I used to confuse which are which until I mentally connected ordinal with Spanish masculine noun orden (order). So, that’s it: ordinal numbers are those that refer to positions within some ordered list, and cardinal numbers are... the other ones (those which represent quantities). Unlike English, where the ordinal numerals beyond 1st, 2nd and 3rd are typically formed by simply adding -th suffix to the corresponding cardinal numerals, Spanish has rather different terminology for ordinals.
OK, to an English speaker primero, segundo, tercero etc. should not sound exactly alien. Apart from first, second, third, fourth and so on, English has another set of ordinal numbers derived from Latin: primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary... well, that’s about as far as it gets. I’ve never encountered quinary, senary and higher in either literature or conversation. Also, if you ever learned basics of music theory in a language other than English, the names of intervals are all very similar to Spanish ordinal numbers. But this is probably a topic for next post.
It is said that ordinal numbers above ten are seldom used in Spanish. Indeed, go googling for “mil novecientos sesenta y siete” and you’ll get thousands of hits. Now try to do the same with “milésimo noningentésimo sexagésimo séptimo”. The obvious explanation is that ordinals are significantly longer than cardinals. Still, it’s good to know one when you see one, so I think the table below may come handy *.
|31||treinta y uno||31º||trigésimo primero|
|32||treinta y dos||32º||trigésimo segundo|
|33||treinta y tres||33º||trigésimo tercero|
|101||ciento uno||101º||centésimo primero|
|1001||mil uno||1001º||milésimo primero|
|1002||mil dos||1002º||milésimo segundo|
|2011||dos mil once||2011º||dosmilésimo undécimo|
* In Diccionario panhispánico de dudas and Spanish Wikipedia, the symbols for ordinal numerals contain a full stop (1.º, 3.er, 5.ª), while Collins dictionaries do not (1º, 3er, 5ª). I used this latter style in the table. Also, starting with 4, I listed only masculine ordinals. I hope you don’t think this sexist. To get feminine forms, simply replace the terminal -o’s with -a’s and º’s with ª’s). Maybe one day Real Academia Española will admit uses like 1@ and segund@, why not.
11 diciembre 2011
10 diciembre 2011
The other day, I was chatting with a friend of mine about Spanish/English false friends: the words that look or sound similar but often mean very different things. Classic examples of these are constipado vs constipated and embarazada vs embarrassed. A good list of such falsos amigos is compiled by Laura K. Lawless.
Some words are written (although not pronounced) exactly the same in English and Spanish, for instance these:
|actual||existing in reality||current, present|
|agenda||a list of matters to be taken up||diary|
|arena||an enclosed area for the presentation of spectacular events||sand|
|hay||cut and dried grass||there is, there are|
|local n||a person who lives nearby||location, premises, site|
|manga||a Japanese comic style||sleeve|
|mayor||the leader of a city||bigger; older|
|media||plural of medium; environment||sock, stocking, pantyhose; mean, average; half|
|once||one and only one time; as soon as||eleven|
|pan||flat vessel used in cooking||bread|
|quince||a tree, Cydonia oblonga, or its fruit||fifteen|
|real||existing in reality||existing in reality; royal|
|red||a colour||network, web|
|sin||a violation of a moral or religious law||without|
|tan||a darkening of the skin after exposure to UV light||so, as|
04 diciembre 2011
27 noviembre 2011
23 noviembre 2011
Has Dear Diary reached its 'sell by' date? Please let me know what you think. I get very few replies from most of the people I send Dear Diary to. I'm sure that interesting, odd and quirky things happen to you as well. I'd love to hear about them.
That's all folks!
20 noviembre 2011
13 noviembre 2011
10 noviembre 2011
Fuerteventura's windmills are identifiable by gender. Female windmills (moilinas) are one storey high rectangular buildings, while male windmills (moilinos) are 2 or 3 stories and circular.
Molinos date from mid to late 1700s, they were round and built out of stone and wood and whitewashed with lime. The miller's tools were stored on the ground floor, the grain on the second and the milling machinery on the top floor.
Most moilinos and moilinas have four sails although there are some with six or even twelve.
06 noviembre 2011
29 octubre 2011
23 octubre 2011
16 octubre 2011
09 octubre 2011
02 octubre 2011
Oh well, we have to move on. This week's song is No te iras by Dominican salsero Sexappeal (no, I don't think it is that good a stage name, even for a non-English-speaking country, but there you go), from his 2006 album Mal o Bien.
25 septiembre 2011
18 septiembre 2011
16 septiembre 2011
Lesson 77 was actually the first lesson that I heard back in May and, surprise surprise, it deals with some peculiarities of Canarian Spanish.
09 septiembre 2011
At Stanford University on October 30, 1973, Inti-Illimani, a Chilean folk music group, performed in concert, just months after the military coup in Chile had led to the their exile as well as the death of their fellow folk singer and frequent collaborator, Victor Jara. Saved from a similar fate by the fact that they were on tour in Europe at the time of Pinochet's violent take over, the group took this opportunity to offer a poignant tribute to Jara and other victims of the fascist regime.Almost twenty years later, Inti-Illimani were once again able to record in Chile. This week's song, Mulata, is taken from the band's 1993 album Andadas.
03 septiembre 2011
...is Impermeable azul, the Spanish version of Leonard Cohen's classic Famous Blue Raincoat, performed by Christina Rosenvinge. This song appears on 2CD + DVD set Acordes Con Leonard Cohen, recorded live in Barcelona in 2007 and featuring such artists as Perla Batalla, Jackson Browne and Duquende.
28 agosto 2011
21 agosto 2011
16 agosto 2011
With Posterous, one can easily create blog posts by email. I tried this and it works like magic. Of course, it's always possible to come back and edit this post with web editor.
So people, if you have nothing better to do, please visit http://zumbafuerteventura.posterous.com/ and maybe even share the link with your Zumba friends!
14 agosto 2011
07 agosto 2011
"Pecados y Milagros tiene que ver musicalmente con una serie de canciones que he estado componiendo sobre el mezcal, sobre las mujeres que hacen tortillas, y sobre todo del maíz, inspirada por mi hijo, que es un maicito tierno".I can't wait.
31 julio 2011
23 julio 2011
17 julio 2011
Continuing with bass players: this week (at long last, some may say), it is the turn of the Venezuelan bassist, singer and bandleader Oscar D'León, also known as El Sonero del Mundo! His biggest hit, recorded back in 1975, was — probably still is — Llorarás.
09 julio 2011
01 julio 2011
26 junio 2011
This is a song from Venezuela, one of the many complex rhythms played by the drummers of Guatuire. Venezuela has a variety of rhythms and musical forms that are very sophisticated... These are songs from the drummers that play to San Juan in June and sing songs in tribute for hours. We share similar roots in Spain and Africa but there are very different nuances that come out. It is a song that spoke to me, "Taki Ti Taki" refers to the rhythm and the adoration of San Juan and we feel it is close to our own culture and a part of the culture of the Americas.This song appears on her wonderful new album, Afrodiaspora.
25 junio 2011
"¡Nadie espera encontrarse a la Inquisición española! Nuestra principal arma es la sorpresa, y el miedo... Nuestras dos armas principales son la sorpresa y el miedo, y una eficacia despiadada... Nuestras tres armas son el miedo, la sorpresa y una eficacia despiadada, y una devoción fanática por el Papa... Nuestras cuatro... Entre nuestras armas hay elementos como el miedo, la sorpresa... Volvamos a entrar."
"¡No esperaba encontrarme a la Inquisición española!"
"¡Nadie espera encontrarse a la Inquisición española! Entre nuestras armas, hay elementos como el miedo, la sorpresa, una eficacia despiadada y una devoción fanática por el Papa, y unos uniformes rojos preciosos..."
19 junio 2011
18 junio 2011
"¿Dónde puedo copiar la llave?"
(For the record, I did not find any open establishment doing that in Corralejo.)
Here are a few more words which can be of real use when you just move in and start looking for stuff:
|el fontanero, la fontanera||plumber|
|la fregona / la mopa||mop|
|el hervidor||(electric) kettle|
|la lavadora / el lavarropas||washing machine|
|el (punto de) reciclaje||recycling (point)|
12 junio 2011
05 junio 2011
29 mayo 2011
22 mayo 2011
15 mayo 2011
08 mayo 2011
Free tono rosario MP3 Download
30 abril 2011
23 abril 2011
16 abril 2011
10 abril 2011
02 abril 2011
27 marzo 2011
19 marzo 2011
13 marzo 2011
07 marzo 2011
Who goes to Spain to eat in a Provençal restaurant? As it happens, I do.
One sunny day July last year, I was walking along Calle Isaac Peral in Corralejo. I saw an unpretentious tapas bar which I thought could be worth exploring at some point. At that precise moment, however, I was looking for a peluquería so I walked by.
Some four months later, I found myself at the very same corner. The tapas bar was apparently shut down.
Last week, to my surprise, I found the place re-open and re-named. (By now you should have guessed that I hang in Corralejo a lot.) I saw a group of French-speaking people already sitting there, so I decided to give it a try.
I was greeted by its charming and attentive owner. (She speaks fluent English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. How is that?) Here's what I had:
- Starter: gazpacho Andaluz. I have to admit this was the best gazpacho I've had so far.
- Main: fish of the day was moray eel, pan-fried with herb sauce. I never tasted this fish before. It was delicious. However, it has many fine bones, so be extra careful, especially if you like to chat during your meal!
- Dessert: Tarte Tatin with cream. Yummy, but next time I will have it with ice cream. Must be even yummier, n'est-ce pas?
05 marzo 2011
Pasa la vida, pasa la vida(Full lyrics here)
Pasa la vida
Y no has notado que has vivido cuando
Pasa la vida
Y no has notado que has vivido cuando
Pasa la vida
Pasa la vida
Tus ilusiones y tus bellos sueños
Todo se olvida
Tus ilusiones y tus bellos sueños
Todo se olvida
Pasa la vida
Igual que pasa la corriente
Del río cuando busca el mar
Y yo camino indiferente
Allí donde me quieran llevar
26 febrero 2011
17 febrero 2011
11 febrero 2011
08 febrero 2011
06 febrero 2011
...is Mi último llanto, from El Duque de La Bachata album by Joan Soriano. To quote the Songlines' Top of the World review:
Dukes rarely make good dance music. Think of the Duque de Edimburgo, or the Duque de Westminster: both rubbish with a bongo. The Duque de la Bachata, on the other hand, saves the honour of the ducal species with this terrific collection of the Dominican Republic's second-line rhythm, bachata, remaining the authentic staple of the poor suburbs of Santo Domingo despite its recent exaltation to international pop prominence.
29 enero 2011
21 enero 2011
Fifteen years ago, two Malian musicians, Bassekou Kouyate and Djelimady Tounkara, failed to get visas to Cuba. An unexpected result of that was... the phenomenally successful album Buena Vista Social Club, recorded with all-Cuban line-up. But last year, Nick Gold of World Circuit Records finally succeeded in bringing Cubans and Malians together as AfroCubism. No it is not Buena Vista Social Club #2 — it is much more interesting. Apart from Kouyate and Tounkara, AfroCubism features the BVSC veteran Eliades Ochoa and great Toumani Diabaté.
"Musically, the recording sessions worked very well, but we had some strange times when they asked each other what the songs are about," Gold says. "Eliades was asking me what one of Toumani's songs is about. Toumani said it was about a baby hippopotamus. Eliades raised his eyebrows, then Toumani said: 'Well, what's your song about?' 'It's about how when I get tired of the earth I'm going to live on the moon.' So Toumani's going: 'And you think my song is ridiculous?'"
Ridiculous or not, this week's song is Ochoa's A la luna yo me voy performed by AfroCubism!
14 enero 2011
10 enero 2011
Q: Is xkcd translated?So, here it is.
A: Translating humor is often difficult between groups that speak the same language, let alone totally different cultures. So it's inherently a hard problem. However, a reader does translate xkcd strips into Spanish, which can be found at es.xkcd.com.
(Here's the original comic.)
06 enero 2011
This week's song is Malika by Maurice El Médioni, from his 2006 album Descarga Oriental.
On first thought, one might be hard-pressed to find a common ground between Algerian raï music and Latin jazz. But for the pianist Maurice el Medioni, an Algerian-born Jew who left his home for France decades ago as an exile, and the Cuban-born, New York-based percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, the link connecting North Africa and Cuba is a direct one — by way of Spanish Andalusia.