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Sunday, 29 September 2013

THE PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE: HOW IT COULD HAVE SOUNDED


What did our European ancestors sound like?
Professor linguist Dr. Andrew Byrd has recently reconstructed his own recordings of Proto-Indo-European language, the language which our ancestors in Europe would have been speaking between 4,500 and 2,500 B.C. 
All the information in this link from The Huffington Post.

Here take a listen of what it could have sounded like:


Here's the phonetic transcription:

Here's the passage translated into English:
A sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. The sheep said to the horses: "My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses." The horses said: "Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool." Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.

Galician version of this post @ ArquivosDoTrasno.

Friday, 27 September 2013

GOOGLE'S 15th BIRTHDAY


Today's Google's fifteenth birthday. September marks 15 years since graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up a small web crawler from a garage in Silicon Valley, which went onto become the world's biggest search engine.
The site was originally called BackRub, but was changed in 1997 to Google - a misspelling of the word googol which is a term for the number one followed by one hundred zeros.
There is a little confusion around when Google's official birthday is, but reports claim papers to incorporate the company were filed on September 4 1998. The company became incorporated three days later and the domain was registered on September 15.
Google, however, now officially celebrates the event with a Google Doodle on September 27. 

The site is now the world's number one search engine and its name has become so synonymous with searching, it is now used as a verb in its own right in trhe English language.
Below the video of the interactive animated doodle that Google has created to celebrate the day.
(Information from MailOnLine)
Video Google 15th anniversary's doodle:


Galician version of this post @ ArquivosDoTrasno.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES 2013




The European Day of Languages is celebrated today, 26th September, as proclaimed by the Council of Europe on 6 December 2001, at the end of the European Year of Languages (2001), which had been jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union. Its aim is to encourage language learning across Europe.
The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are to:
  • alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversify the range of languages learned in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  • promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.
In keeping with these rules, people, young and old, are encouraged to take up a language, or take special pride in their existing language skills. Also, those responsible for providing access to language learning are encouraged to make it easier for people to learn a range of languages, and to support policy initiatives to promote languages.
There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe – roughly 3% of the world's total. Most of the European languages are of Indo-European origin. Since the end of the 18th century, the most widespread language of Europe (both in terms of geography and the number of native speakers) has been Russian, which replaced French. Counting only native speakers, approximately 150 million Europeans speak Russian on a daily basis, followed by German (approx. 95 mil.), Turkish (approx. 80 mil.), English and French (each by 65 mil.), Italian (60 mil.), Spanish and Polish (40 mil. each), Ukrainian (30 mil.) and Romanian (26 mil.). As far as foreign language studies are concerned, English is currently the most popular foreign language in Europe, followed by German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.
Video "European Day of Languages":

Galician version of this post @ ArquivosDoTrasno.

Monday, 16 September 2013

WELCOME BACK...

Today's the first day of the 2013-2014 school year. Once again we open up this blog to give students opportunities to keep in touch with English in context.
This course, I'll be teaching 1st ESO & 1st BAC, so many entries will have focus on them, but you know that the blog is open to everybody.
So welcome back to you all and good luck.

September brings in a new academic year where kids will be moving class, meeting new classmates and teachers.
  • In the UK, schoolchildren wear school uniforms with their school’s badge sewn on their blazer or jumper. Every year parents have to buy new uniforms (children have a habit of growing out of their uniforms with lightning speed!). Most of these uniforms consist of a blazer (jacket), a pair of trousers or shorts (boys), skirts (girls),shirts, jumpers, cardigans, socks and shoes. Every school has a different uniform with specific colours.
  • Then there is the school stationery to buy, for example, exercise books, pencils, sharpeners, pens, rulers, erasers, scissors, highlighter pens, pencil sharpeners and pencil cases. Anything else I’ve forgotten?
  • The start of school sees an increase in traffic on the roads especially with parents doing the school run in their cars. Some walk to school accompanied by their parents, normally mothers, when they are in junior school. As soon as they reach secondary school (13 years old), they do NOT want to be seen any where near a parent!

Monday, 9 September 2013

AN INCORRECTLY PRONOUNCED OLYMPIC SPEECH


Unfortunately, Madrid didn't get the Olympic Games after its third bid in a row. Now everybody is considering the reasons why. One of the possible reasons is that our politicians either can't speak English very well or don't even speak it at all.
The Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, tried, but her pronunciation isn't very good. Here's a video of her speech with "funny" subtitles.

Video Ana Botella's speech at Buenos Aires last Saturday:


Links:
 - OTHER RIDICULOUS MOMENTS OF SPANISH VIP SPEAKING ENGLISH.
- THE REASONS WHY SHE DID IT WRONG (In Spanish).
El español tiene isocronía silábica -todas las sílabas duran más o menos lo mismo-, mientras que el inglés tiene -isocronía acentual-. O para que lo entiendan 'English is stress-timed; Spanish is syllable-timed'. O sea, para que suene a inglés-inglés las sílabas que no llevan acento no se deben pronunciar apenas, y en ellas la vocal debe perder su sonido característico.
Dado que la Regidora de Madrid no domina las peculiaridades de la fonética inglesa, convierte 'nuestra amistad' -'our friendship' pretendida- en 'nuestro cordero amigo ' -'our friend sheep' [audio]-, simplemente por acentuar la vocal que no debía.

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