culture

Learn Spanish. The History of the Spanish Language

It is always good to roughly know the origin of the language you are learning, amid other issues. Its paths, the places where it spreaded including America, Africa, East Indies. Also the languages with which it interacts Like English in the United States. California* is a great example of this mixing and enriching both languages and cultures.

Today, Spanish is spoken by up to 400 million people and it is the most taught and spoken second language in the United States.

By 2050 Spanish will be the biggest Spanish speaking country in the world. There are a few reasons for keeping track of your learning both language and culture.

Here we offer a video in which you can have a wide idea of what happened with Spanish since the begining.

It is a short video we hope you enjoy by getting to know more about Spain and its evolution through history.

PLEASE COMMENT AND SHARE.

HASTA LA VISTA!

* We are very sorry about the sad UCLA episode today. Our most sincere condolesces to they community.

Por |junio 1st, 2016|culture|0 comentarios

Top five things to do in Sevilla during summer season.

Hello again with more season tips about Sevilla, its culture and living. I am going to start with the most important summer event in Seville:

1. LA VELÁ DE TRIANA. (TRIANA’S SUMMER FAIR)

It is a must if you are in Seville in July. “Trianeros” celebrate the festivity of their patron Saints Santiago and Santa Ana from July 21st to July 26th. During the day is not very lively due to the heat, but from 7pm onwards calle Betis gets crowded with vibrnt casetas (tents and bars) where you can enjoy their gastronomy with dishes like fried fish and southern wines. It is a party for party animals till the morning. TIP: try to go during the week-days.

Learn more at:

http://www.visitasevilla.es/en/event/vela-de-santiago-y-santa-ana-2014

2. MORNINGS IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ (JEWISH QUARTER) ARE THE BEST.

Try to enjoy our siesta time deeply because the only nice time during the day in Seville is from sunrise till noon and nights tend to get inevitably long. If you want to stroll the city, you’d better get up early. The morning is the best moment for this and the vibe is really gentle and confortable for a nice walking tour.

 

TIP: Pick a nice terrace in the shade for a typical Spanish CHEAP breakfast. Orange juice, toasts with tomato and Jamón Serrano and a strong coffe.

3. PARQUE DE MARÍA LUISA

After your great breakfast, you are ready to walk these beautiful gardens which were a present from King Alfonso XIII to the Queen. Great for going with kids, renting bikes and enjoy the morning in a fresh area in the city. Don’t forget water and your camera of course.

Learn more at:

http://www.andalucia.org/es/turismo-cultural/visitas/sevilla/otras-visitas/parque-de-maria-luisa/

4. FINE ARTS MUSEUM. SEVILLE

Not really well known, Seville museums are astonishing for our foreign visitors. Most […]

Por |julio 15th, 2014|culture|0 comentarios

SUMMER IN SEVILLE: HELL? NO WAY! WE HAVE PATIOS AND MORE…

There is this legend, mostly feed by locals, that Seville is an oven in summer and that it is impossible to be here from June to September. Well, guess what? It is only summer as in New York, Chicago, Los Ángeles, lisbon, etc. With the right advising and guidance you will get the best out of your staying during the holiday season.

Thanks to the varied cultures that inhabited this area during the passing of centuries, summer heat in Seville is something to which you can cope with smoothly and easy.

This, obviously, is not an attempt to convince you or give a wrong manipulated idea about Seville’s summer heat. It is hot and, sometimes too hot. But here are many interesting and ways of avoiding it and still enjoy the charms of this universal city.

Watch the locals: Main rule is observe the locals behavior. Here is a summarized description of a regular day for a Sevillano:

Wake up early: Mornings in Seville are beautiful and combine warmth and chill innuendos. Plenty of light and full of terraces for enjoying amazing Mediterranean breakfasts in the quiet morning. Not mentioning that it won’t go over 5-6€ even in the most expensive place. Then do your errands before 12pm when the sun really starts beating. In the case of a tourist, just stroll the city visiting the places you are interested, leaving always gardens and indoor places for the last hours of the morning.

Go and get some refreshment before lunch (which you may know is typical at around 2pm). It will release you from the last unduly moments of the morning. Hydrating yourself and avoiding direct sunlight after 12pm as possible. For this, the Arabs created the Barrio Santa Cruz. […]

Por |mayo 6th, 2014|culture|0 comentarios

EASTER IN SEVILLE. A MUST IN SPRING AND A GREAT CULTURAL INPUT FOR THOSE WHO LEARN SPANISH.

This week is especially important in Seville for Religion, tradition and culture. The mellow vibe in the streets, the respectful behavior of its followers and the very unique features of this event makes it, sometimes, a highly criticized one. You simply have to come over and get involved in all the issue to really appreciate what is it about by yourself.

The Christian celebrations are pretty much the same everywhere: Palm Sunday opening the week and Thursday-Friday as the main dates of Christ passion and death. The week closes up on Resurrection Sunday.

 

The Processions mark the difference in Seville as they are the real protagonists for which the sevillanos work almost 6 months ahead for having every detail ready. Families work and enjoy the preparations and the celebration of Easter making a whole social event out of it. Every procession consist normally of two “Pasos” (wagons) carried by strong men in groups of 30-40. The pasos are followed by penitents and nazarenos which make a little symbolic pilgrimage. The core events in Semana Santa are the processions of the brotherhoods, known as estación de penitencia(stations of penance), from their home church to the Cathedral of Seville and back. The last section of the itinerary before arriving to the Cathedral is common to all brotherhoods and is called the Carrera Oficial. By means of mandatory path for every brotherhood to be covered. It is actually the most crowded and laureate. But, if you really want to feel the local vibe and pure authentic adoration you may get lost among the narrow city centre streets for real contact.

Watch a little sample of this salutation ceremony when every brotherhood encounters another church on their way.

Click:

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Even in the video you can feel the admiration and respect […]

Por |abril 17th, 2014|culture|0 comentarios

Christopher Columbus paths. Outdoor Spanish culture learning

Everything happens for a reason and when you are in the pursuit of something, the best things can happen on your way to achieve your goals. At least, this always happens to me when learning or researching about something. A teacher must be a natural born learner and, in fact I learn a lot from my students.

This time we went to follow Christopher Columbus departing paths and did some sailing by the shores which witnessed his departure with the 3 caravels around the wharf from which he and his crew departed blessed and sponsored by the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella.

On the way to the marina we crossed San Juan del Puerto, Moguer (Juan Ramón Jiménez town of origin) and Palos de la Frontera. All these towns live of Strawberry farming and fishing.

We had a very relaxing morning in which we sailed just with the Genova due to the powerful wind we faced, But our captain is an experienced one which has already crossed the Atlantic and been sailing most of his life. So our paseo was smooth and comfortable.

Off our little ocean session, from where we had a different perspective of Spain’s shores, left Raul and went to eat lunch at Nino’s Tavern. A famous and almost always crowded restaurant where you can enjoy the best products of Huelva Province, the nicest pork grilled meats and amazing seafood. We ate a lot and we were in the need of a coffee, but we decided to take it at the Three Caravels wharf in Palos de la Frontera.

There is a museum where the replicas of the first expeditions boats: La Pinta, la Niña and La Santa María. We went through the wharf and the […]

Por |marzo 25th, 2014|culture, Spanish gastronomy, Speaking|0 comentarios

Reales Alcazares in Spring. Oasis in the city of Seville

Last week I had the pleasure of taking Beverly and Bruce to the Reales Alcazares and after our productive morning, we went to taste the wonderful dishes of one of the best restaurants in Sevilla. An amazing day for welcoming Spring in the best setting of the city. Situated among the Cathedral and the Archivo de Indias (place where trade with the indies was controlled and managed). Some parts of the Alcazar are outside its walls nowadays, but it used to be bigger.

“The Alcázar of Seville (Spanish “Reales Alcázares de Sevilla” or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”, Spanish pronunciation: [alˈkaθar])) is a royal palace in Seville, Spain, originally a Moorish fort. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, and it was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.

 

The Almohades were the first to build a palace, which was called Al-Muwarak, on the site of the modern day Alcázar. The palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture. Subsequent monarchs have added their own additions to the Alcázar. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional.”

Info from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alc%C3%A1zar_of_Seville

We started visiting the different palaces were aristocracy from different cultures were lodged. Starting with the almohades, Peter I “the cruel”, Carlos V, etc. The places are full of stories as many important historical events occurred in this Alcazar (which is the arabic word for fortress).

As you can see, the day couldn’t be better for the visit as Spring is flourishing timidly in Seville, so we enjoyed the still not too […]

Por |marzo 11th, 2014|culture|1 comentario

Learn Spanish in Seville being a Spaniard

There’s no better reward than the one we get from our customers enjoyment. Bruce and Beverly (Vancouver) are so glad and comfortable in Sevilla that they are staying one extra month before jumping to their following destination. They want to enjoy the best season for staying in Seville. Spring is the season when most and main local festivities take place. Namely Feria de Abril, Semana Santa (Easter), etc.

Please take a look if you want to get their feedback from their experience in their own words at:

bevbrucelexi.blogspot.com

Besides, this is the most beautiful season as flower blossoms invade the city with colours and delicious smells. For those who don’t know, Seville streets are full of orange trees and Azahar blossoms, mixed with the heat that timidly appears in the central hours of the day, give the city a magical environment. You just should come to see.

Actually, I think that sending this picture to Beverly and Bruce helped them to decide they are staying a bit longer…

Last week we paid a must visit to El Barrio de Santa Cruz. This is a hotspot for tourists in the city, but this doesn’t mean that Sevillian people don’t enjoy the place. Notwithstanding, is the best place in the city for covering yourself from the extreme temperatures and heat we suffer in the summer. It’s narrow streets cover you from the sun, not being dark at all due to the powerful light we enjoy at the south of Spain.

The wonderful output of flowered patios, whispers of waters from ancient fountains all around, silent streets which can get busy and empty in a minute, and the magic of the oldest part of the city together with the obvious Arabic heritage you […]

Por |marzo 3rd, 2014|culture|0 comentarios

Slow travelling Sevilla

We are here again with more stories. Beverly and Bruce didn’t come to learn Spanish in Sevilla, but they are enjoying the vibe of the city and boosting their language knowledge without effort as it is getting into them through the senses.

We had another wonderful day together in one of the most emblematic places of the city. My own “barrio” (neighbourhood). Walking its streets, joining the city life and participating in local activity. We started our Paseo in the oldest street market of Sevilla.

Calle Feria (formerly named calle ancha) is one of the streets with more personality of the city. Its name was precisely taken by this street market celebrated every thursday since October 18th 1254. This street and its sorroundings is traditionally associated with crafts and artisans activity of a wide range.

Important personalities were born in this barrio, namely the great Torero (bull-fighter) Juan Belmonte (1892) and one of the fathers of Spanish Art: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617).

It belongs to the Parroquia Omnium Sanctorum (all saints church built in XII century), as the spiritual figure of this area.

It was drizzling a bit but not enough to stop the barrio lively activity last thursday. After a walk by the market, we went into the church for some rest and peace. Its thick romanic walls gave us shelter during the short shower falling.

In the same block you find the church, the “Mercado de Abastos” (food market) and the Palacio de los Marqueses de la Algaba which holds a permanent exposition about Mudejar Art and, sometimes, other cultural shows and exhibitions.

After the slow walk we took, we headed to the old food market where we interacted with locals ending up in one of the taverns that surround […]

Por |febrero 7th, 2014|culture, Spanish gastronomy|0 comentarios

Spanish School in Seville. Not only language

Learning a language is full of random factors which can both ruin or boost our learning process in a highly significant way. Depending on our approach and interests on the target culture we can be easily affected and our concerns may vary.

This is the case of some foreign people that simply want to approach the culture at the begining, but most of them end up learning the language without effort just by their love towards the culture, lifestyle and customes of a country like Spain.

Learning Spanish in Seville is something that some people look for or they just get embebded by their experiences here. As we have referred previously, it’s very important to mantain a balance between language learning and culture acquisition. Something that can be easily done with our guidance. Enjoying the culture boosts our motivation and lows our anxiety when learning.

 

This week we had a nice slow traveller’s  visit to the beautiful and ancient town of Ayamonte. It’s located in the southern border with Portugal and it’s one of the best places to get in tune with the culture by just walking its streets, visiting the food market, which is a very lively space where you can find a wide variety of products from Huelva’s Province.

We started by getting lost among it’s crooked old white streets spending our time watching the beautiful patios, plants, bougainvilleas, fountains and lemon-trees. The contrasts that this town offers are strong as you go down the streets from the top of a mountain to finish down at the fisheries and docks settled in the Guadiana’s river mouth.

This is a very unique experience which our traveller’s Beverly and Bruce enjoyed a lot as the views from these streets […]

Por |febrero 1st, 2014|culture|0 comentarios

Spanish Christmas

Christmas is the most important celebration in Spain and Spanish Culture in general terms. I mean, There are many local festivities which are also relevant but at a local level. As many of you know, Spain is very varied in the output of its celebrations. But Christmas is the main and more spread holiday in Hispanic countries.

This is more for tradition than for real faith nowadays, but not for special reasons different from the ones of the globalized world we are living in.

The three most important dates are December 25th, December 31st and January 6th. These days are as familiar as Thanksgiving Day, including New Year’s Eve. It should be pointed out that family life is very important for Hispanic cultures. Hispanic people, and specially Spaniards are very family orientated and Christmas is the season for gathering with family and friends.

The most typical features are Villancicos (Christmas carols) and the celebration of the “Three Kings Day” if we compare with the anglo speaking cultures. Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes Magos) is when Christmas presents are traditionally given and there is a whole protocol regarding kids. They have to write a letter to the kings telling them how well they did behave during the year and what they think they deserve for that. Pretty alike to the Santa’s protocol.

Besides, The Christmas Spirit is so present in Spain that even companies offer Christmas dinners and meals to their employees with the aim of making them feel as a family within their company and with their job colleages. These celebrations normally occur during the previous fortnight.

Any excuse is a good reason for gathering and celebrate the season and meals are big and exhagerated to the most […]

Por |diciembre 23rd, 2013|culture|0 comentarios