Monday, May 25, 2015

Extracurricular activities 25.05.2015 - 30.05.2015

Let's make the most our of what is left of May with our extracurricular activities. Check them out:

Monday 25, 6:00 pm: Small boat ride - Why not take advantage of the good weather and go ride a small boat along the river Tormes?
Approximate duration: 1 h.

Martes 26, 4:50 pm: Trivial - We are playing a questions and answers game with eacher Beatriz. A great way to test your knowledge, practise your Spanish and have fun.
Approximate duration: 1 h.

Wednesday 27, 6:30 pm: Exhibition - We are heading to DA2 (Domus Artium 2002), a contemporary art museum. Among the current exhibits is a show displaying the final projects of the students graduating from the Salamanca School of Art.
Approximate duration: 1 h.

Thursday 28, 8:00 pm: Photography contest - Join us for our photography contest and capture some of the most spectacular views of Salamanca.
Approximate duration: 1 h.

Friday 29, 7:45 pm: Tapas tour - A grace note to end the week: come taste some tapas of your choice in some of the best bars of the city centre.
Approximate duration: 1 h 30 min.
Saturday 30, Excursions - Toledo o La Alberca? Choose your destination for a perfect weekend. Further information at the reception desk.

Please don't forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (in order to reserve your place). The minimum number of participants required for each activity is usually three. Unless otherwise stated, the meeting point is Tía Tula school.

Try to participate in as many activities as you can; they are designed not just for you to have fun, but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you have learnt in class.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Extracurricular activities 18.05.2015 - 24.05.2015

Let's keep enjoying the good weather and the city in our extracurricular activities. Here is the program for this week:

Monday 18, 5:00 pm: Film – A good start for the week. Come improve your Spanish with our Spanish cinema session. 
Approximate duration: 1 h 40 min.
Furthermore, May 18th is International Museum Day. Find out the museums with free admission and special activities

Tuesday 19, 5:00 pm: Scavenger hunt – We are going on a scavenger hunt to discover the secrets the city keeps and some of its most peculiar spots.
Approximate duration: 1 h 30 min.

Wednesday 20, 6:00 pm: Merienda - Let's go have an afternoon snack (merienda) at Café Bar Mandala. They offer a wide range of juices, coffees, cakes, tapas, ice-creams... 
Approximate duration: 1 h.

Thrusday 21, 5:50 pm: Workshop: Celebrations and music in Salamanca - By the always joyful Carmen, one of our teachers. 
Approximate duration: 1 h 30 min.

Friday 22, 6:00 pm: Hiking – Come enjoy the delightful views of Salamanca from the outskirts. Don't forget to bring comfortable clothes and shoes and a bottle of water.
Approximate duration: 2 h.

Saturday 23: Excursions – Valencia or La Alberca? You choose. Further information at the reception desk.

Please don't forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (in order to reserve your place). The minimum number of participants required for each activity is usually three. Unless otherwise stated, the meeting point is Tía Tula school.

Try to participate in as many activities as you can; they are designed not just for you to have fun, but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you have learnt in class.

International Museum Day


Today is marked as the International Museum Day, an iniciative seeking to raise awareness of the fact that museums play an important rol in society. Quoting Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Hinz, President of the ICOM, "museums are an importante means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultres and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples". Since it was established in 1977, International Museum Day is held around May 18th every year and each edition celebrates a different theme, this year's being "Museums for a sustainable society". Four museums in Salamanca have joined the initiative with free admission and special activities today:

Visit the 19 collections of this peculiar museum, focusing on art nouveau and art déco, with free admission today between 11 am and 2 pm.

Museo Da2
This contemporary art centre located in the old jail offers guided tours free of charge today at 1 pm, 6 pm and 7 pm. Besides the exhibitions currently on display, visitors will be shown areas which are not usually open to the public, such as the restoration space and the warehouses. You need to arrange your visit by calling 923 18 49 16. Groups of maximum 20 people.

Museo de Historia de la Automoción
Free admission today at this museum displaying more than 90 vehicles from different periods. If you are lucky enough to be visiting the museum at midday or at 6 pm, you are welcome to join a free guided tour. Furthermore, following this year's theme, "Museums for a sustanaible society", visitors will be introduced to a device invented in the nineteenth century, the gasogen, that has since been improved and is being applied to projects related to energetic efficiency and sustainability, such as some that have to do with biomass fuel and electricty generation.

Museo de Salamanca
Museo de Salamanca exhibits paintings, archaeological remains, craftwork and goldsmithing, among others, also adheres to International Museum Day by holding special activities from Tuesday, May 19th to Sunday, May 24th:

Tuesday, May 19th | 5 pm: themed visit: "Mujeres protagonistas" (Leading women).
Wednesday, May 20th | 5 pm: themed visit: "Paisajes en el museo" (Landscapes in the museum) | 6 pm: piano concert.
Thursday, May 21st | 5 pm: themed visit: "Mujeres protagonistas" (Leading women) | 6 pm: voice and piano concert.
Friday, May 22nd | 5 pm: themed visit: "Paisajes en el museo" (Landscapes in the museum) | 6 pm: guitar concert | 7 pm: temporary exhibition "La liberación de los cautivos" (The liberation of the captive).
Saturday, May 23rd | 11:30 am: workshop "Arqueólogos e historiadores por un día" (Archaeologists and historians for one day) | 1 pm: piece of the month, El códice de los trajes, del siglo XVI (The codex of garments, 16th century) | 1:30 pm: piece of the month, El códice de los trajes, del siglo XVI (The codex of garments, 16th century) | 5 pm:
themed visit: "Mujeres protagonistas" (Leading women) | 6 pm: violin concert.
Sunday, May 24th | 1 pm: chamber music concert.

Don't miss this chance to get to know Salamanca a bit better. Our alumni Claire didn't and she told us in this article.

Credits:
Poster distributed by ICOM.
Collage, left to right:
"Cafetería de la Casa Lis (Salamanca)" by Siri twin under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.
"PEGASOZ102SAOUTCHICK" by Arbeyu under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
"El Día de la Hecatombe - I" by r2hox under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Our way. 15 Spanish covers of "My Way"

Numerous artists from around the world have recorded their versions of the classic My Way, from Aretha Franklin to The Strokes, including The Three Tenors, Sid Vicious and Kanye West. The melody comes from a French song (Comme d'habitude), and the lyrics were made up by Paul Anka. But if My Way is associated with an artist, that artist would be Frank Sinatra, who played it for the first time and turned it into one of the most popular songs of all time. As we were saying, a great number of artists have sung it and adapted it to different ryhtms ever since. Many of them in English, but others went further and translated it into other languages. Here are 15 covers of My Way (A mi manera) in Spanish, corresponding to different music genres. You can listen to them on Youtube and Spotify:





These are the artists featured in the playlist: 

Siempre Así | Raphael | Il Divo | Gipsy Kings | Julio Iglesias y Paul Anka | Junco | Los Panchos | La Trova | María Martha Serra Lima | Óscar D'León | Estela Raval | Los del fuego | Rayito Colombiano | Richie Ray y Bobby Cruz | Infierno 18

The lyrics to A mi manera aren't the same in all the covers. These are the lyrics to Raphael's version:

El final se acerca ya,
lo esperaré serenamente. 
Ya ves,  que yo he sido así,
te lo diré, sinceramente.

Viví, la inmensidad
sin conocer jamás fronteras,
y bien, sin descansar, y a mi manera.


Jamás tuve un amor
que para mí fuera importante.
Tomé solo la flor
y lo mejor de cada instante.
Viví y disfruté,
no sé si más que otro cualquiera.

Y, sí, todo esto fue a mi manera.

Porque sabrás que un hombre al fin
conocerás por su vivir.
No hay por qué hablar ni que decir,
ni que llorar ni que fingir,
puedo seguir hasta el final
a mi manera.


Tal vez lloré o tal vez reí,
tal vez gané o tal vez perdí.
Ahora sé que fui feliz,

que si lloré, también amé.
Puedo vivir hasta el final
a mi manera.


Bonus track: two special covers
These are not in Spanish (that's why they are not included in the playlist above), but we love the covers by Los Piratas and Andrés Calamaro:



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

La Fiesta del Cine. Go to the movies for less than 3 euros!

Watching Spanish movies helps you improve your listening skills and identify the natural rhythm of the language, discover new vocabulary and gain a deeper understanding of the culture and customs of the country. You have got the chance to enjoy this experience at the cinema for less than 3 euros until Thursday (included). Yes, you heard right!

Fiesta del Cine, an event aiming at promoting the advisable habit of going to the cinema. Take advantage of the special price (2.90 euros per movie) from today, Monday May 11th, until Thursday. Here are five Spanish movies curently screening. Find out below how to get a ticket at only 2.90 euros.

Five movies you can watch during Fiesta del Cine

A cambio de nada
Genre: Drama
Biznaga de Oro to the best film at Festival de Málaga.
Synopsis: Darío got away from home, running from his familiar hell. Luismi, his unconditional friend, Caralimpia, a poor looser in a winners suit and Antonia, an old lady that collects abandoned furniture in her three weeler will become his new family. Three generations meet in city thats too big to be alone. Its summertime (IMDB).
Theatres and times: You can watch it at Cines Van Dyck Monday through Thursday at: 5:30 pm | 8:10 pm | 10:30 pm.

 
Tiempo sin aire
Genre: 
Thriller / drama
Synopsis: María, a Colombian nurse who lost her daughter at the hands of three militiamen, travels to the Spanish Canary Islands accompanied by her youngest son to find one of the killers and get her revenge. She keeps with her a picture that she found in the ruined home, showing a face, an inscription and a name: Ivan. Gonzalo, a school psychologist whose existence changes dramatically the moment he meets Maria, joins her incessant and obsessive search. Meanwhile, in their little corner of the island, Ivan and his girlfriend Vero are unaware that their lives are about to change forever (IMDB).
Theatres and times: You can watch it at Cines Van Dyck Monday through Thursday at 10:30 pm.





Felices 140
Genre:
Black comedy
Synopsis: On her 40th birthday, Elia gathers together a few select relatives and friends at a luxury country house to tell them some extraordinary news: she has won the EuroMilions jackpot! From that moment onwards, as the guests become aware that Elia has come by 140 million Euros, the atmosphere becomes increasingly tense and what started off as shared happiness gradually transforms into greedy plotting to take Elia’s fortune (Cinando).
Theatres and times: You can watch it at Cines Van Dyck Monday throught Thursday at 5:30 pm.



Perdiendo el Norte
Genre:
Comedy
Synopsis: Two young Spanish men, with a university education, are tired of unemployment and decide to move to Germany. But soon they will find out that finding a better living is not as easy as they expected (IMDB).
Theatres and times: You can watch it at Cines Van Dyck Monday through Thursday at 8:10 pm; or at Cines Van Dyck Tormes (in El Tormes shopping mall, bus number 20) Monday through Thursday at 8:10 pm and 10:30 pm; or at Megarama Salamanca (Vialia shopping mall) at 8:30 pm yand 10:45 pm. 



Cómo sobrevivir a una despedida
Genre:
Comedy
Synopsis: The film revolves about a group of 27-year-old friends who, as teenagers, aspired to finding a well-paid job, getting a Christian Grey-like boyfriend and living in a big appartment in the centre of Madrid. What they got is a shared flat, jobs as interns that only allow them to buy new clothes at the sales and dating guys who are allergic to commitment. Never ones to give up in the face of adversity, they decide to set up a bachelorette party for the more responsible member of the gang, Gisela, inGran Canaria when she is about to become the first of the group to get married (Wikipedia).
Theatres and times: You can watch it at Cines Van Dyck Tormes (in El Tormes shopping mall, bus number 20) Monday through Thursday at 8:10 pm; or at Megarama Salamanca (Vialia shopping mall) at 10:45 pm. 



It goes without saying that there are many more movies screening. These are some: Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Water Diviner, The Longest Ride, Woman in Gold...

How to get a ticket

In order to get a ticket at 2.90 euros you need to register. Fill this form in and you will be sent your accreditation by email (if you need us to give you a hand, drop by the reception desk). There is no need to print the accreditation out if you have a smartphone: you can show it on your mobile phone.

Just take your accreditation and your ID card or passport to the ticket office and buy your ticket at 2.90 euros.

Enjoy!


Read this article in Spanish.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Extracurricular activities 11.05.2015 - 17.05.2015

 
The amazing weather is going to make you enjoy even more, if possible, Tía Tula's activities. Check out what we have in store for you this week:

Monday 11, 6:00 pm: Book fair - We don't want to miss out the book fair at Plaza Mayor, with more than 30 bookshops and publishing houses present. There is also a space where you can glance through several books and check if you like them. 
Approximate duration: 30 min.

Tuesday 12, 8:00 pm: Cookery class - This week we are going to learn how to cook pimientos rellenos (stuffed peppers). As usual, we'll try them to check our culinary skills ;-)
Approximate duration: 1 h.

Wednesday 13, 7:30 pm: Literary meet with author Raúl Vacas - Teacher Carmen López will take us to a literary meeting with Raúl Vacas, organized by Asociación Pentadrama and held at Teatro Liceo's Sala de la Palabra. Our chief of studies, Montse Villar, will also attend the event.
Approximate duration: 1 h 30 min.

Thursday 14, 7:00 pm: Quiz and games at Plaza Mayor – Get to know more about Plaza Mayor in a fun activity.
Approximate duration: 30 min.

Friday 15, 7:45 pm: Microtheatre – We'll head to La Malhablada to attend one of the microtheatre plays they offer.
Approximate duration: 40 min.

Saturday 16: La Alberca y Toledo are some of the destinations available. Further information at the reception desk.

Please don't forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (in order to reserve your place). The minimum number of participants required for each activity is usually three. Unless otherwise stated, the meeting point is Tía Tula school.

Try to participate in as many activities as you can; they are designed not just for you to have fun, but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you have learnt in class.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spanish people can't speak English. Is that so?

Apparently, yes. Surveys say that most Spaniards cannot get by in Shakespeare's tongue (only 22% feels able to express themselves in English, according to a 2014 study conducted by the European Comission's Eurobarometer).  Public figures are no exception. In this article we show you some embarrassing moments of Spanish politicians and people in the banking, cinema and sports businesses speaking English. Warning: theses videos might hurt your ears and make you cringe.

Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympics left several unforgettable moments. We pick two. The first one, this super brief intervention by Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee:

 
Yes, you heard right, "No listen the ask". He seemed a little bit angry, didn't he? But the star, no doubt, was Ana Botella, Madrid Mayor:


She had learnt the speech by heart, and not even so... Her "fake" pronunciation and exagerated expression made her the target of numerous criticism and most of all... parodies! Besides the legendary "Chuck Norris gets mad when he hears Ana Botella speaking English", this song is among our favourites:



Her husband, former Prime Minister José María Aznar,  also left notable contributions. The audio in this video is real:


Spanish politicians and the English language don't seem to get along very well, which most likely took its toll in international meetings. In this video, watch Aznar's successor as Primer Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, try to explain another former Primer Minister, Felipe González's hobby: growing bonsais.  



Our difficulties speaking English go back a long way, actually. This is dictator Francisco Franco:


New generations of politicians don't seem to be off the hook. Meet Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the new political party Podemos:



Talking about macaronic English, a clear winner emerges from the banking industry. Even after having presumably rehearsed the script several times, this is how Emilio Botín, late president of Banco Santander, sounded:



Sports figures provide us with good examples, too. This is footballer Sergio Ramos' Christmas message. Priceless:




Ever wanted to know more about Santiago Bernabéu Stadium? Raúl González tells you... Let's see if you can understand...



 And here is Jesús Gil, late president of Atlético de Madrid (and former Mayor of Marbella, one of the most touristic cities in Spain), giving his view on a racist affair:



Yet another profession where good English speakers are not easy to find: actors (so it says casting director Pep Armengol in this article). And film directors, as these videos show. Watch the speeches of Pedro Almodóvar and José Luis Garci after winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.





The list could go on... Fortunately, there also are examples of the opposite. Saying that Spaniards can't speak English, or that their English is bad, is a rather unfair generalization. Some of our best sports players (Pau and Marc Gasol, for instance) and actors (Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem) have improved and now speak English fluently. 

How did they do it? Good teachers and linguistic and cultural immersion. Exactly what you can get at our courses, and thus not sound in Spanish like the Spaniards above sound in English. The fact that most Spaniards can't get by in English is good for you as a Spanish learner. You will be able to practise the language profusely. But don't panic if you are a beginner: Tía Tula's staff can speak English well (maybe not The Queen's English, but fluent English). Although we try to get you to speak Spanish as much as possible, should we need to, we can communicate in English. 

Here is a Youtube playlist with all the videos in this article, and then some.