Blog Archives

Learning New Languages

There can be many reasons to learn a new language. Sometimes we learn them because it’s part of our school curriculum, or for work. Sometimes it’s just for the pleasure of it. Despite requiring a great deal of dedication, time and effort, it can be an enriching experience that helps us to broaden our horizons, […]

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A menu in Spanish

Continuing with the “Olympic spirit”, I read recently that before the 2006 Olympic Games in Peking, the city carried out a translation and a “standardization” of food names into English. This was done to avoid confusion and mistakes that frequently appear in restaurant menus. In doing this the government wanted to make it easier for […]

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The most spoken languages

Communication with others is essential for people to live together, whether in our own country with the people that surround us, or in another country far from our own. We should, however, be able to differentiate between the most commonly spoken language in the world, which has the largest speaking population, and the language used most for communicating in […]

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A universal language

After several attempts to make it a universal language, this year Esperanto celebrates its 125th anniversary. Created in 1887 by  Lázaro Zamenhof, Esperanto is used in many media  forms, as well as in literature. A large number of classical and popular publications have been translated, and are available in the language. Today with the technological […]

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French is the official language of the Olympic Games

 The International Olympics Committee established French as the official language of the 2012 Olympic Games, which are being held in London, England. This may sound a little unusual, as generally English is considered the universal language. However, this rule was agreed on and formalized in this way through the International Olympic Committee. French is the official language at both the opening and […]

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Using “Vos” or “Usted” in Costa Rica

  According to the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas, voseo means to use the pronominal “vos” form when talking to somebody. Though this has been shown in a previous post to be a phenomenon of the River Plate region, in Costa Rica, as in a great number of countries in the Americas, the pronoun “vos” is adopted when referring to the second person singular. However, contrary […]

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Indigenous Languages

The official language in Argentina is, without a doubt, Spanish. However, it is a country that has been enriched by a vast number of languages. Though it is difficult to say exactly how many, around 35 indigenous languages are spoken. Currently only thirteen of these are officially listed, and include the following: Toba, Pilagá, Mocoví, Wichí, Nivaclé, Chorote, Ava-Chiriguano, Mbya, Guaraní, Quichua Santiagueño, […]

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Following the steps of Malespín

“Yo estoy tuanis, pero el brete está pelis” Many people (including Spanish speakers) might hear this and have no idea what it means. It is thought that in some Central American countries what is left of Malespín is still in use, a military code attributed to the Salvadoran General Francisco Malespín (1806-1846). Even though hardly […]

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