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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

SAMAIN:THE GALICIAN HALLOWEEN


It's Halloween, once again. This year we're going to talk about it from a Galician point of view: the Samain.
Samain is the most important Celtic origin festival of the pagan period, which dominated Europe until its conversion to Christianism. It's celebrated on the night of October 31st and November 1st as the end of the harvest season and it was considered as the Celtic New Year and the beginning of the dark season. Etimologically, the word Samain means the end of summer.
The person who rediscovered this tradition in Galicia was a primary school teacher from Cedeira (A Coruña), Rafael López Loureiro. He realised that this tradition still existed all over Galicia less than thirty years ago. He also discovered its suvival in areas of Caceres, Zamora and Leon, where Galician language and traditions are alive.
He also studied the relationship between the pumpkin tradition and the death festivities similar to British traditions. He even discovered some peculiar things, like in Quiroga (Lugo), where the emptied pumpkins are left to dry and kept to be used as masks at Carnival (Entroido).
Nowadays, Samain is still celebrated year after year in many cities and villages in Galicia, such as A Coruña, Ferrol, Cedeira... The village of Ribadavia (Ourense) celebrates the "noite meiga" (the witches' night), when the village gets full of ghosts, witches, vampires and Ribadavia's castle is the perfect setting for this terrifying landscape.
Happy Samain! Happy Halloween!

More posts about Halloween @ ClickOnEnglish here.
Galician version of this post @ ArquivosDoTrasno here.

Audio "SAMAIN NIGHT", Loreena McKennit:

Loreena Mckennitt - Samain Night lyrics

When the moon on a cloud cast night
Hung above the tree tops' height
You sang me of some distant past
That made my heart beat strong and fast
Now I know I'm home at last


You offered me an eagle's wing
That to the sun I might soar and sing
And if I heard the owl's cry
Into the forest I would fly
And in it's darkness find you by.


And so our love's not a simple thing
Nor our truths unwavering
But like the moon's pull on the tide
Our fingers touch our hearts collide
I'll be a moonsbreath by your side



Lyrics | Loreena Mckennitt lyrics - Samain Night lyrics

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

HURRICANE "SANDY" HITS NEW YORK & EASTERN AMERICAN COAST


New York City has come to a standstill as millions prepared for the arrival of hurricane Sandy. Public transport has been shut and people living in low-lying areas have been told to leave their homes. Hurricane Sandy hit land on Monday evening and converge with two other weather systems. Here is how it was shown on the news.
Hurricane Sandy: New York – the city that never sleeps – shuts down

They say that New York is the city that never sleeps. But throughout Manhattan on Sunday night,many businesses were preparing to shut down, perhaps for days. A monster of a hurricane, potentially the largest on record, was barrelling toward the city, threatening business owners with catastrophic damages, huge flooding and power outages that could last for days. In Times Square, restaurants, electronics shops and perfumeries were sending employees home before 7pm, when the city's subways closed.


Video Hurrican Sandy blows into NY:

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

PHRASAL VERBS: TRYING TO MAKE THEM EASY


Phrasal verbs are one of the most difficult things for students learning English.     
Phrasal verbs may have many meanings or uses and often seem very confusing. The term phrasal verb is commonly applied to 2 or 3 different but related constructions in English: a verb and a particle and/or a preposition forming a single semantic unit. This semantic unit cannot be understood based upon the meanings of the individual parts alone, but it must be taken as a group. The same verbs with different prepositions or adverbs have very different meanings.
Phrasal verbs are mainly used in spoken English and informal texts. (The more formal a conversation or text, the less phrasal verbs are found.)
Remember there's a separate page in this blog where you can find phrasal verbs listed alphabetically.

Phrasal Verbs can be followed by Prepositions or Adverbs particles.

look up (preposition)
run up

run away (adverb)
get away

1) You will have to look up the word.
2) He ran up a big bill at the hotel.
3) He ran away from the dog.
4) He got away by jumping a fence.


The meaning is often not clear from the verb alone. You must use a dictionary.

Phrasal verbs appear in 3 types, these types define where the object of the verb, if there is any,  goes.

intransitive don't have objects:

He ran away because he was scared.
He got up and went out.


Transitive (Non Separable)
These verbs only have objects at the end:

I have looked for my keys everywhere.

Transitive (Separable)
These verbs have objects in the middle or end:

I broke up the fight.
I broke the fight up.
The fight was getting rough so I broke it up.

Look up the word in the dictionary.
Look the word up in the dictionary.
Look it up in the dictionary. ( it - only in middle)

Video explanations on phrasal verbs (1):
Video (2):
Video (3):

Links to: DICTIONARY OF PHRASAL VERBS.
              LIST OF THE 200 MOST COMMON VERBS.
              ANOTHER POST IN THIS BLOG.

Link to: EXERCISES ON PHRASAL VERBS.
             PHRASALVERBEXERCISES.COM.
             PHRASAL VERB VIDEOS


Friday, 19 October 2012

ED SHEERAN'S "AUTUMN LEAVES", A SONG FOR THE NEW SEASON


Here's a song by Ed Sheeran for the new season that starts... Melacholic as autumn is...

"AUTUMN LEAVES", Ed Sheeran
[Edward Christopher "Ed" Sheeran (born 17 February 1991) is an English singer songwriter, and producer. Born in Halifax, before moving to Framlingham. He learned to play guitar and started writing songs at a young age. He began recording in 2005 and moved to London in 2008 to pursue a music career. In 2009, inspired by James Morrison, he played 312 gigs.]

Another day another life
Passes by just like mine
It's not complicated

Another mind
Another soul
Another body to grow old
It's not complicated

Do you ever wonder if the stars shine out for you?
Float down
Like autumn leaves
Hush now
Close your eyes before the sleep
And you're miles away
And yesterday you were here with me

Another tear
Another cry
Another place for us to die
Its not complicated

Another life that's gone to waste
Another light lost from your face
It's complicated

Is it only wonder or do birds still sing for you?
Float down
Like autumn leaves
Hush now
Close your eyes before the sleep
And you're miles away
And yesterday you were here with me

Ooh how I miss you
My symphony places the song that carries you out
Ooh how I miss you
I miss you and I wish you'd stay

Is it any wonder that the stars shine out for you?
Float down
Like autumn leaves
Hush now
Close your eyes before the sleep
And you're miles away
And yesterday you were here with me

Float down
Like autumn leaves
Hush now
Close your eyes before the sleep
And you're miles away
And yesterday you were here with me

Ooh oh, ooh oh
Ooh oh, ooh oh

Touch down
Like a seven four seven
Stay out and we'll live forever now...


Audio "AUTUMN LEAVES", Ed Sheeran:



Lyrics | Ed Sheeran lyrics - Autumn Leaves lyrics

Monday, 15 October 2012

MALALA

 
 
On a previous post, we talked about the 1st International Day of the Girl Child promoted by the United Nations. Last Tuesday, October 9th, a 14-year-old Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai was shot by Taliban militants, in Mingora, the Swat valley area, North of the country, precisely for defending female education and when she was coming back home on the school bus.
Malala came to public attention three years ago with a blog-diary for BBC Urdu. During months, she detailed the abuses by Taliban's prohibition of girl's education under the sharia law in the areas they control.
She's now slowly recovering from her serious injuries at a Peshawar hospital and she has been taken to the United Kingdom to continue her recovery in a hospital which treats children with severe injuries. We hope she recovers completely and that she won't become a martyr for girl's education. Our best wishe for, Malala!
 
Video of Malala (one year ago):
 
Galician version of this post @ Arquivos do Trasno.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

FELIX BAUMGARTNER: HIS STRATOSPHERIC RECORD-BREAKING SKYDIVE

 
After several delays due to weather conditions, this evening, 43-year-old Austrian, Felix Baumgartner has broken the record for the highest ever skydive by jumping out of a balloon 128.000 feet / 24 miles / 39 kilometres above New Mexico. A record-breaking freefall jump to become the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall (an estimated 690 miles / 1,110 kilometers per hour), while also obtaining valuable data for medical and scientific advancement.
 Officials say that Felix Baumgartner has become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound. Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation announced that Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert.


It took just under 10 minutes for him to reach the desert surface below. Baumgartner says that traveling faster than sound is "hard to describe because you don't feel it." With no reference points, "you don't know how fast you travel".

More on Felix's jump here BBC
 
Video Freefall from the Edge of Space - Felix Baumgartner:

Video press-conference after jump:



Thursday, 11 October 2012

1st INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD

Girls celebrate today, October 11th, their first international day as was declared by the United Nations at the end of 2011 to make visible the millions of girl children who live in a situation of vulnerability without access to education, condemning them to lifetime poverty. These girls are victims of abuse, slavery, lack of access to basic services and difficulties to attend school, play, enjoy and, in the end, be girls.
To conmemorate this day, different events will be held, such as the reading of a manifesto to promote a quality education for all the girls in the world and the lightening which will turn into pink iconic buildings throughout the world in support of girls' rights.
On the video below and joining the first celebration of this International Day of the Girl Child, the UN Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet, speaks to all the girls in the world.

Video International Day of the Girl Child: Michelle Bachelet:

Galician version of this post @ Arquivos do Trasno.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

ENGLISH ONOMATOPOEIAS



It's seems that 1ºBAC students have been studying onomatopeias in Spanish today. Their Spanish language teacher has told them that they are different from one language to another.
An onomatopoeia or onomatopœia (from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία) is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. 
Common occurrences of onomatopoeias include animal noises, such as "oink" or "meow" or "roar" or "chirp". Onomatopoeias are not the same across all languages; they conform to some extent to the broader linguistic system they are part of; so the sound of a clock may be tick tock in English, dī dā in Mandarin, or katchin katchin in Japanese.

Here we're enclosing links to lists of English onomatopoeias:
2) Written sound: a website devoted to onomatopeias under different categories/topics (human, animal, music, explosions...)
3) Animal onomatopeias: organized from Spanish with equivalents in other languages as English.
4) List of animal and the sounds they make in English only.
5) Examples of onomatopeia words used in context.
6) A short dictionary of onomatopeias with definitions of each.

And to end a video with a song with some of the English onomatopeias...

Video ONOMATOPEIA:





Video 2:

Monday, 8 October 2012

VIDEO QUIZ: PINK PANTHER, "PINKNIC"



Once again, we're going to learn English with the help of the Pink Panther. Here's another video-quiz with her. Watch the video and later answer the questions that follow. Check how many you get right.



Friday, 5 October 2012

THE BEATLES 50 YEARS AGO TODAY, WHEN IT ALL BEGAN

 
 
It all started 50 years ago today. The Beatles' first single "LOVE ME DO" was released 50 years ago, nobody knew then it would be the group that would change music and culture.
On the 5th of October of 1962, the Beatles released their first single on the Parlaphone label. It wasn't even a hit, it only reached nº17 on the charts. They never really even liked the song much. McCartney wrote it when he was only 16, but it's the song which started the legend... Since then nothing has been the same...
 
Video "LOVE ME DO", The Beatles(+Spanish subtitles):


 Galician version of this post @ Arquivos do Trasno.


WORLD TEACHER'S DAY 2012



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