The Alphabet Game is back!

Hello readers!

Por segundo año consecutivo dedicamos el final del año académico a jugar a ‘The Alphabet Game’. Con este planteamiento podréis aprender nuevo vocabulario y revisar las Daily Vitamin pasadas. Además, el ganador conseguirá un Kindle Paperwhite!

¿Recuerdas cómo funciona? Cada día os daremos una definición o pista para una palabra o vocabulario que empieza por una letra del alfabeto. Empezaremos por la A, luego la B, etc. hasta llegar a la letra 26 del alfabeto inglés. Todas las instrucciones se enviarán a través de la Daily Vitamin y se compartirán en nuestra página de Facebook y Twitter.

IMPORTANT: To participate (and win the final prize), you should:

  1. be a follower of at least one of our social media sites (either Facebook y Twitter)
  2. share the initial contest post (June 7th) on at least one of our social media sites
  3. post the correct answer on one of our social media sites each day. At the end of the 26 lessons, the person with the most correct answers posted will be the winner.

Let’s play!

La 2ª Edición del Concurso de Relatos Breves: I put my foot in it too! ya tiene ganadores

‘Do you want a kidnap?‘ de Montserrat Busto es el relato ganador del primer premio. En el texto, la autora nos explicaba la aventura de un colega de trabajo en una cafetería y su metedura de pata al utilizar una palabra en lugar de otra. Muntsa disfrutará de un curso de 10 horas one-to-one (5 sesiones de 2 horas cada una) o 6 meses de clases telefónicas (1 sesión semanal de 30’) según escoja.

En segundo lugar, ‘Can a Spanish man be pregnant in the UK?’ es el segundo ganador, escrito por Enrique González, quien por un error gramatical vivió una situación embarazosa en el Reino Unido. Enrique disfrutará de un curso de 3 meses de clases telefónicas (1 sesión semanal de 30’).

Y por último, Eliseu Vilaclara, con su texto ‘Dónde vas atontao’, es el tercer ganador, quien recibirá un mes de clases telefónicas (1 sesión semanal) por explicarnos una graciosa anécdota sobre cómo pronunciar bien y que te entiendan en el extranjero.

Muchas gracias a todos por vuestra participación. Esperamos ver incrementar vuestra participación en futuras ediciones.

‘Can a Spanish man be pregnant in the UK?’ I put my foot in it too!

Con esta última entrada para el concurso literario cerramos la edición del 2012. Debemos admitir que, desconociendo el motivo, esta edición no ha tenido una gran acogida por nuestros seguidores, por lo que agradeceríamos nuevas sugerencias para afrontar la próxima edición. ¡ Buena suerte a todos los participantes! Pronto publicaremos los resultados.

It was a rainy day in Cambridge –to be honest, that kind of weather made me feel miserable, especially if the season was summer. I had to take the bus to Hurston, a small town in Cambridgeshire, so since I had never took public transport on my own in a foreign country, I have to confess I was really nervous.

When I arrived at the bus stop there was nobody –it was raining cats and dogs and there was no shelter, so I was starting to get wet.

Suddenly an old woman, who was driving an old-fashioned Ford car, stopped in front of me, got out of the vehicle and came up to me slowly.

‘What are you doing all alone?’ inquired me the woman.

‘I’m expecting, madam,’ I answered her with the best pronunciation I could.

‘What?’ asked me surprised.

The woman scrutinized me and asked me: ‘You’re not British, are you?’

‘No, Madam, I’m Spanish,’ I said to her proud of having understood what she told me.

‘Oh, I didn’t know that Spanish men could have babies. That’s very interesting…’

She returned to her car and went away leaving me alone.

When I arrived at my host family’s house, I explained to them the incident and they immediately started laughing. I thought the whole world had become crazy until they said to me that I made a grammar mistake: the verb ‘expect’ must be followed by a complement or a preposition, otherwise it means ‘to be pregnant’.

‘Remember, Enrique, you’re expecting somebody, ok?’ told me in unison.

‘Uppps,’ I muttered.

From that moment on I promised myself not to translate words literally from Spanish into English and, of course, to carry an umbrella everywhere!

E. González

He was Spanish too!

Aquí tenéis la última entrada recibida para el concurso literario.

Además, aprovechamos para comentaros que hemos ampliado el plazo de presentación de relatos hasta el 30 de junio, así os damos más tiempo de escribir vuestras experiencias. Recordad que podréis ganar cursos de inglés para mejorar vuestro nivel.

Many years ago, seven years to be precise, I travelled to London for five days. I went there with my school friends. It was the first time we travelled together, and also my first travel abroad. Like every tourist who travels abroad for the first time, I thought that anyone, except my friends, couldn’t understand me.

One day, when were walking in the city center, laughing and analyzing everything, a boy came to me. He just wanted to give me a pamphlet about a restaurant… a pamphlet in English. At that time, my English was worse than now (although today isn’t as good as I would like) and I supposed that I couldn’t understand the pamphlet. What did I do?

I said to the boy: “No no, thank you”, and I turned to go on my way and I said: “Total, no lo voy a entender”. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I saw the same boy behind me and said to me: Pues dice que hay comida muy buena y muy barata!” Yes! I put my foot on it too!

Effectively, the boy was Spanish too! And I learned that there are people who can understand you everywhere.

M. Torrejón

Do you want a kidnap? I put my foot in it too!

Es interesante conocer las meteduras de pata de otros alumnos de inglés, para no aprender nuevas palabras y saber qué no debemos decir a alguien. Aquí os dejamos una nueva entrada para el concurso I put my foot in it too!

My colleague Aitor arrived back last week from Canada. He came to the company yesterday to say hello to everybody with an incredible quantity of stories to tell, but one of the most hilarious was one that happened to him in a bar.

He was having a coffee with his friends one afternoon when a young woman tripped next to him, spilling some drops of her ice-cream on her blouse. He immediately rose up wanting to offer his help like only a gentleman can do. He quickly helped her to recover her balance and gently offered her a napkin from his table asking with a big smile on his face: “Do you want a kidnap?”

The young woman stared directly at him, hesitating between running away or staying frozen, when they heard all his friends roaring with laughter and shouting: “Not a kidnap! A NAPKIN!!”.

Aitor blushed realizing his mistake and the young woman neither ran away nor stayed frozen. She politely thanked him for his support and gave him a huge smile that remained on her face as she left the bar.

I think Aitor will no longer forget the difference between a kidnap and a napkin, and I will always remember to walk carefully while eating an ice-cream!

Muntsa

Excuse me? I put my foot in it too!

 Una de las maneras más fáciles de protagonizar anécdotas divertidas es viviendo en el extranjero. En este artículo encontramos dos historias:

Like many Spaniards, I’ve been studying English for almost all my life. Although I’ve taken English classes all through school and in an academy as well, I’d barely had the chance to have a conversation in English (this is how Spanish education works). This is why I was so excited when I received a MEC grant to study abroad.

My choice was London, a melting pot with a long history and a great variety of leisure activities. However, there was something which took me aback. I had always been told that English people were extremely polite… so when I was first lost looking for the College, I asked a newspaper vendor for help. As I had learned, I started with… «Excuse me, would you mind to telling me how I can…? ». He rudely interrupted me and said «I don’t have time»… «Ok! Thanks» I answered. (He had plenty of time, as he wasn’t doing anything!). From that day on, I started to ask questions like «Camden Town?». Some years later, I can’t deny they are polite… though I didn’t receive a warm welcome.

Another funny anecdote is when one of my new friends was telling me «Your English is terrific», while he was smiling. I thought he was laughing at me… then I got angry: «Excuse me?», «Yeah!» he replied…that was strange… at that point, instead of seeing red, I chose to look up that word in the dictionary… and I realised that he was saying that my spoken English was incredible… just great! So I kindly exclaimed… «Oh, thanks!» 🙂

Despite these anecdotes, it was amazing to be immersed in their culture; above all, because that trip was vital to boost my level.  So I want to finish by saying I’m proud of having put my foot in it!

J.B.M.

ENGLISH OR FRENCH? I put my foot in it too!

Otra de las seguidores de Ziggurat nos ha querido divertir con sus anécdotas vividas con el inglés para el concurso literario:

I was working in a mall selling mobile phones two years ago when, one day in Summer, a couple from Switzerland came to the shopping centre to buy a phone. They could speak French and English very well, they could change the language without any problems!

 First, I spoke to them in French because I speak French better than English. But, suddenly, they changed the language and spoke to me in English. So, I began to talk in English… but with French pronunciation! When I realized it I changed the language too, but then speaking in French with English pronunciation!

The couple didn’t know what was happening! They laughed and then I said: “Shit!! Oh no! Excuse-moi…no! Sorry, sorry!” Finally, they understood me and bought a mobile phone.

This is why I can say I put my foot in it too!

A. Spínola

DÓNDE VAS ATONTAO. I put my foot in it too!

Os dejamos el primer texto que participa en el concurso de relatos breves en inglés I put my foot in it too!

This story didn’t happen to me, but to a workmate of mine, many years ago.

She was on holiday in London and she had problems understanding native people and being understood by them.

Once, she was in a ticket office trying to buy a ticket for the Tube. The ticket vendor said something that sounds strange to her. She understood “on the bus” and answered: “I don’t want to go on the bus; I want to go on the subway”. After a while trying to understand each other, the ticket vendor said: “Que soy andaluz! Te pregunto dónde vas!” (pronounced like Andalusian people do).

At last, the man asked her again where she was going, and she answered: “I’m going to Acton Town”. The ticket vendor replied: “Speaking like that nobody won’t ever understand you”. My friend told him that was true: nobody understood her when she asked to go to Acton Town. The man said: “It’s easy! You have to say atontao!” (with Andalusian accent again).

Effectively, the next time she had to ask for Acton Town she said “atontao” and everybody understood her!

E.Vilaclara

Esperamos que os haya gustado. Y recordad que ya podéis empezar a votar(!).

 

I put my foot in it too!

Concurso de relatos breves en inglésSant Jordi matando al dragón. Pati dels Tarongers del Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Fuente: Gentcat.cat)

¿Alguna vez has metido la pata con el inglés? Muchos estudiantes de inglés han vivido situaciones anecdóticas, divertidas o incómodas, por un malentendido con la lengua inglesa. Como se diría en el mundo anglosajón they put their foot in it (han metido la pata).

Para celebrar el Día Internacional del Libro y la celebración de la Diada de Sant Jordi en Catalunya, lanzamos el Concurso de relatos breves en inglés: I put my foot in it too! que tanto éxito tuvo en su primera edición de 2010.

Si eres seguidor de Ziggurat en las redes sociales (Facebook y Twitter), si eres uno de los 7.000 suscriptores de la Daily Vitamin o alumno de Ziggurat, te animamos a participar y divertirnos con tus historias y anécdotas relacionadas en inglés (¡qué seguro que tienes alguna!). ¡Solidarízate y di I put my foot in it too!

Cualquier situación anecdótica que hayas protagonizado hablando inglés es válida; ya sea por una mala pronunciación, por temas culturales, por no entender a tu interlocutor, por una mala lectura… ¡cualquier historia que desees compartir con otros estudiantes de inglés!

En la última edición, tuvimos los siguientes relatos ganadores: A funny story in Ireland ganador del 1r premio,  Sheet and shit; please clean! que obtuvo el 2º puesto y Little Garden que quedó en 3r lugar. Y en nuestro blog podrás consultar también el resto de artículos que participaron.

A medida que vayamos recibiendo las redacciones las iremos publicando en el blog; abriremos también un sistema de votación a través de las redes sociales y entregaremos un premio a los artículos más populares.

¡Consulta las bases del concurso y escríbenos ya!

Ganadores concurso literario

Buenos días a todos,

Ya tenemos ganadores del Concurso de Relatos Breves que iniciamos el 23 de abril, con motivo de la celebración del día de Sant Jordi.

1r PREMIO
El ganador del Primer Premio y que, por tanto, disfrutará de un curso de 10 horas one-to-one (5 sesiones de 2 horas cada una) o 6 meses de clases telefónicas (1 sesión semanal de 30’) es el artículo A funny story in Ireland.

2º PREMIO
El segundo texto ganador que recibirá un curso de 3 meses de clases telefónicas (1 sesión semanal de 30’) es Sheet and shit; please clean!

3r PREMIO
Y el artículo que ha obtenido el tercer puesto y que ha ganado un curso de 1 mes de clases telefónicas (1 sesión semanal de 30’) es Little Garden.

Por último, hacer especial mención a los textos A pint of beer or my Irish experience y Introducing Willy, los cuales quedan en reserva en caso de que alguno de los ganadores rechace su premio.

Muchas gracias a todos por vuestra participación. Todos los textos han aportado un gran valor a este concurso y ha sido difícil seleccionar a los ganadores. Esperamos ver incrementar vuestra participación en futuras ediciones.