Posts Tagged ‘study spanish in Buenos Aires’

Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

Friday, April 29, 2011 13:48

Categories - Spanish, Student Stories - 6 Comments

Imagen 033 200x300 Top 10 iPhone Apps for Learning Spanish

As I stated in last week´s blog, very rarely do I leave my house without my handy iPhone to help me navigate around the amazing city of Buenos Aires. In addition of finding great apps for the city, I have also found some wonderful apps to help me study Spanish… Here are my top 10 Spanish learning apps (including a couple of podcasts)!

1)      Basic Spanish for Dummies ($.99) – I think we are all familiar with this series of books that always simplify our lives by starting with the basics!  Its goal is to give you the essential vocabulary you´ll need to get around – greetings, expressions, directions, time, etc. I would strongly suggest to download this app a week or two before leaving, to get you started – your Expanish teachers will take it from there!

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2)      El Mejor Ahorcado ($.99) – We all get bored and like to play games on our phones as we are waiting in an airport or traveling on a bus, but now you can make it educational too! El Mejor AhorcadoThe Best Hangman,” will keep you entertained while also teaching you new Spanish words on the go.

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3)      BA Cast w/ Dan and Fernando Podcast – My newest found addiction that keeps me laughing as I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and even on crowded subways!! Dan & Fernando (the expat & the local), give their own perspective of porteño culture and life on varied topics about fútbol, the Dirty War, rules of maté, fernet, and more! (While also schooling you on local lunfardoslang.”) This duo has just completed their first season, and I am anxiously awaiting more!!

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4)      Wordpower Spanish Lite (free) – Allows you to master Spanish one word at a time! Each day you are given a new word, with pronunciation by a native Speaker and the option to record yourself before moving onto the next word. Although this may seem like a slow process, it actually will help you build and retain your vocabulary “wordbank,” by reinforcing daily with practice flashcards!

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5)      Spanish Touch Trainer ($1.99) – This app will help you get accustomed to Spanish sentence structure, conjugation, and grammar in relation to English. Starting at a beginner or advanced level, you will be able to construct proper phrases one word at a time and earning points to make it more of a game! You will learn how to switch between tenses when telling a story about the past, present, and future, thus providing you with a greater proficiency in your conversations.

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6)      Gengo Quiz – Spanish ($4.99) – As you advance, you may want to quiz yourself so you can see just how far you have come! This app starts at a beginner´s level –Upper Intermediate, allowing you to gauge your progress. You may even surprise yourself how much you are learning.

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7)      Tune-in Radio ($.99) – Continue to embed yourself local porteño culture by tuning into local stations! Whether you are listening to talk radio, pop, or tango – you´ll pick up local expressions and the local beat of the city. And if you find a favorite radio show that you don´t want to miss, it even allows you to record stations to listen to later!

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8)      Gengo Grammar – Spanish ($9.99) – One of the hardest things about learning Spanish as an English speaker is learning a variety of grammar rules. Therefore this app is great in supporting your grammar at all levels while also aiding in a more extensive explanation. Along with your daily classes at Expanish – this is the perfect way to review and support your studies of adverbs, commands, passive voice, verb formation, etc…

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9)      Notes in Spanish Podcast – This podcast offers three different levels of oral conversation: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. The couple Ben (England) & Marina (Spain) discuss common topics such as music, social situations, holidays, etc. Although their accent is a very distinct Spanish accent, you can train you ear by listening to normal conversations on a variety of topics. It´s a great way to improve your audio skills and you can even follow up on their website for worksheets about each podcast!

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10)   Porteño Spanish ($.99) – One more fun thing about learning Spanish is learning the local slang or as the porteños would call “lunfardo.” This fun app is meant to help you understand and possibly incorporate some local jargon into your conversation! However keep in mind that some of the terms should not be used on a daily basis!

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Remember that we all have different ways of learning, so see which apps work best for you and your level! As well, let me know if you have any favorites not listed here!!

Suerte!

Casie

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Che, do you know the real story about ‘El Che’?

Thursday, April 28, 2011 13:38

Categories - Argentina News, Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish - 0 Comments

The Expanish Spanish School blog today is brought to you by Analia Imparato, one of the Expanish Spanish teachers,  about the infamous Argentine  – Che Guevara.

che guevara 1 241x300 Che, do you know the real story about El Che?

Hay hombres que luchan un día, y son buenos.
Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores.
Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos.
Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida: ésos son los imprescindibles.
Bertolt Brecht

Silvio Rodríguez, un cantautor cubano famoso en toda América Latina desde los años ’70 hasta hoy, inicia una de sus canciones, Sueño con serpientes, recitando estas palabras del autor alemán Bertolt Brecht. Es frecuente encontrarlas también en muchos de los numerosos “pósters” (y hasta en algunas remeras) que han multiplicado la imagen del Comandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara tomada por el fotógrafo Alberto Korda a lo largo y a lo ancho del mundo (la misma que ilustra este texto). Las “serpientes” de la canción se parecen mucho a las que este imprescindible luchador tuvo que combatir durante su lamentablemente corta vida (39 años). Y aunque Bertolt Brecht no pronunció esas palabras pensando en el “Che”, ellas lo pintan en cuerpo y alma.

Pocos hombres, vivos o muertos, han suscitado tanta admiración, fascinación, confusión, crítica y desprecio al mismo tiempo, o han llegado a convertirse en verdaderos íconos universales de la publicidad. Curiosamente, el espíritu del “Che” estaría horrorizado si viera que la explotación de su imagen genera miles de dólares por año que no precisamente caen en manos de las personas más necesitadas ni hambrientas.

Este símbolo juvenil de la lucha y de la rebelión es, además, uno de los argentinos más famosos del mundo (junto con Evita, Diego Armando Maradona, Carlos Gardel y Jorge Luis Borges). Además de argentino, se trata de uno de los varios rosarinos célebres (acaso el más célebre de todos), como decía la profesora Clara en De bares y amigos recientemente. Argentino de nacimiento, pero cubano “por adopción”: los mismos cubanos, quienes lo consideraban un compatriota y un hermano después de tanta lucha conjunta, le otorgaron la nacionalidad tan pronto como el nuevo Estado empezó a funcionar.

che joven 150x150 Che, do you know the real story about El Che?

Así, pues, nacido en Rosario, provincia de Santa Fe, el 14 de junio de 1928, murió asesinado clandestinamente por el Ejército Boliviano con la colaboración de la C.I.A estadounidense en La Higuera (Bolivia), el 9 de octubre de 1967. Médico de profesión, y también político, revolucionario (“guerrillero” para algunos, “asesino” para otros), soldado, escritor, periodista, fotógrafo aficionado, idealista, humanista… Su biografía, gracias a la abundante bibliografía y filmografía existente sobre él, es casi tan conocida como su imagen: desde el joven viajero soñador en busca de un destino y de una utopía interpretado por el mexicano Gael García Bernal en Diarios de motocicleta de Walter Salles (2004), hasta el reflexivo y humanitario combatiente y luego líder de la Revolución Cubana, mano derecha de Fidel Castro, en la piel de Benicio del Toro en Che, el argentinoy Guerrilla de Steven Soderbergh (2008).

che guevara fidel castro 289x300 Che, do you know the real story about El Che?

Efectivamente, dedicó toda su vida al combate por aquello en lo que creía: primero como líder del movimiento revolucionario cubano junto a Fidel, luego como colaborador en la organización del nuevo estado cubano posterior a la victoria de la Revolución, más tarde como soldado en el Congo y finalmente combatiendo en Bolivia. El Che era un hombre inquieto y de acción: una vez que el nuevo gobierno cubano estuvo estable y bien administrado, renunció a las tareas burocráticas que le ofrecían permanente y que habrían facilitado su vida y la de su familia (numerosa, ya que se casó dos veces y tuvo seis hijos). Él creía firmemente que era posible extender el éxito de la Revolución cubana al resto de América Latina y al Tercer Mundo en general; en consecuencia, puso manos a la obra y se fue de Cuba con el sueño de ayudar a otros pobres olvidados u oprimidos. Desafortunadamente, estaba equivocado. Las “serpientes” eran más y más fuertes de lo que él pensaba; terminaron por rodearlo y vencerlo a fuerza de confabulaciones y presiones. Pero no por completo… Las “serpientes” habrán vencido al hombre, pero no a su espíritu, ni al símbolo: el recuerdo y la imagen del “Che”, en consecuencia, sus ideales y la historia de su lucha, han sobrevivido y continúan inspirando a muchos jóvenes del mundo que siguen escribiendo en las paredes de las prisiones y de las ciudades Hasta la victoria siempre.”

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Spanish Student´s Blog: Leaps & Bounds – What to expect out of your Expanish Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires

Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:11

Categories - Expanish News, Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

la foto 4 300x224 Spanish Student´s Blog: Leaps & Bounds   What to expect out of your Expanish Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires

I am only in my third week here at Expanish and I can already tell that my Spanish has been improving by leaps and bounds! So what should you expect out of your classes…

Well, the morning bell rings at 9 am and classes begin. My professor Eduardo usually has us turn in our homework which could be a variety of exercises. One of my favorites is our vocabulary research – it´s not as boring as it sounds either. For example – words that end in “ero”: matadero, frutero, granjero, vinatero, etc… It’s a light way to start the morning and learn a ton of new words! The rest of the day is spent learning verb tenses and grammar – but in a fun and exciting way. We read about local history or the daily news, and discuss current events or attractions. Plus, I get to hear the adventurous things my classmates have done in the city. I get a daily tour guide to the city as an added bonus! Throughout my lessons, not only am I learning to sound porteño, but also learning common Spanish words and phrases used throughout Latin America.

Every day I feel more at ease in communicating with my classmates and expressing myself clearly.   I currently have 7 students in my class all of different nationalities: Brazilian, Slovakian, Swiss, and German. But throughout the school there are also people from France, Holland, Canada, England, Australian, and the list goes on! Since we are encouraged to speak in our classes, I am not only learning about Argentina, but also about countries from across the world.  I never imagined that I would become more worldly through my studies at Expanish in Buenos Aires!

Casie

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Studying Spanish in Buenos Aires – The Refresher Classes

Thursday, January 20, 2011 15:29

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

la foto 41 224x300 Studying Spanish in Buenos Aires   The Refresher Classes

Learning another language is very hard.  Even though I have studied Spanish in high school, college, studied abroad in Spain and had lived in Argentina for the past year, my Spanish still wasn’t where I would have liked it to be.  The main problem I had was that, although I could speak quickly and understand almost everything that was said to me, I developed numerous bad habits and misused a number of verbs and phrases that resulted in my Spanish sounding very “rough”.  Fortunately, given the fact that I worked for a Spanish language institute, I had access to some excellent Spanish teachers who could help me break these habits and teach me how to speak more fluidly.

On my first day of class, it was kind of weird getting used to “learning” again as it had been about 3 years since I had stepped foot into a classroom and the idea of doing Spanish exercises and working on pronunciation was a bit foreign.  The one thing that jumped out at me right away was how hard it was for me to talk about things and describe situations that I usually didn’t discuss with my friends, work collegues or during my day-to-day routine.  Like I said, I was stuck in a certain pattern of Spanish where I relied on my “surefire” verbs and vocabulary to communicate myself so to step out of this comfort zone was challenging to say the least.

The one thing that definitely helped me was my teacher’s approach to teaching; she immediately made me feel comfortable and told me to not be embarrassed or upset if I made an error, as this is the number one thing that holds people back from really improving their language skills.  Another thing that really assisted in my learning was trying different types of exercises.  From reading texts and doing a critical analysis on said text to writing essays to watching a movie in Spanish and describing what happened, these were things that I never would have done on my own but that paid immediate dividends as I (as well as my friends and colleagues) noticed that my Spanish really improved within a short amount of time.  Towards the end of my time taking classes (I took 2 months of individual lessons in total) I found myself completely committed to doing my homework, thinking about questions I had about Spanish that I could ask my professor and overall looking forward to each Tuesday when I got to meet with my teacher to improve my Spanish.

After having taken classes in Buenos Aires, I guess one piece of advice I have for those who are planning on taking classes during your time here is that you should really center your trip around your Spanish learning during your stay.  That isn’t to say that you should be studying day and night during your entire stay in Buenos Aires but rather you should take advantage of the fact that you are in a Spanish speaking country where your learning doesn’t have to end once you step out of the classroom.  Pay attention to what people say on the street and never hesitate to ask someone the meaning of a word that you don’t understand as most people are more than willing to correct your Spanish (and even teach you some lunfardo slang).  This way, you not only will have a blast living in a South American city and meeting awesome people but will also improve your Spanish skills; something that could benefit you both professionally and personally down the road.

Mike

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Buenos Aires – What is it that makes people want to stay?

Friday, December 10, 2010 13:02

Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Student Stories - 2 Comments

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My story is not a unique one, in fact, since being in Buenos Aires (it’s been two months now) I have met many a BA expat with a similar tale. On a career break from my job in London, I decided to broaden my horizons and travel around South America for 6 months, starting in Colombia and finishing up in Buenos Aires. The plan was to return home to London in time for Christmas. Everything was going to plan until I arrived in Buenos Aires.

After a few days of exploring the city, treading the well known tourist trail, I began to realise that Buenos Aires was going to be more than just a week stop off for me.

The first thing that really struck me was the city’s similarities to some of the European cities I know so well, Madrid, Paris and London to name a few. Mix in with that  3 million plus passionate and very welcoming Porteños, combined with a  bit of latino spirit, an edginess that you don’t see in Europe, and last but by no means least, some of the best food and wine i’ve tasted. Anywhere.

So I set about making a list. Reasons to stay in BA vs reasons to return to London. I won’t bore you with the latter but needless to say it included friends and family, job etc. Here’s a snapshot of what the other side said.

Food

Restaurants, food markets, steak, pizza,  empanadas. BA delivers on all fronts, some of my best food experiences have been asados (Hurlingham polo was a favourite). Restaurants that shouldn’t be missed include Dada’s (Microcentre), Desnivel and Parilla del Plata (San Telmo). Pizza from Snr Telmo is also great. Nice and crispy.

Ice Cream

Ok so this should probably be included under food but since being in BA I have developed such an unhealthy addiction to Freddo’s that it has to have it’s own category!

San Telmo

I love my new neighborhood, full of beautiful (crumbling) old buildings, cobbled streets, antiques markets and Freddo’s (see above)

Bootcamp

I’ve really enjoyed doing regular Bootcamp sessions in Puerto Madero. A great way to get outside, excercise and meet people

Spanish

I am determined to master my Spanish and BA is the perfect place to do it. Although the accent is a Little tough at first, Poteños willingness to correct you is a blessing in disguise

Horses

I love riding back home and horses tend to feature quite high on lists of things to do in Argentina, lapping up the sunshine while watching the Polo at Hurlingham,  going to the races or visiting the Gaucho festival in San Antonio de Areco.

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So, needless to say, my ‘reasons to stay’ list grew (and continues to grow) and after a week in Buenos Aires my mind was made up and I decided that a life here was a far more attractive prospect than returning to London in the midst of one of the coldest winters on record.

Becky

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Comida que me gusta en argentina

Friday, December 3, 2010 14:15

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Argentine Recipes, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs - 0 Comments

P1010017 300x224 Comida que me gusta en argentina

En Argentina, la comida siempre es la mejor excusa para reunirse. Pizzas  con amigos, pastas con la familia, ¡asados con todos!

El almuerzo favorito de mi infancia fue la milanesa con papas fritas y huevo frito, y los  asados que hacía mi papá, que por supuesto siempre eran los mejores! Toda la familia se juntaba para compartir ese momento tan especial. Mi mamá nunca logró que tomara sopa, ni aún en los días más fríos del invierno. Mi enemistad con la sopa fue disminuyendo con el tiempo, y ahora,  de vez en cuando, puedo tomar alguna.

En el interior del país, la gente hace una pausa al mediodía y almuerza tranquilamente, siempre comida recién preparada en casa. En cambio en las grandes ciudades, la actividad laboral nos lleva a tener un almuerzo muy breve, que puede ser ensalada, sandwich o las clásicas tartas y empanadas. Dentro del sandwich argentino, uno se puede encontrar con la más variada gama de ingredientes: desde tomate y lechuga, hasta un rico lomito asado. La cena se convierte, entonces, en el plato principal del día.

Personalmente prefiero las comidas simples, sin demasiados condimentos: carne al horno o en milanesa, con alguna guarnición de papas, puré o fideos; pastas con manteca o salsa de crema, y por supuesto todas las variedades de pizza. También me gusta mucho hacer “picada” antes de la cena, que consiste en trozos de quesos varios, salamín, jamón, aceitunas, maní…

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Los postres son, definitivamente, mi debilidad: tortas de chocolate, helados, masas de confitería, alfajores y flanes… todos son bienvenidos! Muchos de estos postres puedo hacerlos yo misma en casa, con lo que el placer es doble: preparlos y luego degustarlos!

En Expanish organizamos una cena todas las semanas para nuestros estudiantes, en la que visitamos restaurantes y probamos comidas deliciosas. Si querés saber de qué se trata, contactanos.

Carina

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Learning Spanish in Argentina – The Porteño Way

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7:26

Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Spanish, Uncategorized - 2 Comments

rioplatense spanish area main cities 300x247 Learning Spanish in Argentina   The Porteño Way

The Spanish spoken in Buenos Aires is unique because of the characteristics of its dialects and slang which have a strong influence from the Italian language.

Argentine Spanish, as in any other language has variations and different dialects according with the country, city or area where it is spoken. The Spanish in Buenos Aires, known as the Rioplatense Spanish which includes Buenos Aires, Montevideo (Uruguay) and Rosario is characterized by the voseo, the use of “vos” instead of “tu” which means “you” and the yeismo, which is different pronunciation of the “ll” like if it was a “y” or a “sh” in English.

The slang spoken in Buenos Aires, the lunfardo, is mainly influenced by the Italian and also by other European languages. This can be explained by the large amount of Italian immigrants that arrived to Argentina and stayed in Buenos Aires at the beginning of 20th century. A great number of porteños have Italian last names and it is common to find lunfardo in Tango Lyrics as well as to hear it used in everyday language in the streets. Some examples of the lunfardo that can be heard in Buenos Aires:

  • Laburar: To work (from Italian lavoro , “work”),
  • Fiaca: laziness (from the Italian fiacco -weak-),
  • Morfar: To eat (from French morfer -to eat-),
  • Cana: lunfardo for policeman, or the jail,
  • Ciruja: Junkman one who collects (to earn a living) empty bottles, metals, cardboard,
  • Mina: lunfardo for woman.
  • Pebeta: lunfardo for young woman or girl.

At Expanish we teach a neutral Spanish alongside Argentine Spanish so that you will be able to understand the people you hear on the street every day, but also, you will be able to talk and understand in other Spanish speaking countries.

Have fun with your new words!

Alejandro

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The census: life goes on pause in Buenos Aires for all but its Visitors

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 21:20

Categories - Argentina News, Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Expanish News, Spanish - 1 Comment

censo 2010 argentina The census: life goes on pause in Buenos Aires for all but its Visitors

As many of you may know, today is an Argentine holiday or feriado due to the national census that is being performed, something that is done in almost every advanced nation, with the last one being taken in 2001.  To give you a basic overview, a census is conducted in order to obtain critical information of a country’s population such as the proportion of adults to children, average level of education and median household income.  To use a crude analogy, a census is much like a diagnostics test for engines where the surveyor (in this case, the government) checks to see which parts are functioning well and which aren’t.  From there, the government will use this information to distribute appropriated funds to the parts of the country where they are needed the most.

But how will this affect you and why the heck is everything going to be closed today (including bars and clubs which will shut down when the clock hits 12 – about now)?  Well, the way censuses are conducted in Argentina is quite different then what you may be used as the whole “study” is conducted in one day where you must wait for a census worker to stop by your house or apartment to ask a few questions.  Much like a cable company with horrible customer service, these workers can be expected between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm, essentially ruining any plans you could make and causing the city’s restaurants, stores and cafés to close until tonight.

Luckily, as an extranjero (foreigner) you won’t have to wait around all day as the census only applies to citizens of Argentina and foreigners who have lived here for five years or more.  But what is one to do in a city that is essentially a ghost town for twelve hours?  Here are few suggestions of ways to spend your “holiday” (weather permitting, of course):

-Pack yourself a picnic (with maté of course) and spend a lazy afternoon in Plaza Holanda, a wonderful park which is normally packed and hectic on the weekend.

-Go to barrio Chacarita (a lesser known neighborhood but safe and appealing nonetheless) and get “lost” for a few hours in the numerous side streets and cemetery located off the corner of Jorge Newbery and Corrientes
-Download a “guided tour” for your IPod or MP3 player and learn a little about the history of Buenos Aires while walking at your own pace

-Check out the beautiful Parque Centenario in Caballito, complete with a running track and a designated “public exercising space”

-Print out or (or buy) a map of Recoleta Cemetary and go on a creepy “Easter egg” hunt for the tombs of some of Buenos Aires’ and Argentina’s most famous historical figures

The underlying theme in the above mentioned activities is explore the city and take advantage of the day off as there’s no reason to have a wasted day just because everything is closed.  As millions of porteños are stuck in their homes on a beautiful day, take the time to find out the reason that they proudly call Buenos Aires home.

Mike

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Exercising your dance moves between Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires

Monday, October 25, 2010 14:44

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Student Stories - 2 Comments

DSC01012 Exercising your dance moves between Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires

Should you have been avidly following our blogs along with the rest of the trendy Spanish student population of Buenos Aires, you may have picked up on the continuous food theme. It’s popular out here. And not always in the most healthy of varieties or quantities. As a rule it tends to be either fried, stuffed with cheese or covered in dulce de leche and consequently, I am of course a picture of health. I present the pancho, a hotdog consisting of sausage, bun and stuffed full of chips for good measure; I once had the audacity to ask for mine “sin papas” and received a look that has subsequently lead me to keep my unwelcome health-conscious feelings to  myself. Another discovery is a variation on the typical Argentine dish the milanesa. This piece of meat, beaten into a road-kill kind of display, is battered and then fried or baked depending on how long you want to delay your visit to the hypertension clinic. This I was excited about. They didn’t seem too large and whilst clearly not a regular feature in Kate Moss’s diet, it seemed this would be a meal for which I would not need to be checked into post-dinner rehab.  However, the reality was the meat described posing incognito as a pizza base covered in an assortment of bacon and tomatoes and smothered in cheese…

                  It was as I was being rolled out the restaurant door having once again enjoyed myself too much that I began to wonder how on earth anyone can stay in shape whilst studying Spanish in Buenos Aires without needing to book an extra seat for the flight home. Particularly as the summer approaches.  It may bring in more tourists, but being mistaken for a whale on the beaches of Mar del Plata is not on my Argentine “to do” list.

                It was fortunate therefore, that this week Expanish offered its students a free Tango class. This smooth, sensual and passionate dance originated here, in the barrios of Buenos Aires, in the late 1800’s and has become an integral and valued part of the culture. I mention this impeccably timed activity because it seems to have presented the answer to working off all those over-indulgences. Though it is not too complex a dance, at least not at first, it certainly provides a good work out and what better way to combine exercise, being with friends and learning about Argentine culture? After just an hour of politely and ever so apologetically shredding each other’s toes we did actually begin to formulate something that vaguely resembled something like the dance intended. Some had become so involved they had even acquired the characteristic mournful facial expression, though this may well have been on account of the continuous onslaught taking place between our increasingly unhappy feet. Perhaps a few more lessons are necessary but take confidence, if I can do it you can!

So having found a new hobby, I left school feeling pleased, a little exhausted and went to buy another empanada

Check my blog next week to here more Expanish news.

Archie

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There´s no such phrase as “I can´t play football” in Argentina.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 14:22

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Expanish News, Student Stories - 0 Comments

DSC00927 There´s no such phrase as I can´t play football in Argentina.

No Maradonas but we gave it a good shot.

 

Having recovered from last week´s disagreement with my mate, I returned to my Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires with a rekindled enthusiasm, and in equal volume, a newly acquired caution with regards to jumping headlong into any untested Argentine traditions my teacher might care to mention… (see Friday the 8th Oct blog for details).

Being a new week, we had a few new faces thrown into the mix not to mention a few new accents; German Spanish being my personal favorite. The constant flow of students in and out of Expanish, though sometimes sad as old friends must leave, is also great because it means that the class dynamic is constantly changing and new people bring new ideas and opinions.  Equally, as I’ve progressed through the course, I’ve found the Spanish classroom conversation becoming continuously more interesting and amusing. A friend of mine once said to me, “you know you’re becoming good at a foreign language when you’re able to joke using it”. I do believe there to be an element of truth in that, disheartening though it is knowing that my occasional attempted witty quips continue to be met with the proverbial tumbleweed moving painfully slowly across the classroom. But maybe that’s just my sense of humor.

Having embarrassed myself enough in the classroom, I thought it might be an idea to venture out to Expanish´s Friday afternoon football activity and embarrass myself there instead.  On activities notice board in school, it states any ability, any experience, boys, girls and the lack of any other sort of criteria you might be able to think of. This was actually rather fortunate considering that the only criteria I fit with regards to football is “extra special”. However it was an afternoon very well spent with plenty of opportunity to get to know a whole load more Expanish students along with a chance to practice some (not always very polite) Spanish with the Argentines on the opposite team. 

Tired and a determined to get better at football after an action packed day of Spanish lessons, sport and more Spanish, we headed of for a quiet beer to wind down for the evening (the local Quilmes is the one to go for). Salud!  

Archie

To find out more about what it´s like to be a student with Expanish check out the webstite www.expanish.com

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