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Champollion's Achievements


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  1. After "being short" got turned into "vertically challenged" another quickly followed: now you're not "bald", just "folically challenged". In Spanish they call someone with low social skills "special". They're not a special person at all, just sometimes downright unpleasant. Have you noticed how many euphemisms are used by politicians to express when they want to cut public spending? Instead of saying the unpopular word cuts, they say, "adjustments", "fiscal consolidation", "fiscal responsibility" and a long list of others.
  2. Yes, "passed way" is a very common one: it seems that death is a tabu word so we do everything to avoid saying it. "He's not with us any more", or "She's left us" are just two more examples of the many euphemisms for dying. In the Salvation Army they use the wonderful phrase "She's been promoted to glory"! Bodily functions are also a bit tabu. Farting can be described as "breaking wind", and of course you do all this in a "rest-room". In Britain we "spend a penny" when we use these facilities. :shy: I love the euphemism we have in GB "a man is helping police with their enquiries", when what they really mean is that a suspect is being interrogated by the police and is suspected of a crime.
  3. Aren't there two languages which are called Chinese? ie Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese? And are they sufficiently similar for a speaker of one to understand the other? English, on the other hand, is essentially recognisable across the globe. Ok, weird and wonderful accents may make comprehension difficult for someone from Alabama on a trip to Glasgow, but it's the same language. And English is the mother tongue of most people in countries like USA, GB, Australia etc. whereas in China you have Chinese as the official language but not the mother tongue for a lot of people in different regions. Would you count Tibet as a fully integrated part of China where everyone happily spoke Mandarin every day?
  4. Pues si estais en una situacion peor que España si lo teneis crudo, Peninha, y espero que toda esta estupidez de la recesion causada por la incompetencia de la Troika se termine ya. Sabeis que en el periodo del boom immobiliario los bancos alemanes prestaron solo a España 350 mil millones de euros para financiar hipotecas temerarias? Quien es más tonto, una persona que presta dinero estupidamente o la persona que lo toma prestado? Pues eso, los bancos alemanes prestaron una avalancha de dinero estupidamente y ahora quieren proteger sus culos, y no les importan nada que las economias del sur como vosotros en Portugal, o Grecia, Italia etc etc se vayan al carajo. Solo quieren recuperar sus inversiones, y ademas han desubierto una fuente de beneficios de la recesion al ser el refugio de inversiones del sur de Europa, y destino de emigracion cualificada. Quizas mejor fuera del euro, no?
  5. Chorizo tiene dos significados: el primero es untipo de salchicha que es deliciosa. Puedes tomarlo asi como asi para picar, ponerlo dentro de un bocadillo o incluirlo en varios platos como Patatas a la Riojana o huevos al Plato. La gastronomia española es esplendida! Pero el segundo sentido es figurativo y colloquial, quiere decir "ladron, ratero, corrupto etc." Basicamente alguien que esta rellenando sus bolsillos a cuesta de los otros, normalmente en el mundo de la politica y con desfachatez. Es muy corriente hoy en dia oirlo en las protestas.
  6. Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion and Alanis Morisette are all bilingual singers in English and French as they come from Canada. That must be quite difficult, to be able to get the rhythm of the song just right in two different languages. Avril Lavigne even sang "I could be your girlfriend" in Japanese! I don't know if she actually speaks it, though, or just learnt the lyrics by heart for that one song. Shakira, Enrique Iglesias and Paulina Rubio are also bilingual singers, in English and Spanish.
  7. Salut! Je suis anglais, mais j'habite à Barcelone. J'aime beaucoup parler Français. Au fait, je suis nommé en honneur du linguiste plus celebre de la histoire, Champollion, qui a déchiffrer le secret des heiroglaphies d'Egypte.
  8. Es mi imaginación o es que los politicos españoles son todos chorizos? Tu enciendes la tele y la primera noticia es casi siempre relacionada con los casos de corrupcion por todo el pais: el ex-tesorero del partido en el Gobierno acusa el partido de aceptar dinero negro en efectivo debajo de la mesa, varios alcaldes estan imputados por trafico de influencias o comisiones ilegales en planes urbanisticos, etc, etc. Y mientras tanto, los ignorantes de la Troika nos dicen "Reformas! Reformas!" Pues bien, reformas són más que necesarias, pero la Troika entiende como "Reformas" recortar pensiones, la sanidad y la educacion, no limpiar el pais de los chorizos. El pais esta indignado. :angry:
  9. España es un pais majisimo con tantas cosas para atraer a turistas o gente que quiere vivir aqui. Soy britanico pero vivo en Cataluña, y me encanta la gente, la comida, el buen tiempo y las mil y una atracciones que ofrece la ciudad de Barcelona y la region. Los puntos negativos són la economia y la corrupcion politica. España tiene una tasa de desempleo de 25% ya, que es totalmente inaceptable. La clase media que tiene el suerte de mantener su puesto de trabajo ve reducido sus sueldos y condiciones, y el inepto gobierno esta complicando la situacio aun más al subir los impuestos, asi echando más gente a la calle. Por ejemplo: un litro de gasolina cuesta 1.40 euros ya. Dicen, "Oh, es más barata que en nuestra vecina Francia," pero omiten de decir que los sueldos en Francia són casi el doble de aqui. En resumen, si tienes pasta lo pasaras de maravilla aqui!
  10. Penhina, Nova means "doesn't work" in Spanish when you pronounce it, only it's written "No va", from the verb to be "yo voy, tu vas, el/ella va".
  11. The problem was, Trellum, that the mother company back in Tokyo took an awful long time to change this, which meant more than a few embarrassed people were driving around with a big sign saying PAJERO emblazoned across their radiator, haha! When I was working in France a few years ago there was a soda drink called Pschitt which was very popular. I had some trouble in bringing myself to ask for a bottle of Pschitt. And in Spain I came across cheese snacks in a packet called Bum. Very bad in British English, but I believe "bum" has a different meaning in the States, meaning "vagabond" or hobo", right? But these aren't really marketing mistakes, because they were local stuff, and both brands were onomatapeic names: Pschitt sounded like the soda bubbling up,and Bum is pronounced in Spanish as BOOM, an explosion.
  12. Why do some companies launch a new product in a country with a brand name that is totally unsuitable or even taboo? It really doesn't take much effort to do a teeny bit of homework and ask the locals if the word is ok. Famous examples: Mitsubishi launched a new jeep called the Pajero in Spain, which is a very naughty word. Opel realised that their Nova means "it doesn't go", so quickly changed it to Corsa. Ford equally tried to sell the Ford Taurus in Germany as the Ford Mist, which is almost just as bad as the Pajero in Spain.
  13. A very dangerous False Friend in French is "Je viens!" when somebody calls at the door and you want to say, "I'm coming!" The correct expression is "J'arrive! In Spanish I'd say the most common False Friend is the English word "actually" being translated to "actualmente", when really it should be "de veras/ de verdad/ en realidad". The most dangerous is "constipacion" when you have a cold. Just don't go to a pharmacy in an English speaking country and explain you have constipation when you want something for a cold!
  14. Me coming from the West of England, people say I have a Wurzel accent, which I'm very proud of! A Wurzel in England is like a Hick in the States, someone in rustic clothes who swings on a gate all day with a straw in their mouth and a flask of cider within easy reach. Well actually I don't swing on the gate ALL day! The accent for me is the nicest one in GB. I have a theory, and I've never actually seen this discussed, that the US English accent has a lot of input from the GB West Country accent, the reason being that the original settlers in the New World were from around the Bristol area. Bristol was the biggest port in the West of England in the 16th to 18th centuries. By the time successive waves of migrants to the US arrived the Bristol accent was already predominant in America and the new arrivals took it on board. Any ideas about this theory?
  15. One of the biggest bestsellers in Britain is the Scottish writer Ian Rankin with his detective Inspector Rebus. Not really a book for language learners except maybe for advanced level students, because the language is authentic. However, I would say that if you can read stuff like Harry Potter or Middlemarch then you can enjoy a great plot set in Edinburgh the last years of last century. I found the 3 I read of the Inspector Rebus (there are about a dozen) much more exciting than the contrived, implausible plots of Agatha Christie. A word of warning.... you can find bad language at certain times.
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