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Posts posted by Cielosur

  1. The only place I can think of that offers free e-books in French is Project Gutenberg, but they are classics in the public domain.  I believe they have some translations of Jane Austen's Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility.  They also have several novels be Honore de Balzac and much more to choose from. 

  2. En cuanto a las series españolas, en estos momentos estoy obsesionada con Isabel pero solo he podido ver la primera temporada y creo que ya van en la tercera.  También me gustó mucho El Secreto de Puente Viejo pero no la he podido ver toda porque no tengo acceso a todos los capítulos y tengo entendido que la serie es muy larga.    También disfruto mucho ver las repeticiones de los programas de Chespirito como El Chavo del Ocho y El Chapulín Colorado.  Es un humor muy lindo y muy sano.

  3. I want to get a good French/English dictionary.  I think it would help me very much to build my vocabulary.  I know that I can look up definitions and translate words online but I much prefer having an actual dictionary.  What would you recommend? 

  4. My biggest weakness without a doubt has to be the accents.  I speak it fluently and I have no problem expressing my thoughts but if I have to write (or type) something in Spanish I get overwhelmed.  I am constantly second guessing myself and consulting the dictionary to make sure I am getting the accents correctly.  Needless to say, it takes me quite a while to write something in Spanish. 

  5. I am going to go back in time to the 80s and recommend some of the bands that spearheaded the Rock En Tu Idioma movement.  This was a campaign from one of the record labels to promote rock music in Spanish.  The bands were primarily from Spain, Argentina, and Mexico

    Soda Stereo

    Enanitos Verdes

    Miguel Mateos

    Charly Garcia

    Miguel Rios

    La Union

    La Trinca

    Hombres G

    Nacha Pop

    Duncan Dhu

    Los Caifanes

    Maldita Vecindad

    I would also add Cafe Tacuba, La Ley and Mecano although these are more from the 90s. 

  6. I think that Don Quixote might be too much for a beginner.  Plus, the book is very long and it might seem like a daunting task  :laugh:.  I'm not sure how far along your friend is in their studies but you might consider some contemporary authors.  One book I really enjoyed is La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  If your friend likes magical realism, you can't go wrong with books by Carlos Fuentes (Aura is a personal favorite), Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Laura Esquivel or Isabel Allende. 

  7. My favorite poems is Cantares by Antonio Machado.  It was set to music by Joan Manuel Serrat in the late 60s and it became one of his iconic songs.  He added more verses to the poem.  It truly is beautiful. 

    Here are the verses written by Antonio Machado:


    Todo pasa y todo queda,

    pero lo nuestro es pasar,

    pasar haciendo caminos,

    caminos sobre la mar.


    Nunca perseguí la gloria,

    ni dejar en la memoria

    de los hombres mi canción;

    yo amo los mundos sutiles,

    ingrávidos y gentiles

    como pompas de jabón.

    Me gusta verlos pintarse

    de sol y grana, volar

    bajo el cielo azul, temblar

    súbitamente y quebrarse.

    Nunca perseguí la gloria.


    Caminante, son tus huellas

    el camino, y nada más;

    caminante, no hay camino,

    se hace camino al andar.

    Al andar se hace camino,

    y al volver la vista atrás

    se ve la senda que nunca

    se ha de volver a pisar.

    Caminante, no hay camino,

    sino estelas en la mar.


    And these are the verses added by Joan Manuel Serrat:

    Hace algún tiempo, en ese lugar

    donde hoy los bosques se visten de espinos,

    se oyó la voz de un poeta gritar:

    caminante, no hay camino,

    se hace camino al andar,

    golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

    Murió el poeta lejos del hogar,

    le cubre el polvo de un país vecino.

    Al alejarse le vieron llorar,

    caminante, no hay camino,

    se hace camino al andar,

    golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

    Cuando el jilguero no puede cantar,

    cuando el poeta es un peregrino,

    cuando de nada nos sirve rezar,

    caminante, no hay camino,

    se hace camino al andar,

    golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

    golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

    golpe a golpe, verso a verso.


  8. My favorite Mexican slang word is "chingar".  It is so versatile.  :laugh:

    It can be a noun:  Pasame la chingadera esa.  Hand me that damn thing. 

    It can be a verb:  Como chingas.  You bother me.

    It can be a destination:  Vete a la chingada.  Go to hell.

    It can mean a really good beating:  Me dieron una chinga. Te dieron una chinga.

    It can mean getting screwed over by someone:  Me chingaron.  Te chingaron.

    And of course there is the ultimate "chinga tu madre" which involves someone's mother. 

    If James Lipton ever asks me what is my favorite cuss word, I will have no qualms answering that is hands down "chingar".

  9. I use Duolingo as well.  I share your situation.  I took four years of French in high school and one year in college.  That was many, many moons ago and I forgot most of what I learned. 

    I am glad I found the app and I enjoy using it very much.  It is certainly more productive than most of the game apps out there.  I find Duolingo to be a great refresher for me but I agree that it does not help much with fluency.  As a matter of fact, when I try to watch a movie in French without the subtitles, I find that I cannot pick up most of the words. 

  10. Hi everyone,

    My name is Nidia and I am from Texas.  I speak English and Spanish fluently.  As a matter of fact, I consider both of them my native tongues since I grew up speaking both.  When I was in high school, I took French for four years and in college I took two more years of French.  But, as they say, use it or lose it and unfortunately, I had no one to practice with so I forgot most of what I learned.  I am trying to re-learn French.  I am glad that I found this forum and I look forward to learning and sharing. 

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