Cathedral of the Sea on Netflix

This is a show that came out in 2018 based on the 2006 novel of the same name by the Spanish author and lawyer Ildelfonso Falcones.

He wrote about the building of a very famous cathedral Santa Maria del Mar that was built by the guild of stonemasons in Barcelona. They built it for the Virgin Mary hence the name Saint Mary of the Sea. This took place in the Middle Ages (14th century precisely) so it was a feudal society with no mechanisation. Most of the population were slaves and they lived in dire poverty as they had no property or money of there own. They were simply uneducated and illiterate labourers with no prospects of advancement. This also meant that women had no rights as they were property of first their father and then there husband. They were educated in the art of bringing up children and running a household as that’s all they were expected to do.

It’s originally in European Spanish but you can watch it with subtitles or dubbed into English. I prefer to watch shows in the original language with subtitles as I believe I get a more authentic experience then. I previously mentioned this as part of a much earlier post talking about using bilingual programs on Netflix to help further my progress in learning languages Netflix.

I love history, travel, culture as well as being overly enthusiastic about words. I also like architecture which is as much mathematics and design as well as art and I love reading!

The article on Wikipedia provides a little more insight if you wish to get to know the author, his work or the era better –The Cathedral of the Sea.

Ubiquitous words

Uber is one of those words that is now universally known as the car firm that you can call up anywhere, anytime and you will get a cab to take you any place you like. It has had a couple of changes though from its German meaning. When it first came to my attention in English it was being used to be mean ultra or exceptional as it was a foreign word to most who didn’t know what it meant so it was special and therefore it could mean anything in advertising terms. In German I learnt that it was just a lowly common garden variety word meaning above as in uber teche being a simple phrase saying above the table.

Kinder Bueno is an unusual word as it combines German and Spanish. Kinder is German for children and Bueno Spanish for good yet it enabled me to make a funny joke about my husband being a good child that’s why he got a kinder bueno ice cream without him getting the joke whatsoever. Another marketing joke that most I don’t expect realise as to them it’s just a chocolate bar.

Mojo is another phrase popularised through its use in the Austin Powers Austin’s mojo movies of the 1990’s. This one may have jumped onto the Spanish bandwagon as that language was popular in songs later on in the decade especially. Mojo as defined by Austin was his sexual energy had been stolen so he could no longer woo women. In reality mojo is just the word for sauce although most of us would recognise salsa for sauce instead.

Adelante is another 90’s word that got its spot in the sunlight through the hugely popular Sash Sash – adelante song of the same name. It was rave culture and dancing under the influence of drugs means you are unlikely to care what the song is about since the beat and rhythm is more important. Club music is often stripped back to the bones and this song invites you to come on in. However if you don’t know Spanish you might never twig that adelante means precisely that.

Have you got any examples of your own to share with me? If so drop me a line in the comments section.

Best wishes

Angela

Spanish conversation basics

Hola senor, senorita, a todos,

Buenos Dias/Buenas Tardes/Buenas noches,

Como Estes? Que pasa?

Bien, muy bien.

Adelante,

Dos cafe sin leche pero con azucar por favor,

UNO mas?

Si/No.

Une cerveza con limon por favor.

Muchos Gracias.

Salut!

Hasta las vista.

Adios.

Hello guy/girl, everyone,

Good Day, Good Afternoon, Good Night.

How are you? What’s up?

Good, very good.

Come on in.

Two coffees without milk but with sugar please.

One more?

Yes/No.

One beer with lemon please.

Thankyou very much,

Cheers!

See you later.

Goodbye.

Learning languages through what you love

I have been enjoying a holiday in Mexico to practice my Spanish but I’m also getting a sampler of German and a sprinkling of Russian in addition to the Mayan language.

Article in Spanish on German bock style beer
Article in Spanish on German style Bock beer
Hop 3 - Beer experience Russian style beer
Hop 3 – Beer experience Russian style beer

When you are relaxed it is much easier to retain information and when you speak the language the locals are much more likely to recommend their favourite places and dishes to you. Local knowledge is key as always. Travel agents are good but they can’t possibly have been everywhere or know everything. The internet is no substitute for experience here.

Hop 3 - Beer Experience Mérida
Hop 3 – beer experience Mérida

This is Eduardo who I had a chat with as he has previously learnt some Russian and was currently learning German. He had progressed quite well for only having spent 6 months on the language so far. Being from this area he had already mastered Spanish, Mayan and English. He liked to travel a lot to the point each year he would spend 3 months working away but regretted the fact that he always had to do it solo. He admired the fact that me and my husband Sam could share our adventures together.

Best wishes

Angela

My Progress in Spanish, Greek and Russian

Recently I have been watching Greek Tedx talks and pop videos on YouTube with the subtitles on but the catch here is that the subtitles are in Greek also. It’s amazing the progress I have made by being able to understand more of what they are talking about than just pure listening. Greek pop videos are usually easy to figure out but going from a gist to understanding the idea behind it purely by seeing more than a 10 second countdown clip and reading the words is pretty cool. Pop music repeats the same simple lyrics so there good for learning but the con is that they don’t use proper language so it’s more slang which still can be helpful.

The Tedx talks are for when I want to step it up although that’s several levels up and I’m not quite ready for understanding these yet. I think maybe I have a 50% comprehension level here.

I’m debating how to progress with my Spanish and Russian studies. I like Latin American Spanish far more than European Spanish which is rather problematic for me considering where I live. I’m hoping extensive use of Netflix and maybe Amazon Prime/YouTube will assist here?

I don’t know enough Spanish to be able to watch purely with native subtitles but the American accents are so off putting when they speak in English. I have very sensitive ears and hearing so the stereotypical high pitched whiny American accent really gets to me. They speak their native language so beautifully but then when it’s dubbed into American English OMG!!!!!

I’m the kind of person that gets bored quite easily if I don’t understand things so I’m basically making a rod for my own back as the saying goes. I’m complaining about something while knowing that this is actually the best way to learn a language. A first world problem as it’s now called.

As to the Russian language this can surprisingly sound beautiful if spoken by the right people. If they sound so mellifluous (honeyed from Greek ;)) then I don’t mind the English subtitles. However, I watched a dual English/Russian pop song today and it was horrific. His voice was bad and the translation showed that while the voice matched the words, the song seemed to be in 2 halves like a he said, she said argument. Why?

This was post was inspired by the fact that I watched a video (another yes I know) and this was about the tricks that polyglots used to learn languages. In it the author said the best way to learn was to talk and to make mistakes. I’m deathly afraid of this but that is the subject for another article as this is getting long as is the subject of reading which I’m again addressing.

Best wishes

Angela

Netflix

This is a brilliant platform to watch foreign language films on subjects that you are interested in. I have already posted about watching The First Line which is English but with plenty of Greek to keep me happy. I have also been watching Cathedral of the Sea which is Spanish (English subtitled) history, The Medici which is Italian history, Bolivar which is Spanish (English subtitled) Latin American history and the Last Csars which is Russian history. That last one is part dramatisation, part historical program. For pure drama in Russian with English subtitles watch Trotsky. This is not for the faint hearted as it’s quite raunchy from the start.

If you need to practice your English I recommend watching Peaky Blinders. This is on BBC IPlayer as well as on Netflix. You have 4 seasons so far to sink your teeth into. This is set in Birmingham just after World War One and the language is quite raw but it’s highly enjoyable. Not one for children but then neither are any of the above programmes either.

Do you have programs to recommend that I should watch as you don’t tend to hear about any of the ones above when asking people for viewing suggestions?

Best wishes

Angela