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Welcome to the intriguing world of language and culture. This page is specially dedicated to those who, far from becoming experts in one language, prefer to become polyglots, travel the world and practise their communication skills. The flags English  Spanish  show the resources in English and Spanish.

 
     
 
Do you have a suitable keyboard?

Click the picture to access the Spanish characters: ñ, á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, ¡ ¿ € "

 

Phonetic characters, accents, symbols...                      English  Spanish

Writing in a foreign language may be difficult depending on which set of characters, symbols and accents is used.

Tomasz P. Szynalski offers on his website a useful tool which includes currencies, IPA phonetics, mathematical symbols and the full set of characters for up to 21 different countries including: Spanish, German, French, Welsh, Dutch, Norwegian, Finish, Swedish, Italian and Portuguese, among others.

 π α σ δ φ γ η ς λ ζ ξ β μ ή ώ ð þ μ ξ

Choose your character set.

 
Colourful language

Colourful language

 

International idioms related to colours                         English  Spanish

Have you ever thought that colours can be perceived differently in other countries?

The colour green, for example, is usually related to plants ('eat your greens'). In French someone with horticultural talents has la main verte, 'a green hand'. In German you would prefer to buy organic tomatoes from someone with ein grünen Daumen meaning 'a green thumb'. On the other hand if you're told in Spanish that you are más raro que un perro verde, someone is describing you as 'stranger than a green dog', strange indeed.

Walk through the colour spectrum reading an interesting post from OxfordWords blog and see how much we have in common.

 
Oxford University, Language Centre. Online placement tests

Take the online placement tests to check your level

 

Online placement tests                                                        English  Spanish

You can test your level of competence in languages such as Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish using the Oxford University website.

Browse the page for helpful information about courses and entry level requirements.

Oxford University

 

 
Spanish proverbs translated with their equivalent in other languages

Equivalent proverbs in different languages

 

Spanish proverbs in other languages                            English  Spanish

The Cervantes Institute offers a great collection of Spanish sayings and proverbs with their equivalent in other languages.

In Latin, for example, 'Dictum sapienti sat est' means 'A word to the wise is enough'.

It is an interesting tool worth exploring for learning more about wise phrases from the past.

Click here for above phrase. You can also browse the list which is organised alphabetically by clicking the link below.

Lista de paremias en español.

 
Parallel texts

Parallel texts of a short story in Spanish and English

 

Parallel Texts                                                               English  Spanish

A collection of short stories written in English and translated into 55 different languages.

Expand your vocabulary quickly and easily with a translation that is broken down into paragraphs.

Starting with Afrikaans and ending with Zulu, explore this many interesting and unusual languages.

Read the Spanish-English story or choose another language from the left-hand side of the screen.
 

 
     

Tim Doner talks about his experience as a polyglot.

 

Would you like to become a Polyglot?

Polyglot is the term applied to people who are able to write and speak fluently in at least three languages. Translations of texts with more than one lingual source are also called polyglot, and another example of polyglot is a spoken language that switches from one language to another in the same conversation.

Tim Doner has studied over 20 languages. He prefers to learn foreign history and culture using the language as a medium, rather than achieving fluency in each language.

According to wiseGEEK, languages related to our mother tongue seem easier for us to learn. Find out more about polyglots and languages at wiseGEEK.

 
Language Expressions

Language Expressions

 

Expressions in three languages                                    English  Spanish

Did you know that the expression 'A little bird told me', in Spanish would be 'Me lo ha dicho un pajarito', and in French 'Mon petit doigt me l'a dit'?

The website presents a trilingual list of expressions with equivalent meanings arranged by category.

It includes a set of activities to check your knowledge, understanding and translation. You can also listen to the expression in context.

Visit the CCDMD website and have fun!

 

BBC News in Spanish: Effects of 'El Niño' and 'La Niña'

 

BBC News in different languages     English  Latin American Sp  Spanish

Read the news in your language and practise the languages of your choice.

L'actualité en Français, Labarai da Hausa, Amakuru mu Kinyarwanda/ Kirundi, War Af Soomaali ah, Habari kwa Kiswahili, Кыргыз тилиндеги жаңылыктар, Ўзбек тилидаги янгиликлар, 中文新闻, Berita Indonesia, Tin Tiếng Việt, বাংলা খবর, हिन्दी समाचार, नेपाली समाचार, پښتو نړیوال خپرونه, தமிழில் செய்திகள், اردو میں خبریں, Azərbaycanca xəbərlər, News in English, Naidheachdan, Новости на русском языке, Türkçe Haberler, Новини українською мовою, Newyddion yn y Gymraeg, Notícias em Português, Noticias para hispanoparlantes (Latin American Spanish), أخبار باللغة العربية, خبرها به فارسی


Link to the BBC News in languages website.

 
     

'El Pozo' the oldest patisserie in Madrid

 

Language of bakeries in European languages              Spanish

Take a tour of Europe and learn about the language of bakeries and patisseries in 8 different countries. Find out about cultural differences and similarities.

Play the records while reading the conversation transcript to improve your pronunciation, and practise to prepare for when you visit the country on your next holiday.

Click here to go the website and explore the bakery products of each country by clicking on its flag.

The Open University

 
     

Watch people interviewed in Spanish beaches

 

Learn essential phrases in 40 different languages          Spanish

There are mp3 files and transcripts to download, for practising at your leisure.

On the Spanish page you have topics such as social phrases, food and drink, shopping, skiing, accommodation, basics, celebrations, getting around, phrases for the beach, and festivals.

From Albanian to Urdu, it is a great opportunity to expand your culture.

Access to the BBC website: BBC Languages.

 
Spanish Language

Spanish Language

 

Just Spanish                                                                 Spanish

Improve your Spanish listening skills.

Find out the best places to go in Madrid with our travel plan.

Watch programmes from Spanish radio and television channels and listen to the authentic Castilian accent.

Learn how to conjugate the three types of Spanish verb.

Plan your holidays with our España: Holiday Planner.

And much more... Visit the page.

 

English Language

 

Just English                                                                 English

Improve your spelling and listening skills with graded dictations.

Learn useful phrasal verbs in context.

Practise your English knowledge with interactive exercises, download useful files and have fun.

Listen, read and sing your favourite English songs and improve your pronunciation.

Test your level of English with the University of Cambridge.

Visit our page to find out much more.

 
 
   

 

 
 
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