Wednesday, 26 February 2014

¡Carnaval Quiz!

Yes, it's Carnaval (not Carnival, as in the UK) time, and remember to stress the 'val' bit.

Here in Spain, dressing up is very popular. All the children (and staff) in school will come with a home-made or commercially-made costume. To give you a flavour, here are some of the costumes (disfraces) available. Try to guess what they are before you look at the description (below each picture). Why not make it a class quiz?

Before you start, here are a few of the other words you'll see:

Disfraz (dees-frath)  Costume (it also means 'disguise').
Talla (tie-yah) Size.
Años (an-yos) Years.

1. Animadora (an-ee-mad-or-ah) is a cheerleader.

2. Blancanieves means 'white-snows' or Snow White to you.
 3. Bob Esponja? SpongeBob!
4. Bombero (pronounce it 'Bom-bear-oh') is a fireman.
5. Cangrejo (pr. Can-greh-ho) is a crab. Very Spanish!
6. Cerdito. Cerdo is a pig, so cerdito (ther-dee-toe) is a little pig or piglet.
 7. Apparently (I asked the girls in my class) 'Monster High' is very popular here in Spain and 'Clawdeen Wolf' is one of the main characters. So now I know...
 8. Cocinero (Coth-een-air-oh) is a cook (or chef).
 9. Esqueleto (es-kell-et-oh) is a skeleton. Notice that many English words that start with 's' have a Spanish equivalent that starts with 'es', (Esquela- school: espagueti-spaghetti: estudio-study).
 10. Gallina (Guy-ee-nah) is a chicken.
 11. Marinero (mah-reen-air-oh) is a sailor.
 12. Muñeca (moon-yek-ah) is a doll.
 13. Payaso (pie-ass-oh) is a clown.
 14. Pitufo (pee-too-foh) is a Smurf.
15. Rey del Pop? King of Pop; but 'Michael Jackson' to you and me.
 16. Sevillana (sev-ee-yan-ah) is a 'girl from Seville', but we'd probably call her a 'Flamenco-dancer'.
 17. Soldado (sol-dad-oh) is a soldier.
 18. Torero (tor-air-oh) is a bull-fighter.
 19. Trenecito (tren-eh-thee-toe) is a little train; looks like Thomas to me!
 20. Vampiro (vam-pee-roh)... need I say more?
21. Vaquero (vack-air-roh) is a cowboy.

And finally, to show you that it's not just Spanish niños who get involved in Carvaval, here are some of the adult costumes which I haven't chosen to wear!

Espantapajaros (es-panta-pah-aros) means 'scare brids'; scarecrow to us.
Sumo. A great word to learn your Spanish 'u' sound, just say it as you would in English.
Vaca. Moooo!
Gallo (Guy-yo) is a cock (without the doodle-doo).

If you enjoyed this little game, check out the website where I found the pics for lots (lots!) more example of the Spaniards at play.

Fancy Dress.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Fonix is phun!

Now stop it! Calm down! This is serious! We're going to do a little Spanish phonics lesson today and I want you all to concentrate!

We're going to learn about the Spanish letter 'U', and I hope this will be one lesson you'll never forget. (That's if you ever stop laughing!)

The letter 'U', named 'you' in English, but 'oo' in Spanish (think of the sound you make when you say the word 'soon') is a very interesting vowel.

In English, it can make a number of different sounds. Think about 'cut' and 'cute' for starters, but also remember some of the other words it gets mixed up in, like 'though', 'busy' and 'cure'.

In Spanish (luckily for you) this sort of muddle doesn't tend to happen. Letters (nearly always) make one sound only. So in Spanish, the letter 'U', which is called 'oo' also makes an 'oo' sound.

So, back to where we started and the 'Bum, bum Madrid' headline. Can you now read it as a Spaniard would read it? 

Yes, that's right, 'Boom, boom Madrid'. And you can now probably guess (by looking at the score) exactly what it means, Real Madrid have beaten Betis 0-5. The 'boom, boom' suggests destruction, like a bomb going off, blowing poor old Betis to pieces.

Not quite as funny as it looks (to English eyes) but I hope it will help you to remember the Spanish 'U' name and sound.

I just hope your teacher doesn't consider this lesson to be a bit too cheeky!

Boom, boom!

N.B. Due to pressure at work and other writing commitments I am going to change the deadline for my Spain4Primary blog from once a week to once a month. I apologise to everyone, especially those of you who have sent me messages of thanks for various postings. If I spot something really interesting I will add a few 'surprise' postings (and publicise them as usual on the TES forum and Twitter @JeremyJoseDean); but as a rule Spain4Primary will now appear on the first weekend of every month, starting on the weekend of the 1st of March. 
Un saludo, Jeremy Dean.