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Bilingualism in the United States in figures

Some people think that Spanish could become the most spoken language in the United States, others think that it is no big deal; but everything points towards the fact that our language is really important in this country. And because figures are worth a thousand words, here are some of the most eye-catching ones about Spanish in the United States.

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Phrases which only a Spanish grandmother would say

The richness of Spanish vocabulary and its great historical tradition have caused many popular expressions to fall into disuse. However, their popularity means that they are taught in practically every school and language center the world over.

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The Faces of Cervantes

The Spanish cultural world is abuzz after news has broken of the recent discovery of Don Quijote author Miguel de Cervantes’ (1547 – 1616) remains. Now that we are almost completely sure that the bones found in San Ildefonso Convent belong to the writer, we may get a curious first peak at his physical appearance; a first because no reliable painting exists of his face.
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Watching TV to learn Spanish language and history

If you’re thinking about perfecting your Spanish and getting to know Spanish culture, sooner or later you’ll consider flipping the TV on to watch a Spanish show. It’s cheap, comfortable, and lately it’s even educational. Have you noticed how many TV series out there are based on Spain’s history? Below you’ll find a quick round up of examples:
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Valentine’s Day, Spanish Style

We must admit that for some unknown reason, we Spanish people consider ourselves to be the reference for others in matters related to passion and romance. As such, we won’t let you down as we give you some ideas and advice for this Valentine’s Day and what you can do to blend in and make this day as Spanish as possible. So, take note!
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Madrid Fashion Week

As February nears, the great fashion capitals of the world prepare for the start of their fashion weeks. The runway at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid will be open in February. For six days, fashion lovers will be able to enjoy the presentations from the best Spanish fashion designers. Here they will present their collections for next winter within unique surroundings and with the all the prestige that accompanies this fashion show.

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Carnival in Cadiz: chirigotas and comparsas

If there is anything that differentiates the Carnival in Cádiz form the rest of the Carnival celebrations around the world, it would be that in Cádiz, for an entire week, the celebration is held almost exclusively in the street. Music and good feelings flood the city during this time, but before this street party kicks off a contest is held in the Gran Teatro Falla to determine the best Carnival associations.

These associations, or agrupaciones, are comprised of choruses, comparsas, quartets and chirigotas. These groups dress in costumes and sing about current events, often with biting social commentary. In this contest, they will try to outwit and outdo the other groups with the hope of being the winner in their class.

Chirigota "Atrapados en el tiempo" (Cádiz) fuente: Wikipedia

Chirigota “Atrapados en el tiempo” (Cádiz) fuente: Wikipedia

The choruses (or coros) are the largest associations that include different musical instruments baking up a large vocal section. Even though quartets (or cuartetos) implies four people, these groups are actually formed by three to five people and don’t rely on instruments. Finally, there are the comparsas and chirigotas which have many similarities.

Like the comparsas, chirigotas sing while accompanied by guitars, a bass drum, a caja (a typical Andalusian percussion instrument common in flamenco) and the famous pito or güiro (kazoo), but what is the difference?

Comparsa "El sueño de febrero" (Cádiz). fuente: Wikipedia

Comparsa “El sueño de febrero” (Cádiz). fuente: Wikipedia

Compared to the chirigota, the comparsa is an association that is offers a more critical view of society and current and social events. Their lyrics tend to be more poetic with a more social message and their purpose isn’t necessarily to be funny. The groups are formed by 12 to 15 members and comprised of different voices like octavilla (singing two notes above the tenor), contralto, tenor and segunda (baritone). The structure of a typical comparsa is the following: presentation, pasodobles, cuplés, chorus and medley.

The Chirigotas also offers original and witty lyrics with the purpose of making people laugh. These associations are comprised of between seven and 15 people whose voices range from contralto, tenor and baritone. A typical chirigota has 5 fundamental parts: presentation, pasodobles x2, cuplés x2, chorus (repeated after each cuplé) and medley.

Do you want to know more about Carnival in Spain? Then don’t miss our article in Enforex.com

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Frases sobre Madrid

Puede que Madrid no tenga la historia y tradición de otras ciudades españolas (su importancia histórica comienza en 1561, cuando el rey Felipe II convierte a la ciudad en la capital del reino) pero en estos pocos siglos ha atraído muchos pensamientos y ha inspirado muchas citas. Vamos a recordar algunas.
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Visitando Valencia

Enforex Valencia sigue organizando actividades que te mostrarán lo mejor de nuestro país. ¿Un ejemplo? Los alumnos del Istituto Statale d’Istruzione Superiore “G. Carducci” de Comiso (Sicilia, Italia) visitaron con nosotros Denia, Requena, Xativa y Albarracin. ¡Aquí tenemos sus fotos!
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Halloween, Spanish Style

Only recently have we started celebrating Halloween in Spain. True: it is not an official holiday, and some people don’t like it because it is “imported” or “disrespectful to the dead;” but it is also very popular and it becomes more so every year. Continue reading…

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