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Friday the 29th of February, 2008
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NEW BEGINNER WEEKLY VITAMINS

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Good Morning.

Welcome to the Essential Weekly Vitamin.

Hoy nace una nueva Vitamin, the Essential Weekly Vitamin, dirigida a aquellas personas hispanohablantes que tienen un nivel beginner de inglés. A partir de ahora enviaremos esta lección cada viernes.

Para inaugurar la nueva Essential Weekly Vitamin, hoy hablaremos de la palabra welcome.

Welcome: dar la bienvenida a alguien (to greet somebody in a friendly way when they arrive somewhere).

Éste es el uso más común; por ello, seguramente os sonará haber leído u oído en más de una ocasión en aeropuertos y carreteras welcome to Barcelona, welcome to London, etc.

Para explicar la acción de dar la bienvenida a otra persona, podemos utilizar el verbo to greet (somebody).

Example:
Paul greeted us with a smile. (Paul nos dio la bienvenida con una sonrisa.)

No te pierdas la próxima Essential Weekly Vitamin (Friday March 7th, 2008), donde hablaremos de cómo decir las fechas en inglés.

Si tienes alguna pregunta sobre la Vitamin de hoy, por favor plantea tu cuestión en el foro en la sección Daily Vitamin Plus! de nuestra página web (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a good day and a nice weekend!



Thursday the 28th of February, 2008
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REVISION: IT LOOKS LIKE ENGLISH BUT ISN'T-3

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Good morning!

Today's English-looking words and expressions in Spanish/Catalan, and their correct translations into English, are:

Span/Cat: Una top-model
English: A supermodel

Span/Cat: Un crack
English: A star, a superstar

Cat: Basket
English: Basketball

Span/Cat: Alto standing
English: High-class

Span/Cat: Esnob (adjective)
English: Snobbish ("a snob" is a noun)

So, English speakers do not say "Messi is a crack" but rather "Messi is a superstar." And we might say "that high-class restaurant is a bit snobbish" but not "that high-standing restaurant is a bit snob." Claudia Schiffer is a supermodel (not a top-model) and a basket is something you keep fruit in and not a game played by very tall people.

NOTE: Mañana empezaremos a enviar la Essential Daily Vitamin, dirigida a los hispanohablantes que tienen un nivel beginner de inglés. A partir de ahora, cada viernes habrá una lección para dichos principiantes, escrita en castellano.

Have a nice day.



Wednesday the 27th of February, 2008
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REVISION: IT LOOKS LIKE ENGLISH BUT ISN'T-2

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Good morning everybody,

Today we continue with more of those words and expression in Spanish/Catalan that look like English, but aren't.

Consider the following expressions in Spanish/Catalan and their correct translations into English:

Span/Cat: Un smoking
English: A dinner jacket (UK); A tuxedo (US)

Span/Cat: Spot
English: Commercial

Span/Cat: Play-back
English: lip-synching

Span/Cat: Un master
English: A master's degree; A two-year degree after your licenciatura.

Span/Cat: Los Rollings
English: The Stones

English speakers do not say "I'm going to the Rollings concert" but rather "I'm going to the Stones concert". And advertisements on the television and radio are called commercials, not spots. Spots are what teenagers get on their face (acne).

Tomorrow we will look at a few more of these. In the meantime, if you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please use the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

I hope you have a good day.



Tuesday the 26th of February, 2008
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REVISION: IT LOOKS LIKE ENGLISH BUT ISN'T-1

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Good morning,

Most of you probably know that you have to be careful with false friends. False friends, or false cognates, are words in English that look like a similar word in Spanish/Catalan, but don't have the same meaning. For example, the English word sensible does not mean sensible in Spanish/Catalan, but rather sensato/assenyat (see the Daily Vitamins from the 27th of November, 2003 and from the 21st of October, 2005).

But there's another very similar phenomenon that causes even more confusion: it's the existence of English-looking words in Spanish/Catalan that aren't actually used in English at all, or are used very differently.

Consider the following Anglo-looking expressions in Spanish/Catalan and their correct translations into English:

Span/Cat: Camping
English: Campground

Span/Cat: Parking
English: Parking lot, car park, parking garage, parking place

Span/Cat: Footing
English: Jogging

Span/Cat: un Burguer
English: a fast-food restaurant

Span/Cat: Puenting
English: Bungee Jumping

English speakers do not say "We're going to stay in a camping during our holidays" but rather "we're going to stay in a campground during our holidays". And nobody does "footing", they "go jogging". And the list goes on and on.

Tomorrow we will look at a few more of these. In the meantime, if you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please use the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a good day.



Monday the 25th of February, 2008
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DEADBEAT

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Good morning. I hope everyone had a good weekend.  

Today we look at another word that came up in a Ziggurat Breakfast Club, this time from last Saturday, February 23. 

Today's word is: Deadbeat

Meaning: Informal (especially in US English). A lazy person; a person with no job and no money. A person or company that tries to avoid paying their debts.

Example 1
There are a lot of divorced fathers who aren't helping financially with their children's upbringing (educación). They are often called deadbeat dads.

Example 2:
Deadbeat English students, who don't work between their face-to-face classes, will never reach their desired level of English.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please use the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Enjoy the rest of your day.