Baner SLRoute

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2014

La Tomatina

Gigantes y Cabezudos
La Tomatina accidentally began in 1945. The last Wednesday of August 1945 it was organized the Gigantes y Cabezulos festival in Buñol.  A group of young people wanted to participate in this famous festival around Spain and, considering that they were not allowed to, they pushed the participants and took tomatoes from a nearby stall and threw them to the participants. It ended in a big brawl where all people of Buñol were involved. The Police arrested the group responsible for the fight and made them pay for the damages. The following year, these young people repeated the same “battle” bringing their own tomatoes but the Police stopped it again.

La Tomatina

In the fifties this festival was forbidden by the Town Council but thanks to the TV program “Informe Semanal”, it became well-known in 1983. Nowadays the Town Council is, in fact, the responsible for buying and paying the tomatoes.

If you want to see the photos of La Tomatina 2014, click here:

martes, 26 de agosto de 2014


If you want to translate the verb "to know" into Spanish, you have two verbs to choose from: saber and conocer. Both mean “to know” in English but they are not interchangeable. Knowing which verb to use depends on the context.
Rules, Uses & Examples
We use the verb "conocer" in the following situations:
  • to express familiarity with a person, place, or object:
Conozco muy bien esta calle. (I know this street very well.)
¿Conoces a mi primo? (Do you know my cousin?)
Nos conocemos desde siempre. (We have known each other forever.)
Conoce la arquitectura francesa. (She is familiar with French arquitecture.)

We use the verb "saber" in the following situations:
  • to express knowledge, or lack thereof, of information about something
No  donde está. (I don't know where it is.)
Sabe la verdad. (He knows the truth.)
¿Sabes cuántas estrellas hay en el cielo? (Do you know how many stars are in the sky?)
 que no quieres ir a la fiesta. (I know that you don't want to go to the party.)

  • to express knowledge, or lack thereof, of how to do something or perform a skill (saber + infinitive)
Sabe encontrar buenos precios. (He knows how find good prices.)
No sabe bailar bien. (He does not know how to dance well.)
Sé cocinar como un chef. (I know how to cook like a chef.)
No sabemos llegar a la casa de Pedro. (We don't know how to get to Pedro’s house.)

  • to express that one knows, or doesn't know, something thoroughly
Sabe todas las reglas de ser y estar. (He knows all of the rules for ser and estar.)
 todo el alfabeto en español. (I know the whole alphabet in Spanish.)


viernes, 22 de agosto de 2014

Comidas de España: La Tortilla de Patatas

Hoy os enseñaremos a hacer paso a paso la tortilla de patatas, ese plato tan típico de España. Para conseguir una deliciosa tortilla, son indispensables los siguientes ingredientes: 

  • 5 huevos 
  • Unas 4 patatas de tamaño medio
  • 1 cebolla
  • Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra
  • Sal


1- Pelamos las patatas, las lavamos y las cortamos en rodajas ni muy finas ni muy gruesas.
2- Cortamos la cebolla.
3- Ponemos aceite de oliva extra a calentar en la sartén y cuando esté listo, se echan las patatas y la cebollas (que tienen que quedar bien cubiertas de aceite). Salamos todo y lo freímos a fuego lento durante 20 minutos aproximadamente.
4- Mientras tanto batimos y salamos los huevos en un cuenco.
5- Cuando las patatas ya estén bien hechas, las volcamos en el cuenco y las mezclamos con los huevos.  
6- Ponemos una cucharada de aceite en una sartén aparte y cuando esté caliente, echamos la mezcla de patatas y huevo en ella. 
7- Dejamos que el huevo cuaje, moviendo la sartén cada cierto tiempo para que la tortilla no se quede pegada.
8- Cuando el huevo cuaje, le damos la vuelta a la tortilla poniendo un plato en la sartén y dejamos que el otro lado cuaje.


Esta es nuestra propuesta, pero tú le puedes dar tu propio estilo. A continuación os dejamos la receta de la tortilla de patatas sin huevo (por ecoidalia):

¿Y vosotros? ¿Cuál es vuestra receta? No olvidéis compartirla.

miércoles, 20 de agosto de 2014

Spanish words that have no translation into some languages

These words do not exist in English and that’s the reason why they use the long periphrasis one-legged woman (coja) and one-eyed man (tuerto). A bit long, aren't they?

There is not any word in French that defines a late middle-aged housewife that likes soap operas (maruja).


This word that comes from cattle. In German “trapicheo” would be “Kuhhandel”, that means literally “trade of cows". However this word has a different look: it is used in politics, finances and arm dealers while in Spanish it is used for drugs and in street markets.


Chapuza is the work done without taking great pains. Although “chapuza” is a shoddy piece of work in English or fazer una gambiarra in Portuguese, they do not express exactly the Spanish meaning as we can see in the picture.
In Arabian it doesn't exist any word or expression and in order to express it we would have to say:  “عندما يفاجأ شخص من شيء وضعو العيون الكبيرة و المستديرة مثل الصحون”, that means “when someone is surprised and they are wide-eyed."

Do you know any other word that has no translation into another language? Do you have any idea of how to translate the previous examples?

martes, 12 de agosto de 2014

Curiosities about the Way of Saint James

Plaza de Santiago in Logroño, Spain via
The floor tiles of the Plaza de Santiago in Logroño imitate several squares of Game of the Goose that seems to have a relationship with the Way of Saint James. According to some researchers, behind this game there lies an Encrypted Guide created by Templars, in which the keys to discover how to get to and from the Way of Saint James are hidden. The game would be the Way where each square corresponds to a stage and geese (sacred animals in mythology) represent safe places where warriors of this Order could shelter. The other squares such as the well, the labyrinth or death would not be safe places for the Order.

However, the discovery of the Phaistos Disk in 1908 in the ruins of Minoan palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete created a new line of research about the origins of the game. This disk belongs to the Middle Minoan III period (from 1580 to 1700. C). It consists of a circular disk made of clay. Both sides of the disk contain a spiral divided in cells 30 and 31 with several drawings, among which we can appreciate eight birds that could be geese.

Do you guys do you think? What is the true version?

The Game of the Goose via

viernes, 8 de agosto de 2014

Ambiguous gender

If you look for "internet" in the Real Academia Española dictionary you will see:

1. amb. Red informática mundial, descentralizada, formada por la conexión directa entre computadoras mediante un protocolo especial de comunicación.

According to the Real Academia Española the above mentioned words are ambiguous, that is, they have an ambiguous gender. They can be masculine and feminine but their meaning will be exactly the same in both genders. 

In Spain the word "internet" is usually used with no article: "Internet es muy amplio" or with the masculine article "el": "el internet". 

There's no rule that let us recognize an ambiguous term but, in general, it is chosen depending on the register, context or dialect and personal preferences. For instance, in maritime context, "mar" is used following the feminine article (la mar). In our opinion, the best way to know if a term is ambiguous is by checking it out in the dictionary. Moreover, it is important to say that ambiguous names have not been always the same so they change over the years. "Calor" was registered in the 21 edition of Real Academia Española dictionary (1992) as an ambiguous name but now "la calor" (femenine) is considered vulgar and archaic so it is only possible the masculine gender. 

In the 22nd edition of Real Academia Española dictionary (2003) there are registered 105 terms that are considered ambiguous (amb.):  ábside, aguafuerte, alfoz, ánade, anatema, aneurisma, apóstrofe, armazón, arte, azúcar, bajante, blazer, canal, casete, cobaya, cochambre, delicatessen, doblez, dote, duermevela, enzima, esperma, fueraborda, herpe/herpes, hojaldre, interrogante, interviú, lavaplatos, lavavajillas, lente, linde, mar, margen, mimbre, monzón, mousse, orden, pastoral, pelambre, pringue, pro, psicoanálisis/sicoanálisis, radio, rara avis, reuma/reúma, teletipo, testuz, tilde, tizne, trípode, túrmix, vertiente, vodca/vodka...

Do you know any other ambiguous term?

lunes, 4 de agosto de 2014

The most common words in the Spanish Language according to 20 writers

The newspaper El País met writers from the twenty Spanish-speaking countries and each choose one word that best represents their regional variety of the language. The result of the survey is a sonorous atlas of the Spanish language that is, without a doubt, a good opportunity to be amazed by the diversity of the Spanish language, which is rich in regional varieties and dialects. The words proposed by those surveyed include:

Argentina: boludo (Juan Gelman). “A very popular term that is highly ambiguous today, it refers to a silly, stupid, or idiotic person. However, it does not always imply this insulting connotation”, since, more recently, it has been adopted as a term of endearment among friends.
Bolivia: jailón (Edmundo Paz Soldán). “It refers to someone from ‘high society,’ and its connotation tends to be negative.”

Chile: patiperro [literally: dog feet; refers to “itchy feet,” or a desire to travel.] (Antonio Skármeta). “We Chileans have ‘dog feet’. We often leave our home chasing vague daydreams or due to pressing needs that motivate us to leave the country. Enclosed in a thin piece of land between the sea and the Andes, we want to break limits and nose around.”

Colombia: vaina [pain] (Laura Restrepo). “We exclaim ‘¡qué vaina! [literally, what pain!] to refer to a disaster, and ¡qué buena vaina! [literally, what good pain!] to refer to a triumph or even salvation. In order to specify its extensive meanings, it tends to be preceded by the demonstrative pronoun esa [that], for example, pásame esa vaina [give me that pain] we say, signaling with our index finger, and we can be asking for anything from a needle to an elephant. Ya salí de esa vaina [I already got out of that pain] alludes to any relief, from having been cured of a cold to having won a lawsuit. For foreigners visiting this land, becoming familiar with the multiple and versatile use of vaina will save them from having to learn Spanish.”

Costa Rica: tuanis (Carlos Cortés). “¿Todo tuanis?” [Everything going good?]

Cuba: asere (Wendy Guerra). “Some people say that it means ‘I greet you,’ whereas others say that it means ‘crazy’ in the Lucumi language. “Asere” and “Asere que bola” are the most common ways of saying hello and is distinguishes Cuba from the rest of the world.”

Ecuador: yapa (Gabriela Alemán). “…something additional, a gift. When I was ten years old, in all of the bakeries in Quito they gave a yapa to regular customers. They were one or two loaves of bread that established a friendship.”

El Salvador: cipote (Horacio Castellanos Moya). “It is a commonly used word that is synonymous with ‘child’, ‘young’, or ‘immature adult’."

Spanish: contradiós (Álvaro Pombo). “A Spanish colloquialism that is used to describe something that is absurd or irrational…”

Guatemala: kaibil (Rodrigo Rey Rosa). Word of Mayan origin used to describe a special type of commando unit, notorious for its bloodthirsty nature, which fought in the war against the guerillas.

Honduras: pija (María Eugenia Ramos). It means “penis,” a word which Hondurans use to “express ourselves from enthusiasm to indifference, through anger and altered states of consciousness. It is used as a noun, verb, and adjective.”

Mexico: pinche (José Emilio Pacheco). It is a derogatory word meaning “damn.”

Nicaragua: chunche (Sergio Ramírez). “A chunche can be anything and everything, from a joker jumping up and down without resting, to a piece of furniture, a device, a tool, or a vehicle.” Just as with the Mexican word pinche, its ample use makes it ubiquitous.

Panama: sinvergüenza (Carlos Wynter Melo).  It is, literally, someone who shows no shame.
Paraguay: curuvica (José Pérez Reyes). It is a very small fragment that is the product of grinding a solid material.

Peru: huachafo (Iván Thays). A synonym of the word “tacky,” but goes even further by being applicable to grammar or society: “Being a huachafo is pretending to be something one is not…”

Puerto Rico: bregar (Mayra Santos-Febres). “…the ubiquity of the word describes a way of life. One must bregar [to struggle] a lot when living in Puerto Rico.”

Dominican Republic: olla (Rita Indiana Hernández). The term indicates an unfortunate circumstance that one fears falling into.

Uruguay: celeste (Claudia Amengual). Meaning “light blue,” the term refers to the color of the country’s national soccer team t-shirt as well as of the national flag.

Venezuela: bochinche (Rafael Cadenas). Originally meaning “scandalous party,” it now is often used to mean “disorder” or “commotion.”

via El País

To view the Spanish version of this post, go to: