Sunday, August 7, 2016


Galician is a language which is spoken in northwestern Spain. Though similar to Portuguese, it's a separate language. Here is a list of words to illustrate the differences:

eye Spanish ojo Portuguese olho Galician ollo
person Spanish persona Portuguese pessoa Galician persoa
today Spanish hoy Portuguese hoje Galician hoxe
game Spanish juego Portuguese jogo Galician xogo
leaf Spanish hoja Portuguese folha Galician folla
make Spanish hacer Portuguese fazer Galician facer
four Spanish cuatro Portuguese quatro Galician catro
yesterday Spanish ayer Portuguese ontem Galician onte
one Spanish uno Portuguese um Galician un
good Spanish bueno Portuguese bom Galician bo

The Galician words are closer to Portuguese than they are to Spanish. However, Galician has less nasalization. Compare the words for good and yesterday: bom vs. bo and ontem vs. onte. Another difference is that an lh in Portuguese often corresponds to an ll in Galician. Notice the words for eye and leaf: olho/ollo and folha/folla. Nevertheless, Galician and Portuguese are similar.

Friday, August 5, 2016


Sangria is a popular drink with many versions. It can be made with red or white wine. Here is a recipe for this famous drink:

1 apple, chopped into small pieces
1 orange or lemon, sliced into small pieces
1 peach, chopped into small pieces
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sparkling water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur
3 cups red wine

Add the fruit and sugar to a pitcher.
Add the orange juice and orange liqueur.
Add the red wine and stir.
Add the ice and chill.
It is advisable to chill sangria for at least 30 minutes. For a full fruit flavour you can chill it in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Differences in British and American English with Transportation Terminology

British and American English have a number of differences in vocabulary. This is especially true in transportation terminology. Here is a list with the British word on the left and the American on the right:

aerial antenna
bonnet hood
boot trunk
caravan trailer
car park parking lot
diversion detour
dual carriage way divided freeway
estate car station wagon
flat battery dead battery
fly-over overpass
give way yield
glove box glove compartment
high street main street
hire car rental car
indicator blinker
lorry truck
metalled road paved road
motorway freeway
number plate license plate
pavement sidewalk
petrol gasoline
silencer muffler
windscreen windshield
wing mirror rear view mirror
zebra crossing crosswalk

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is a famous dish. Though it takes time to prepare, this is such a delicious soup that it's well worth the effort. This recipe serves four. Here it is::

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup  beef stock
1 1/4 cups water
French bread
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan.
Add the onions and cook for about 20 minutes until brown.
Add the garlic and sugar and cook until sugar has browned.
Add the vinegar and cook for 2 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the sherry, white wine, beef stock and water.
Continue stirring until the mixture boils and thickens.
Reduce the heat and simmer the soup uncovered for about 25 minutes.
Toast slices of bread in an oven until crisp and golden.
Place the bread in the soup and add Parmesan cheese so that it melts.

If you wish, you can garnish the soup with parsley. Enjoy!

Fireflies In The Garden

The poem Fireflies In The Garden was written by Robert Frost. Though it is a short poem, it is very descriptive. Here is the poem:

Fireflies In The Garden

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course they can't sustain the part.

The poem has one stanza with six verses. The first three and last three verses rhyme.  Each verse has ten syllables with five feet and a stress pattern of weak and strong. The poem is in iambic pentameter.

In the first verse the poem tells the reader that it is dark and stars are in the skies. Now fireflies appear and because they are small and fly, they resemble flies. Though they are far smaller than stars and they have no desire to be stars, in the beginning of their flight they give the appearance of stars. However, they don't burn with the intensity and heat of stars. In other words, they have a much shorter duration.

The powm Fireflies In The Garden describes the resemblance of fireflies to stars. Though the two are very different, in a certain sense they resemble one another. Fireflies also resemble flies, small insects capable of flight. Fireflies resemble stars in the beginning of flight, but only for a moment.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Names in Seven Languages

Many names are used around the world. They tend to be similar in every language. Here is a list of common names in seven languages:

English: David, Frances, George, James, John, Laura, Mark, Mary, Paul, Peter 
Dutch: David, Francisca, George, Jakob, Jan, Laura, Mark, Maria, Paul, Pieter
German: David, Franziska, Georg, Jakob, Johann, Laura, Markus, Maria, Paul, Peter
French: David, Françoise, Georges, Jacques, Jean, Laure, Marc, Marie, Paul, Pierre
Italian: Davide, Francesca, Giorgio, Giacomo, Giovanni, Laura, Marco, Maria, Paolo, Pietro
Spanish: David, Francisca, Jorge, Jaime, Juan, Laura, Marcos, Maria, Pablo, Pedro
Portuguese: David, Francisca, Jorge, Jaime, JoãoLaura, Marcos, Maria, Paulo, Pedro

These names are similar in the languages listed here. The names John, Paul and Peter have different forms in many languages. David, Mark, Laura and Mary vary far less.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Irregular Nationality Adjectives

Many nationality adjectives in English are formed with the same suffixes. We see the same suffixes in Bolivian, Colombian, Russian, Venezuelan and in Bahraini, Bangladeshi, Iraqi, Pakistani and Yemeni. However, English also has a number of irregular nationality adjectives. Here is a list:

Congo Congolese
Ivory Coast Ivorian
Kiribati I-Kiribati
Madagascar Malagasy
Niger Nigerien
San Marino San Marinese
Thailand Thai
Togo Togolese
Turkmenistan Turkmen
United Arab Emirates Emirati

The nationality adjective of Kiribati is I-Kiribati. This is the most irregular nationality adjective in English. Congolese and Togolese are not so irregular, but they have an l before the suffix -ese. In Turkmen and Thai, we see nationality adjectives that are shorter than the names of the respective countries. This short list illustrates a few irregular nationality adjectives in English.