Friday, February 22, 2013

A beautiful South American country: Ecuador


Have you ever visited any interesting place in South America? Have you known something about Ecuador? Would you like to visit it?  Do you know some information about this country?



Although Ecuador is a small country, it has a lot of colonial cities, natural reserves, active volcanoes, white sand beaches and virgin islands of multicolored corals.  Its climates go from freezing cold of the snowfall peaks to the tropical heat of the Amazonia.   Among one of the most beautiful Ecuadorian places you can find they are Islas Galápagos.


Islas Galápagos are a group of 14 islands and islets located to 972 kilometers from Ecuadorian continental coast.  The islands, its national park and the marine biological reserve make up the only province totally surrounded by water.  In this paradise, you can find unique species as iguanas, Galápagos turtles, albatross, “piqueros” and sea lions, between others.  This particular mixture of flora and fauna and the only way which a lot of species evolved served as subject to study of the scientist Charles Darwin for his publications about species origin.



Santa Cruz is the most populated island and the archipelago capital is located there:  its name is Puerto Ayora. The islands water is on average in 25oC all year. Galápagos and its natural resources were declared World Natural Heritage by Unesco in 1979.  As you can see, it’s possible to practice ecotourism in this marvelous paradise.
If you have the possibility of visit this country, take advantage of every moment you are there.  You can pass an excellent time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A new Spanish proposal in Doral, United States


A change is always something hard for people who don´t accept it.  It’s common that some of them create a way to face these new situations and, generally they choose between two options.  One of them is to try to do everything is possible for avoiding it.  The second one is to accept this new condition and adapt themselves to it.



Reading an article issued today in BBC World it´s possible to set a relation between the last assertion and this column.  According to the last one there is an argumentation among two important local government branches:  Mayor´s office and City Council.  The mayor involved in this polemic is Mr. Luigi Boria, the first Venezuelan Mayor in Doral, a city located near Miami, and in United States.  He is suggesting to designate it as a bilingual and bicultural place.  Throughout his reasons, it’s a good form to convince Hispanic with money to invest it in his city and, like this, to help local industry to grow and to obtain more jobs for people who live there.


He adds it’s not necessary for public servants to talk in Spanish but it could be a good tool for them.  In addition, according to him it would prevent that people feel rejected for being not able to express itself fluently in English with policemen, for example.  But the City Council answers no to his proposal. 



One of his big project opponents is Mr. Mauro Mujica, U.S. English CEO.   He thinks Mr. Boria’s idea is “absurd”.   Believe that Spanish is necessary for making business in United States is not logical, he declares.  However, he is not against the use of other languages inside United States.  What is your opinion about this situation? Who do you agree with? What do you think Mr.  Boria must do?

If you want to read the whole article, you can find it in this link:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2013/02/130214_doral_ciudad_espanol_eeuu_ingles_idioma_oficial_msd.shtml

Thank you for your comments.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Economics and bilingualism in United States


Talking about United States economy is the synonym of thinking about a lot of aspects directly related with it.  Recession, employment, unemployment, skills, knowledge, age are some of them.  How can we improve our own situation considering the circumstances? One of the ways could be our language learning.


As we have said previously, the quantity of Spanish speakers has increased in United States.  It implies a growth in Spanish potential consumers or Spanish potential employments.  According to United States Census Office the companies leaded by Hispanic people grow three times more quickly than the national average, it means more money and more jobs.


If we have a degree but, as a plus, we can speak, read, write and understand any person in both English and Spanish it’s possible we can have an advantage in front of others.  It not only happens when you are looking for a new job, it occurs too whether you are thinking about how much you can charge for any service or function you provide.  Maybe, you can obtain a little more.


It not only passes with North American people, it can be similar with Hispanic people who talk English and Spanish, simultaneously.  It could represent a harder employment competition.  It demands better language knowledge.  Spanglish cannot help when you are searching a good labor chance.

Can you share us any of your experiences? Do you agree or disagree with this article? What else can you say about this?  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Professions and Spanish


In United States, is it important to know Spanish for doing your job? Why yes or why not? Are there special places for meeting Spanish speakers? How can you be sure that your Spanish knowledge is enough for working? What could be some difficulties for understanding Spanish speakers?

If you are a nurse or a policeman in United States or maybe, if you live near to Texas you can notice that a lot of Spanish speakers don’t know or understand any word in English.  The situation could be more difficult if this person needs your help and you don’t know any in Spanish.  For example, if you are working in a hospital and a very old person comes with a terrible allergy and he or she doesn’t know how to explain you what does he or she eats or drinks, How can you explain to this person what can he or she do for feeling better?



According to some of our students, who are nurses, this situation is very common with old and poor people.  They have to face it every day.  It’s very usual this people don’t have anyone for helping them, I mean sons, daughters, granddaughters, grandsons, etc.  The hardest is that sometimes they, the nurses, don’t find exactly words for giving them, the old people, the correct instructions about the way to take their medicine or to take care of themselves.


Similar circumstances have lived another group of our learners, policemen.  They have met people who don’t understand some of United States rules.  For instance, some people who don’t know the right speed to drive in a specific place.  A lot of them don’t talk in English or maybe they use Spanglish which is not very common for these police officers because they don’t know Spanish.
We have other cases, such as New York, where our students, who aren’t nurses or policemen, find a lot of Spanish speakers in the subway, to give an example. That suggests, any person can find a Spanish speaker in any place around New York but whether you are a nurse or a police man and you want to help people that speak in Spanish it’s better for you to know this language.  To have a spontaneous conversation with a Spanish speaker can show you the quality of languages knowledge you have. You don’t have to go very far.  You don’t have to visit other place.  You can only take the subway.  Learn Spanish could be a very good decision.       

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