Posted by: Maria
Learning a new language is an enormously rewarding experience in many ways. While language learning is an enriching experience for all ages, children have the most to gain from this wonderful adventure. Quite simply, starting early offers the widest possible set of benefits and opportunities.
More than ever, today’s generation of primary school children inhabit a multicultural environment. As they grow up they will encounter language and culture from every part of the world. Therefore it is vital that, from an early age, they are aware of other cultures and languages.
Veritas Language Solutions launched ‘Veritas Academy’ on the 9th of May 2013, at Celebrate Europe Day in Cardiff Central Library, a project which aims to implement language leaning in primary schools in the UK. Veritas Academy’s aim is to excite and educate children about other countries’ culture and language and to act as a springboard for teachers to deliver rich cultural sessions across the curriculum. Veritas Academy ‘Tour Guides’ visit schools and lead pupils through culture, food, music and language of a country ranging from China to Spain, Portugal and Russia.
At the event, Veritas’ own Estrella Ruiz, a native Spanish speaker and Operations Manager for the company, along with Wilf Voss who is heading up the project, helped our Managing Director, Sharon Stephens, to present the Spanish language and culture to ...Continue Reading →
By Wilf Voss
Hello I would like a new language please, a question which hit me while driving to an event this week. I listened to an interesting interview with David Peterson. David is a language developer and is the individual responsible for creating the Dothraki and High Valyrian languages for Sky Atlantic’s Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones is an American epic fantasy television drama series created for HBO filmed in Belfast and in locations around the world. As part of the plot there was the requirement to have a language for the indigenous inhabitants of the Dothraki Sea. The language was developed following a competition between thirty linguists who specialise in conlanging.
Conlanging is the creation of constructed languages or conlangs, such as Esperanto or Lojban. A conlanger is someone who creates or constructs languages or conlangs and David Peterson was the chosen specialist for the series. There are over 3,500 words within the language as well as full syntax and grammar. This does may not seem like a lot compared to the over one million words in the English language, but when you consider this is a language created for a television series it is mightily impressive and it was the product of over five months work to develop.
Of course this is not the only language created for television and one of the earliest examples is Klingon ...Continue Reading →
Why are we ‘over the moon’ when we’re really happy?
The idiomatic phrase ‘Over the moon’ is a very old expression that dates right back to the seventeenth century. The Oxford English Dictionary’s first example of this idiom is from 1718 and an extract from a play in which a character exclaims: ‘I shall jump over the Moon for Joy!’.
It was probably already a common expression when the nursery rhyme of around 1765 was first recorded: ‘High diddle, diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle, The Cow jumped over the Moon.’ (The ‘High’ was later altered to ‘Hey’.)
Why do we ‘bury the hatchet’?
This idiom, meaning to end an argument or conflict, refers back to a Native American custom in the seventeenth century whereby a hatchet would be buried in the ground to signal the declaration of peace between warring groups.
Why do we talk about ‘stealing someone’s thunder’?
This idiom, defined as using another person’s ideas for one’s own advantage, has a literal story behind it! In this case, the eighteenth-century actor and playwright Colley Cibber, in his Lives of the Poets, recounted the exact events that spawned the idea of ‘stealing thunder’. Alexander Pope also mentioned them in his poem ‘The Dunciad’. The story they tell involves a man called John Dennis, an actor manager of the early part of the eighteenth century who had invented a machine that reproduced for ...
Hello! Today is my first day as a member of the Veritas team, and my first ever blog post (ever), so I will be breaking the virtual ice by sharing a sad event which occurred over the bank holiday weekend. My aging Smartphone suffered some kind of critical malfunction, so I now have to make do with a not-so-smart phone.
The thing with Smartphones is that all their apps and technological capabilities seem completely superfluous when you don’t own one, but as soon as you become accustomed to being able to read the news at the bus stop, or check your email on the train, or use free messaging apps for talking to friends abroad, suddenly not having these capabilities seems like a great inconvenience.
Having recently decided that maybe I’d like to learn Spanish, one of the apps I was just getting into using on a frequent basis was a beginners’ language app, which I downloaded after a quick search for language learning apps on my phone. There are plenty to choose from, in all kinds of language combinations, but obviously the quality does vary. I chose one purely because the name amused me (‘Spanish for Noobs’), and got the trial version, just to see what it was like, as it was the first app of its kind I ...Continue Reading →
The 2nd May (dos de mayo) is a Spanish public holiday which marks the celebration of the autonomous community of Madrid. The Madrid region of Spain became an autonomous community on 1st March 1983, and has been celebrated on 2nd May each year since then.
A double celebration, the 2nd May also marks the anniversary of the 1808 uprising of the people of Madrid against the French troops who had occupied much of Spain earlier that year.
On 23rd March 1808 Napoleon’s army took occupation of Madrid, following the forced abdication of King Carlos IV in favour of his son Fernando VII.
On the 2nd May of the same year, the ‘madrileños’ rebelled against the French occupation and the war for Spanish independence against Napoleon began, lasting until 17th April 1814 when the Spaniards finally regained control over their capital city.
Dos de Mayo is celebrated all around Spain, but particularly in Madrid, with Bull fights, open air activities, street parties and police and military parades. Many people gather around the Plaza del Dos de mayo in Madrid to eat, drink and socialise with friends and family.
Another fiesta taking place in Spain this week is Día de la cruz, also known as Fiesta de las cruces and Cruz de Mayo. This is a religious celebration which takes place on the 3rd May every year in and around Granada in ...