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Learn English language with CultureAlley’s fun and free English course designed exclusively for Hindi speakers. Having earned the trust of over 5,00,000 learners from around the world, this app focuses on helping you master English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, while building your vocabulary.

ENGLISH APP – FREE DOWNLOAD

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Why download English-app?
★ 50 Lessons : 100% interactive, 100% fun, with grammar & conversations

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★ Amazing Games : Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking exercises with immediate results and tips.

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★ Chat with English tutors : WhatsApp like chat feature to interact with English language experts

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★ Practice on the web, and Facebook : Learn real English words, and vocabulary while browsing your favorite websites – including Facebook.

★ Audio Dictionary : Learn new words, and hear their pronunciation right away.

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Why is this the right solution for you?

★ It is personalized – Learn from your interests, and real world content on the web and Facebook
★ It is offline – You need no internet connection to access our lessons
★ It is a complete solution – Lessons, games, real world practice, and Q&A with teachers – we have it all for you.

So what are you waiting for? Download the app right away to help with your dream job interview, or with an exam, or to impress your friends! Boost your self confidence and let your personality shine.

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English App is designed for Android 4.0 and above.

 

5 things you should know before planning for DELE

The D.E.L.E. exams are the most widely recognised Spanish language qualifications in the world. To put it short- if you want to add “I speak Spanish” on your CV, that means having a DELE. It’s definitely not an easy exam to pass, but it’s worth getting the diploma if you would like to work or even to boost your resume for work at home.

So if you are interested, here is some information and advice you should know before planning for DELE !

1.What is the DELE Exam?

The DELE Spanish exam is the only official and internationally recognized exam of Spanish as a foreign language and it can be written at any level, from beginner (A1) to mastery (C2). It has 5 parts: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing ability, grammar and vocabulary, and an oral exam. The first thing to do is check out the DELE Cervantes website and look at some of the past exams. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the different levels, and based on that you can decide which level exam you want to write. If you’re not sure which is the best DELE exam for you, you can also take Habla Ya’s Spanish Placement Test (at no charge) and they’ll get back to you with your current Spanish level, and then they will be able to “predict” how many hours of Spanish lessons you’ll need to prepare for each DELE Test.

2.Who can register for the DELE Exam?

The DELE certificate is an exam that you should take if you want an official evaluation of your Spanish language skills. Lots of employers and universities consider the DELE as the one Spanish level test which reflects a good evaluation of your ability to use the language.

Also the Registration fees for DELE vary. It depends on the level of the test as well as the country where the examination is taken.

The candidates willing to obtain the DELE certificate must, however, prove the citizenship of a country where Spanish is not the official language. If you are a citizen of a Spanish speaking country living in another country where Spanish is not the official language, you must satisfy at least two of the following conditions to register:

  • Spanish is not the mother tongue of either of your parents.
  • Spanish is not the first language that you learned.
  • Spanish is not the habitual language you use for communicating.
  • Spanish has not been the principal language in total or part of your primary or secondary education.

You must declare that you satisfy two of these conditions in a written document.

3. DELE Exam Levels

The DELEs are divided into three levels depending on the language level:

  • DELE A1
    This accredits the sufficient linguistic competence to understand and use daily expressions frequently used in any part of the Spanish-speaking world, aimed at satisfying immediate needs; asking and giving basic personal information about yourself and daily life and interacting on a basic level with speakers, whenever they are speaking slowly and clearly and are willing to cooperate.
  • DELE A2
    This accredits that the candidate is capable of understanding daily phrases and expressions frequently used related to areas of experience which are particularly relevant to them (basic information about yourself and your family, shopping, places of interest, occupations, etc.).
  • DELE B1(Intermediate-mid/threshold level) 
    This accredits sufficient knowledge of the language to allow control in situations which require an elementary use of the language.
  • DELE B2 (High-intermediate level)
    This accredits the necessary knowledge of the language to allow communication in everyday situations which do not require specialized terms.
  • DELE C1
    This accredits the sufficient linguistic competence to cope in common situations of daily life which require a specialized use of the language.
  • DELE C2 (Superior level)
    This accredits an advanced knowledge of the language allowing communicaton in all situations requiring advanced use of the language and a knowledge of cultural background.

4.DELE test format

Although the test differs in its exact format depending on the level, it tests the four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The test lasts about 3 hours, and is sent to Spain for grading which takes about 3 months. You have to receive 70% in each section in order to pass the test, so you have to make sure all of your skills are strong.

There are plenty of practice tests on their website, which are a great resource for people preparing to take the test as well as Spanish learners who want to test their skills.

5.How to prepare for DELE?

Spanish learning will be fun and exciting once you start using the online lessons and courses . You can prepare with CultureAlley that have courses for people taking the DELE. With CultureAlley  you can learn languages for free while browsing Facebook, and playing games. You get several free audio-visual lessons! You can learn Spanish for free while browsing your friend’s conversations on your own Facebook feed! It is the most immersive, fun, and contextual way to learn Spanish. You can Play fun games to master what you learn. You get over 70 free lessons to build your concepts on http://new.culturealley.com/ . Master conversations, grammar, vocabulary and more. Whether you are a traveler looking for quick vocabulary or a professional looking for some serious learning – we have the right lessons for everyone!

DELE Levels

DELE, formally the Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (Spanish for “Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language”), is an official diploma course issued by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science to participants who pass a standardized test indicating their Spanish language proficiency. The diplomas are valid permanently.

Originally, the DELE existed in only three levels, but later on it developed into six levels, each corresponding to a certain level described by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The contents and duration of the tests vary.
Here are the DELE levels:

DIPLOMA DE ESPAÑOL (NIVEL A1)

Description: The test accredits the student’s ability to use the basic language in communication situations involving immediate needs or very common everyday matters.

Content and duration of test: The test consists of two parts. In the first part, where reading and writing skills are tested, candidates need to complete a reading comprehension (45 minutes) and tasks of written expression and interaction (25 minutes). In the second part, where speaking skill is tested, candidates need to finish a listening comprehension (20 minutes) and tasks of oral expression and interaction (15 minutes).

Passing conditions: The maximum possible score on the examination is 100 points. Candidates need to get 30 in each part of the exam in order to receive an overall “passing” grade.

DIPLOMA DE ESPAÑOL (NIVEL A2)

Description:The test accredits if the students can understand commonly-used everyday phrases and expressions related to areas of experience especially relevant to them (basic information about themselves and their families, shopping, places of interest, occupations, etc.).

Content and duration of test: The test consists of two parts. In the first part, where reading and writing skills are tested, candidates need to complete a reading comprehension (60 minutes) and tasks of written expression and interaction (50 minutes). In the second part, where speaking skill is tested, candidates need to finish a listening comprehension (35 minutes) and tasks of oral expression and interaction (15 minutes).

Passing conditions: The maximum possible score on the examination is 100 points. Candidates need to get 30 in each part of the exam in order to receive an overall “passing” grade.

DIPLOMA DE ESPAÑOL (NIVEL B1)

Description: The test accredits students capacity to:

  • Understand the main ideas of clear texts, in standard language, if they involve well-known topics related to work, studies or leisure.
  • Handle most of the situations in a trip
  • Produce simple texts about common topics or interested subject matters.
  • Describe experiences, events, wishes and hopes, as well as briefly justify opinions or explain plans.

Content and duration of test: The tests is divided into two groups, and there are two parts in each group. In the first group, candidates need to complete a reading comprehension test (70 min) and a listening comprehension test (40 min). In the second group, candidates have to finish a written expression and interaction test (60 min) and a spoken expression and interaction test (15 min + 15 min to prepare).

Passing conditions: To pass the test one must get a minimum of 60 points out of 100 in the examination, provided that he gets at least 30 points out of 50 in each group of tests.

DIPLOMA DE ESPAÑOL (NIVEL B2)

Description: The test accredits students capacity to:

  • Understand the gist of complex texts, no matter they are about concrete or abstract themes. Even technical texts should be understood, as long as they are within the candidates’ field of specialization.
  • Interact with native speakers with sufficient fluency and spontaneity, so that communication does not constitute an effort for the interlocutors.
  • Produce clear and detailed texts about diverse topics, as well as defend a point of view on general topics, stating the pros and cons of the different options.

Content and duration of test: The tests is divided into two groups, and there are two parts in each group. In the first group, candidates need to complete a reading comprehension test (70 min) and a listening comprehension test (40 min). In the second group, candidates have to finish a written expression and interaction test (80 min) and a spoken expression and interaction test (15 min + 15 min to prepare).

Passing conditions: To pass the test one must get a minimum of 60 points out of 100 in the examination, provided that he gets at least 30 points out of 50 in each group of tests.

DIPLOMA DE ESPAÑOL (NIVEL C1)

Description: The test certifies that the candidates have sufficient linguistic competence to:

  • Understand a wide variety of long, quite demanding texts, as well as recognise implicit meanings in them.
  • Express themselves fluently and spontaneously, without any obvious effort to find the right words.
  • Use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes.
  • Be able to produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts on topics having a certain level of complexity, with correct use of mechanisms for organising and articulating a cohesive text.

Content and duration of test: The test consists of four tests, classified in two groups (Group 1: Test 1 and test 3. Group: 2: Test 2 and test 4):

  • Test 1: Reading comprehension and use of language (90 minutes).
  • Test 2: Listening comprehension and use of language (50 minutes).
  • Test 3: Integrated skills. Listening comprehension and written expression and interaction (80 minutes).
  • Test 4: Integrated skills. Reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction (20 minutes) (and 20 minutes for preparation).

Passing conditions: The maximum possible score on the examination is 100 points. A minimum score of 30 is necessary for each of the two groups in order to receive an overall “passing” grade.

DIPLOMA DE ESPAÑOL (NIVEL C2)

Description: The test certifies that the candidates have sufficient linguistic competence to perfectly handle any kind of situation, proving a spontaneous capacity of adaptation to any context, with a great deal of semantic and grammatical precision. The language users express themselves fluently, with a high degree of specialization and complexity.

Content and duration of test: The exam consists of three tests:

  • Test 1: Use of language, reading and listening comprehension (105 minutes).
  • Test 2: Integrated skills: Listening and reading comprehension, and written expression and interaction (150 minutes).
  • Test 3: Integrated skills: Reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction (20 minutes+ 30 minutes for preparation).

Passing conditions: The maximum possible score on the examination is 100 points. A minimum score of 20 is necessary for each of the three tests.

The DELE examinations are carried out in a network of Cervantes Centres and in a wide network of DELE examination centres. There are currently more than 800 centres in over 100 countries.

A An The in English. English articles for Spanish speakers (Inglés para españoles)

Articles: A somewhat arbitrarily defined small group of determiners that are placed before nouns. Articles standing alone have little meaning; when used with a noun they can indicate whether the noun refers to a specific one or ones of its type or whether it refers to its type in general.

Let us learn the articles a an the in English.

English has two articles: the and a/an. ‘The’ is used to refer to specific or particular nouns; ‘a/an’ is used to modify non-specific or non-particular nouns.

We call ‘the’ the definite article and ‘a/an’ the indefinite article.

In Spanish, the articles are ununaunosunasellalos and las. In Spanish, the articles also specify the noun’s gender.

The word “the” occupies a unique place in the English language as the only word that grammarians classify as a definite article. It’s not quite so simple in Spanish, where the English “the” has four equivalents. Like most adjectives, the definite article in Spanish varies with number and gender:

  • Singular masculine: el
  • Singular feminine: la
  • Plural masculine: los
  • Plural feminine: las

1. Definite Articles

In English, the definite article is the word “the” regardless of whether the noun it introduces is singular or plural. It can be used with uncountable nouns. The refers to a specific thing or quantity. It should be placed before the noun, or before the adjective which directly modifies the noun.

the cookie
the cookies
please give me the red bag

In Spanish, the definite article has 4 forms, depending on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, singular or plural.

el gato
the male cat
los gatos
the male cats
la gata
the female cat
las gatas
the female cats

Note: The masculine plural definite and indefinite articles (los, unos) are also used to indicate a group of mixed sex. Thus, “los gatos” could refer to a group of 10 male cats, or it could refer to a group of 9 female cats and one male cat.

2. Indefinite Articles

In English the indefinite articles are used when we are referring to an unspecified thing or quantity. We use them when we don’t know (or don’t care) which thing we’re talking about.

There once was a cat.

I don’t know which cat it was – don’t know its name or where it’s from, or anything about it – so I can’t say ‘the’ cat.

We use ‘a’ before nouns or adjectives which begin with a consonant, or when U sounds like a Y, or O sounds like a W.

A cat
A young girl

We use an before words which begin with a vowel sound or a soft H sound.

An hour
An egg

In Spanish, the indefinite article has 4 forms, depending on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, singular or plural.

un gato
a male cat
una gata
a female cat

Note: Remember, as long as the group of creatures has at least one male member, the masculine plural article is used. Thus, “unos gatos” could refer to a group of 10 male cats, or it could refer to a group of 9 female cats and one male cat.

The 4 forms of the indefinite article are:

un
masculine singular
una
feminine singular
unos
masculine plural
unas
feminine plural

Here are the definite and indefinite articles together:

el, un
masculine singular
la, una
feminine singular
los, unos
masculine plural
las, unas
feminine plural

Each of the following has a different meaning:

el gato
the male cat
los gatos
the male cats (or a mixed group)
la gata
the female cat
las gatas
the female cats
un gato
a male cat
unos gatos
some male cats (or a mixed group)
una gata
a female cat
unas gatas
some female cats

“Un” and “una” can mean “one,” “a,” or “an.”

un libro
one book, a book
una pluma
one pen, a pen
una manzana
one apple, an apple

3.With abstract nouns and nouns used in a general sense

In English, the article is often omitted with abstract nouns and nouns that refer more to a concept than a tangible item. But it still is needed in Spanish. A few examples might help clarify: 
Spanish: La ciencia es importante.
English: Science is important.

4. With nouns joined by “and”

In English, it often isn’t necessary to include the “the” before each noun in a series. But in Spanish it is often required. 
Spanish: La madre y el padre están felices. 
English: The mother and father are happy.

7 Reasons Why Indian Housewives Want To Learn English

Speaking English is a status symbol nowadays and it is becoming necessary at kitty parties and other social gatherings. And those who cannot speak the language feel ashamed and inferior. They are aware of the helplessness they feel if they don’t speak English socially—at parents-teachers meet, hospitals, malls or even outside ticket counters of movie theaters, and feel that there is an urgent need to learn English.

Housewives nowadays are using the time to elevate their self-esteem by improving their English speaking skills.

Here are a few reasons why Indian housewives want to learn English

1. Social Gatherings

If you don’t speak English in a social gathering, many think you have a low IQ and you are uneducated. Learning English can raise up your standards of living in the society and also knowing to speak English gives respect  in the society.

2. Conversation with their Kids

Women feel helpless and under confident  when they cannot converse in English with their kids or kid’s friends.Many are already getting playfully ridiculed by their children as they mispronounce words and make grammatical mistakes while speaking the language.

3.Kitty Parties

The reason why women want to learn English is that they feel out of place among the young group of women in the kitty parties who talk in English all the time. They hesitate to initiate a conversation with the other women.

4. Husband’s Business Parties

Another reason why the women want to learn English is that they feel awkward when their husbands talk in English with their colleagues and their wives and they cannot stay in the conversation just because they do not speak English fluently.

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5. Shopping

The next hurdle the women face is that they cannot speak in English with the salesperson in the shopping malls where all the young crowd and women communicate comfortably.

6. To help kids with their homework

The women feel that if they will learn the language they can become the English teacher of the house and help their children’s education.

7. To Develop their Personality

There is a great need for Indian housewives to learn English which will enable them to develop their personality. Housewives believe that learning English will provide them with ample opportunity to help them acquire the confidence.

So if you feel embarrassed, nervous or shy when you try to speak or understand English, don’t worry its NOT your fault and its never too late to learn! Most classes and teachers are using old methods, old lessons, and old textbooks that caused your problem. With CultureAlley you will find refreshing new and effective methods and you will see breakthrough in speaking excellent English! You will feel more relaxed, happy, and confident when you speak English as CultureAlley provides with 1-1 live lessons over phone and whatsapp with the tutors for the women. The lessons are completely personalised according to your needs. You can book your lessons with us, you only have to mail your query on contact@culturealley.com . And we will contact you.

5 tips for preparing for DELE – Acing DELE 101

Have you ever found yourself just so damn frustrated with your progress in Spanish? Maybe you’ve decided to take the plunge and sit for an official D.E.L.E exam and now the nerves are building. The D.E.L.E. exams are the most widely recognised Spanish language qualifications in the world. To put it short- if you want to add “I speak Spanish” on your CV, that means having a DELE. Today we give you 5 key tips for preparing for DELE

1.Set Yourself Goals:

TOP TIP! Setting goals helps you focus and setting a time limit helps you keep that focus. Setting a hard deadline is an important first step. Be realistic – if you can’t put in the time needed to adequately prepare, don’t pay to do the exam.

CultureAlley is an online platform with interactive Spanish lessons, and fun vocabulary tools that sets a daily task plan and achievable goals for you. It has the most fun way to help you master Spanish vocabulary. CultureAlley lets you learn Spanish vocabulary while your browse your own Facebook newsfeed. It progressively replaces a few words from English to Spanish and provides you with their pronunciation and meaning . It provides 1 important lesson, and 1 practice game session everyday to help you learn a little Spanish everyday and sends your daily reminders for the tasks waiting for that day!

2. DO Find the right materials

The first thing to do is check out the DELE Cervantes website and look at some of the past exams. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the different levels, and based on that you can decide which level exam you want to write. It should come as no surprise that there are books made especially for the exam, much like the standard GRE or LSAT books.

And if you are looking for a free effective resource online, then you can find about 70+ lessons with CultureAlley covering grammar, conversations, vocabulary, lessons with native (Spanish) voice-overs, and practice exercises with fun games. CultureAlley covers all the domains required for language learning,i.e: reading,writing,listening,and speaking.

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3.DO consider taking a course

Doing simple google search for DELE courses nets hundreds of places to get exam prep, both online and in person. Most are costly (around 300€), but come with the practice book and tips to doing the exam. You can’t study completely on your own so you should consider hiring a Spanish teacher to help you with the writing and speaking part of the exam.

For hiring a good experienced tutor for 1-1 on coaching with native tutors who can mentor and guide through DELE preparation, you can book classes with CultureAlley. You just have to mail your query to contact@culturealley.com, and we will provide you with the tutor profiles and we can book your sessions!

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4.DO practice writing prompts like crazy

The writing section is a large part of the DELE, consisting of two parts: in the first, you’ll be asked to pick one of two options regarding a formal letter or email. It’s important to know formal salutations, advanced vocabulary and to include all of the parts asked for in the prompt. The second part is more personal, and you’ll have to choose between three different prompts. These could be about personal opinions, experiences or anecdotes.  Keep in mind you will have 60 minutes for brainstorming, drafting and re-writing your two pieces of 150-200 words in pen. Your pieces should also be clear. Practice with your clock ALWAYS.

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5.DO practice outside of the book:

Make sure that while you study the academic side of Spanish you continue to practice outside of class in the informal ways (watching TV, listening to music,speaking to local people) – it will take you from “classroom Spanish” to really using it as a second language. On the writing and speaking sections, and general knowledge of Hispanic culture is 100% important, as is being able to listen to different accents. The exam may call for you to read a quote and take a stance on it, talk about the economic crisis or the necessary knowledge of the language to allow communication in everyday situations.

CultureAlley helps learners to learn outside of courseware from daily conversations as learners can listen to the native pronunciation while learning vocabulary on the Facebook. A few relevant words on the Facebook feeds are converted into the language one wants to learn and one can listen to its pronunciation for better understanding as often as they want. You can listen to them, play games on them, practice your accent, and more! It helps one to speak Spanish fluently, and master the vocabulary and pronunciation just by logging into their Facebook account with CultureAlley. You also get over 70+ free audio-visual lessons to build your basic concepts.


18 English words that Spanish speakers mispronounce

While English is  supposedly  an easy language to learn, most non-native English speakers face some or the other pronunciation challenges. For example: Spanish speakers tend to find it much more difficult to recognize not rhotic versions of vowel sounds.

Spanish has 5 pure vowels and 5 diphthongs. The length of the vowel is not significant in distinguishing between words. This contrasts with English, which has 12 pure vowel sounds and 8 diphthongs. The length of the vowel sound plays an important role. It is not surprising, therefore, that Spanish learners may have great difficulty in producing or even perceiving the various English vowel sounds.

Here, we’re looking at the common 18 English words that Spanish speakers mispronounce when trying to learn English.

1. School/Eschool
Sure there are accent differences, but there are also a few  common pronunciation mistakes Spanish learners of English can make. Some tend to want to add an “e” to the beginning of words that start with ‘s’, making for word school sound like “eschools”.

2. Ship/Sheep
Another one of these English words where the “i” tends to get replaced with a long “e”, making it “sheep”. Spanish speakers often stretch all vowel sounds and confuse pairs of short and long English vowel sounds like “ship” and “sheep” both in comprehension and speaking.

3. Joke/Yolk
The letter J is very difficult for Spanish speakers learning English. There are many words in the English language that start with the letter J. Many people who speak Spanish pronounce the letter J like the letter Y. If you do not say the letter J correctly in English, people may not understand you. So, if you tell someone: “That is a funny joke”,  and if you don’t pronounce the J correctly, then “joke” sounds like “yolk” (meaning the yellow part of an egg), getting difficult to understand.

4. Teeth/Teet
Some forget or over-pronounce the “ed” on the ends of words, or have trouble mastering the “th” sound on words like “teeth.” (For fun, try speaking “teeth” without  the “th” sound. Oops, You might not want to try that out loud!)

5. Focus/Fuhcus
The key to saying this correctly is remembering to make the “o” a long one. Many however replace the long “o” with “uh”, making it “fuhcus”. Look at that word again. “Ladies and gentlemen, if there’s one thing I want you to do today, it’s “fuhcus!”. Umm, no thanks!

6. Eyes/Azz
What’s wrong with eyes? Nothing. But some foreign speakers zip through the word and “eyes” becomes “azz”, which sounds like “ass”. So, if you say to someone “I saw it with my own azz,” they could take it the wrong way.

7. Scape/Escape
If somebody takes the blame for something someone else did, we say they are a “scape goat.” Many  however add an “e” to the beginning of words that start with ‘s’, mispronouncing this as “escape goat,” meaning, of course, that one of their goats has fled.

8. Kitchen/Chicken
While learning English, some speakers say “chicken” instead of “kitchen”. To make it clear, we usually prepare chicken in a kitchen.

9. Ask/Aks/Axe
Spanish speakers while learning English often mispronounce ask as axe! So, if you say : ‘You don’t have to axe me why’, it surely doesn’t mean what you want to say!

10. Accuse me/Excuse me
Instead of “excuse me”, speakers say “accuse me.” Big difference! For example, if you approach a stranger in the street and say: “Accuse me, where is 57th Street?”, they could point at you instead of pointing in the right direction.

11. Fifth/Fiss
Particularly when it comes to final consonant clusters in English, Spanish-speakers can suffer both from adding extra syllables (e.g. three syllables for “advanced” with the final “e” pronounced) and swallowing sounds to make it match the desired number of syllables (e.g. “fifths” sounding like “fiss”). With words that are similar in Spanish and English, they can also often try to make the English word match the Spanish number of syllables.

12. Not/Nought
Perhaps the single biggest pronunciation problem for Spanish speakers is that Spanish does not have a distinction between short and long vowels. They often stretch vowel sounds “not” to “nought”.

13. Breakfast/Brefas
A simple word (for native English speakers) like ‘breakfast’ is tough for Spaniards who will often pronounce it ‘brefas’ and omit the ‘k’ and the final ‘t’ because they are attached to another consonant.

14. Boat/Bought
Perhaps more importantly, they can also have problems with the two closest sounds to an “o” sound in “not” , making “boat” and “bought” difficult to distinguish.

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15. Cat/Cut
In common with most learners, Spanish speakers find the distinction between the very similar sounds in “cat” and “cut” difficult to notice and produce.

16.Yacht/Jot
There is also no distinction between the first sounds in “yacht” and “jot” in Spanish. The “ch” in “cheese” may also be confused with the “sh” in “she’s”, as the latter sound does not exist in Spanish.

17. Pull/Pool
Most Spanish speakers have difficulty distinguishing between /uː/ and /ʊ/. While /uː/ is very similar to the Spanish letter “u“, it is actually much longer. /ʊ/ is much shorter and of a different quality.  Also, pull and pool are Not homophones, i.e the words pronounced the same way as the other word but  differs in meaning and spelling.

18. Feet/Fit
The double “e” really needs to be pronounced correctly. It’s tough because although “feet” rhymes with words such as “meat” it also rhymes with words such as “sheet”. Confusing. Get the double “e” wrong—pronounce them as an “I”—and “feet” becomes “fit”.

 

Spanish speakers can learn to speak English fluently, and master on the vocabulary and pronunciation while browsing their own Facebook newsfeed with  http://new.culturealley.com/index.jsp?courseId=5. Learners can listen to the native pronunciations while learning vocabulary on the Facebook. A few relevant words on their own Facebook feeds are converted from Spanish to English. One can listen to the pronunciation for better understanding as often as they want. There are fun games to make one memorize what they have learnt. It is the most effective and immersive way to learn English for Spanish speakers.

Happy learning and hope you avoid making these common pronunciation mistakes !

10 English mistakes that Spanish speakers make

Each year more and more Spaniards are seriously considering learning English, or taking a course to brush up on their current skills. English language knowledge has become essential to most European and Latin American countries, as it is almost always the language used for communication with other countries, international business, high level university study, and is also necessary for the tourism industry. Even though Spanish and English have a lot of similarities, Spanish speakers repeatedly make the same mistakes when learning English.

Today we’re looking at 10 common English mistakes that Spanish speakers make when trying to learn English.  So next time if you say or hear “She has eyes blues” instead ofShe has blue eyes” you know why that mistake is being made!

TOP 10 English mistakes that Spanish speakers make

1. DIRECTLY TRANSLATING A PREPOSITION

Prepositions are tricky because they often change a lot between English and Spanish. Here are some specific examples of confusing prepositions.

  • A Spanish speaker may say, “It depends of” instead of “It depends on”
  • A Spanish student might say, “Call to someone” instead of “Call someone” (in English there is no preposition in such phrases).
  • Spaniards often incorrectly say, “Marry with somebody” instead of “Marry somebody” (in English there is no preposition in such phrases).

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2. OMISSION OF THE SUBJECT

In Spanish, the verb tenses change with the subject, so actually saying “I” or “he” or “it” isn’t necessary. So learners sometimes forget that the subject is always necessary in English, leading to sentences like “is always a good idea to eat spinach.” The “it,” because it doesn’t refer to anything in particular, can be easy for a learner to forget.

Spanish speakers can omit making these mistakes by learning English with a very effective tool http://new.culturealley.com/index.jsp?courseId=5 . Here the lessons clearly distinguishes between the correct and wrong usage of English.

3. FALSE COGNATES

A man pregnant? If you say 'Estoy embarazado' to mean 'I am embarassed' - people will actually think you are pregnant! And if you're a man, it will make you an instant scientific wonder. Because embarazada actually means 'pregnant' in Spanish! :P
Also known as false friends, false cognates are words that appear to have the same meaning in both English and Spanish, but in reality are quite different. Here are three well-known false friends between English and Spanish:

  • Embarazada: Looks like “embarrassed” but means “pregnant”.
  • Actualmente: Looks like “actually” but means “currently”.
  • Carpeta: Looks like “carpet” but means “folder”.
  • Librero: Looks like “library” but means “bookcase”.
  • familiar: Looks like “something known” but means “having to do with one’s family”.
  • Aprobar : Looks like “approve” but means “to pass, as in an exam”.

4. GENDER CONFUSION

Not that kind of gender confusion. While it’s more common for English speaking learners of Spanish to confuse of forget the genders of Spanish nouns, native Spanish speakers often get confused when it comes to words like him, her, because the Spanish pronoun “su” represents both the masculine and the feminine.

There are 70+ lessons which includes a lesson on how the gender pronouns differ in English and Spanish.  English speaking learners of Spanish can learn it by taking up free lessons on http://new.culturealley.com/index.jsp?courseId=5.

5. PRONUNCIATION

Spanish speakers make a lot of errors with pronunciation. Some advanced students know English grammar quite well, but can barely hold a conversation due to their incorrect pronunciation of key words. The following are some of the most common pronunciation errors that Spanish speakers make in English:

    • Adding an “e” sound before words that begin with “s”. For example, a Spanish speaker would pronounce “special” as “especial”.
    • Pronouncing a “y” as a “j”. For example, a Spaniard may say “jam” when reading the word “yam”.
    • Pronouncing a “j” as an “h”. For examples, a student might pronounce the name “Jerry” as “Herry”.

But now you can save yourself from making such mistakes! Learn English vocabulary while browsing your own Facebook newsfeed with CultureAlley – and listen to native English pronunciations. A few words and phrases from your own Facebook conversations are converted into English – you can listen to them, play games on them, practice accent, and more!

6. SHORTENED CONTRACTIONS

Shortened contractions present another common pronunciation challenge. Native Spanish speakers will often forget to finish a contraction, resulting in “don” for “don’t” or “won” for “won’t.” What might at first sound like an accent difference will become more pronounced over time, so native Spanish speakers should be on the lookout for this one!

Ofcourse, the biggest mistake to avoid is using “your” instead of “you’re” and vice versa. You’re is short for “you are” but a lot of time non native speakers of English use “your” instead

7. CONFUSION BETWEEN “TO DO” AND “TO MAKE”

In Spanish “hacer” is the verb that represents both “to do” and “to make” in English. It is often difficult for native Spanish speakers to remember which verb to use when speaking English. Some common mistakes include:

  • “I need to do my bed” instead of “I need to make my bed”.
  • “Can I do a suggestion?” instead of “Can I make a suggestion?”
  • “Could you make me a favor?” instead of “Could you do me a favor?”

8. ORDER OF ADJECTIVES AND NOUNS

In Spanish, the noun generally comes before the adjective, while in English it is usually the opposite. In English that sentence construction would look something like “He had a dog brown.” So don’t be surprised when native Spanish speakers add the adjective as an afterthought.

With CultureAlley  get over 70+ free audio-visual lessons to build your basic concepts on how and where to put the adjectives and nouns in the sentence in English.

9. CONFUSION BETWEEN “THIS” AND “THESE”

Native Spanish speakers often pronounce these two words the same so, in writing, tend to stick with “this,” leaving poor “these” for advanced learners.

10. SPELLING MISTAKES

In Spanish, words are spelled exactly how they sound. They don’t have any of this “silent letter”  found in English, nor do they have words that sound exactly the same but can be spelled three different ways. (We’re looking at you “buy/bye/by”).

You will definitely not make spelling mistakes after learning with CultureAlley as after each lesson, rigorous practice exercises through fun games have been scheduled for the users to master what they have learnt.

Top 9 things to keep in mind while preparing for DELE – 9 myths to avoid!

Maybe you’ve decided to take the plunge and sit an official D.E.L.E exam and now the nerves are building. The D.E.L.E. exams are the most widely recognized Spanish language qualifications in the world. Well here are few myths you might just have about D.E.L.E

Don’t worry, we will clear the confusion!

1. It is an easy Exam

It’s definitely not an easy exam to pass, but it’s worth getting the diploma if you would like to work or boost your resume or even explore interesting freelance teaching and translation opportunities.

In the D.E.L.E. exams you will have to write and you will have to do a grammar and vocabulary section. But chances are you don’t often write all that much in your day to day life. You will need to pass all sections of the exam and so writing practice is an essential part of your language study. From day 1! And grammar is a stumbling block that you need to get over as soon as possible. You need 70% in every section and even if you’re acing all the other parts a 69% in one still means a fail. So its definitely not an easy exam, as you will have to focus on each section equally.

2. You can take it anytime

There are specific dates for the exams. You have to register yourself first for the exam by visiting the DELE official site and register before one month of the exam. You have to take the exam on that date only!

The following are the upcoming exam dates for 2014:
JULY: 18th July- Levels B1, B2, C1
NOVEMBER: 22nd November- Levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2

3.Only a grammar book is sufficient

No, you cannot pass DELE exam just by studying from books. You will need to practice  writing, speaking, and listening . The exam may ask you to read a quote and elaborate it. Make sure that while you study Spanish you continue to practice it outside of class in the informal ways (watching TV, listening to music, speaking to local people).

Memorizing vocabulary from mindless flashcards and boring! CultureAlley helps you expand your Spanish vocabulary while you browse your own Facebook wall! Yes, learn Spanish while reading your friend’s conversations on Facebook.

You can use http://new.culturealley.com/ to explore over 70 free lessons with grammar concepts and conversations.

4.DELE certificate Exam is for FREE

The price of the DELE exam varies based on country, level, and the center where you are take your exam from.

The following table is an example of the 2013 prices:

COUNTRY A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2
CZECK REPUBLIC 1,285 Kč 1,600 Kč 1,820 Kč 2,150 Kč 2,400 Kč 2,510 Kč
EGYPT 345 EGP 420 EGP 470 EGP 570 EGP 645 EGP 700 EGP
FRANCE 88 € 98 € 109 € 145 € 155 € 160 €
GERMANY 114 € 123 € 134 € 189 € 199 € 204 €
GREECE 75 € 85 € 110 € 125 € 140 € 145 €

5. It is a written exam

Although the test differs in its exact format depending on the level,  students must pass the five sections of the exam in order to obtain the Diploma, as listed below:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Writing
  3. Listening Comprehension
  4. Grammar and Vocabulary
  5. Speaking

In order to obtain a Diploma, students must score “apt” in all sections of the test, and not just in writing.

6. Classroom study is sufficient

Are you thinking of taking these exams to prove your level of Spanish? You need to continue to practice outside of class in the informal ways like watching TV, listening to music or speaking to local people to master the language.

You can Learn Spanish for free on http://new.culturealley.com/ while you browse your friend’s conversations on your own Facebook feed! It is the most immersive, fun, and contextual way to learn Spanish. Play fun games to master what you learn and get over 70 free lessons to build your concepts on through several free audio-visual lessons.!

7. Exam does not focus on speaking

This section could be very short but important indeed as you need to score good in each section to pass. Speaking is the quickest and most efficient way to improve your language level. You will need to “Frame” your thoughts. Very often the speaking section will involve you having to give an opinion on something. For example a photo, or perhaps a comparison of photos. Use framing phrases to say things like “in my opinion” “well, i see you’re point but I don’t quiet agree” “and that’s why, in a nutshell I think this photo expresses the themes of..”.
Remember it’s important to frame both the start and the end.

8.Even the citizens from Spanish speaking country can give the exam

Anyone who is living in a country where Spanish is not the official language can apply for the DELE exam. Also the citizens from Spanish speaking countries living in other countries where Spanish is not the official language, can give the DELE exam if they fulfill at least two of the following conditions (and declare it in a written document):

  1. Spanish is not the mother tongue of any of his/her parents.
  2. Spanish is not the first language that he/she learned.
  3. Spanish is not the habitual language used for communicating.
  4. He/She has not studied Spanish in the total or part of his/her primary or secondary education.
  5. Check yours Now!

9.You can start preparing for DELE a month before the exam

This is perhaps the biggest myth. If you think you can prepare well to appear for DELE in a month, then you are wrong. Numerous “language schools” specifically in developing countries might lure with flase promises of finishing DELE levels in record times – don’t get fooled! According to Instituto Cervantes, clearing each level requires significant number of learning hours. So start today and plan for the next exam in advance.

You can Learn Spanish for free on http://new.culturealley.com/ – with 70+ lessons, games, Facebook based language practice tools, and more!

Duración currículo oficial (A1-C1) Duración nivel C2 Duración total
      660 horas     180 horas    840 horas
Nivel Curso DELE
A
180 horas
A1
(90 horas)
1 (Inicial 1) A1
ACCESO
2 (Inicial 2)
3 (Inicial 3)
A2
(90 horas)
4 (Inicial 4) B1
INICIAL
5 (Inicial 5)
6 (Inicial 6)
B
300 horas
B1
(150 horas)
7 (Intermedio 1)
8 (Intermedio 2)
9 (Intermedio 3)
10 (Intermedio 4)
11 (Intermedio 5)
B2
(150 horas)
12 (Avanzado 1) B2
INTERMEDIO
13 (Avanzado 2)
14 (Avanzado 3)
15 (Avanzado 4)
16 (Avanzado 5)
C
360 horas
C1
(180 horas)
17 (Superior 1) C1
DOMINIO
18 (Superior 2)
19 (Superior 3)
20 (Superior 4)
21 (Superior 5)
22 (Superior 6)
C2
(180 horas)
23 (Especial) C2 SUPERIOR
24 (Especial)
25 (Especial)
26 (Especial)
27 (Especial)
28 (Especial)

 You can Learn Spanish for free on http://new.culturealley.com/ – with 70+ lessons, games, Facebook based language practice tools, and more!

13 amazing facts about Portuguese

1. With more than 230 million speakers, Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world.

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2. Of the five main Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian), Portuguese is the second most widely spoken after Spanish.

3. Portuguese is the official language of  Brazil, Cape Verde, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, Angola, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome, and Principe.

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4. Despite superficial similarities to Spanish, Portuguese is actually more closely related to Galician, a language spoken in northwestern Spain.

5. The earliest occurrences of a distinctive Portuguese language are found in ninth century administrative documents.

6. The longest Portuguese word is otorrinolaringologista, meaning an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

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7.  Most difficult word or tongue twister in Portuguese:-
O rato roeu a roupa do rei de Roma
(The rat gnawed the king of Rome’s clothes)

8. Famous Portuguese quote to impress the locals
Se podes olhar, vê. Se podes ver, repara
(If you can look, see. If you can see, notice )

9. In Portuguese K, W and Y were not part of the alphabet before 2009 and are only used for foreign words.

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10. Portuguese people can understand Spanish quite easily, but the opposite is not true.

11. Although the greater part of the Portuguese vocabulary comes from Latin, a number of words have also been absorbed from Arabic, French, and Italian, and also from some of the indigenous South American and African languages.

12. It is a language that uses a system of manual, facial, and other body movements as the means of communication, especially among deaf people.

13. In 1986, Portuguese became one of the official languages of the European Union (EU) when Portugal was admitted to the organization.

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