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Category: challenge

Estic constipada :o(

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Avui, estic molt constipada. No puc respirar bé. Tampoc puc pensar – a l’anglès i encara menys a català.

Per això, un conte bonic que m’agrada – i també coneixo molt bé :o)

Les tres ossos i la Rinxols d’or

[PS – In case you’re puzzled, I have a cold. As José Picardo kindly explained when I tweeted my condition yesterday, it’s English that is scatalogical ;o)]

Com va es repte?

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With term starting on Wednesday, I must admit that I’ve not done as much as I would have liked towards recalling and improving my Catalan. I have
tweeted Mark a few timespobret! – and I joined a Facebook group – I WANNA LEARN CATALAN! and guess who had beat me to it? Si, es meu amic escocès! I’ll be following some of the suggestions in the thread Music in català – I learn well from songs, and I apparently have poor taste in music (???) so this might improve my kudos!

Anyhow, yesterday I had to make do with a ‘S’expressió catalana des dia’ – as I tweeted

Estic no sé com.

It means ‘There is something the matter with me’ – and I just love the phrase as it amuses me!

Avui vaig decidir a matar dos pardells d’un tret. (Very proud of myself for remembering this vaguely!!)

It’s time to post my next tonguetwister on 12seconds.TV and I want to keep up my Catalan practice, so below is the amalgamation of the two things!

Have a go at this topical tongue twister –

Catalan tonguetwister on 12seconds.tv

Com a ploure, prou que plou, Pau, però plou poc.


It means …Well, it really rains, Paul, but it only rains a little. (we wish!)

And if that’s not enough, try one of these 1221 (!) refranys about sa pluja :o)

Fins demà!


At the end of my last post, I said I might have a go at recording a 12seconds.tv clip of me speaking Catalan.

I did try using 12seconds.tv – at school, it was blocked (not very surprised really!). Then I tried at home. Having been distracted by talking about my favourite concert ever for 12 seconds, I tried introducing myself in Catalan but found that 12 seconds wasn’t long enough. this was pleasing as it meant I had more to say than I thought ;o)

So I went back to Seesmic and, after countless attempts, I recorded and saved a version which I can just about accept. Why is it that you never sound as good as you do in your head when you talk? And the faces I pull – em sap greu – please forgive me!!

Any comments are more than welcome – but please be that ‘sympathetic native speaker’ that we’re always promising our pupils!

Lisa intenta a xerrar es catalá / mallorquíTrying to introduce myself in Catalan after many years of not speaking it. Apologies to any Catalan speakers for the mistakes – please be kind if you want to correct me;o)

If you’re interested, check out Mark’s progress on his blog – he’s doing so much better than me – but I will not be intimidated!

En Mark es força més bon estudiant de ses llenguas que jo.

Mark Pentleton, of Coffee Break Spanish and Radio Lingua fame, has set himself a challenge to learn Catalan in four weeks. As he admits, he knows some already from his travels, but wants to be able to hold a proper conversation when he goes to Barcelona at the end of the month. He’s begun with a couple of posts this week, in Catalan. Very impressive!


Well, over the last few months, Mark and I have sporadically corresponded via Twitter in Catalan after he mentioned plans for One Minute Catalan and I said that’d be good but why not Mallorquí. The truth is that I learned Catalan at Sheffield University, taught by Alan Yates (of Teach Yourself Catalan fame) and then spent a year at L’Universitat de les Illes Balears in Mallorca. On returning for my final year, I had great fun making myself understood as my fellow students had been to Barcelona and Valencia and couldn’t understand my unique accent.
During my time in Sheffield, I wrote essays in Catalan, read countless books, adored La Plaça del Diamant, worshipped Villalonga and was gutted when Josep Llompart died whist I was in Mallorca. I even managed to deliver a talk to the highly critical, fiercely Mallorquí students of Català1 at UIB – and survived! I really did enjoy it. However, since then, I have no opportunity to use my skills and they are therefore horribly rusty.

So, I’ve decided to join Mark in his challenge. Before you get overexcited, I won’t be posting great essays in Catalan – or Mallorquí – but I will tell you what I’ve been doing. I’ve decided that, as term is just starting (shame I didn’t think of this a month ago!), I’m going for the ‘poc à poc’ approach (that reminds me of a Catalan joke, but it’s rude and I can only recall the punchline!).
I started off by tweeting Mark in Catalan:



After one particular tweet in which I shared my favourite Catalan refrán (probably the only one I know off by heart!) I’ve started reading ‘De mica en mica s’omple la pica‘ by Jaume Fuster once more. I read it at Uni – that was a long time ago, but I have to say that I’m really excited that I can still understand most of it – and the bits I’m looking up in my dictionary are actually familiar once I know what they mean!
Today, I’ve rediscovered one of my favourite expressions – it means don’t worry!

I’m hoping to find a phrase like that for each day – so any suggestions are very welcome!
Might even try to post some 12seconds.TV videos of me talking!

A veure què passi!


On checking Twitter this morning, I saw that Doug @dajbelshaw was trying out something new – called 12seconds.TV. I’m a nosey soul so when he offered invites, I was there like a shot.

Doug was kind enough to send me an invite so off I went to discover more.

It’s one of those ‘does what it says on the tin’ sort of sites – it’s all about 12 seconds of TV, a bit like Seismic but with a time limit. Just as Twitter limits you to 140 characters, here you have to be succinct too. You sign in with a username and are assigned your own channel – mine is http://12seconds.tv/channel/lisibo and then you just need a webcam and microphone – although Doug Belshaw managed here without a microphone ;o)

I had a first try waffling about nothing in particular, and answered today’s 12challenge – which is the best Star Wars film?

Then I started thinking of uses for 12seconds.tv, and came up with using it for a challenge – learn and perfect a Spanish tonguetwister.

Here’s the first one – from Puerto Rico

Spanish tongue twister #1 on 12seconds.tv

Trabalenguas #1 –
miel de abaja, miel de abeja, miel de abeja ……

I started thinking I’d put the widget in my blog sidebar – which I will do – but then thought I’d add it to the school web page and use it to set the challenge to pupils, staff, parents and the wider community. There’s not much going on the site at the moment and in the last year there have been three regular contributors, one of whom has left, one of whom is the administrator, and the other who loves pink and bling ;o) so I think any content will be welcome. I also take pride in promoting languages within the school – as I don’t have my own class, it’s the way most parents get to know who I am. Added to which, I like the idea of promoting language learning to the wider community – and tonguetwisters are such fun. Using video will help as I always find it easier to see the person’s face when I’m learning languages and trying to imitate pronunciation. And the 12 second limit makes it snappy – not an onerous task and within most people’s attention span.

I’ll let you know how it goes – but I’d love to see others having a go – perhaps you could join 12seconds.tv and post your attempts at the Spanish tonguetwisters?

Or post your own in French, German, Russian, Dutch, Chinese etc. or even a phrase in your local dialect? I’ve got 10 invites to give away if you’d like one!
We could start a whole new trend for linguistic 12seconds.tv videos!!

I’ll post another one in a day or so!

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