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Una procesión es un desfile religioso que involucra a personas que recorren de un lugar a otro, o bien partiendo de un sitio y volviendo a él, como muestra de su creencia y de su respectiva fe religiosa.  En Semana Santa en España se realizan estas procesiones coincidiendo con la Semana Mayor. En estas procesiones participan distintos colectivos agrupados en cofradías o hermandad religiosa bajo el reconocimiento eclesiástico. Así pues, los cofrades salen a las calles con sus hermandades acompañando a un paso de Cristo o Virgen adscrito a un pasaje de la Pasión. Los integrantes realizan las estaciones ataviados con túnicas: penitentes o nazarenos. Normalmente cada cuidad de España tiene una semana con una o más pasos (procesiones) cada dia. Abajo puedes ver la programación de Semana Santa en El Puerto de Santa Maria.

If you want to see one of the pasos in El Puerto refer to the pasos timetable below, curtesy of Turismo el Puerto . If you want to learn Spanish in Spain don’t hesitate to look at our Spanish Course options.

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Studying with Spark also means living in El Puerto de Santa Maria, a lovely town in the province Cadíz. El Puerto de Santa Maria does not only have a variety of historic features and beautiful beaches to offer but also the harbor Puerto Sherry, where I took two of the students at Spark yesterday as part of my Work-Experience-programme. From Spark the walk takes approximately 50 minutes down to Playa Puntilla and along the coastline heading west on a beautiful walkingpath viewing the bay of Cadíz. Puerto Sherry itself is one of the biggest marinas in Andalusia with more than 800 moorings and a range of other water sports like windsurfing and diving. In history the harbor played an important role in shipping the sherry produced in the sherry triangle Jerez-Sanlúcar-El Puerto de Santa Maria abroad, but today, as we discovered, it is a quiet place to relax and let some time pass while sitting in one of the little cafés to enjoy the view on the marina and Cadíz. After having some typical Spanish coffee and fresh juice we made our way back to Spark and enjoyed the walk talking and practicing our Spanish.

Going on cultural activities with other students provides a great opportunity to not only practise the Spanish learned in class during the mornings but also to explore new places and make friends along the way! If you would love to know more about El Puerto de Santa Maria and the Spanish language, why not join Spark and experience it yourself?

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El Puerto de Santa Maria forms part of sherry triangle with nearby Jerez and SanLucar. Indeed the English word “Sherry” is an anglicization of the Spanish city Jerez which last year was the European Wine Capital.  The Ruta del Mosto takes place each year in El Puerto de Santa Maria in November to celebrate the first wine of that year that is ready to drink and usually it is made by smaller bodegas (wineries) which is what this festival focuses on.  Not only is it a great way to learn about culture of wine making in the area but usually each mosto is served with some food so it a great way to enjoy tapas. Click on the image below for more details on the event and where you can get Mosto.  If you are interested in studying Spanish and learning about making of sherry why not considering a Spanish Course with us, especially our Spanish and Feria might be of interest for those with a love of wine and Flamenco and just generally having a great time 🙂

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Mosto: el primer vino fermentado, que se empieza a beber a partir del mes de noviembre, con un grado alcohólico aproximado de 12%. En muchas ocasiones este mosto se realiza de manera artesanal en cortijos y viñas, siendo un atractivo culinario.

 

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Toen ik 12 was begon ik met danslessen. Ik begon met de meest bekende dansen in Nederland, de latin en ballroomdansen. Omdat ik uit een echt Nederlandse familie kom, ben ik niet opgegroeid met dans. De enige dans die mijn familie goed onder de knie heeft is de ‘polonaise’ (bekende dans in Nederland). Maar vanuit een dansers perspectief kan ik het niet echt een dans noemen. Maar hier in Spanje leren de mensen al dansen vanaf hun geboorte. Maar welke dansen zijn nu het meest populair in Spanje? Er zijn verschillende dansen om uit te kiezen, bijvoorbeeld flamenco, paso doble en salsa. Één is populairder dan de ander. Maar het meest belangrijke wat ze met elkaar gemeen hebben is de passie en emotie die de dansers in hun dans stoppen.

Flamenco is heel bekend in Spanje, vooral in het zuiden. Het is een dans van passie en emotie. In het begin luisteren de flamenco dansers naar de gitaar en de andere instrumenten en beginnen dan langzaam te dansen. De dans bestaat uit mooie armbewegingen en gestamp op de vloer.

Paso doble, de dans van de matador en de rode cape. De dans is afgeleid van het stierenvechten. Het is heel sierlijk hoe de vrouw om de man danst, maar tegelijkertijd zijn het hele krachtige bewegingen. Het is een hele mooie dans met veel passie.

En als laatste maar zeker niet de minste; salsa. In het zuiden is het niet de populairste dans, maar er zijn nog steeds veel mensen die het kunnen dansen. Tijdens de dans vertellen de dansers een verhaal met hun bewegingen.  Je moet de muziek goed aanvoelen en één zijn met je dans partner, om zo het gevoel van salsa echt te beleven.

It’s september so the weather is cooling down, but this are still pretty hot in Spark.   On Monday we have welcome drinks. On Tuesday we have a visit to Plaza de Toros where our students will enjoy Tapas and Drinks (More drinks? Yes more drinks, there’s always room for an extra glass of wine while on holiday) On Wednesday we have our conversation class for off and on site students alike. On Thursday we have A Visit to a Castle, which is always an interesting learning experience. To see our full schedule click Here

Congratulations Jerez de la Frontera!

It has just been released that the new Capital of Wine in Europe is the beautiful city of Jerez de la Frontera, which is located just a 10 minute train ride away from El Puerto de Santa María! We would like to dedicate this blog post to congratulate Jerez on this fantastic award! Jerez is a stunning city with so many cultural activities to enjoy there. With its phenomenal buildings and amazing bars and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to taste the wine the city is now renowned for.

Check out this promotion video for Jerez’s Wine industry. It beautifully shows some of the history in Jerez and much much more!

The word “Sherry” is an anglicisation of Xeres (Jerez) and are both derived by Jerez de la Fronteras name in the moorish period; Sherrish. Sherry was previously known as sack, from the Spanish saca, meaning “extraction” from the solera. In Europe, “Sherry” is protected by Spanish law, all wine labelled as “Sherry” must legally come from the Sherry Triangle, an area in the province of Cádiz between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and us here at Spark in El Puerto de Santa María. Therefore this award is not only a great success for Jerez, but also for El Puerto de Santa Maria!

Jerez is one of main airports that we link with in El Puerto de Santa María. We offer free transfers to and from Jerez airport.

If you found this post interesting and would like to find out more information like this and much much more, sign up to our newsletters using the link below. If you would also like to read more about our Spanish courses or if you would like to go straight to purchasing one of our courses, please click on the corresponding links below.

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La Feria del Vino Fino en El Puerto de Santa Maria!

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Typical Feria Dresses

The Spaniards are known for their party spirit, and La Feria is no different! This is a week of dancing ‘Andalucian Style’, drinking beer and eating amazing typical Spanish food! What more could you possibly want?!

Every town in Andalucia has its own feria or fair, and it would be possible, if one had superhuman powers of endurance, to spend the whole summer following them around the region.

The first feria takes place at Seville in April (two weeks after Semana Santa) and the last is at San Pedro de Alcántara in mid October. La Feria in El Puerto de Santa Maria is the next feria to take place after La Feria de Sevilla, usually the week after.

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La Portada de La Feria!

The history of La Feria dates back to the middle ages, and was the principal means of interchange of local products within town and cities. This soon developed into an anual party where everyone comes together to enjoy their time together. There are themes for each day of La Feria, one being Ladies night and another dedicated to work socials where you and the people you work with have a day together socialising at the Feria together. It is truly a festival to represent togetherness and fun and relaxation as a family or group of people.

Why not read the experiences of one of our previous Spark Sec’s at her first ever Feria De Vino Fino en El Puerto de Santa Maria to find out first hand what this amazing festival is really like!

If you found this post interesting and would like to find out more information like this and much much more, sign up to our newsletters using the link below. If you would also like to read more about our Spanish courses or if you would like to go straight to purchasing one of our courses, please click on the corresponding links below.

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Puente Fin de Semana – Long Weekend

In all countries we get the enjoyment of having a 3 day long weekend off of work, school and generally have a lovely long weekend. Here in Spain they take it one step further, by having a ‘Puente’.

Andalusia Flag/Region

Andalusia Flag/Region

Puente, also known in English terms as a ‘bridge’ is in fact a 4 day holiday. This is when a public holiday falls on a Thursday or a Monday, which automatically (obviously..!) entitles you to the Friday or Monday off as well (lucky them!). However, in many cases this year, they get the Wednesday off too.. Mental, no?!

Puente falls on the same weekend every year as Andalusia celebrates it’s national holiday, Andalusia Day. ‘Día de Andalucía’ is celebrated on the 28th February, celebrating being an autonomous community in Spain. Schools are usually closed for 3 days in the week Puente (in English, a 5 day weekend..!) and they spend the 2 days they actually are at school doing traditional customs such as the ‘desayuno andaluz’, Andalusian breakfast, which consists of sliced toast, with olive oil and orange juice.

However, for the majority of people in Andalusia, this four day (or five..!) long weekend is spent socialising with family or friends, and making the most of the extra two days off of work! So to everyone near or far, whether you’re working or are in fact lucky enough to have Puente off of work, we at Spark wish you a happy ‘Día de Andalucía’!! It truly is one of the most remarkable regions in Spain, with so much to offer, why not try it out yourself and study Spanish here at Spark!

Here is a blog post of a previous Spark employee who tells us what she got up to at Puente!

If you found this post interesting and would like to find out more information like this and much much more, sign up to our newsletters using the link below. If you would also like to read more about our Spanish courses or if you would like to go straight to purchasing one of our courses, please click on the corresponding links below.

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Learn Spanish Football Vocabulary

Interesting facts on Football in Spain

Football Vocabulary

Here in Spain, everyone is football mad; from the guys to the girls; from the students to the retired. They are all joined together by this sport and are very passionate and loyal to their teams. One of the main questions asked by Spanish people (especially here in Andalusia) is “are you Barça or Madrid?” Which ever team you choose, you will have your lovers and your haters, even if you support other teams.

However, the moment the Spaniards truly come together as one in the football world is when Spain or a Spanish team play another country or a team from another country. Spain generally is one of the best football teams in the world, and the Spanish leagues have 2 of the best football teams in the world as well. So why wouldn’t they get excited about this sport?

Below we have some very necessary “football vocabulary” that will make you come across as a “pro” in Spanish! Why not test them out at the next football game?!

away game partido que se juega fuera de casa
away team equipo visitante
beat derrotar / vencer
bench banquillo
centre circle círculo central
championship campeonato
changing rooms vestuarios
corner kick saque de esquina. corner
cross pase cruzado
crossbar travesaño
defender defensa
draw un empate
dropped ball (when restarting play) balón a tierra
equaliser la igualada
extra time tiempo suplementario
extra-time prórroga
field markings marcación del terreno
field of play terreno de juego
first half primer tiempo
fit en forma / sano
fixture encuentro
fixture list programa de encuentros
flagposts banderines
forward delantero
foul falta
free kick (direct/indirect) tiro libre (directo/indirecto)
friendly game partido amistoso
goal / penalty area /the box área de meta
goal average promedio de goles
goal kick saque de puerta / portería /meta
goal line línea de meta.
goal scorer goleador
goalkeeper portero / guardameta / golero
goalpost poste, palo de la portería
half time interval intervalo del medio tiempo / descanso
halfway line. línea media
handball! ¡mano!
header cabezazo
heads or tails cara o cruz
home en casa
hooligan gamberro
injured player un jugador lesionado
injury time descuento
kick patada
kick dar una patada
kick-off saque de salida
laws of the game reglas de juego
league liga
linesman juez de línea
local derby enfrentamiento de dos equipos vecinos
manager entrenador
match partido
midfield player centrocampista
move jugada
national team (la) selección
opposing team equipo adversario
own goal propia meta
pass pasar
penalty kick tiro penal / penalti
penalty spot punto penal
player jugador
cup-winners cup recopa
red card tarjeta roja
referee árbitro
replay repetición
restart of play reanudación del juego
score a hat trick marcar tres goles (en un partido)
score draw un empate a cero
scoreboard marcador
season temporada
second half seguno tiempo
send a player off expulsar un jugador
shinguard canillera/espinillera
shorts pantalones cortos
side equipo
spanish equivalent of F.A cup copa del rey
spectator espectador
staduim / ground estadio
strip los colores del equipo (uniforme?)
studs tacos
substitute sustituto.
supporter hincha / seguidor
sweeper líbero / barredor
tackle internada
team (international) seleccion
team equipo
terrace grada
the ball balón
the coach el entrenador
the final score el resultado final
the highest goal scorer this season el máximo goleador de esta temporada
the net la red
the pitch el campo
throw-in saque de banda
ticket tout revendedor de entradas
to book a player amonestar un jugador
to keep goal jugar de guardameta / de portero
to score a goal marcar / meter un gol
to shoot at goal tirar a puerta / al arco; disparar
touch line línea de banda
tournament torneo
turnstile torniquete / molinete / puerta
underdog el que tiene menos posibilidades
unsporting behaviour conducta antideportiva
wasting time perdida de tiempo
what was the score? ¿cómo terminó el partido?
what’s the score? ¿cómo van? / ¿cómo va el marcador?
whistle silbato pitido
winger extremo
world cup mundial
yellow card tarjeta amarilla

Want to learn more Spanish? How about learning Spanish in Spain? Click on the icon below to see our Spanish Courses!

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Fiestas de Carnaval de Cádiz – Carnival Festivities in Cadiz

It is a known fact that Spain loves to party, and that they don’t need an excuse either. Over the next couple of weeks the city of Cadiz will be immersed in colour and music from all corners of the city. People spend months preparing for this spectacular event that lasts for 11 days! Many traditions and festivities will come to life all around Spain over the next couple of weeks as one of the most cultural events in Spain takes place.

Carnaval

Carnaval

The traditions of Carnival in Cadiz range from everyone dressing up to the nines, to eating sea urchins, to singing and dancing in the streets. This festival has something for everyone and is known as one of the biggest Carnivals in the world! Carnival is celebrated in many places in Spain, however nothing like in Cadiz.

Here are some facts you may not have known about Carnival:

  • Celebrations traditionally start in the middle of January (about 3 weeks before the official start date of the festival) as an official farewell to Christmas. This involves people gathering in the Plaza de San Francisco and the Peña Los Dedócratas (a club) give you free pestiño, a delicious Spanish Christmas dessert made of flour, yeast, salt, sherry wine, olive oil and sesame, served with anisette.
  • The day after this celebration, the real preparation for the carnival starts! Each year a competition takes place to choose the best Carnival choirs that will sing in the “Gran Teatro Falla” during the Carnival celebrations. This carries on until the start of the official Carnival (around 20 days!) and more than 100 groups participate in this competition. Along with this competition are two unmissable events; The “Erizada” and the “Ostionada”.
  • The “Erizada” is where the Peña el Erizo club offers “erizos”, sea urchin, that are best eaten raw with a spoon, you just need to be careful you don’t get stung by the needles!
  • The “Ostionada” is where people gather to taste “ostion”, a seashell very similar to oyster, with a more intense flavor, eaten raw with a spring of lemon juice and usually accompanied by beer or muscatel wine, and the fine carnival music of gaditanos.

But the part of Carnival that people know best and enjoy the most is the carnival parade, everyone dressed in amazing fancy dress and the firework display on the beach. All of these aspects attract people from near and far to this amazing festivity. Everyone in the city goes “all out” with their costumes and the atmosphere of fun and laughter is apparent all over the city.

Carnival is not the only amazing event to happen in Spain. Spain is full of amazing cultural events and festivities like Carnival and you can never tirer of being part of. If you would like to read about a previous Spark employees experience of “Carnaval” click here and see what she thought of her experience of Spanish culture!

If you found this post interesting and would like to find out more information like this and much much more, sign up to our newsletters using the link below. If you would also like to read more about our Spanish courses or if you would like to go straight to purchasing one of our courses, please click on the corresponding links below.

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Top 5 Disney Songs to get you Learning Spanish

At SparkSpanish one of the guiding forces behind our Spanish Courses and programmes is to approach learning Spanish from a fresh new exciting angle.  Our classes and methodology are designed to inspire the learner to enjoy their learning experience.  We strive for our learners to first gain confidence in the language, then to express their true personality through it.  We nurture their learning process understanding that learning Spanish is an emotionally challenging experience. We like to use different methodology; this includes using songs, films, role plays and many more ways to get you to become more confident with the Spanish language.

We all have memories of watching Disney films when we were younger; and are probably still able to recall every word to our favourite songs; I know I can. But imagine if you could have a fun way of learning Spanish, and bringing back childhood memories. Well you’ve got it! Spark Spanish presents to you our top 5 Disney songs.. Do you agree? They all have the Spanish lyrics to make it that much easier for you to learn Spanish.

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**Vote for your favourite Spanish Disney Song, please also leave a comment below**

¿Cuál es la mejor canción de Disney en español?

1) El Rey León – El Ciclo de la Vida

2) Aladdin – Un Nuevo Ideal

3) La Sirenita – Bajo del Mar

4) Libro de la Selva – Busca Lo Más Vital

5.) Frozen – Sueltalo

Tell us what you think! Do you agree? Have we missed your favourite?

¡Comentanos que te ha parecido! ¿Estas de acuerdo?¿Cual es tu cancion favorita?SpanishDisney

Si te ha parecido un post interesante y te gustaria aprender español mientras disfrutas de todo tipo de actividades en un lugar privilegiado, visita nuestra pagina en la que encontraras toda la informacion que necesitas.

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Ballet Ecuestre! Horse Ballet!

We love that students from all around the world come to study and improve their Spanish at Spark. Most of our fantastic students look to combine their general Spanish course both with cultural activities they can enjoy with our Spanish teachers, and time to visit the nearby cities of Cádiz, Jerez and Sevilla. We find that many of our students ask us if there are any special and typical Spanish events happening whilst they are studying at our language school. To enjoy your time at Spark Spanish the most, we highly recommend that you experience the authentic Spanish culture. In Andalusia you can experience some of the best spanish culture; most of which is right on Spark Spanish’s doorstep!

Here in Spain you are never short of amazing Spanish culture, and this coming week is no different! In the nearby city of Jerez de la Frontera, very close to Spark Spanish in El Puerto de Santa Maria, a school dedicated to art hosts a horse dressage every Tuesday and Thursday. Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre is very well known and respected here in Andalusia, and the students of this school will perform at any special occasions or carnival such as “La Feria” which takes place in Jerez.

At this school, they perform the world famous Spanish Horse Ballet, or “Ballet Ecuestre”. It is very similar to dressage, however, it is performed with typical Spanish music and dance such as flamenco. All the riders are in typical Spanish attire and even the horses are beautifully dressed. In each routine they perform 6 to 8 different dances which tests all aspects of the horses (and riders) ability.

At Spark Spanish, we love to show you the very best of Spanish culture. Being here in El Puerto de Santa Maria, we are right in the heart of Andalusia, so we are able to experience a lot of authentic Spanish culture. You are able to infuse together your Spanish learning at Spark with typical Spanish culture.

Ballet Ecuestre is a fun and different way of enjoying Spanish culture. It’s a lovely day out and Jerez has a lot to offer, such as beautiful monuments, fantastic bars and restaurants, and even a Primark if that takes your fancy. We will be able to recommend to you the best activities to do that suit you.

If you are interested in the Horse Ballet in Jerez and want to find out more you can visit the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre website.

If you found this post interesting and would like to find out more information like this and much much more, sign up to our newsletters using the link below. If you would also like to read more about any of our Spanish courses or would like to request more information from a member of the fantastic Spark team, you can do so by clicking on the corresponding links below.

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