“El Gordo” Lottery in Spain – why spaniards are obsessed with it

Illuminated streets, family atmosphere, music, Christmas shopping, and of course, the lottery. The Spanish Christmas Lottery or simply Lotería de Navidad is a national lottery. In the Spanish-speaking media it is sometimes just called El Gordo and is the second longest continuously running lottery in the world. The Christmas Lottery is one of the most deeply rooted traditions in Spain. Share tickets (décimos) with family members, with the group of friends, with coworkers … and dream about everything that can be done if you buy a ticket. The lottery administrations, during these months, are filled with people full of hope. The “décimos” are given or shared, because as the slogan of the Christmas Lottery says, “the best gift is to share it”. On December 22nd, the date on which the lottery of Christmas is held, all the Spaniards follow the live draw on the radio or televisions at work or at home, consulting the internet via mobile … everyone wants to know if they or someone they know have won something. From the first draw, the children of San Ildefonso were in charge of singing the numbers of the Christmas Lottery, which until 1913 were printed on papers. As of this date, the system of drums and wooden balls that is still used today was implemented. Currently, the maximum prize has a value of 4 million euros. Although the statistics prove that the chances of winning are very low, each year the prize of this famous lottery makes someone happy, and this fact feeds the illusion of others who resort to lucky classics like rubbing the “décimo” by the...
Roller Coaster of Language Learning

Roller Coaster of Language Learning

Why is it a roller coaster? Well, because learning a language is full of ups and downs. It also makes us face our insecurities and fears. Learning Spanish is a process full of positive emotions and frustrations, the moments of clarity and total confusion. At the very beginning any foreign language seems very difficult to learn. Students often come to the first date with a new language full of fear (pretty much like any other first date) about the pronunciation and complexity of grammar. Thus we often enter the first class full of preconceptions about the language. We slowly progress through the first lessons: basic grammar, phonetics and vocabulary. In no time, we  start to understand, the fears are dissipating and we regain self-confidence and security. That is when first obstacle is defeated and frustrations dissipate, we accept the logic of Spanish language. It begins to work its way into our minds, we feel that first “rush” that makes us believe that it is not as difficult as we had imagined it. Soon we find ourselves back in comfort zone and, hence, start thinking that we will be fluent in Spanish in no time. Then things start to get more complicated and more complex structures appear and make us return that the initial frustration. As a result we find ourselves in the learning pit again. Don’t we all have a false belief that the more we know, the easier it is? But how to overcome the ups and downs in the learning process? To be successful in your learning you have to count on two very important things, your...
5 Apps to learn languages easily on the go

5 Apps to learn languages easily on the go

These 5 Apps to learn languages will change your study life   Nowadays it is hard to find somebody, who is not using the internet over a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone. Those devices have become a part of our life and so our way to interact with them has changed as well. For example many people don’t rely on written agendas anymore, but rather organise everything on their phone or tablet. Also, do you still have an address book at home, where you noted all the telephone numbers of your friends and family? You see, what we mean? The same way the internet and mobile devices gave us opportunities to reorganise our daily habits, they also offer new opportunities for education. Thanks to Apps to learn languages it is not necessary anymore, to carry textbooks around or to write down endless vocabulary lists in your notebook. They even widen the horizon by introducing interactive features, that allow you to communicate with other language learners and practise your knowledge with native speakers.     Of course those apps have their pros and cons in comparison to other educational offers and it always depends on your personal learning needs, if they really suit you. But in general they might be a good addition to a language course or they might be of help to simply stay on track with a foreign language on a daily basis.   To not leave you in the dark and give you a first orientation, we present you in the following 5 Apps to learn languages on the go:   Duolingo The biggest advantage...