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CBI 1:27 | Talking about your job in Italian

In our latest lesson of Coffee Break Italian you’ll learn to talk about your job, to say what you do, where you work and whether or not you like your job. This lesson is another episode in our mini-series which helps you to make small talk with native speakers and improve your Italian in the process.

Episode 17 – Season 4 – Coffee Break Spanish

In the latest lesson of our course, we join Carmen and read her letter which includes further details of the dramatic events which occurred in the Bay of Portals in 1949. As usual the text features many complex grammar points and interesting idiomatic expressions, and these are discussed by our hosts.

CBI 1:26 | Talking about yourself in Italian

In lesson 26 of Coffee Break Italian you’ll be joining the team to learn more about informal telephone conversations and how to talk about yourself and your family. Making small talk is one of the best ways to improve your Italian and this lesson will help you to achieve this in effective, accurate Italian.

Newsletter Activity 9 – Queridos Reyes Magos…

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¡Hola amigos y amigas!

In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries it’s traditionally los Reyes Magos (Baltasar, Melchor and Gaspar), who bring presents to children. This usually happens on the night of el 5 de enero.

In order to practise your Spanish, we thought it would be a good idea for you to write una carta a los Reyes Magos, telling us what you’d like for Christmas this year or what you’d like to do over the holidays. Or perhaps you’re writing a wish-list for your partner or children!

You could simply use the conditional tense of gustar followed by an infinitive or a noun:

  • este año me gustaría una guitarra acústica 
  • me gustaría salir con mis amigos 

Or you could really set yourself a challenge by saying me gustaría que followed by a change of subject and the imperfect subjunctive in the second clause:

  • me gustaría que cocinases más a menudo
  • me gustaría que me trajerais un juego de tablero para que mi familia y yo podamos jugar todos juntos
  • me gustaría que ordenarais vuestras habitaciones

Now it’s over to you!

Newsletter Activity 9 – word origins

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Many words of French origin have become common place in the English language but in many cases the original meaning gets changed or lost along the way.

Which words can you think of that are used in English but were originally French? Is the meaning the same in both languages? If you want to go a stage further, we’d love for you to do un peu de recherches about the origins of one of the words you’ve chosen and then partager ce que vous avez trouvé with the rest of the Coffee Break French community by posting it in a comment here.

To start you off, you may want to think about cuisine, rendez-vous or chic.

On vous laisse y réfléchir mais n’oubliez pas de nous laisser un commentaire avec votre réponse!

Episode 16 – Season 4 – Coffee Break Spanish

In this lesson of Coffee Break Spanish we listen to the response from Jesús to Carmen’s latest email. As usual the episode is rich in idiomatic expressions and complex grammar points. Mark and Carmen are on hand to discuss the Spanish used in this episode.

CBI 1:24 | Spelling in Italian and an introduction to verbs

In this episode of Coffee Break Italian you’ll learn more about the patterns of the language and how to form verbs in Italian. We look at the present tense of -are verbs and with this lesson you’ll begin to form a solid foundation in this vital part of the language. You’ll also learn to spell in Italian.