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TFT: Lieblingsmensch

Hallo zusammen! Today we’re bringing you a Tune for Tuesday from a singer and rapper who is fairly new to the German hip hop music scene. Namika, whose real name is Hanan Hamdi, released her first single Lieblingsmensch in 2015, making her an overnight success and reaching Number 1 in the German Singles Chart. She has now released two albums, Nador and Que Walou, which have both been a success in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

Already just from the song’s title you can learn a lovely new word, Lieblingsmensch, which means “favourite human”. We hope you enjoy practising your German comprehension with the rest of this song. To give you a hand, you can find the lyrics online by clicking here, or if you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

Remember to check out our full Tune for Tuesday playlist below to find other songs in German or in other languages you may be learning. Happy listening!

 

CBF Mag 1.10 | La Tour Eiffel

It’s the most visited monument in the world and at the time of its construction it was the tallest building in the world. Standing in the heart of the French capital, it is undeniably the global symbol of France. We’re talking, of course, about the Eiffel Tower, and in this episode Mark and Pierre-Benoît talk about this famous monument. There’s also a phone-in question from listener Freya who wants to know when to put prochain before and after the noun.

In the final section of this episode Susie mentioned the Charles Trenet song Y’a de la Joie. You can listen to this song on YouTube.

CBG Mag 1.05 | Der Rheinfall ist kein Reinfall

For this episode we’re heading to northern Switzerland, the location of the impressive Rheinfall waterfall. You’ll learn all about this natural wonder and practise your German at the same time. Andrea also answers a question from listener Adebajo which concerns two very similar words: Zeichen and zeichnen.

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: 24 October 2019

It’s time for our weekly live broadcast in which we update you on all things Coffee Break, from our latest podcast episodes and videos to what’s been happening on our social profiles. This week our Talking Point is TV series for language learners: if you have a favourite Netflix show, let us know in the comments! Coming up in this edition:

  • the latest episodes of our Coffee Break French, German and Italian Magazines;
  • Tune for Tuesday;
  • One Minute Languages on our YouTube channel;
  • news of a special event coming on the 8th of November.

If you’d like to access all the links for this episode and practise your reading skills in the language you’re learning, click here to sign up for our weekly language and culture newsletter.

TFT: Livin’ la vida loca

This Tuesday we’re listening to a song which we’re sure almost all of you know already, Livin’ la vida loca – the full Spanish version, of course! It was written by Desmond Child and Draco Rosa and performed by Enrique Martín Morales, better known as Ricky Martin or the ‘King of Latin Pop’. It was a huge international success when it was released in 1999, receiving several Grammy nominations, and is often thought of as the song which paved the way for the many other Spanish-speaking artists who became successful worldwide shortly after, including Enrique Iglesias and Shakira. Growing up in Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin began his life as a performer when he was 9 years old, when he began to appear in adverts for various products, including soft drinks and toothpaste! He then embarked on his career as a singer at the age of 12, with Puerto Rican boy band, Menudo.

Luckily for us, Livin’ la vida loca is full of memorable examples of the future tense. Listen out for the yo form of poder in the future tense in the first verse: “Yo no podré salvarme” and various examples of verbs in the future tense in the third-person singular form, including “Ella que será” and “Ella te dirá”. 

We recommend taking the time to spot any other language points you have been learning about in the lyrics, as the well-known tune may make them nice and easy to remember. You can find the lyrics online by clicking here, or if you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol. 

We’d love to hear what you think of Livin’ la vida loca in the comments below, and don’t hesitate to share some of your favourite songs in Spanish with us.

CBI Mag 1.09 | La Ricetta di Francesca

By the time you’ve listened to this episode you’ll have l’acquolina in bocca – your mouth will be watering! Francesca shares a recipe for the rice dish panissa which involves beans, onion, Italian sausage and Arborio rice, and there’s a question from listener Donna who is confused about the difference between the verbs potere and riuscire.

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: 17 October 2019

Join us for our weekly live broadcast in which we update you on all things Coffee Break, from our latest podcast episodes and videos to what’s been happening on our social profiles. This week our Talking Point is language podcasts: what are your favourite podcasts (other than Coffee Break!)? Coming up in this edition:

  • the latest episodes of our Coffee Break French, German and Italian Magazines;
  • Tune for Tuesday and Question of the Week;
  • One Minute Languages on our YouTube channel;
  • news of Mark’s involvement at the Sound Education conference at Harvard University.

If you’d like to access all the links for this episode and practise your reading skills in the language you’re learning, click here to sign up for our weekly language and culture newsletter.

TFT: Quelqu’un m’a dit

Bonjour à tous et à toutes ! Today’s Tune for Tuesday is by Carla Bruni, a French-Italian singer-songwriter who is also the wife of Nicholas Sarkozy. You may already know Quelqu’un m’a dit, as it was very popular throughout Europe when it was released in 2002, reaching the top ten in Italy, Portugal, Germany and Switzerland.

This song is great for French learners, as she sings very clearly and the lyrics contain examples of a number of different tenses. Can you identify the 3 tenses found in the chorus? Let us know in the comments! If you need some help, you can find the lyrics online by clicking here, or if you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

Carla Bruni sings mainly in French and English but we’d also recommend, especially for Coffee Break Italian listeners, checking out Le ciel dans une chambre, which contains both French and Italian. We hope you enjoy listening to this song and all the others in our Spotify and YouTube playlists which you can find below.

CBF Mag 1.09 | Non, rien de rien …

An extraordinary voice and life story filled with success and tragedy in almost equal measure, the “Little Sparrow” is the focus of this episode of the Coffee Break French Magazine. Edith Piaf is known as one of the most widely known French singers, and you’ll learn more about her life and work in this episode.

CBG Mag 1.04 | Ein bisschen Schlager muss sein

We have a musical episode of the Coffee Break German Magazine for you today: our theme is Schlager, an immensely popular style of music with catchy melodies and happy-go-lucky lyrics. Find out more about this cultural phenomenon, and learn about reflexive verbs and using the perfect or Präteritum with als.

TFT: Buonanotte Fiorellino

Salve a tutti! This week, we’re bringing you a Tune for Tuesday from the so-called Principe dei cantautori (“The Prince of the singer-songwriters”). Francesco De Gregori is an Italian poet and folk-rock singer who has been an important figure in Italian music since the 1970s. And the good news for us is that his song Buonanotte Fiorellino is a great way to practise our Italian greetings! We hope you enjoy listening to this song on your way to work, while doing the shopping or whenever you would normally have music on.

If you’re a Coffee Break Italian learner, try listening to the song without looking at the lyrics at first and see how much you can understand. Then, click here to find the lyrics and read them as you listen to the song. If you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

Let us know in the comments what other songs in Italian you know and like. We’d love to hear some of your suggestions of others to add to our Spotify and YouTube playlist!

CBI Mag 1.08 | A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale

In this episode of the Coffee Break Magazine we’re heading to the north of Italy to the town of Ivrea, known for its peculiar way of celebrating Carnevale. Our listener’s question in this episode comes from Zack and concerns the tricky word mica which seems to pepper the conversation of native speakers, but is difficult to use as a learner.

Behind the Scenes: the new Coffee Break Video Studio

Over the past few weeks we’ve been building our new video studio, the Coffee Break “Kitchen”, where we’re going to be filming lots of new Coffee Break videos for language-learners. These mini language lessons will help you build your knowledge, develop your vocabulary, and increase your understanding of grammar.

We wanted to design a place where our learners can join us for a “coffee break”, so we’ve built the studio set in the style of a kitchen or a coffee shop. There are coffee-themed accessories, and if we open the jars of coffee beans, the studio even smells of coffee when we’re filming!

For anyone interested in the technical side of our setup, we’re using PTZ Optics cameras which allow us to set particular angles, depending on who’s presenting or how many presenters we have, and we can change these angles with a simple press of a button on the remote control. We’re using a BlackMagic Design ATEM Video Studio HD switcher which allows us to bring in the SDI input from our cameras, plus additional HDMI inputs from a MacBook and an iPad for demonstrating what’s on screen in a presentation or demo of the site. We’re also using BlackMagic Design HyperDeck Studio Minis to allow us to record the output of each camera individually, or the composite output from our switcher.

For the image switching and camera positioning, we’re using the Elgato Streamdeck with Companion software which allows us to switch between different combinations of camera angles and switch between the cameras on the ATEM switcher. For live video, we use an additional MacBook Pro with Ecamm Live software, and this is controlled by a second Streamdeck using the standard Streamdeck software to control Ecamm Live.

Sound wise we’re not quite there yet! Since the HyperDeck Studio Minis and the ATEM switcher have quite loud fans, we’re trying to minimise the noise in the room by using lav mics rather than the Rode NTG2 mic which is currently installed in the boom stand above our breakfast bar. We’ve plugged everything into a Rodecaster Pro which is connected directly to the ATEM switcher and we’re using the additional headphone outputs to send audio to the individual cameras so that we can record each camera individually and have a sound feed for syncing in post production.

Of course the main aim with our new studio is to use it both for live production and for recorded videos. We’re really looking forward to bringing you new Coffee Break content across all our languages, and we hope that you enjoy this and find it useful in your language learning!

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: 3 October 2019

It’s time for another Coffee Break Catch-Up. In addition to sharing the latest news from Coffee Break Languages, we’re also talking about inspirational teachers, in honour of World Teacher Day, coming up this weekend.

In this edition:

  • the latest episodes of our Coffee Break French, German and Italian Magazines;
  • Tune for Tuesday and Question of the Week;
  • One Minute Languages on our YouTube channel;
  • the Coffee Break French and Spanish Masterclass;
  • news of Mark’s involvement at the Sound Education conference at Harvard University;
  • a discussion of how inspirational teachers can help you in your learning.

If you’d like to access all the links for this episode and practise your reading skills in the language you’re learning, click here to sign up for our weekly language and culture newsletter.

TFT: Wanderers Nachtlied

This week, our Tune for Tuesday comes from Austrian composer, Franz Schubert. Schubert (1797-1828) was a very famous composer of the early Romantic period, who was especially well-known for his vocal compositions, known as Lieder (German for “songs”). Wanderers Nachtlied is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe set to music by Schubert in 1822. We hope you enjoy listening to this performance of this beautiful Lied by German opera and Lieder baritone, Matthias Goerne.

Coffee Break German learners, for a test of your comprehension, see how much of the lyrics you can understand! We recommend finding them online and reading them as you listen if you’re finding the words difficult to pick out. Or if you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

Do you know any other composers of Lieder? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Remember, whatever language you’re learning, you can enjoy our playlist of songs in many different languages and of a variety of genres by scrolling down.