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17+1 ways to learn Spanish in 2017

“Two thousand seventeen” was missing from one of my previous posts, but not from this one. After all, seventeen is one of my favourite numbers and when it came to write down some simple ways of practicing Spanish daily (one of my dog resolutions) it seemed about right.

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Below are a few such ways and I’ll keep them short and simple. Continue reading

How to learn foreign languages and have fun: Duolingo

Ok, you know me. Whenever I’m excited, I can’t hide it. And there is no reason to hide a miracle such as this one. Remember at the beginning of this week when I set my resolutions for 2016? Remember the ant, the butterfly, the cat, the dog, the owl?

Well, I am proud to say that I am having progress in all of these categories. But first I want to talk about the DOG and my resolution to learn Spanish. I already knew two ways to accomplish that: use Rosetta Stone or study a self-learning book on my own. Apparently there are other ways as well and this week I found another two: use Duolingo and watch Spanish movies.

It’s the first one that I’m so excited about, ’cause Duolingo has so many features that make learning a foreign language so easy! You learn new words and phrases teamed up in several categories, you practice them so they won’t fade away from your mind, you set a minimum daily study time and resolve to keep it, you level up and earn coins (the so-called lingots) for your accomplishments. You can also add your new fluency on your LinkedIn profile. In other words, the site provides a wide variety of tools to keep you committed and excited to deepen your knowledge in a given language. And it’s only a click away.

So, if you are interested in learning Spanish, or French, or German, or Italian, or Portuguese, or Dutch, Swedish, Irish, Turkish, Danish, Russian or Norwegian, then that’s the site for you! Other languages are in the way too!

“Φαντασία ή θάνατος”

Με αυτό το σλόγκαν ξεκινάει το φετινό SFF-rated Athens, ένα must για όλους τους σινεφίλ – και δη γι’ αυτούς που τρέφουν μια ιδιαίτερη αγάπη για το είδος του φανταστικού (ηρωική και επιστημονική φαντασία, τρόμος). Τι είναι όμως αυτό το event;

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The Phantom of the Opera

Θυμάμαι απ’ όταν ήμουνα μικρό κοριτσάκι στο μπαλέτο, που άκουγα τη μελωδία του “The Phantom of the Opera” και ανατρίχιαζα. Από θαυμασμό, από ευχαρίστηση. Η αίσθηση αυτή δε με άφησε όσο περνούσαν τα χρόνια. Το Φάντασμα της Όπερας είναι από τα αγαπημένα μου τραγούδια -το έχω ακούσει σε αρκετές εκτελέσεις και δε θα χόρταινα ποτέ να το ακούω. Θα περίμενε λοιπόν κανείς να γνωρίζω απ’ έξω κι ανακατωτά την ιστορία του έργου, εδώ και πολύ καιρό.

Κι όμως! Η επαφή μου με την ιστορία δεν έγινε παρά το ξημέρωμα του έτους που διανύουμε. Ιανουάριος του 2014 λοιπόν και το πρώτο βιβλίο της χρονιάς είναι το “Το Φάντασμα της Όπερας” του Gaston Leroux. Ονειρική, παραμυθένια ιστορία! Δε θα πω περισσότερα πάνω σ’ αυτή, μια και δε θέλω να κάνω spoiler σε κανέναν, αλλά θα παραθέσω μια από τις αγαπημένες μου εκτελέσεις του κομματιού. “The Phantom of the Opera” λοιπόν, από τους Nightwish στη συναυλία τους “End of an Era”!

Και ναι, το τραγούδι μου έχει κολλήσει και επισήμως τώρα!

“Seven pounds” of humanity

I can still feel the tears I shed last night, while watching this beautiful, touching movie. “Seven pounds“, starring Will Smith (no need for recommendation) and Rosario Dawson (who has also appeared in the movies “Sin City” and “Alexander”).

The movie is epic and I’m saying that for several reasons. First of all, for its plot and the way we can find out what has happened by connecting the hints, or – most probably – by watching it till the end. Then, for the actors’ renditions and its soundtrack by Angelo Milli, a very moving part of which you can hear in the video below. And last but not least, the ending itself, carrying the most important reason of all: the lesson it teaches us. A lesson which is not taught in a manner that annoys though, making the movie even better and authentic.

I won’t tell you what happens in the end nor what’s in the background, as it would destroy your own journey through the movie’s scenes and music. I will only say something I have learned from a person really close to me: “Sacrifice is the utmost form of love”. Which I, as well, believe is true. If you have seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. If not, just see it. It’s a really must see!