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Language Learning, Uncategorized
During a Brunch & Language Exchange, I sat at a table where English, Spanish and Italian were practiced; each of the 4 people had different levels. Although we all could communicate, there was a guy who hardly spoke, so every question we asked, I asked him to be the first to answer. He, in turn, declined the preference and asked someone else to respond first.
After a while, seeing that he was not really practicing the languages which ​​he came to practice, he told me: “I feel shy if you are here, because you speak all languages ​​perfectly.” I laughed and replied that I appreciated the compliment, but that nobody speaks any language perfectly. He looked at me incredulously, so I asked him, “Don’t you ever make mistakes in your native language?” Of course his answer was “yes”.
I shouldn’t say this because I do my living with the Spanish teaching, but I am the first one to make mistakes in my two native languages, Spanish and Catalan. In both of them, mainly due to the influence of the other, but sometimes also due to the influence of the other languages ​​I speak and other times because the word simply does not come to my mind. This is not something to be ashamed of, it is something totally normal and that happens to everyone.
Participating in language exchanges is the best way to lose the fear of getting out of your comfort zone and to really learn a language. Practicing a language with native speakers makes you improve your vocabulary, fluency, expressions, pronunciation… In addition, the more you practice, the easier it is to think in that language, which usually leads to fewer mistakes (although remember that we are human and without a doubt we are going to make some in any language 😉).
What about you? Do you practice regularly? Are you comfortable speaking in other languages? Share your story with us either at the ONLINE Language Exchanges, or at this Sunday’s Brunch & Language Exchange. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at

Language Learning, Uncategorized
Some Sundays ago, at the Brunch, we were practicing Italian at the table where I sat. We talked about many interesting topics during the three hours of language exchange. At a certain point, someone asked me, “Have you ever made a fool of yourself for not knowing how to pronounce a word correctly in another language?” Of course my answer was: “Yes!”.
Here’s my story, of how I made a fool of myself in front of my former Italian in-laws:
I had been in Italy for a short time, only a couple of months, so my Italian was still not very good. That was also the time I had been dating Riccardo. We had met in a bar, he was the bartender and we fell in love almost at first sight (I say almost because I went many times to make sure he had seen me). We started dating on Halloween night (maybe a premonition of what that relationship would be like, but this is another story). And soon after he wanted to introduce me to his parents, I’d been putting off until he told me it was his mother’s birthday and that she wanted me to go to the celebration too. I could not refuse, so I arranged myself in the Italian style, that is, a little dress, heels, makeup… but all very posh (those of you who know me know that I usually go quite formal, but Riccardo said that Spanish women, myself included, seemed very hippies).
In short, there I was, looking my finest, putting to the test the Italian I had learned in two months of classes, with my new in-laws who I had just met. I was extremely nervous so I didn’t speak too much, but when the waiter arrived I had to open my mouth to order my food. Well, for those of you who do not speak Italian, I will tell you that it is VERY important to highlight the double letters; that is, if there are two “n” in a row, or two “m”, “l”, “s”, it does not matter the letter, if there are two together, you have to pronounce both, because the meaning of the word can change. I wanted to order the “all’arrabbiata” macaroni (it could be translated as “angry”, basically they are a bit spicy), but instead of ordering “le penne all’arrabbiata” I asked for “pene all’arrabbiata”, which it turns out to be an angry penis…
Everyone’s eyes widened and my mother-in-law, raising her voice, repeated to the waiter that what I wanted was teh pasta. I wanted to die of shame. I don’t think I spoke more during the whole awkward evening.
Now I remember it and I laugh, but at that moment I had a terrible time. The good thing is that I learned the importance of pronunciation. This is not learned with books or apps, it is learned by speaking with native speakers.
What about you? Have you ever made a fool of yourself for not knowing how to pronounce a word correctly in another language? Share your story with us either at the ONLINE Language Exchange, at the Paella & Language Exchange this Saturday, April 3rd, or at the Brunch & Language Exchange on Sunday, April 11th. And if you want to see your story published, you can send it to us at



Language Learning, Uncategorized
All my life I have always liked discovering new cultures and learning new languages, but I had never studied Spanish.
When I arrived in Barcelona, I had the habit of joining Italian and foreigners groups, as to live again my Erasmus time, which I clearly remember as one of the best periods of my life.
About my Spanish, I was aware I had to learn to speak it and write it properly if I wanted to stay and live in Barcelona. But, at that moment, fear and shame led me to hide behind other languages ​​I was fluent in.
Some months later, once I left the magic bubble of the University, I faced the world of work and I realized that my level of Spanish was bad, because I could understand well, but I did not have the right vocabulary to successfully pass an interview.
That’s how my adventure started at The Friday Language Exchange, where I had the chance to practice my Spanish ​​in a fun way and while making new friends, in a big city like Barcelona, ​​where that’s not so easy.
I saw my Spanish was evolving and I felt more confident talking with more ease and learning a lot through the new people I had met at the language exchange, thanks to its friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
As time goes by, I have tried to integrate more and, learning Spanish and Catalan, has opened the doors to a new and more successful life at a professional and personal level.

Special Dates, Uncategorized
On March 8, 1908, in New York textile workers of New York Cotton factory were on strike to demand improvements in their working conditions. In commemoration of this date, the socialist groups achieved this date was declared as the International Women’s Day.
Undoubtedly, society and women’s evolution within it is a fact. Todays post is written by four women, very different from each other, but united by something more powerful than discrimination, sexism and inequality: love.
Daniela Piovezan @piove_dani
I grew up in a bubble of machism disguised, in which the woman must be nurtured and protected as a valuable asset that can not mancillarse, physically or morally. In a society full of protocols and scripts. An ornate, padded and safe cage. I do not complain. I’m not complaining because what they taught me, was nothing more than what was taught and is not the time to blame.
It is time to learn from the past, face fears, go ahead, creating a new story and new lessons.It’s time to celebrate. We celebrate the achievements. The conquests of many women who entered our history, fill me with admiration for her example of struggle, resistance and improvement.
Daily battles each and every one of us to have a full life. We celebrate the driving force behind the fight for the same privileges, and why not, also the duties.
We celebrate equality. Equal importance, not of essence. Equal opportunities and rights. We celebrate differences.
The differences that complement and build. The differences that show the beauty of the nuances. We celebrate freedom. Free to go, do or be what you want. The freedom to have children or not. Combing hair, applying makeup, shaving, grooming … or not. Seduce and be seduced. Go alone or accompanied. Showing your knees, cheeks or chest. Playing football, billiards and chess. You may like pink, blue or yellow, without distinction, nor because one color or another means anything.
Let’s celebrate which each can provide as a human being, with their genes, personalities and stories.
DSO   @dsowriter
I am very pleased that women unite for causes that we support throughout. What hurts, often, is that we seem to competitors, more than friends. Surely, retrograde education, is much to blame for this. But it is as it is, even if I don’t understand, nor I will ever understand, but unity among us, does not always mean power.

It’s something that hurts me, but I fight every day to make this change. We stigmas in our skin that cause us pain without being able to understand why. But the reality is only one, throughout this struggle for hundreds of years, against the injustices of a society in which the woman was more than subdued by the pressure without human reason, we drown in such a way that I think even today … It remains a problem.

We fight, we go to the streets, something that was unthinkable. We speak and say what we think, without feeling fear in our bodies to be nullified or even mistreated. Life is not always fair. With hand on heart, consistent of what I say, man, talking male, has not been fair to women. We were a lower “category”, our voice, our desires and what we really needed was not taken into consideration. Creating a dent in our lives and thinking, I had to really be.

But what I said, women have to unite without any separatism, support for good and bad, although we are not complement agree. Undoubtedly, the saying ” Unity is Strength” , should be our doctrine, to put a pair of ovaries to any character who wants to belittle us, just for the condition of being a woman.

We are free women, struggling with the ideas of an independent life created by our own choices, without an inculpatory hand pointing at what “we must do.”

Today I want to toast.

Let’s toast with a good Cosmopolitan:

Here’s to all single mothers.

Here’s to those business women who give up so much, just because of being a woman.

Here’s to each woman who without fear has escaped the bastard who raised his hand against them.

Here’s to all those who come out to the streets on March 8 defending our rights.

Here’s to women who made patience a virtue.

Thank you all for being women.

Ivonne Tarraco  @iua_tc
To all warriors
I have one day, but it is worth  it. I took to the streets without fear, convinced of what I do and why I’m here. I owe it to them, my mother, my grandmother, all the women who I did not have the pleasure of meeting, and opened my pace and marked the way to go. I carry my own open fronts and deal my own battles, but today I feel I am able to stop an entire country. I move on with my strategy and I expect a large number of troops. We are flagged by the same goals and our hymn has led us here. They may try to discourage me and desautorizarme, or call into question my intentions and my abilities, you may question my judgment or simply do not take into consideration but will continue there, at the foot of the canyon. I will move forward with firm and decisive step, gaining ground on merit, seeking new allies every day until I forget why I was here today. I hope to leave behind lost causes and be able to muster the courage to sacrifice myself for all those for who is worth fighting. I know it will not be easy, perhaps the idea to abandon will tempt me, but I am also thinking of future generations, we have to entrench present. So I’ll stock up with my owns and the borrowed, the innate and the acquired, I will have all the resources at my disposal and a time not always prove to be necessary in order to achieve, at last, the long-awaited victory. And if in the worst case, I fall or I am hurt, I know I have the support of countless helping hands that will shield my heart the courage to get back on my feet. Recognizing me imperfect and vulnerable, weathered by the ravages of life and coached them from illusion and honestly, I acknowledge what my demands are, because it is these and not others, and I have no intention of changing them:

I claim a place in the world, my place, ours.

I claim worthy, equal and fair wages.

I claim shared hours and minutes alone.

I claim them the same opportunities.

I claim freedom, equality and justice.

I claim the right to decide and to get excited, to learn and to be wrong, to fight and to give up, to succeed and to fail.

I claim humanity over any gender.

I claim love in all its forms and expressions.

I claim respect and my own life.

I claim the power to be myself.

Lara de Mena  @laradmena 

Writting about women’s day, quickly leads me to think about the struggle for equality with men, wage inequality, gender violence and many battles, we must not give up. All this is true, we still live in tow of many evils in our society, giving my full support today who will take to the streets to claim it. But in my humble desk, I want my words go dedicated to highlight to bring to light all that we know and sometimes we miss…
Woman, everyone knows their morphological meaning, but what about the hidden meaning?Woman is synonymous with passion, emotion, courage, strength, dignity, courage, intelligence, emotional strength, empathy and suffering (yes, we suffer and sometimes a lot, but because we have the ability to feel).
There is a word that encompasses the feelings of a woman, it is love. Love for what we do, love for how we do it, love for who surrounds us. Her beauty, her friends, her loneliness, her independence, her frailty, her leadership, her simplicity, at the end of the day, what is the most important?
I am a single woman, without ever having gone through the altar, I have not experienced the birth of a child, nor I’ve gotten a managerial position. However, all this, I live with the joy of knowing that I am surrounded by love. With the need to share and share, so, today, March 8, I will raise with the sole goal, to thank all those beautiful women who are part of my life, to love and admire you. You are worth it and you know it!

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