Language in canary islands: Languages in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands culture: New generations learn Spain’s ancient whistled language of La Gomera | Life in Spain
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Many believe that it was used before the Castilian conquest in the 15th century by the Guanche inhabitants of La Gomera, based on testimonies from French chronologists Pierre Boutier and Jean Le Vierre, who wrote of the island’s people who spoke “the strangest language of all the regions, speaking with their lips as if they lacked a tongue.”
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- 1 story
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- 3 Notes and references
- 4.1 Bibliography
- 4.2 Related Articles
- Velarization of /a/ and extreme closure of /e/, sometimes to /i/. Closing /o/ is also documented.
- A generalized seseo (lack of opposition between the phonemes /s/ and /θ/) with a very varied realization of the resulting /s/ (non-Castilian).
- Aspiration /s/final or implosive. However, the resulting telephone is not confused with the local implementation of /x/, as in many dialects where the phenomenon occurs, but simply an allophone of /s/.
- Bilabial articulation /f/ (not labio-dental as in most dialects).
- Preserve the aspiration of the Latin initial /f/ (silence in standard Castilian and still written with /h/) and the identification of the resulting aspirated consonant with the local realization of /x/, as in estrémègne and West Andalusian.
- /x/ is articulated as an aspirated consonant, which is sometimes dropped to initial.
- Yeísmo large cities (as in Murcian), which serve as the center of the radiation and spread of the phenomenon.
- Traces of /z/ (as in Portuguese) are documented in some village dialects.
- Loss of opposition between /l/ and /r/ in final or implosive position.
- A certain vitality of /d/ intervocalic (which tends to disappear in a number of southern dialects).
- The second person plural pronoun vosotros has practically disappeared and survived only to a very small extent. It is replaced by ustedes (as in many parts of America). There are also traces of the archaic courtesy pronoun vuestra merced .
- Vowel nasalization before /n/ implosive, sometimes followed by falling /n/.
- Consequence of the position of the island, vocabulary of various origins (there are local borrowings from the Guanches, Asturleón, Galaico-Portuguese, Andalusian, American Spanish, etc.), especially in the field of navigation.
The silbo gomero (the Gomera whistle) is a phonological system that substitutes spoken language. With four consonants and two vowels, the whistler is capable of articulating phrases and words in their spoken language, which in this case is Spanish. However, they can also whistle in any other language. “It’s a very interesting language,” says Marcial Morera, professor of Spanish Philology at La Laguna University. “It could be taught in any general linguistics course, because it demonstrates clearly how a natural language is organized.”
The 1978 publication of the book El Silbo Gomero by the linguist Ramón Trujillo helped remove some of the stigma attached to the language because it was analyzed in a scientific light. “When children went to school, the teacher told them not to whistle because they sounded like peasants,” says Morera.
Yet it was in the villages where the whistle was revitalized. “When I arrived here, the island was completely void of its values and culture because of the people who had left it between the 1940s and the 1960s,” says Isidro Ortiz, a silbo gomero teacher and winner of the 2009 Canaries Award of Popular Culture. In 1988, Ortiz began giving whistling lessons to the children in his town outside of school hours. News quickly traveled to other municipalities and parent associations began asking him to teach it in other centers. “I told Juan Manuel García Ramos, the regional education chief, that if the language was not taught in school, it would disappear.”
Since its introduction into the education system 20 years ago, the language’s situation has improved tremendously. “Who would have thought that I would live to see this,” says Ortiz. Until now, the silbo gomero was taught 30 minutes a week in elementary school and in the first two grades of middle school during a class on Spanish Literature and Language.
The new program has extended two courses. Casimiro Curbelo, the president of the La Gomera Island Council and a member of the Gomera Socialist Group, asks for a “push to expand it to all the Canarian centers” without their having to request it.
There are successful pioneering institutions such as the Acentejo school in La Matanza in Tenerife, which has taught a silbo course for the past 15 years under Rogelio Botanz, a Basque whistler, teacher and singer-songwriter. Some of his students have won La Gomera’s annual whistling contest. “We have to implement it slowly. The approach to a language should be with love, or it’ll create opposition,” says Botanz.
English version by Asia London Palomba.
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The Canary Islands’ vocabulary you should know before travelling to the archipelago
If you are thinking about visiting the Canaries, then you probably know that they are renowned for infinite golden beaches and their distinctive cuisine. The Canary Islands’ vocabulary may attract your attention when you first land on the archipelago.
In the islands, the official language is Spanish, but, as in other Spanish regions, there are some typical words and expressions that you will hear in daily life. So let’s try to pick up a little of that Canary Islands’ vocabulary before you start your trip! Maybe you’ve already heard some of these words and expressions, but let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used vocabulary in the Canary Islands.
The unique vocabulary of the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are located in a privileged geographical location that has long facilitated the arrival of visitors from the UK, France or Portugal, among others. However, many Canarians were forced to migrate during the Civil War to reconstruct their lives. Although many islanders travelled to Europe, others decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Venezuela or Cuba, which at that time were prosperous countries, with the final objective of returning to the Canary Islands when the war ended.
The numerous visits by foreign boats and the return of many Canarians from Latin America gave rise to a specific way of speaking that differs in three main aspects from mainland Spanish. On the one hand, Canarians pronounce both “c” and “z” as though they were an “s”. They do not usually pronounce the “s” at the end of word, instead creating an aspirate “h” sound. The most immediately notable change with mainland Spanish is the use of “ustedes” instead of “vosotros” when referring to “you” in the plural.
Maybe you already knew these differences, but there are also some typical words and expressions in the Canary Islands’ vocabulary whose acquaintance you will make in the archipelago.
If you want to take public transport in the archipelago, don’t ask about the bus, because in the Canary Islands a bus is known as a guagua. There are several theories about the origin of this word. The best-known theory states that the name comes from Wa & Wa Co. Inc. (Washington, Walton, and Company Incorporated), the company that brought the bus to Cuba.
Although the average temperature in the Archipelago ranges between 26ºC and 28ºC, it can occasionally rise to 30ºC. This is when you’ll hear Canarians say that “hace calufa”, or it’s too hot.
This is one of the most commonly used words in the Canary Islands’ vocabulary. You will normally hear it in informal situations to react to something or demonstrate surprise. It can be used in many different contexts, but in the majority of situations it is the equivalent of the Spanish “tío” or “jolines“, or “wow” or “gosh” in English.
Cholas or Chanclas
They’re not shoes or sandals! Don’t forget to pick your “chanclas” or “cholas” (flip-flops) to hit those island beaches.
Roscas and cotufas
A true Canarian never asks for “palomitas” (popcorn). Instead, they ask for “roscas” or “cotufas” when they’re looking for a tasty snack to accompany a movie. Generally, the word “cotufa” is used in the province of Santa Cruz, while “rosca” is used in the province of Las Palmas.
As you may know, in the Canary Islands, potatoes are not called “patatas” but rather “papas”. A common gastronomic delight are the “papas arrugadas con mojo picón”, which quite literally translates to “wrinkled potatoes” and are an important part of the Canarian gastronomic identity.
It is one of the most popular and much-loved fish of the Canary Islands. Recognisable for its intense colours and strong jaw, the Mediterranean Parrotfish is incredibly important in the cuisine of the Canary Islands. It is most abundant in the Islands’ waters from May to November.
These are typical restaurants in the archipelago that are located in private homes, often in courtyards and or even garages, where traditional Canarian food is served. The best known among them are located in the north of the island of Tenerife, although they do exist throughout the other islands.
This is a flour that was produced by the indigenous Canarian population and is obtained by grinding corn, which is known locally as “millo”. Gofio is a grain with a high-energy value that is widely used in the Canary Islands, frequently served as a side dish due to its mild flavour.
If you cross paths with a Canarian on a cold winter’s night, they will probably tell you that they feel “pelete” which refers to the intense cold felt when the temperature suddenly drops after the sun has set.
Categories: Canaries, Tips
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands
The kind of Spanish that is spoken in The Canary Islands is not really a
dialect, but more a kind of speech. Not one of its phonetic trends belongs
exclusively to the Canaries, and it doesnt have lexical independence from
other Hispanic areas.
Canary Spanish belongs to a linguistic complexity, which could be, called hablas
hispnicas meridionales- this also includes andaluz, murciano and arguably
A closer study of this speech in terms of its geographical situation and
historical role can help explain some of its trends.
The conquest of The Canary Islands and their incorporation into the crown of
Castile was a fifteenth century undertaking not completed until the reign on the
Catholic monarchs. Their enterprise sustained from Andalusian ports and
participants were in all probability from Andalusia. Therefore phonetic and
lexical idiomatic trends are all similar to some of those found in the Southern
Peninsular. The extent of the Andalusian influence can be seen by the fact that
Las Palmas is very similar to Seville (the most prestigious Southern city).
At the same time The Canary Islands had been a platform for European
expeditions to America. The influence of Portuguese on the local language can be
explained by some of these Portuguese expeditions.
The Canaries were a stepping stone from America and shared many things with
American Spanish that were absent from Spain. Such features are largely lexical
e.g. the use of the word guagua = bus. Yet they also include other
characteristics such as the absence of contrast between 2nd person
plural information and formal address (ustedes and the 3rd person
plural verb is almost universal in Canary Spanish, and is identical to the
universal American usage, and to that of parts of Western Andalusia.
Mexico City West Indies Canary Islands Seville/ Cdiz
Similar to what happened to American Spanish, Canary Spanish
suffered from marinerismo. The guys who went over there on boats got
hooked on slang sea-terms and then took them with them. Some people have likened
it to the Spanish spoken during the fifteenth century when the conquest took
place, after all they had little contact with Spain after this time. However
Canary Spanish is not a fossil of the kind of Spanish spoken 500 years ago. It
has advanced, yet at its own pace. It is neither the language of the pueblo, nor
the upper classes. Life flows just as easily here as it does in Cdiz or
It is neither like Judeo-espaol, it is the language of conquest from which
the sixteenth century has eliminated pre-hispanic speech. It is a variety of
Nowadays the individuality of the language depends on the island. For this
reason, Tenerife is the island whos Spanish varies least from that of the
Like Andalusian Spanish, Canary Spanish conserves the aspiration of la f- :
jablar = hablar, jose = hoz, juyir = huir.
Aspiration of the final s of a group of syllables: a ko, pe ka, mu lo, etc
Seseo is common, and the medio-palatal Yesmo is common in the two cities of
Las Palmas and Gran Canaria.
The c is still different from Andalusia, even though there are many other
An s sonora is found in the islands, especially in La Gomera and other rural
areas: quzu, rzu, caza, quehazer, quezra (compared to cabsa, escoser
Other trends are similar to those found in other areas of Spain (mainly West
and South): paire = padre, maire = madre, lairon = ladron, poirir = podrir.
There is an aspiration of an r before a nasal sound: ete no = eterno, sa na =
sarna, and the interchange of implosive r and l, like in Andalusia: jalto
= harto, barcon = balcon.
Vosotros has all but disappeared from Canary Spanish, and can only be found
in La Gomera and some areas of La Palma. In all other places ustedes is usually
It is also possible to hear losotros = nosotros, los = nos, vmolos =
The subjunctive 1st person plural is accentuated- cmpremos,
tngamos, higamos etc.
Haber still has the meaning of tener – Que hayan suerte!
The verb ser can act as an auxillary verb for intransitive verbs e. g. Soy
nacida en, soy cristianizada.
As in various places of Andalusia hay = hace, hay tiempo = hace tiempo, ya
hay aos = ya hace aos.
It is also common to come across constructions such as: Que dia somos?
Somos cuarto. Somos viernes, estamos a viernes.
The pre-Classical Latin interrogative / relative cuius (whose) has an
influence in Canary Spanish.
Although falling out of use in literary and non-literary Latin in the central
parts of the empire, it continues to be used in the spoken Latin of Sardinia and
Spain, where it survives as cuyo. In old and early modern Spanish this form
could still function as an interogative as it does in the Canaries: cuyo es? =
Whose is it?
Lexical differences are due to different influences on the island.
Arrife= land of poor quality
Gofio= popular island food
Bago= grano de uva
Corozo= corazn de la mazorca
Olden Castillian Influences:
Lenguarazo= que hable mucho
Vuestra merced used for people of respect
Vieja= pez marino
Lasca= lonja, trozo
American influences (remember everyone they went both ways)
Obviously the language of The Canary Islands is also heavily influenced by
the sea and navegation:
Bandola= vuelta de la capa
Lanchn= zapato muy grande
Perder la tierra de vista= to loose consciousness
Saber ms que un peje verde
Haber ms gente que agua
Ser ms matrero que un sargo breado
Consider what happens when they saw something but didnt know the name for
it. they made it up and said what it looked like!
Lengta del trigo= lleta
Lengua de oveja= llantn
Ojo de buey= crisantemo
Pie de gallo= digital
The Influence Of Anglicisms In The Canary Islands
Since the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the appearance of British people
in The Canary Islands has been a familiar trend, however the British were not
welcomed immediately and by everyone. The reason for the British communities
coming over to The Canary Islands was primarily economic and the people coming
over mainly constituted businessmen and merchants who were importing goods over
from their country. By 17th century the immigration of British became
considerably more as people attempted to utilize the advantageous elements of
The Canary Islands for manufacturing such as its warm climate, which was a n aid
in wine production. Due to the establishment of puertos francos (free ports) in
1852, shipping companies were created and this meant that imports and exports
increased dramatically. Through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the
reasons for coming to The Canary Islands expanded. People started to go there
not just for work reasons but also for matters of leisure, and this hailed the
time when the British would begin to take root in the Islands. Some people had
gained riches through economic ventures with The Canary Islands and so had
decided to go over there to enjoy the sources and the rewards of their monetary
gains. Others had gained stronger connections with The Canary Islands through
marriages with the aristocracy and with the local bourgeoisie in The Canary
Islands. For these reasons, the British have had a strong influence on the
society and culture of the Islands.
Furthermore British roots were established in the nineteenth century through
media and literary elements such as The Tenerife News first published on
3rd January 1891. This newspaper was created so that the considerable
amount of British people who were coming to the Islands and who could not read
Spanish newspapers, would then be able to read about local and national news
from the area. This newspaper eventually died out, but a new article reporting
information to the British members of The Canary Islands came in the form of an
extra part of the newspaper El Iriarte, which was called El Iriarte
English Supplement. It was only two pages long but represented a written
influence of English being pressed upon the Islands as did The Canary Islands
Review created in 1903 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The power of the British influence on The Canary Islands came in the form of
the spoken language. Castilian Spanish has many Anglicisms itself such as
taxi, pullover, bar, vagon and bistec, but the Canary speech gained some which
would not be introduced on a national level, and through the vehicle of speech
rather than in the written form. This allowed for the pronunciation of these
Anglicisms to be done correctly, because an islander would pronounce the
words as he heard them. However this was not suggesting that there would be no
phonological or lexical differences at all between how words were pronounced in
Britain and how they would be pronounced in The Canary Islands because the
Anglicisms had to be adapted into the Canary speech to a certain
For example the word <<naife>> meaning cuchillo in Spanish comes
from the English original knife.
In English it is pronounced /naif/
No Spanish word ends in the consonant /f/ so the /e/ would be silent (muda
inglesa) so it is pronounced /nai/.
As was previously mentioned, the speech of The Canary Islands is linked
with the elements of sea and boats. An example of a word associated specifically
with the notion of an island and which shows a blurring of English and Spanish
to make Canary Anglicisms is shown below.
E.G. <<cambulln>> comes from can buy on i.e. you can
buy it on board ship
The letter n becomes m because you cannot have an n before
a b in Spanish.
The /y/ sound could be confused with the /ll/ sound, therefore y is
replaced by ll
It stems from islanders selling goods such as fruit and tobacco and the
captain saying to passengers on the ship <<cambulln>> you can buy
them on the boat/ship.
(Example From Tenerife)
From docking bay workers comes the example cachanchn <<catch as you
can>>, <<cgelo como puedas>>
The British used the word for getting goods when they could because they were
not always available and it has come to mean <<trabajador inexperto>>
in The Canary Islands.
In areas of The Canary Islands such as Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava you
hear words such as chusos = shoes = zapatos.
Some Anglicisms are more common in Gran Canaria than in Tenerife.
The following example is again heavily associated with the islands themselves
as was the cambulln example because it is associated with tourism.
The word <<guanijai>> means una copa (=a whisky/little drink).
When the British used to ask for a whisky in a hotel they would just ask for the
make of drink eg John Haig. So they would say <<One Haig>> (=
<<un [whisky] Haig>>)
The Canary Islands word <<maguan>> comes from the English
<<number one>> meaning <<el mejor>> or <<el
nmero uno>> and through time the phrase has been reduced from
<<One Haig>> to <<guanijai>> in the speech of The
Due to the importing which was mentioned earlier, other words have been
incorporated into the speech of The Canary Islands.
Eg King Edward potato seeds were imported and through time the words
<<King Edward>> changed into the shortened version in The Canary
While higher classes may pronounce a word such as cake, as /keik/, the
rest of the population in The Canary Islands will pronounce it as queque.
Anglicisms have not just come into the speech of The Canary Islands
from the English Language. There are also words from South America from the
Indians. The Anglicisms come from countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, two
places to which many people from The Canary Islands emigrated.
<<guagua>> Free Transport
The English put the train in place in Cuba to transport items such as cane (caa)
among other things.
El doctor Bazo Martinez suggests <<guagua>> stems from vagn (waggon)
because Cubans would get into the vagon/guagua for free to get to work.
Another example is <<guachimn>> (=watchman), a word from
Venezuela which signified someone who kept watch over the workers
After the eighteenth century there were English and French influences on the
food culture in The Canary Islands and English culinary words are presently part
of the speech in The Canary Islands. Examples of this are carrot soup
and couliflor soup and these variants of the traditional English soups can
be found in The Canary Islands. Rosv (roast beef) is another food type, which
constitutes part of the speech and culture of The Canary Islands.
The English timetable is adapted in The Canary Islands; people there are
likely to have desayuno (=breakfast), almuerzo (=lunch), merienda (=afternoon
snack) [t con bizcochos- tea and biscuits], and la cena (=dinner) like the
English. Due to visits to the islands from the British and talking in the
streets in The Canary Islands it is likely for families there to have una taza
de t con el queque ingls (= a cup of tea with English cake)!
Anglicisms do not just appear in The Canary Islands speech through
words of everyday life and work, and words associated with the sea and the
islands themselves. There are also anglicisms in the form of names for example
in Gran Canaria and Puerto de la Cruz.
The word <<choni>> associated with the English name
<<John>> and its diminutive Johnny is part of the speech of
The Canary Islands. The islanders adapted the name <<John>> to
<<choni>>, and it is used to represent the word tourist. This
stems from the same idea as the Spanish use of guiri and the Mexican word
gringo which mean foreigner.
In conclusion, in the speech of The Canary Islands one sees many adaptations
of Anglicisms. Therefore, the Anglicisms are developed into the speech
of The Canary Islands rather than just being completely the original forms, in
effect the Anglicisms are Canaricized! In contemporary day, one sees evidence
of Britain in The Canary Islands due to the number of people going there on
holiday, and through the fact that people such as waiters in The Canary Islands
expect to have to speak English to foreign customers. In addition, the
permanence of a British Influence on the islands is seen through the fact that
there is even a place called Playa del Ingls in Gran Canaria in The Canary
Teaching English in the Canary Islands of Spain
Article and Photos by Lucy Corne
|Each of the Canary islands boast a rugged interior, quite different from the idyllic beach paradises on the coasts.|
In Europe they are misunderstood, shunned by independent travelers for their tourist resorts and tacky reputation. In North America and the Antipodes they’re hardly known at all. Although officially part of Spain, the Canary Islands have their own style, their own character, and claim as much in common with Latin America as with Europe. These seven islands and half a dozen islets lie 50 miles off the northwest coast of Africa and boast one of the finest climates in the world.
|Even with millions of tourists a year, there’s always a deserted beach to be found.|
Few things make are more frustrating than hearing an uninformed traveler write the islands off as an overdeveloped tourist spot with nothing to offer in the way of culture. Sure, the massive tourist resorts on four of the islands have 1970s architecture to thank for their skylines and British holidaymakers to thank for their strips of rowdy pubs and all-day happy hours. But if the travel snobs did their homework they would discover this minuscule corner of the islands is overshadowed by extinct volcanoes, picturesque villages, fabulous beaches, rugged cliffs, and deserted mountain parks offering a hiker’s Eden. Add to that a voracious appetite for studying languages and an enviable ratio of wages to living costs and you’ll understand why I chose the islands to launch my ESL career.
|Fishing on Las Canteras beach, Las Palmas.|
|Boats resting up for the night on Las Canteras Beach, Las Palmas|
Finding a Teaching Job
It is no secret that tourism is the major earner for the islanders, so it is no surprise that English teachers are in demand—and they are also in pretty short supply. While thousands of teachers flock to mainland cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian, the Canary Islands are grievously overlooked. This will sound ridiculous, but often people don’t think that the islands are home to normal people living in normal cities. They think of the tourist resorts and cannot imagine that an ESL teacher could possibly be needed among all those water parks and late night bars.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city in the islands, with almost 400,000 inhabitants. Most jobs are found through word of mouth. Despite warnings from fellow teachers that finding work would be tough, I was offered three jobs within three days and taught my first class less than a week after arrival. Many employers will only take you seriously if you are in the islands and ready to start.
Most teaching jobs are with private academies—where children and teens head once their compulsory schooling is done for the day. Outside contracts with businesses and universities can spice your teaching work life up, but be prepared for lots of small groups of very small children. Thrown straight in into the deep end, my first class was with a quintet of kindergarten kids and I quickly learned Spanish for “I need the bathroom” and “I want my mom. ”
Coming prepared for the under fives is strongly recommended, as while many local schools enrol young children, they rarely have the resources to keep their 5-minute attention spans occupied. Arriving with stashes of picture books, basic videos, and colourful posters will make your life as a teacher infinitely easier from the outset.
Living La Vida Islena
Once settled into the daily mayhem of trying to control half a dozen tots with whom I shared no common language, it was time to figure out the local customs. Naturally, moving to the Canaries is not the huge culture shock that most countries in Asia or Africa might pose, but I found that there were still a few mannerisms to get used to.
Life in the Canary Islands is relaxed. Think the mañana philosophy of Spain blended with the stress-free island vibe of the Caribbean and that should give you some idea. I soon learned not to expect anything to happen on time. Even for an EU citizen, arranging your paperwork can take weeks, entail visits to half a dozen government offices, and require either a bucketful of patience or else an immediate acceptance of island mentality. Not naturally blessed with patience, I opted for the latter and decided to wait it out like the locals—lying on the beach.
The top reason tourists flock to this out of the way archipelago is its weather and fine stretches of golden or sometime black sand. Nowhere else in Europe (at least politically—geographically this is Africa) can you expect to be on the beach in January or enjoy a barbeque for Christmas. Fortunately, life as an island ESL teacher generally allows you to enjoy the best of what the islands have to offer. Classes often start in the late afternoon, leaving you with the whole morning to enjoy an often deserted beach. Of course, you do lose your evenings, but as with everywhere in Spain, night life here starts late. Restaurant bookings are rarely made before 9 p.m. and bars or clubs close at five or six if they close at all.
|The islands are known for their carnival celebrations, considered second only to Rio’s.|
Fitting Into the Culture
Locals are known for their paradoxical character: on first meeting they are overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming, yet getting past the superficial acquaintance level can be tough. Initially feeling frustrated and sometimes lonely, I realized that again, patience was required in order to be accepted. Not surprisingly a pretty insulated society—young Canarians often leave to seek education on the mainland, further afield in Europe, or sometimes in the U.S., but virtually all return to their idyllic homeland eventually. Circles of friends tend to be huge and relationships usually date back to primary school, so you cannot expect to instantly infiltrate such a tight circle. Getting to know the locals who will be your audience is a bonus, however, and adopting the local variation of Spanish can really help to build relationships.
Although separatists are rare, Canarians are staunchly proud of their muffled accents and a vocabulary that sets them apart from their mainland counterparts. Saying papas instead of patatas, guagua rather than autobus and steering clear of all vosotros verb forms (here they use the more formal ustedes) are sure fire ways to endear yourself to your hosts. And then there is the asadero. Known as a barbacoa elsewhere in Spain, the asadero is the quintessential Canarian pastime. Families, school friends, colleagues, and teammates congregate on weekends to grill up some meat, eat improbable amounts of papas, and wash it all down with the local tipple of choice—locally produced golden rum (Tip: If you ever want to be fully accepted in the islands, sipping the occasional cuba libre is essential).
|Traditional romerias (pilgrimages with an all day party) are common across the islands.|
After two years with an academia I opted to go it alone as a freelance teacher. Having dabbled in private classes on the side while working in schools, I knew the work was out there. What I did not realize was just how much work there was. Following local protocol, I posted signs in Spanish in local bookshops and government language schools and waited for the phone to start ringing. Within days I had more students than I could cope with—taking them all would have meant curbing a daily snorkelling schedule, which was simply out of the question.
Working as a freelancer opened the door to a totally different way of life. Sure, the lack of colleagues can be a little lonely, but most of my students were 30-somethings wanting to improve their already excellent English, so what I lost in native English teacher buddies, I gained in Canarian friends. And for anyone with an attention span similar to the aforementioned kindergarten students, private classes are the perfect antidote. Alongside my regular clients—including the constantly late businessman who would answer his phone 20 times per class—and my trio of doctors who always had a bottle of vino ready for our evening lesson, I taught random 1-off classes that never failed to add spice to my routine. I sat and listened to a budding rock star in dire need of pronunciation tips for the nonsensical songs he had penned in English. I tutored wannabe flight attendants for forthcoming interviews. I sat horrified at my lack of motherly skills as a nervous 3-year old peed all over my carefully planned kindergarten lesson plan.
On the surface, teaching in the Canaries might not seem as exotic or adventurous as taking a contract in the Far East or Central Africa, but if you take the ease of being within Europe, add the fire and spirit of Latin America, throw in a dash of North African weather and you have got the recipe for a heavenly teaching position.
Lucy Corne is a freelance writer and ESL teacher whose love of travel has taken her to every continent except Antarctica. She has lived and taught in half a dozen countries including India, the Canary Islands (Spain), China, and South Korea. As well as writing three detailed guidebooks from scratch (for Dorling Kindersley, Bradt, and new UK publisher Explore Travel Guides) her articles have been featured in numerous publications.
|Teaching English in Spain|
|Short-Term Jobs in Spain|
|Living in Spain: Expatriate Resources and Articles|
More by Lucy Corne
|Volunteer Teaching English to Exiled Tibetans in Northern India|
|A Visit to Soweto, South Africa|
|Living in Tenerife of the Canary Islands|
Guanche language, alphabet and pronunciation
Guanche is an extinct language thought to belong to the Berber language family which was spoken in the Canary Islands until the 16th or 17th century. The language is also known as Insular Tamazight, Ancient Canarian Language or Ínsuloamaziq.
Although the origins of Berber settlement in the Canaries are obscure and still unknown, the first material evidence could be traced back to 1000 BC. More modern migrations from North Africa are also known to have ocurred, possibly with Punic and Roman expeditions.
The genetic affiliation of this language is unclear due to the diverse admixture of different dialectal influences found in the archipelago, and the important dialectalization of each island’s local speech. But there is a common substate, possibly the oldest Berber influx, related to Tamajeq dialects, mostly identifiable in the vocabulary.
The word Guanche is used to refer only to the native people of the island of Tenerife. The equivalent in Guanche language is wa-n Shen(shen), which means “the one of Ashenshen” In later times this word became used to refer to the whole archipelago’s natives.
Although the conquest and subsequent Spanish (Castillian) colonization resulted in a violent supression and acculturation, which lead to the total extintion of the language, many Guanche traits can still be found today in Canarian culture and local vocabulary (gofio, perenquén, tajinaste, jaira, tabaiba . ..). Moreover, in recent years there has been an important revival of Guanche
identity, with research and reconstruction of the Insular Tamazight
as one of its main parts.
Today Guanche elements can be found extensively in toponyms (Gomera, Tacoronte, Tindaya, Adeje, Orotava …) and even in given names or surnames (Cathaysa, Ayoze, Tanausú, Bencomo…), as well as contemporaneous anotations from chroniclers, recent inscription decipherments and oral tradition. Through comparative linguistics, as with Proto-Indoeuropean and other attempts to
revive extint languages, Insular Tamazight phonetics can be recovered and used to study its relationship to continental Berber languages.
Many Tifinagh inscriptions have been found in the Canary Islands, which makes it easier to identify a genetic relationship with the continental linguistic varieties, with a clear predominance of Proto-Tuareg substrate.
Tifinagh inscription from Barranco de la Angostura in Gran Canaria
ZMRW YZMWKR GTW – *Za əmirəw: əyyu zam, awa akkar igət wa
Regarding obedience: abandon the water reserve, it is stealing the (real) abundance.
Tifinagh inscription from San Miguel de Abona in Tenerife
DJYNWLT / FWṢ TS <ŠQS> – *Idi ijjây-in Walăt. Afa iwâṣ tăsašuqqis>
Sirius converges there with Canopus. The light excites the heart*.
The “ŠQS”, written over the previous verb “excites”,
could be a post-conquest Christian rejection of the old beliefs expressed in this phrase.
Sample texts in Guanche
Alzanxiquian abcanahac xerax -*Als-ânɣ ikiyan abẓ/q a-nn ahaẓ Ahɣeraɣ
Guaxate hequei adei acharan afaro yafana haxaran -*Wassksaḍ, ḥăkku əy addăy ačaran, afaro y afanan; ha əkkəs aran
Tanaga Guayoch Archimenseu Nahaya Dir hanido Sahet chunga pelut -*Tanaqqa wayyaw wš, menzu nahağğa dir ɣandaw saɣet, šunga bel-wt
Retake for us the origin (of the) assembly (which is) where the kin of the Great (God) is.
Lord, give fullness to what is below, the grain for the germination; push away, then, the illness.
A fatal sorrow (grief) afflicts the subject, the successor continues the roots (tradition) and the orphan(s) exhale lamentations.
Information provided by Joshua Adonai Pérez Cawkill
Sample video in Guanche
Information about the Guanche language
Page last modified: 02.11.21
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One of the Canary Islands is home to this whistled language
LA GOMERA, Spain — Sitting atop a cliff in the Canary Islands, Antonio Márquez Navarro issued an invitation — “Come over here, we’re going to slaughter the pig”— without speaking a word: He whistled it.
In the distance, three visiting hikers stopped dead in their tracks at the piercing sound and its echo bouncing off the walls of the ravine that separated them.
Márquez, 71, said that in his youth, when local shepherds rather than tourists walked the steep and rugged footpaths of his island, his news would have been greeted right away by a responding whistle, loud and clear.
But his message was lost on these hikers, and they soon resumed their trek on La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic that is part of Spain.
Márquez is a proud guardian of La Gomera’s whistling language, which he called “the poetry of my island.” And, he added, “like poetry, whistling does not need to be useful in order to be special and beautiful.”
Antonio Marquéz Navarro, 71, sits atop a cliff in the Canary Islands where he whistled the invitation “Come over here, we’re going to slaughter the pig,” in La Gomera, Spain, Jan. 24, 2021. (Finbarr O’Reilly/The New York Times)
The whistling of the Indigenous people of La Gomera is mentioned in the 15th-century accounts of the explorers who paved the way for the Spanish conquest of the island. Over the centuries, the practice was adapted to communicating in Castilian Spanish.
Silbo substitutes whistled sounds that vary by pitch and length for written letters. Unfortunately, there are fewer whistles than there are letters in the Spanish alphabet, so a sound can have multiple meanings, causing misunderstandings.
The sounds made for a few Spanish words are the same — like “sí” (yes) or “ti” (you) — as are those for some longer words that sound similar in spoken Spanish, like “gallina” or “ballena” (hen or whale).
“As part of a sentence, this animal reference is clear, but not if whistled on its own,” said Estefanía Mendoza, a teacher of the language.
In 2009, the island’s language, officially known as Silbo Gomero, was added by UNESCO to its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; the United Nations agency described it as “the only whistled language in the world that is fully developed and practiced by a large community,” in reference to La Gomera’s 22,000 inhabitants.
But with whistling no longer essential for communication, Silbo’s survival mostly relies on a 1999 law that made teaching it an obligatory part of La Gomera’s school curriculum.
On a recent morning at a school in the port town of Santiago, a classroom of 6-year-olds had little difficulty identifying the whistling sounds corresponding to different colors, or the days of the week.
Things got trickier when the words were incorporated into full sentences, like “What is the name of the child with the blue shoes?” A couple of the children argued that they had instead heard the whistling sound for “yellow.”
If interpreting a whistle isn’t always easy, making the correct sounds can be even harder. Most whistlers insert one bent knuckle into the mouth, but some use instead the tip of one or two fingers, while a few use a finger from each hand.
“The only rule is to find whichever finger makes it easier to whistle, and sometimes unfortunately nothing works at all,” said Francisco Correa, the coordinator of La Gomera’s school whistling program. “There are even some older people who have understood Silbo perfectly since childhood, but never got any clear sound to come out of their mouth. ”
Two whistlers might struggle to understand each other, particularly during their first encounters — and need to ask each other to repeat sentences — like strangers who speak the same language with different accents. But “after whistling together for a while, their communication becomes as easy as if speaking Spanish,” Correa said.
As is the case in many languages, whether whistled or not, there is a generation gap on La Gomera.
Ciro Mesa Niebla, a 46-year-old farmer, said he struggled to whistle with a younger generation trained at school because, he said, “I’m a mountain guy who learned at home to whistle the words our family used to farm, but I don’t have the vocabulary of these kids who learn salon whistling, which is a bit too fancy for me.”
Some older residents have also stopped whistling because of tooth problems. Márquez continues to whistle with his dentures, “but it’s not as easy and as loud as when I could press my finger onto my real teeth,” he said.
With its distinct geography, it’s easy to see why whistling came into use on the Canaries; on most of the islands, deep ravines run from high peaks and plateaus down to the ocean, and plenty of time and effort are required to travel even a short distance overland. Whistling developed as a good alternative way to deliver a message, with its sound carrying farther than shouting — as much as two miles across some canyons and with favorable wind conditions.
The mountain village of Chipude in La Gomera, Spain, Jan. 23, 2021. The whistling language known as “Silbo Gomero” is still in use on the island thanks to mandatory classes for schoolchildren. (Finbarr O’Reilly/The New York Times)
Older residents on La Gomera recall how Silbo was used as a warning language, particularly when a police patrol was spotted searching for contraband. In a recent fictional movie, “The Whistlers,” Silbo is used by gangsters as their secret code language.
Some other islands in the archipelago have their own whistling languages, but their use has faded, though another island, El Hierro, recently began teaching its version. “Silbo was not invented on La Gomera, but it is the island where it was best preserved,” said David Díaz Reyes, an ethnomusicologist.
Nowadays, La Gomera relies heavily on tourism, which has created an opportunity for some young whistlers like Lucía Darias Herrera, 16, who has a weekly whistling show at an island hotel. While she normally whistles Castilian Spanish, Darias can also adapt her Silbo to other languages spoken by her audience, on an island that is particularly popular with Germans.
Since last spring, however, the coronavirus has not only canceled such shows, but also forced schools to limit their whistling instruction. At a time of compulsory face masks, a teacher cannot help a student reposition a finger inside her mouth in order to whistle better.
Younger children also “make huge efforts to blow out a lot of air, which means some are spitting rather than whistling,” said Correa, the school coordinator. So as a precaution against spreading the virus, the children now spend their weekly whistling lesson listening to recordings of Silbo, rather than whistling themselves.
An added difficulty for the students is that they don’t always have much opportunity to practice Silbo outside school. In the class of 6-year-olds, only five of 17 raised their hands when asked if they had a chance to whistle at home.
“My brother actually can whistle really loudly, but he won’t show me, because he is either on his PlayStation or out with friends,” complained one of the youngsters, Laura Mesa Mendoza.
Still, some teenagers enjoy whistling greetings to each other when they meet in town and welcome the chance to chat without many of the adults around them understanding. Some had parents who went to school before learning Silbo became mandatory, or who settled on the island as adults.
However much she is attached to her cellphone, Erin Gerhards, 15, sounded keen to improve her whistling and help safeguard the traditions of her island.
“It is a way to honor the people that lived here in the past,” she said. “And to remember where everything came from, that we didn’t start with technology, but from simple beginnings. ”
c.2021 The New York Times Company
Learn Spanish in Tenerife, Spain
Enforex Training Center, Tenerife
Our school in Tenerife is the perfect place to combine learning and fun. Enjoy our courses in 7 fully equipped classrooms, get to know instructors and fellow students in the common areas, in the library or in the beautiful central courtyard. The school, housed in a typical Canarian-style Beljica building, will provide you with a comfortable and fun learning experience.
* On Mondays all schools open their doors at 8:00
Don’t miss its lively atmosphere, ideal climate, wonderful beaches, unique culture and delicious cuisine. What to say about its nature and tropical abundance! You won’t want to stop. Join us and learn to enjoy the real Canarian life!
Tenerife’s location is excellent: 5 minutes walk from Martiánez beach, 2 minutes walk from “Lago Martiánez” and 10 minutes walk from City Hall.
We know you’ll learn a lot while traveling around the island, but to make the most of your time, take a look at our courses. We offer you a wide variety of options to improve your Spanish level or learn it from scratch.
Traditional Canary Islands style building, Edificio Bélgica.
The training center has 7 classrooms with plenty of natural light. At your disposal are all the necessary multimedia equipment, a patio, a room for teachers, administration and a common room with TV, stereo, library and video.
Andrei “My stay in Granada was very productive. Enforex offers a truly effective learning method. The teachers are real
… more professionals in their field and all activities were very well organized. I appreciated all the support I received from Enforex in order to achieve my goals of gaining a high level of Spanish and learning more about Spanish culture, all in just 8 weeks!”
Milos I came to Enforex Valencia because I wanted to participate in Erasmus next year and needed to prepare.
… More My first day in Valencia was a bit chaotic but fun too. New country! New language! New friends! At school I took a test to determine my level of Spanish and I couldn’t understand much, but fortunately the school was able to find the perfect course for me.
Nadia Zinchenko “Unforgettable two weeks at Enforex, Marbella! I would like to thank all the teachers (Andrea, Raul and José) for their positive, amazing
… More lessons and high professionalism. I will miss your lessons! Best regards, Nadia.”
Maria Zueva “Good evening, I am writing to thank Enforex Barcelona for the great opportunity to study there a year ago. It was an incredible experience and extremely helpful in learning the language.”
Tenerife, “the island of eternal spring”, is the largest of the Spanish Canary Islands. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, the island has a temperate climate. The average temperature in autumn and winter is approximately 22°C (72°F), making the island always popular with tourists.
Tenerife’s unique volcanic shores are covered with beautiful dark sand, and the island itself is a wonderfully diverse landscape with mountains, national parks, zoos and ancient pyramids. Many of the island’s natural beauties are protected by UNESCO.
Our Spanish language center is located in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife’s second largest tourist city. A great place with lush gardens, plazas and promenades and outdoor cafes where you can eat and drink deliciously. Puerto de la Cruz has an extremely pleasant and peaceful atmosphere. The most magnificent attraction here is considered to be Lago Martiánez, a group of saltwater pools conceived by local artist Cesar Manrique, where bathers can enjoy the sun, water and fantastic surrounding gardens.
Tenerife is also famous for its Carnival celebrations (February-March) when the island’s main squares and roads fill with parades, samba displays and live music. All year round you can take part in exciting activities such as golf, horseback riding, diving, sea fishing, windsurfing, tennis, kayaking, sculling and much more! Come learn Spanish and discover Tenerife!
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Spanish courses in Tenerife. Learn Spanish in Tenerife
Learn Spanish in Tenerife
Welcome to Tenerife, an island with breathtaking views, great beaches and vibrant nightlife. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is home to the volcanic Mount Teide, with unforgettable landscapes reminiscent of the planet Mars.
Your Spanish course will take place in Puerto de la Cruz, where the northern slope of the Teide flows into the sea.
Taking advantage of the clean, clear waters of the area, our school also offers a Spanish course combined with scuba diving, surfing or paragliding.
Puerto de la Cruz is also home to Loro Park where you can see an impressive collection of exotic animals including dolphins, penguins, tigers, gorillas, champagne and killer whales! For a glimpse of the traditional culture of Tenerife, you can always visit the nearby town of La Orotava, where you will find beautiful architecture and delicious wine.
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The school is located in a quiet area “La Paz” opposite the botanical garden and just 15 minutes walk from the city center.
Our school not only has 10 bright, fully equipped classrooms, but also three computers with internet access, a lecture hall for up to 60 people, a coffee bar and a fantastic sun terrace where students can relax and socialize with their classmates.
Courses in Tenerife
You can choose between 20 or 30 Spanish lessons per week, depending on the amount of free time you want to have.
If you prefer a more personal approach to learning, private lessons are the best option for you. The lessons will be completely tailored to meet your personal needs, so you will learn the language at a faster pace.
You can complement your Spanish course with additional surf, scuba and paragliding lessons to help you get the most out of your stay on this wonderful island.
Accommodation in Tenerife
Staying with a host family will not only provide you with a warm welcome in the Canary Islands and regular Spanish practice, but also the opportunity to experience the local way of life. Our school cooperates only with reliable and hospitable families with a good standard of living. You can choose one, two or three meals a day depending on your needs.
Otherwise, you can book accommodation with your fellow students in shared apartments! This is a great opportunity to meet and network with your peers.
Arrival in Tenerife
Our school can arrange transfers from Tenerife North Airport or Tenerife South Airport. Please note that this service will have an additional cost.
Cultural program in Tenerife
(Cultural program may vary)
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FU International Academy Spanish language school in Tenerife – Spanish in Spain
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School of Spanish on the Tenerife FU International Academy – the only school -accredited by the School of the School of the School in the Cervical Academy of Sciences. The school first opened its doors to students in 2000, and in 2005 the school received accreditation from the Instituto Cervantes, which became a powerful incentive to develop and improve its own system of teaching Spanish as a foreign language to students from all over the world.
The FU International Academy is located in Puerto de La Cruz, an exceptionally beautiful port city in the north of Tenerife, an ideal place to learn Spanish. The school building has a large terrace from which students can enjoy an incredible view of the Teide volcano and the mountains of the island. The school has a cafe, library, COWORKING SPACE, lounges and wireless Wi-Fi. The school administration is trying to support its students in everything, helping them to immerse themselves and adapt to the new language environment. All teachers of the school are native speakers, graduates with experience working with foreign students.
FU International Academy Spanish School in Spain
FU International Academy Spanish Courses
The FU International Academy Language School in Tenerife offers intensive language courses for both beginners and students already having a language level. Classes last 4 hours a day, and the rest of the time you can enjoy life on the island. The courses will allow you to expand your vocabulary and grammar knowledge, as well as improve your writing and speaking skills. You will be able to develop your Spanish every day, being in a Spanish-speaking environment, getting to know the culture and peculiarities of local life. All classes are held in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, in multicultural groups. In addition, extra-curricular activities such as excursions, master classes, dance lessons, surfing, etc., organized by the school, will help to consolidate the acquired knowledge in practice in the classroom.
Short courses – 20 hours per week
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Good afternoon, Ivan!
I would like to thank you very much for your work! You have chosen the best place for Daria! She was very pleased!!! Moreover, she decided to go to this college again in the summer!!! I can’t promise her this, because I need to take into account the requests of both my children! But after half a year, she still insists on going to this college!
Thank you so much for doing an excellent job!!
Happy New Year!!!
All the best, health and fulfillment of all desires!!!
24 years old, Lobnya
All letters were answered very quickly and competently. They helped to choose a program, consulted on a visa. In general, at your own peril and risk, I decided to try.
I paid the deposit and waited to see if they would pick up an internship for me. Because I am a database analyst by profession, so the work of the agency was not easy))
After 4 weeks, they wrote to me that they found me an internship, sent documents for a visa. Then the hardest time is the time of waiting for an answer. True, I doubted that only I would be given a visa. When I wrote a letter to Vitalia “Hurrah! They gave me a visa! I received an answer that was very sincerely surprised – “Of course! It couldn’t have been otherwise.”
For the past six months I have been studying and working in Spain, and next semester I will enter the master’s program at Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. Now I myself am an agent, however, I am engaged in English language courses, and already with knowledge of the matter I can say that Spanish in Spain is one of the few agencies working with Russia that adhere to European price standards and European quality of service, without inventing incomprehensible commissions and worrying about personally for each client. Comparing the prices of Spanish in Spain with the prices of any other agencies – you can only smile! Of the agencies that I looked at during the search, only this agency works according to European price standards, without any commissions that come from nowhere.
Summing up, I want to say that in general I am very satisfied with the work of this agency. Perhaps if there were some small blots, then during the six months of my magnificent stay in Spain everything was already forgotten!
Thank you so much girls for perhaps the best six months of my life!
26 years old, St. Petersburg
It all started with the fact that in the summer of 2009 I went to Spain for a month to a language school in Valencia and the next summer I already wanted to try something more serious. I began to look at what various agencies offer, and I was very interested in the possibility of an internship in my specialty in Spain. But there was one problem – I was no longer a student, and many agencies refused to look for me to practice. And when there was almost no hope, Academspain responded to my letter. Further, everything was very clear and prompt – the sweet girl Vitalia explained everything to me in detail, I made a deposit, wrote my wishes about the practice (in the field of fitness, on the coast, preferably with accommodation) and the agonizing wait began. I had to wait a little longer than I expected, because, as Vitalia explained to me, it was very difficult to find an internship in such a narrow field, and even with accommodation. But finally, the long-awaited confirmation came – I will train for 10 weeks in Peñiscola in a team of animators in a 4-star hotel right on the seashore, plus 2 weeks – compulsory language courses in Valencia! In addition, meals and hotel accommodation are free! The visa was given without any problems, and now I’m in Spain! The language courses flew by very quickly and I’m moving to Peniscola. The first shock is that there are only Spaniards in the animation team, and most of the clients too! For the first 3 days, I didn’t understand almost anything, but I had to immediately work, conduct classes, communicate with clients, at first I got something like “smile and wave.” In addition, the work schedule was very tight – 15-17 hours a day, sometimes they didn’t leave the hotel for several days, sometimes they went to bed at 2-3 in the morning, and in the morning at 9hours to get up, 1. 5 days off a week. At first I thought that I couldn’t stand it, but then gradually I began to understand the language, thanks to the Spanish guys, they are all amazing, they always helped, prompted, lent their things, and on my birthday they arranged a real holiday for me – with a cake, champagne, they came to congratulate even animators from other hotels! And how we rested! Oh, those Spanish fiestas! Every weekend after work we went to the center for a disco, and until 5-6 in the morning, it didn’t matter what I got up in the morning … I left with tears in my eyes, now I keep in touch with everyone on the Internet, I hope to see my Spanish friends soon! Thank you Academspain for such an extraordinary experience!
I think that the costs are fully justified, I applied to other, more expensive agencies, but I have never seen such an attentive attitude anywhere.
I recommend it, because The best agency at the moment, as it seems to me, does not exist!
26 years old, Moscow
Excellent teachers and an intensive program allowed me to master the language from scratch at a sufficiently high level in six months!!!
39 years old, Moscow
Interesting individual program and teaching methods. They give a very deep grammar and an interesting conversational part of the lessons. At a certain level, pronunciation is corrected. For effective learning, I recommend studying for a long time (at least a month or more), and carefully repeating the material covered daily and memorizing new words, because a very large amount of grammar and vocabulary is given daily. Well, of course, thoughtfully work with homework.
19 years old, Pyatigorsk
Everything went very well. This school employs wonderful and sympathetic people who helped us in many ways. True, there was little time, you just got used to it, made friends, and already you have to leave … 4 people were very memorable: Sonia, Ruben, Cristina and Fernando – teachers and the marketing department. They treated us like their children.
As far as education goes, it’s worth it! The difference in language proficiency is immediately visible!
20 years old, Pyatigorsk
Everything went great!!!! Many new impressions!!!! New acquaintances!!! All the staff at the school are very friendly, the teachers are cheerful and sympathetic!!!! Learning Spanish is presented in an interesting way, not just theory, sitting at a desk, but also practice in a store, on the street, with passersby !!!! this is much more interesting! Thank you so much to everyone, everyone, the whole school !!!
41 years old, Moscow
Very good teachers, convenient schedule, every day two lessons of one and a half hours, excellent manager of leisure activities, communication with locals and students almost every evening in Spanish. Organization of trips and other events. I liked the homestay, but it was quite crowded, seven students in one apartment). From other students who were in different schools in Spain, I also heard that San Sebastian has a very good and strong school.
29 years old, Kazakhstan
Amazing feeling! A bunch of foreign students, and the language of communication is Spanish) it seems that you are learning to speak and express thoughts anew) in two weeks, incredible progress in learning!
Special thanks to the patient training organizer Kira Makashova from academspain.ru 🙂
7 years old, Moscow
This is for my 7 daughter. I sent her to learn English in July 2012, to a day camp. Katya, despite the fact that all the events ended rather late, did not want to leave the camp for any. The child was indescribably delighted with the territory, with the activities, the children were always passionate about something besides the English classes themselves. And language teaching itself is going pretty seriously. I absolutely recommend to parents.
26 years old, Kaliningrad
I really enjoyed the Spanish course.
There was both practice and theory, and everything was at the highest level with teachers who know their stuff!!!
Therefore, I wish students to study in this school!
22 years old, Yekaterinburg
I am studying at the Department of Tourism and Hotel Service of the Ural State Pedagogical University. In the future I am going to work in a travel agency or hotels abroad.
I decided to improve my Spanish (I already knew English), but not just like that, but in my specialty. It turned out to be very effective and I have every chance of finding myself an internship in Spain next summer.
And Benalmadena is an awesome resort! Thanks
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Canarian speaker – frwiki.wiki
For articles of the same name, see Canarian.
Languages and dialects spoken in Spain around 1950
Spoken Canary ( Habla Canaria ), or simply Canary ( Canary ) is the variety of Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands. We also often speak of “Canary dialect”, but this name is questioned by some linguists who believe that the Canarian language does not have, both at the lexical and morphosyntactic level, its own linguistic characteristics, and therefore in this case one cannot speak of “dialect”.
This is very close to the Spanish spoken in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
Some theories define this as a fusion of Portuguese and Spanish, but these are less and less preserved; over time, terms of Portuguese origin tend to be replaced by words of Castilian origin.
The Canary Islands were conquered in XV – m century, between the beginning of the reign of Henry III of Castile and that of the Catholic kings. The archipelago then received heavy Andalusian immigration and served as a forward base for Spanish and Portuguese settlers for centuries.
Canary was little studied until recently and remained from the great works of dialectology made in the Hispanic community in the early XX – th century (creation of a linguistic atlas, etc.). Its worldwide characteristics bring it closer to the southern dialect of Spanish (mainly Andalusian and American Spanish). Here are some characteristic features of the Canary Islands:
Notes and links
- ↑ Alvar, p. 45. Alvar also uses the plural “ hablas canarias “.
- ↑ (es) Manuel Alvar, ¿Existe el dialecto andaluz? , State University of New York, Albany, on the Cervantes Institute website
- ↑ a b c d f Zamora Vicente 1967, pp. 345
- ↑ Alvar 1977, p. 45–46
- ↑ Alvar 1977, p. 49
- ↑ a b c d e f Alvar 1977, p. 50
- ↑ a and b Alvar 1977, p. 51
- ↑ a b and c Zamora Vicente 1967, pp. 346
- ↑ Alvar 1977, p. 50-51
- ↑ a b and c . Zamora Vicente 1967, pp. 347
- ↑ a and b Zamora Vicente 1967, p. 348
- ↑ Alvar 1977, p. 47–48
- (es) Manuel Alvar, Dialectología hispánica , Madrid, UNED, ,
- (es) El español de Canarias hoy , collaboration, Iberoamericana (ISBN 84-88906-54-4)
- (es) Tesoro lexicográfico del español de Canarias , Collaboration, Viceconsejería de Cultura y Deportes (ISBN 84-7947-080-1)
- (es) Alfonso Oshanahan Roca, Gran diccionario del habla canaria , Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria (es) (ISBN 84-7926-169-2) .
- (es) Alonso Zamora Vicente, Dialectología española , Madrid, Gredos, ( Repr. 6), 2- e ( 1- e ed. 1960), 587 p. (ISBN 84-249-1115-6) , p.
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Whistlers and Silbo whistling language
The Whistlers, one of the brightest Romanian films, which was at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, was released. The action of the picture takes place on the Canary Island of Gomera, whose inhabitants speak the secret language of whistling silbo. Afisha Daily talks about this linguistic phenomenon and its cultural impact.
Little is known about the origin of Silbo. For about a thousand years, it was used by the indigenous population of the island of Gomera – the Guanches tribe. But during the Spanish conquest (1402-1496), most of the natives were killed or sold into slavery. The remaining Guanches assimilated with the Spaniards and adopted Christianity. But the language was not forgotten. And tradition has nothing to do with it.
On the contrary, soon after the conquest, Silbo adapted to Spanish, becoming a dialect with the poetic name “bird language”. And its vitality is due solely to geography. The island of Homer is of volcanic origin, so it is completely covered with rocks, ravines and meandering valleys, which provides an enormous audibility of the echo. In turn, the whistle is recognized at a distance of up to three kilometers . Thanks to this, you can avoid unnecessary walking and actually convey the speech through the air. Roughly speaking, the Guanches came up with an antediluvian analogue of mobile communications.
Bernard Romain. El silbo gomero
© Bernard Romain
From a technical point of view, for a correct and clear silbo, you need to put your finger in your mouth, cover it with your palm, exhale from your stomach and whistle, directing the sound in the right direction. The language also has its own alphabet with five vowels and four consonants, in the formation of which lips and teeth take part. If you follow these rules, and also clearly distribute the duration of sounds, then you can whistle over 4000 words . True, pronunciation in Silbo does not depend on articulation and is strictly individual, which makes it one of the most difficult languages in the world, even for native speakers. Therefore, you often have to repeat complex sentences and guess what was said depending on the context.
© Russian Reporting
In 1999, the Spanish government gave the go-ahead for the study of silbo in Gomera schools. In 2005, linguists conducted a study and found that the inhabitants of the island perceive words from the whistle by the same brain centers that are used to understand ordinary speech. This discovery served as an aid to the international recognition of the “bird language”. And in 2009The silbo was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO as one of the key symbols of the Canary Islands.
In the same year, the Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu, who won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes for the crime comedy Adjective Cop, saw a Time report on silbo and was inspired to make a film about it.
“I saw a TV show on this subject and began to study the issue. I was interested in the antiquity of this language – of course, there is some irony in all this, but at the same time this is a really rare opportunity in our technological society to look somewhere deep into the centuries, ”the director recalled in an interview with Afisha Daily.
Details on the topic
Our favorite Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu about Whistlers where gangsters whistle
Our favorite Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu about Whistlers where gangsters whistle
which uses silbo as a cipher to transmit secret messages. This scenario idea has a historical background. In the 17th century, Algerian corsairs learned the language of whistling, pretended to be Spanish soldiers and entered the capital of the island of San Sebastian. After themselves, the pirates left several hundred dead and an almost completely burned city.
But history also knows some funny uses of the whistle. For example, in 1906, the King of Spain, Alfonso III, personally came to the island because he could not believe in the existence of the “bird language”. To demonstrate it, two Gomer soldiers carried out military commands dictated in silbo. As a result, one fighter was so worried that when ordered to take off his hat, he pulled the crown of power from the head of the ruler. But Alfonso just laughed and released both of them from military service.
Silbo is now spoken by about 22,000 people. Moreover, this is a generally accepted manner of speech among the locals. There are a huge number of videos on YouTube with the everyday use of a whistle – from the transfer of an order by a waiter to the kitchen to finding the right person in the crowd. Homer still does not have telephones everywhere, so whistling is often useful in emergency situations. For example, a couple of years ago, a doctor was urgently needed at the Kanter fishing base, which is located in the south of the island: one of the workers severely injured his hands. Within six minutes, the doctor, who was at a distance of 14 km, knew about what had happened and rushed to help. Details up to of a detailed description of the injury, he was whistled by a chain of five people .
More on the poster
Watch in Okko
Details on the topic
“whistles” Corneliu I. Roman: Romanian noir without unnecessary words
“Svistuna” Korneliu I.
Canarian Spanish The Canarian dialect is similar to the Andalusian dialect spoken in Western Andalusia and is especially similar to Caribbean Spanish and other Latin American dialects of Spanish due to the emigration of Canary Islanders to the Caribbean and Latin America. In the Caribbean, the language structures of the Canarian dialect are not regarded as foreign .
Languages and dialects of Spain in 1950
The penetration of the Spaniards into the Canary Islands began in the 15th century under King Enrique III of Castile and León and ended under the Catholic kings. Expeditions to conquer the Canary Islands were sent mainly from the ports of Andalusia, which is why the Andalusians with their own dialect prevailed on the islands. Even earlier, there were Portuguese colonies in the Canary Islands, but they were eventually forced out by the Spaniards. Before the Spanish conquest, the Canary Islands were inhabited by Guanches who spoke Berber dialects. After the Spanish conquest and the assimilation of the Guanches, the Guanche language practically fell into disuse, only some names of plants and animals remained, and numerous place names of the island of Guanche origin hoy he visitado a Juan .
The lexicon of the Canarian dialect has experienced numerous influences, it retains archaisms from the Castilian dialect from the time of the conquest of the Canary Islands, such as “apopar” (“to flatter”). There is also the influence of the vocabulary of the Guanche language, especially in toponymy. In addition, many Canarian names are of Guanche origin, such as 9 Gara Acerina Beneharo Jonay
- (unspecified) (unavailable link). Retrieved October 21, 2013. March 7, 2012.
- (link unavailable)
- Lengua Española 1 (pag. 54), varios autores, Ed. Alhambra (ISBN 84-205-1766-6, ISBN 84-205-17766-6(erroneous))
- Lengua Española de COU (pag. 32), Simón Valcárcel Martínez, Ed. Tambre, S.L. (ISBN 84-88681-19-4)
- El español de Canarias hoy , varios autores, Ed. Iberoamericana (ISBN 84-88906-54-4)
- Estudios sobre el español de Canarias , Edita: (ISBN 84-96059-10-3)
- El español de canarias en su dimensión atlántica: aspectos históricos y lingüísticos , Javier Medina Lopez, Ed. Librería Tirant lo Blanch, S.L. (ISBN 84-8002-950-1)
- Tesoro lexicográfico del español de Canarias , varios autores, Edita: (ISBN 84-7947-080-1)
- Diccionario de canarismos , varios autores; Edita: (ISBN 84-87973-08-6)
- Gran diccionario del habla canaria , Alfonso Oshanahan Roca, Edita: Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria (ISBN 84-7926-169-2).