Category Archives: About Life

The articles in this category will revolve around our daily life

Making the Most of London’s Crazy Weather

By Nancy Carranza

Everyone who’s visited London for a few days, weeks, months or even if you live in London; we all know how crazy the weather can be. Sun, rain, thunder storms and a rainbow can sometimes all be seen in one day, crazy I know. So how can you make the most of London’s crazy weather?

Rainy & Cold Days

In a year, we probably get 80% of rain, no matter what season we are in. You have to know how to make the most of your day on a day like this. There are several things to do on rainy days.

  • Spend quality time indoors with your family or friends.
  • Play board games/ video games
  • Order a nice takeaway (excuse to not cook!)
  • Cinema – There are several cinemas to choose from all around London. Odeon, Cine World, Vue, Picture House etc.
  • Theatres – West End Musicals
  • Museums – Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum and many more.
  • Galleries – Tate Modern, National Gallery, the Barbican etc.
  • Bars and pubs for those who like a bit of a drink
  • Restaurants
  • Comedy clubs
  • Trocadero – Leicester Square (Games & Entertainment)

There are many things to do in London on a rainy day but if spending money is not your cup of tea then, why not do something productive at home and maybe learn a new language :)

Sunny Days

The very rare days when we have sunshine, even in the middle of October, you don’t want to stay indoors. You have to make the most of it as you never know when you are going to see the sunshine again.

  • Park – Everyone likes hanging out in the park, Hyde Park, Regents Park and Richmond Park are one of the three popular parks in London. It has a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere. You may want to have a picnic or just got for a stroll.
  • Kingston Riverside – A nice place with a nice view on a sunny day. Relax, eat, drink, there are many things to do by the riverside with restaurants and bars all around.
  • Shopping – Westfield’s Shepherds Bush or Stratford are the two biggest shopping centres. Not to forget Central London with all the biggest stores!
  • London Eye – Get an amazing view of London
  • Cycling – Barclays Bikes!
  • Bus Tours
  • Markets – London has great markets where you could go and do a bit of shopping. Camden market, Portobello market, Spitalfields market and Borough market.

Or if you want to do a bit of sight-seeing why not visit:

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • West Minister Abbey
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Abbey Road
  • Tower Bridge

The list is endless!

There are many things to do in London, no matter the weather. Have fun!

Big Dreams in London

By Nancy Carranza

London is a big beautiful city where people come from all around the world either for tourism, holiday, to learn English as a second language or to work. Many of us have a dream of coming to London to start a better life. So why move to London?  What has London got to offer?

Education

One of the big reasons why people come to London is for the education. Till the age of 18, education in London is free. Unfortunately in most countries such as Peru, education is not free. Regardless of your age, you have to always pay a tuition fee and it can be really expensive. Sadly, this is why only people with money are able to get education in Peru. But here in London you have the opportunity to receive a great education which will help you with your future. So take advantage of it!

Language

Coming to a new place and not being able to understand a single word can be a little, well, a lot scary sometimes. Imagine getting lost in a big city where it was difficult to find your way home because you couldn’t just turn around and ask someone for directions. Luckily there are translation services which can help you out whenever you need it because sometimes, language can be a great barrier in life. But not to worry because there are English programmes in which you can easily enrol in and before you know it, you will be speaking English like a pro!

 Work

Living in such a big city, well, you have to find a way to pay for all the good times you are planning to have in London. Sometimes work can be really difficult to find but something is always available. It can be the smallest of jobs but it is still a job. With all the great bars and restaurant which London has to offer, there are always waitresses, baristas and kitchen staff needed. Now, if you are looking for that special job, to be right at the top of a company, you have to work hard to get there! Nothing in life comes easy but you should be grateful to live in London as there are always opportunities.

 Culture

London is a multicultural city where  nearly 9 million people from all around the world live peacefully . British culture is something that every person can adapt to. By British culture I mean, the music, the food, the traditions and the British humour. Although this is a great culture to be a part of, everyone brings a little bit of their culture to London. Me for example, I have been raised in London from the age of 6 and I love it.

At home it was ‘Peru’ every day because my mum only cooks Peruvian dishes. Everyone in my household speaks Spanish, so this has been spoken every day since we came here. The reason my parents suggested to do this was so my sister and I wouldn’t forget how to speak Spanish, as we came at a very young age and we were likely to forget! On the other hand, at school it was completely different. English was spoken all the time. Traditional English food such as sausage and mash was served at lunchtime. We even got to play ‘British bulldog’ (a traditional English children’s game) at playtime. Every day was a different cultural experience.

London is a great place to live in. It has many things to offer apart from the talked about sights such as Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the London Eye etc. Although these sights are amazing, Life in London is something you want to experience first-hand. So if you ever plan on visiting or settling down in London, then I guarantee you’ll have a great experience!

Mini Bremen Adventure

By Nancy Carranza

If you ever get bored on a day, why not visit the Cosmopolitan City on Weser River :)

We might need a bit of  translation services help but we all know what it means. Wait for the green man!

There’s always space on the train when travelling in Germany!

Enjoying Christmas in one of the best countries- Germany

London 2012: An Emotional Roller-Coaster Ride for an Expat?

by Azelea Bakrie

Now that it’s all (supposedly) over, I find myself somewhat dismayed.

Before it started, I was dreading the traffic, the people, the tourists. I said to anyone who asked, “I’ll be at home, giving my full support through my television I suppose. There was a British Airways ad on the underground that read “If You Shout Loud Enough at the TV, Team GB will hear you” (or something along those lines).

*note of amendment – I found the ad today – here it is! (And I hope there’s no copyright infringement/advertising bloops in sharing this!)

Cheers behind the television works!

After the opening ceremony, I was immediately caught up with it. It got to the point where I went swimming all of a sudden the next weekend, pushing for 20 laps (sorry, I haven’t been to the gym, or done any ‘good’ exercise for at least six months before this). The next morning, my limbs and muscles were, naturally, protesting.

After that weekend, somewhere in the middle of the current week, I dreaded listening to the radio, switching on the TV, or picking up a newspaper. If you haven’t the voices of TV or radio presenters reminding you every five minutes and at every hour’s news what just went on a few minutes ago in the Olympic park and all other designated ‘Olympic’ areas (other than the occasional blurp about what’s going on in Syria), I also find myself stumped by the time I got to the sports section of the papers, wondering what on Earth I had been reading before that!

Yet, I had been keeping myself busy as usual, volunteering in a local charity shop. But it was so quiet I could hear my own heart beat – even the occasional old lady who would visit the shop and treat me to her homemade pies and cookies two to three times a week, disappeared. The high street was deader than dead.

And it never really hit me that I was somewhat caught in between, when I had the impulse of switching on the television, and of all Olympic events, it was archery, where Larry Godrey of team GB was up against Khairul Mohamad of team Malaysia for a spot in the quarter finals. For all the other events thus so far that I managed to partake in front of the black box with moving images, I had been cheering on for team GB, until that day.

Even more so when the Badminton finals were on, where it was Lin Dan of China vs Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. In my not-so-long years ago of growing up, these two are life-long rivals – I remembered catching a live match between the two in Malaysia for the Petronas Cup.

“For goodness sake woman, calm down! I thought at one point I needed translation services here to understand what you’re on about!” my husband said to me while I was cursing, shouting, cheering and crying altogether during that ultimate match in Bahasa Malaysia. I honestly didn’t know what came over me.

Malaysia and the Olympics-London 2012

And it wasn’t until about 5 days to London 2012’s closing ceremony, that the newspapers finally reported something of more ‘realistic’ concerns – UK’s economic turmoil. GREAAAAT. I didn’t know whether to feel glad that we’re finally hearing of something else in the news, or upset that there’s going to be another round of price hikes, job drops and money-related scandals.

But watching the closing ceremony  of London 2012, it got me thinking about the Paralympics. Why is it considered a separate event, having their own opening and closing? When all health and safety regulations in any house or building in the UK is made to accommodate any disabled persons regardless whether they are really living there or not, then why this kind of a distinction? I could understand that it was not fair competition if they all ran the same race at the same time and place… but does it mean their events couldn’t run within the same period but by separate schedules and venues throughout the duration all together? I was, again, stumped. Not having questioned it till now however, proves that I’ve probably grown up, grown old, and growing into the whole British culture – becoming somewhat critical, easily annoyed and affected by the uncertain weather, and finding reason to complain all the time! Yet I felt a big pang of irony when watching Eric Idle perform ‘Always Look at the Bright Side of Life’ during the closing ceremony of London 2012 – Ah, life, I wish!

Journey of a Linguist

By Chiara

Studying translation is really interesting, and I think everyone would be fascinated by this art, because we can indeed consider it as an ART. I love translating, especially brochures, advertising or documents related to travel and tourism; every time you have a new document to translate it is a new “word hunt” to find the perfect term and give it the right amount of poetry and at the same time make the reader feel cosy and safe. The tourism and leisure industry is very wide and needs lots of translations, and obviously is more interesting than an instruction manual or something similar.. you learn so much new and a lot of other interesting information!

Moreover, to translate in this field you must be a good writer, because you have to give the actual translation, a sound, rhythm as it must be written by a native speaker. And of course when translating I am the native speaker! I have to translate idioms and expressions, and create a text identical to the source but at the same time  keep in mind the factors like the cultural essence and the style of speaking. It requires a lot of imagination and hard work, because sometimes you find words you can’t translate since they don’t exist in the other language, so you must create a short sentence which can explain in few words the idea given by the source word! That’s a very challenging translation! But I like challenges and above all I like the satisfaction when you have found the right periphrasis and with it you give the same meaning and the same nuance of the source text. That’s satisfying! Learning a new language or languages can be a challenge for some people, but for someone like me it is fun. It gives me the opportunity to explore a whole new word. I have managed to learn different languages like French, Spanish, German and English in the last few years. And I intend to continue this great journey to explore new languages, cultures and traditions.

In my opinion everyone may be a good translator, but the basic requirement is to be open minded to understand traditions and ways of living to be able to transfer them into your own language maintaining the same cultural charm of the source.

 

 

 

Things you must know about China and their Culture….

By Hiren

The financial situation across the world is weakening and the major economies like USA and the UK are struggling to cope with this downturn. In such situation China has come across as a winner and is the fastest growing economy in the world. They say China will be the next super power in the world. Aren’t they one already? They seem to be ruling the world. Look at the Olympics Games 2012 for example.  They are dominating the sporting world as well. The eyes of the globe seem to be on China and everyone wants to know more about the Chinese people, their culture , their language, and the way they behave. So if you are planning a trip to China for either of the above mentioned reasons the following steps will help you avoid some embarrassing moments…

Chopsticks Matter… 

 Chopsticks are a very important part of the Chinese culture. If you can’t hold a chopstick correctly then you have very few chances of surviving in China. You will rarely find a spoon when dinner is served in China. Some Chinese people pay great importance in the way you eat with the chopsticks and believe this makes a huge difference in the way people behave. (It’s a Chinese superstition).
First Names a BIG NO…  

People in the west are more used to calling others by their first name but not in China. For example Susi Yang will be called by an American as Susi. But in China she will be addressed as Yang. Only close friends or the family members have the pleasure to call Susi by her first name. So it is of vital importance to understand that in China last names always come first which is completely the opposite from the western world.
 Have you got presents…  

Chinese people are very humble and well mannered. They love giving presents regardless of the occasion. It doesn’t have to be a Chinese new year for a Chinese to give you a present. If a Chinese family are going to their relatives house for dinner which they regularly visit they will still give presents. If you have a Chinese friend than I am sure you are aware about their humbleness and kind behaviour.
Are you a good host…?  

Chinese people visit their family and friends regularly and expect you to be a good host. Offering your guest food or drinks is not enough to be considered a good host in China. Declining food or drinks among Chinese people is common and as a good host it’s your responsibility to keep on offering.
 Behave in Public…  

Tourists have the habit of moaning and complaining about the local people when on visit to a foreign country. However this habit must change if you are planning to visit China. Avoid getting angry and violent in public during your visit to this amazing country. Chinese people respect harmony and peace and as foreigners you must ensure this norm is not broken.
So what are you waiting for?  

China is full of rich history, culture and traditions and is the place to explore in the 21st century. One piece of advice though! Do you know the Mandarin language? If not you might end up looking for Mandarin translation.  Chinese people love foreigners who can speak Mandarin or Cantonese. But don’t worry the different Chinese languages are as fascinating as the country itself. So learning their language is a great journey which you must explore as well.

 

 

 

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