Polyglot Austin: Our Multilingual, Multicultural City!

Benvenuto to our first interactive guest post w/Daniela from Andiamo!

We invite Austinites who’re native speakers of  French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese to share an idea, a place, an art, a product – or basically anything of particular interest to them – in writing in their native language.   In the Freestyle way, we hope y’all, meaning both our students & readers of the larger ATX community and beyond, will interact w/us here!  Voila! magnifico! 

In this first guest post, we’re thrilled to feature our dear Italian friend and admired restaurateur Daniela Marcone, owner of the renowned Andiamo.

 

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Andiamo, frequently appears in the “Best of ” Lists, but nowhere else can you get Daniela’s recipes and tips in Italian!

Read about Daniela,  one of her favorite recipes and how to make it in Italian. Buona fortuna!

Salve a tutti,
il mio nome e’ Daniela Marcone
sono nata e cresciuta in Italia, a Napoli, citta del sole e del mare.
Mi sono trasferita qui ad Austin nel 2005.
Mi piace Austin perche’ e’ una citta molto verde, e con tanta gente giovane.
Mi piace passeggiare per il centro e vedere la natura attorno, trascorrere del tempo a conattato con gli animali e aiutare le persone meno fortunate di me.
Nel 2000 sono diventata proprietaria del Ristorante Andiamo in nord Austin e dall’ora in poi mi occupo di mangiare e contatto al pubblico.
E’ un lavoro che mi stimola sia intellettualmente che socialmente e mi piace molto.
La parte culinaria e’ la piu semplice e mi piacerebbe condividere una ricetta con voi.
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Un inslata che chiamiamo Insalata Innamorata
Ingredienti:
Insalata fresca a vostra scelta, romana, lattuga etc
formaggio di capra
fragole
aceto e olio
sale pepe
mandorle
Procedimento:
Lavare l’insalata e tagliarla in pezzetti piccoli
Sbucciare le mandorle e tritarle
Tagliare le fragole in fette sottili
Mischiare il tutto
e condire con, sale, olio, pepe e aceto con  il formaggio di capra in cima a tutto.
Eccellente!   One great thing about a blog is that it can be read at your own rhythm…need time to go grab that vino before continuing?  Now you’re speaking our language!
 è il tuo turno :  as a simple comprehension check and as a way to practice writing, simply  answer the questions below in italiano in our comments section. Or ask us anything – don’t understand something in here? have another question?…teachers will respond!
1) Che cosa fa Daniela ad Austin?
2) Quale potrebbe essere una variazione di frutta per questa ricetta se uno e’ allergico alle fragole o se a uno non piacciono le fragole?
3) Qual’e’ la vostra ricetta preferita?

Did you know?  Andiamo hosts monthly wine dinners? Experience four-course authentic Italian meals paired with amazing Italian wines. October’s dinner will be hosted by Paolo Bernardi.  Not only is Paolo the President and Importer for VinUS, but he is the man behind all of Andiamo’s Italian wines.   RSVP here on FB , or email andiamoitaliano@gmail.com or call 512-719-3377 to reserve your spot.

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To practice more Italian,  particularly listening comprehension, tune into our video-interview of Daniela in our previous blog entry  , don’t miss Dolce Neve while you’re perusing our collection, AND stay tuned for the dashing, charming Alex of Cotone in our next video-blog (vlog)!

For continual practice (if you’re in Austin…) join us and experience our innovative curriculum, proven  methodology. Try a free class.  Our next session starts Oct. 27th!  Learn more

Grazie a tutti – specialmente Daniela Marcone !  Via these guest posts, we aspire to continually create new & authentic material through which we build language proficiency while we connect Austinites in a language-learning community.  Interested yourself?  Have recommendations or know somebody you’d like to see featured in a guest post?  Please let us know.  Arrivederci !

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POLYGLOT AUSTIN: OUR MULTILINGUAL, MULTICULTURAL CITY!

Bem-vindos to the latest Portuguese installment of our ongoing ‘Polyglot Austin”  blog series, where we celebrate the city’s cultural diversity while taking an interactive approach to language learning.

Through our beginner and intermediate Portuguese videos below (subtitled, with full transcription provided!), we introduce you to Bruno Vinezof, a Brazilian native and founder of the incredibly soulful rhythm & percussion group Maracatu Texas.

Practice your Portuguese while you learn more about this afro-brazilian percussion genre infusing Brazilian culture into Atx.  Did you know you can join Maracatu in Austin??  Check out their lively performances and classes .

Also! Read on to see how you can win an 8-week Portuguese class at Brazil Day Austin 2014.

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Austin boasts an especially strong and colorful Brazilian music scene. Que lindo maravilhoso!

What an enriching experience learning about the history and culture of  “Maracatu” which conveys, specifically, the rhythm of Northern Brazil.   In the past, in the era of slavery in Brazil, the Maracatu groups crowned a black king and queen who would be the communicators between the Portuguese slave owners and the black community to which they belonged. These traditions are still honored in Marcatu groups today.

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An array of alfaias, a type of Brazilian drum, artwork in themselves!

Watch, listen, read transcripts  – have all kinds of fun!  Then,  answer our questions (em português) in the comment area; one of our teachers will get back to you.

Beginner Level

Beginners, to get the most out of this exercise, watch it first without sound, while reading the subtitles.  Then, watch the video again with sound. See how multiple viewings of segments of the video improve your reading & listening comprehension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPoyUpjyN84&list=UUhxXYcSMi9dJ-sijaVkwHng

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT 

Beginner Questions

  1. Pernambuco fica em qual região do Brasil?
  2. Bruno conhece países nas Américas, e mais um continente. Qual é o outro continente?
  3. Que tipo de instrumentos músicas Bruno toca?

Intermediate Level

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rijIWHM3cig&feature=youtu.be

J: Pode descrever o lugar onde você cresceu? / B: Eu cresci numa cidade chamada Olinda. É uma cidade muito antiga, com mais de quatrocentos e setenta anos. Olinda tem muito casarões antigos, e é uma cidade com muita música, e o carnaval é muito famoso. CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT 

Intermediate Questions

  1. A cidade de Olinda tem quantos anos?
  2. Para Bruno, qual é a diferença mais importante entre a música brasileira e a música dos Estados Unidos?
  3. Think about the following two phrases: O Maracatu “veio para o Brasil com os escravos,” and “servia como um intermédio.” Why does Bruno use the preterit in the first phrase, and the imperfect in the second?

We thank our friends of  Morena Soul, the lively, fun, locally grown Brazilian-music band for introducing us to the Brazilian scene in Austin.  Meet them here, in our first Portuguese blog entry and be sure to follow their performances as well (schedule).   What dynamic people, groups and strong bonds that unite Portuguese-speaking musicians in Austin!

Like the sounds and cultural richness of  Brazil and the fast-paced rhythms of samba?  Don’t miss Austin Samba (the largest Brazilian cultural organization of its kind in the US) present the largest celebration of Brazilian music and culture of the year at their event ‘Brazil Day Austin 2014‘!  Dance, drink, eat, practice your Portuguese AND!!!…. enter to win an 8-week  Portuguese language class with Freestyle!  Come meet us at our table there and enter a drawing (free!) to win!

Last, but certainly not least, if you love practicing your Portuguese, make sure BRAZILPOD is in your repertoire!

The Freestyle Lifestyle

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We do language learning a little differently at Freestyle!

Our one-of-a-kind approach to second language acquisition uses technology and interactive media in a way that brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we continue to revolutionize language learning!

Fall I Session starts 9/2, join us for a free trial class or Saturday ‘cafe’ – info@freestylelanguagecenter.com

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Polyglot Austin: Our Multilingual, Multicultural City!

Bienvenidos to the next Spanish installment of our ongoing ‘Polyglot Austin’ blog series where we celebrate the city’s cultural diversity while taking an interactive approach to language learning!

Meet Eugenio del Bosque, Director Ejecutivo of the local Austin non-profit, Cine Las Americas.   Watch these beginner and intermediate-level videos as Eugenio explains (en español) what he does at Cine and the challenges Cine faces – subtitled, transcripts provided!

 

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An international event that unites amazing films, talented filmmakers and passionate audiences in Austin, Texas

 

De veras amamos Cine!  Freestyle + Cine = Match made in heaven!  Our friends at Cine Las Americas work day in and day out to bring Latin American films—films made by or about Latinos or indigenous peoples of the Americas—to life in ATX.  Not only do we love how Cine promotes multiculturalism in our city by “creating a truly Pan-American cinematic experience”, their predominantly Spanish language films (some Portuguese), like Memorias de un soldado and Mateo, engage our students all year long, offering great language practice and development.

Film is absolutely our favorite medium for language acquisition – ¡Gracias, Cine!  Just ask Keeley Steenson, the Outreach and Operations Manager of Cine, who is also one of Freestyle’s Spanish students; La extraordinaria Keeley is in our intermediate series which embraces the cinematic approach to language learning.

 

Eugenio del Bosque, a presenter at our annual ‘Summer Session Guest Speaker Series'

Eugenio del Bosque, while busy running Cine, graciously offers his time to our students at our annual ‘Summer Session Guest Speaker Series’

 

¡Vámonos!  Watch, listen, read transcripts  – have all kinds of fun!  Then,  answer our questions (en español) in the comment area; one of our teachers will get back to you.

Beginner Level

Beginners, to get the most out of this exercise, watch it first without sound, while reading the subtitles.  Entonces, watch the video again with sound. See how multiple viewings of segments of the video improve your reading & listening comprehension.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT (in ‘about’ section)

Questions:

1. ¿En qué trabaja Eugenio? 

2. ¿Qué le gusta a Eugenio de Austin?

Intermediate Level

Q: ¿Me puedes describir un día típico para Ud., para ti en el Cine las Americas? / Eugenio: Bueno lo que a mi me gusta de Cine las Americas es que no hay un día típico, como es una organización sin fines de lucro, es una organización que nos dedicamos a la promoción del cine y de las artes. Siempre hay algo nuevo. Típicamente es mucho trabajo de oficina, mucha cuestión de comunicación con la audiencia, con los miembros, con patrocinadores; números, siempre contabilidad y presupuestos; postulaciones para apoyos de gobierno y corporativos y bueno, siempre las películas ¿No? Siempre buscando películas ó tratando de ver películas.

Q: Y ¿Cómo consigues las películas?    / Eugenio:  Bueno las películas, nosotros abrimos una convocatoria para el festival, siempre estamos tratando de ver películas pero para conseguir películas nuevas…

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT (in ‘about’ section)

Questions:

1. ¿Qué tipo de organización es Cine Las Americas?

2. ¿Qué es una convocatoria? Por qué Cine las Americas abre convocatorias?

3. ¿Cuántas películas al año ve el comité de Cine las Americas?

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Have we mentioned how much we love Cine?!  Have you seen their Hecho en Tejas  film panorama?! They even have after-school programs that provide “a bi-lingual space to bring the tools of media creation and distribution to a widely diverse group of students within the Austin Independent School District and beyond.”  Talk about diversity in the community! We can’t think of a more worthy organization in Austin to support!  If you also want Cine to continue to bring Austin multicultural cinema,  be sure to support their ‘Save Cine Las Americas’ campaign by August 31st!

The Freestyle Lifestyle

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We do language learning a little differently at Freestyle!

Our one-of-a-kind approach to second language acquisition uses technology and interactive media in a way that brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we continue to revolutionize language learning: NEXT Open House Fri. Aug. 22nd 6pm-8pm at 801 Rio Grande!

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Polyglot Austin: Our Multilingual, Multicultural City!

Bienvenue to the French installment of our ongoing ‘Polyglot Austin’ blog series, where we celebrate the city’s cultural diversity while taking an interactive approach to language learning! In this post we highlight 2 French Austinites, Sarah & Philippe, and our city’s long connection to France. 

FleurdelysBluebonnet

Our Texanized version of Fleur-de-lys, ‘ le symbole de la France’!

Despite the 5,000 mile distance, French culture has permeated the heart of Texas–its history, its language, its people– for centuries.  The omnipresent Six Flags Over Texas represent the deep cultural and historical liens we have with France.

FranceFlag1

The second flag, white with gold fleurs-de-lys, represents Texas under France in the late 1600’s.

Flash-forward to the 21st century! Meet Sarah and Philippe who bring their très French vibes to Freestyle. As current Spanish students, learning their 3rd language, they get the Freestyle lifestyle – Go Polyglot! 

annecybordeaux2While Sarah hails from Annecy in the beautiful S.E. region where France meets Switzerland and Italy…

 

annecybordeaux  …Philippe moved to Austin from Bordeaux. Happily, we can find good Bordeaux wines at The Austin Wine Merchant  in  ATX  to keep him here!

 

Follow along as we listen to Sarah, une jeune femme très branchée (hip), who works in “le domaine de la communication“, and pétanque-playing Philippe, an artist in both leather repair and le jardinage. Qu’est-ce qu’un potager?  Tu ne sais pas? Must read and listen to find out!

Beginner Level- Sarah Bovagnet

To get the most out of this first video, where Sarah simply introduces herself, watch it once without sound, reading the subtitles. Then watch it with the sound on. See how multiple viewings of segments of the video improve your reading & listening comprehension.  To practice writing, answer some questions below in French and you’ll hear back from our teachers!

For full transcript, click Youtube logo bottom right of video; transcript in the ‘about’ section.

Questions:

1. Comment gagne-t-elle sa vie? (une autre façon de poser la question: qu’est-ce qu’elle fait dans la vie?)

2. Qu’est-ce qu’elle n’aime pas à Austin?

Intermediate Level- Philippe Barbaroux

Q: Que faites-vous dans la vie? / Philippe: Je répare le cuir, le plastique et le vinyle, alors c’est les fauteuils en cuir, les sofas, ou les sièges de voiture- par exemple, tout l’intérieur d’une voiture. Potentiellement je peux réparer à peu près tout ce qui est à l’intérieur, si c’est pas trop important au niveau des dégâts.

Q: C’est bon à savoir, j’en ai besoin! / Philippe: Oui, c’est bon à savoir, ca peut aider! ca évite d’avoir ,des fois, acheter tout un nouveau sofa quand on peut faire juste une petite réparation.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT (in ‘about’ section)

Questions:

1. Qu’est-ce qu’un potager?

2. Quels sont les avantages et les inconvénients du jardinage au Texas?

3. Qu’est-ce qui pousse bien à Austin?

 

The Freestyle Lifestyle

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We do language learning a little differently at Freestyle!

Our one -of-a-kind approach to second language acquisition uses technology and interactive media in a way that brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we continue to revolutionize language learning: NEXT Open House Fri. Aug. 22nd 6pm-8pm at 801 Rio Grande!

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POLYGLOT AUSTIN: OUR MULTILINGUAL, MULTICULTURAL CITY!

Welcome to another installment of Freestyle Language Center’s “Polyglot Austin” series, where we celebrate the city’s cultural diversity, while taking an interactive approach to language learning!

In this entry, we feature Italian native Daniela Marcone, owner of Andiamo Ristorante, the most authentic Italian restaurant in Austin. Take a culinary journey with us, and practice your Italian!

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Daniela Marcone (left) compra verdura fresca al mercato.

Located at 2521 Rutland Dr, we celebrate  Andiamo Ristorante for its commitment to fine ingredients and authentic Italian fare. Owned by Naples-native Daniela Marcone, Andiamo serves and prepares food exactly how it would be done in Italy.

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare … Che bonta’!

Watch and listen to our interviews with Daniela to practice your Italian. Before we get started, go ahead and grab your favorite vino, the great fluency builder…First things first! To get the most out of this language learning tool, as step 1 read the transcriptions for general context. Step 2, hit play and as you listen, if needed, stop to review. See how multiple viewings of segments of each video improves your reading & listening comprehension.  To practice writing, answer some questions below in Italiano (maybe time to refill that glass first?…) and you’ll hear back from our teachers! Let’s listen, va bene?

Beginner Level

Q: Come ti chiami?A: Mi chiamo Daniela Marcone.

Q: Di dove sei?A: Sono di Napoli.

 Q: Hai famiglia qui ad Austin?A: No, sono da sola qui ad Austin.

 Q: Cosa ti piace di Austin e del Texas?A: Direi, Austin e’ una citta’ abbastanza liberale. Considerando lo stato del Texas, ci sono molte persone che hanno viaggiato quindi hanno una mente molto piu’ aperta circa la cultura, il mangiare, le lingue, i viaggi e mi trovo molto bene con questa dimensione di Austin.

 Q: Cosa ti piace fare quando hai tempo libero?A: Mi piace dedicare il mio tempo libero a delle organizzazioni senza scopo di lucro. Quindi mi piace fare la volontaria, stare a contatto con la natura. amo i cavalli, i disabili, i bambini, quindi dedico il mio tempo libero a quelle cose e ovviamente ai miei animali quando ho tempo.

Intermediate Level

Q: Benissimo! Quando hai deciso di diventare proprietaria di un ristorante? / A: Quando mi si e’ stata presentata l’opportunita’ perche’ non era la mia intenzione o nei miei piani di vita.  Quindi e’ semplicemente capitato.

Q: Descrivi com’e’ una tipica giornata per te. / A: Direi che, essendo proprietaria di un ristorante, i tempi al mattino sono ben diversi da quelli di ogni altra persona perche’ si inizia relativamente tardi.  Mi sveglio, mi prendo cura dei miei animali.  Non devo essere al lavoro fino alle 11 del mattino e quindi la giornata per me inizia abbastanza tardi.  Alle 11 si inizia a lavorare.  Amo il contatto con il pubblico, quindi mi prendo cura dei miei clienti fino alle due.  Il mio pranzo e’ abbastanza tardi, quindi io inizio quando gli altri finiscono, e poi di solito il pomeriggio faccio delle commissioni per il ristorante.

FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT, CLICK HERE & look in video description

Questions – Answer in ‘comment’ section below to hear back from our teachers:

Beginner:

1) Che mestiere fa Daniela?   
2) Perche’ a Daniela piace Austin?  

Intermediate:

3) Che cosa le manca di piu’ dell’ Italia?   
4)  Che cosa ha studiato Daniela in Italia?   

The Freestyle Lifestyle

10155247_10154015941285545_2139900342511738141_n

We do language learning a little differently at Freestyle!

Our one -of-a-kind approach to second language acquisition uses technology and interactive media in a way that brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we continue to revolutionize language learning: Try a free evening class or our popular Saturday “cafe” (11am-12:30pm) at 801 Rio Grande!

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Polyglot Austin: Our Multilingual, Multicultural City!

Freestyle Language Center believes in language learning through relevant cultural context. This ‘Polyglot Austin’ blog series shares the unique cultures, stories, and experiences of the multilingual people who call our city home while providing opportunities for language practice and learning!

In this entry we feature Morena Soul, a local band that brings a variety of traditional Brazilian beats with ‘modern musicality’ and a global perspective to the local music scene. In the live music capital of the world, stroll through Downtown Austin on almost any evening and hear the rich sounds of live music, frequently in other languages, bursting from restaurants and bars.

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Go Polyglot! Practice your Portuguese and get to know Morena Soul!

morena soul

Freestyle was lucky  to have Morena Soul perform at one of our Polyglot Dance Parties! “Obrigada” to Angela Loyd for her fabulous “passista” dancing.

Watch and listen to the videos below for an interview with Sarah and Frank  as they share a bit about themselves and their music. Interact with us: test your Portuguese and answer the questions below!

Beginner Level

Q:Estamos aqui com a Sarah e com Frank que tocam no Morena Soul e a gente está muito feliz que eles estão participando de um evento no Freestyle, e a gente tem algumas perguntas para vocês. Sarah, de onde você é? /  Sarah: Eu sou do  Rio de Janeiro. Q: E você, Frank?/ Frank: Eu também sou do Rio de Janeiro, só que eu me criei em outra parte do Brasil.
Q: Em qual parte?/ F: No nordeste Brasileiro.
Q: Ah, que legal! Então tem influência carioca, e nordestina também. /F: Carioca e nordestina.  Carioca do Rio de Janeiro e nordestino do nordeste.
Q: E o que vocês fazem, em termos de trabalho?/ S: Eu trabalho na Apple. / F: Eu também trabalho na Apple.
Q: E porque vocês vieram para Austin? / S: Eu vim para Austin para fugir do frio de Nova Iorque / F: E eu vim para Austin para fugir da confusão de Miami/ S: Ele está me copiando!
Q: Já estão americanizados! E o que vocês gostam em Austin? / F: Eu gosto de tudo.  Mais eu gosto muito da cultura de Austin por ser um lugar bem diverso, e muitas etnicidades, muitos países, e gosto muito do clima também, e das pessoas.  As pessoas em Austin são mais calorosas. /S: Eu gosto do tamanho da cidade.  Eu acho que é uma cidade que não é nem muito grande e nem  muito pequena, então você tem a infra-estrutura de uma cidade grande, mas a sensação que você está morando numa cidade pequena.  E eu também gosto da parte cultural.
Q: E na parte cultural, como é que vocês se envolveram com a música? / S: Saudade do Brasil!
Q: E o que vocês mais sentem falta do Brasil, da comida?  Número um. / S: E a família.
Q: A comida e a família.  Os amigos.  Esta coisa de Austin ser mais caloroso, é mais caloroso em relação a outras cidades americanas, né? Mas o Brasil, é bem mais caloroso de qualquer cidade daqui.  As pessoas, a cultura, os amigos. / S: Os churrascos, os fins de semana.

Intermediate Level

For the intermediate interview transcription see our Youtube channel.  url

Write your answers in the comments below – our teachers will get back to you!

Beginner Questions

  1. De onde a Sarah é? E Frank?
  2. Sarah e Frank trabalham para a mesma empresa.  Qual empresa é?
  3. Por que é que eles vieram para Austin?
  4. Por que a Sarah gosta tanto de Austin?  E Frank?
  5. Eles têm saudade de quais coisas do Brasil?

Intermediate Questions

  1. Quais instrumentos Frank toca? E a Sarah?
  2. Como é o público brasileiro nos concertos?
  3. Como é o público americano nos concertos?
  4. Qual é a vantagem de tocar musica brasileira aqui nos Estados Unidos, em relação a tocar no Brasil? Qual é o desafio?

Muito obrigado to Morena Soul for letting us share their stories!  Want to see them live? Check out their events calendar for weekly showtimes!

Up next, French in Austin! Who would you like to see interviewed? Comment below with suggestions. Merci!

The Freestyle Lifestyle

Our methodology incorporates technology and interactive media in a way which brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we seek to revolutionize language learning: Try a free evening class or our popular Saturday “cafe” (11am-12:30pm) at 801 Rio Grande!

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At Freestyle, we take pride in doing things differently, just like the city we call home!

Follow our blog for more interactive language fun! Know a polyglot in Austin? Let us know who you’d like to see featured on our blog by commenting below.

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POLYGLOT AUSTIN! OUR MULTICULTURAL, MULTILINGUAL CITY

Freestyle Language Center believes in the idea of learning through relevant cultural context. Our ‘Polyglot Austin’ blog series serves as an extension of that idea as we highlight people from around the city to learn more about the cultures and languages of our community!

The Great Multicultural Tapestry of Austin

The Great Multicultural Tapestry of Austin

In this entry of our signature ‘Polyglot Austin’ series, we’ll feature two individual ‘threads’ that contribute to this great multilingual, multicultural tapestry that is Austin.

Watch and listen to the videos of two Austinites from different parts of Latin America who work in two distinct fields. Then read the video transcriptions to strengthen tu español!   Entonces, leer our questions & post your answers (in español) in our comment area; one of our teachers will get back to you. ¡Vamanos!

1) Beginner Level – Edith Rodriguez

Let’s start with Edith Rodriguez from Mexico. Edith is currently pursuing a degree in social work while interning at The Equal Justice Center.

“Mi nombre es Edith Rodríguez. Ah, llevo aquí 20 años viviendo en
Austin. Ah, nací en México, en la Ciudad de México y lo que ahorita
estoy haciendo es pues, soy estudiante, horita con mi certificado en
ah, trabajo social. Y horita estoy haciendo un internado en el Centro de Justicia e Igualdad.

En un día típico me levanto por la mañana, desayuno, ah, el desayuno
sabroso de mi madre. Ah, también, ah, me alisto para venir, para ir al
Centro de Justicia e Igualdad. Y después llego a casa, ah, busco trabajo y algunas otras, ah, cosas por el Internet y acabo un poco de leer, de estudiar y después me acuesto a dormir.

Si pudiera ah, viajar en cualquier…a cualquier lugar en el mundo..ah,
sería viajar a Italia, especialmente a la ciudad del Vaticano. Me
encantaría ir a ver todas las…la catedral y…y el Vaticano si se pudiera.
Ah, especialmente los miércoles escuchar al Papa y disfrutar de esa
cultura italiana.”

2) Intermediate Level – Joel Maysonet

Now we’ll listen to Joel Maysonet, videographer & editor from Puerto Rico.  An Austinite with a vision, Joel is the owner of ‘La Brega’, a unique business that “is about bringing together compelling storytelling and new media technology”!

“Hola, mi nombre es Joel Maysonet, soy de Puerto Rico, tengo 33 años y llevo en los Estados Unidos aproximadamente 10 años. Aquí en Austin lo que hago es…soy un editor y videógrafo para producciones de video.

De Austin lo que me gusta es…es la cultura, ¿no? Eh y a lo que me
refiero es, eh, un estilo de vida que…que quizás vas más a tono con…
con mis intereses culturales, eh, de las artes, eh, culinarios, que hay
muchos tipos de restaurantes y la vida en general. Una vida así más…
más juvenil, liberal, eh, que pues va más con…conmigo, ¿no?

Si pudiera ir a cualquier lugar del mundo habrían dos lugares que me
gustaría ir. El primer lugar sería India, India me atrae mucho la cultura, eh, la comida y pues no conozco suficiente y me parece un país tan grande. Con tantas, eh, con tanta diversidad cultural que si pudiera ir a cualquier lugar me gustaría ir allá.

El otro lugar que me gustaría ir, eh, sería a Francia que no he podido ir todavía y me gustaría ir a Francia porque mi…aparentemente mi apellido es francés y me gustaría ir para Francia para ver de dónde viene el apellido Maysonet, que no tengo la menor idea. Y pues supuestamente viene de allá y pues quisiera ver si me encuentro a algún Maysonet en la calle por allá.”

Muchas gracias a Joel and Edith for letting us share their stories! Readers, now it’s time to test yourself and answer some preguntas in the comments section! 

Preguntas sobre el video con Edith:

  1. ¿En qué ciudad nació Edith?
  2. ¿Qué hace Edith antes de acostarse?
  3. ¿Qué lugar quiere visitar Edith en Italia?

Preguntas sobre el video con Joel:

  1. ¿Qué aspectos de la cultura de Austin le gustan a Joel? ¿Estás de acuerdo con él?
  2. ¿Cuál es la razón principal por la cual Joel quiere visitar la India?
  3. ¿De los dos países que quiere visitar Joel, ¿cuál elegirías si pudieras ir mañana? ¿Por qué?

The Freestyle Lifestyle

Our methodology incorporates technology and interactive media in a way which brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we seek to revolutionize language learning: Try a free evening class or our popular Saturday “cafe” (11am-12:30pm) at 801 Rio Grande!

Austin, a new global player!

Follow our blog for more interactive language fun! Know a polyglot in Austin? Let us know who you’d like to see featured on our blog by commenting below.

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Polyglot Austin! Our multicultural, multilingual City

Showcasing our diverse city…with an abundance of language learning opportunities! 

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In a melting pot like the city of Austin, with a  variety of cultures around every corner, we are always in earshot of molte lingue . Through our blog, Freestyle Language Center reaches into the community conducting engaging interviews in Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese. This enables us to connect with a wide range of interesting polyglots, from business owners to fellow film buffs, while we embrace and learn from their native language and culture! Read on and esercitare!

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No hiding from this polyglot community!

Talking to local business owners, professors and even the average Giuseppe on the street about their everyday life in Austin provides the perfect opportunity to enhance our language learning.

The first of our interview series stars Italian Marco Silvestrini, an up-and-coming local business owner from Fabriano,  a small town in Italy in the region of Marche. Visit and Like their Facebook page to stay up to date on flavors and deals! Keeping Austin Cool!

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Marco shares his passion for gelato and brings a taste of Italy to the heart of Austin with a new gelateria called “Dolce Neve.”

Here are our beginner and intermediate videos accompanied by an Italian transcription. Watch, listen and respond to a few questions. Add your answers to our comment section and our Italian teachers will get back to you!

1. Beginner Level:

Q:  Come ti chiami?/ A: Ciao! Mi chiamo Marco Silvestrini.
Q: Di dove sei?/  A:  Sono itailano, di un paese del cento dell’Italia chiamato Fabriano.
Q: Che fai come lavoro?/ A: Sto aprendo una gelateria qui ad Austin.
Q: Qual è il tuo passatempo preferito?/ A: Mi piace fare sport. Mi piace fare passeggiate per i boschi e mi piace andare in bicicletta.
Q: Cosa ti piace di Austin? / A: Di Austin mi piace che ci sono molte attività che possono essere svolte all’aria aperta: è possibile andare a visitare i parchi, è possibile fare una corsa per Lady Bird Lake, o anche fare un giro in canoa.
Q: E del Texas, cosa ti piace? / A:  Il barbeque!
Q:  E cosa ti manca dell’Italia? / A:  A volte mi manca il cibo. E la famiglia e gli amici.
Q: Hai famiglia ad Austin? / A: Sì, mia sorella vive qui insieme a suo fidanzato.
Q:  Descrivi una giornata tipica per te/ A: Tipicamente la mattina la dedico per volgere attività lavorative: mandare email, chiamare venditori. A pranzo un buon piatto di pasta e nel pomeriggio ancora un po’ di lavoro. Poi ci vado in palestra. Poi se riesco, esco con gli amici la sera.

Domande:
1. Che lavoro fa Marco?
2. Quali sono alcuni aspetti della vita ad Austin piacciono a Marco?
3. Com’è una giornata tipica per Marco?

2. Intermediate/Advanced Level:

Q: Come ti chiami?/ A: Mi chiamo Marco Silvestrini.
Q: E di dove sei? / A: Sono italiano di un paese nel centro dell’Italia, chiamato Fabriano… famoso per la carta. Un vecchio paese medioevale.
Q: E perché sei venuto qui ad Austin?/ A: Sono venuto qui per lanciare un attività: sto aprendo una gelateria insieme a mia sorella Francesca e il suo ragazzo Leo.
Q: In Italia, dove hai studiato? / A: In Italia ho studiato a Milano presso un’università chiamata Politecnico di Milano dove mi sono laureato in ingegneria meccanica.
Q: E qui ad Austin, perché vuoi aprire… lanciare questa gelateria? (Translator’s note: I meant to say either “aprire la gelateria” or “lanciare quest’attività” but it seems I became a bit tongue-tied in the moment.) / A: Perché ritengo che Austin dal punto di vista economica sia una città che offre opportunità per crescere, le persone che vivono ad Austin sono decisamente amanti del buon cibo. Spero che piacerà anche un buon gelato italiano. Dal punto di vista personale è un posto ideale dovere vivere. Amo le persone che vivono ad Austin!
Q: Sono d’accordo… sono d’accordissimo. Quali sono gli aspetti più difficili di questo tipo di lavoro, di questo mestiere? / A: Le incertezze e il fatto che non puoi veramente pianificare le attività, che non sai mai cosa succederà nella giornata e non sai cosa succederà in un’ altra giornata. Dipendi molto da altre persone e le altre persone a volte hanno altre attività che devono condurre in parallelo. E bisogna aspettare, aspettare, aspettare.

Domande:
1. Per quale motivo si è trasferito ad Austin Marco?
2. Secondo Marco, quali sono alcuni vantaggi che una città come Austin offre a chi lancia un’attività? Sei d’accordo?

A big grazie mille to Matteo Rabatin for his contribution to the interviews and transcriptions, and to Candice Pilkinton for her assistance.

Keeping Austin Local, Weird and Multilingual.

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Our methodology at Freestyle incorporates technology and interactive media in a way which brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us and try a free class or Saturday “cafe” (11am-12:30pm)!

Know a polyglot in Austin? Let us know who you’d like to see featured on our blog by commenting below!

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Embracing Subtitles; the Road to Fluency

This is not your mother’s pair of jeans, nor your father’s Oldsmobile… this is language learning in the 21st century! It’s pop culture, y’all. It’s slang and everyday language, it’s the fun path to fluency.

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Don’t let subtitles scare you! Get over your fears and hesitations; don’t be too cool for this kind of school.

Films use language in real-life situations enabling the learner to grasp the meaning and sounds of colloquial expressions at the heart of everyday language while experiencing cultural contexts… all while entertaining!

Sit Back and Enjoy the Amusement of Subtitles!

Subtitles can uniquely create humor, adding a pure comedic touch. Take this clip from the comedy Airplane for example with two men speaking jive, obviously English… but is it? Check out the video to see what all the hoopla is about!

Subtitles are humorous! Enjoy… and embrace them!

When learning everyday jargon in a foreign language, we can’t all go about faking it like Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds! Watch as Brad Pitt is thrown off entirely by the fluency with which Christopher Waltz’s character speaks Italian; subtitles enhance the comedic effect.

To Swear or Not To Swear? No Matter, It’s Idiomatic!

To go about one’s day, one needs an understanding of common lingo, or street talk. Don’t tell your mother we told you, but swearing is a huge part of cultural context, colloquial language! Every language has modern slang that defies literal meanings. For example, non-native speakers of English wouldn’t know the flexibility of using swear words such as *hore, bi*ch and *ss without watching films such as this American high school parody, Mean Girls in their native language subtitles.

Embrace, even if you choose not to personally swear like a (bilingual) pirate!

Similarly, we see the French word putain used everywhere, rarely in a literal context.  But we would not know that without seeing how it’s used in everyday language, ie… scenes in films! With film, we grab the cultural meaning behind the language. Watch this clip of Jean Dujardin accepting his Oscar for Best Actor. Did you catch that slip at the end? “Ouah, putain, genial, merci, formidable, merci beaucoup, I love you!”

French films teach us quickly that putain, a high-frequency swear word (but harmless, really) appears just about anywhere in most French sentences.

Global Speak; It’s all Relative

We, as Americans specifically, need to get over our fear of subtitles. People use them all around the world for varying purposes.

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Subtitles carry the potential to be an international game-changer in poverty, status and education.

Millions of people in countries around the world embrace subtitles with no hesitation as a means to improving their everyday life. See this NY Times article on how learners use subtitling to further their education and career and to make global connections.

Even in the realm of entertainment, the entire world seeks to connect to Hollywood and Bollywood films and they do so with subtitles in their native language!

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Let’s eradicate the misconceptions we tend to have while dealing with subtitles in film; they’re useful and globally accepted!

The Science, The Backbone Behind It

Acquiring language through a medium such as film is not only fun and entertaining, but multiple studies have shown it’s a driving force for second language and culture acquisition.

As renowned linguist and second-language acquisition expert Stephen Krashen once said “language needs to be fun!” Language acquisition works best when the input is interesting and compelling to us, so much so that we forget we are immersing ourselves in another language!

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“The best methods are therefore those that supply ‘comprehensible input’ in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear.” -Krashen.

Rod Ellis, a leading theorist in 2nd language acquisition, elaborates:  “Successful instructed language learning requires extensive 2nd language input…where 2nd language needs to become the medium as well as object.” Film is the medium, and an entertaining one at that! SO, pull yourself out of the humdrum routine of hours with flashcards and intensive studying. Although these methods help in retaining information, the delight and entertainment of film best supplements them.

Plenty of science revolves around it, but the ultimate goal is to have fun while you’re learning; your brain will do all the work! While watching foreign film, in the midst of having fun, you increase your metalinguistic awareness, unbeknownst to you. Qu’est-ce que c’est  metalinguistic awareness? It’s simply the ability to think of and be aware of language in relation to its cultural context, that language has specific functions and rules. Furthermore, multiple viewings of a foreign film also increase awareness of important paralinguistic elements: body language, gestures, facial expressions, loudness, tempo….all features highly important to communication in another language.

One of the most renown (and local!) language specialists, Dr. Garza, Director of the Texas Language Center of the University of Texas, provides an important pedagogical framework for the use of video and film in the classroom. See Dr. Garza as he explains how video and film, as authentic texts, contain the possibility to develop language learners into “active learners”. He states that the application of technology such as video, film, internet, etc. may hold the key for language learners to go from competence to proficiency, i.e. to make great strides along the road to fluency!

The Freestyle Way

Freestyle’s unique methodology incorporates foreign film in our curriculum in a step-by-step process that allows significant realization of linguistic and cultural meaning. We study relevant vocabulary themes and intermediate to advanced grammars entirely in the context of a specific, chosen film; here’s a quick break down of our process:

1. Watch the film in target language with English subtitles; this provides semantics (meaning)

2. Work thoroughly through target language subtitles and/or transcribed dialogue of film over the session; this provides lexical and syntactic information (vocabulary and word order)

3. Watch the film in segments with no subtitles;  this provides phonetics (sound/pronunciation/listening)

4. Witness a significant boost in listening, comprehension and speaking ability!

Additionally, Freestyle is proud to incorporate Austin’s own ITAL in our classes! Transmedia specialist Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, in collaboration with Austin-Based Filmmaker Romina Olson and UT Award-Winning Italian instructor Antonella Del Fattore-Olson, created ITAL, a digital channel that blends entertainment and education to teach Italian language and culture. The entertaining ITAL videos are intended to expand students’ knowledge of contemporary Italian culture while helping them to increase their vocabulary and oral competency. As you can see in the video that follows, part of ITAL’s instructional component is reflected in the use of subtitles – sometimes in English, others in Italian – to emphasize how new vocabulary is used in everyday conversation.

HINT: This fall, intermediate Spanish students will be studying Spanish through Volver, intermediate French through the romantic comedy Heartbreakers, Portuguese through the comedy The Man Who Copied, Italian through the dramedy The Last Kiss!  Come visit a class for FREE.

Additional Tip! 

Try practicing with subtitles by choosing a tv show/film you enjoy watching in your native language with your target language subtitles. For example, the American hit romantic comedy, Two Weeks Notice (Sandra Bullock / Hugh Grant), like many U.S. shows and films, offers both French and Spanish subtitles.

We hope you see the many varied reasons to embrace and enjoy subtitles so that your road to fluency will be smoother and more enjoyable.

Happy Trails on Your Journey to Fluency

Accepting subtitles in foreign film will allow you to grasp a whole new realm of knowledge  that would otherwise only be receivable via physical interaction in the actual country.
Seize the power of film to help you obtain the gift of gab in your target language and join us at Freestyle to further develop your language learning in a relevant, fun and social context!

The idea that language learning is rote and boring is defunct in the 21st century!

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Lights, Camera… Language!

Arts & Entertainments and Film: Our last installment of the Summer “Games” continues with a multicultural and multilingual look at cinema around the world. Take a sneak peak! Freestyle’s methodology embraces film and subtitles to widen and deepen everyday/colloquial language.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Challenge yourself with a few of these videos and clips, test your comprehension. Want more?! See our teacher’s “Favorite Films”.

Spanish: “Eat, Love, Learn”

Our Spanish students watched the Mexican film Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water For Chocolate), a masterpiece filled with memories of the old Mexico and the magical realism, or lo real maravilloso, that is so prevalent in Spanish novels and films. After reading the following summary, you’ll see a list of preguntas used to guide our discussions after watching the film. These activities improve both auditory and oral skills as well as critical thinking in a second (or third or forth!) language!

Esta película está basada en una novela del mismo título escrita por Laura Esquivel. La autora adaptó su obra para el cine y en 1992 Alfonso Arau realizó su producción. Los personajes principales son Tita (Lumi Cavazos), Pedro (Marco Leonardi) y Mamá Elena (Regina Torné). La historia ocurre en México a finales del siglo diecinueve y los primeros años del siglo veinte. 

Preguntas:  

1. ¿Quiénes son los personajes principales?  

2. ¿Qué temas explora la película?

3. ¿Qué representa la cocina?

From a sensual Mexican film, we moved into the broader territory of Latin American films. Do you know the difference between Latin American cinema and Latino cinema? Listen to Cine Las America’s director Eugenio del Bosque explain en español. Transcription below.

Bueno y aquí se pone un poquito más complicado. Esto que les voy a hablar es un poco la diferencia entre el Cine Latinoamericano y el Cine Latino que es el que se hace acá en los Estados Unidos. Por lo general el cine Latino que se hace en los Estados Unidos, y luego está esta parte en inglés. Yo creo que lo más obvio que podemos decir del Cine Latino es Robert Rodríguez, que todos lo conocemos en Austin.  Que no ha hecho más que yo creo que una película en español. Eh, ¿El mariachi está en español, verdad?

Looking for more? Teacher’s Favorite Film:

1. Todo Sobre Mi Madre, 1999: A Spanish-French comedy and drama that deals with complex issues such as AIDS, faith and existentialism.

French: “Voyage à une culture exquise”

Voyagez with us and découvrez what our French classes explored in the literary and cinematic world of La France. Activities included reading and interpreting les poèmes de Baudelaire, learning poetry terms — le thème, la rime, le ton, etc.– after which they wrote their own collaborative poems en français using the entertaining game of Cadavre Exquis

Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

À une passante

La rue assourdissante autour de moi hurlait.
Longue, mince, en grand deuil, douleur majestueuse,
Une femme passa, d’une main fastueuse
Soulevant, balançant le feston et l’ourlet

Poem Continued…

From Baudelaire to Omar Sy, these two greats really are intouchables! Lisez un resumé du film:

La relation entre deux hommes issus de milieux différents : l’un, d’origine sénégalaise, vivant en banlieue parisienne, qui vient de purger une peine de six mois de prison et l’autre, riche tétraplégique, qui a engagé le premier venu comme auxiliaire de vie bien qu’il n’ait aucune formation particulière…

Your second mission, should you choose to accept it…

Regardez la bande-annonce (watch the trailer) of this award-winning French film, then fill in the blanks of the first few lines. Au courage! 

Je viens chercher _________________ par rapport aux…  _____________ ! …Assedic.

·  Comment vous vivez l’idée d’__________________? Ça ne vous gêne pas de _____________ sur le dos des autres ?

·  Ça va, merci, et vous ?

·  Vous pensez que vous serez quand même capable de _________________?

·  Vous en avez de______________ ! – J’en ai tellement que je suis prêt à vous ________________________ pendant un mois ! Je parie que vous ne tiendrez pas ________________________!

·  C’est un truc de ___________ ça ! – Non, mais, vous avez fini de jouer, là ?

·  Et, mais en fait, vous __________________________ là ?

Teacher’s Favorite Films:

1. C.R.A.Z.Y., 2005: A recent work from our French speaking neighbors of Quebec

2. La Grande Vadrouille, 1966: A timeless French classic featuring the great comic actor Louis de Funes

3. La Haine, 1995: A black and white, suspense-filled drama has become a cult classic in France and around the world

Portuguese: “Viajar e descobrir com o filme”

Central Station, a touching drama in Portuguese, takes the viewer around Brasil, offering a rich view of culture as well as language. After watching the following trailer, you’ll see a list of perguntas used to guide our discussions after watching the film.

1. Dá um pequeno summário do enredo do filme.

2. Dá 3 adjetivos para descrever cada personagem.

3. Quem são os personagens principais?

Teacher’s Favorite Film:

1. Bossa Nova, 2000: A romantic comedy about several interwoven love stories taking place in Rio de Janeiro

Italian: “Eat, Love, Watch “

UT educator Antonella Del Fattore-Olson and two Austin-based filmmakers Romina Olson and Sergio Carvajal created ITAL, a digital channel that blends entertainment and education to teach Italian language and culture.  The entertaining ITAL videos are intended to increase students’ vocabulary and oral competency in a fun relevant way, which is why Freestyle will be adapting them as excellent teaching tools!

As you can see in the video that follows, part of ITAL’s instructional component is reflected in the use of subtitles – sometimes in English, others in Italian – to emphasize how new vocabulary is used in everyday conversation.

Teacher’s Favorite Movie:

1. La Vita e Bella, 1997: A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humour, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.

That’s a wrap!

The Summer “Games” Series may be over but continue to follow us for yet another exciting blog installment. Love the idea of foreign films but feeling intimidated by subtitles? Stay tuned for our next series, “Embracing Subtitles”!

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