4/20/2007

The Growth of Spanish Social Networking Websites

Laura Wides-Munoz of the US Herald Tribune has written an article about the explosion in Spanish language social networking websites.

Social networking websites (such as YouTube and MySpace) are communities or networks of websites that link or network together and have been lauded for some time now as the "next big thing" in terms of the way the Internet is set to evolve.

According to the Herald-Tribune around 67% of American 18-27 year olds Internet users are Hispanic. This particular age demographic is appernetly the group that is most likely to visit and use social networking websites.

Consequently dozens of Hispanic social network websites are being created daily: more established ones are ElHood.com, Quepasa.com and Vostu.com. The impact of this now is that these Hispanic American social networks are beginning to reach out and link up with social network websites in Spain.

You can read the ful article here: Spanish-Language Social Networking Sites are Flourishing

4/09/2007

Spanish Parliament Grants Universities More Autonomy

Salamanca UniversityLast month Spanish Parliament amended the Ley Orgánica de las Universidades de 2001 (the Organic Law of Universities 2001), which ultimately means that Spanish universities will have greater control over the selection of lecturers to fill roles.

The original Ley Orgánica de las Universidades de 2001 demanded that applicants for tenured posts had to pass a nationally controlled examination in their specific subject area before a given role could be offered. Also these accreditations were only given according to the number of university teaching positions available.

Now universities themselves can give permanent teaching roles to any teacher who has been accredited by new nationally recognised commissions made up of university professors. Also the number of positions available is no longer a consideration: accreditation is based upon a prospective candidate’s C.V. and not the number of permanent posts that need to be filled.

Some critics of this change in law believe that this will create an environment of academic nepotism or “inbreeding”: a practice that has blighted the Spanish university system for some time.

3/23/2007

Spanish Verbs

There has been an enormous amount of interest in Spanish verbs on the Spanish Talk website. Consequently I am going to completely revamp the Spanish Verbs pages. This will include additional Spanish verb tense descriptions and how to conjugate the verbs themselves. This will be a huge undertaking and so it may take me some time. I will be adding pages as and when I can rather than in one huge burst.

In the meantime, check out the existing pages about Spanish verbs.

3/16/2007

Spanish Newspapers

Spanish Newspapers

I have composed a list of Spanish newspapers with links to their online presence: there is a mix of national and regional Spanish newspapers.

The list should help you to keep up with news from Spain. In Spanish!


This post has given me an idea of perhaps a new area to include on the Spanish Talk website. I'll start to work on series of pages about Spanish newspapers... when I get a spare moment. ;)

3/05/2007

The Importance of Spanish Verbs

The importance of Spanish verbs cannot be overestimated. There are several good reasons for this:

  1. “Verbs are 75% of language”
  2. Each sentence requires the use of at least one... but often more of them
  3. Verbs can be converted into adjectives and also used as nouns.

Spanish verbs are problematic for English speakers as the Spanish verb system (unlike English) is highly inflected. Inflection is the changing of a word in order to change either its meaning or its relationship to another word or groups of words.

To give and example of inflection we can compare an English verb conjugation with a Spanish one:

I speak
You speak
She speaks
We speak
They speak

In English the verb to speak is only inflected in the third person singular form (she speaks). All other conjugations retain the ending of the infinitive: an infinitive verb is the verb in its “to” state (i.e. to speak, to run, to sleep). So we have I speak, you speak, she speaks, we speak and they speak.

In Spanish the verb is inflected according to the subject (i.e. the person who is carrying out the verb). So to use the verb to speak (hablar) as an example:

Hablo (I speak)
Hablas (You speak)
Habla (She speaks)
Hablamos (We speak)
Hablan (They speak)

The verb ending changes in each person! Confused? Well, I sympathise because it is tricky to get your head around.

The Spanish system of verb inflection offers Spanish speakers many advantages. For example, it allows far more flexibility with word order than English permits. It also allows the Spanish speaker to avoid having to use verbs and adverbs to help understanding of the sentence, as well as virtually eliminating the need for pronouns. The downside is that we English speakers have to memorise the inflected verb endings for each subject.

You can find a more detailed overview of Spanish verbs at the following links:

Spanish Verbs
Regular Spanish Verbs
Irregular Spanish Verbs

2/14/2007

General Franco - Part III

General Francisco Franco
I have just posted the third article about General Franco. This article focusses on the period of Franco's dictatorship and is the conclusion of my potted biography of Franco.

As a footnote, Franco's impact on Spain to this day cannot be ignored: it will probably be many more decades before Spain is fully free of his mark.

2/09/2007

Spanish Talk Sitemap Update

Spanish Talk has a new sitemap.

Website maintenance is hard work! It has taken around 2 hours to get the Spanish Talk sitemap up to scratch... but now it's done. Time for bed.

Hasta pronto.

Franko

Spanish Talk sitemap