Nice facts! Let’s get positive!

In the busy world that we live in today, it can be very easy to get bogged down with the day to day, and to forget the positives not just going on in our own lives, but of the world around us. This week, we decided to recognise some of the little victories for SPEAK and the world. We hope they put a smile on your face!

10 Top Tips to Learn a New Language

The decision to learn a new language is normally quite an easy decision. Whether you want to be able to chat with the locals on holiday, find the closest good supermarket, or request a tax number when arriving in a new country, making the decision to learn is the easy part. The difficult part comes when you start to learn. Who knew it would be this difficult to speak German? Why does Portuguese have so many different tenses? How do I use the subjunctive in French?
Well, we are here to help! Since lots of the SPEAK courses have just began, and we have more starting in the next few weeks, we have come up with 10 tips on how to make your learning experience a bit smoother

Belém, the District of Discovery

It is clear from the moment a person sets foot in Lisbon that it is a beautifully aged city, with it’s narrow, limestone paved streets, picturesque squares and impressive monuments. Just take a walk through the centre of the city, and you will feel just like a modern day Dorothy discovering the world of Oz, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”.

The city of Belém, a short 15 minute train ride away from central Lisbon, is no exception. This district is famous for it’s remarkable monuments and rich history. It is popular with tourists from all over the globe who flock here to visit the abundance of museums and to try the famed Pastel de Belém, but also with Lisbon’s own, many of whom would name Belém as their favourite place to visit in the city.

SPEAK @ Leiria

Leiria is a special city, because it is where SPEAK took its first steps! SPEAK was born in Leiria in September 2012. It started as a Language Exchange program, but today, four years later and having gone to six other cities and looking forward to the launch of SPEAK in Italy, it is a global community, where diversity, equality and the democratisation of the language learning are promoted.

SPEAK @ Cascais

Just 30 kilometers on the west from the marvelous capital of Portugal – Lisbon there is a small town called Cascais. It used to be a fishermen village and also a place where Kings and Queens chose to spend their summers. Full of restaurants, bars, nice walks by the sea and of course – the best view of Atlantic ocean’s sunset. As almost all the other cities in Portugal, Cascais

Narmin experience @ SPEAK

It was less than a month left to finish my spring semester at University and I was about to give up on summer internship or to choose a place which I didn’t want to go. I applied to many places for Erasmus internship, but some of them I didn’t get a reply, for others I had a visa problem, and some of them I just didn’t like the tasks.

I remember that day, I opened erasmusintern website to check for the last time if there was any new vacancies, and I came across SPEAK. It looked like jackpot, everything I wanted was in one place: startup, web developing and Portugal.

Fado, a big part of Portuguese culture

Saudade. This one colourful word, a mixture of melancholy, nostalgy, longing and sadness is paired with fado, the genre of music specific for Portugal, always sang by one person, accompanied by two guitars. The lyrics are full of love, longing, fate, the entire game of feelings and emotions. Some people call it the “Portuguese blues”, and I think that is a fair comparison. The word fado itself translates to “fate” but Portuguese rarely use it in this context, leaving it rather for songs lyrics.

Lisbon – the city of the seven hills

I have been living in Lisbon only for 9 months, but I could definately say that it has caught me with its charming and fascinating streets, monuments, positive and smiling people, and of course the greatest cuisine.

Lisbon isn’t the flatiest city in Europe. As legend says, Lisbon was edified over seven hills:

– São Jorge: Where the São Jorge castle is standing.
– São Vicente : Where the São Vincente de Fora Monastery and the Alfama area stands.
– Sant’Ana: Between Martim Moniz square and the Rua Portas de Santo Antão, where the São José Hospital stands.
– Santo André : Largo/ Miradouro da Graça is the top of this hill.
– Chagas: At Largo do Carmo
– Santa Catarina: Around Largo Camões, Bairro Alto
– São Roque: Around Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Bairro Alto…..