Italian Movies

Shun Li and the Poet – Io Sono Li

The film tells the story of friendship between a Chinese immigrant (Zhao Tao) and an old fisherman from the former Yugoslavia (Rade Sherbedgia). When the friendship between them begins to grow, rumors start to cross the small Italian town, affecting the friendship between the two. Note: A half of the movie is in Mandarin.

The Great Beauty – La Grande Bellezza

Oscar winner for best foreign language film, “The Great Beauty” shows the decadent writer Jap Gambardella (Toni Servillo) reflecting on his life when he reaches age 65. Jep wrote only one book, called “The Human Machine” and he lives from its success to the present day, attending high society parties.

Malena

Malena (Monica Bellucci) is a coveted woman in her city, whose husband died in the war. All her steps are followed by the boy Renato Amoroso (Giuseppe Sulfaro) who secretly nurtures a passion for Malena.

We Can Do That – Si Può Fare

Nello (Claudio Bisio) is an idealistic union leader who is put away from his work and nominated for the position of manager in a cooperative of mental patients who were released from Italy’s psychiatric hospitals by the Law Basaglia. There he discovers that the members of the cooperative are more capable than they seem. Soon, they abandon the assistencialist work and begin to work with carpentry, where the limitations and talents of each are shown.

Trailer in Italian

Me and You – Io e Te

Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) is a lonely 14-year-old boy who instead of going on a school trip to ski, use the money to sustain himself while spending his vacation in the basement of his building. However, his half-sister Olivia (Tea Falco) discovers him when trying to fetch old belongings and blackmails him to stay there, while trying to solve her problems with drugs.

Why to learn English?

As the majority of Brazilian children, I had to study English in school and I hated. So, I left high school knowing only basic greetings like “What’s your name?”, and names of some animals, professions and colors. Nothing that really helped me to speak the language. But something amazing happened one year later; my English level had jumped and I was among intermediate and advanced level, as I write in this post.

Only after I understood English I started to like the language, and my reasons are the below:

1. Talk to people around the world

English is the de facto the world lingua franca. Like it or not, almost the world speaks English. You may be in Germany, India, Thailand or the United States, and unless you speak the local language you will communicate in English. Especially in tourist cities, even the simplest people have a basic knowledge of the language and speaking English can help you when you visit a temple, get a taxi, go to the airport or hotel. Still, you can make friends with others tourists in a hostel and in an excursion or you can get to know a friendly local who takes you to sightseeing.

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Dutch movies

Come As You Are – Hasta la Vista

The film is about the adventures of three friends: Philip (Robrecht Vanden Thoren) is quadriplegic, Lars (Gilles De Schrijver) is paraplegic and Jozef (Tom Audenaert) is blind. They want to go to a brothel in Spain to lose their virginity.

Lena

Lena (Emma Levie) is a chubby and depressed teenager. One day, by chance, she meets Daan (Niels Gomperts) that different from other guys treat her well and truly like her. Facing problems at home, Lena moves in with Daan and his father Tom (Jeroen Willems). However, Tom begins to feel an affection that is more than paternal by Lena.

Dusk – Schemer

The film tells the story of six friends. Jessie (Gaite Jansen) is one of them and always causes disagreements within the group. So, her friends led by Caesar (Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen) decide to kill her. The film is based on real events.

Boys – Jongens

Sieger (Gijs Blom) and his friend, Stef (Stijn Taverne), are chosen to join the relay race school team. They join two other boys, Marc (Ko Zandvliet) and Tom (Myron Wouts). A friendship grows between the four, but especially between Marc and Sieger. Gradually Sieger realizes he is attracted to Marc, but tries to suppress his feelings.

Borgman

Borgman is a horror/thriller movie that depicts the changes within a bourgeois family, when a strange beggar knocks the door asking to taking a bath. Since then, strange events begin to occur and disrupt this family.

German movies

In celebration for World Cup 2014 championship: German movies

Good Bye, Lenin! – Good Bye, Lenin!

Shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Alexander (Daniel Brühl) is participating in a protest against the government. His mother Mrs. Kerner (Katrin Sab), faithful follower of the party, tries to take her son of the protest and ends up having a heart attack that leaves her in a coma. She awakens after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when East Germany is facing great changes. Alexander, afraid that his mother could have some other health problem, makes a Herculean effort to hide from her the events.

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Review of FSI French courses

The courses were created by the Foreign Service Institute and were intended for diplomats. The courses are old, but well structured. Courses in some languages are available on this site. There is not problem in downloading because the contents are in the public domain.

How the FSI courses work?

In the first part is presented a dialogue that must be memorized. The dialogues usually contain vocabulary that will be used in the chapter and grammatical points.

The second part is the course longest and contains many exercises with repetition.

The third part of the chapter has some tests, usually a translation of written phrases. Continue reading

Multilingual Movies – Part 2

“Plurality of languages: […] It is crucial 1. that there are many languages and that they differ not only in vocabulary, but also in grammar, and so in mode of thought and 2. that all languages are learnable.”

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt

Languages: English, German, Hebrew, French and Latin

The film tells a part of the biography of the famous Jewish philosopher of German origin Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa). Established in the United States, she is already a respected intellectual when she offers to the New Yorker magazine to cover the trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann. She follows the trial in Israel and then publish five articles in the New Yorker. However, by putting the articles that there was collaboration of Jews in Nazi logistics, Arendt is heavily criticized, especially by the Jewish community.

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Book Review: “Fluent in 3 months” by Benny Lewis

Probably the most famous and controversial blogger on language learning is the Irish Benny Lewis (fluentin3months.com). The blog author has spent the last 11 years traveling the world and learning languages. Today, he speaks over ten languages with varying degrees of fluency. As millions of students around the world, Benny studied languages at school (Irish and German), but did not learn to speak them. When he was 21, he went to Spain to learn the language, but after 6 months he still could not communicate. After meeting a multilingual Brazilian, he changed his way of learning languages. Based on his experiences he wrote the book.

Fluent in 3 months livro

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

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