The Andalusian “seseo and ceceo”

I’m going to speak about these phenomena of the Spanish language in Andalucía.

The seseo: is produced when a person pronounces the sound /Θ/ as /s/. This phenomenon is typical in cities or towns like:

  • Sevilla city and the north of Sevilla
  • Cádiz city
  • In most of Córdoba
  • In Jaén and towns near to Córdoba
  • In the west of Granada

The ceceo: is produced when a person pronounces the sound /s/ like /Θ/. This phenomenon is typical in cities or towns like:

  • Most of Cádiz except Cádiz city
  • In certain parts of Málaga, especially in the parts of the mountain or inland
  • In the south of Huelva, Sevilla and Granada

As you know the ceceo is less common than the seseo and therefore less accepted. This is why I wanted to write this post, because some people think that this way of speaking is related to people without culture or something like that. And this is not true, because there are people who have studied and they are teachers, lawyers, doctors… They know how to write the words but this is their way to pronounce them. They have been talking all his/her life with this accent as do their friends and family. It would be weird to change this way of speaking.

Another different thing would be that a person moved to another city and after a few years spoke with the accent of that place.

I hope to explain this well -more or less- because I’m a pre-intermediate (Básico 2) English student.


Designing Exams: Dedicated to María Zambrano

This exercise was designed at EOI Fuengirola for the June 2015 final  Básico 1 exam (Elementary) – Part 1: Reading Test. It is dedicated to a Spanish woman philosopher (cross-curricular topic – Coeducación: Desarrollando inteligencia feminista)

You can download here the 2 pdf pages with the exercise & the key or do it online…

Reading Comprehension. Task 1. Questions on a text

Read the text quickly, just to get a general idea (skimming). Next read the questions and underline words that help. After that, read the text carefully (scanning) and choose the best answer. Finally, go through your answers.

mariazambranoMARÍA ZAMBRANO
(From & wikipedia)

María Zambrano Alarcón (22 April 1904, Vélez-Málaga – 6 February 1991, Madrid) was a Spanish essayist and philosopher associated with the Generation of ’36 movement.

In 1907 her family moved to Jaén and then Segovia. Later María Zambrano moved to Madrid to study Philosophy at university. One of her teachers was the essayist and philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. She was politically active during these years.

In 1936 she became a teacher of Metaphysics at Madrid University and she married Alfonso Rodriguez Aldave, who worked at the Spanish Embassy in Santiago, Chile. At the end of the Civil War, she had to go into exile for her own security. She found a job as a professor at the University of Morelea in Mexico. After living in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Italy, France and Switzerland, Zambrano finally returned to Madrid, Spain in 1984.

Highly respected by artists and intellectuals, among her friends were writers Rafael Alberti, Miguel Hernández, Jorge Guillén, Pedro Salinas, José Bergamín, Luis Cernuda, and painter Maruja Mallo. Miguel Hernández and María Zambrano went for walks to the Manzanares river in Madrid, to talk about life and love.

Among her books, you can find, Filosofia y poesía (Philosophy and Poetry) (1940), La agonía de Europa (The Agony of Europe) (1945), Persona y democracia (Person and Democracy) (1959), Claros del bosque (1977), or Delirio y destino (written in 1953; published in 1989), translated by Delirium and Destiny: A Spaniard in Her Twenties and published in 1999.

A slow process of recognition of her work started in Spain in 1966 when J. L. Aranguren wrote his article “Los sueños de María Zambrano” (María Zambrano’s Dreams) and got it published in a very important cultural and scientific magazine, Revista de Occidente, founded by Ortega y Gasset. In 1981 she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities in its first edition, and in 1983 Malaga University named her Doctor honoris causa. In 1988 she became the first woman to be awarded the Miguel de Cervantes Prize. María querida (Dearest Maria), a film directed by José Luis García Sánchez in 2004, is about her life. In December 2007, when the Málaga-Madrid high speed railway line was opened, the railway company RENFE renamed Málaga Railway Station “María Zambrano”.

Choose the best answer, according to the text.

  1. When was María Zambrano’s birthday?
  • Her birthday was on the 22nd of April
  • Her birthday was on the 22nd of April, 1904
  • Her birthday was in 22 April
  1. In this biography, what information do we get about Zambrano’s marital status?
  • She was single
  • She was married
  • It doesn’t say
  1. Why did she travel abroad? (according to the text)
  • Because she was an adventurer
  • Because she loved travelling
  • Because she went into exile
  1. What did María Zambrano do (for a living)?
  • She didn’t need to work
  • She was a teacher
  • She was a writer
  1. In which award was she the first woman?
  • “Los sueños de María Zambrano” (María Zambrano’s Dreams)
  • The Prince of Asturias Award
  • The Miguel de Cervantes Prize

Why do Spanish people have “tapas”?

Spanish people have “tapas” out of a belief that drinking alcohol without having something to eat is not a good idea. Tapas relate to having drinks and chatting.

Tapas go from a saucer of olives or chips to the most elaborate mini-meals! And they are free. It’s a kindness by the owners of the establishment.

Tapeo means going out for drinks and tapas, and also having tapas instead of a regular meal.

In Autumn, in Fuengirola, bars and restaurants celebrate the Erotic Tapa Tour. For two euros you can get a beer and a tapa. This is fun, delicious and helps locals get by after the summer season.

More reading, in Spanish:

More questions on being loud (Protest)

Aren’t people in Britain loud when they get together? We all know about how loud people in British pubs are — whether we’ve been to Britain or to a British pub in Spain. Many are also loud when they are on holidays abroad. Locals know a lot about this.

So what’s the problem when local people are loud in bars in Spain? Perhaps it’s rare (not very frequent), because locals are mostly not having drinks with friends, but working, in places where tourism is the source of income. Could it be because they laugh more or louder?

Why do business people exert such tolerance when foreigners are loud and feel free to mimick foreigners’ disgust when locals are loud? The answer is rather sad.

Beyond stereotypes, it seems that groups of friends are loud in many different cultures.

It’s OK one does not like loud people, but it’s not OK to notice other people are loud when you do the same thing.

About the problems of not learning the language of the country where you live

Dear teachers and students,

Today some of us met to celebrate a New House gathering (the first gathering in two years in our hosts’ house), and some foreign residents started shouting at midnight sharp: “Be quiet, please!! We want to sleep!!”. I’d like to communicate some ideas that might help foreign residents who exhibit a lack of knowledge of the culture here think twice before behaving so rudely.

Cultural tips for foreigners living in Costa del Sol

Foreigners living in Costa del Sol seem to have devoted little time to their education, which shows in their lack of appreciation and interest in the culture of the country they live in.

When a Spanish neighbor has guests, and they are celebrating something, and you want them to be silent, don’t be rude and shout you please want to sleep, particularly if your neighbor doesn’t usually have guests. What Spanish people do, to avoid being rude to their neighbours’ guests, is call the hosts and tell them about the problem you have (not being able to sleep because they are having a party). The hosts reply might be: “Sorry for the noise, but we’ve organized this for Saturday night, and we’re celebrating something important, so please, be patient”. Or “OK, sorry. We’ll make less noise.” When the reason for wanting to sleep is an important exam, or a pressing situation, the hosts will probably say, “OK, sorry, we’ll tell people to leave now”. It would be a conversation, communicating – not You informing them and they doing what you want them to do.

Making your neighbors’ guests feel unwelcome is one of the rudest things you can do. It’s aggressive. So the approach is not about Your Rights. The approach is about tolerance, being good neighbors and learning to live together.

Mediterranean cultures are different to cultures in colder countries, and people from colder countries need to learn a bit about the culture of the country where they live, when it’s different to theirs – because the world can be seen and explained in many different ways, as cultural diversity in this planet shows.

So when people live abroad, learning the language is recommended because it helps to learn about the culture, and talk to and respect or even appreciate local people.

Let’s hope this posts helps foreign residents learn something that might help them consider that perhaps their alarm about Spaniards when Spaniards don’t behave like foreigners might just be a misperception due to their ignorance of what is happening and how to intervene in a civilized manner, culturally respectful, and not their idea that it’s Spanish people who are uncivilized and need foreigners’ reprimands.


I took these photos few months ago by the beach in Fuengirola and I wanted to share them with you all because I think it’s awesome, right?

These artists often make these things with sand, some water and these tools as you can see in the first photo.


Hope you like them!

La Feria de los Pueblos (The Peoples Fair)

feriapueblosJessica, an Elementary student in 1ºB (2015-16), brought to class a brochure about La Feria de los Pueblos, which started at the end of this week and will finish at the beginning of next week. At the Fair Grounds, people can visit stands where different countries offer information about their culture and lifestyles.

The brochure is in Spanish and English, which is awesome/lovely!  Thanks, Jessica! Now Básicos have an example of how to design a brochure!

Feria de los Pueblos 2016
Feria de los Pueblos 2016
Directions: Can you see the yellow bit close to the Harbo(u)r? Well, those are the Fair Grounds.

For more info,
check out the website
for this event at

Celebrating Book Day: Federico García Lorca

lorcaWhen Lorca was murdered by Franquist officials, they burned/burnt his books. They wanted to wipe out any trace of Lorca’s existence. Like many other Spanish people, his body has not been found and is probably in a mass grave.

Audio. MF (teacher) reads out a bio on Lorca at, a US American Poetry website, and makes a couple of brief comments. Listen here:

Articles. Here is a recent article published in British The Guardian newspaper. And another article

Website. Casa-Museo de Lorca. Museum-House


We couldn’t find a video where Lorca’s poems are read with an Andalusian accent. 😦 Please, let us know if you do!

Fuengirola, by Mari Carmen (NB1 C)

Mari Carmen, a Básico 1 student (NB1, 2015-16), wrote this wonderful article about Fuengirola to include an example of an informative article in her Writing File (April 2016). She also took Useful Language from a textbook article on Dublin we read in class and from her course monologues.

The beach and the promenade
The beach and the promenade

Fuengirola, by Mari Carmen (NB1 C, April 2016)

Fuengirola is a town in the south of Spain. The weather in Fuengirola is really good. It’s nice and sunny most of the year. It’s doesn’t rain much. The air is a little wet. This is good for you skin.

Nougat (turrón) ice-cream

In the summer, there are a lot of people, because of the sea and the weather. The sea is amazing! You can sunbathe, go for a swim and go for a walk on the beach. You can have a drink in a beach bar. If you are here in this season, you must have an ice cream in Tita Fina. They’re delicious.

Castillo de Sohail (Fuengirola)

If you come here with children, you must visit Fantasia Park and Poniente Park. You can also visit Bioparc. It’s Fuengirola’s zoo. You can also go to Fuengirola’s castle. From the top of the tower of the castle you can see all the coast. The views are fantastic!

mercadilloecologicoIf you like shopping in street markets, here, there are a lot. On Tuesdays and Saturdays there are street markets in the Recinto Ferial (Fair Grounds). Every second Sunday there is an ecology street market in front of Carrefour (Las Lagunas).

There are a lot of things to enjoy in Fuengirola.

How can you not be happy and friendly with all that?

Eponyms in Spanish, by Victoria (NB1 B)

Victoria, a Básico 1 (Elementary) student, learned/learnt about eponyms this year, while reading her Course Audiobook (two pages, don’t be chickens!), and decided to find eponyms in Spanish. Here is the work she sent for publication! Thanks, Victoria! Hope you all enjoy it!

Eponyms in Spanish, by Victoria (NB1 B, 2015-16)

I’m going to tell you about four eponyms in Spanish.

augustusAGOSTO (August): AUGUSTUS was the nickname of Emperor Octavian. “Octavo” means ‘8th’, so the month August was given his name because it was the eighth month of the year, AGOSTO.

judasJUDAS (JUDAS ISCARIOTE): JUDAS was one of the 12 apostles. Judas betrayed Jesus. And now his name is used with the meaning of “Man traitor”. Don’t be a “Judas”!

cordobaCÓRDOBA (moneda = currency): Francisco Hernández de CORDOBA was the founder of Nicaragua and now the Nicaraguan currency, córdoba, is named in his memory.

macedoniaMACEDONIA: MACEDONIA was a historical region in Greece, where there were mixtures of cultures, religions, people… And now it means a mixture, in this case, fruit salad!!, MACEDONIA DE FRUTAS.

That’s all! Thanks for reading!


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