Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tökfesztivál in Rácalmás

Whether we call it Marrow, Squash or Pumpkin Festival in English, it is still the biggest event of Rácalmás in autumn. Rácalmás is a little town on the bank of the Danube, located 65 kms south from the capital city, Budapest.

This year the festival takes place from 30th September to 2nd October in Jankovich Kúria (Mansion). Apart from the handicraft market, the program includes a lot of interesting concerts and performances.

You can see the detailed program here:  Tökfesztivál program

Do you know the English names of the different cucurbita species?

Marrow (British English)

 Pattypan squash

Courgette (British English) / Zucchini (American English)


If you visit the festival, you can taste some typical squash dishes.

Pumpkin Cream Soup

Courgette Ratatioulle (similar to Hungarian lecsó)

If you are still hungry, let's have some Tökös-mákos rétes (marrow-poppy seed strudel) for dessert.

Monday, 19 September 2011

September: Harvesting Grapes

Most grapes are harvested during the weeks of September. If your family owns a vineyard, it can be a funny weekend program to invite friends and relatives to pick the grapes together.

After processing the grapes, at first must is created.

Must = freshly pressed grape juice

The fermentation begins with adding yeast to the juice. Finally the taste of the wine depends on the experience of the winemaker and the quality of the grapes.
There are different kinds of wine: white, rose and red.

Have you ever heard about Schiller wine?
The Schiller wine is a rose-colored wine produced from a mixture of red and white grapes, which are harvested and pressed at the same time. The two types of grapes have to be blended before fermentation.

Hungary has plenty of famous wine regions, for example Tokaj which is famous for its Aszú, a kind of sweet white wine or Eger with the popular Bull's Blood.

                                                            The Hungarian wine regions

Hungarian people don't usually drink wine from foreign countries because the wine we produce is of very good quality.
But if I travel with my English friend around the world we prefer South American and Spanish types.

Either a bottle of Rioja from the north of Spain or a bottle of Argentinian Malbec is always part of our holidays.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Gossip Girl - Season 5 from 26th September

I can't imagine any teenagers in America who doesn't watch Gossip Girl. The episodes of one of the most popular US series are also followed by many youngsters in Europe. A lot of our students download it every week and watch it with either English or Hungarian subtitles. It's definitely a good English practice for them! Even if they read Hungarian subtitles, their pronunciation improves a lot. They acquire the language while enjoying the stories of Blair, Serena, Chuck and the others. If you are keen on fashion and English but haven't seen any episodes, it is time to download them!

We've collected some interesting quotes said by the characters in the course of the first 4 seasons.

Blair Waldorf: "I'm not a stop-along-the-way. I'm a destination, and if you refuse to attend, I'm gonna have to find a replacement. Girls, the waiting list!"

Serena Van der Woodsen: "I even made a list of pros and cons. Dan: Good shoulders to cry on. Nate: Good shoulders."

Chuck Bass: "Women like to pretend their complicated. I know better."

Serena to Blair: "Right now, I’m with exactly who I want to be with—my best friend. You are high school to me. All of the boyfriends and mean girls and tests and teachers and our crazy mothers, we learned through it together. We raised each other. You’re my sister."

Dan Humphrey: " Life is giving you signs, and you're ignoring them because you're afraid of the thing they're signaling you to do."

Blair: "Changing your name doesn't change who you are."
Chuck: "It's a good start. A chance to live simply, earn people's respect. Maybe become a person someone could love."
Blair: "Someone did love you. And... you owe it to her and everyone else you're leaving behind not to run away. Which is what you're doing. And I don't think that great man you're talking about wanting to be is a coward. I think he would face up to what he did."
Chuck: "I destroyed the only thing I ever loved."
Blair: "I don't love you anymore. But it takes more than even you to destroy Blair Waldorf."
Chuck: "Your world would be easier if I didn't come back."
Blair: "That's true. But it wouldn't be my world without you in it."

Friday, 2 September 2011

CV and covering letter

If you want to apply for a job these days, apart from your curriculum vitae, you surely need to write a covering letter too. Because of the multinational companies and Hungarian firms trading with foreign partners, you might need these documents in English as well for your application.

You can download both a sample CV and a covering letter from our website if you register: Download

Also, you can find some useful expressions below which you can use in your documents:

engineer, lawyer, manager, waiter, sales representative, doctor, nurse, accountant, computer programmer, dentist, driver, electrician, teacher, receptionist, secretary, assistant
technical university, economic university, medical university,
computer skills, communication skills, organization skills, management skills, problem-solving skills, working in a team
Levels of language knowledge
elementary, intermediate, advanced, proficiency