Posts tagged ‘english’

Español/English Caving Dictionary

Now that I’ve been caving in Spain a few times (also went canyoning yesterday in Poyatos, Cuenca), I’ve learned quite a lot of the Spanish caving words, so thought I’d share them here in case these are useful for the presumably small group of English speakers who go caving in Spanish speaking countries.

I’m sure there are lots of useful words missing, so please send on any suggestions/amendments. I’ll also add to this list as I learn more.

agua – water
albergue – hostel
anclaje – anchor point
arnés – harness
arnés del pecho – chest harness
bajar – to descend/go down
barranco – canyoning
bloqueador – ascender (general)
bloqueador ventral – chest ascender
bloqueadro de puño – ascender
boca – hole (entrance to cave)
botas de goma – wellies
cabos de anclaje – cowstails (literally ‘anchor cords’)
caída (caer) – fall (to fall)
casco – helmet
comida – food
croll – chest ascender
cuerda – rope
cueva – cave
escalar – to climb
escarpines – neoprene boots
espeleologia – caving
espera – wait
estrecho – narrow
fraccionamientos – re-belay/deviation (?)
frio – cold
guantes – gloves
libre – free (as in I’m off the rope)
liso – smooth
listo – I’m ready
llave – spanner (or key)
llave inglesa – adjustable spanner
luz – light (‘frontal’ is also used for headlight)
maillon – maillon
mojado – wet
mono – oversuit (literally ‘monkey’)
moretón – bruise
murciélago – bat
muro – wall
neopreno – wet suit
nudos – knots
pasamanos – traverse on rope (literally ‘hand rail’?)
pato – Petzl Shunt (literally, pato = duck)
piedras – stones/rocks (also shout this if you drop something!)
pila – battery
plano – flat
polvo – dust/dirt
pozo – pot/hole/well
progresion vertical – single rope technique (SRT)
puño – ascender (literally ‘fist’)
rappel – abseil/rappel
refugio – hut (usually open/free and very basic)
roca – rock
rodillera – knee pad
seco – dry
sima – pothole/cave
subir – to climb/go up
tapas – layer (in the sense of layers if rock, as well as free food with drink)

Getting to travel…

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With being based in the Computer Science dept, it’s quite rare for me to have to travel for work, other than just across to the other side of town to visit a different campus. This week however I was invited to attend a training workshop over at Axum University to find out about some English language training software that has been donated to the University there, and has also been made freely available for Mekelle Uni to install too. The training had been arranged by the previous VSO English Language Improvement Coordinator (ELIC) at Axum, and has been taken over by the new VSO volunteers who arrived a few weeks ago, so was also a good opportunity to get to meet the new volunteers.

Four of us from the Uni (plus driver) set off on Sunday morning. What I thought was a very optimistic start time (7:15am) for a Sunday, turned out to be only 15 mins short of our actual departure – very unusual for such good timekeeping here.

The ELIC centre at Axum looked very well organised, with a computer lab set up and a very clean (dust free) room. The software used for the training was from a company based in Hong Kong, Clarity English and one of their directors, Andrew, had come over to do the training and has donated the software to both Axum and Mekelle Universities. There are a range of different programs for different aspects of learning English and all seem very easy to use, though staff and students would need little introduction in how they can use the software and get the most out of it.

Out of the 8 programs (CDs), two were of particular interest to me. Firstly was a training for the IELTS certification. I’ve been asked by the Computer Science department here to help set up an IELTS certification centre, as an income generation scheme for the department. So will be good to be able to offer students facilities to train and test themselves before taking the exam. Secondly, there was some test/quiz authoring software. Although this had fewer options than the quiz module in Moodle, it had a much clearer and cleaner interface in terms of authoring, so would be much easier to get teachers trained up in how to create their own quizzes than it would be with Moodle.

The software looks good and will be great if we can find some computer labs where it can be installed for students access, all need to ensure is that the labs have headphones with mics available to get the most out of the software.

IMG_1023Whilst in Axum we also had chance to visit a few of the historical sites too, though most I had visited on my previous visit last year. Our route back to Mekelle took us via Adigrat – I’ve never taken this route back before, having always gone through Abi Adi. The Axum – Adigrat – Mekelle road is well paved almost the entire way, so although further than via Abi Adi, it’s quicker and more comfortable.

We stopped off at the Yeha Temple, which, according to our guide, at 2500 years old is the oldest building in Africa, and was the centre of the Yeha empire (before the Axumite empire). We were told that ibexes were then common in the area and can now only be found in the Simien mountains. I’m sure this will be related to that fact that as they held some religious significance, ibexes were sacrificed in the temple (although obviously I could be wrong!) – we were shown the area in the temple where it’s believed the sacrifices took place.

In a small museum next to the temple we were shown some carved rocks and pottery that had been found in the surrounding area by farmers, although a problem is that when farmers find historical items, they are often sold on to collectors.

Yeha Temple

Yeha Temple

Carvings and pottery

Carvings and pottery