Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Bilingual News

From Driggs, Idaho

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the weekly communication from the Spanish-English Club! This is the second Sunday of November, and the first Sunday after the US Presidential Election. How many hours did you expend during the last days watching TV or reading newspapers about the elections and their results, and suffering for the dark panorama of the economy?

¡Hola! ¡Bienvenidos a la comunicación semanal del Spanish-English Club! Este es el segundo domingo de noviembre, y el primer domingo después de la Elección Presidencial de los Estados Unidos. ¿Cuántas horas consumió durante los últimos días mirando TV o leyendo periódicos acerca de las elecciones y sus resultados, y sufriendo por el oscuro panorama de la economía?

On Tuesday, November 4, Senator Barack Obama won the Presidential Election. The 47-year-old senator will become the nation’s 44th president on January 20, 2009.

El martes 4 de noviembre, el Senador Barack Obama ganó la Elección Presidencial. El senador de 47 años de edad se convertirá en el presidente número 44 de la nación el 20 de enero del 2009.

Bad news from the Republic Democratic of Congo continues in the headlines. Now, apparently, troops from Angola, Uganda and others are entering into the conflict. The United Nations doesn’t have enough soldiers and equipment to stop the drama.

Malas noticias desde la República Democrática del Congo continúan en los titulares. Ahora, aparentemente, tropas de Angola, Uganda y otros están entrando en el conflicto. Las Naciones Unidas no tienen suficientes soldados y equipamiento para parar el drama.

Do you know the Republic Democratic of Congo is a rich country despite its poor population? Its mineral richness is a key factor of the continued wars. It produces cobalt, tantalum, diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, crude oil…. According to a recent CIA’s report, China buys more than 20% of the Congo’s export. Cobalt, copper and tantalum are very important elements for the electronic industry

¿Saben que la República Democrática del Congo es un país rico a pesar de la pobreza de su población? Sus riquezas minerales son un factor clave de las sucesivas guerras. Produce cobalto, tantalio, diamantes, cobre, oro, zinc, petróleo crudo… De acuerdo con un reciente informe de la CIA, China compra más del 20% de sus exportaciones. Cobalto, cobre y tantalio son importantes elementos para la industria electrónica.

Did you hear or read about the Russian nuclear-powered submarine accident that has killed more than 20 people? Do you remember in August 2000, when another Russian nuclear submarine exploded in the Barents Sea killing its entire crew of 118? Russia occasionally has problems with its nuclear submarines. By the way, did you watch the movie “K-19:The Widowmaker” with the performance of Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson?

¿Escucharon o leyeron sobre el accidente de un submarino nuclear ruso que ha matado a más de 20 personas? ¿Recuerda en agosto del 2000, cuando otro submarino nuclear ruso explotó en el Mar de Barents matando a su entera tripulación de 118? Rusia ocasionalmente ha tenido problemas con sus submarinos nucleares. De paso, ¿vió la película “K-19: The Widowmaker” con la actuación de Harrison Ford y Liam Nelson?

What other topics are important to discuss in our bilingual practice session of this Sunday Bilingual New?

¿Qué otros temas son importantes para tratar en nuestra sesión de práctica bilingüe de este Sunday Bilingual News?

On November 4, Michael Crichton, author of famous science-fiction best sellers, died in Los Angeles, California at age 66 of cancer. His work includes best sellers such as “Jurassic Park”, “The Andromeda Strain”. He was also the creator of “ER”.

El 4 de noviembre, Michael Crichton, autor de famosos éxitos de librería de ciencia ficción, murió en Los Ángeles, California, a la edad de 66 años de cáncer. Su obra incluye éxitos tales como “Jurassic Park”, “The Andromeda Strain”. Fue además creador de “ER”.

The week ended with more gloomy news about unemployment. On October, 240,000 non-farm jobs tumbled. The rate climbed to 6.5 percent.

La semana finalizó con más oscuras noticias sobre desempleo. En octubre, 240.000 posiciones de trabajo no agrícolas cayeron. El porcentaje trepó a 6,50%.

Also, on Friday, Ford and General Motors reported net losses for the respective third fiscal quarters ended on September 30. Independent of the bad situation the industry is going through, nobody remembered one year ago both car makers registered worse losses than in the last quarter.

También el viernes, Ford y General Motors informaron pérdidas netas en sus respectivos trimestres fiscales finalizados el 30 de septiembre. Independientemente de la mala situación que la industria está atravesando, nadie recordó que un año atrás ambos fabricantes de automóviles registraron peores pérdidas que en el último trimestre.

The new decline of the Wall Street’s indexes reflected the uncertainty of the financial markets and new signals of the economy recession. The Dow Jones Industrials Average fell 381.20 points, or 4.09% on the week closing at 8,943.81 on Friday. Nasdaq Composite, an index very close to the technology sector, dropped 73.55 points, or 4.27%, in the same period closing at 1647.40.

La nueva declinación de los índices de Wall Street reflejaron la incertidumbre de los mercados financieros y nuevas señales de la recesión económica. El Dow Jones Industrials Average cayó 381,20 puntos, o sea 4,09% en la semana, cerrando a 8.943,81 el viernes. Nasdaq Composite, un índice muy cercano al sector de tecnología, dejó caer 73,55 puntos, o sea 4,27% en el mismo período cerrando en 1647,40.

Special regards


Dr. Domingo A. Trassens
Always, my virtual doors are opened for you at
my e-mail:


After Election Day – Después del Día de las Elecciones

On the November 4, the country voted for changes. Democrat, Republican and Independent voters agreed we need changes. The majority of voters in the United States want a different future.

The first question is: What kind of changes the citizens are looking for? Apparently, they want changes in politics, economy and social issues.

The second question is: Why the voters want changes in the country? We can guess the changes are because things don’t run well…

A rich country with a lot of resources, a proud nation for its history and its records, a land of freedom and strong successes was knocked for successive evils and misfortunes in the last few years.

On September 11, 2001, government, institutions and people learned the United States was losing the category of “safe paradise” of freedom that was before. But the terrorism of streets and the cities was not invented by Al Qaeda. With different “faces” and “denominations” this same kind terrorism whipped other countries and regions, since the 70s and 80s.

After the Twin Towers of New York collapsed, all the country clamored for security and war against the devils wherever they have hidden.

Meanwhile, other evils began to undermine the foundation of our economy with very subtle advances. The winds of the globalization extended our markets to the territories of our old enemies… But the same winds colonized us with: “Made in China”… “Made in China”…“Made in India”… “Made in Pakistan”… “Made in Russia”… Made in Vietnam”…

The reality, the globalization didn’t begin in 2000 or 2001, or 2002…The first step of the global business came long time ago, when the Nixon Administration opened the dialogue with the Popular Republic of China for some commercial exchanges… It was the one of first experiences to deal with a non-friendly country with its own agenda. The other experience was with Russia

Till that moment, we had a longer experience dealing with our friends with similar agenda or without agenda, but the globalization phenomenon couldn’t lay the foundations excluding non-friends with or without their own agendas. It was a necessary risk to walk across the alleys of the Dragon and the marshes of the Monsoons.

The other factor, the technology and Internet came first with all the winds of innovation and the benefits to communicate with everybody from one corner to another of the planet… Good to make new friends who speak other languages… Good to build “bridges” with other cultures… Excellent way to buy exotic products through eBay… Excellent too, to deploy maps with the details of routes and streets to everywhere.

But technology was also to open doors to other devils, from software hackers to financial operators without clear rules and ethic behavior.

While we were dreaming to buy houses and properties with more expensive mortgages with little regard for the ability to pay them, to own every year new expensive cars, to enjoy romantic vacations in the Caribbean islands, or make businesses in the luxury suites at the top of the skyscrapers of Dubai, or Kuala Lumpur, the economic crisis grew.

Yes, the economic crisis entered into our lives with several important indicators: forced foreclosures, high oil prices, high food prices, inflation, the credit crisis and the bankruptcy of several large and well established investment banks, increased unemployment and the decline of the best stocks of Wall Street.

Of course, economy and finance don’t walk using different routes. Both are very connected. And when the economy falls or the financial institutions extend “red” alarms, the social issues come to the forefront too.

After all, we recently realized we were walking long distances through the alleys of the Dragon and the labyrinths of Internet without enough skills to balance risks and benefits in a changing world immersed in the globalization and Internet revolutions, and threatened by the actions of Al Qaeda-1, Al Qaeda-2… or Al Qaeda-n.

During the dramatic moments of the last months, everybody understood we need changes, because we cannot dream to continue growing inside the country if our factories are running for others in other lands with our capital, our know-how, our brands, but without the “Made in USA” label. We cannot dream to pay our debts with hundreds of credit cards and plastics without savings. We cannot forecast our long term growth only based on government stimuli.

But the changes we need to implement are not only responsibility of others. We cannot claim the politicians elected on November 4 can make all the changes.

Please don’t cry for America, cry for all of us that till now are expending time ascertaining for the “skin” of the others, cry for all of us when we refuse to speak to citizens with a different “accent”, cry for all of us when we underrate the “experience” and “willingness” of the 50 years old, and cry also for all of us without deep feelings for the country, without roots in our culture, without sensitive soul for our brothers and sisters.

In the years to come, we have to learn another language, the language of patience, the language of humility, the language of equilibrium including when we deal with our enemies or when we whisper with our angels.

After the Election Day, IBM CEO and chairman Sam Palmisano introduced his proposition for the "CHANGES" to corporate leaders in his keynote address “A Smarter Planet: The Next Leadership Agenda”.

As Mr. Palmisano explained, technology could help us to build better future, but we have to all walk together in the same direction and with the same resolution. The flags of CHANGE are with us… Please walk ahead!!!

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

- author = autor
- crew = tripulación
- cobalt = cobalto
- copper =
- diamond = diamante
- explode = estallar, explotar
- gloomy = oscuro, triste
- gold = oro
- loss = pérdida
- net losses =
pérdidas netas
- non-farm =
no agrícola, no agropecuaria
- nuclear = nuclear
- report = informar
- report = informe
- science fiction = ciencia ficción
- submarine = submarino
- tantalum = tantalio, tántalo
- tumble = caer, caerse, tropezar
- uncertainty = incertidumbre
- zinc = zinc, cinc

Questions – Preguntas

1. What is your summary of the last week?
1. ¿Cuál es su resumen de la última semana?


- Thanks Anne, Bob, Camilla, Carl, Nathan, Tina for your messages...

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