Language Matters June 2007: Summer Festival Guide

Dear Language Friend,

Welcome to the LingoStar Summer Festival Guide (Part I)

 In this issue of our newsletter we invite you to find out:

WHAT Vancouver offers in terms of cultural outdoor festivals in June,

WHY you should not miss the festivals,po

HOW you can bring tasty and easy-to-prepare recipes into your home and

HOW all these festivals are related to language.

Lenka de Graafova, Managing Director. Thanks for reading.

Festivals are an integral part of the city’s events and offer people from different cultural origins the opportunity to express their cultural roots, traditions and linguistic background within a Canadian multicultural context.

Summer has just started – time to spend time outdoors with your families and friends. Explore cultures from all over the world, taste new flavors, mingle with different cultures and enjoy summer!

We have been thinking about what the word FESTIVAL really stands for and we have come up with the following suggestion:

F          Fun & Food

 E          Experience & Explore

 S          Sun & Summer

 T          Time to enjoy

 I           Ideas & Inspiration

 V          Values & Variety

 A         Activities

 L            Learning


How do you experience festivals?

2nd Annual Hellenic Cultural Week

Ouzo, Retsina, Tzadziki, Kalamaria, Horiatiki, Souvláki, Moussaka…Does this sound all Greek to you? When I visited Greece a couple of years ago, I was amazed by the people’s hospitality, by the huge amount of ouzo they can drink and by the delicious food they eat.

What are your first associations when you think of Greece? Ouzo, delicious wine, tasty foods, dances, lively streets, friendly people? Come and experience Greece in Vancouver.

Organized by the Hellenic Community Centre of Vancouver, this colorful festival will introduce you to Greek culture. Come and experience the 2nd Annual Hellenic Cultural Week under the well-known Ancient Greek motto: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body and Healthy Planet. Explore Hellenic roots, traditions, food, movies and concerts around Broadway West, the heart of Vancouver’s Greek community.

When: June 16 to June 25

What: Dances, lectures, movies, cooking demonstrations, street festival

Where: Various locations

Highlight: Greek Day on June 24 on West Broadway

Enjoy this colorful street festival with two entertainment cooking stations and lots of other activities.

For more information on the events schedule visit

About Greek

“Hellenic”, often used synonymously with Greek, means relating to the ancient or modern Greeks and their history, art, etc. Greek belongs to the Indo-European languages and is spoken by approximately 10 million people in Greece. Moreover, 3 million Greek immigrants are settled all around the world.

The Greek alphabet has been in use since the 9th century BC and was the first writing system to use a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant. Did you know that it is the direct or indirect ancestor of all modern European alphabets? Moreover, it is the oldest alphabetic script that is still in use today. It is based on the Phoenician alphabet which used script symbols to represent their letters.

Even today, you can find the impact of Greek in various fields. Greek letters are used worldwide as symbols in mathematics and science, as the names of stars and many more. Moreover, Greek has had considerable influence on many other languages.

Did you know that…

…Canada is home to more than 215,000 people of Greek origin, including 6,500 people living in Vancouver?


It’s all Greek to me. That’s Greek to me.

(I don’t get what it is all about.)

Some words in Greek

English Greek Roman letters
sun ήλιοσ ilios
summer καλοκαίρι kalokairi
beach ακρογιαλιά akrogialia
fun αστείο asteio
festival φεστιβάλ festibal


Portuguese Heritage Month

Arroz doce, Bolo de Rolo, Caldeirada, Churrasco, Misto, Chorizo, Caipirinha, Ginjinha…Não entendes nada ? Come and explore Portuguese cuisine and movies, dance lessons from Angola and Cuba, Brazilian music, dances and much more. This colorful festival, organized by the Portuguese Benevolent Society, introduces you to the various cultures that are part of the Portuguese language community worldwide.

If you want to explore Vancouver’s Portuguese community, stroll along Commercial Drive to find authentic Portuguese restaurants, shops and bars or visit the areas in North Vancouver and Richmond.

When: June 1 to June 30

What: Food, concerts, movies, dances

Where: Various locations

For more information and the complete calendar of events visit


About Portuguese

Portuguese is a Romance language that developed in what is now Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal about a thousand years ago. It has its origins in the spoken Latin language and eventually spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th century when Portugal set up a colonial and commercial Empire. During this time of expansion of the Portuguese language, many Creole languages based on Portuguese emerged all over the world, especially in Africa, Asian and the Caribbean.

A Creole language is a language that has developed from a mixture of languages. Consequently, Portuguese creoles have been significantly influenced by the Portuguese during their discoveries and conquests.

Portuguese is spoken by over 210 million people and it isthe 7th most spoken language in the world. It is the official language of 7 countries including Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Principe.


Did you know that…

…Canada is home to more than 357,000 people of Portuguese origin, including 30,000 people living in BC and more than 16,000 who chose Vancouver as their city-to-be?

…European and Brazilian Portuguese are not quite the same?


Even if people who speak what is called “European Portuguese” and “Brazilian Portuguese” are able to understand each other, there are some differences as for pronunciation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

European Portuguese vs. Brazilian Portuguese

Overview of some of the differences that really make a difference

Grammar – position of pronouns

If you happen to fall in love with a nice woman or a nice guy who is a speaker of European Portuguese, be advised to say “Eu amo-te”. However, you should say “Eu te amo” if he or she is from Brazil. As a rule of thumb, European Portuguese (EP) rarely puts pronouns in front of the verb whereas Brazilian Portuguese (BP) places it before the verb.


English EP BP
to sunbathe apanhar sol tomar sol
candy rebuçado bala
pretty, handsome giro/a bonito/a
breakfast pequeno-almoço café da manhã
Canadian canadiano canadense


Some speakers of Brazilian Portuguese might have difficulties understanding their European counterparts, especially when it comes to the near suppression of the final vowel e [i].


Major differences in the spelling system become obvious when it comes to the usage of ô or ê BP whereas EP uses ó or é.



English EP BP
anonymous anónimo anônimo

Another difference, which is worth mentioning is that Brazilian spelling often lacks c or p before c, ç, or t whereas the European spelling does use it.


English EP BP
great óptimo ótimo
direction direcção direção

Do you want to learn more about this fascinating topic and intriuge about the various Portuguese language communtiy countries? Visit our website to have more information about Portuguese courses.

18th Vancouver Francophone Festival

This two-week festival is organized by the Vancouver Francophone Cultural Centre (Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver). Come and enjoy music and various other performances from famous Quebecois artists. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get to know more about “la culture québécoise et la communauté francophone” here in Vancouver.

When : June 14 to June 24

What: concerts, comedies, dances, activities for children, Francophone Day

Where: various locations

Highlights : June 16, various outdoor concerts, DJs and much more

June 24, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day

(National Day of Quebec)

For more information visit:

Are you fond of French movies? Take advantage of the selection of brilliant French movies presently shown at The Ridge Theatre.

For more information visit

Some facts & figures

In Canada, French is spoken as a native language by 6,703,325 people including 5.8 million living in the province of Quebec. In BC there are approximately 54,400 francophones including 24,700 in Vancouver.

Tasty summer recipes

Try our tasty summer recipes and bring international flavors and spices to your home!

What about a delicious and healthy Horiatiki (Greek salad) for hot summer days?

All you need is

  • 8 Olives
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Onions
  • 200g Feta Cheese
  • 4 Tomatoes


Chop the tomatoes into medium pieces. Slice the onions and the cucumber. Cut a couple of strips from the green pepper. Place the tomatoes, onions, cucumber in a large bowl and mix them well. Pour some olive oil over the mix. Add the olives (black olives are best for this salad) and salt and pepper to taste. Cut feta cheese into medium sized pieces and place them over the salad. Add a little bit more oil and sprinkle some oregano over the feta.

Continue your exploration of new flavors with a typical dish from Portugal!

Caldeirada (Layered Vegetables and Fish)

All you need is:

  • 10 large Mackerel or sardines, cleaned and head removed
  • 4 large Onions, sliced
  • 2 large Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1×1-inch piece of ginger, finely sliced
  • 3 tbl Light oil
  • 1 tbl Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 4 Bell peppers (red/green) and or green chillies
  • Salt to taste

Layer a few slices of onion and tomato in a pan. Place 1/2 the fish over onions and tomatoes. Add another layer of onion/tomato and then another layer of fish. Sprinkle with the garlic and ginger. Scatter over the remaining onions and tomatoes. Pour the oil, vinegar and about 6-7 tbs water over the fish. Add salt if desired. Cook on a low heat until fish is half done. Sprinkle turmeric over fish. Add peppers/chilies. Cook until fish is tender.

Enjoy! Bom proveito!

Try  Brazil’s most popular drink. For the upcoming hot summer days, the LingoStar team suggests:


All you need is:

2 oz Beleza Pura Super Premium Cachaça
½ oz raspberry liqueur or crème de cassis
¼ cup of fresh blackberries
¼ cup of fresh blueberries
1 tbsp sugar or simple syrup

Place fresh berries in a non-breakable glass, add sugar and muddle ingredients, add liqueur or cassis, sugar or syrup, Beleza Pura and a rocks glass full of ice, and shake well. Serve in a highball glass. Garnish with fresh berries.

Feel like having something sweet ? Try the famous and delicious “Tarte au Sucre” from Quebec.

All you need is

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Mix brown sugar, cream, and flour until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

 Bon appétit!