MML at Cambridge? Watch

Enfalas
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#1
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#1
For any languages that you want to carry on from A-level at Cambridge, do you have to have read loads of books in that language before your interview?

I definitely want to apply for Spanish like next year or whenever my lot have to apply. Don't know which other language but that's beside the point.

I'm currently reading "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" in Spanish but I'm wondering what kind of books I need to have read in like a years time... Because I should start now really...

Any books in Spanish you recommend I read? And don't say "Don Quijote"... :rolleyes:
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Ronove
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#2
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Umm... probably would be impressive to read something 'proper', like a classic, you know, something slightly deeper than Harry Potter. However, reading Harry Potter in Spanish is better than not reading anything at all, obviously. Perhaps have a look at the texts on A2 specs to see if any of those take your fancy.
I recently bought 'A orillas del río Piedra me senté y lloré' by Paulo Coelho, haven't read it yet but from a brief flick through it looks like a beautiful story (might be disappointed when I get round to reading it though I suppose).

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And oooh! You're doing French, German and Spanish too! You're a freak like me :hugs:
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lawbenson
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our head of languages made my friend study loads of literature in both languages before his interview - and he was quizzed on almost all of it.

can't remember any spanish titles, french titles included l'etranger, boule de suif and un sac de billes.
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Gael
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Put it this way, I've read about 20 spanish books and I didn't get asked about a single one in interview. Then again if they do ask you what you've read and you've read nothing you're ****ed.
I recommend anything by marquez,becquer,lorca,allende,es quivel, the authors generally everyone reads. cervantes (novelas ejemplares. dont even bother saying youve read don quijote in the vulgate, they wont believe you. i'm reading it in the original at the moment and it's taking bloody ages.) read some plays by calderon de la barca or lope de vega.

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Oh and i really don't like the foreign HP translations. i've got them in french and spanish and neither do the job.
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Gravastar
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#5
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Marquez is good, but dense enough in english. If you plan to read it in spanish, then good luck.
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Gael
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#6
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marquez isn't that hard.
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Gravastar
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#7
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Have you not read "Love in the time of cholera"?
It took bloody ages!
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Enfalas
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#8
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(Original post by Ronove)
Umm... probably would be impressive to read something 'proper', like a classic, you know, something slightly deeper than Harry Potter. However, reading Harry Potter in Spanish is better than not reading anything at all, obviously. Perhaps have a look at the texts on A2 specs to see if any of those take your fancy.
I recently bought 'A orillas del río Piedra me senté y lloré' by Paulo Coelho, haven't read it yet but from a brief flick through it looks like a beautiful story (might be disappointed when I get round to reading it though I suppose).

--------------

And oooh! You're doing French, German and Spanish too! You're a freak like me :hugs:
Yeah, that's what I thought... Something a bit deeper... Will check out the A2 Spanish syllabus... We're doing coursework *grumbles*.

And yes I am... I don't know if I'd say a freak though.. :hugs: :rolleyes:
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dinkymints
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#9
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Rather than reading English books in Spanish (although this would be good for your language), you're probably actually better off reading Spanish texts in English. But there's some approachable enough stuff in the original language too... I would steer clear of the stuff most people read (Casa de Bernada Alba, Cien anos etc), coz interviewers are probably sick of talking about it and there is as good, if not better, stuff that is no more difficult. Marquez isn't that hard, and neither is Allende (I read "Cronica de una muerte anunciada" by Marquez and "Casa de los espiritus", "De amor y de sombra" and "Cuentos de Eva Luna" by Allende - the last one is a collection of short stories which are very good and very easy to dip into). You might want to get the English too (coz Espiritus especially is fairly long to read in the Spanish) and start each chapter in Spanish before moving onto English when you feel the need. My Spanish teacher advised us against Golden Age plays in the end coz he said they're not that great for our language (he likened it to reading Chaucer in English) although if you want to, it might provide something a bit different to talk about (altho I know that at least one Golden Age play was actually a set text last year). Oh, and some poetry would be good too: something a bit unusual maybe (my interviewer liked the fact I'd read and written about Lorca's "Romancero gitano", which is also a first-year text at Oxford). And, by the way, I personally was quizzed quite a lot both in my general interview and my Spanish one about the literature on my PS.

Hope that helps!

*edit* I think Borges has some decent short stories too - Ficciones?
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Mr. Jim
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#10
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bodas de sangre - garcia lorca
good play.
they asked me about that but wasnt really much in depth, they ALSO asked which english books i'd read lately, so don't just neglect your english literature just coz you're applying for languages.
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leannemarie
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#11
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I've read 'Los funerales de la Mama Grande' and 'Una chronica de una muerte anunciada' by Marquez which were good and Lorca, but as someone said, try to steer away from the stereotypical literature and read what interests you.
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dinkymints
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#12
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Oh, and of course, it's not really enough to read them - you have to be able to talk about them, so remember to THINK about them as you go along (!) and look for themes etc as well as characterisation.
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Enfalas
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#13
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Ok then... It seems a general consensus that I should read "una chronica de una muerte anunciada"... I'll have to make a list of all these books...
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dinkymints
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(Original post by Enfalas)
Ok then... It seems a general consensus that I should read "una chronica de una muerte anunciada"... I'll have to make a list of all these books...
Yeah, "Cronica" is very good... I was asked in my Spanish interview to compare it to Phedre by Racine :s
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Enfalas
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What's it about? I'm going to see if I can buy it on Amazon.. I'm currently half way through HP 3 and I'm getting the first two for Crimbo so they'll help improve my language before I get into "Chronica"...
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leannemarie
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#16
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(Original post by Enfalas)
What's it about? I'm going to see if I can buy it on Amazon.. I'm currently half way through HP 3 and I'm getting the first two for Crimbo so they'll help improve my language before I get into "Chronica"...
It's "cronica", I really wouldn't take note of my spelling, especially when I'm typing. I got it from my local library which saves buying it... I was asked about it in my interview, I was asked to how much a character had changed and how you knew that she had which was interesting!
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Enfalas
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#17
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(Original post by leannemann)
It's "cronica", I really wouldn't take note of my spelling, especially when I'm typing. I got it from my local library which saves buying it... I was asked about it in my interview, I was asked to how much a character had changed and how you knew that she had which was interesting!
Was the question in Spanish as well?
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dinkymints
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#18
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(Original post by Enfalas)
What's it about? I'm going to see if I can buy it on Amazon.. I'm currently half way through HP 3 and I'm getting the first two for Crimbo so they'll help improve my language before I get into "Chronica"...
It's about a murder (*edit* - oops, obvious from its title, sorry!) - and you'd think it was a detective story, but they tell you in the first line who dies and tell you bluntly who kills... in fact, that's not the real mystery. Wonderfully and delicately structured and interesting use of time - it's not a "chronicle" at all...
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Enfalas
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#19
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Ah ok... Sounds good... Seeing I'm getting just money for Xmas, I can get it with that money...
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Gael
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#20
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oh yeh cronica's a great book. oh and if you're into esquivel, read tan veloz como el deseo, which is a great book.
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