La Médiathèque — my favourite reading spot in South Kensington

While nearly 800 British public libraries have closed over ten years of austerity, there’s a non-UK library in the heart of London that can be easily described as a beacon of hope for libraries and culture. Since I discovered it already a year ago, the reading room of La Médiathèque, the largest French library in the UK, has become my favourite spot. It is the place where I usually escape for silence and tranquillity every Saturday after my morning French lessons at the Institut Français. At f

Why Chile was never a paradise

President Sebastián Piñera keeps saying Chile is “a success story” despite three weeks of social unrest. When I was a child, my generation in Latin America was led to believe that Chile was somewhat of a developed country, an oasis in a region usually troubled by extreme poverty, appalling inequality and political crisis. In the early 1990s, while Peru was undergoing the most terrible economic crisis in its republican history, Chile, our closest southern neighbour, was growing and developing fa

An odd language

Since I came to London almost five years ago, I’ve found peculiar how often and how careful people in this country need to be reminded about their safety everywhere they go. I have also found strange the way they name certain things. It seems that one of the characteristics that makes British signage so effective and popular is the fact they are really succinct. In very few carefully chosen words, they can get their message across. I really wonder if in other languages the same message can be t

Translation dilemmas

Have you noticed the word ‘impeachment’ is on the news again? Last time I saw it was in catchy bold headlines talking about the impeachment of the former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Oddly enough, the English word was not used only by the English speaking media, but also by the media of other countries. This time is about Donald Trump. And the same thing is happening. What has caught my attention this time is the problem the Spanish speaking media are having with this word. They