Liverpool? The Beatles! We are quite convinced that this association of ideas will have flashed in many heads as soon as they read the name of the city. And yes, it would be missing more, the city is not only widely known for being the birthplace of the great British group , but there are even routes dedicated to the Beatles. But, as the topic says, Liverpool is much more than that, so we will try to discover a good handful of things that make it a most appealing city to learn English , especially if you do it at an International House Madrid academy. .
Open city and port
Liverpool is considered to have been the first “intercultural metropolis” in Europe , and its Chinatown the earliest to appear on the continent. This is largely due to the commercial importance of its port, considered the first delimited in the world (before it they lacked artificial limits, such as breakwaters). A good account of its history and importance is given by the Liverpool Maritime Museum , which houses everything from an exhibition on the Titanic to numerous recreations and elements related to navigation from World War II; In addition, you can visit what remains of the Old Port , built in 1715.
The harbor area known as the Pier Head was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site . In it are three of the most emblematic buildings of the city: the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building , magnificent examples of architecture from the early 20th century that you can see in the following photograph.
Liverpool dialect and accent
We have already stressed the importance of becoming familiar with different accents if we want to learn English ; for example, in the text we published about Manchester . Needless to say, few of the people you meet while traveling through English-speaking countries will speak with the pluperfect accent of textbook recordings, so it pays to get used to regional variants of English.
Liverpool’s own dialect is called scouser , which is characterized by a strong nasal sound and by being full of localisms and expressions that will make it difficult for the occasional visitor to understand. The origin of the name, by the way, comes from a meat ( scouse ) that sailors and lower-class people in the city used to eat during the 19th century, and gradually it began to be used to refer to these people and their dialect. If you are interested in knowing more about its origins and phonetics, we recommend you read this complete text , or go to a glossary of Scouserian terminology; and to get a good idea of exactly how it sounds, nothing better than listening to ashort interview with the Beatles :
The route of the ‘Fab Four’
Of course, although at this point it is somewhat obvious to indicate it, there is a tour of the places in Liverpool that left their mark on the Beatles , either as a biographical curiosity or as a direct influence on their music or lyrics. Among them is the Strawberry Fields orphanage or Penny Lane , both places that evoke John Lennon’s childhood, or the legendary Cavern club , where the group played no less than 292 times. If you want more information, check the official page of the tourist route.
Although we sense that some purists will not be content with an imitation, however faithful it may be to the original, any Saturday you can enjoy a concert by The Cavern Club Beatles in said venue, performing neat versions of the legendary band. You have more information about them on their official Facebook page. And we leave pending for a future blog post the analysis of some Beatles songs that can be useful for learning English .
art and architecture
In 2008 Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture , and its reputation as a city with a wide range of artistic offerings is not in vain: for example, The Walker art gallery (see previous photo) is considered one of the best in all of England, and that is why it has come to be nicknamed “National Gallery of the North”. Among his most appreciated works, paintings by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, David Hockney, Claude Monet, Rembrandt or Poussin usually stand out. The Tate Liverpool , a subsidiary of the Tate in London, is also a great attraction for art lovers. Like her older sister from London, she is focused on modern and contemporary art., and ranges from Lichtenstein to Dalí, Bacon, Mondrian Max Ernst, Yves Klein, Jackson Pollock, Giacometti, etc.
Except for the port area and a few other specific areas, Liverpool is not a city where architecture shines especially . As a curiosity, the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral -a huge concrete building with a rather imposing appearance- has been chosen by the group «Satan is my lord» , dedicated to excessive and horrendous architecture, as the paradigm of an ugly and brutalist building . However, the central area of the city is bustling and full of bars, shops and a lot of activity, both day and night, a perfect place to study and meet people from different countries.
We trust that you have enjoyed this short tour of Liverpool. Whether you are a Beatles fan or not, spending a few days there is perfect for learning English . We have the best way to do it, thanks to the International House Madrid courses in Liverpool .