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Translation into English

A Weekend Devoted to Cleaning (by AL)

In this Audiotext of short scenes, we will show you several situations that can be common when undertaking a thorough cleaning of the house…

Marcos and Diana are having breakfast one Saturday morning. They are planning the activities for the weekend and, unfortunately, they realize that it is essential to carry out a general house cleaning. So this will be the main "plan" for the weekend…

Diana: Hey, Marcos, there is no alternative but to do a general cleaning this weekend. We’ve gone almost 6 months without doing one, and there are certain things that now need cleaning urgently.

Marcos: Come on, Diana, since we clean every weekend, it can’ be that bad!

Diana: Yes, but what we do on the weekends is basic maintenance, and there are things we really must do periodically and now “the time has come.”

Marcos: OK, OK… be specific, what do you want us especially to do this weekend?

Diana: Well, look, I’ve written a list of those exceptional things that we don't usually do and that are in fact reserved for the periodic cleanings: first, clean the tiles in the bathroom; second, thoroughly clean the kitchen; and third, clean the closets once we have emptied them out…

Marcos: Wait, enough already! Don't you think that’s enough for one weekend?

Diana: Well, then we’ll have to devote at least two weekends, because my list continues…

Marcos and Diana determine what they need to carry out the general cleaning….

Diana: Let’s see, Marcos, let’s review what we’ll need for the general cleaning, because we may have to stop by the hardware store (droguería) to buy what we need…

Marcos: "I’m all ears."

Diana: In the first place, we need a special detergent for cleaning the tiles. It is essential to be specific because, if not, in the end the residue of the product will remain.

Marcos: OK, since we don't have it, I’ll note it on the shopping list.

Diana: We’ll also buy some rubber gloves so we don’t ruin our hands when we do the cleaning.

Marcos: Very well…

Diana: Let’s see which basic utensils we have: mop, broom, cleaning rags, scouring pads, pails,… There’s no problem.

Marcos: Ah! And let’s not forget to buy a special degreasing detergent for the kitchen.

Diana: That’s right, good idea. Write it down…

Marcos and Diana now have everything ready and they prepare to begin with the general cleaning….

Diana: Marcos, let’s divide up the work, agreed? I can concentrate on the bathrooms while you take care of the kitchen.

Marcos: OK. Please give me the rubber gloves that are on the shelf.

Diana: Sure, here they are… I will fill several pails with water to clean the tiles. Ah! And I will take a scouring pad for scrubbing, and some cloths for later to dry the tiles and not leave marks.

Marcos: Good, well, hands to the task! One thing, do you need the mop? I prefer to have it at hand because surely as the morning progresses I will spill water more than once, and I prefer to mop it up as I go to avoid making a “swimming pool” here.

Diana: Well, it’s a good idea, and I’ll do the same thing. Luckily we have two buckets for the water and two mops, so we can each take one.

Marcos and Diana have now spent a couple hours working. They decide to stop for a while to rest and eat something….

Diana: Marcos, how’s it going? Do you have much left?

Marcos: Well, yes, because I’m cleaning the inside of kitchen cabinets and it is a very laborious task: I have to empty them first, then clean them with detergent, rinse them, and finally dry the inside. And then comes the worst thing: putting all the pots back again!

Diana: Yes, the truth is that it’s a very boring and repetitive task. But mine is not much better… It is taking more time than I thought it would to do the tiles, because the city water is very hard, and with a single wipe it doesn’t come out well, so I have to rinse them several times. And then I have to dry them so they don’t stain.

Marcos: This cleaning is a drag. We should think about hiring somebody for these tasks… after all, we’re each spending a lot of time doing this, and it would not be that expensive…

Diana: Don’t even think it! We have a lot of expenses and we barely make it to the end of the month… Also, this is very healthy and it keeps us in shape!

Marcos and Diana have now finished the part of the general cleaning that they had intended to do. They prepare to take stock….

Marcos: Diana, I think that I have now finished with the kitchen. Look: the cabinets are completely clean and with all the utensils put back in place. The tiles are clean, and I have also cleaned the inside of the refrigerator, the microwave, the oven… and I have mopped the floor since a lot of water spilled on it.

Diana: What luck! Because I have finished in the bathroom, but now I am tied up cleaning the bedroom closets. And the same thing that happened to you is happening to me; it’s taking me a long time because before cleaning them I have to empty them. And you should see the amount of clothes that we have!

Marcos: Well, that would be you since you really like fashion and you buy more clothes than you need! So now you have to pay the piper…

Diana: Yes, the truth is that I have to think about what to do with so many clothes, because in truth I almost always put on the same thing: what I am most comfortable with.

Marcos: Well, you know. Make a selection and what is left, see if any of your sisters is interested and, if not, you can give it to an NGO, because surely there are a lot of needy people who will be grateful for it…

Diana: Good, let’s leave this topic now… I have to continue working. Come on! Give me a hand so we can finish sooner. And remembers that next weekend we have to continue with my list of tasks for the general cleaning…

Marcos: Ugh! If I get hold of it, I’ll burn the list!


Acometer – to attack, undertake, take on
A fondo – thorough(ly)
Imprescindible – essential, indispensable
Llevar a cabo – to carry out
No hay más remedio – there is no alternative, it can’t be helped
Concreto – specific, concrete, particular
Azulejo – (glazed) tile
Una vez (adv.) – ever; once
Vaciar – to empty, clear out
Llevar a efecto – to perform, to do (something), to carry out
Acercarse – to go over, to drop by
Ser todo oídos – to be all ears
Droguería – hardware shop; store that sells paint, cleaning supplies, etc.
Rastro – trace, vestige; trail
Apuntar – to make a note of, to write down
Estropear – to damage, ruin
Fregona – mop
Escoba – broom
Trapo de limpieza – cleaning rag, cleaning cloth
Estropajo – scouring pad, scrubber; steelwool
Barreño – large bowl, tub, dishpan, washing-up bowl; a container that is wider at the top than at the base, used for washing and mopping (see foto at http://hiperregalolamina.es/tienda/images/8429429131362.jpg)
Desengrasar – to degrease
Centrarse en – to concentrate or focus on
Estantería – shelves
Frotar – to rub
Verter – to pour out, to spill
Cubo – bucket, tub, pail
Enjuagar – to rinse, wash out, flush
Cacharro – pot
Caliza – limestone
Quedar bien – to look good, to go well
Pasada (con el trapo) – wipe
Pesadez – heaviness, ponderousness; drag, pain
Hacer balance de – to take stock of
Proponerse – to intend to do something
Colocar – to place, to put; to set in place; to locate
Frigorífico – refrigerator
Penitencia – penitence, penance
ONG (abreviación de Organización No Gubernamental) – non-governmental organization (NGO)
Coger – to take, catch, get hold of

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