2012/08/26

Chinese commercial interpretations of Spanish language and culture

For a change. The Madrid / Barça footballs are splendid. (h/t AR)

Fucked translation, the consequence of a strategic choice by the Spanish authorities?

My man in the education department of the Generalitat de Catalunya this lengthy lunchtime: "Why the fuck would we teach them English? Then all the smart ones will fuck off somewhere else to work less hours for twice the money and the Catalan economy will grind to a halt." The same applies to Spanish teaching, but there are places we don't go.

A friend from my musical days now runs SME relations for a large German bank somewhere along the Rhine, and has been closely involved in efforts to fill a wide range of vacancies at local businesses with applicants from the bankrupt periphery. The Irish: excellent; the Portuguese: poor numeracy but often good English; the Spanish: terrible English, so other skills not particularly useful, and if they fail in the particular role allotted then reassignment is difficult.

Apparently a lot arrive in the belief that German can be picked up in a few months on the (apparently excellent) intensive courses offered. But if by the age of 30 you haven't mastered the basics of the most accessible Germanic language out there, WTF hope has your ageing brain of dealing with the curious conglomerations of sounds grunted in lands where even Romans feared to tread?

[
I think the mad Chomskian doctrine that Universal Grammar means that all languages must be equally complex, or something, has been quietly abandoned, so here's Madame de Staël, De l'Allemagne:
La simplicité grammaticale est un des grands avantages des langues modernes; cette simplicité, fondée sur des principes de logique communs à toutes les nations, rend très-facile de s'entendre; une étude très-légère suffit pour apprendre l'italien et l'anglais; mais c'est une science que l'allemand.
]

Non-troglodytes welcome

Carlos < Letilubelquis < José María Inigo.

2012/08/23

Bar or in vitro fertilisation clinic?

Vino en botella = he/she came in bottle, via Carlos from En la luna de Babel, who may also have been the source of the previous post. Meanwhile Mark Liberman is moving in on the French trade in hallucinogens.

2012/08/22

Ciutadella - Historical Spanish Since 1965

Tom (who is these days blogging less and twittering more) encountered this proclamation on entering Ciudadela de Menorca, and suggests correctly that it refers to the publication in the Boletín Oficial del Estado of a fascist decree, promoted by education minister Manuel Lora Tamayo and signed off by Franco on Christmas Eve 1964, protecting the town's conjunto histórico-artístico from local patriots developers, who had been building furiously since mass tourism in the Balearics kicked off a decade earlier.

The citadel figured in the franquista imagination for one of the Civil War's more curious events, the (non-)Battle of Minorca in early February 1939, when British diplomacy facilitated a rapid Republican surrender, thereby averting some additional bloodshed, bombardment of the historic quarter, and the establishment of an Italian airbase on the island. There is obviously no mention of this quite important event in the decree, and I doubt any memorial to it exists in the town itself. An accurate and acceptable text would be quite difficult to draft, but the translation would probably give joy to many. One for the Foreign Office?

Cool iron = hierro chulo

Via someone's mobile:
Want to rent a gorgeous flat in downtown Barcelona?

2012/08/16

Singular = peculiar, parte de atrás (?) = back side

Don Colin continues his investigation of Spanish idiomcy and gents' toilets. Although I have sung with one - flight is complicated for drunken guitarrists in mock-Renaissance robes - I don't know what "poner una tuna" means. Various types of expert help required. (I get no ghits for "ruiero de combarro.")

2012/08/09

Circulate the spawns to the right, brother

Check out Lenox on the Dump in your Soup School of Translation. The belief that singular and plural, in this case anchovy and anchovies, are qualitatively distinct was also noted by early Soviet linguistic researchers as a barrier to collectivisation in the illiterate hordes of the Great Steppe. I will try to dig out the reference on my return, and compose an essay on the possible consequences for Andalusian socialism.

2012/08/07

How to comply with Catalan language police regulations without spending anything

Over at Tot Barcelona, and one of many such cases in Barcelona. As is noted, there is no proof that the motivation is this rather than, say, a sudden rush of patriotic blood to the head of the proprietor. But, as is also noted, if your shop sign is in Arabic you will be left in peace, while lingua franca, Spanish signs attract heavy fines.