Friday, September 05, 2008

It seems that Scotland is to be given the sort of 'fiscal independence' enjoyed [I think] by Spain's Basque and, to a lesser extent, Catalan regions. Whether this will strengthen or weaken demands for full independence is the great unknown. But the interested observers certainly won't be confined to the UK.

Reading something or other last night, I again noted that the word cristiano is used in the context of language here to mean Spanish. Which seems just a little bit presumptuous to me. In like vein, I wondered about the translating of dim sum [also din sun, it seems] as tapas orientales.

And still on translations - but this time with no whiff of controversy - I see that the English 'behind bars' becomes 'between bars ' [entre rejas] in Spanish. Perhaps this explains why so many Spanish criminals - or at least those convicted of financial skulduggery - don't seem to stay locked up for long.

Gazing out of the window of the Chinese restaurant at lunchtime, it finally dawned on my why so many off-road vehicles are sold here. So you can get off the road and park on the pavement. Or sidewalk to our American friends. Who call the road surface the pavement, I believe.

And still on the language theme . . . In Gallego, the harsh Spanish J becomes a soft X, pronounced sh. To compensate, up in the hills near me Gallego speakers pronounce the G as a J. No me da as khanas. Or something like that . . . It can all be very confusing to the ear.

I may have said this before but I feel those responsible for the televising of Spain's corridas could usefully take a leaf out of Formula 1 car racing and put a mini camera on the forehead of each bull. Or - as with cricket stumps - one in each horn. Imagine being able to see the face of the matador as he gets gored in the groin. Picture the photos in the next morning's press! Remember - You heard it here first. Or maybe second.


The Xunta coalition parties are each conducting a sort of road show to remind us how well they've done in the last three years. And possibly to distract us from the impression that they're at each other's throats. The PSOE's is entitled Three Years Changing Galicia. Which rather begs the question For better or worse? And the BNG's is entitled Transforming Galiza. About which, I guess, the same could be said. Echoing what I wrote a few days ago, one local columnist has opined that It all suggests we're being dragged into a long and insufferable election campaign. Ain't that the truth.

A different local columnist has raised similar points to mine about the unseemly race to festoon the hills with more wind turbines. It's ironic, he rightly say, that an ecological measure has now become associated merely with money and that environmental concerns have all fallen by the wayside. He recommends that an impact report precede each installation, as I think is done in the UK. But I fear it will be a while before politicians of any colour will be willing to put such a sheet anchor on their ambitions. And anyway, they're probably driven by nothing but the laudable motive of meeting EU sustainable energy targets.

Which reminds me . . . While I may be unclear about what is happening around grand schemes for fish farms along our coast, the Xunta seems to have no doubts on the subject. It's taken to putting full-page ads in the local press patting themselves on the back for their visionary plans. Which seems an odd use of taxpayers' money to me. But, as I say, I don't fully understand everything going on around me. Must be age.

Finally, a reminder about the Anglo Galician Association, which is open to everyone who understands English and who has any sort of interest in Galicia/Galiza. The Forum now has 60 registered members and the full web page will be up and running within two weeks.


Lenox said...

It's an old complaint - but the Xunta and the Junta de Andalucía and the Generalitat and the Govt of Ezpaña will ne-ver, never. Ever. Under no friggin condition. Not!! Advertise their stuff in foreign-owned newspapers or radios in Spain.
Absolutely ni de coña. Jeez - what would the neighbours think?

Midnight Golfer said...

Just to confirm that we do use the words 'sidewalk' and 'pavement' the way you say. In the U.S., the sidewalk is the part (usually paved as well) that runs along side the driving surface, and is meant for pedestrians to walk on, 'acera' in Spanish. Pavement is any surface that is paved, asphalt, concrete, etc. - but when used in context with sidewalk, it would be understood to mean the road surface, blacktop, tarmac, etc.

David Jackson said...

Don't use the word "cristiano" to describe Castellano speakers! It comes from when the Iberian Peninsula was still a hotbed of religious war - foriegners who didn't speak Castellano would be told to prove they were "Christians" (Carlos V, etc) and not Moors.
Hence - Speak Christian, you heretic. I'm told the Islamists hate the term and consider it racist.

Sierra said...

I thought all construction projects in Spain, including wind farms, required a "Declaración de impacto ambiental"

Sierra said...

Further to the above, Google found the following regarding our new local farm near Sarria:

"El 2 de junio de 2004, la Dirección General
de Calidad y Evaluación Ambiental formuló la decla-
ración de impacto ambiental de parque eólico de Serra
do Páramo, la cual fue publicada en el Diario Oficial
de Galicia del 10 de agosto de 2004, por Resolución
de 25 de junio de 2004, de la Dirección General
de Industria, Energía y Minas."

Colin said...

Thanks, Sierra

What do feel he is saying or implying with this paragraph? That it doesn't actually happen? Or merely that he's happy it will happen?

Para tranquilizarme, pienso que, si se cumple la legalidad, cada nueva instalación o cada transformación de una ya existente deberá estar sometida a un severo control por parte de la Consellería de Medio Ambiente. Que será necesario un estudio de impacto ambiental serio que justifique la idoneidad de su ubicación y el grado de afectación a la fauna y la flora tanto de los aerogeneradores como de las infraestructuras necesarias para su instalación.

Sierra said...

Bit too subtle for my limited language skills.

Incidently the google reference was from a local "green-peace"-type website. I bet those guys are in agony - being advocates of renewables on the one hand, but not liking the means on the other.

Incidently, our village has it's own electricity supply from an hydro-electric plant on the local river. Very unobtrusive, and I'd have thought the method would be more widely used in Galicia given the climate, and available resources. Perhaps there are no EU grants available.

Colin said...

Suspect you're right!