Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Spanish people will be sleeping easier in their beds tonight. The ineffable Sr Zapatero has taken time off from strutting (stumbling?) on the international stage to assure them he understands their criticisms, their anxiety and their insistence. For something other than platitudes, I imagine.

It looks like it’s going to be a golden age for teachers of English here in Galicia. For, not only is the Xunta introducing trilingual education (Gallego, Spanish and English) but it’s also going to give preferential treatment to teachers who can give lessons in English. Which is logical, I guess. Perhaps I should come out of retirement and make a packet, adding a few words of conversation to student’s eight years of little but written textbook grammar. After all, I guess they’ll need to actually speak English in order to teach in it. But I suppose it’s a bridge too far to expect the Xunta to ditch the ubiquitous dubbing of English language films for subtitles, as happens in our southern neighbour, Portugal. Which is years ahead in the teaching of English.

I was watching my team, Everton, beat Manchester City last night and was as impressed as anyone with a very neat bit of dexterity shown by one of the Everton players. In fact, the crowd rose as one to applaud the artistry. And it struck me that this sort of thing is what a bullfight audience gets so excited about. When it happens. Which is not terribly often, I suspect. But there was a lot less blood involved at Goodison Park than at the average bullfight. Or any bullfight, to be totally accurate. On the pitch, I mean. God knows what was going on on the terraces. Or are those days past now?

Finally . . . I mentioned the excellence of Basque tapas dishes a week or so ago. Now, comes the announcement that there’s going to be a university of gastronomy there. I imagine there’ll be a few Galicians wondering why Galicia has been passed over for this institution, given how highly they rate the local cuisine. Perhaps they can establish a place dedicated to shellfish. And sweet paprika. Interesting to see that the languages of instruction will be Spanish and English, not Basque.

2 comments:

Xoán-Wahn said...

Enlgish and Spanish...not Basque? Hmm, that is interesting indeed! I suppose the point is to attract as many international students as possible and not risk alienating anyone willing to pay to learn how to make Basque tapas. Sounds very intelligent to me! A great way to promote and preserve the traditional cuisine of the Basque Country!

Colin said...

Yes, exctly. Some things are more important than petty nationalism. Money being one for the Basques, they say . . .

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