Friday, October 08, 2010

The Minister of Education has had the courage to propose the end of the Spanish practice of dubbing all English films in Spanish, Catalan, Gallego or whatever. Well, Spanish at least. Which seems right for the times but will not, I suspect, happen in my lifetime. The industry is just too big and important.

Nice to see that Vargas Llosa has got the Nobel Peace Prize for literature. But is he Peruvian or Spanish? I ask this because El Mundo referred to him today as the 6th “español” to be given this honour. Perhaps they meant someone who writes in Spanish. Even if he isn’t Spanish, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was by the reaction here. El País had about ten pages on him today.

It’s not uncommon for foreign names to be Hispanised when reported in Spain. I cited Tomás El Moro a week or two ago (for Thomas More) and yesterday I saw Miguel Angel (for Michelangelo). So I’m left wondering, firstly, whether Lebrun would be changed into El Moreno and, secondly, who on earth Spike Jonze is. I saw his name today but suspect he really isn’t Spike Jones.

Sequel 1: Following my reference to the wearing of brand names, a lady friend has today given me a gift of a pullover with a prancing horse on the left breast. So, what do I do now? Unpick it from the back or wear the bloody thing only when I expect to see her. Or take up pipe-smoking until I’ve accidentally fallen asleep and set fire to it?

Sequel 2: In the Comments dialogue on negritos there’s been reference to a Spanish product called Conguitos. So, for the record, here’s their web page and here’s the label from what I think is their original product.

As you can see, some sort of balance has been achieved by having  chubby, thick-lipped white kid alongside the black one. My guess being they represent white and dark chocolate respectively.

Finally . . . . And only for those interested in the challenge of driving in Spain . . . I’ve mentioned more than once that the law here is that when a roundabout (circle) has two lanes, only drivers doing a U-turn can use the inner lane. All others – even if there are four or more exits – must funnel into the outer lane and use this until they turn off. This is productive of enough confusion, delay and risk when there are two lanes both as you approach the roundabout and leave it but what do you do when there’s only one lane for both the approach and the exit but two on the roundabout itself? If you’re going straight on or turning right, it’s logical enough that you move to the outer lane but do you really have to do this if you’re turning left? The answer appears to be Yes. So you again leave the inner lane for the one car in a thousand doing a U-turn. Raising the question of why the expense was ever incurred in putting two lanes on the roundabout. And confusing those who are waiting at one of the other junctions and expecting you to go straight on or turn right. Especially if you indicate right even though you’re turning left. Which appears to be obligatory.

Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published seven chapters of a novel which is “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalised Cuba, it’s being e-published at the rate of at least a couple of chapters a week. If this entices you, click here.


Graeme said...

Colin, Vargas Llosa is most definitely Peruvian although it seems he has also been given a Spanish passport. Under rules which appear not to be available for mere bloggers who actually live in Spain. Perhaps his dislike of anything that challenges the colonial narrative of 'white' South America helps him to feel at home with Spain? Although I believe he also feels equally comfortable in London and Paris.

jorge said...

Vargas Llosa is Peruvian and also holds Spanish citizenship.

I've never seen nor heard "Miguel El Angel" when referring to the Italian master we all know.

Regarding the not-so-fashionable polo shirt, I would burn it and blame it on the Romanians.

Rudy Vinyl said...

Thankyou for the picture and the link to congitos,sorry but  the link is not working,( no se encuntra la pajina…) but wikipedia has the whole story….…
congito was? is ? a aborigine and originaly had a spear on his hand and was change to a finger pointing ..…… 
But this article that I found through a link in wikipedia Proofs my point,and all for the love of MONEY.

El Periódico de Aragón. Edición Digital
Aliaga critica las denuncias racistas contra los Conguitos
05/03/2003 E. P.    
El consejero de Industria, Comercio y Desarrollo, Arturo Aliaga, mostró ayer su preocupación por las consecuencias de las denuncias de racismo lanzadas contra la imagen de los Conguitos de la empresa Chocolates Lacasa. La profesora de Filología Inglesa de la Universidad de A Coruña, María Frías, tildó de "racista e insultante" el personaje dibujado en los paquetes del producto, "que sólo sirve para fomentar y perpetuar estereotipos negativos del pueblo africano", tal y como ayer publicó EL PERIODICO. Frías ya ha enviado dos cartas al fabricante solicitando el cambio.
Part 1

Rudy Vinyl said...

Part 2

Aliaga consideró que antes de lanzar este tipo de mensajes críticos, habría que meditarlo y hablar con la empresa porque puede perjudicar seriamente su imagen o poner en peligro alguna parte del proceso de producción o comercialización. El consejero recordó que Lacasa es una empresa aragonesa que data de 1961, que vende 30 millones de bolsas de Conguitos al año en 40 países del mundo y que estos comentarios pueden poner en peligro tanto su proyección internacional como sus resultados económicos.

Asimismo, recordó que Chocolates Lacasa, que recientemente recibió la visita del Príncipe Felipe con motivo de su 150 aniversario, tiene "un proceso productivo ejemplar" y todas las especificaciones y homologaciones ISO y AENOR. "No estamos para que se perjudique la imagen de las empresas aragonesas cuando Chocolates Lacasa es exquisita con las normativas medioambientales, sanitarias y con la seguridad", señaló.

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Rudy Vinyl said...

About time not to "dub " the English speaking Films.
 Portugal got it right. It never badder them on the contrary. They benefict from it
Vargas Llosas Peruvian.
 I agree with you nice, very nice to win the prize,  but? 10 pages, extras?  If not, what important news have we   Lost?.
 El Pais must have to much paper and not enought news

…Your prancing horse pullover…  WHAT? No Charity  shops in Pontevedra. Surely…      

CafeMark said...

An end to dubbed films? Will the AVE link to Galicia be completed first? We live in exciting times! It's not just my impression, as my teacher friend in Madrid confirms that we're seeing a larger element of the younger population who speak English well (in relative terms, but still a small percentage overall). Whether this is down to acceptance that you need English to get a good job or career, or something else, I don't know. It's certainly the case that the learning of foreign languages by native Brits is still dire.

Alberto MdH said...

Vargas Llosa has both nationalities (Peruvian and Spanish) so technically he can be counted as Spanish even though he no longer leaves in Spain and most people thinks of him as peruvian.

The hispanisation of foreign names is not en Vogue in the last decades so I think that Lebrun would remain untranslated (Also It's Miguel Ángel, not Miguel el Angel)

Finally , the roundabouts in Spain aren't so difficult the problem are the drivers.

Colin said...

My thanks to everyone who explained (as my friends did at dinner last night) that Varga Llosa holds both nationalities, under some concession cited by Graeme.

Thanks also for the correction to Miguel el Angel. My friends last night also corrected me on this and I've now revised the post to show 'Miguel Angel'. They felt it was only done to people from way back. Such as More and Michelangelo. Not to modern 'stars'. But I'll keep my eyes open!

Thanks also to those who pointed out the Conguitos link didn't work. I've fixed this, having not had time to check the link last night. Sorry about that. In doing this, I noticed there's a nice difference between the pictures on the latest(?) manifestation and the one I put in my post. Can't recall where I got the latter from. Will mention this tonight.

@ CafeMark. Yes, Brits in the UK are bad at learning languages. And possibly getting worse, because of the hegemony of English. But I don't know anyone British in Spain who doesn't speak Spanish. Of course, I don't live along the east or south coasts, where the situation is doubtless atrocious. But, then, the foreign ghettos down there aren't really Spain, are they?

@Rudy. thanks for all that stuff. But am I right to think the defensive comments were made some time ago and might not be made in modern Spain?

As for charity shops in snobby Pontevedra . . . you must be joking! No one would be seen dead in them. What you do is leave the clothes near a contenedor, to be picked up during the nocturnal collection of the gypsies who live on the settlements near my house. But this solution is not open to me as I see the lady from time to time and she will expect me to be wearing her bloody gift.

Alberto MdH said...

Rudy Vinyl
Every book by Vargas Llosa is big news in Spain so it's logical that the prize receives big coverture.

Perhaps the 10 pages from El Pais look too much, but he has a regular column in the newspaper and it's owned by the same group that publishes his books so it looks that they are also seizing the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Spike Jonze is really called Spike Jonze. He is a Director/Writer/Producer of movies.

Rudy Vinyl said...

About the comments 
More problabe.

Your fashion gift predicament.?
I have an idea, were it ( the FABULOUS Pullover ) the Spanish,Mediterranean, Latin, boring old fahion way, over your shoulders, that the horse can't be see, go for a drink (were  they don't know you )  and very discritley leave the" FABULOS" pullover sort of… lost  in the bar, and never go back ). If they do know you, go and seat in a park bench and while waching Nature at work, carefully lose "It". I promise you, without doubt someone will Love It,  and will be glad to have It!   
It works every time.
Remember, you must show, how sorry you are that you lost it ofcourse…
and pray She dasen't buy you another one!

I totaly  agree with you. 
Know I see  that there is a reasonable  logic behind it. One must look after ones own, let's all jump in the bandwagon, why not?.

Midnight Golfer said...

It is even more confusing when you consider the great number of round-abouts that have two lanes, but no u-turns, as I found today.

Two of them, actually; each at the end of their particular freeway offramps. Traffic exiting the thoroughfare has no way to make a u-turn, but can choose from two different circular lanes for making right, straight, or a couple of different left-turns, one of which connects with a different roundabout, (also with two lanes,) which then connects to an onramp in the opposite direction.

No matter how many times I try to refresh my memory, whether by looking up the rules in the book they gave me in traffic school, or by asking Spaniards who have been driving in Spain, and the rest of Europe, for decades... I still can't seem to get my mind right as I approach a round-about, especially if it has some wacky artistic statement in the middle of it.

Colin said...

Thanks, Rudy. I'll give it a try.

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