Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thoughts from Galicia

Well, my daughter's doctor friend confirmed that the Accident & Emergency centres of the UK's NHS operate in exactly the same way as the Urxencias here in Galicia. Only it's worse. The NHS operates a telephone line which serves to send more folk to the A&E centres than would otherwise be the case. Hence yesterday's reports in the press that patients can wait in an ambulance for as long as 8 hours, thanks to a lack of beds/gurneys. Clearly, I got off lightly

Another abused gerund - El coaching. This appears to mean 'training' but it gets worse:- La persona que realiza el proceso de coaching recibe el nombre de coach (entrenador), mientras que la persona que lo recibe se denomina coachee.

Talking about funny words . . . The menu of the restaurant I dined at with friends tonight took a novel approach to the item Rape. This is normally given as 'Monkfish' in English. But not here, where it was translated as 'Toadfish'. This, it seems, is a Spanish alternative for Rape - Pez Sapo('Toadfish') - and it reflects, insisted the waitress, the ugliness of the fish. Spanish bluntness? Or poor marketing?

On the same menu there was an item called Cocochas de Merluza. Now, cocochas means 'cheeks' but it's not a word which would be known even to those with a reasonable command of Spanish. So it was a bit puzzling to see the English version given as 'Cocochas of Hake'.

But perhaps the best thing about this menu was the translation of the Spanish heading Revueltos. This is one of the rare examples where the Spanish is shorter than the English, for it means 'Scrambled Egg Dishes'. Admirably, perhaps, the menu kept it short and had it as just 'Scrambles'. Which is a word I think we should keep.

There was an article in today's Voz de Galicia on the number of Galician drivers who are on the verge of losing their licences because of the points they've lost after committing offences. It contained a useful list of said offences and the points lost in their respect. Interestingly, you can lose 3 points for using a mobile phone, having earphones in or using your satnav. I wonder if the last 2 are offences in other countries.

Der Spiegel reports that a combination of La Crisis and Brussels pressure have forced the Spanish to give up the hallowed tradition of the siesta, meaning the (crazy) split day. Allegedly, this has become 'a thing of the past' in the pursuit of increased consumer spending and, thus, higher profits and related tax revenue. Well, you could have fooled me. We still have 'the dead hour' (actually 2 or 3 hours) in Pontevedra. Maybe not in Madrid and Barcelona.

Finally . . . The critic A A Gill was clearly unimpressed with the performance of Al Pacino in his latest film, which is (not) about Phil Spector:- The writing started off tentatively, a bit too theatrical for the small screen, but then Pacino got hold of it and made it too ­theatrical for a theatre, too theatrical for a circus, too messianically over the big top for a biblical revival. He makes Brian Blessed look like Sooty. Al has ceased to be an actor in the sense that he exists in a given scenario with other actors and interacts. He has transcended into a monomaniac emoticon, with a character that is entirely self-generated from his memories and previous performances.


Ferrolano said...

Have you not noticed Colin that it only seems to be the gerund form of English verbs that are being conscripted into the Spanish language. Perhaps English is needed to describe when something is actually active or being done….

Perry said...


There is a Spanish form gerund, so I am wonderiendo why such endings (ando or -iendo) are not employed in creating Spanglish words. Boxing is el boxeo. Jogging is footing, but trotar es bueno para ti?

Katy anda comiendo todo el dia. Katy goes around eating all day.


I understand huevos revueltos, but suspect I would be lost with "scrambles" without the qualifier. After all, se levantó de un salto means he scrambled to his feet, but I might be tempted to write se revueltosed de un salto.

As for the Toadfish description, perhaps Angleriendo Peces might work better? Genus Lophius

Be glad humans have not taken the evolutionary route of the common black devil. Males swim freely when young, but before reaching adulthood the male will fix itself permanently to the rear of the female's body, living thereafter as a parasite of the female. The male's internal organs now atrophy as the fish shares the female's blood and becomes simply a sperm provider as required.



Colin said...

See tonight!

Azra said...

It's always comforting (and quite amusing too) to come here and read this blog. Hope you're well Colin :)

Ferrolano said...


Good remark and yes, it makes me wonder too.......

Colin said...

Thanks, Azra. Yes, I am very well thanks and, unlike you, enjoying the summer, now that it's finally arrived. As ever, though, some days are diamonds and some days are stones . . . Guess you know the feeling.

Lenox said...

One of the great words which has passed into our local English language came from a sign in the local supermarket. - 'Foodings'.

Colin said...

ROFL, Lenox.