Monday, September 16, 2013

Books; Words; Stranglish; and Good luck.

For reasons as yet unclear (as the newspapers here say whenever there's a car crash), all school books here are revised every year, forcing parents to lay out very considerable sums every September for new text books. This, of course, is a struggle for some, especially when things are as tight as they now are. Some say that the (large) profits garnered from this annual feeding frenzy is all that keeps publishers and bookshops in business but I wouldn't know. Perhaps Alfie Mittington does. He usually has an opinion on this sort of thing.

Idly reading menus and other things over the last day or two, I've quickly come up with the following list of Spanish and Galician words which differ by only one letter or an accent. I'm sure there are many more:
Persoa Persona Person
Traballo Trabajo Work
Das Dos Two
Pé Pied Foot
Galego Gallego Galician
Cana Caña Rod
Pixama Pijama Pyjama
Polo Pollo Chicken
Ternreira Ternera Veal
Cordeiro Cordero Lamb
Prancha Plancha Iron
Praza Plaza Square

Flicking through the list, one's forced to ask Why bother? but this is unfair to Gallego as it's not just a dialect but a recognised language. Albeit without an army or navy. So unlikely to spread. Cue nasty messages from Galician nationalists without a sense of humour.

Talking of menus . . . We enjoyed one last night which translated Melón as 'Tripe', Cañas fritas as 'Fried Rods' and Filloas (pancakes) as 'Thin flour pies'.

Worse/better, here's a section of a hotel web page, brought to my attention by my friends Anthea and Phil, who - through chess connections - have got themselves a 3 day junket in a 5 star place along the coast:-
The enthusiasm that transmit the rooms has a lot to do with the naturalness of the decor of fine materials used freely but without fanfare. On the other side of the curtain, quietly linger the long ocean sunsets. The sun's rays illuminate with gentle tones the landscapes of Oia coast and the spirit of sensitive viewers that live the experience from a hotel specifically designed for them.
Superior Double Room: The largest rooms of the hotel combines the luxury of space with sea views from one of the most spectacular views of the environment.
Lounge Room: A stay accommodation ideal for families or for various business activities.
Standard Room Sea View: Stay comfortable and dynamic, which prevails in the decor and atmosphere the passion for the Atlantic Ocean.
Standard room with Mountain View: Cozy rooms contemplating the flora and fauna of the mountains of the region.

This hotel, by the way, was built illegally and is alleged to be owned by a drug baron. I can't comment on this but I can say that, from recollection, the 'Mountain View' starts with a rock face about one metre from your window.

Finally . . . Yesterday was a very good day for me. Firstly, in the weekly flea market in Veggie Square, I happened upon a framed print of the picture at the top right of this blog. And bought it for what I was prepared to pay for it. Secondly, for the first time in over ten years, I was approached by readers of my blog. So, let's hear it for the charming Pat and Jane Henry. Who made my day.

By the way, I've failed to find out who painted the picture so would welcome any info on it.


nacho said...

Google's response is:

Painter: Carl Spitzwe
Painting: The Poor Poet

Colin said...

Very many thanks, amigo. said...

Aside from being illegally built and owned by a druggie, the hotel in question is just plain ugly. A wart on the face of that beautiful and much-abused stretch of coast.

Anonymous said...

There's something to be said about staying comfortable and dynamic...I might try it...

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say the hotel is not legal:
It is registered in the tourism body Tourgalicia:
Whilst something like these are not registered
Both of course ran by Brits who never want to conform.

Colin said...

"I am sorry to say the hotel is not legal:"

Did you mean to write this?

Legally built or legally registered?

Or declared legal after it was illegally built?

Anonymous said...

It operates as a legally registered concern. All accommodation in Galicia be it a camping site to a Parador must be registered and abide by the rules laid down by the Xutna/Turgalicia. Hence the link to the turgalicia website.
How can a hotel which is illegal be operated to the rules? BTW these rules are the strictest in Spain. Unlike say Andalusia where there are rules, but it does not seem to worry the Junta if accommodation is run to them.

Colin said...

Because just because it's registered doesn't mean it was built legally. It had no building licence. It is not unknown in Galicia, or anywhere else in Spain, for illegal building to be retrospectively legalised. Just like the houses in front of mine. And the owner, as I say, is reputed to have a lot of money, which which to pay for the legalisation process needed.

Down in one valley in Andalucia they are planning to legalise 30,000 houses which were illegally built. That's the way its done sometimes.

And our newest bridge in Pontevedra was started without a building licence. For which reason work on it was suspended for 9 months while the licence was processed.