Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gib; Learning English; Portuguese Pontevedra; Strange decisions; Fado; and Good Wife Rules.

Well, the EU investigators have arrived, just as the heat is anyway dissipating from the Gibraltar summer set-to. The Spanish president, Sr Rajoy, has demanded they conclude the place should lose whatever fiscal status it currently has, even if this does mean the loss of up to 10,000 Spanish jobs. I think I'm right in saying this is one item which the visitors long ago stressed is outside their remit. But, hey, why miss a good grandstanding opportunity when it's there for the taking?

Learning English is pretty damn easy,if you're an Anglo-Saxon child, but not so easy if this advantage is denied to you. Here's The Local's list of the top 10 things Spaniards struggle with. For some readers, this may be the first time they've met 'phrasal verbs'(No.5), even though they're the bane of every foreign student's life. This being so, imagine their reaction when you tell them you've never heard of what they're complaining about.

One of my favourite buildings in Pontevedra is the Palacete de los Mendoza



It's had various owners over the past 100 years but now serves as the - rarely frequented - HQ of the Rías Baixas Tourist Board. It's built in the Portuguese style, as are all these fine buildings on the north side of Pontevedra.




















I learned only this week that there's a second film shot in Pontevedra, this one in the early 80s. It was the rather more successful Los Gozos y Las Sombras and it featured the Palacete as the home of the main characters.

Ten years or so ago, I sent a personal letter to the Director of the said Rías Baixas Tourist Board, offering to translate all their promotional material for nowt. I never even had the courtesy of a reply. But, anyway, here's how their English material turned out, absent my help. Craply, in a word. Presumably, though, it came with the stamp of approval of whichever of the Director's relatives produced it. For a large fee.

Passing through a street I regularly use yesterday, I saw there were none of the 10-15 cars usually parked in it. Then I noticed the new yellow markings and a Load/Unload Only sign. As the only 2 businesses within 100 metres are a kindergarten and a hairdressers, I was left wondering who would be doing the loading and unloading. More precisely, in whose financial interest was this bizarre (but not unprecedented) decision made? Perhaps all will become clear in due course.

In a BBC podcast on Portugal, the reporter referred to Fado as 'a sort of Iberian Blues'. More like an Iberian version of moaning, in my humble opinion. I put the mistake down to the reporter not being old enough to know what Blues is. And/or a cloth ear.

Finally . . . HT to my Ferrol friend Richard for this guide to the 11(10?) rules a (Spanish) wife must obey to be a good spouse. First issued in 1953, it'll astonish, amuse and enrage in equal proportions. Especially the one about not complaining if your husband has stayed out all night. At the brothel, presumably. I'm guessing it all had Franco's full approval, if not his wife's. I'm reminded of Mohammed's wife being told in the Quran to knock off her complaining about her husband's concubines. By the way, the Spanish for spouse (esposa in the feminine) also means 'handcuffs'. Now you know why.

6 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Fado is considerably more beautiful than any of the caterwauling to come out of Liverpool, my famous Scouse! And if you don't understand it, well: just Let It Be!

Al 'Saudade' Mittington

Colin said...

It may or may not be but the Blues never came out of Liverpool.

I agree it's useful as a soporific.

No wonder the Spanish think the Portuguese are dull!

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Blues? What Blues? I seem to remember you listened to Perry Como over Christmas. And Jim Reeves At The Fireside...

ABM

Anthea said...

Recommended Fado listening: Mariza. Seek her out.Like Fkamenco, when it's good its very good but when it's bad it's horrid.

markonsea said...

"Perhaps all will become clear in due course."

Surely that should be "Perhaps all will become clear with the time"?

Didn't you learn anything from losing out to a better translator?

Anonymous said...

I think not markonsea .. '..all will become clear in due course' is correct. You can't say 'with the time'.

I suggest that you check your grammar book before you post.

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