Monday, October 14, 2013

Galicia's fire sale?; Whither the EU?; Cyclists; Sunrises;

I mentioned a week ago that Galicia could see it sole remaining (and bankrupt) bank pass into the hands of foreigners, now that the government which nationalised it has put it on the block. This would be bad enough for local pride but events could take a turn for the even worse. For there are 2 types of 'foreigner' in Galicia, and possibly every other region of Spain:- international foreigners and domestic foreigners, i. e. people or companies from other parts of Spain. Given Spain's history and current/eternal regional rivalries, the latter are considered even more undesirable than real foreign johnnies. And so it's with absolute horror that Galicians view the possible acquisition of NovaGalicia Banco by the Catalunian Caixa. This, after all, is a region which is talking loudly of succession from Spain and which has been critical of aid to Galicia from Madrid. Theoretically, Cataluña seceding from Spain would make it a less unattractive international foreigner. But, in this case, I don't think things would work out that way.

"The European Commission has warned of the increasing divide in wellbeing, because of the crisis, between countries of the centre and peoples of the periphery, especially between Germany and Spain." Hmm. Not quite what the EU is all about, is it? Time to wheel out again that old cynical quote that "The consequence of every major reform is the exact opposite of what was intended." Divergence, not convergence in other words. BTW - Having just searched it, I see this is called the Perversity Thesis:- Whereby any action to improve some feature of the political, social, or economic order is alleged to result in the exact opposite of what was intended.

Checking out MP4 players on line yesterday, I was struggling to understand how one of them could have an "amazing glossy end". I eventually realised this was a reference to its 'finish' - the perils of avoiding the cost (very low these internet days) of having your text run over by a native speaker.

It was a mother and her equally reckless young son on parallel bikes what did it. As of today, I'll be carrying a walking cane when I wander into and out of town for my midday tiffin and a read of the papers. Hopefully, the fear of it ending up between their spokes will cause cyclists to give me a wider berth than is currently the case, if not slow down. (I originally typed 'birth' in that sentence and was going to leave in the mistake as an ironic reflection on native speakers. But then I thought - "Who the hell is going to get that, with the possible exceptions of Trevor over at Kalebeul or Alfie at Metis Meets Mittington? And probably not even them. And no one will believe me post factum. So I changed it.)

Incidentally, the only reason I've not used a cane before now is that this habit is affected by the super elegant Draculín ('Little Dracula') as he covers more or less the same ground as me every day. And I didn't want to be seen as a pathetic copy. But needs must.

For 1 or 2 days a year - around now - the sun rises over the distant hills directly above the Lerez river, between me and the city of Pontevedra. Here's how it rose yesterday:-

And here's how it rose on a rather cloudier today.

Of course, if it's raining on these 2 days, we have to wait another year, at least. Rather like Druids in Stonehenge, I imagine. With probably the same degree of disappointed swearing.

Finally . . . Here's a foto sent by a friend. It's actually me in the pram:


This will be of interest to very few people. Nonetheless . . . .

Here's a list I've compiled essentially for my own interest. It's of some common Spanish words and their Gallego(Galician) equivalents. What I've tried to do is put them in categories of similarity. Sometimes the change is made in one direction and sometimes in the other, as with the N and the Ñ. I haven't bothered to make sub categories when the latter happens. And sometimes the change would put the words in 2 categories but I haven't bothered to do this.

Spanish ('Castellano/Castelán) are both official languages in Galicia but I won't go into how many people 'dominate' each language, which class they belong to and where they live. This is marshy ground. Both are considered languages, not dialects, and Gallego/Galego is seen as a sister language to Portuguese, both descending from a Western Iberian parent. Galicians and Portuguese will argue until the end of time as to which is the elder sister.

Galician speakers - or some of them at least - see their language as being closer to Latin (see the F/H) category and, therefore, somehow purer. I don't see this myself but each to his own. But I do agree that the regular substitution of the X(sh) for Spanish's harsh Js, Gs, etc. does make Gallego a softer language to listen to, especially when there are two, say, Js in a Spanish word - like Jenjo, which becomes Xenxo(Shensho).

To the horror of some Galician readers, I'm not making any conscious attempt to learn Gallego, as I did with Spanish. To most people the reasons will seem obvious but to others my decision will be seen as an insult to Galicia and as proof that I'm a "Spanish nationalist". But that's their problem.

There will be mistakes of both commission and omission in what follows. If you feel strongly about these, feel free to advise me. But without telling me I'm an idiot. I have enough such advisers already.

I hope a few of you will enjoy this exercise. If you want to add to the list, I'd be delighted to receive your thoughts. Meanwhile, my apologies for the fact that the formatting of the original document is not reproduced here.

One letter more/less

Gallego Galego

La A
El O
Guardar Gardar
Agua Auga
Lomo Lombo
Tierno Tenro
Venta Venda
Solo So
Sola Soa
Siempre Sempre
Cuatro Catro
Cuando Cando
Huerta Horta
Una Unha
Uno Unho
Les Lles
Piensa Pensa
Mas Mais
Por lo Polo
Por la Pola
Ahora Agora
Mano Man
Cuesta Custa
Mismo Mesmo
Pierde Perde
Pues Pois
Quién Quen
Puedo Podo
Bien Ben
Verano Verán
Nombre Nome
Persona Persoa
Dos Das
Pie Pé
Mejor Maior
Hueso Oso
Tambien Tamén
Donde Onde
Bodega Adega
Estudio Estudo
Moneda Moeda
Nuevo Novo
Entonces Entón
Viejo Vello
Poblado Poboado
Escritura Escriptura
Cuerno Corno
Cierto Certo
Esto Isto
Fuego Fogo
Nuevo Novo
Incluido Incluíndo
Poco Pouco
Estudio Estudo
Hombre Home
Fue Foi
Antiguo Antigo
Largo Longo
Bueno Bo
Buena Boa
Puerto Porto
Puerta Porto
Noche Noite
Mucho Moito
Hasta Ata
Piedra Pedra
Hazar Azar
Cuando Cando
Vacuna Vacún

Camino Camiño
Caminar Camiñar
Vino Viño
Sardina Sardiña
Caña Cana R

Cabaña Cabana
Año Ano

Gallego Galego
Pollo Polo
Camello Camelo
Caballo Cabalo
Gallo Galo
Estrella Estrela

Llamar Chamar
Llegar Chegar
Llave Chave
Lluvia Choiva
Techo Tellado

Polvo Polbo

J, Z, Y, G/X
Junta Xunta
Conjunto Conxunto
Gente Xente
Yacimiento Xacemento
Logico Loxico
Paisaje Paisaxe
Ayuda Axuda
Región Rexión
Joya Xoia
Jubilar Xubilar
Cronologia Cronoloxia
Cerveja Cervexa
Mitológica Mitolóxica
Ya Xa
Pijama Pixama
Geográfico Xeográfico
Dijeron Dixeron
Technológico Technolóxlico
Hoy Hoxe
Ejemplo Exemplo
Germinar Xerminar
Blindaje Blindaxe
Salvaje Salvaxe
General Xeneral
Tarjeta Tarxeta
Doblaje Doblaxe
Chronológia Chronolóxia
Mitológico Mitolóxico
Surgir Xurdir
Arcilla Arxila

Oveja Ovella
Conejo Coello
Trabajo Traballo

Poco Pouco
Orense Ourense
O Ou
Hubo Houbo
Otro Outro
Vivo Viviu

Hacer Facer
Hormiga Formiga
Horno Forno
Hormigón Formigón
Hito Fito
Hoz Fouce
Hilo Filo
Hogar Fogar
Herramienta Ferramenta
Hermano Fermano
Hablar Falar

Cumple Cumpre
Plaza Praza
Plancha Prancha
Playa Praya

Hay Hai
Muy Moi

Primero Primeiro
Pera Peira
Veinte Vinte
Miedo Medo
Ternera Tenreira
Cordero Cordeiro
Cualquiera Cualquera
Hace Hai

Edad Edade
Actividad Actividade
Comunidad Comunidade
Usted Vostede
Ciudad Cidade
Mitad Mitade
Inseguridad Inseguridade

Instituciones Institucións

And now for some completely different . . . .

Cerrar Pechar (Fechar in Portuguese)
Perro Can (Latin canis)
Que Cal
Los que Cales


Barcelona's Singing Organ-Grinder said...

And the New York Post, of course:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

'Run over a text'? With a car? Or were you going to use a bicycle??

And 'And probably not even them' ought to be 'And probably not even they.' Not to mention 'covers the same ground as I every day' (not 'as me').

Shall I go on? Need me to run over your blogtexts with the old Renault 4??

Your friend, Al

Colin said...

1. 'Run over a text'? With a car? Or were you going to use a bicycle??

It's short for 'run a comb over'

Don't understand your problem.

2. And 'And probably not even them' ought to be 'And probably not even they.' Not to mention 'covers the same ground as I every day' (not 'as me').

No. It's instead of "I do". Not "me do".

3. Shall I go on? Need me to run over your blogtexts with the old Renault 4??

No. I'm happy for you to run over yourself.

Sierra said...

Playa Praia?

Meanwhile, for local oenophiles:

Colin said...

Ta. My brain was telling me something was wrong there but I didn't listen.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

My dear boy,

YOU wrote 'as me'. Not I.


Colin said...

True, but 'as I' is hardly ever used in English these days in sentences like that. It sound arch. I can usually rely on my good friend Phil to pick me up on these but I go with what sounds sonorous, not what grammarians wrote aeons ago. And I blatantly ignore the 'rule' about starting sentences with a conjunction. And the one about the need for a verb.

There are no rules in English except those established by usage. Which is why I've given up on less v. fewer. I recognise practice has changed, however much it annoys me.

Do you never end a sentence with a preposition? Or is that something up with which you will not put? An un-sonorous sentence, if there ever were/was one.

Anthea said...

I love your Castellano/Galego list. The sad thing is that loads of supposedly bilingual (Castellano/Galego) speakers aren't even aware of this and will tell you how hard ot is to learn French or Italian. There's a bitof me that still maintains that Galician is really just dyslexic Castilian Spanish. Oops! That will upset some people!

Colin said...

Yes, it certainly will! Let's hope they don't read the Comments.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

The difference, my good friend, is that the 'no prep at the end of a sentence' rule, is a stylistic prescription which - if I remember well - was dragged into English from Latin, where this was indeed Not Done.

The 'as I', however, has a grammatical justification, since the pronoun, being the agent of the verb, ought to be in the nominative case, not the dative or accusative which follows on a pronoun.

In the end we are all constnatly in limbo, wether to follow the grammatically (and traditionally) pure, or the usage of the day.

Yours, Al.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Sorry, correction: 'which follows on a preposition'.

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