Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gaelic Galicia?; Spanish Positives and a Negative; & Spanish walking.


In its search for proof that Galicia is truly Gaelic - and so entitled to the membership of the Celtic Nations Group currently denied to it - Proxecto Gaelaico has had a go at deciphering something written on a the wall of a 14th century church up in Betanzos, near La Coruña. Their conclusion is that it reads An Ghaltact, which is Gaelic for "Gaelic-speaking area." This, they insist, proves Galicia's links with Ireland and Scotland. Hmm. Swallows and summer are words that spring to mind. We now await a second opinion from 'expert epigraphists'.

Spanish Positives

  • Spain's crime rate has fallen further and is now only bested by those of Portugal and Greece.
  • Tourism receipts so far this year are the best for 5 years and a record 28 million tourists elected to come here, headed by the British and the Germans.
  • Gin and Tonic is very much the in drink in Spain these days. Not before time. I suspect it's not well known here that gin is a Dutch invention, brought to Britain by William of Orange.
Spanish Negative
  • Outside work, the average Spaniard spends 8 hours 48 minutes a day on his/her devices. This is, by some way, the most in the EU and compares with 6 hours 54 minutes for Brits.
Finally . . . I was looking at a list of English idioms today and came across To walk Spanish. This was new to me but apparently means to physically force someone to leave a place or to discharge them. No idea why. Suggestions very welcome.

7 comments:

Alberto MdH said...

Well, in those days (before Britain fell to herexy) pilgrimages from Scotland to Santiago weren't uncommon, so if the inscription is truly gaelic, it could be very possible that it cames from that source.

In fact, if the inscription is gaelic, it would more likely prove the scottish hypothesis, since the peoples who came to Galicia around the fifth century spoke a Brittonic language (more akin to Welsh or Breton)

As an aside: A friend of mine has written a novel about one of such scottish pilgrimages. And this place is as good as any other to promote a friend:

Corazón Oscuro

Galicia Vac said...

"Walking Spanish" would appear to have its origens from the days of conflict between Spain and Britain and the various "privateers" or pirates on the so-called Spanish Main. They would induce unwilling prisoners to "walk Spanish" by forcing them to walk either by holding them by the scruff of the neck or possibly even at the point of a sword - even to the extent of being forced to walk the plank or in other words to one's death.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Alberto. I had the same thought before I saw the date. If they really were talking Gaelic in Galicia then, where are the documents that support this?

Colin Davies said...

GV. Many thanks for that.

Alberto MdH said...

heresy, I wanted to say heresy

Alberto MdH said...

Well, as far as I know, there are no sources about the language of the britonians. The little we know comes from scattered mentions in ecclesial documents (in latin) But, if they retained there language (likely) it couldn't be Gaelic but Brythonic.

Alberto MdH said...

Since any time is good to pinch the nationalists, perhaps it is good to remember that Gaelic languages not penetrate Northern Britain until the Scotti invaded from Ireland in the aftermath of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and conquered the Picts and Northern Brythonic Kingdoms. Gaelic is no more aboriginal of the island than english.

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