catalan – Page 2 – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: catalan

Now I’ve broken up for Christmas holidays, I’m ill – isn’t it always the way with teachers? So, to get myself in the Christmas spirit, and because it is very funny – and true! – here’s the inimitable Stephen Fry explaining a couple of rather particular Catalan traditions. Perhaps not the clip to use to explain it in class though!!

Warning – these clips contain coarse language that may offend.

And here’s a clip of children attacking their Caga Tio!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LksInINGTVs&hl=en&fs=1]


Sagradafamilia, originally uploaded by Theo K.

Bon dia des de Barcelona! Didn´t think I´d get to blog from Barcelona but as ´mi marido´is ´trabajando´and the hotel has a PC with free wifi, ´aquí estoy´.

I am having a lovely time and there´s still more than a day to go.

Yesterday we went to Montjüic and visited MNAC, Fundació Miró and el Poble Espanyol.

Today we´ve visited la Sagrada Familia (I expected scaffolding but there was far too much of it!) and then Parc Güell. And it´s only lunchtime.

Next on the agenda is Port Vell and Port Olimpic before el Barri Gòtic etc and some serious shopping tomorrow.

I´ve taken lots of pictures – typical tourist ;o) – but as ´el marido´is using his laptop and this PC doesn´t Bluetooth or have an SD card reader, I can´t downlaod them at the moment. However, I have ´borrowed´one by the lovely Theo K to illustrate my post!

Fins aviat!

PS I am trying really hard to speak Catalan – after all, that´s why I´ve been revising. However, every time I try I am either looked at blankly or answered in Spanish. So, either I´m trying it out on people who can´t speak Catalan, my Mallorquí accent is confusing them, or I really am rubbish at Catalan! Hoping it´s not the latter ;os

¡BARCELONA!

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Soooo excited! Tomorrow I’m off to Spain with Mr S (and without the little Master Ss!)

Three nights in Barcelona – definitely not long enough but I’m grateful for any time spent in Spain. And Barcelona – wow! I’ve studied the history of the city at University, learned the language and read books (fact and fiction) about its streets. So can’t wait to be let loose to explore properly – last time I was on an organised trip and had a measly 2 hours to ourselves! Mr S will just have to follow me around and as long as he is allowed to partake of coffee, beer and tapas at regular intervals, he’ll be fine!

Hope to take lots of pictures of my own, but here are a few by other people to set the scene.


And a brilliant 3D movie of how the Sagrada Familia might / will look when it’s finally finished – in 2020!!

Estigiu preparats!

The notes accompanying the video say:

Hi, I was looking for something interesting at archive.org and I found your (lonebanana)short film ‘What to do in a zombie attack’. I have to say that I found it terrific, i was laughing out loud the first time i was watching it! I’m a high school teacher in Barcelona (Spain) and I was thinking to translate it into catalan (a language we talk in Catalunya, in the north of Spain and south of France) to show it to my pupils. Also I was thinking about giving a translated copy to a couple of friends who work in horror festivals to see if they can be interested in showing your short film. Great film!!”

Fun idea – you never know when you’ll be be attacked by zombies ;o)


It’s been over a week since my last post on Es Repte Català (Catalan Challenge) and although haven’t been idle, I haven’t done as much as I would’ve liked to have done.

One way I’ve found that helps me ‘revise’ is to listen to the language and to see how much I can understand. I usually find this encouraging as I understand more than I think. It also brings back to my mind phrases that I know and love – for example – com vulguis – as you like!
And if the listening is accompanied by viewing, visual clues add to understanding.
What’s more, if the listening / viewing is of something that is already familiar or known to you in some other form, you’re on to a winner.

So –

Here’s a challenge for you! Courtesy of Lynne Horn (marvellous blogger from Tobermory – the real ‘Miss Hoolie’) – here’s Fawlty Towers in Catalan. Can you follow the story? Which episode is it? Can you pick out any key words?

And what about some Si primer ministre – Sir Humphrey and Bernard show how the results of questionnaires and statistics can be manipulated to say whatever you want! Can you follow the gist? This is trickier as Sir Humphrey is an expert at bamboozling in English so in another language, wel…)

And if all that is too tricky – why not have a go at the tonguetwister challenge on 12seconds.tv? One brave soul has had a go! There’ll be another one coming up soon.

Bona sort avec es repte ;o)


As I said in an earlier post, I began learning Catalan at Sheffield University in the 90s as part of my degree in Hispanic Studies. Given the choice between Portuguese and Catalan, my decision was influenced by three things.
Firstly, I thought it would useful if I wanted to go to Barcelona (which I did!)
The second reason was more frivolous; a rather charming young solicitor from Barcelona called Chema lodged around the corner from us at home and he spoke Catalan as well as Spanish. The third reason was that I looked at who would teach us, and decided that the Catalan prof looked rather fun!

Professor Alan Yates
was – and no doubt still is!- a unique, enigmatic individual who exuded a love of life that was rather inspiring. And boy did he love Catalan! As I am proving, I wasn’t the greatest student of Catalan – I tried hard though!- but some of my most vivid memories of the Hispanic Studies Dept took place in n’Alan’s office where our motley group had tutorials. I recall a large rubber plant, mountains of books on all the chairs that you had to move to sit down, and, most of all, that all tutorials were accompanied by pipe smoke. I’m sure it wasn’t allowed but n’Alan puffed away on his pipe throughout, and tough if we didn’t like it! I was normally OK but as I am allergic to smoke, it was tough going when I had a cold!

Professor Alan Yates wrote *the* guide to learning Catalan – Teach yourself Catalan. There are others now no doubt but at the time it was the only one I believe! – and as I look at now, trying to recapture my ability to put indirect and direct object pronouns in the correct order, and use the subjunctive effectively, I am once more struck by the uniqueness of the man – it’s him through and through!

I mean, how many teach yourself guides include such marvellous, improbable phrases?

Era l’últim dia de l’any i tota la mà obra, fora dels paletes, va plegar d’hora
It was the last day of the year and the entire workforce, apart from the bricklayers, finished work early.

L’han disfressada de monja.
They have disguised her as a nun.

Demà anirem a caçar ànecs, Tant de bo que no plogui.
Tomorrow we are going duck hunting. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

No sé si és boig però ho sembla.
I don’t know if he’s mad, but he looks it!

How could you fail to make friends and influence people with such phrases at your fingertips? Here are a few more – but you really should get your hands on a copy of the book to see the full range. I joke – but it is a really good textbook that does teach you all that you need to know to speak and write coherent Catalan.

Quina boca més grossa que tens!
What a big mouth you’ve got!

No puc tombar la clau al pany i no vull trucar a la porta, de por de despertar la meva dona. A veure si és posible entrar per una finestra?
I couldn’t turn the key in the lock and I don’t want to knock the door for fear of waking my wife. I wonder if it is possible to get in through the window.

Estic disposat a sortejar la cabra.
I’m prepared to raffle the goat.

Vés a buscar-me el tornavís – Per què el vols? -Fes el que et dic. Aquests cargols són rovellats i vull canviar-los.
Fetch me the screwdriver. what do you want it for? – Do as I tell you. These screws are rusty and I want to change them.

De tot això ja fa molts anys … però encara m’agrada el català
All that was many years ago…. but I still love Catalan.

Graciès n’Alan xx


I couldn’t resist sharing this video with you. In my befuddled bunged up state, I thought it was a interesting take on Star Wars, made by those who want Catalan to be given more prominence and power, and feel aggrieved by its treatment by Spanish authorities.

En una galàxia molt, però molt fatxa….

Estic constipada :o(

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Avui, estic molt constipada. No puc respirar bé. Tampoc puc pensar – a l’anglès i encara menys a català.

Per això, un conte bonic que m’agrada – i també coneixo molt bé :o)

Les tres ossos i la Rinxols d’or

[PS – In case you’re puzzled, I have a cold. As José Picardo kindly explained when I tweeted my condition yesterday, it’s English that is scatalogical ;o)]

Com va es repte?

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With term starting on Wednesday, I must admit that I’ve not done as much as I would have liked towards recalling and improving my Catalan. I have
tweeted Mark a few timespobret! – and I joined a Facebook group – I WANNA LEARN CATALAN! and guess who had beat me to it? Si, es meu amic escocès! I’ll be following some of the suggestions in the thread Music in català – I learn well from songs, and I apparently have poor taste in music (???) so this might improve my kudos!

Anyhow, yesterday I had to make do with a ‘S’expressió catalana des dia’ – as I tweeted

Estic no sé com.

It means ‘There is something the matter with me’ – and I just love the phrase as it amuses me!

Avui vaig decidir a matar dos pardells d’un tret. (Very proud of myself for remembering this vaguely!!)

It’s time to post my next tonguetwister on 12seconds.TV and I want to keep up my Catalan practice, so below is the amalgamation of the two things!

Have a go at this topical tongue twister –

Catalan tonguetwister on 12seconds.tv

Com a ploure, prou que plou, Pau, però plou poc.


It means …Well, it really rains, Paul, but it only rains a little. (we wish!)

And if that’s not enough, try one of these 1221 (!) refranys about sa pluja :o)

Fins demà!


At the end of my last post, I said I might have a go at recording a 12seconds.tv clip of me speaking Catalan.

I did try using 12seconds.tv – at school, it was blocked (not very surprised really!). Then I tried at home. Having been distracted by talking about my favourite concert ever for 12 seconds, I tried introducing myself in Catalan but found that 12 seconds wasn’t long enough. this was pleasing as it meant I had more to say than I thought ;o)

So I went back to Seesmic and, after countless attempts, I recorded and saved a version which I can just about accept. Why is it that you never sound as good as you do in your head when you talk? And the faces I pull – em sap greu – please forgive me!!

Any comments are more than welcome – but please be that ‘sympathetic native speaker’ that we’re always promising our pupils!

Lisa intenta a xerrar es catalá / mallorquíTrying to introduce myself in Catalan after many years of not speaking it. Apologies to any Catalan speakers for the mistakes – please be kind if you want to correct me;o)

If you’re interested, check out Mark’s progress on his blog – he’s doing so much better than me – but I will not be intimidated!

En Mark es força més bon estudiant de ses llenguas que jo.

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