Monday, December 4, 2006

We're all weird aren't we

Well, not so dramatic today. In fact a mixed bag so to speak. This morning was one of those mornings when you buzz around and stuff gets DONE. Good thing too, because this afternoon wasn't. Battled the damn computer and it's winning. At this stage, I can only e-mail my CV. Cannot create any sort of document that I can print. Hmmmmmm maybe a draft from here??????? Fortunately people like e-mail. I was suprisingly good humoured about the whole battle as I have a long history of computer abuse. At work in the summers I have restrained myself and only slapp it hard. This laptop screen doesn't look like it will take the punching that those desk top models can. Kids thought I was losing my mind as I started making up silly songs about the computer driving me crazy.
Living here is never boring. This morning I was happy and content that my Catalan is coming along, and I am growing increasingly capable. By the end of the Catalan class tonight though I was fairly convinced I am the dimmest bulb in the box. Granted, everyone else speaks Castillian fairly fluently so can understand, say the explanations and instructions, but hey! Nothing like taking foreign language lessons in a second foreign language. I will NEVER get the two languages sorted out.

Here's some weird quirks from Catalonia and the language:
They have two words for a headboard and none for a footboard on a bed.
There is no word for a power bar, not the food, the one for the computer, in either Catalan or Castillian.
What we would call a coffee shop, they call a granja, which is a word that also means a farm. Go figure. Tim Hortons, home home on the range.

There is only a ruler. Whether it is a french curve, a foot long, one of those rectangular ones with the template shapes cut out, Engineers scales, etc. I think draftsmen here must have the worst time.
-Pass me the ruler please.
-This one?
- No the other one
-The one with the holes in it?
-No, the other one.
-The one with the curvey sides?
-etc etc etc.

I found a website though with 2000 obsene catalan words. Man I gotta be careful, there are a lot of mistakes you can make.

They have a character who is traditional in the nativity scenes here too, you know Mary and Josep and all, there is this guy, who looks for all the world like a French Canadian voyageur, squatting with his pants down, and there is a steaming loaf right behind him. Earthy humour. Not sure where he is supposed to stand, next to Mary? Behind Josep? Is this an offering on par with the Frankinscense.(How do you spell that word?)

This is a great story too. They need a little work with the copy editing in places. One of the local newspapers struggles with the multiple languages. They publish some stories in Catalan and some in Castillian, and throw in some English ones to boot. This was a kid's story. I don't remember the whole tale, but at one point a juggler "gets off the bus with his balls in his hands and he goes over to a little boy and asks him if he wants to play with them." 'nuff said. I should be able to find work.

Here's a final one I love. I've been struggling to read Harry Potter in Catalan, V_E_R_Y S_L_O_W_L_Y. I can get lost for a page or two and still figure out what the hell is going on, although my vocabulary is getting a little weird. Anyway, as I am reading, I get to one phrase, pujar un mosc al nas. Well I look it up. Push up, a fly, your nose. Push a fly up your nose. Now while I haven't exactly got the Potter oevre memorised, I didn't remember anything like that, so I asked around. Apparently when you are angry here, the phrase goes, (or idiom for you grammatical types) you push a fly up you nose. So look out kids, don't irritate your Mom, never know WHAT will happen.

I am sure we're just as nuts in English, we just got used to ourselves and think it's normal. Oh, I'll set a challenge, who can come up with truely bizarre English phrases that we just don't notice anymore..... Post 'em here.................

And as a final comment, two almost impossible to say english words. Rural, and try this five times fast, sixths.

I just keep adding to this, here's another stumper, a box wrench, know the one that doesn't slip off and strip the nut (keep your minds out the the gutter here folks). ANYWAY, the box wrench is called a clau anglais. An english key! Go figure.


Dorky Dad said...

Push a fly up your nose? I don't remember that from the Potter book, either.

And about your computer, I know how to fix it: Open window, toss computer outside. Shut window. Whistle happily to self.

Beth said...

I agree with Dorky...toss that sucker. I hate computers....but can't livve without one either. Oh the irony!

oreneta said...

Oh I am so tempted. Spending the entire day on this.......

Nomad said...

OK ditto with the computa(or else call TBG..he's pretty good tho currently geographically unreachable...sorry...!!!)

Don't know any ridiculous english sayings...just (as you say) all too normal.

Do know how to tell somone to b*gger off in Czeck tho thanks to my good buddy Lenka at home...

Just take your five plums and GO!!!

Mom of Three said...

Hm. How do you say umgardian leviosa in Catalan????