This is a sad sad thing.
Most people get excited about going out to a cinema, or going out for a fabulous meal (although the Man just informed me that he has read of a place in BCN that does great burgers...that would be cool).
I am ALL excited about the Catalan class I just went to.
This was not one of the serious ones that actually aims toward some kind of certificate, it is offered here in town, and is mostly aimed at all the people who never learned to write Catalan at school.
There are many many of them. (That Franco thing).
Today we studied the apostrophe. I TOLD you I was pathetic. I was so excited.
Now the apostrophe, you would think would be a fairly straight forward little number. In English it is reasonably managable, barring some issues with the whole its/it's thing, and the whole Santa Claus' issue with possessives.
I am hear to assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that we English speakers have NO problems when it comes to apostrophes.
You see, in Catalan, there is a system
First, you have to decide whether the word is eligible for an apostrophe, it must start with an a, e, i, o, u, or h...or an s if it is an imported word that hasn't been Catalanised and is pronounced like estop rather than stop.
IF it qualifies, you then need to decide if it is masculine or feminine. This is the single most difficult step for non-native speakers and is the place where I mess up HORRIBLY.
If it is masculine, things are simple...you apostrophise it. Period. That's it.
If it is feminine however, things get more complicated. A, e, and o can all be apostrophised, and h can as well, IF the following letter is an a,e or an o, and the h is silent. You see imported words like 'hippy' and 'hardware' are not Catalanised, and so are pronounced with the Spanish *slightly horking* h, and they cannot be apostrophised.
Still with me?
This leaves us with feminine nouns starting with i and u, plus a few stray h's. Now you have to decide if the stress of the word falls on that first vowel or anywhere else in the word. *slightly tricky for those of us with poor pronunciation.*
IF it falls on the that first opening vowel, then go ahead and use the apostrophe.
IF NOT, not. *famous Catalan oath*
Would you like to hear this (semi) famous Catalan oath? It is great, sort of a reward for wading through this grammar.
This was a medieval oath of fealty, you know, one of those feudal things...Henry the Eigth loved them.
"We, who are as good as you, swear to you, who are no better than us, to accept you as our king and sovereign lord, provided you observe all our liberties and laws - but if not, not."
I am not sure Henry "Divorced, beheaded, died" would have been fond of this oath.
They ended the lesson off by saying that apostrophes are easy and straight forward. I guess by that they meant there are some rules to the whole mess. There are also exceptions (of course) I won't get into them here, it might get disheartening.
Let me just finish by saying that it was GREAT.
I am so pathetic.
oh! and for the nosey parkers in the crowd, like me, there are two more bathroom drawers/cupboards to check out, BooksBeth, and Doug both have shots up! Brave and valiant souls. There are also links to all the photos so far.