Month archive for April, 2005

Throwing nutters

Posted: April 28th 2005 19:04. Last modified: April 28th 2005 19:15

One Mangalorean is a betel-nut seller.
Two Mangaloreans can't stand one another.
Three Mangaloreans is a Udupi restaurant.
Four Mangaloreans is a fanatical Konkani Sabha.

Petition in favour of Spanish@Brussels

Posted: April 28th 2005 15:55.

Not surprisingly, translators and interpreters and "personnel of international organisations" (not budget-hungry Eurocrats, surely?) constitute the largest groups of publicly acknowledged signatories of this call to wage war on mounting European institutional mono- and trilingualism (English, French, German) and promote the language of Julio Iglesias. (Via Carlos Ferrero.)

Dutchmen and Dagos

Posted: April 27th 2005 18:20. Last modified: October 5th 2005 23:19

Captain Kettle, the British Library Online Newspaper Archive and our fellow-Europeans.

Government by orifice

Posted: April 27th 2005 15:53. Last modified: April 27th 2005 15:54

The ongoing Catalan construction corruption hooha in a nutshell, from the first contractor to turn king's evidence: "Your friends take you up the arse, you take your enemies up the arse, and you apply existing legislation to the rest."

More tongues

Posted: April 27th 2005 15:09. Last modified: April 27th 2005 15:39

Crocodiles have no tongue; frogs have half, because it's backwards, attached at the front and free at the back; men have one, the best of all, because with it they speak all languages and imitate every animal, as the philosopher Archidamos said; sea foxes [raposas marinas] have two, as I have said; women have three, because they talk with their mouth and with their fingers and heart, and their tongues are rough and sharp, like those of cats and leopards.

Bilingual betrayal

Posted: April 26th 2005 12:01. Last modified: April 27th 2005 15:18

Rodrigo Fernández de Santaella, Vocabulario eclesiástico (1499) says that a bilingual person is one who sings a different song depending on his location or conversational partner, a two-tongued [serpent]: Bilinguis y hoc bilingüe. quien dize vno aqui otro alli o vno a este y otro a aquel. E por esso se dize que tiene dos […]


Posted: April 25th 2005 12:53.

Is a killer that sounds pretty 70s, but is apparently newish. Over at Eric "Babe" Morse's Subjunctivitis.


Posted: April 25th 2005 12:40. Last modified: April 25th 2005 16:49

I added Mithridates to Langwich Sandwich. One recent post links to a North American language called Mi’kmaq, while another includes an interesting bunch of sites related to the Pennsylvania Dutch. If the latter were Dutch in the modern sense, and if they lived anywhere near the Mi’kmaq, then it would still make little sense to […]

“Death of Romansh”

Posted: April 25th 2005 11:20. Last modified: April 25th 2005 11:22

A frequently heard complaint re regional nationalists like our bunch is that they play the diversity card to central government while rigidly suppressing variety, principally of a linguistic nature, in their own backyard. Here (via Onze Taal) is an example of the kind of thing they use to justify this stance: the lingering death of […]


Posted: April 22nd 2005 14:56. Last modified: April 22nd 2005 15:26

A Spanish friend once freaked me by referring to what Follow The Baldie does as "footing". De Standaard's language blog says that in Spanish the term refers to walking/rambling, while the Royal Academy definition approximates to "jogging" (a point on which the Italians seem to agree) and has the word arriving via the French, who […]

Istanbul is sinking

Posted: April 22nd 2005 12:20.

Disturbing news for those of you following the progress of a certain member of the Spanish delegation to a conference in the land of the Turk.

Bollocks to grammar

Posted: April 21st 2005 10:51. Last modified: April 21st 2005 11:02

The Guardian has tracked down the British Labour Party’s deputy leader and leading pugilist, John Prescott.

Pope Gordon Bennett

Posted: April 21st 2005 08:24. Last modified: April 21st 2005 08:50

Otto von Pope is known as Benet in Catalan. His friends here call him Gordon. (Brendan D Lynch's Triumph of the Red Devil: The Irish Gordon Bennett Cup Race 1903 claims, however, that the roots of the English exclamation "Gordon Bennett!" lie in the dubious commercial practices of Irish hoteliers.)

Translation bidding systems

Posted: April 20th 2005 15:47. Last modified: April 22nd 2005 10:47

Re Céline's post here attacking bidding systems on translation sites: I'm sure cranky old Mr Smith would be delighted to see that people of the same trade have not yet given up meeting together for merriment and diversion, the conversation ending in a conspiracy against the public and in contrivances to raise prices.

Saint George “too Spanish”

Posted: April 20th 2005 11:35.

Catalanista writer, Jordi Coca, has figured out a good PR stunt for this year's Sant Jordi books 'n' roses extravaganza: invite people round to his place (Bruc 16) to sign a petition protesting against the Hispanification and commercialisation of the day, in the course of which he'll try to sell them his lousy books. Mr […]

Official languages

Posted: April 20th 2005 11:03. Last modified: April 20th 2005 14:49

There's a lot of fuss at the moment in the land of the free about attempts to make English the official language of government. In Catalonia the 1979 statute of autonomy, responding to the political reality of a bilingual society, designated two official languages: Spanish and Catalan. Trouble, however, has arisen from the use by […]

Sewer talk

Posted: April 20th 2005 00:52. Last modified: May 15th 2009 12:59

Son of ferret takes on the unkilled.

Commies and fascists

Posted: April 17th 2005 10:37. Last modified: April 25th 2007 11:36

Dress code, hand signals, and messiahs apart, there were few important differences between the Falangists and the Stalinists. Hence the bizarre nature of the punchup started by the former at a PR event the other day for a book (Santos Juliá, Historia de las dos Españas) promoted by the latter. Here's Arcadi Espada: In a […]


Posted: April 17th 2005 09:40. Last modified: April 17th 2005 09:49

Interesting to note that the BBC considers "moderate" a party, the PNV, that proposes unilaterally to tear up the constitution if it wins today's elections. (I suppose you all know the joke in which los de Lepe travel to the metropolis to register a new separatist party. So tell me the name of this new […]

Rafael Casanova was a traitor

Posted: April 16th 2005 21:43. Last modified: May 16th 2005 17:39

Sez Miquel Porta Perales.


Back to top