Archive for the ‘español’ Category

multi-lingual code cracking

June 10th, 2012

Spending time in our native language, where everything for the most part is clear, understood an unambiguous, gives us a skewed perception of what language really is like. Understanding quite effortlessly is something we get used to, and that's what makes our encounters with so-called foreign languages uncomfortable.

A language you know intimately is the exception. A great deal of language happens between individuals who communicate effectively despite their linguistic shortcomings. That to me is the real magic of language.

Dealing with a foreign language is always a matter of partial knowledge.

poster_afficheTake this poster and the word "affiche".

To begin with, Dutch has many French loan words and this is obviously one. "affiche" must be a noun, thus the corresponding verb is likely to be "afficher" or perhaps "ficher a" (to "ficher" at something or onto something).

In Polish "afisz" is a sign or a notice and it's simply a straight import from French.

In Spain recently I noticed it is very commonplace to write "prohibido fijar carteles" on all kinds of surfaces to discourage people from putting up posters. When you see that sentence on a wall that clearly has seen lots of posters torn down with remains of adhesive and dirt, the context is so clear that it's hard to misunderstand. "fijar" and "ficher" thus occur in a similar context.

Meanwhile, in Portuguese there is a very common word in "ficar" which is used in practically every context that has to do with entering a state of mind, eg. "eu fiquei feliz". This is very close to the Italian way of saying "sono rimasto deluso", where the verb to remain is used instead of, as in English, to become.

These three verbs are not exactly the same, but they have a strong common base of intention. "afficher" is the verb that corresponds to "fijar", ie. to fix or fasten something. Meanwhile, "ficher" has the metaphorical meaning of "ficar", namely to enter a state of mind.

il faut bien falloir de plus

May 2nd, 2012

C'est bizarre que "faut/faute" signifie soit avoir besoin de quelque chose soit commetre un acte injuste.

- Il me faut un stylo.
- C'est ma faute.

Ici encore:
- Falta de Morientes. (Morientes a commis une faute.)
- No me falta eso. (Je n'ai pas besoin de ça.)

Qu'en pensez-vous?

los compañeros

April 1st, 2012

- Bonjour, monsieur. Qu'est-ce que vous voulez manger?

- Bom dia.

- Non non non, Roberto, fais pas ça! Il faut toujours parler français avec les gens du pays quand on est en France. Sinon ils deviennent fous.

- Por qué? El portugués no es un idioma muy complicado. Yo entiendo fácilmente los turistas en Madrid cuando me preguntan el camino por algún lugar.

- Eu não falo francês, Michel. Só sei falar inglês.

- No, ça c'est pire encore!

- Ma rilassati, Michel. Che possono farci se non parliamo francese? Ci capiamo benissimo tra di noi. Questo basta per intenderci.

- Eu entendo tudo o que dizem os franceses. Assim eles podem entender-me também.

- Sí, esto me parece muy lógico.

- Alors, avez-vous choisi?

- Per favore, signore, non stia lì a spiarci facendo finta di non capire. O partecipi alla discussione o si allontani. Se non ordiniamo è perché non siamo pronti.

- Mas eu estou pronto, só que não posso pedir na língua justa!

- Yo también estoy listo para pedir.

- Guys, what the hell are you talking about?? I don't understand a damn word of what you're saying.

- Les mecs, nous avons oublié que David est avec nous!

¿es muy caro su hotel?

February 12th, 2012

- ¿El Hotel Lujo en las Maldivas?

- Buenos días, me gustaría hacer una reserva para dos personas en su hotel para dos semanas. ¿Es muy caro?

- No se preocupe, soy muy rico.

- Manuel, ¿que diablos estás haciendo?

- ¿Que dice?

- ¡Dame mi móvil!

- Me llamo Salvador Álvarez. ¿La tarjeta de crédito? 29165...

- Disculpe señora, ahora le habla Salvador. Acaba de hablar con mi hijo que es un imbécil. Por favor olvídese de todo lo que le ha dicho; nosotros no vamos a estar en su hotel.