Catalan, Galician, Basque

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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:55 am

Una descoberta recent que m'agrada molt és el cantautor valencià, Ovidi Montllor (1942-1995). Va crèixer a la ciutat alacantina Alcoi. Heus aquí una de les seves cançons que descriu com vivia la seva infantesa a una escola durant l'epoca franquista. Li va resulta dur a un al·lot com ell. El seu pare fou anarquista i es seus propis sentiments politics s'alineaven amb el comunisme o el socialisme. Formava part de l'escola musical que li diuen 'Nova Cançó', molt popular durant les decades 60-70. No hi veus una certa similitud a George Brassens?

L'escola de Ribera
The school of Ribera

La suma era
dos més dos.
El resultat era
La pregunta era
Qui és?
La resposta era:
La consigna era:
La resposta era:
alçar el braç.
La classe era
a les nou.
El mestre era
a les deu.
El "water" era
al fons.
La merda era
a l'entrada.
Els amics érem
Els enemics érem tots.
Els diplomes eren
Els diplomats eren
El Crist era
de fusta.
Els cristians
de cartó.
Els pupitres eren
Els que sèiem érem
La regla era
per la mà.
La mà era
per tancar-la.
El càstig era
El castigat era:
La missa era
molt sèria.
Els assistents
no ho sabíem
el capellà era
Els nens
tampoc ho sabíem
Els corredors eren
Els que corrien
El rellotge era
Les hores eren
L'ensenyança era
com era.
Els ensenyats
el què som.
Ni més ni menys que el què som.
Els mestres.
El Crist.
El capellà.
El pupitre.
Els companys.
El llibre.
La pissarra.
La infància.
La tendresa.
La fe.
La por.
Tot perdut
per sempre,
El resultat era un,
la jugada era

The sum was two plus two.
The result was four.
The question was
Who is it?
The answer was:
The order was:
The response was:
Giving the salute.
The class was at nine o'clock.
The teacher was there at ten.
The toilet was at the back.
The shit was at the entrance.
All of us were friends
The enemies were all of us.
The graduation certificates were yellow.
The graduates were green.
Christ was made out of wood.
The Christians were made out of paper.
The desks were dirty.
Those who sat at them we were poor.
The ruler was to strike the hand.
The hand was for closing.
The punishment was harsh.
He who was punished was:
Mass was very serious.
We who went did not know that.
The priest was old.
The kids, we didn't know that.
The corridors were long.
Those who ran,
The clock was
The hours were
Teaching was what it was
Those who were taught,
we are who we are.
Neither more nor less.
The teachers.
The priest.
The desk.
The mates.
The book.
The blackboard.
All lost
For ever.
There was one result
The game was
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:30 pm

In one of the last interviews that Alan King gave:

Hizkuntzaren bat hiltzen ikusi al duzu?

Esan daiteke nauata hiltzen ari dela, baina baita euskara ere. Jendeak harriduraz begiratzen dit hau esatean, baina iparralden hiltzen ari da, Nafarroako eremu batzuetan bezala. Hiztun bakarra geratu arte itxaron behar dugu hizkuntza bat hiltzen ari dela esateko? Ez, osasun txarra duenean jarri behar dugu arreta.

Hiztunak haien hizkuntza hiltzen ari dela ohartzea momentu gakoa da. Ezin da arazo bat konpondu ikusten ez denean, kontzientzia behar da. Duela urte batzuk euskaldunak ohartu ziren egoera honetaz, eta berreskurapen prozesu bat hasi zuten. Gaur egungo belaunaldiak berreskurapen prozesu horretan jaio dira, eta uste dute euskara egoera onean dagoela, baina oraindik gaixo dago. Berreskurapen prozesu hau anestesia gisa ari da lan egiten, jada ez da arazoa ikusten, baina hor dago eta oraindik lan handia egin behar da. Euskara ez dago salbu.

Have you seen one of these languages dying?

It could be said that Naua is dying but you could say the same for Basque. People look at me surprised when I say that, but in the north Basque Country it is dying, like it is in some parts of Navarra. Must we wait until only one speaker is left to say that a language is dying? No, we need to pay attention when it is in bad health.

The key moment is the realisation by the speakers of these languages that it is dying. It's impossible to solve a problem when it is not seen, consciousness is required. Some years ago, Basque speakers realised their situation, and they began a process of recovery. The generations of today were born in this recovery process, and they think that Basque is in a good state, but it is still sick. The recovery process is acting as a kind of anesthesia, the problem is no longer seen, but it is still there and there is still need of much work. Basque is not safe.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:38 pm

A video project made by two Valencian high schoolers to demonstrate the love of their language.

Recorde a mon pare tractant d'ensenyar-me que mudar-se era posar-se roba de diumenge. La conversa en què els meus iaios van decidir com dirigir-se a mi inclús sabent que seria d'una manera diferent a com ho haiven fet amb la meua mare. La incessant lluita en canviar la ciutat pel poble i aconseguir que qui habitava allí compartira el seu parlar amb mi. El conéixer a poc a poc que anar fent-me major significara descobrir que allò que jo parlava un dia va estar prohibit.

I remember my father trying to teach me that moving away was just like changing Sunday clothes. The conversation in which my grandparents decided how (in what language) they would talk to me, even knowing that it would be in a different manner to what they did with my mother. The constant struggle, in changing the city for the town, and succeeding in making the people who lived there share their language with me. The knowledge that little by little, me getting older meant discovering that the language I spoke, once was banned.

In the video, there is shown a mural with the words:

Guillem Agulló. Ni oblit ni perdó.
Guillem Agulló. No forgetting, no forgiveness.

Guillem Agulló was an 18 year old left wing Valencian activist who was assassinated in 1993 by a group of Valencian Neo-Nazis. All of the attackers, save for one, were let go. The one who stabbed Guillem was sentenced to 14 years, but he only served 4 years and was set free. Years later, he was arrested again for Neo-Nazi activities, but is out and about today.

Here is a street name in his honour in Valencia:


Per sort en aquesta historia van guanyar els bons. Moments, festivals, trobades, escola i cançons, han servit de mestres per a inculcar-nos una llengua, que més que idioma és i ha sigut llar i llibertat. Conéixer que la poesia més bonica es troba escrita al versos de Vicent Andrés Estellés i que alguns de nosaltres començàrem a somiar en escoltar a Ovidi Montllor. Que un dels millors viatges siga passejar per cada un dels pobles per a així aprendre les paraules que allí es parlen, que eixe 'pensat i fet' que tant gastem només tenga sentit si ho dius abans d'emprendre qualsevol aventura.

Luckily, in this story, the good guys won. Moments, festivals, meetings, school and songs have acted as teachers to teach us a language, which more than a language, is and has been, home and freedom. To know that that most beautiful poetry is found in the verses of Estellés and that some of us began to dream while listening to Ovidi Montllor. That one of the best journeys is passing through every one of the towns in Valencia to learn the words that are spoken there, because the saying 'no sooner thought than done' that we like to use so much, only has a meaning if we say it before undertaking any kind of adventure.

Vicent Andrés Estellés was the most popular and famous Valencian poet of modernity.
Ovidi Montllor, I already posted about.
Pensat i fet is a Valencian expression that literally means 'thought and done'. It is used to describe something that one rushes headlong into without planning, and sometimes with a negative connotation.

Ara sé que la revolució també es pot fer en veu baixa com ho fa La Gossa Sorda, en cantar allò de 'Camals mullats'. Per tot açò, per com de bonic resulta dir "et vull", perquè uneix i no discrimina, perquè renaix i també escolta, la meua llengua és la llengua de tots, de tots aquells que vulguen cuidar-la. ESTIMA-LA.

Now I know that one can make Revolution in a soft voice, like Gossa Sorda does when they sing Camals mullats. Because of all that, because of how nice it sounds to say 'I love you', because it unites and does not discriminate, because it is born again and also listens, my language is the language of all, of all those who want to look after it. LOVE THE LANGUAGE.

La Gossa Sorda is a Valencian band. They sing in Valencian. The song mentioned is Camals mullats, which means 'wet trousers'.

Here is the chorus:

I obrirem una altra porta evidenciant la mentida.
T'estime, t'estimo, t'estim
Jo tinc en ment una valencia on els carrers son de plata.
T'estime, t'estimo, t'estim
Jo soc pacient i per això reiterare fins que caiguen.
T'estime, t'estimo, t'estim
Ja hem obert totes les ments i els portons de les cases.

We will open another door, demonstrating the lie.
I love you, I love you, I love you
I have in mind a Valencia where the streets are silver paved.
I love you, I love you, I love you
I'm patient, and so I will repeat until they fall down.
I love you, I love you, I love you
We've now opened all the minds and the doors of the houses.

T'estime, t'estimo, t'estim is "I love you" in all three Catalan standards, the first one is Valencian, the second is Catalan, the third is Balearic.
Last edited by nooj on Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:27 pm

One of Vicent Andrés Estellés' poems, for his infant child who died at the age of 4 months.

Jo tinc una Mort petita,
meua i ben meua només.

Com jo la nodresc a ella,
ella em nodreix igualment.

Jo tinc una Mort petita
que trau els peus dels bolquers.

Només tinc la meua Mort
i no necessite res.

Jo tinc una Mort petita,
i és, d'allò meu, el més meu.

Molt més meua que la vida,
amb mi va i amb mi se'n ve.

I have a little Death.
Mine, and quite only mine.

Just as I feed her,
She feeds me likewise.

I have a little Death
Who extracts her legs from her swathes.

I only have my little Death
And I want for nothing more.

I have a little Death,
And she is the most mine out of all that is mine.

Much more mine than my life,
With me she goes, and with me she departs.

És la meua ama, i és l'ama
del corral i del carrer
de la llimera i la parra
i la flor del taronger.

She is my Lady, and she is the Lady
of the farmpen and of the street
Of the lime tree and of the vine
And the flower of the orange tree.

És la meva ama...the entire last stanza is a traditional Valencian nursery song.
Taronger - the orange and the orange tree are famous symbols of Valencia.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:20 pm

Man, Clara Fiol composes some beautiful lyrics. This lovely bucolic song is called Cant de Faune, Song of the Faun. Although she is Mallorcan, she writes in the central Catalan dialect for this song. I wonder why. Probably for her partners, who are Valencian and Catalan. That's right, the group Marala Trio is formed by three singers from three Catalan speaking areas. Més català no es pot ser!

Cauen espurnes de sol
Entre les branques que et pinten el cos
i que amaguen a l'ombra
les fulles que et fan de bressol

Sparks from the sun shower down
In between the branches that paint your body
And that cover in shadow
The leaves that form for you a crib

Amb l'embriaguesa del vent
Miro encisat els cabells i les ales
de nimfes que em brinden
el seu moviment

With the drunkenness of the wind
Enraptured, I watch the hair and the wings
Of the nymphs that gift me
Their movement

Nimfes - Nymphs can be both the mythological beings and also flying insects.

I segueixo la dansa
atrapat en el seu cant
Anemoi m'envolcalla les mans

I follow their danse
Trapped in their song
The Winds envelop my hands

Anemoi - in Greek, the word ἄνεμοι is actual plural, and so technically would require plural agreement in the verb. But here, it is treated as a single subject.

Totes les criatures
del Laci i els voltants
celebren els càntics de Pan

All the creatures
of Latium and its surroundings
Celebrate the songs of Pan

Mentre es desfà la cançó

While the song unravels

Mentre m'engronsa la son
m'omplo de llum i l'oracle em revela
que la primavera m'espia
amagada a un racó.

While sleep shakes me asleep
I fill myself with light and the oracle reveals to me
That Spring is spying on me
Hiding in a corner

Amb l'embriaguesa del vent
I el seu valsset dolç i lent
Mentre es desfà la cançó

With the drunkenness of the wind
And its sweet and slow waltz
While the song unravels

S'obre rosat un clavell

A dewy carnation opens.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby zenmonkey » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:41 pm

Just noticed that Netflix has a few Catalan TV shows - If I Hadn't Met You & Welcome To The Family ...
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:47 pm

Thank you for the suggestion! I don't watch Netflix much but I know it's there, I should really get around to making use of my subscription. :lol:

For TV channels there is TV3 (Catalonia), IB3 (Balearic Islands), À punt (Valencia). I'm really impressed with all three, but I watch mostly the last two because I'm more interested in the Balearic Islands and Valencia, and their varieties of Catalan. That reminds me to post more about the programmes I've been watching!

I don't really like Barcelona's dialect and that's the one that's most used on TV3. Now if they showed more lleidatà, I'm totally there! TV3 made some great series, like Pulseres vermelles, Cites, Merlí...

For North Catalonia, they have one programme called Viure al Pais that is 26 min every 3 weeks (that's nothing, but that's France for you).
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Re: Nooj's language journey

Postby Sarafina » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:16 pm

nooj wrote:
I was struck by the manner in which we listened. Normally how I listen to singers I appreciate is by looking at their faces to see the interplay of emotions, to see how they react, in order to feel with them. It’s important to me.

But the men didn’t do any of that. They bowed their heads, looked at their hands or closed their eyes. Not out of disinterest, not at al. The singer, however charismatic, is not the point of interest. He is the vessel and the vessel is only glorified by what passes through him. When he stopped to take in a breath, we hung on the silence...

I snuck a glance, but the rapture written on his face as he sang made me look away. It was too private to look at.

Then it was over. I guess it was entirely appropriate that God had the final word in our speculations about human failings and weaknesses. A prayer to prophylactically seal any dangerous breaches we may have inadvertantly caused by our talking.
Liive the righteous life. Fear God. Isn’t that it?

Or boys night was over. We shook his hand and slapped him on the back. Then we went home.

Honestly this is one of my favourite posts here on this forum. It's so well written- I wish that I could convey my experiences with such eloquence. I enjoy reading your log even though I'm not learning any of the languages you are currently learning. I just wanted to say that it's such a pleasure reading your log especially your ancedotes.
Last edited by Sarafina on Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:01 pm

How they say ladybug in Mallorca. In my region they say a marieta.


Check out how they say woodlouse in the Balearic Islands. Mallorca and Menorca usually group together in lexical similarity, Eivissa does its own thing. In my region, they call it a somereta (del bon Jesus).


The word for a bird in the Balearic Islands and the Pitiüses (Formentera not included).


This brings up a funny story, I was in Eivissa having lunch and I noticed this sign. I brought it to the restauranteer's attention and I told him that in Mallorca, the bottom sign would be very funny. He didn't understand at first, but then he caught on and laughed as well.


In Eivissa, the normal word for a bird is pardal. In Mallorca (but not Menorca), pardal is the male reproductive member AND it means an idiot.

Can Pardal would mean then in Mallorcan, 'the house of the idiot, where the idiot lives'. And the sign points to it.

If you are interested in Catalan dialectology, the source is the Atles Lingüístic del Domini Català.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:30 pm

The first, and as far as I know, the only time that Simone de Beauvoir met Simone Weil. Two of the most interesting French thinkers of the 20th century.

My sympathies are firmly with Simone Weil of course. This is taken from de Beauvoir's autobiography 'Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée'.

Je continuai à subordonner les questions sociales à la métaphysique et à la morale : à quoi bon se soucier du bonheur de l'humanité, si elle n'avait pas de raison d'être ?

Cet entêtement m'empêcha de tirer profit de ma rencontre avec Simone Weil. Tout en préparant Normale, elle passait à la Sorbonne les mêmes certificats que moi. Elle m'intriguait, à cause de sa grande réputation d'intelligence et de son accoutrement bizarre ; elle déambulait dans la cour de la Sorbonne, escortée par une bande d'anciens élèves d'Alain ; elle avait toujours dans une poche de sa vareuse un numéro des Libres propos et dans l'autre un numéro de l'Humanité. Une grande famine venait de dévaster la Chine, et on m'avait raconté qu'en apprenant cette nouvelle, elle avait sangloté : ces larmes forcèrent mon respect plus encore que ses dons philosophiques. J'enviais un cœur capable de battre à travers l'univers entier. Je réussis un jour à l'approcher. Je ne sais plus comment la conversation s'engagea ; elle déclara d'un ton tranchant qu'une seule chose comptait aujourd'hui sur terre : la Révolution qui donnerait à manger à tout le monde. Je rétorquai, de façon non moins péremptoire, que le problème n'était pas de faire le bonheur des hommes, mais de trouver un sens à leur existence. Elle me toisa : “On voit bien que vous n'avez jamais eu faim.” dit-elle. Nos relations s'arrêtèrent là. Je compris qu'elle m'avait cataloguée “une petite bourgeoise spiritualiste” et je m'en irritai, comme je m'irritais autrefois quand mademoiselle Litt expliquait mes goûts par mon infantilisme ; je me croyais affranchie de ma classe : je ne voulais être rien d'autre que moi.“

I continued to push away social matters in favour of metaphysical and moral ones: What good is it to worry about the happiness of humanity, if it did not have a reason for existing?

This stubbornness of mine stopped me from benefiting from my encounter with Simone Weil.

At the same time that Weil was preparing to enter the École normale supérieure, she was taking at the Sorbonne the same examinations as I was. She intrigued me, because of her great reputation for intelligence and the strange way she dressed. She used to amble down the courtyard of the Sorbonne, escorted by a group of former students of Alain [nickname for Émile Chartier, professor and philosopher and teacher of Weil].

She’d aways keep a copy of a Libres Propos in one pocket of her coat, and in the other, a copy of L'Humanite [radicalist magazines]. A great famine had just struck China, and I was told me that on learning of this news, she had burst into tears: those tears commanded my respect even more than her talents as a philosopher. I envied a heart like hers that could beat right across the entire world.

I managed one day to approach her. I don’t know how the conversation got started: she declared forcefully that only one thing on Earth was important today, the Revolution that would feed everyone in the world. I retorted, in an equally forceful manner, that the problem wasn’t about making people happy, but about finding a meaning to their existence.

She looked at me up and down: "It’s clear that you’ve never been hungry.” Our relationship stopped there. I understood that she had classified me as an ‘high-minded little bourgeoise girl’, and I got annoyed, like I got annoyed once when Ms. Litt accounted for my tastes by pointing to my immaturity; I thought I had emancipated myself from my social class. I wanted to be nothing other than me.
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