Thursday, March 31, 2005

don Quixote's translations

Miguel de Cervantes' book Don Quixote - regarded as the first modern novel - is still a global bestseller and source of inspiration, 400 years after it was published.
Since 1605, it has been interpreted in a huge number of ways and today it is reputed to be the most widely read and translated book on the planet after the Bible. The 400th anniversary of the tale of an eccentric knight errant and his long-suffering squire Sancho Panza has also prompted a spate of new editions of the book. They include one in Spanglish by Ilan Stavans, Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts and one of the world's major experts on Don Quixote. He told the BBC World Service's Outlook programme that the book's enduring appeal was down to a central character who "moves across history, presenting different masks, and being appreciated - sometimes as a madman, sometimes as an idealist. "It is a character that not even Cervantes himself imagined to be so elastic."
You could approach Don Quixote from the American perspective, or the French, or the Soviet - and each individual in those contexts would be able to understand him and identify him."
In the communist Soviet Union, for example, Don Quixote was perceived as a rebel anti-capitalist hero.
The book's enduring popularity is reflected not only in the sheer number of translations and editions, but the number of efforts to bring it to other media - despite a superstition that any adaptations are doomed to failure.

More news about don Quixote here

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Juegos de palabras

El término free software, como muchos ya saben, tiene un doble significado en inglés (como bien explicó Antonio en las primeras páginas de su traducción de Free Culture). Richard Stallman, el Jesucristo Superstar de la comunidad de Software libre lo explicó con un chiste: free as in freedom, not as in free beer.

Monday, March 21, 2005

¿Tienes un mal día?

If you look like this today, don't worry too much.
It is Monday morning, what do you expect from me? This is really the best I could do after fighting with the mirror this morning, so give me a break!

And what about language learning?

Exercise 1 - Learn how to say it in other languages:
Spanish: Tener un mal día
Italian: Avere una brutta giornata
French: Avoir une mauvaise journée
German: Einen Schlechten Tag haben
Dutch: Een slechte dag hebben

Exercise 2 - The ambiguity of language: try to find out all the hidden meanings of "petting the pussy"

Vacas Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Barzellette in italiano - Italian jokes

Let's brush up that Italian a bit! See if you understand the jokes

2 mutande in lavatrice. Una fa all'altra:
- Sei stata al mare che sei cosí abbronzata?
- No, ho solo avuto una giornata di merda!

2 amiche si confidano.
- La prima: Ieri sera mi sono fatta 2 martini, non ti dico come ho lo stomaco
- L'altra: Ieri sera mi sono fatta 2 negroni, non ti dico come ho il culo

Ufficio immigrazione:
- NOME? - Muhjatil Ahamed
- SESSO? - 5 volte a settimana
- No importante....a volte anche con cammelli

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

English - Spanish language tips

Learn something new every day!
Here are some useful language tips for my readers, at last! :-)

Inglés: Todas las palabras que comienzan por th se pronucian como "dz" excepto 3 palabras que se pronuncian como una "t": Thames (el rio), Thomas ( el nombre propio) y thyme (tomillo)

Inglés-Español: ¿Ya has oido hablar de los false friends? Son palabras-trampa que parece que te las sabes pero suelen llevarte a meter la pata, cuidado con estas:

constipated en inglés no es constipado sino estreñido
actually no es actualmente sino en realidad
eventually no es eventualmente sino finalmente
notice no es noticia sino aviso
curse no es un curso sino una maldición
discussion no es una discusión sino una conversación (sin duda,los ingleses son más civilizados que nosotros :-)


Back from holiday!

This is the hotel where I stayed in Tenerife, have a look at the website, it's really nice.
It was my second time there and I am already thinking of going back once more. We had a lovely week enjoining some sunshine (some rain too), a lot of jacuzzy, fresh sea air and.... laziness, of course.
If you are ever going to Puerto de la Cruz don't forget to try any of the delicious cakes, at Rancho Grande, for example.

Next holiday break comming in two month's time by the end of April
Possible destination: France