Wednesday, March 05, 2008

 

Chicken Tights

Now, there’s a dish worth trying. A blogger writes about his visit to Cordoba where he was presented in his diner by a menu in Spanish and, um, English. We’ve all been there of course – not necessarily Cordoba, but in front of a mistranslation, misprint or spelling mistake. The Spanish, for reasons unknown, would much rather be laughed at than buy some foreigner a beer and say ‘look over this translation, would ya?’.
I’ve seen glossy magazines, even mags printed by the State or the Junta de Andalucía, with heavy amounts of cash spent on them: lovingly produced photographs, superb printing, massive distribution etc… and an English translation which will make snot shoot out of your nose. In Spain, if we are going to put something down in English for the thirty million English speaking tourists or the million foreign residents that live here year round, we like to use Cousin Bertín, who once spent a fortnight in Newcastle.
Bloggers, by the way, are people who ‘blog’, that is, who write about something of interest – at least to themselves – on the Internet. There are quite a few sites that are about Spain and are written by English-speaking residents. The best of them write every day, recounting the events that affect them locally, poking fun at the Spanish customs and habits or getting on to politics (I know some heavy left wingers and rabid right wingers, but no ‘centrist’ sites, because you can’t write a wishy-washy political column, now can you?). There are other sites that recall their writer’s trips around the country, while still others are just great fun to read. An American woman married to a Madrileño… another woman farming in the Alpujarras… a third wandering around Salamanca…
There are several local (Almería) ones and, if you are up to it, of course there is a wealth of blogs (or bitácoras) in Spanish. In all, the Spanish blogs - or blogs about Spain - are a kind of tolerated samizdat written by armchair revolutionaries.
Generally, you The Gentle Reader can ‘send a comment’ to add your ha’penny’orth to the discussion at hand. Indeed, if you like sending the odd pithy remark but can’t be bothered to write to your local newspaper or to start your own page on the Web, you can always subscribe to the various ‘forums’ that are home to any number of people who are interested in Spain. There are several local ones that touch on fraud, building licences, travel, tickets, bullfights, food and the nearest decent bodega. Again, they are worth regular visits as new topics can quickly take off with interesting submissions from Joe Public who, unlike the blogger, will probably use an alias.
I’ve put a list of 130 links on The Entertainer Online, itself a ‘blog’. You should spend some time wandering around them. There are some very good and knowledgeable writers out there…
Meanwhile - pass me another one of those chicken tights…


I should point out here that this article, like a lot of this site, will find its way into The New Entertainer - a monthly newspaper I produce in Almería. Those that read the above on the blogsite will, I hope, be patient.

Comments:
We recently went to a restaurant along the river on the Bonanza side of Sanlucar. The "english" translation for each fish was just its latin name.
 
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