dissabte, 11 de desembre de 2010

El Ladrón de Cerebros

En El Ladrón de Cerebros, l'autor ebrenc, Pere Estupinyà, se infiltra en los principales laboratorios y centros de investigación del mundo con el objetivo de robar el conocimiento de los verdaderos héroes del siglo XXI —los científicos— y compartirlo con sus lectores.
Pere Estupinyà es un químico y bioquímico que abandonó su doctorado en genética para dedicarse a la difusión del conocimiento científico. Fue guionista y editor del programa «Redes» de TVE durante 4 temporadas y profesor de "Ciencia, Tecnología y Sociedad" en la Universidad Ramon Llull. Ha escrito sobre ciencia en El País, Público, El Mundo, La Vanguardia, o la revista Muy Interesante entre otras publicaciones.
En 2007 pasó un año en el Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts y la Universidad de Harvard con la prestigiosa beca Knight de periodismo científico. Actualmente reside en Washington DC donde trabaja en los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud de EEUU, analiza el periodismo científico en América Latina para el Knight Tracker en español del MIT, ejerce como consultor en la Organización de Estados Americanos y el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, imparte conferencias, cursos de comunicación científica, y alimenta el blog en El País "Apuntes científicos desde el MIT". (Información de la pagina web).
El proper dimecres, dia 15 de desembre, a les 7,30 de la tarda, a la Sala d'Adults de la Biblioteca d'Amposta, podreu gaudir de la xerrada entre l'autor i el neuròleg, Mario López, dins de la presentació del llibre.

dimecres, 8 de desembre de 2010

John Lennon

John Lennon died 30 years ago today. Apart from his music, John also wrote poems and short texts, playing with words to create surreal nonsense. They show us that, however big a legend he became, he would always retain his sense of humour. Here are a couple of extracts from one of his books, In His Own Write.

I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madalf Heatlump (Who had only one). Anyway, they didn't get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn't pass-much to my Aunties supplies. As a memebr of the most publified Beatles me and (P, G, and R's) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I'm conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I've ever ready.
God help and breed you all.


A Surprise for Little Bobby
It was little Bobby's birthmark today and he got a surprise. His very fist was lopped off, (The War) and he got a birthday hook!
All his life Bobby had wanted his very own hook; and now on his 39th birthday his pwayers had been answered. The only trouble was they had send him a left hook and ebry dobby knows that it was Bobby's right fist that was missing as it were.
What to do was not thee only problem: Anyway he jopped off his lest hand and it fitted like a glove. Maybe next year he will get a right hook, who knows?


I Sat Belonely, I sat belonely down a tree,
humbled fat and small.
A little lady sing to me
I couldn't see at all.
I'm looking up and at the sky,
to find such wonderous voice.
Puzzly, puzzle, wonder why,
I hear but I have no choice.
'Speak up, come forth, you ravel me',
I potty menthol shout.
'I know you hiddy by this tree'.
But still she won't come out.
Such sofly singing lulled me sleep,
an hour or two or so
I wakeny slow and took a peep
and still no lady show.
Then suddy on a little twig
I thought I see a sight,
A tiny little tiny pig,
that sing with all it's might
'I thought you were a lady',I giggle, - well I may,
To my surprise the lady,
got up - and flew away.

divendres, 3 de desembre de 2010

La Experienica Fluviofeliz

Presentació a càrrec de Manolo Tomàs del llibre ‘Una nueva cultura del agua y de la vida. LA EXPERIENCIA FLUVIOFELIZ’ de Francisco Javier Martínez Gil.

A més de la presència i les paraules de l’autor, també comptarem amb la música i la veu de Montse Castellà.

A la llibreria “la 2 de Viladrich”, de Tortosa, el dissabte 4 de desembre a les 7 del vespre.

dissabte, 27 de novembre de 2010

Presentació del Mountain Walking in Southern Catalonia

Dilluns, 19.30, presentació del llibre Mountain Walking in Southern Catalonia a la biblioteca de Tortosa.

Philip and Vivien Freakly have written a guide to walking in the mountains of the Ebre region, in English. It will be presented in public in Tortosa library on Monday at 19.30.

divendres, 26 de novembre de 2010

Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving Day is known as Black Friday. It is traditionally the first day of the US Christmas shopping season with many shops extending their opening hours and offering special promotions.

There are two possible origins of its name. Many claim it is due to the intense traffic jams caused by shoppers, while others claim it is often a day that shopkeepers actually move "into the black" - that is, they start making profits.

Happy shopping!

dijous, 25 de novembre de 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the USA on the fourth Thursday in November. It is a celebration which goes back to the 17th century, the time when the first pilgrims to reach American shores gave thanks to God for surviving the winter. The story goes that the celebration consisted of a three-day feast shared by pilgrims and native Americans alike.
Nowadays many people take a four-day weekend and the main feature of the celebrations are large family meals with turkey, vegetables, pumpkin pie and other traditional foods.
Another well-known aspect of the day, thanks to Hollywood and numerous films, is the parade held in New York by Macy's department store - a clue that Christmas is just around the corner!

Conta-contes en anglès

Continuing with the intense calendar of activities organised by Tortosa's library, today is the turn of the story-telling in English. At 6pm, a famous fairy tale will be told, and acted out, by the library's collaborators. Aimed at 4 to 8 year olds, but I'm sure all ages would enjoy it.

diumenge, 14 de novembre de 2010

Remembrance Sunday

Many learners of English ask why most British people appearing on the news this week are wearing this red flower.
World War I finished at 11 o'clock in the morning, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. British people commemorate this event every year on the second Sunday in November, Remembrance Sunday. On this day, we remember and pay our respects to those who lost their lives in both World Wars, and other conflicts which have happened since then.
Solemn and emotive services are held at War Memorials in towns all over the UK, with a two-minute silence at 11am.
The red poppy flower was chosen as a symbol for this day as they bloomed all over the blood-drenched battle fields of France. They are made of paper and plastic and "sold" for a voluntary donation which goes to charities devoted to ex-servicemen, disabled soldiers, army widows and so on.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae

dilluns, 8 de novembre de 2010

Confusing English (1)

Sentences or expressions which may or may not confuse learners of English (or even English learners), no.1:

The children were playing up downstairs.

divendres, 5 de novembre de 2010

Bonfire Night

On November 5th we celebrate Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night) in England. This celebration commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot ...

In 1605 a group of Catholics tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the Protestant King of England, King James I, with the aim of replacing him with a Catholic head of state.

However, the plot was discovered, and the barrels of gunpowder. The plotters were arrested and executed. The most famous member of the group was their leader, Guy Fawkes.

Fortunately this celebration has lost its anti-catholic connotations over the centuries and is now a great night out to blow away the winter blues. People build huge bonfires in gardens and public parks. Children traditionally make an effigy of Guy Fawkes (called "a guy") and used to drag him around the streets asking for money from passer-bys ("a penny for the guy"). When the bonfire is lit, everyone gathers around and the "guy" is thrown on to be burnt. Firework displays are very common. And, as with all great festivities, plenty of treats are consumed - jacket potatoes, toffee apples, pie and peas ...

divendres, 15 d’octubre de 2010

Poems on Water

Blog Action Day 2010 deals with the issue of water.
Water, that wonderful but elusive element, which says so many things to each and every one of us. Below we offer our humble contribution to the day’s thoughts and reflections, with two poems talking about water, one in English and one in Catalan.

The Old Men Admiring Themselves In The Water
I heard the old, old men say,
'Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away.'
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn-trees
By the waters.
I heard the old, old men say,
'All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters.

WB Yeats

Cançó de Pluja

No sents, cor meu, quina pluja més fina?
Dorm, que la pluja ja vetlla el teu son…
Hi ha dues perles a la teranyina,
quina conversa la pluja i la font!
No sents, cor meu, quina pluja més fina?

No sents, cor meu, quin plorar i quin cantar?
Canten les gotes damunt la teulada,
ploren les gotes damunt del replà…
Gotes de pluja, gardènia que es bada…
No sents, cor meu, quin plorar i quin cantar?

¿No sents, cor meu, quina pau més divina,
amb la música dels núvols desfets?
Pluja de nit, delicada veïna,
dentetes d’aigua en els vidres quiets…
No sents, cor meu, quina pau més divina?

¿No sents, cor meu, que la pena se’n va,
dintre aquest plor de la pluja nocturna,
i les estrelles somriuen enllà?
Enllà somriu un mantell tot espurna…
No sents, cor meu, que la pena se’n va?

No sents, cor meu, quina pluja més fina?
No sents, cor meu, quin plorar i quin cantar?
No sents, cor meu, quina pau més divina?
No sents, cor meu, que la pena se’n va?
No sents, cor meu, quina pluja més fina?

Josep Maria de Sagarra

dilluns, 20 de setembre de 2010

Are dying languages worth saving?

An interesting article from the BBC website:
Are dying languages worth saving?
Language experts are gathering at a university in the UK to discuss saving the world's endangered languages. But is it worth keeping alive dialects that are sometimes only spoken by a handful of people, asks Tom de Castella?
"Language is the dress of thought," Samuel Johnson once said.
About 6,000 different languages are spoken around the world. But the Foundation for Endangered Languages estimates that between 500 and 1,000 of those are spoken by only a handful of people. And every year the world loses around 25 mother tongues. That equates to losing 250 languages over a decade - a sad prospect for some.

This week a conference in Carmarthen, Wales, organised by the foundation, is being attended by about 100 academics. They are discussing indigenous languages in Ireland, China, Australia and Spain.
"Different languages will have their quirks which tell us something about being human," says Nicholas Ostler, the foundation's chairman.
"And when languages are lost most of the knowledge that went with them gets lost. People do care about identity as they want to be different. Nowadays we want access to everything but we don't want to be thought of as no more than people on the other side of the world."

Apart from English, the United Kingdom has a number of other languages. Mr Ostler estimates that half a million people speak Welsh, a few thousand Scots are fluent in Gaelic, about 400 people speak Cornish, while the number of Manx speakers - the language of the Isle of Man - is perhaps as small as 100. But is there any point in learning the really minor languages?
To continue reading the full article, please click here.

diumenge, 19 de setembre de 2010

Un llibre, un lector

El passat mes de juliol la Fundacc va publicar el Baròmetre de la Comunicació i la Cultura amb interessants dades sobre el consum de cultura en català. Aquí hi podem llegir una notícia al respecte. Personalment, però, el més xocant va ser aquesta frase amb la qual la Fundacc defineix qui és un lector:
“l'enquesta considera lector qui llegeix un llibre a l'any” ...

divendres, 17 de setembre de 2010

British English and Australian English (1)

The English language is spoken in many parts of the world and for various historical and cultural reasons, differences often occur between British English and the English of a specific country or region. We have already looked at some differences between the English spoken in the UK and the USA. Today we offer a few examples of Australian English – bearing in mind, though, that some of them are quite colloquial.

UK – farm; Australia – station

UK – field; Australia – paddock

UK – Good morning; Australia – Good Day (pronounced G’Day)

UK – horse; Australia – neddy

UK – beer; Australia – amber liquid

UK – mosquito; Australia – mozzie

UK – sausage; Australia – snag

UK – excellent; Australia – tops

And my personal favourite – apparently Australians refer to tight-fitting swimming trunks as “budgie smugglers”!

dijous, 16 de setembre de 2010

Presentació de Plantes del Port, en anglès

Divendres dia 17 a les 19.30 al Centre del Parc Natural dels Ports, Roquetes, tindrà lloc la presentació de la traducció a l’anglès dels llibres Plantes del Port, del Grup de Recerca Científica de les Terres de l’Ebre.

Plantes del Port is a reference book in three volumes covering the amazing flora to be found in the local mountains, near Tortosa, known as El Port. A translation into English has now been published and will be presented in public on Friday the 17th at 19.30 at the El Port Natural Park’s centre in Roquetes.

dimecres, 15 de setembre de 2010

British English and north-American English (3)

Apart from vocabulary, there are other small differences between these two versions of the English language. One question is spelling with American English often offering a simpler option. For example, color instead of colour, or traveling instead of travelling. Prepositional differences include examples such as “on the weekend” (USA) instead of “at”, or “on the team” instead of “in”, or “Will you write me?” instead of “Will you write to me?”

American English sometimes uses the Past Simple where British people would use the Present Perfect. For instance, “I lost my key”, rather than “I’ve lost my key”; “I didn’t tell him yet” rather than “I haven’t told him yet”, or “I just saw her” rather than “I’ve just seen her”.

To finish this brief glimpse into these interesting differences, we would just like to point out that the verb “to enjoy” seems to have evolved and become intransitive even in the UK thanks to Hollywood and its tendency to cry out “Enjoy!” with no one asking “Enjoy ... what?”.

dimarts, 14 de setembre de 2010

British English and north-American English (2)

As we said in an earlier post, there are some differences in the use of the English language in the United Kingdom or in the USA. Here are a few more examples (with thanks to fellow bloggers):

UK – nappy; USA – diaper

UK – bonnet (of a car); USA – hood

UK – boot (of a car); USA – trunk

UK – windscreen (of a car); USA - windshield

UK – autumn; USA – fall

UK – petrol; USA – gas

UK – underground (the Tube in London); USA – subway

UK – subway; USA – underpass

UK – sweets; USA - candy

dilluns, 6 de setembre de 2010

Setmana del Llibre en Català

Del 10 al 19 de setembre, es celebra la 28ª Setmana del Llibre en Català. Més informació aquí.

divendres, 30 de juliol de 2010

75 years of Penguins

This year sees the 75th anniversary of the Penguin book publishers. Simple designs, quality production, classic and modern books, all at a reasonable price ... who hasn't got shelves and shelves of these little black and white book-lovers?
Here is an interesting article from the BBC.

diumenge, 25 de juliol de 2010

Cristòfor Despuig

Fent cas de la ben encertada proposta de Jesús Tibau, dedicarem un escrit a l’escriptor Tortosí del segle XVI Cristòfor Despuig. En aquests dies que Tortosa celebra la festa del Renaixement val molt la pena recordar que l’il·lustre cavaller Despuig, ja defensava fervorosament la llengua catalana en una època de transculturació i substitució progressiva en favor del castellà.

Lo escàndol que jo prenc en véurer que per avui tan absoutament s’abraça la llengua castellana, fins a dins Barcelona, per los principals senyors i altres cavallers de Catalunya, recordant-me que en altres temps no donaven lloc ad aquest abús los magnànims Reis d’Aragó. I no dic que la castellana no sie gentil llengua i per tal tinguda, i també confesse que és necessari saber-la les persones principals, perquè és la espanyola que en tota Europa se coneix. Però condemne i reprove lo ordinàriament parlar-la entre nosaltres, perquè d’açò se pot seguir que, poc a poc, se lleve de rael la de la pàtria, i així pareixeria per los castellans conquistada.”
Cristòfor Despuig. Col·loquis de la insigne ciutat de Tortosa (1557?).

És certament curiós que després de gairebé cinc segles les seves paraules encara estiguen carregades de sentit i siguen vàlides a la societat en què estem vivint.
(foto de Conficon)

diumenge, 13 de juny de 2010

Jesús Moncada - The Towpath

Ens apuntem a aquesta nova proposta de col·laboració blocaire: fer un homenatge a Jesús Moncada, avui, 13 de juny, en commemoració del 5è aniversari de la seva mort.
Fa un parell de mesos vam fer un apunt amb les primeres paraules del Camí de Sirga traduides a l'anglès (per Judith Willis, any 1994). Avuí continuem ...

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Catalan author Jesus Moncada's premature passing away, many bloggers are today publishing something related to his work. Two months ago we posted the first few lines of his novel The Towpath in their English translation. Here's how the story continues ...

The first in chronological order - though not the most poignant - related how the clock on the belfry had stopped the previous evening against a louring backdrop of purple and sickly yellow storm-clouds streaked with black. For the chronicler this was a clear omen of what was to pass on the morrow, a sign that the past was gone for good. Another lurid account which described the night that followed this uncertain dusk was full of suspense: it mirrored indoors as the townspeople prayed that dawn should not break. The most vivid of all these recollections, however, was of the sinister bang on Horseshoe Hill at eleven o'clock the next morning; according to the chronicle, the townsfolk were profoundly shaken by the onset of the disaster.
These accounts were certainly all very impressive. But this wasn't the only factor they had in common; there was something else, something of maybe no significance, and yet it helps explain what happened that ill-starred day. They were also all, without exception, completely false.
I en català ...
El primer des del punt de vista cronològic, tot i que no resultava el més patètic, recollia l'aturada del rellotge del campanar esdevinguda la vigília enmig d'un capvespre tempestuós que pintava el cel de la vila amb carmins violacis, ors mortoïns i bromalles negres; segons el cronista, l'avaria era una premonició clara del que havia de passar l'endemà, un anunci del final inexorable del vell temps. L'angoixa es feia esborronadora en la descripció, deguda a un altre testimoni, de la nit a què havia donat pas la incertesa del crepuscle: la crònica parlava del silenci espès en els carrers deserts, silenci que volia reflectir el de la gent tancada a casa, pregant perquè no trenqués el dia. Tanmateix, entre les evocacions, la més colpidora era la del retruny sinistre de les onze del matí següent a la Baixada de la Ferradura: segons la crònica, els vilatans van sentir-se sotragats fins al moll de l'os pel començament del desastre.

Certament els testimonis resultaven impressionants. Ara bé, aquesta no era l'única característica que tenien en comú; en compartien una altra, potser insignificant però prou esclaridora del que va passar aquell dia nefast: tots, sense excepció, eren també absolutament falsos.

divendres, 11 de juny de 2010

L'Hora del Lector

Avui al canal 33, el programa L’Hora del Lector parlarà de traduccions. Aquí teniu l’informació del programa:
Els traductors al català Anna Casassas, Dolors Udina i Xavier Pèmies seran els convidats de "L'hora del lector", on debatran sobre el moment actual de la traducció, amb el presentador i director del programa, Emili Manzano. Anna Casassas ha traduït, entre d'altres, obres de Jan Potocki, Claudi Magris, Giani Stuparich, Philippe Claudel, Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac.

Per més informació podeu mirar el web, o el bloc.

dimecres, 9 de juny de 2010

A Kiwi on the Costa Brava

There have been many books written by English-speakers living in Spain, France and Italy, full of amusing anecdotes and insights into the so-called Mediterranean culture. However, very few have been written about Catalonia. In today's Catalan newspaper, El Punt, they interview Jonathan Stark, a "Kiwi" (New Zealander), who lives here and has just published A Kiwi on the Costa Brava. Most on-line bookshops stock it if anyone wants to know more about the life of Catalans (from a different point of view).
Here's the publicity blurb describing the book:
"Why is 9/11 more important to Catalans? Who was Wilfred the Hairy? When is a wolf’s fart edible? Why are bumper stickers of donkeys ubiquitous in Catalonia? What explains the ambivalence of many Catalans to their war generation? Why does Football Club Barcelona have the English flag on its emblem? Does black rice taste better than it sounds?

The answers to these and many other pertinent questions are revealed in A Kiwi on the Costa Brava, Jonathan Stark’s sympathetic account of a typical summer on Catalonia’s most famous coast. It begins with him and his Catalan wife returning to the Costa Brava to discover their summer business in crisis just as the season is about to begin. Finding solace in Mediterranean cuisine, breezy terraces and historic landscapes, they witness the yearly transformation that the Costa Brava undergoes with the arrival of millions of foreign and domestic holidaymakers. Simultaneously the author successfully solves a local mystery, experiences ups and downs as he attempts to improve his Catalan and works on a novel set on the Costa Brava.

Anecdotal, entertaining and humorous but also informative and thoughtful, A Kiwi on the Costa Brava allows readers to gain a better insight into a region of Europe that is both fashionable and well visited, but often poorly known and frequently misunderstood."

dimecres, 2 de juny de 2010

dijous, 13 de maig de 2010

Un poema de Olga Xirinacs

Aquesta setmana celebran la Setmana de la Poesia a Barcelona.
Informació aquí.

No estem a Barcelona però pensem llegir poesia aquesta setmana igualment. Avui llegirem una de les poemes que més ens agrada a la nostra família, una de crancs de la Olga Xirinacs, que es pot trobar al llibre Marina/Cavall de Mar (editat per Barcanova).

Un pas enrere,
Un pas avant,
Per l’escullera
S’enfila un cranc.

Va ben armat,
Com un soldat,
I tot el cos,
El té blindat.

En una pinça,
Hi porta un ram.
Per qui deu ser,
Tan elegant?

Un altre cranc
L’està esperant,
Un pas enrere,
Un pas avant:

Roques avall,
Dalt d’un cargol,
Ballen la samba
I el rock ‘n roll.

Olga Xirinacs

dilluns, 10 de maig de 2010

Més pals a les rodes a Brussel·les

Apunt del bloc del eurodiputat Oriol Junqueras ...

Se'm fa difícil explicar el que va passar ahir al Parlament Europeu. Més que res, perquè se'm remouen un seguit d'emocions, que m'impedeixen ordenar les idees. De totes maneres, ho intentaré. Intentaré explicar-ho. Ahir era dijous i, a les 17:00, la Presidència espanyola de la UE havia organitzat una taula de debat sobre la projecció de la cultura catalana a Europa. És l'única acció que ha dut a terme la Presidència espanyola de la UE pel català. L'única. Una simple taula de debat, malgrat que el català es troba en una situació anormalíssima (és la 13a llengua amb més parlants de la UE i, tanmateix, no forma part de les 23 llengües oficials de les institucions comunitàries). Per a més inri -poder hauria de dir, per a més humiliació-, el Govern espanyol volia fer la conferència en castellà. Increïble, però cert. L'única acció que la Presidència espanyola feia pel català era una conferència al Parlament Europeu en castellà, amb tots els convidats catalans havent de parlar en castellà ...

Per continuar llegint, fem clik aquí.

divendres, 7 de maig de 2010

Non-Latin internet addresses now possible

News item from the BBC, 6th May 2010.
Arab nations are leading a "historic" charge to make the world wide web live up to its name.
Net regulator Icann has switched on a system that allows full web addresses that contain no Latin characters. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to have so-called "country codes" written in Arabic scripts.
The move is the first step to allow web addresses in many scripts including Chinese, Thai and Tamil ...
For complete article, click here.

dimecres, 5 de maig de 2010

El Català a Brussel·les

Al bloc de l'eurodiputat Raül Romeva podem trobar aquest apunt ...

En una nova iniciativa de caràcter conjunt impulsada per diversos membres del Parlament que provenim de territoris de parla catalana, ens hem dirigit a les Comissàries Viviane Reding (que a més és Vicepresidenta de la Comissió) i Androulla Vassiliou, via carta, demanant una rectificació en relació a la recent decisió de transferir les responsabilitats de traducció en versió catalana des de l'oficina de la Comissió a Barcelona cap a la de Madrid. En la carta expressem la nostra preocupació i advertim de les conseqüències que aquesta mena de decisions comporten en relació a la promoció mde l'europeïsme en països com el nostre ...
Per continuar llegint, fem clik aquí.

dijous, 29 d’abril de 2010

Relat Encadenat

Interessant initiativa al bloc Relat Encadenat ...

L'Oficina de Cooperació i Solidaritat (OCiS) amb el suport del Centre de Documentació en Cooperació i Solidaritat (CDOCS) convoca la 1a edició del Relat Encadenat que es durà a terme fins el pròxim 14 de maig de 2010.
Aquesta iniciativa té com objectiu impulsar l'escriptura d'un relat encadenat que giri al voltant de conceptes de comerç just i banca ètica, i dels seus principis: salaris dignes, no explotació infantil, respecte al medi ambient, agricultura ecològica, drets laborals dignes, igualtat d'oportunitats entre homes i dones (buscar els principis del CJ i de la Banca Ètica) amb la finalitat de reflexionar sobre les actuals injustícies del comerç internacional i les alternatives que ofereix el comerç just global i local.
En què consisteix? És molt fàcil, tant sols s'ha d'anar continuant el text que ja està començat i que vagi lligant amb sentit d'acord amb l'objectiu que es pretén.
Qui hi pot participar? És obert a tota la ciutadania
Extensió del text? Els participants poden escriure com a mínim 60 paraules i com a màxim 120 aproximadament.
Termini de participació? Fins el 14 de maig de 2010
El resultat final del Relat Encadenat es podrà llegir el dia 15 de maig, en el marc de la Festa del Comerç Just i la Banca Ètica que es durà a terme a la plaça de l'Institut d'Estudis Il·lerdencs de Lleida, de 12h a 20:30h, en l'espai de l'Oficina de Cooperació i Solidaritat (OCiS).

dilluns, 26 d’abril de 2010

Pàgina Ebrenca, nou bloc sobre literatura

Aquests dies ha nascut Pàgina Ebrenca, un nou bloc col·lectiu de literatura i de llibres de les Terres de l'Ebre. Com diuen a la presentació:
De fet, Pàgina Ebrenca és un bloc sobre Literatura amb majúscules, tot i que la nostra vocació és especialitzar-nos en llibres i autors del territori. A més, a més, podreu trobar les principals novetats del sector i altres aspectes interessants de l'actualitat literària, així com referències sobre la presència del món dels llibres als mitjans de comunicació i a internet. Una nova aventura blocaire que emprenem al costat de l'amic i editor Jaume Llambrich, però també comptant amb la col·laboració d'escriptors del territori com Jesús M. Tibau o Emigdi Subirats, que ens han animat a tirar endavant aquesta iniciativa. Ens llegim!

dissabte, 24 d’abril de 2010

The Day After

Early estimates predict that close to a million books were bought yesterday in Catalonia to celebrate Saint Jordi’s Day, which at around 20 million euros represents almost 8% of the annual turnover in the book sector.

The best sellers were Se sabrà tot (Everything will be known) by Xavier Bosch and El viatge al poder de la ment (Journey to the power of the mind) by Eduard Punset, in fiction and non-fiction respectively.

Six million roses were bought too following the tradition.

The Catalan government promoted this idea of a book and a rose in London and received encouraging feedback from MPs and cultural figures who think it would be an interesting celebration to copy in the UK.

divendres, 23 d’abril de 2010

Saint Jordi's Day

Today is the 23rd of April - a very special day in Catalonia. The Catalans’ Patron Saint happens to be Saint Jordi (or George in English). Yes, the guy who killed the dragon. Jordi was a Roman soldier born in Palestine in the 3rd century AD who later converted to Christianity. Although the first documented writings of the dragon incident state that it happened in Libya, the Catalans believe it actually happened in the town of Montblanc in Catalonia. They may have a point as I can vouch that there are definitely no dragons currently living in Montblanc.

Jordi finished the dragon off with his lance, and from the wound the dragon’s blood spilled out and amazingly turned into a beautiful red rose.

Nowadays in dragon-free Catalonia, it is customary to walk the streets on this day with your family looking at the many open-air book stalls set out, as the Catalans celebrate this day by giving books and roses to their lovers/partners. Tradition dictates books for men and roses for women, though many men give both a book and a rose to their “better half”. It is an extremely beautiful, cultural and peaceful celebration. There are many public poetry recitals and book-readings today too alongside other literary events. Many countries have also tried copying this idea of a “book giving day”, and in 1995 UNESCO declared 23rd April to be World Book Day (even though, for reasons better known to themselves, the UK celebrates its “World” Book Day in March!).

This day has many literary connections. Cervantes was born, and died, on the 23rd April, and Shakespeare also died on this date – but as the English and Spanish used different calendars back then, these “23rd”s were not exactly the same day, if that makes sense!

Click here for more info regarding this celebration.

dimarts, 13 d’abril de 2010

IV Fira Literària de Jesús

Ja està aquí la Fira Literària de Jesús (Terres de l'Ebre). Aquí tenim més informació al bloc, i aquí es pot mirar el tríptic.

dimecres, 7 d’abril de 2010

William Wordsworth

One of the most famous English poets, William Wordsworth was born on this date, the 7th April, in 1770.
This is perhaps his most well-known poem, I wandered lonely as a cloud.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils

dissabte, 3 d’abril de 2010

2nd April - International Children's Book Day

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children's books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

En castellano, desde la misma pagina web:
Dia Internacional del Libro Infantil

Desde 1967, alrededor del 2 de abril, día del natalicio de Hans Christian Andersen, se celebra el Día Internacional del Libro Infantil con el ánimo de inspirar el amor por los libros y para llamar la atención de la comunidad sobre los libros para niños.

Cada año una Sección Nacional tiene la oportunidad de ser el patrocinador internacional del día del libro infantil. Esa Sección elige un tema e invita a un autor importante del país a escribir un mensaje para los niños del mundo y a un reconocido ilustrador para el diseño de un póster. Estos se usan de diferentes maneras para la promoción de los libros y la lectura. Muchas Secciones de IBBY promueven el día del libro infantil a través de los medios y organizan actividades en colegios y bibliotecas públicas.
Con frecuencia esta celebración se une a eventos especiales como encuentros con autores e ilustradores, concursos de cuento o premios para libros publicados.

dijous, 1 d’abril de 2010

April Fools' Day

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on the first of April in many countries around the world, such as the UK, the USA, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and so on. On this day we play practical jokes on each other, with even major newspapers and TV channels joining in with hoax news stories. Two of the best hoaxes the BBC has shown can be seen here and here.

No one knows the precise origins of this celebration – a few ideas are offered here at Wikipedia.

dilluns, 29 de març de 2010

La Plaça del Diamant / The Time of the Doves

La Plaça del Diamant / The Time of the Doves, was written by Mercè Rodoreda in 1962. An English translation by David Rosenthal was published in 1981 by Graywolf Press. This “powerfully written story of a naive shop-tender during the Spanish Civil War and beyond is a rare and moving portrait of a simple soul confronting and surviving a convulsive period of history”.

La novel·la La Plaça del Diamant de Mercè Rodoreda va ser publicada en anglès a l’any 1981 amb traducció de David Rosenthal. Així comença ...

Here are the opening lines in both languages ...

La Julieta va venir expressament a la pastisseria a dir-me que, abans de rifar la toia, rifarien cafeteres; que ella ja les havia vistes: precioses, blanques, amb una taronja pintada, partida en dues meitats, que ensenyava els pinyols. Jo no tenia ganes d’anar a ballar ni tenia ganes de sortir, perquè m’havia passat el dia despatxant dolços i les puntes dels dits em feien mal de tant estrènyer cordills daurats i de tant fer nusos i agafadors. I perquè coneixia la Julieta, que a la nit no li venia de tres hores i tant li feia dormir com no dormir. Però em va fer seguir vulgues no vulgues, perquè jo era així, que patia si algú em demanava una cosa i havia de dir que no. Anava blanca de dalt a baix: el vestit i els enagos emmidonats, les sabates com un glop de llet, les arracades de pasta blanca, tres braçalets rotllana que feien joc amb les arracades i un portamonedes blanc, que la Julieta em va dir que era d’hule, amb la tanca com una petxina d’or.

Julieta came by the pastry shop just to tell me that, before they raffled off the basket of fruit and candy, they’d raffle some coffeepots. She’s already seen them: lovely white ones with oranges painted on them. The oranges were cut in half so you could see the seeds. I didn’t feel like dancing or even going out because I’d spent the day selling pastries and my fingertips hurt from tying so many gold ribbons and making so many bows and handles. And because I knew Julieta. She felt fine after three hours’ sleep and didn’t care if she slept at all. But she made me come even though I didn’t want to, because that’s how I was. It was hard for me to say no if someone asked me to do something. I was dressed all in white, my dress and petticoats starched, my shoes like two drops of milk, my earrings white enamel, three hoop bracelets that matched the earrings, and a white purse Julieta said was made of vinyl with a snap shaped like a gold shellfish.

diumenge, 28 de març de 2010

Camí de sirga / The Towpath

Having an interest in Catalan literature as well as the world of translating, from time to time we will enclose extracts from Catalan novels alongside their published English translations.
Camí de sirga /The Towpath, was written by Jesús Moncada in 1988. An English translation by Judith Willis was published in 1994 by Harvill Harper Collins. The flooding of a small Catalan town to create a reservoir on the river Ebro is the starting point of this novel which leads us through Catalonia’s recent tragic history.

La novel·la Camí de Sirga del Jesús Moncada va ser publicada en anglès a l’any 1994 amb traducció de Judith Williams. Així comença ...

Here are the opening lines in both languages...

Pilans i parets mestres van esberlar-se bruscament; una fragor eixordadora en la qual es barrejaven el cruixir de jàsseres i bigues, l’ensulsiada d’escales, trespols, envans i revoltons, l’esmicolament de vidres i la trencadissa de maons, teules i rajoles, va retrunyir per la Baixada de la Ferradura mentre la casa s’esfondrava sense remei. De seguida, un núvol de pols, el primer dels que havien d’acompanyar la llarga agonia que començava aleshores, va elevar-se per sobre de la vila i es va esfilagarsar a poc a poc en l’aire lluminós del matí de primavera.
Anys després, quan la malesa encetada aquell dia del 1970 era memòria llunyana, temps amortallat amb teranyines de boira, una crònica anònima va aplegar un feix de testimonis colpidors sobre l’esdeveniment ...

Columns and supporting walls suddenly gave way; as the house came toppling down, Horseshoe Hill reverberated with the thunderous roar of rafters and beams creaking, stairways, ceilings, coves and partitions collapsing, glass shattering and bricks and tiles smashing. And then a cloud of dust, the first of many which were to accompany the long agony that lay ahead, rose up above the town and slowly dispersed in the bright spring morning air.
Years later, when the tragedy that began that day in 1970 had become a dim memory, time shrouded in cobwebs of mist, an anonymous chronicle collated a number of moving personal accounts of the event ...

dilluns, 22 de març de 2010

A poem - On the Ning Nang Nong.

Yesterday was World Poetry Day. So, better late than never, here is our small contribution to the celebrations - one of our family favourites, On the Ning Nang Nong by Spike Milligan.

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
And the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when
they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
Is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!
Spike Milligan

dijous, 11 de març de 2010

Foreign words and phrases in English (1)

The English language does not only include words with origins outside of the British Isles, such as restaurant or bungalow, but also uses “foreign” words or even complete expressions in their original language in certain situations. A few examples:

De facto (Latin), meaning in fact. Used legally to express that someone or something is in fact in a certain position even though there may be no official recognition.
Example; No one had expressed an opinion regarding organisation but he became their de facto leader.

Double entendre (French), meaning with a double meaning, often referring to wordplay and/or jokes.
Example; This writer is a master of the double entendre.

Al fresco (Italian), meaning in the open air.
Example; Let’s make the most of the long summer evenings and eat al fresco tomorrow.

Bête noire (French), meaning black beast, refers to a special hate for something/someone.
Example; Bureaucracy was his personal bête noire, as he hated red tape.

Laissez faire (French), meaning let things be - that is, something is allowed to run its free course without exterior control or interference. Often used in economics and politics.
Example; The government had a very laissez faire policy towards immigration.

dilluns, 8 de març de 2010

The box that helped to save a language.

There is a very interesting story behind this box on the BBC website, all you need to do is click here ...
... in this day and age of hard disks, satellites, and gigabytes, it’s nice to remember that sometimes the most humble of objects can also have a story to tell.

Photo – BBC/Manx National Heritage

dissabte, 6 de març de 2010

El Govern espanyol bloqueja el català a Europa

Apunt publicat aquesta setmana al bloc de l’eurodiputat Oriol Junqueras ...

El Govern de Zapatero ja ens té acostumats a fer promeses que després no compleix. Un exemple més va ser la promesa d'ampliar els àmbits en què el català es podia utilitzar a la UE. Així, el Govern espanyol va signar el 2005 acords administratius amb cinc institucions europees, entre les quals el Consell de la UE, la Comissió Europea i el Defensor del Poble Europeu, per utilitzar-hi el català. Zapatero es va fer la foto, els diaris en van parlar durant dies, i va sembla que havíem fet un gran pas endavant. Tanmateix, cinc anys més tard, el Govern espanyol incompleix -gairebé metòdicament- aquests acords.... continuar llegint aquí

dijous, 4 de març de 2010

Notícia: presentació de Mans de fang

Presentació de la novel·la 'Mans de fang', de l'escriptora ebrenca Francesca Aliern.

L’acte tindrà lloc divendres 5 de març, a les 8 del vespre, a la sala de plens de l’Ajuntament de Xerta (Plaça Major, 13).La presentació anirà a càrrec de Maria Dolors Pascual Mola, mestra.

Continua llegint aquí.

dimarts, 2 de març de 2010

Espejismos vistos desde el Circo Raluy

En diciembre del año pasado (2009) se publicó El Secreto de los Espejismos, un pequeño libro científico en el cual su autor expone una nueva teoría sobre los orígenes o las causas de los espejismos. Está publicado en catalán, castellano e inglés – con traducción hecha por nosotros. Ver nuestros nombres en un libro siempre es una pequeña alegría.

Aparte de nuestra implicación en el libro, y la teoría, también encontramos interesante el hecho de que esta obra sea de un autor local con una profesión poco habitual –¡nos referimos al payaso Lluis Raluy, del circo Raluy! Tener la oportunidad de conocer a Lluis y charlar un rato con él en su caravana fue una experiencia única.

El libro está editado por la editorial Cinctorres, donde podréis encontrar más información.
A continuación os adjuntamos el texto de la contraportada en castellano:

Lluís Raluy Tomás baja todos los días a la pista del Circo Raluy, con su atuendo de payaso, para generar felicidad en los niños y en los mayores. Es un hombre de una sensibilidad profunda manifestada en campos diversos, como la pintura y la música. Y, a la vez, debajo de su aspecto callejero descuidado cuando no está en la pista, se esconde una mente privilegiada para la especulación matemática y una capacidad didáctica nada frecuente entre los que se dedican a estas materias. El presente libro es una prueba fehaciente de lo que decimos. La editorial Cinctorres Club ya ha publicado la edición en inglés de una obra fundamental de nuestro autor: Ingeniosa teoría del Espacio y del Tiempo. Y se está trabajando en la segunda edición de la obra: Ámbito de los números primos, su estructura y distribución - conjetura de Goldbach, que también ha sido traducida al inglés.

Foto cedida por Jorge Lizana.

diumenge, 28 de febrer de 2010

Topònims de Catalunya

A www.3cat24.cat podem trobar la notícia sobre el nou nomenclàtor de topònims que inclou, per primer cop, la transcripció fonètica dels noms de tots els pobles catalans.

Berga, Flix, Puig-reig, Vall-llobrega o Santa Perpètua de Mogoda són alguns dels noms de municipis que poden ser complicats de pronunciar per a alguns catalans.... per continuar llegint, pitgeu aquí.

dissabte, 27 de febrer de 2010

Dos llibres

Últimament hem llegit dos llibres que parlen de llibres i el món de la literatura, que podem recomanar.

La societat literària i de pastís de pela de patata de Guernsey, de la Mary Ann Shaffer, explica com un grup de gent de l’illa de Guernsey va poder sobreviure i aguantar l’ocupació alemanya durant la segona guerra mundial gràcies al club literari que van organitzar.

El Cas Jane Eyre de Jasper Fforde és una història de detectius però amb la peculiaritat que passa en un món alternatiu al que tenim, on la literatura i el respecte per ella té més o menys la mateixa importància que el futbol té per a nosaltres avui dia! Per això hi ha policies especialitzats en crims contra la literatura. La protagonista, Thursday Next, és una d’aquestes detectius i en aquest llibre ha d’investigar el segrest d’un personatge d’algun llibre clàssic.

dijous, 25 de febrer de 2010

Notícies ebrenques

Algunes noticies literàries de les Terres de l’Ebre...
Demà, divendres 26 de febrer, l’autor Jesús M. Tibau presenta el seu llibre Una Sortida Digna a la biblioteca d’Amposta a les 19.30.

El dissabte 27, tenim la 1ª Trobada de Gènere Negre al Matarranya, a Vall-de-roures. Més informació aquí.

Ja coneixem data per a la Fira Literària “Joan Cid i Mulet” a Jesus, Tortosa. Serà els dies 16, 17, i 18 d’abril.

I, last but not least, els jóvens tenen fins el 23 d’abril per participar en el VI Concurs de Relats Curts a Internet per a Jóvens de la Fira del Llibre Ebrenc. Clik aquí.

dimarts, 23 de febrer de 2010

Another joke

And here is a joke which puzzles even the best learners of English as a second language. As with many jokes, it too has been around for some time but we were recently reminded of it as it is mentioned in Mark Haddon’s excellent novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Most jokes lose their value and humour when explained but for anyone who struggles with this, we shall leave an explanation in the comments in a couple of days!

Joke: His face was drawn, but the curtains were real.

dilluns, 22 de febrer de 2010

A joke to help with your English

A good sense of humour is often needed by those wishing to learn English! Firstly to face up to years of study and learning, a smile may lighten the load. Secondly, and more seriously, jokes often help us to understand the ins and outs of the language so hard to pick up on.

The following joke has been doing the rounds for some time now (we just re-found it here), and helps to appreciate the difficulties with spelling and pronunciation in English. Hope you enjoy it
The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".
In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.
The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the 4th yer peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.
Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

diumenge, 21 de febrer de 2010

Hàbits de lectura dels joves

www.3cat.24.cat 18.2.2010

Segons un estudi sobre els hàbits de lectura dels infants i joves de Catalunya fet aquest mes de febrer i comparat amb un estudi del 2004, els estudiants d'ESO llegeixen un 10% menys que fa sis anys i evidencia que els lectors per plaer es redueixen a mesura que incrementa l'edat, que ho fan més per obligació. Les novel·les d'aventures són el genere preferit tant de nois com de noies ...
Llegeix la noticia sencera aquí al 3cat24

divendres, 19 de febrer de 2010

Una poema - Yeats en català

A l’any 2005, la traductora irlandesa-catalana Patrícia Manresa Ní Ríordáin i el poeta ebrenc Albert Roig van traduir l’obra de poesia L’espasa i la torre d’en W.B.Yeats de l’anglès al català. El llibre va ser publicat per Edicions 62. Clik aquí.
Aquí tenim un dels poemes.

Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone –
Man has created death.

Ni la por ni cap esperança
No vetllen l’animal que mor;
L’home espera la seua fi
Esglaiant-se, esperant-ho tot;
I moltes vegades ha mort,
I moltes ha tornat a alçar-se.
Davant dels assassins
L’orgull de l’home ferm
Respon a l’últim
Alè amb l’escarni; la mort
La coneix per dins – l’ha creat
L’home la mort.

dijous, 18 de febrer de 2010

Literatura catalana a la revista WLT

La universitat d’Oklahoma publica la revista literària, World Literature Today, des de l’any 1927. El número del setembre/octubre de 2009 tenia una secció especial sobre la literatura catalana.

Per a més informació, pitgeu aquí.

dimarts, 16 de febrer de 2010

Pancake Tuesday

Today we celebrate Shrove Tuesday in England. This is the last day before Lent starts. Shrove is the past tense of a rather old-fashioned English verb, to shrive, meaning to absolve your sins through prayer. People used to make and give out prayer cakes. Nowadays, most people celebrate this day by eating pancakes – as many as possible – whether or not they respect Lent. For this reason, today is more commonly called Pancake Tuesday.

Pancakes are thin, flat cakes made of flour, eggs, and milk, fried in butter. They can be served with lemon juice and sugar, jam, chocolate spread, ham, cheese, maple syrup – the list is endless. Hope you enjoy them and have a great day!

dilluns, 15 de febrer de 2010

Miratges vistos des del Circ Raluy

Al desembre de l’any passat (2009) es va publicar El Secret dels Miratges, un petit llibre científic en el qual l’autor exposa una nova teoria sobre els orígens o les causes dels miratges. Està editat en català, castellà, i anglès – amb traducció feta per nosaltres! Veure els nostres noms en un llibre sempre és una petita alegria.

A banda de la nostra implicació en el llibre, i la teoria en si, també trobem interessant el fet de que aquesta obra sigui d’un autor local amb una professió poc habitual – ens referim al pallasso Lluis Raluy, del Circ Raluy! A més a més de la feina en si, poder conèixer a Lluis i xerrar amb ell dins de la seva caravana va ser una experiència única.

El llibre està editat per l’editorial Cinctorres, on es pot trobar més informació. A continuació us adjuntem el text de la contraportada en català:

El Pallasso Matemàtic. Lluís Raluy Tomás surt tots els dies a la pista del Circ Raluy, vestit de pallasso, per fer feliços a nens i grans. És un home de sensibilitat profunda, manifestada en diversos camps, com ara la música o la pintura. I, al mateix temps, més enllà del seu aspecte despreocupat quan no es troba a la pista, el nostre pallasso té una ment privilegiada per a l’especulació matemàtica, i una capacitat didàctica que no és freqüent en els que es dediquen a aquestes tasques.
Aquest llibre és una prova fefaent del que estem dient. L’editorial Cinctorres Club ja va publicar la traducció anglesa d’una obra fonamental del nostre autor: Ingeniosa teoría del Espacio y del Tiempo. Actualment estem treballant en la segona edició de l’obra, Ámbito de los números primos, su estructura y distribución, conjetura de Goldbach, que també ha estat traduïda a l’anglès.

Foto de Lluís cedida per Jorge Lizana – click aquí per altres fotos seves.

Translating, mathematics, and clowns.

The Secret of Mirages, published in December 2009, explains and questions the traditional scientific theories of the creation of mirages and proposes a plausible new theory.
This book means a lot to us for different reasons. We were fortunate enough to be asked to do the English translation and, through our work, got to know the author, Lluís Raluy quite well. Although Lluís has published several books relating to physics and mathematics, his “day job” is not the first one to come to mind. He is in fact a clown (and part-owner) of the traditional Catalan circus, Circ Raluy. The Raluy family has been involved in circuses for over 70 years, running their own one – with its home-base a mere 10km from us here in the south of Catalonia - since the 1970s. Translating the book, working with Lluís, ringside circus tickets and meeting him in his 1930s circus caravan was an unforgettable experience.

The Secret of Mirages has been published in English, Catalan, and Spanish, and is available from the Cinctorres Club publishing house.

The text from the book’s back cover:
Day in day out, Lluís Raluy Tomas, the clown, steps out into the circus ring bringing joy to young and old alike. Lluís’s deep sensitivity can be seen in his painting and music. At the same time, behind the seemingly careless appearance he offers us off-stage, we can find a privileged mind with an ability for mathematical thinking and didactic explanations rarely found among others in this field.
This book is proof of this. Cinctorres has already published an earlier fundamental work of the author in English: An ingenious theory of Space and Time. At present a second edition of another book, also translated into English, is being prepared: The scope of prime numbers - Their structure and distribution - The Goldbach conjecture.

diumenge, 14 de febrer de 2010

British English and north-American English (1)

English is spoken as a first language in many countries of the world. There are often differences in pronunciation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Today we shall explain a few examples of how words change between north-American English (USA) and the English spoken in the United Kingdom (UK). However, we must remember that thanks to global mobility, Hollywood and the Beatles, these differences are not set in stone and it is common to hear American words spoken in England, and visa versa.

UK – angry; USA – mad
UK – mad; USA – crazy
UK – biscuit; USA – cookie
UK – trousers; USA – pants
UK – holiday; USA – vacation
UK – tap; USA – faucet
UK – chemist’s; USA – drugstore
UK – rubbish; USA – garbage
UK – lift; USA - elevator

divendres, 12 de febrer de 2010

English o Català?

Hi ha paraules que sovint emprem en la nostra llengua però que a tots ens sonen a paraules angleses. Resulta que no sempre ho són, o almenys no tenen el mateix significat en anglès que el que se’ls dóna en català.
Per exemple, en català tothom ha sentit parlar d’un càmping, un lloc on podem acampar. En anglès la forma “a camping” no existeix ja que no és cap substantiu sinó una acció (camping = acampant/acampar). Per referir-nos a un lloc hem de dir “ a camp-site” i en català podríem dir “zona d’acampada”.

Fer footing s’empra com a sinònim d’anar a córrer. En anglès córrer es pot dir "running" (amb un caire més professional), o "jogging" (com a exercici sa), però mai footing. L’únic sentit que té la paraula "footing" en anglès és la de les relacions o fonaments d’alguna relació. "To be on a good footing” amb algú, vol dir tenir bones relacions amb aquella persona.

D’on vénen aquestes paraules aparentment angleses, doncs? Jo diria que és una petita moda per agafar sons anglesos però sense entrar en l’ús correcte de la llengua. Dos exemples més de “màrketing” (això sí que és anglès) que utilitzen paraules que sonen angleses (però que no ho són), són el sistema de llogar bicicletes que han instal·lat a Barcelona, i que han anomenat “bicing”, o l’empresa de vols de baix cost que es diu Vueling.

dijous, 11 de febrer de 2010

Amics i amigues

Benvinguts i benvingudes, amics i amigues. Ara els professors i les professores els lliuraran els exàmens.
Sona bé? Sona natural? Sona correcte? Fa temps que hi ha confusió en certs cercles sobre la necessitat o no d’usar les dos formes de certes paraules per a dirigir-nos a tothom sense excloure ni ofendre a ningú.

Aquí es pot trobar la declaració del Departament de Filologia Catalana i Lingüística General de la Universitat de les Illes Balears.
I aquí una explicació més llarga i aclaridora sobre el tema de paraules marcades i no marcades del lingüista Gabriel Bibiloni.

dimarts, 9 de febrer de 2010

False Friends (2)

Tornem a parlar dels false friends.
Sovint aprofitem les similituds entre llengües per a aprendre i comunicar-nos més ràpidament. Per exemple, futbol/football té el mateix significat en català que en anglès. Però hi ha unes altres paraules que no ens ajuden, més aviat al contrari, ens despisten; no són amics de l’estudiant, sinó amics falsos – false friends. Avui en posem quatre exemples.

La paraula PETROL no vol dir “petroli”, sinó gasolina. Per parlar de petroli, hem de dir OIL, o CRUDE OIL.

NOTICE – és un cartell i no pas una “notícia” (NEWS, o AN ITEM OF NEWS) .

LARGE – vol dir gran. Per a dir “llarg” hauríem de dir LONG.

EXCITING – en català s’hauria de dir “emocionant”. Per parlar d’alguna cosa “excitant”, en el sentit provocatiu, en anglès diríem SEXY.

diumenge, 7 de febrer de 2010

Paraules del traductor i poeta, D. Sam Abrams (3)

Tercer fragment de l’entrevista amb D. Sam Abrams publicada al Barcelona INK.

Third extract from the fascinating interview with D Sam Abrams, professor at the Open University of Catalonia, literary critic, poet and translator. The full interview was published in issue no.2 of Barcelona INK.

You have translated many Catalan poets – do you have a favourite?

Abrams: I have favourites. Of current poets, Màrius Sampere and Bartomeu Fiol and Joan Margarit.
As for the classics, for me, one is Ausias March. I think he was the greatest Catalan poet of the period, the greatest Spanish poet of the period, the greatest European poet of the period – ergo, the greatest poet of the world at that time (16th/17th century) for both his command of the language and his command of the form. He was a man with a foot in both the middle ages and the beginning of the Renaissance and this gave him a dramatic tragic view of life. There’s a point when he names himself in a poem and that for a poet was unheard of in those days.

Question: But he’s relatively unheard of ...

Abrams: Because nobody has ever translated him.

Question: And he remains untranslated?

Abrams: He’s been translated but only in the small press. I proposed to the Catalan government that they set up a team of experts: two university professors and two poets and that the draft a literal crib of his work so that somebody, a big name in English poetry (the man I had in mind was Seamus Heaney before he won the Nobel prize), could translate the crib into actual English poetry and all of a sudden March would make a big splash.
I was listened to. But I think that they felt that it was out of their reach – but it has been done before. There was an unknown Polish Renaissance poet. They made a crib and Heaney translated it and now he’s famous all over the world (Jan Kochanowski) and I can guarantee that March is ten times better than him!

divendres, 5 de febrer de 2010

Hi havia un home que llegia diccionaris ...

Hi havia un home que llegia diccionaris … bé, Aamon Shea va llegir els vint volums del Oxford Dictionary of the English Language. Li va costar un any llegir les 21.730 pàgines. Aquí teniu la notícia a la pàgina web de la BBC.

dimecres, 3 de febrer de 2010

Paraules del traductor i poeta, D. Sam Abrams (2)

L’americà D. Sam Abrams és professor de literatura a la UOC, poeta, crític literari, i traductor. Ha traduït 20 llibres de poesia catalana moderna a l’anglès. Adjuntem un segon fragment de l’entrevista publicada al Barcelona INK.

A second extract from the fascinating interview with D Sam Abrams, professor at the Open University of Catalonia, literary critic, poet and translator. The full interview was published in issue no.2 of Barcelona INK.

Question: So, just how Catalan are you?

Abrams: I’m as integrated as you get but I don’t believe in total integration. I believe sooner or later you always come up against a wall. Two examples of this: One, politically speaking, an American is born in a democratic tradition and it’s very difficult for an American involved in Catalan politics to understand the “if you don’t like it why don’t you stand up and walk away” attitude. This “yes, maybe ... we want to be independent but we are afraid to use the word ...” As an American I find that very hard to understand. As my grandmother used to say, “either shit or get off the pot.”

The other is this. I was the Secretary of the PEN Club here for two years and one of the problems I kept coming up against was imagination and creativity. An American is born to think about ways of doing things. It’s hard for Catalans to conceive new ideas. For example, when it was the 100th anniversary of the poet Joan Oliver Pere IV, I had the idea of printing posters with his poems and to go up and down the Rambla and stick them up, and have the members putting up posters as well as the poet’s only daughter putting up the first one. The immediate reaction was a very lethal Catalan question, “Vols dir?” That means, “we’ve never done this, do you really think it’s going to work?”

Question: You are in favour of independence.

Abrams: Oh, absolutely, and I think the last two years in local politics has proved this right.

Question: Has your learning the language had an effect on your political opinions?

Abrams: Before I even came here I was under the impression that Spain was one great nation. I was told before I came here that Catalan was a dialect and the language is Spanish. But it became clear when I arrived that all of this was completely erroneous and that was before I even spoke the language.