dissabte, 30 de gener de 2010

Passives (1)

Els estudiants d’anglès sovint es deuen preguntar per què es dona tanta importància a la veu passiva en l’aprenentatge de la llengua. Intentarem explicar-ne els motius, i donar-vos un petit esquema de com es construeixen les frases.

La norma bàsica per fer una passiva en anglès és la d’ajuntar el verb To Be, en el temps apropiat, amb el participi de passat del verb principal. Per exemple,

The book was written in 1982. (literalment, el llibre va ser escrit a l’any 1982)
My car has been repaired by the mechanic. (el meu cotxe ha estat reparat pel mecànic).
The letters will be delivered tomorrow by the postman. (les cartes seran repartides demà pel carter)

En utilitzar la passiva en comptes de l’activa en el segon exemple hem de posar el cotxe encapçalant la frase i així donem més importància al cotxe que no pas al mecànic. Fins i tot es pot eliminar el mecànic de la frase (cosa òbvia ja que sabem que són els mecànics qui reparen cotxes i no cal esmentar-los).

Hi ha tres situacions habituals en què no cal nombrar la persona que fa l’acció, i per tant, tendim a usar la passiva:
1. Si no sabem qui fa l’acció (algú m’ha ratllat el cotxe). 2. Sabem qui la fa però no li donem gaire importància (si pensem més en la novel·la que l’autor, per exemple). 3. Sabem qui la fa però és tan evident que no cal dir-ho (els lladres roben coses).
1. Somebody scratched my car.
Passiva: My car was scratched (by somebody).
2. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet 400 years ago.
Passiva: Hamlet was written 400 years ago (by ...).
3. A thief has stolen my camera.
Passiva: My camera has been stolen.

En català, és possible expressar aquestes idees sense arribar a usar la passiva ja que es poden usar formes impersonals del verb com ara: “m’han arreglat el cotxe”, “es repartiran les cartes”, o “el llibre es va escriure ...”.

Un altre dia, explicarem coses no tan bàsiques sobre el tema de les passives.

dijous, 28 de gener de 2010

J D Salinger has died

News article from the BBC web page.

American novelist JD Salinger, author of classic 20th Century book The Catcher in the Rye, has died aged 91.
The reclusive writer died of natural causes at his home in the state of New Hampshire, his son said.
The Catcher In The Rye, first published in 1951, is a tale of teenage angst. It has become one of the most influential American novels of the modern era. Soon after its publication, Salinger shunned the fame it brought and became a recluse for the rest of his life.

The son of a Jewish businessman and Scots-Irish mother, Jerome David Salinger was born in New York and grew up in Manhattan. He enjoyed early success in the 1940s with the publication of numerous short stories in magazines, among them the New Yorker. But he is best known for The Catcher in the Rye, which quickly became a bible of teenage dissent in America and a staple of high school and freshman college English courses.

Almost immediately after Catcher was published, Salinger became disillusioned with the publishing industry. In 1953, he bought a house at Cornish, New Hampshire, and retreated into seclusion, giving a rare and final interview in 1980 ...
For the full article click here.

dilluns, 25 de gener de 2010

Linguamón - Casa de les Llengües


El 30 de gener Linguamón inaugurarà el Centre de Visitants de la seva nova seu a l'antiga fàbrica de Can Ricart a Barcelona.
Per explicar qui són i què fan, qui millor que ells mateixos ...



Linguamón – Casa de les Llengües és un organisme governamental creat el 2005 i integrat per la Generalitat de Catalunya i l’ Ajuntament de Barcelona. La nostra missió és acostar el món de les llengües als ciutadans; fer viure la riquesa lingüística de manera positiva a la societat; crear consciència per la sostenibilitat de la diversitat lingüística, i difondre les grans possibilitats que les llengües i les seves comunitats ofereixen.

D’altra banda, per mitjà dels serveis especialitzats, duem a terme iniciatives al voltant de les llengües per contribuir a la millora del desenvolupament social i econòmic de la societat, de forma que els models de gestió del multilingüisme proposats incideixin positivament en la cohesió social, la competitivitat i l’economia d’un país, així com en el desenvolupament social i laboral de la ciutadania.

Linguamón - Casa de les Llengües vol contribuir a fer de Catalunya un referent internacional en la gestió del multilingüisme de les societats i les noves tecnologies.

dijous, 21 de gener de 2010

Paraules del traductor i poeta, D. Sam Abrams (1)

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 petit fragment d’una entrevista publicada al Barcelona INK, revista publicada aquí a Catalunya amb històries curtes, poesies, i pensaments, tots relacionat amb Barcelona.

We include an extract from a 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, a relatively new magazine featuring English writing on, about, or from Barcelona.

Question: Just how difficult is it to translate poetry?

Abrams: Translating poetry is a wonderful experience. There’s no experience that compares to it in terms of using your reading skills. It’s when you translate that you realize just how little attention we actually pay to those little black marks on the page. All of a sudden you are in the driving seat and you have to say whatever it is the person you are translating is trying to say. You are responsible for that. You have to understand every inch of what he says. So first of all, it’s a very intense reading experience.

Second, it’s a very intense cultural and linguistic experience. Because you have to understand what that person is saying and you have to know the language very very well. I really don’t believe this distance between people saying “well, I really didn’t know that much English when I translated Walt Whitman into Hebrew ... .” If your personality as a translator is that important, then, yes, but if you are actually trying to translate, transfer a poet from one language to another, you need to be standing behind the poet to grasp the poet.

In that place it’s intense working within your own language. You learn a lot about your craft as a poet.

divendres, 8 de gener de 2010

2010

Happy New Year! The big question is, though, how should we read 2010 in English? From the eleventh to the twentieth centuries we read years in twos – that is, 1982 is read as “nineteen eighty-two” rather than like the number “one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two”. It was generally assumed, though, that after the year 2000, the years would be read as numbers and, hence, 2010 would be “two thousand and ten”. However, many people read it as “twenty ten”. So which is right?

The truth is both are correct at present as no one actually makes these decisions in English. Popular and official usage will tend to use one more than the other until that becomes the accepted norm. “Two thousand and ten” sounds more correct and traditional, but “twenty ten” sounds more direct and modern, and seems to be winning the day judging by its use on the BBC and other media.