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.

DEATH
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.

MORT
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.

Question:
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.

dilluns, 1 de febrer de 2010

Passives (2)

As we said in the previous post, passive structures are very common and very useful in English. We can give the object more importance than the subject, or simply leave the subject out of the sentence as in the following example:
That letter should have been sent last week (by ...).

Today we would like to go over some more advanced/complicated examples.
1. In English we can move either the direct object or the indirect object to the front of a passive sentence. So the active statement, “They offered him the promotion” can be written in two ways:
The promotion was offered to him.
He was offered a promotion.

2. We can also have a passive construction “hidden” inside a sentence. Think of this statement: he likes it when people ask him for autographs.
The second part of the sentence has a subject (people) and object (him) and, so, we can make a passive here, after “he likes ...”, remembering that the most suitable form after the verb “like” is the gerund. We can imagine the following statement as an intermediate, but incorrect, step – he likes it when he being asked for autographs.
However, “being asked” functions now as the object of the verb “like", thus leaving us with the correct final version:
He likes being asked for autographs.

3. In Catalan people express general beliefs or opinions with sentences like “es creu que ell és el lladre”, or “se suposa que Lee Harvey Oswald va matar JFK”. In English to avoid explaining who believes this (people, obviously) we have to use passive sentences. We bring the “he” or “Lee Harvey Oswald” to the front of the sentence while the “people” who believe this move behind the verb, but can be, and are, left out of the final sentence. Let’s see. Originally we could say:
People think that he is the thief.
People suppose that Oswald killed JFK.

These become:
He is thought (by the people) to be the thief.
Oswald is supposed to have killed JFK.

Another alternative is to say:
It is thought that he is the thief.
It is supposed that Oswald killed JFK.