Monday, 6 May 2013
In Spain when a crime is committed locally and ends up in the local rag the person's name is never published, instead his or her initials and age will accompany the story. The other day I read that a couple had been caught red handed or as the paper put it in flagrante delicto, graffiting if that is the right word the walls around town. What surprised me was how old they were, 31 and 33 according to one newspaper but what didn't was the awfulness of what they had painted. Here is an example. Even the policia is shocked, stunned and amazed.
One of the most difficult things when learning Spanish is distinguishing the feminine and masculine words. Masculine ones ending in o and feminine in a, but not always as in the words feminino (m) and polla (f), feminine and prick in English. This confusion is an endless source of amusement for Spanish people as they crease up and tell me that pajarito is not as I thought, a bow-tie and is another word for prick. The correct word is pajarita or maybe it is the other way round. I have forgotten already. Sometimes pronunciation creates problems. I was trying to tell a friend about a charity called Caritas not knowing the stress is on the first vowel leaving the poor man thinking I was talking about a 'little face'. It works both ways, not just for students of Spanish. There is a famous book to help students of English with their pronunciation called Ship or Sheep but maybe it needs renaming as I will never forget a Spanish friend leaving the chambermaid in the hotel he was staying in a state of shock when he asked for a shit on his bed. In class the other day the word fillings came up when students were asked if they were frightened of the dentist. They all thought I had said feelings so confusion reigned for a few minutes. One student, Pilar told the class she hated going to the dentist and insists he tell her everything he is doing, putting the mirror in her mouth, about to give her the anaesthetic etc but then she added that to make matters worse the dentist has a stutter.
So on that note I leave you with Les Dawson with a song dedicated to our dentists.