domingo, 8 de noviembre de 2015


Words with gender
Spanish language by Liz Parry

I always knew English speakers had it easier when it comes to gender. Well you know what I mean! We don’t have to make our adjectives agree with our nouns, or learn that ‘agua’ is feminine and the only reason it’s “el agua” is because “la agua” is quite difficult to say, and as soon as you’re talking about waters with an ’s’ you’re OK and can say ‘las aguas’. Of course we do sometimes have to debate whether a female poet should be called a poetess, or whether that’s too antiquated, or too politically correct, and whether the same applies to actors and actresses. Do we have female bishops? Bishopesses? But I digress.

The reason this came to mind is that on Saturday I attended a gala event to elect Weight Watchers Member of the Year. In Spain. (I was asked to be part of the jury and no, before you ask, I have never been a Weight Watcher).

It was all very well organised, with posters on the walls and stage of the Finca La Biznaga announcing the gala “Socia del Año” event. The certificate was ready for the winning “Socia”, and so was a designer handbag which was part of the prize. The presenters did stumble a bit, because just one of the contenders was a man, so all their prepared speeches about the “damas” who were “socias” and deserved a prize had to be adapted to include the one “caballero” who was an equally deserving “socio”.

They did keep remembering to give him a mention, but Weight Watchers has been a female preserve for so long that he was always an after-thought. The main problem arose though when he won the competition and it was announced that he was, in fact, “Socia del año”.
He took it all in good part, and his wife was very pleased with the handbag.
Filed under: Spanish language by Liz Parry

1 comentario:

  1. Hola Soy Michael
    An Irish Christmas
    Christmas in Ireland is an ostentatious affair. It´s imminent arrival is a welcome relief from the daily drudge through the long winter months.
    As a boy growing up in Dublin , Christmas was a time of excitement , giggles of expectancy , presents and chocolate , we were consumed by it ! Weeks before Christmas a sort of madness descends over all , people do all sorts of strange stuff and is otherwise known as the `Silly Season´.The men even give up The Drink and attend church on Sunday . Coming closer to christmas they go into the mountains and chop down small pine trees or buy one locally , drag it home, along with a mountain of fire wood, and erect it in the front room for all the neighbours to admire and gossip . Women usually decorate the trees with fairy lights , tinsel strips , baubles of all colours and golden trinkets from all parts of the world some sent from a sister, daughter or son working abroad. They would hang anything that would green a magpie´s eye. Irish women are great throughout christmas, making rich fruitcakes often months beforehand, cleaning the house ,buying food ,wrapping presents and organising the children and men.
    The men would sit in front of the fire like Kings, surveying all and drinking fine alcohol and later they would be standing and swaying ,racously singing glorious ballads while raising glasses to all and gone ! Visitors would arrive throughout the night handshaking and hugging, all the while dodging the embraces of a hottening fire and christmas tree .
    On Christmas day the 25 th of December we attend church as a family , everybody is there , even the agnostics and would be saints, holding hands and singing carols. Everybody is smiling and passing on the Season´s good wishes to each other , love and goodwill is in the air. The children are bored and thinking about their presents ,that Santa left for them , under the tree....
    They pull their parents from their church seats and rush them the short walk home. They begrudge moments of time with neighbours and friends ,until the children get to the tree and presents.
    In a short time , a cacophony of happiness , bleating robots ,whirring lights , electric cars would reach a deafening crescendo smoothering my fathers protestations , a boring monologue about batteries and time.
    As hunger began to moan we would make our way to the dining room and sit down to a feast . Ma always laid out a tasty dinner of turkey and ham , sauces in french and vegetables a la.. something , we pulled christmas crackers and won silly toys and hats , and read corny jokes , we loved the fun of it all, the stagecraft .
    For desert we had pudding and cream , maybe coffee with chocolate , I remember not being able to move from the table .This went on for the whole 12 days of christmas ending on the 6 th of January to celebrate “ Little Christmas” .
    Spanish people also celebrate this day but they attribute this to the three wise men or Magi who visited after Jesus birth and left presents of gold, myrrh and frankincense.
    Like the three Magi who bring presents to good Spanish children, but if you´re naughty as in Ireland , you get coal instead …...;-)