My palabra

I have been tagged to choose my favourite word for International Literacy Day.

I am late. It was yesterday.

And as I am writing from Spain, I am going to choose Spanish words. Y tambien, voy a escribir un poco en español.

Bueno. Me encanta la lengua español, y hay muchos palabras que me gustan.

Guapa, precioso, estupenda, jazmín (con su olor de las noches de verano), chiquitito, calentito, y fuera.

¿Por qué fuera?

Well, when I first came here, one of the ways I started to learn Spanish was by watching TV. Mainly the news, and a few films. And I had to use sub-titles because everything was just too fast.

Later I started watching Spanish and Latin American soaps, still with sub-titles but the dialogue was pretty simple.

When you have heard Luis Mario say fifteen times in one episode of Gata Salvaje

“A mí no me interesa. No me interesa nada. Absolutamente nada.”

you figure that he is not interested. At all. And soon I could watch without sub-titles.

And I watched Charmed – Embrujadas, Buffy – La Cazavampira, and Rex.

One day I was watching Charmed and Prue was waving her hands around as usual, and at the same time told someone to go away. “Fuera!” “Fuera de aquí!”

I though that would come in useful, particularly walking the dog when strays came up to aggravate him, or small children started being a pain.

I was talking to my neighbour about Charmed. “Embrujadas,” I said. But as Adelina can’t read anything she can’t read the title when it comes up on the television. She describes the programmes as a film, or a telenovela, and then talks about the content.

She finally worked out I was talking about Charmed because she then did a beautiful impersonation of Prue waving her hands to move something, and said “Ella con los manos.” Her with the hands.

So because fuera is a very useful word, especially when snarled correctly, I am choosing that one. More importantly, it will always remind me of my illiterate – and very sharp – Spanish neighbour. I still find it strange that here is a woman of my mother’s generation who can’t read and write, when my grandparents and their parents could all read and write.

In fact there are people younger than her in our village who have never learned. Mostly their families help them when necessary, and when they go to the bank they sign with their thumb.

So fuera is my word. For my neighbour and all the other Andalucians whose families work in the fields and haven’t had the opportunity of education.

7 comments on “My palabra

  1. A fascinating post!Excellent word, shame you can’t enter it!Am I too, look forward to a serious hand slapping post on the delights of Spanish wine now???Bluex


  2. Hi Kate,I try watching the soaps too but mainly because the women and men are so beautiful and if there is something interesting I trying googling the Spanish transalator!!Heres the turkey story


  3. I understood perfectly everything you said in this post and that makes me happy. It has been years since I read anything Spanish. :)


    • My written Spanish is pretty basic, but my vet understands my emails and so does the one I am ordering Land Rover Santana parts from – i visit the Spanish Land Rover forums from time to time, I suspect the sheer novelty of having a non-Spanish woman on there writing even basic Spanish has them bending over backwards for Catalina.

      Because of Gib being both, and Spain being Spanish, I often forget what language someone has said something in, just that I understood it, which is good enough for me. I think the problem with the way I write Spanish is that it is probably stilted. Now I wonder what Miedo is like in Spanish? Do you want it proofing? :D Watching the news was a good way to learn Spanish. Initially watching everything, subtitles was a good way to start, and try to get a feel for it because everyone spoke so FAST. And then, suddenly I was in bed one night, trying to go to sleep and couldn’t because I could hear and understand every word of next door’s TV. I knew I had cracked it then. Reading was pretty easy, for some time I bought El Pais, Málaga Hoy and Sur (depending on the freebies/offers). I’ve never bought a British paper in Spain. A bit like the supermarket post, plus the Spanish papers weren’t full of so much tat drivel.


      • I would love to have Miedo done in Spanish and if you’re up for it after we have done some other edits it may be another project for you. ;)


        • I’m not up for translating, but I would proof it in Spanish because I can work out what doesn’t work because I can translate it back to the original if that makes sense. So if Susanna translated fair rather than fare in the current version (for example) you would end up with a feria :D Too funny, but not very good for you. Similarly the edge not the hedge (still laughing at that, I just couldn’t work it out). Didn’t even know what a hedge was, un seto apparently. I keep my big Span dic in Spain as I lose the language more here. Up there, I get the neighbours to explain :D


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