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Thursday September 22nd "Fun with literal translations; Betis-Barsa"

Living with a new language often means your first time translation of names, places and things is the most fun. You also realize how much you've become accustomed to names back home and forget the actual meanings behind the words. For instance the name of my home town - Chapel Hill - doesn't make me think of a little church on a hill. But for someone first hearing that name, well it must be the first thing to enter their minds. So this phenomenon, if you could call it that, often occurs while I am wandering around the city. Some of the names for streets have their history to which I am often ignorant. Perhaps if I knew of the historic individual I would make the association with them before my mind processes the literal meaning. Others come from common sayings which when literally translated sound a bit funny. Others sound like another word in Spanish. Ok, so time for some fun with translating these names:

  • Calle Juan de Mesa = John of Table Street
  • Calle Blanco White = White White Street
  • Calle Alhondiga = sounds like Calle Albondiga = Meatball Street
  • Calle Hombre de Piedra = Man of Stone Street
  • Calle Blanca Paloma = White Pigeon Street
  • Avda. Dr. Leal Castaño = Dr. Loyal Chestnut Avenue
  • Calle Amador de los Rios = Loving of the River Street
  • Calle Amor de Dios = Love of God Street
  • Calle Pedro Caravaca = Peter Cowface Street
  • Calle Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca = Alvar Nuñez Head of Cow Street
  • Calle Pedro del Toro = Peter of the Bull Street
  • Calle Cabezas de San Juan = Heads of Saint John Street
  • Calle Cabeza del Rey Don Pedro = Head of King Pedro Street
  • Calle Torrecabra = Goat Tower Street
  • Calle Parque de Despeñaperros = Park of Hurling Dogs off a Cliff
  • Calle Venta de los Gatos = Sale of Cats Street
  • Calle Jesus del Gran Poder = Jesus of Great Power Street

Two more favorites (non-street related) are "Hay cuatro gatos" = "There are four cats", which means there is nobody around. This you may use when you walk into a bar and you're the only one there. I guess the thinking is there are so few people that the only things around are some cats. And of course there is "tocino del cielo" = "fat from heaven". This is like flan but made with twice the egg yolks. The end result is a thicker pastry which has an appearance similar to a slice of fat.

Tomorrow evening we take on Barcelona in a match that should be quite good. After being robbed with a terribly called penalty against Deportivo we move on and hope for better officiating.