dijous, 27 de setembre de 2007

If you dream of being an earl and you are an unhappy day labourer, someday the owner of the house will come to collect the renting

Val. «Si ensomies que eres comte, i eres un trist jornaler, ja vindrà l'amo (de) la casa a cobrar-te l'alquiler*»

This saying is an example of Valencian realistic philosophy. At the same time, though, it is a pessimistic affirmation, as this saying expresses a kind of conformism and denial of abilities for improvements and progress. It is supposed to be used for bringing dreamers back to reality.

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Esta rima és un exemple de la filosofia realista valenciana. Al mateix temps, és una afirmació pessimista, puix expressa un tipus de conformisme, una negació de l'habilitat de millorar i progressar. Se suposa que es diu per a fer tornar als somniadors a la dura realitat.

divendres, 21 de setembre de 2007

To give excuses of bad payer

Val. «Donar excuses de mal pagaor*»

It's used for criticizing persons who are always giving pretexts for his slovenliness.

Linguistic clarifications:

*standard 'pagador'. In Valencian Catalan we usually drop 'd' between vowels.

dijous, 20 de setembre de 2007

What goes forward, goes forward

Val. «Lo* que va davant, va davant»

It is a system of determining priorities.

*standard el

dimecres, 19 de setembre de 2007

"To go and suck an onion"

Val. «Anar a mamar una ceba»

An onion is not like a tit: it doesn't give milk. You can say "Go and suck and onion", when you want someone out of your view.

Una ceba no és com una mamella: no dona llet. Pots dir "vés i mama una ceba" quan vols a algú fora de la teua vista.

"Shall we make fire, or run away?"

Val. «Què fem? Foc i fugirem»

This is usually said as an answer to the question "What shall we do?". Maybe it is used because of its rhyme and alliteration.

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Se sol dir com a resposta a la pregunta «què fem?» («foc i fugirem»). Potser s'utilitza per la seua musicalitat.

To talk for not to keep quiet

Val. «Parlar per no callar»

It's used when someone says in a bravely way something wished but impossible to do. The only purpose is to make believe himself and also those around him that it could be real It's also used just for laughs.

S'utilitza quan algú diu alguna cosa desitjada, de manera valenta, però impossible de realitzar, amb l'únic objectiu de fer creure a sí mateix i a l'auditori que podria ser de veres, o simplement per riure.

dimarts, 11 de setembre de 2007

Those who mock others will be pricked by the devil

Val. «A qui es burla, el dimoni li furga»

Este refrany ens recorda que qui es burle cruelment dels altres rebrà, tard o d'hora, el seu castic.

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It means that each ill-intentioned joke will always find its respective punishment.

From where there is nothing, you can't take out anything

Val. «D'on no n'hi ha, no se'n pot treure»

This set phrase is a distilled fragment of wisdom that Valencian culture passes on to the whole humanity. This could work as The Universal Refrain, because it has an unique meaning and can be understood by every person, be him old, young, man, woman, educated or illiterate.

dilluns, 10 de setembre de 2007

To arrive and kiss the saint

Val. «Arribar i besar el sant»

It's a Mediterranean (therefore Valencian) tradition and habit to make collective processions to venerate Saints and martyrs. At the end of this processions it is habitual to kiss the Saint's feet or hands, looking for miraculous cures or health recoverings. Sometimes the congregation must walk many miles before they can kiss the saint.

With this phrase Valencians express astonishment when somebody solves a situation very quickly.

- I left my car in the garage and they have repaired it in just ten minutes; can you believe it?

- Oh! It's incredible: that's to arrive and kiss the saint!

To make more water than a monot

Val. «Fer més aigua que un monot»

monot (val.): xarxa per a la pesca emprada pels pescadors del llac de l'Albufera de València.

monot (val.): fishing net used by fishermans on Albufera's lake (València).

This expression is a little bit complex because is based on another set phrase:

To make water

Val. «Fer aigua»

That means '
to be stupid' -you know: like you'd have a hole on your head and your brain is spilling down...-

[in Valencian verb '
to make' can be used as synonymous of 'to give off']

Then we combine this phrase (
make water) with our special fishing net (monot) we have this curious phrase:

- You make more water [you're so stupid]...
...than a monot [because a net can hold no water, it works as the top metaphor of stupidity].

diumenge, 9 de setembre de 2007

To be a manifesser

Val. «Ser un manifesser»

manifesser: Valencian word for designate a person as clumsy (eng. syn.: butterfinger).

To be more annoyed than is Muhammad of the streaky bacon

Val. «Estar més fart que Mahoma de la cansalà»

It's the top phrase for expressing fed up about something.

Its meaning is related with the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the restrictions that this religion imposes to its followers (prohibited foods include pig products, blood, carrion, and alcohol).

* standard: cansalada

dissabte, 8 de setembre de 2007

To go straighter than the leafminer

Val. «Anar més recte que el minaor»

The citrus leafminer* is a major pest of citrus. The larva digs galleries in the leaves, causing extensive damage to our orange trees.

*El minaor (standard: minador)

Those who cook bland food do it for everyone, those who cook salty do it for the cat

Val.: «Qui cuina dolç, cuina per a molts; qui cuina salat, cuina per al gat»

Este refrany explica que més val cuinar un plat més aïna insípid que no un plat massa salat. En el primer cas, cada comensal pot millorar-lo afegint-li la sal que li abellixca; en el segon, en canvi, és difícil arreglar l’empastre i fer-lo comestible. Una alternativa a tirar el menjar al fem és donar-li’l al gat, que no sol dir que no a les menges salades.

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Some say that we Valencians put much more salt than necessary in our dishes. This saying mentions this problem. It basically means that if your meal turns out a bit tasteless you can always add a pinch of salt. It is advisable to add just a bit of it (specially if you have guests at home) so you don’t take the risk of ruining the meal. However, if it turns out too salty, you can always let your cat eat it.

dijous, 6 de setembre de 2007

To be done an eccehomo


Val. «Estar fet un eccehomo»

Es diu que algú està fet un eccehomo quan està malferit. L’origen d’esta expressió cal buscar-lo en la frase Ecce homo, que en llatí significa «Heus ací l’home»; va ser la frase que va dir Ponç Pilat per a presentar a Jesús després de ser flagel·lat i coronat amb espines.
En valencià eccehomo es pronuncia popularment aixòmo o axiamo.

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In Valencian, to be like an eccehomo means to be badly injured. Ecce homo is a Latin sentence meaning ‘Behold the Man’. These were Pilate’s words as he presented Jesus, crowned with thorns, to the crowd.

To be more jerk than the rough cane

Val. «Ser més bord* que la canyota»

It's the maximum expression for describing someone's annoying behaviour.

* bord: annoying, rude, jerk. [see more definitions]

The play on words comes from the fact that in Valencian the word bord has 2 meanings: one is wild, like a wild plant, that is useless and annoying for the farmer. Thus, the sentence would be: To be wilder than a mass of reeds. The second meaning of the word bord is nasty or jerk, as when somebody gets stroppy. The expression is playing with the two meanings, as both (a wild plant and a nasty person) are unpleasant.

To crap in-flight

Val. «Cagar al vol»

It's used for remark the lack of sense of an action.

Ex. "It's raining and you're watering your plants... you're crapping in-flight"

dimecres, 5 de setembre de 2007

A pumpkin was given to me and it turned into a melon… I prefer a pumpkin to getting married with a whore


Val. «Carabassa m’han donat i se m’ha tornat meló… més m’estime carabassa que casar-me amb un pendó»

Esta és una rima que s’utilitza després d’un fracàs sentimental, en concret quan un home ha sigut rebutjat per una xica. El xic diu esta frase per a consolar-se, perquè suposadament la xica no li convenia. La rima significa que preferix estar solter abans que casar-se amb una dona de vida irregular i desordenada. La locució «donar carabasses» prové d’un costum rural en què el pretendent a casar-se amb una xica era convidat a dinar a casa d’ella: si li oferien foc per al cigarro significava que la família acceptava el festeig; si li servien un plat de carabassa, volia dir que el mosso no era ben rebut i se n’havia d’anar. Com ella era una mala influència, el fet d’haver sigut rebutjat és més aïna una cosa positiva: com un meló, que és una cosa dolça.

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This is a rhyme that men use to console themselves after a disappointment in love, specifically when a man has been rejected by a woman. Supposedly this woman isn’t right for him. The rhyme means that he prefers to stay single rather than get married with a partygoer or a whore. The idiom ‘to give pumpkins’ (meaning ‘to give the brush off’) comes from a rural custom: when a man wanted to marry a girl, he was invited to her house. If the family offered him a match to light his cigarette, it meant the family approved the relationship. However, if he was given a pumpkin, it meant he was not welcome and he had to leave. But as she was a bad person, the fact of being rejected turns out to be a positive thing: like a melon, which is sweet and tasty.

To be deafer than a ploughshare

Val. «Estar més sord(/a) que una rella»

It's said when someone has difficulties for listen.

To leave as a slingshot



Val. «Anar-se’n com una fona»

Anar-se’n (o entrar, eixir o passar) com una fona significa fer-ho molt a pressa, a corre-cuita. La meua iaia em va dir eixa frase al vore que ma mare eixia de casa amb corruixes, sense temps ni per a dir adéu: Se n'ha anat com una fona!

Una fona és un instrument per a tirar pedres que consistix en una tira curta d’una matèria flexible, especialment cuir, on es posa la pedra, unida en els seus extrems a dos trenes, normalment d’espart, cànem, etc.

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The expression «Anar-se’n com una fona» (literally Anar-se’n [‘go away’] com [‘like’] una fona [‘a slingshot’]) means to go away very quickly, as in a rush. My grandmother told me this expression when she saw my mum leaving home without saying goodbye: she was going on an errand and she was late.

I love you more than a good crap

Val. "T'estime més que un bon cagar".

The legend says that an old King had 3 daughters. He asked them how much they loved him. The eldest answered "I love you more than all the gold in the world". The second one, "I love you more than all the silver". But the youngest said "Daddy, I love you more than a good crap". The King grew furious, and exiled her.

She had to live in a farm for two years. When they met again, his father grabbed her, and said: "Daughter, tell me how much you love me, because I haven't been able to go to the toilet since you left me (and it hurts)". He was too constipated (restret).

After the re-meeting, the King found an irrigation ditch, and crapped, and crapped, until he dried the ditch up. Since then, that irrigation ditch is known as "La sèquia del Bon Cagar" (The Good-Crapping ditch)

Ey, have a good time and crap a lot!

dimarts, 4 de setembre de 2007

Uncle "Manyes" shall help you

Val. "Que t'ajude el tio Manyes"

The uncle Manyes, in fact, doesn't exist. To achieve something, especially a physical activity, you have to do it on your own, using your own "manya", that is, your skills. This expression means that dexterity and skills are more useful than the use of brute force. It also implies that the person who tells you this saying is quite reluctant to help you. That is why he/she would tell you something like "Mr Yourself shall help you".

The legend says that a little boy had to carry some logs, and his father told him: "Keep walking and bring the logs, halfway there (
a mitjan camí) the uncle Manyes will catch you and give you a hand". When the little boy arrived home, he was happy, because he had done it on his own... Meanwhile his father was drinking some cassalles in "El Segó" bar.

Cassalla: dry drink with a high alcohol content
segó = bran

It is better to indulge oneself than having a hundred tambourines


Val. «Val més un gust que cent panderos»

Significa que tant se val el valor material d’alguna cosa, el preu que et puga costar, si tindre-la et fa feliç. L’expressió fa referència al costum nadalenc, hui desaparegut, que consistia en arrossegar pel carrer pots de llanda o llautó lligats entre ells. Estos s’anomenaven «panderos» per la similitud del pot de llanda a l’instrument musical. Esta pràctica es feia per a cridar l’atenció, fer soroll i armar festa. Els xiquets s’ho passaven d’allò més bé; d’ací que tindre cent panderos es considerara una cosa molt bona… però millor és satisfer un capritx personal que sempre has volgut.

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This saying means that if you like something, you shouldn’t worry about its price as long as it having it makes you happy. The expression comes from an old Christmas custom: children tied several cans with a string and dragged it through the streets as a long chain to make a big fuss. This cans were known as panderos (‘tambourines’) due to the similarity of the can to the instrument. Kids had great fun doing that. That is why having one hundred of these tambourines was considered a great thing… but not so great as to indulge oneself buying that thing you have always wanted.

If she is ugly but she wags it, good one! If she is fat but she does it well, great as well! If she is pretty but wants love, that's worse!

Val. Si és lletja però la meneja, bona! Si està grossa però ho fa bé, també! Si està bona i vol amor, pitjor!

"That's a fair lesson, Sir "(Tota una lliçó, sí senyor)

diumenge, 2 de setembre de 2007

Four for the bag, and the bag at floor

Val. Cuatre pa'l sac i el sac en terra

Es diu quan algunes persones juntes no fan la faena que podrien o haurien de fer.

To end up like Camot

Val. «Acabar com Camot»

Valencian culture developed a mythology of characters which, despite the ravages of time, still appear in some expressions and sayings. Some of them are goblins who dwell in the woods or spirits which are supposed to kidnap and torture the children. In this case, Camot stands for the character of the wretched, somebody who was bound to die or who came to a sticky end. When somebody goes astray, usually one tells him/her that he/she will end up like Camot (Acabaràs com Camot!)

You will find some information about Valencian mythological beings in here: (Catalan)