Translating from Catalan

(wow, I’ve just noticed a boost of traffic to this blog. Thanks for the views.)

So, what have I been doing lately? A lot, aikido, walks, gardening, hunting exotic crayfish,  but I’ll leave them for other blogs.

One thing I’ve been busy on is translating the CEN Association website from Catalan to English. CEN is an association that “works for the improvement and conservation of habitats and biodiversity”.  I’ve been involved in several volunteer actions (including “hunting cranks“) as well as being a board member. We  (Biodiversidad2030) signed an agreement with CEN under the Custódia del Territorio (Land Stewardship Scheme in English) to protect the land and its ecosystems and develop projects in a sustainable way for us and the environment.

So, I’m translating the website so it’s accessible to the anglosphere. Moreover, it helps in an application to EOCA to do work for the Glorieta river, such as litter picking, control and eradication of invasive exotic species, regulation of canyoning, restriction of access to vulnerable areas and raising awareness of environmental issues, both local and in general. It’s tough work (I am not a professional translator) but I enjoy it.

I can read Spanish fairly well, and because of that other Romance languages are more accesible, like Portuguese, Italian and Catalan. I can read them a bit and make “educated guesses” at what they’re saying. But to hear them… no entenc res! (I don’t understand a thing!).  I understand enough Catalan to translate it, and there’s plenty of resources online to help me,  but the mental gymnastics I have to do translate from one grammar to the other is mindbending. A long list of de… de… de… de… might sound okay in Catalan, French or Spanish, but in English of… of… of… of… doesn’t flow. Then there are the technical terms that I have to accurately translate to make them meaningful. But I think this sort of saturation is good for learning a new language.

Well, I think I should get on with the translation now. Time’s a wasting!

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The Veg Patch – sowing without digging

For a couple of years me and my girlfriend have been working on a veg patch in the traditional way of digging it up. We haven’t weeded much, just put down mulch when it’s needed, and the weeds we do take we put back on the floor, helping to mulch everything. You can find it described on Biosfera2030 (in Spanish, but you can click on the posts to see our veg patch, “la huerta”, and its products).

This year I read The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka and got inspired to try something: no-till farming. This afternoon I went out with some seeds (spinach and radishes*), threw them out onto grassy-weedy ground, covered them with a bit of straw (for mulch and to protect against birds) and gave them a bit of watering. Without digging the ground up. I’m interesting to see what comes of it.

*I was meant to plant some lettuces seeds too but accidently nicked Mika’s rocket seeds, so I have rocket too.